16 Superb Health Benefits of Cucumber
Pick a handful of firm, dark green cucumbers and pop them into your shopping basket. Congratulations! You have just bought yourself a fruit (yes, the cool cuke is fruit, not a vegetable) full of good health!
Here is a short list of the impressive health benefits that a cucumber carries:
- Keeps you hydrated. If you are too busy to drink enough water, munch on the cool cucumber, which is 96 percent water. It will cheerfully compensate!
- Fights heat, both inside and out. Eat cucumber, and your body gets relief from heartburn. Apply cucumber on your skin, and you get relief from sunburn.
- Flushes out toxins. All that water in cucumber acts as a virtual broom, sweeping waste products out of your system. With regular use, cucumber is known to dissolve kidney stones.
- Lavishes you with vitamins. A B and C, which boost immunity, give you energy, and keep you radiant. Give it more power by juicing cucumber with carrot and spinach.
- Supplies skin-friendly minerals: magnesium, potassium, silicon. That’s why cucumber-based treatments abound in spas.
- Aids in weight loss. Enjoy cucumbers in your salads and soups. My favorite snack? Crunchy cucumber sticks with creamy low-fat yogurt dip.
- Revives the eyes. Placing chilled slices of cucumber on the eyes is a clichéd beauty visual, but it really helps reduce under-eye bags and puffiness.
- Cuts cancer. Cut down your risk of several cancers by including cucumber in your diet. Several studies show its cancer-fighting potential.
- Stabilizes blood pressure. Patients of blood pressure, both high and low, often find that eating cucumber brings relief.
- Refreshes the mouth. Cucumber juice refreshes and heals diseased gums, leaving your mouth smelling good.
- Helps digestion. Chewing cucumber gives the jaws a good workout, and the fiber in it is great for digestion.
- Smooths hair and nails. Silica, the wonder mineral in cucumber makes your hair and nails stronger and shinier.
- Soothes muscle and joint pain. All those vitamins and minerals in cucumber make it a powerful enemy of muscle and joint pain.
- Keeps kidneys in shape. Cucumber lowers uric acid levels in your system, keeping the kidneys happy.
- Good for diabetics. Patients of diabetes can enjoy cucumber while also reaping its health benefits: cucumber contains a hormone needed by the cells of the pancreas for producing insulin.
- Reduces cholesterol. A compound called sterols in cucumber helps reduce bad cholesterol.
Health benefits of cucumbers
1. Rehydrates body
Cucumbers are generally 95 % water, maintaining the entire body moisturized whilst assisting the body removes harmful toxins. Cucumbers have got the majority of the vitamins your body requires within a single day. Make sure you leave the skin on because the skin includes a fair amount of vitamin C, about 10 % of the daily-recommended allocation. You may drink or eat cucumber or even its juice throughout hot summer. It can also help in eliminating the toxins through the entire body.
2. Skin care
Cucumber is the perfect method of obtaining silica, a trace mineral which supports our ligament with each other as well as plays a role in the toughness to them. Silica has several advantages to our overall health as well as skin. Edith M. Carlisle, Ph.D carried out research on chicks in 1970s and 1980s. Her research proven that silica found in cucumber created 100 times much more bone collagen more than those not getting nutritional silica. Furthermore, their bones exposed a sluggish, but remarkable, increase in calcium content. Silica’s contribution towards the power of our ligament is important to a younger physical appearance of your skin. Silica is additionally verified as being an inhibitor of the process of getting older in tissues. An insufficiency of silica as well as acid hyaluronic increases aging of the skin simply because connective tissues are not able to maintain water effectively. Research has shown that silica definitely seems to be part of the synthesis of proline (an important component of collagen), that is necessary in the creation of deoxycollagen. In addition, research by Carlisle demonstrates that the best functioning of “prolyl hydroxylase,” a chemical important to collagen synthesis, is dependent upon silica.
Whenever positioned on affected regions of your skin, it lowers inflammation as well as relieves signs and symptoms related to moderate sunburns. Additionally, it has got the possibility to tighten up the skin pores, lighten up dark circles beneath the eyes, decrease the physical appearance of freckles and also enhance various other skin tone problems. Its capability to cure as well as recover the skin is caused by its water content and higher amounts of anti-oxidant. Additionally it is useful in decreasing acne breakouts. Furthermore, it cures your inflamed as well as burned up red eye. These types of all-natural eye pads help in lowering the swelling as well as the fatigue within your eyes. Because of its cooling impact, it is extremely useful for all of your skin difficulties. The cleansing as well as cleaning property assists the skin significantly turning it into supple and soft. Frequent consuming of cucumber or even consuming its juice your skin will get shine also it assists you to look more youthful.
Cucumbers are recognized to consist of lariciresinol, pinoresinol, as well as secoisolariciresinol. These 3 lignans have a very powerful history of investigation in association with decreased chance of numerous cancer types, which includes cancer of the breast, ovarian cancer, and uterine cancer as well as cancer of the prostate. Provides some safety against colon cancers through the elimination of harmful toxins through the stomach.
4. Bad breaths
The phytochemcials within cucumber will certainly kill the bacteria within your mouth liable for creating foul breath. So you’re able to consume cucumber right after your meal or even any moment if you think you have to replenish the mouth.
5. Hangover cure
Wish to stay away from a hangover or even horrible head ache? Then consume cucumber. Cucumbers consist of sufficient sugar, B vitamins as well as electrolytes to rejuvenate necessary nutrient elements your body dropped, maintaining all things in balance, preventing both a hangover as well as head ache!!
6. Aids in weight loss
Cucumbers are extremely lower in calories. It consists of simply no fats and incredibly few calories only water, vitamins as well as minerals therefore, cucumbers are definitely the ideal accessory for any kind of green healthy salad, in addition to a excellent vegetable to eat in between foods. You can include cucumber in your meal, lunch, supper or even dinner. Cucumber includes a higher sulphur as well as silicon content. These types of minerals try to activate the kidneys to clean out uric acid, that is a throw away product. With this particular uric acid being beaten up, it energizes the elimination of fat, as well as releases fat through the cells. You may consume cucumber entire day.
Digestive problems just like ulcers, acidity, gastritis, ulcers and even can usually be treated by consuming fresh new cucumber juice every single day. The higher water content as well as soluble fiber within cucumber work well in driving away the harmful toxins through the digestive tract and therefore help digestion of food. Cucumber likewise helps to absorb food items effortlessly. Cucumber allows you to absorb the protein which contain within your foods. Every day intake of cucumbers can be considered a treatment for long-term bowel problems.
Beta cells contained in the pancreas create the hormone insulin. Cucumber is available to get a hormone needed by the beta cells within the insulin creation. Furthermore, the Glycemic Index of cucumber can be obtained to be zero. Each food consists of important nourishment in different amounts. The existence of the nutritious carbohydrate as well as its impact on the body is calculated through the quantity Glycemic Index. The carbohydrates are mainly liable for increase in the glucose level. However the carbohydrates contained in the cucumber is definitely digestible within a diabetes patient’s stomach. That’s the reason; the Glycemic Index of this vegetable is Zero. This prevents the glucose level as soon as the consumption of this vegetable under control. A Supplement referred to as Spiny Sea Cucumber Extract Powder can be found to function in fighting Diabetes.
Cucumbers have got higher amounts of sterol that really help to lessen levels of cholesterol, particularly unhealthy cholesterol also referred to as LDL.
10. Blood pressure (Reduce Hypertension)
Potassium, magnesium as well as dietary fiber contained in the cucumber might help maintain your blood pressure levels continued to be standard. This will make cucumbers great for dealing with both low blood pressure level as well as high blood pressure level. The ideal Ph. level of blood is in between 7.35 and 7.45. This will likely make our blood simply somewhat alkaline. In case the blood goes below 7.35 is becomes too acidic, which could trigger difficulties. Cucumbers juice consists of minerals which boost alkalinity or even reduce acid levels within the blood, and therefore the body. Therefore cucumber juice is an excellent blood balancer, specifically for people along with acid-related problems.
11. Gout and arthritis
Cucumber is a wonderful method of obtaining silica, which is recognized to help, encourages joint health simply by conditioning the connective tissue. Also, they are abundant with vitamin A, B1, B6, C & D, Foliate, Calcium supplement, Magnesium, as well as Potassium. Whenever combined with carrot juice, they are able to reduce gout symptoms as well as arthritis pain simply by decreasing the uric acid amounts.
12. Beneficial for teeth and gums
The teeth as well as gum disease, periodontal disease, particularly, may be treatable successfully together with cucumber juice. The intake of uncooked cucumber may also greatly increase the saliva and enables reduce the effects of acids as well as bases within the oral cavity. Therefore cucumber is helpful for all those struggling with illnesses of the gums and teeth, particularly in situations of pyorrhea.
13. Treat tapeworms
Cucumber seeds are believed an all-natural treatment to remove tapeworms within the digestive tract. Powder of cucumber seeds could be consumed if someone obtained tapeworm difficulties. If you don’t have tapeworm difficulties you may consume cucumber’s seeds as well it don’t cause harm to your body but can assist to avoid worms’ troubles within your intestinal tract.
14. Nail care
Being abundant with minerals, cucumber aids in preventing breaking of nails of the fingertips as well as toes.
15. Stimulate hair growth
Cucumber juice encourages new hair growth because of its silicon as well as sulfur content. Hair especially requires these types of nutrition, as well as suggests consuming half a glass of 100 % pure cucumber juice or even including it within a vegetable cocktail every day for optimum healthier hair advantages. For the best outcomes, combine cucumber juice together with the juices of carrot, lettuce or even green spinach.
Cucumbers have got gentle diuretic property most likely because of their higher water as well as potassium content, which assist in examining putting on weight and higher blood pressure. The cucumber is the greatest all-natural diuretic noted for secreting and also promoting the circulations of urine. Diuretics encourage the removal of excessive fluid through the entire body. This decreases inflammation of the hands or legs as well as helps prevent high blood pressure levels brought on by elevated blood quantity.
17. Bone health
Cucumber consists of large amount of vitamin A. Vitamin A has numerous essential characteristics just like helping in regular bone development. Cucumber is abundant with silica, this is actually the important ingredient that helps with maintaining healthy and strong connective tissues which includes muscle tissue, ligaments, tendon, cartilage material, as well as bone fragments. The truth that cucumber is actually a extremely alkalizing veggie additionally rewards our bone health simply because, while we are within an acid state (generally from overeating meat, dairy, grains as well as consuming coffee as well as soft drinks) then our bodies discharge minerals from the bones to create up the pH of the blood, regrettably over time, this may deteriorate the bone bulk. Vitamin K in cucumber additionally assists your bone to become healthy and balanced.
18. Development of muscle tissue
A 100g offering, about 3.5 oz, of cucumber consists of about 150mg of potassium. This particular mineral assists in metabolic features and in addition plays a part in the creation of muscle tissues. In addition, it encourages muscle mass overall flexibility.
Cucumber peel is a great method of obtaining soluble fiber which enables decrease bowel problems. Regular usage of cucumbers can be considered a treatment for long-term bowel problems. In case you are handling the situation of bowel problems consume cucumber 2 or 3 times each day right after your food.
20. Eye health
It really is thought that cucumber works well for decreasing inflammation about the eyes or even the large under eye circles beneath your eyes. This can be world-wide treatment method that is being utilized to the optimum extent. Cucumbers would be the most fantastic as well as all-natural eye patches you will discover for yourself. The swelling as well as the fatigue within your eyes might just make you, if you undertake this within a calm style. These types of all-natural eye pads perform miracles after the lengthy days function. Due to plenty of vitamins and minerals cucumber help make your vision great. Instead of utilizing weighty beauty makeup as well as eye care product, you’re able to do a number of sensitive efforts by making use of the cucumber paste upon eye lids. You can get great effect as soon as the use of this stunning yummy fruit. Your eyesight power will increase. To be brief, the eyelids, brows as well as eyeballs could be properly protected from an infection because of the regular utilization of cucumber juice. The soreness of the eye bags (cyst) will probably be reduced after the use of cucumber for couple of days.
21. Weight control
An increased consumption of cucumber water may additionally enable you to shed weight by reducing the quantity of calories you eat throughout every meal as well as decreasing water retention all over your body. A survey released within the July 2008 issue of the “Journal of the American Dietetic Association” implies that seniors who ingested 16 oz. water a half-hour just before every meal ingested much less calories compared to those who didn’t. Even when consuming cucumber water before you eat doesn’t assist you to consume less, it may lower your weight by reduction of water retention. Katherine Zeratsky, a clinical nutritional expert at Mayo Clinic, suggests consuming a minimum of eight glasses of water every day to avoid water retention. Reduced water retention usually equals lower bodyweight.
The cucumber works just like a diuretic, that not just allows you to lose weight cells, yet water weight too. It basically helps you to eliminate excessive fluids as well as fat cells simply by wearing down the fat cells so they can be removed through the body.
Cucumbers consist of silicon as well as sulphur that really help to promote the kidneys to clean the body from the gathered uric acid, which are often the consequence of being obese. The kidneys additionally assist in breaking down fat cells to be stripped away from the body. Along with the diuretic impact, the cucumber consists of effective anti-oxidant vitamins just like vitamins A, C as well as E to aid clear away harmful toxins as well as fat cells. They assist to wash your systems in a cellular level, to eliminate pockets of fat as well as harmful toxins which have developed within your body as well as beneath your skin. Cucumbers can assist you to accomplish your weight loss goals progressively with time.
Cucumbers are loaded with dietary fiber that is important with regards to weight reduction, because it helps you to get the bowels operating again so that waste products could be removed. Fiber not just helps you to thoroughly clean your digestive system, however the remainder of the body too. This can help to improve your metabolism so that you can acquire more energy to assist your body to lose off fat cells by participating in physical exercise.
22. Neural tube defects
Peeled cucumbers are usually abundant with foliate. Foliate, also referred to as folic acid, is a B-vitamin which helps avoid anemia as well as assists in the creation of DNA as well as RNA. Simply because foliate helps with cell production, the nutrient is especially essential for expecting mothers as well as babies. The advantages of folic acid are mainly recognized for assisting ladies who are attempting to have a baby as well as for pregnancy wellness. A lot of people don’t understand that the vitamin is additionally required for male reproductive health. In case a woman really wants to get pregnant she must be sure to improve the quantity of foliate she takes in a minimum of 3 months just before she first attempts to get pregnant. And also cucumber will be your great option.
23. Useful for detoxification
Cucumber is the better fruit for detoxification mainly because it allows for removal of waste products throughout the kidneys and also prevents to purge out the waste from the skin.
Cucumber is extremely abundant in water as well as lower in a calorie that makes it an ideal fruit for detoxification. The body builds up lots of harmful toxins as well as undesirable chemicals through the food, air and also water. It is very important remove these types of toxins for appropriate working of the body. Cucumber cleanse diet is a highly effective way for getting rid of these types of toxins. The flesh of cucumber is actually made up of water, but additionally consists of caffeic acid as well as ascorbic acid (Vitamin C). These types of ingredients of cucumber assist calm the problems in skin and lower inflammation.
24. Balanced Diet
A cucumber’s high-water content as well as low-calorie count turns it into a rejuvenating, guilt-free treat. Consuming cucumbers, together with a well-balanced diet, offers numerous vitamins and minerals which nurture your body as well as give rise to a healthy body. Cucumbers consist of sufficient sugar, vitamin B as well as electrolytes to rejuvenate necessary nutrient elements that the body dropped, maintaining all things in balance. Cucumber belongs to the foods, which are described as a power minimum as well as the optimum natural value. Their usage considered essential within a well-balanced diet.
25. Mouth Freshener
Have a piece of cucumber as well as press it on the roof of the mouth together with your tongue for 15-30 seconds to remove foul breath. You won’t ever think about peppermint just as before. The bacteria within your mouth are usually killed from the chemical substances within the cucumber and also you don’t need to be worried about foul breath left!
Cucumbers additionally assist in treating jaundice. Cucumber consists of 95% water and this will assist to get rid of the poisons from the body by way of urine.
27. Heartburn, acid stomach, gastritis
Fresh cucumber juice can offer rest from heartburn symptoms, acid stomach, gastritis and also ulcer.
28. Lung, stomach and chest benefits
Cucumber is advantageous in curing a variety of health problems which includes lung, stomach as well as chest difficulties, gout, arthritis as well as tapeworm.
29. Uric acid
The water content inside of cucumber is incredibly higher (up to 90%) in order that the cucumber possesses an impact to help urination, offering to remove as well as reduce the effects of harmful toxins, serving to use away bacteria over the intestinal tract as well as bladder. Water as well as mineral content of potassium in cucumber may take away excessive uric acid as well as metabolic waste products from the kidneys. Along with persistent habit in consuming cucumber may help to remove the crystal / kidney stones, and prevent a growth of toxins. Cucumber has superb cleansing qualities, therefore eliminating gathered bad toxins from the entire body. On many occasions cucumber is been viewed as efficient remedy for arthritis because it eliminates uric acid. Assisting in urine release, cucumber has been proven as an all-natural diuretic. Cucumber is excellent for urinary bladder, kidney, liver and also pancreatic features. Cucumber juice together with carrot juice is quite powerful for rheumatic problems brought on by extreme uric acid within the body.
30. Treats acidity
Consuming cucumber each 2 hour may handle your acidity difficulty. Cucumber juice it’s essentially alkaline by nature because of the minerals it includes. Therefore it is extremely efficient at treating acidity in individuals simply by eliminating the pH content of the body. Aside from level of acidity it also behaves as a calming agent for gastric ulcers.
31. Prevents water retention
Cucumber consists of caffeic as well as ascorbic acids that avoid water retention. Cucumbers will often be utilized topically to boost skin performance. Natural ascorbic acid as well as caffeic acid inside the cucumber behaves to avoid water retention within the skin. This decreases puffiness beneath the eyes and enables the skin recover through burning from the sun, swelling, as well as dermatitis.
Cucumbers may also be extremely effective whenever consumed and also utilized topically for eliminating undesirable dimply skin. Cucumbers work to attract out excessive body fluids as well as tighten up collagen that has the result of natural cellulite lowering. Just consume a few cucumbers, juice it, and/or put the cucumber around the areas of water retention.
32. Renal Disorder
Regular consumption of cucumber may push off kidney problem. Additionally, it reduces down the degree of uric acid too. Cucumbers demonstrated an advantage to assist relieve the trouble of the bladder as well as kidneys. Water found in cucumber assists kidney function with the start of a process of urination. In reality, cucumber is the better natural diuretics.
How to store cucumber
Place cucumber in the middle of a paper towel, cover it within a paper towel after that place covered cucumbers within a veggie plastic bag right now place it within your refrigerator.
From “Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs“
Cucumber (Cucumis sativus)
Folk Names: Cowcucumber
Powers: Chastity, Healing, Fertility
The fruit of the cucumber, when eaten, inhibits lust.
The peel bound unto the forehead relieves headache pain, while the seeds are eaten to promote fertility.
One, draped in crimson gypsy shawl,
a skirt that billowed ‘round her knees;
the other one was frail and tall,
her cardigan clutched ‘gainst the breeze
that blew across the ocean’s face
and kissed this day with salty grace.
I watched them walking, hand in hand,
along the beach. The errant wave
that ran across the rippled sand
to gently brush their feet, they gave
no notice, but just laughed and went
along their way, with grey heads bent
together ‘neath the noon-day sun —
a pose that spoke of how time blends
two separate lives and makes them one.
Lovers, sisters, or just old friends?
The answer is, “It matters not”
For love is love, no matter what.
And old love is the very best,
that love that’s lasted through the years
and, ‘gainst all odds, has stood the test
of time, through laughter and through tears
and all the living in between
then walks us through old age, serene.
© Mel DarkDeer 11/05
This is an herb that I’ve grown but never used. The fact that it is poisonous if too much is ingested made me avoid it. However, one of my friends recently told me that she grows and uses hers all of the time so I did some research on it. Rue (Ruta graveolens) Folk Names: Bashoush (Coptic), Garden Rue, German Rue, Herb of Grace, Herbygrass, Hreow, Mother of the Herbs, Rewe, Ruta Gender: Masculine Planet: Mars Element: Fire Deities: Diana, Aradia Powers: Healing, Health, Mental Powers, Exorcism, Love Magical Uses: Rue leaves placed on the forehead relieve headaches. Worn around the neck rue aids in recuperation from illnesses and also wards off future health problems. Rue is added to healing incenses and poppets. Fresh rue, sniffed, clears the head in love matters and also improves mental processes. Rue added to baths breaks all hexes and curses that may have been cast against you, and it is also added to exorcism incenses and mixtures. It is protective when hung up at the door or placed in sachets, and the fresh leaves rubbed on the floorboards sends back any ill spells sent against you. The Romans ate rue as a preservative against the evil eye, and the plant was also carried to guard the bearer from poisons, werewolves, and all manner of ills. A sprig of fresh rue is used as a sprinkler to distribute salt water throughout the house. This clears it of negativity. Mix fresh rue juice with morning dew and sprinkle in a circle around you while performing magical acts for protection, if desired or needed. Rue is another plant said t grow best when stolen, and indeed its presence in the garden beautifies and protects it. For some reason toads have an aversion to rue, however. From “Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs” Rue Botanical: Ruta graveolens (LINN.) Family: N.O. Rutaceae –Synonyms—Herb-of-Grace. Herbygrass. Garden Rue. —Part Used—Herb. —Habitat—Southern Europe. Rue, a hardy, evergreen, somewhat shrubby plant, is a native of Southern Europe. The stem is woody in the lower part, the leaves are alternate, bluish-green, bi- or tripinnate, emit a powerful, disagreeable odour and have an exceedingly bitter, acrid and nauseous taste. The greenish-yellow flowers are in terminal panicles, blossoming from June to September. In England Rue is one of our oldest garden plants, cultivated for its use medicinally, having, together with other herbs, been introduced by the Romans, but it is not found in a wild state except rarely on the hills of Lancashire and Yorkshire. This wild form is even more vehement in smell than the garden Rue. The whole plant has a disagreeable and powerful odour. The first flower that opens has usually ten stamens, the others eight only. —Cultivation—The plant grows almost anywhere, but thrives best in a partially sheltered and dry situation. Propagation may be effected: (1) by seeds, sown outside, broadcast, in spring, raked in and the beds kept free from weeds, the seedlings, when about 2 inches high, being transplanted into fresh beds, allowing about 18 inches each way, as the plants become busy; (2) by cuttings, taken in spring and inserted for a time, until well rooted, in a shady border; (3) by rooted slips, also taken in spring. Every slip or cutting of the young wood will readily grow, and this is the most expeditious way of raising a stock. Rue will live much longer and is less liable to be injured by frost in winter when grown in a poor, dry, rubbishy soil than in good ground. Rue is first mentioned by Turner, 1562, in his Herbal, and has since become one of the best known and most widely grown simples for medicinal and homely uses. The name Ruta is from the Greek reuo (to set free), because this herb is so efficacious in various diseases. It was much used by the Ancients; Hippocrates specially commended it, and it constituted a chief ingredient of the famous antidote to poison used by Mithridates. The Greeks regarded it as an antimagical herb, because it served to remedy the nervous indigestion they suffered when eating before strangers, which they attributed to witchcraft. In the Middle Ages and later, it was considered – in many parts of Europe – a powerful defence against witches, and was used in many spells. It was also thought to bestow second sight. Piperno, a Neapolitan physician, in 1625, commended Rue as a specific against epilepsy and vertigo, and for the former malady, at one time, some of this herb used to be suspended round the neck of the sufferer. Pliny, John Evelyn tells us, reported Rue to be of such effect for the preservation of sight that the painters of his time used to devour a great quantity of it, and the herb is still eaten by the Italians in their salads. It was supposed to make the sight both sharp and clear, especially when the vision had become dim through over-exertion of the eyes. It was with ‘Euphrasy and Rue’ that Adam’s sight was purged by Milton’s Angel. At one time the holy water was sprinkled from brushes made of Rue at the ceremony usually preceding the Sunday celebration of High Mass, for which reason it is supposed it was named the Herb of Repentance and the Herb of Grace. ‘There’s rue for you and here’s some for me; we may call it herb of grace o’ Sundays.’ Gerard tells us: ‘the garden Rue, which is better than the wild Rue for physic’s use, grows most profitably, as Dioscorides said, under a fig tree.’ But this is, probably, only a reference, originally, to the fact that it prefers a sheltered position. Country-people boil its leaves with treacle, thus making a conserve of them. These leaves are curative of croup in poultry. It has also been employed in the diseases of cattle. Shakespeare refers again to Rue in Richard III: ‘Here in this place I’ll set a bank of rue, sour herb of grace; Rue, even for ruth, shall shortly here be seen, In the remembrance of a weeping queen.’ The following is a quotation from Drayton: ‘Then sprinkles she the juice of rue, With nine drops of the midnight dew From lunarie distilling.’ The latter was the Moonwort (Lunaria), often called ‘honesty’ – a common garden flower, with cross-shaped purple blossoms, and round, clear silvery-looking seed-vessels. Chaucer also calls it Lunarie. Gerard says: ‘If a man be anointed with the juice of rue, the poison of wolf’s bane, mushrooms, or todestooles, the biting of serpents, stinging of scorpions, spiders, bees, hornets and wasps will not hurt him.’ Rue-water sprinkled in the house ‘kills all the fleas,’ says an old book The juice was used against earache. Rue has been regarded from the earliest times as successful in warding off contagion and preventing the attacks of fleas and other noxious insects. It was the custom for judges sitting at assizes to have sprigs of Rue placed on the bench of the dock against the pestilential infection brought into court from gaol by the prisoner, and the bouquet still presented in some districts to judges at the assizes was originally a bunch of aromatic herbs, given to him for the purpose of warding off gaol-fever. It is one of the ingredients in the ‘Vinegar of the Four Thieves.’ Culpepper recommends it for sciatica and pains in the joints, if the latter be ‘anointed’ with it, as also for ‘the shaking fits of agues, to take a draught before the fit comes.’ He also tells us that: ‘the juice thereof warmed in a pomegranate shell or rind, and dropped into the ears, helps the pains of them. The juice of it and fennel, with a little honey, and the gall of a cock put thereunto, helps the dimness of the eyesight.’ In Saxony Rue has given its name to an Order. A chaplet of Rue, borne bendwise on bars of the Coat Armour of the Dukedom of Saxony, was granted by Frederick Barbarossa to the first Duke of Saxony, in 1181. In 1902 the King of Saxony conferred the Order of the Rautenkrone (Crown of Rue) on our present King, then Prince of Wales. Since the latter half of the seventeenth century, sprigs of Rue have been interlaced in the Collar of our Order of the Thistle. —Parts Used and Constituents—The whole herb is used, the drug consisting of both the fresh and the dried herb. The tops of the young shoots contain the greatest virtues of any part of the plant. The shoots are gathered before the plant flowers. The volatile oil is contained in glands distributed over the whole plant and contains caprinic, plagonic, caprylic and oenanthylic acids – also a yellow crystalline body, called rutin. Oil of Rue is distilled from the fresh herb. Water serves to extract the virtues of the plant better than spirits of wine. Decoctions and infusions are usually made from the fresh plant, or the oil may be given in a dose of from 1 to 5 drops. The dried herb – which is a greyish green – has similar taste and odour, but is less powerful. It is used, powdered, for making tea. —Medicinal Action and Uses—Strongly stimulating and antispasmodic – often employed, in form of a warm infusion, as an emmenagogue. In excessive doses, it is an acro-narcotic poison, and on account of its emetic tendencies should not be administered immediately after eating. It forms a useful medicine in hysterical affections, in coughs, croupy affections, colic and flatulence, being a mild stomachic. The oil may be given on sugar, or in hot water. Externally, Rue is an active irritant, being employed as a rubefacient. If bruised and applied, the leaves will ease the severe pain of sciatica. The expressed juice, in small quantities, was a noted remedy for nervous nightmare, and the fresh leaves applied to the temples are said to relieve headache. Compresses saturated with a strong decoction of the plant, when applied to the chest, have been used beneficially for chronic bronchitis. If a leaf or two be chewed, a refreshing aromatic flavour will pervade the mouth and any nervous headache, giddiness, hysterical spasm, or palpitation will be quickly relieved. —Preparations and Dosages—Powdered herb, 15 to 30 grains. Fluid extract, 1/2 to 1 drachm. From Botanical.com
Woodruff (Asperula odorata)
Folk Names: Herb Walter, Master of the Woods, Sweet Woodruff, Wood Rove, Wuderove
Powers: Victory, Protection, Money
Magical Uses: Woodruff is carried to attract money and prosperity, to bring victory to athletes and warriors, and when placed in a sachet of leather it guards against all harm.
From “Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs”
Sweet Woodruff Herb Profile
From Mountain Rose Herbs
Also known as Galium odoratum, Hay Plant, Wild Baby’s Breath, Bedstraw, Sweet Grass, Star Grass, and Woodruff.
Sweet Woodruff is an herbaceous mat-forming perennial native to Europe, North Africa and western Asia. Sweet Woodruff grows 6-12 inches white flowers in partial to full shade that typically bloom in April or May. The plant has a sweet, hay-like fragrance derived from coumarin.
A number of species in this genus contain asperuloside that can be converted into prostaglandins (hormone-like compounds that stimulate the uterus and affect blood vessels), making the genus of great interest to the pharmaceutical industry.
Parts Used – Leaves and flowers
The aromatic intensity of woodruff intensifies when it is dried, making it a popular addition to sachets and potpourris. Sweet woodruff plants have also been used commercially in perfumes. The leaves are used to flavor teas and cold fruit drinks. The flowers (usually fresh) are used in the preparation of May wine (called “Maiwein” or “Maibowle” in German), which is a punch made from white wine flavored with woodruff, orange and pineapple and sweetened with a little sugar. During the Middle Ages, sweet woodruff was widely used as a poultice for wounds and cuts and taken internally for digestive and liver problems. In modern day herbalism an infusion is used for its diuretic and anti-inflammatory effect.
Sweet Woodruff has a long history of herbal use. It has been used throughout the ages to treat ailments including liver problems and jaundice. Teas from the leaves is still used for stomach aches. The coumarin content of sweet woodruff can produce headaches and other toxic effects if large doses are consumed.
Should not be taken internally in large amounts due to a minor toxicity which may produce headaches.
Note: Sweet Woodruff is used in a a Beltane wine and I will put that recipe in the Beltane thread
Botanical: Asperula odorata (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Rubiaceae
—Synonyms—(Old English) Wuderove. Wood-rova.
(Old French) Muge-de-boys.
The Sweet Woodruff, a favourite little plant growing in woods and on shaded hedgebanks, may be readily recognized by its small white flowers (in bloom in May and June) set on a tender stalk, with narrow, bright-green leaves growing beneath them in successive, star-like whorls, just as in Clivers or Goosegrass, about eight leaves to every whorl. Unlike the latter, however, its stems are erect and smooth: they rarely exceed a foot in height, their average being 8 or 9 inches. The plant is perennial, with creeping, slender root-stock.
Being a lover of woods and shady places, its deep-green foliage develops best in the half-shade, where the sunlight penetrates with difficulty. Should the branches over shadowing it be cut away, and the full lightfall upon it, it loses its colour and rapidly becomes much paler.
When the seed is quite ripe and dry, it is a rough little ball covered thickly with flexible, hooked bristles, white below, but black-tipped, and these catch on to the fur and feathers of any animal or bird that pushes through the undergrowth, and thus the seed is dispersed.
The name of the plant appears in the thirteenth century as ‘Wuderove,’ and later as ‘Wood-rove’ – the rove being derived, it is said, from the French rovelle, a wheel, in allusion to the spoke-like arrangement of the leaves in whorls. In old French works it appears as Muge-de-boys, musk of the woods.
Some of the old herbalists spelt the name Woodruff with an array of double consonants: Woodderowffe. Later this spelling was written in a rhyme, which children were fond of repeating:
W O O D D E,
R O W F F E.
—Cultivation—As a rule, the plant is not cultivated, but collected from the woods, but it might be grown under orchard trees and can be propagated, (1) by seeds, sown as soon as ripe, in prepared beds of good soil, in the end of July or beginning of August, (2) by division of roots during the spring and early summer, just after flowering. Plant in moist, partially shaded ground, 1 foot apart.
—Chemical Constituents—The agreeable odour of Sweet Woodruff is due to a crystalline chemical principle called Coumarin, which is used in perfumery, not only on account of its own fragrance, but for its property of fixing other odours. It is the odorous principle also present in melilot, tonka beans, and various other plants belonging to the orders Leguminosae, Graminae and Orchidaceae. It is employed in pharmacy to disguise disagreeable odours, especially that of iodoform, for which purpose 1 part of coumarin is used to 50 parts of iodoform. The plant further contains citric, malic and rubichloric acids, together with some tannic acid.
The powdered leaves are mixed with fancy snuffs, because of their enduring fragrance, and also put into potpourri.
—Medicinal Action and Uses—Woodruff was much used as a medicine in the Middle Ages.
The fresh leaves, bruised and applied to cuts and wounds, were said to have a healing effect, and formerly a strong decoction of the fresh herb was used as a cordial and stomachic. It is also said to be useful for removing biliary obstructions of the liver.
The plant when newly gathered has but little odour, but when dried, has a most refreshing scent of new-mown hay, which is retained for years. Gerard tells us:
‘The flowers are of a very sweet smell as is the rest of the herb, which, being made up into garlands or bundles, and hanged up in houses in the heat of summer, doth very well attemper the air, cool and make fresh the place, to the delight and comfort of such as are therein. It is reported to be put into wine, to make a man merry, and to be good for the heart and liver, it prevaileth in wounds, as Cruciata and other vulnerary herbs do.’
In Germany, one of the favourite hockcups is still made by steeping the fresh sprigs in Rhine wine. This forms a specially delightful drink, known as Maibowle, and drunk on the first of May.
The dried herb may be kept among linen, like lavender, to preserve it from insects. In the Middle Ages it used to be hung and strewed in churches, and on St. Barnabas Day and on St. Peter’s, bunches of box, Woodruff, lavender and roses found a place there. It was also used for stuffing beds.
Lemongrass (Cymbopogon citratus)
Powers: Repel Snakes, Lust, Psychic Powers
Magical Uses: Lemongrass planted around the home and in the garden will repel snakes.
It is also used in some lust potions, as well as in an infusion to aid in developing psychic powers.
From “Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs”
- Used in treating digestive problems, relaxing stomach muscles, relieving cramps and flatulence.
- Reduces fever, with an overall cooling effect on the body
- Externally, a gentle herb for facial steams and baths.
Native to India and Sri Lanka, where it is known as “fever tea”, this herb is primarily cultivated for its oil, used as both a culinary flavoring and as medicine. It has a delicious and mild flavor with refreshing and soothing properties, a wonderful addition to either iced or hot tea blends. Lemongrass mixes especially well with ginger ro mints and can be extremely thirst quenching on a hot summer day. The oil contains up to 70% citral, which is antiseptic, and citronellal, which helps repel mosquitos and bugs in external repellent blends. Also found in lemongrass are traces of essential oil components geraniol (found in rose geranium) and nerol (derived from orange blossom), which are relaxing and uplifting components used in skin-care products. Lemongrass is considered suitable for children.
Part used for tea: Leaves
Taste: Mild, lemony, fragrant and pleasant, grassy
How to brew: infuse
Caution: Do not use essential oil internally, avoid contact with eyes.
From “Herbal Teas” by Kathleen Brown
From Mountain Rose Herbs
Lemongrass Herb Profile
Also known as Cymbopogon citratum.
With its lemony scent and hint of rose aroma, lemon grass is an essential ingredient in Thai and Indonesian cooking. Lemon grass grows wild in Indonesia, Indochina, and tropical Australia, and has been cultivated in Southeast Asia and Sri Lanka as a culinary herb and in India as a medicinal herb for thousands of years. It was considered by Paracelsus to be a cure-all and was his favorite and most revered herb. Traditional Chinese medicine has used it to relieve headaches and abdominal pain. Traditional Brazilian medicine makes great use of lemongrass as a sedative, an analgesic, and to relieve spasms and muscle cramps.
The essential oil of lemon grass (0.2 to 0.5%, “West Indian lemon grass oil”) consists mainly of citral. The herb also contains myrcene, nerol, limonene, linalool and beta-caryophyllene; the compounds make the essential oil subject to “curdling” when exposed to the air.
The lower portion of the stalk.
Universally used within tea blends for its flavor and aroma. Rarely seen in encapsulations or extracts, but equally as effective. Sliced fresh lemon grass, or ground powder (1 teaspoon of lemon grass powder equals one stalk of fresh lemongrass)
As a medicinal herb, lemon grass is mildly diuretic and a stimulant tonic. The herb promotes digestion of fats, and in Ayurvedic medicine a preparation of lemon grass with pepper has been used for relief of menstrual troubles and nausea. The herb stimulates perspiration, cooling the body in summer and lowering fevers any time of year. Lemon grass is well known a mild insect repellent (citronella) and the essential oil is used in perfumery. A study in 1988 found significant antimicrobial activity in fighting several human pathogens such as E.coli and staphylococcus aureus. It has also been used externally for treatment of lice, ringworm, and scabies.
Take care to store lemon grass away from other foods and spices, as they make pick up its aroma. Soak dried whole lemon grass for two hours in warm water before using in cooking. It medicinal application in excessive doses should be avoided while pregnant.
Note: Lemongrass is an annual for us, but I let mine go to seed last fall and it is growing fine from those seeds this year. The lady at my best local nursery says she pulls hers up and cuts the root off of the plant and stuffs her Thanksgiving turkey with the whole plant. Sounds yummy to me!
Botanical: Calendula officinalis (LINN.)
—Synonyms—Caltha officinalis. Golds. Ruddes. Mary Gowles. Oculus Christi. Pot Marigold. Marygold. Fiore d’ogni mese. Solis Sponsa.
—Parts Used—Flowers, herb, leaves.
From “Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs”
Marigold (Calendula officinalis)
Folk Names: Bride of the Sun, Calendula, Drunkard, Goldes, Holigolde, Husbandman’s Dial, Marybud, Marygold, Mary Gowles, Ruddes, Ruddles, Spousa Solis, Summer’s Bride
Powers: Protection, Prophetic Dreams, Legal Matters, Psychic Powers
Magical Uses: Marigold, picked at noon with the Sun is hottest and strongest, will strengthen and comfort the heart.
Garlands of marigolds strung on the doorposts stop evil from entering the house, and scattered under the bed they protect you while asleep and make your dreams come true, i.e. give you prophetic dreams. Especially effective in discovering a thief who has robbed you.
Marigolds added to the bath water help win the respect and admiration of everyone you meet.
Looking at the bright flower strengthens the sight, and carried in the pocket, marigold helps justice to smile favorably upon you while in court.
If a girl touches the petals of the marigold with her bare feet, she will understand the languages of the birds.
From Mountain Rose Herbs
Calendula Flowers Profile
Also known as – Calendula officinalis, pot marigold, Garden Marigold, Gold-Bloom, Holligold, Marigold, Marybud, Zergul.
Introduction – The calendula is an annual flower native to the northern Mediterranean countries. Its name refers to its tendency to bloom with the calendar, usually once a month or every new moon. The term “marigold” refers to the Virgin Mary, and marigolds are used in Catholic events honoring the Virgin Mary. The Egyptians considered them to have rejuvenating properties. In the Hindu world, the flowers were used to adorn statues of gods in their temples, as well as a colorant in food, fabrics, and cosmetics, and of particular interest, in the 18th and 19th century calendula was used to color cheese. The calendula was originally used as food rather than as an herb. It adds flavor to cereals, rice, and soups. The petals can be added to salads. As recently as 70 years ago, American physicians used calendula to treat amenorrhea, conjunctivitis, fevers, cuts, scrapes, bruises, and burns, as well as minor infections of the skin.
Constituents – Calendulin, beta-carotene and other carotenoids, isoquercitrin, narcissin, rutin, amyrin, lupeol, sterols, and volatile oils. The flowers also contain complex polysaccharides with immunostimulant properties.
Parts Used – Dried flowers.
Typical Preparations – Creams, teas, tinctures, infusions, compresses, and washes.
Summary – Calendula creams and washes are still used to disinfect minor wounds and to treat infections of the skin. The antibacterial and immunostimulant properties of the plant make it extremely useful in treating slow-healing cuts and cuts in people who have compromised immune systems. The herb stimulates the production of collagen at wound sites and minimizes scarring. Gargling calendula water may ease sore throat. Because of the vivid and brilliant color of calendula, it was thought by many to posses many powers for the protection and benefit of humans. One of the more outlandish claims was that wearing and amulet or necklace made of calendula petals, a bay leaf, and a wolf’s tooth would ensure that any words spoken to the wearer would be kind, peaceful and honest. An often overlooked application of this herb is the treatment of post-mastectomy lymphedema. The herb will not reduce swelling, but it will reduce pain.
Precautions – None.
From “The Victorian Herbalist” by Patricia Telesco
Magic – Consecration, blessing.
Medicinal – For burns (flowers in compress or lotion): for dandruff (infusion applied to scalp); for warts (fresh crushed leaves applied to skin).
Other – Add to butter for coloring; use in rinse to lighten hair.
From “20,000 Secrets of Tea” by Victoria Zak
Heart Health – Marigold flower petals mixed with honey have been used as a treatment fo weak hearts through the ages. Add honey to your marigold tean and have this drink at your fingertips for healthy heart maintenance.
Warm marigold tea is a cup of liquid gold with a vivid, pungent flavor. It cleans your lymph system, soothes digestive disorders, and makes you feel good all over. A great tea to start each season!
Inflammations (Digestive Tract). Marigold tea is excellent to ease digestive distress, and soother inflammatory conditions in stomach lining and bowels.
Lymph Glands. Marigold tea relieves congestion in the lymph system and reduces swollen lymph glands. Improves circulation and detoxifies the body. A great tea to take before flu season.
Menopause. Marigold has estrogenic properties to help ease the transition from estrogen production in the ovaries to estrogen production in the adrenal glands.
Menstruation. Marigold is b3eneficial for the female reproductive system to ease menstral difficulties and regulate menstruation.
Pelvis infections. Marigold has antibacterial properties that are particularly powerful fungus fighters, for pelvic and bowel infections.
Skin Wash. Two tea bags of marigold in one cup of water makes a potent, pure skin wash. Apply the tea with cotton balls to skin eruptions (even measles and chickenpox) to dry and heal them. It’s know as a first-class first aide remedy for cuts and sores. In English herb shops, it’s sold as a wash for skin infections.
Uses Through the Ages. Marigold has been used to treat tumors, cysts, jaundice, and inflamed eyes and to improve liver function.
Special Feature: Fights Herpes Simplex. Marigold is an antiviral tea that can fight herpes simplex virus. Take it warm.
Note – I could not find Calendula Officinalis at my local nurseries, they were all hybrid varieties. I was able to order the seeds from Mountain Rose Herbs.
By Dianne Carey
The Baby Boomers have landed.
They’re changing everything.
Grandmas no longer knit,
They are into the “Line Dancing” thing!
Grandpas no longer whittle
nor take a leisurely stroll.
They’re pumping iron and biking
They have no time to be ‘old’.
The Gray Panthers were a beginning
Seniors taking care of their life.
With organizations and peer groups
With demands, and bargains, and strife!
They fought to continue the advantages
they had worked so hard to gain.
Leisure time to pursue their interests,
And doctors to keep them from pain.
Money from Social Security
They had contributed all through their life.
Their taxes to pay, what would be some day,
Retirement and the ‘good life’.
These cats refuse to be put on a shelf.
To be ignored and patronized
They’ve banded together with real heft,
To fight society’s ills, be advised
Their power is amazing!
Their bond will not be undone
They have the time to ‘fight the fight’
To ban ignorance, poverty, drugs and the gun.
Picture the grandmas and grandpas now
Building homes for the hopelessly poor.
Teaching all ages to read and how
To care for themselves more.
Tai Chi in the malls in the mornings
Visiting latch key children after school
Building programs to help unwed mothers
Diets and exercise and a day care pool.
Training our children and future leaders
While learning the latest computer
To volunteer, to assist, to teach
Skills they’ve spent their life to master.
We are all Gray Panthers inside
just lying in wait
For the days when work is over
And instead of gaining weight.
We will flex our mental muscles
And continue to be heard
for our experience and tolerance
and mastery of the written word.
We have knowledge in our fingers
We have wisdom in our soul
We have history in our minds and hearts
We’re not ready to be “old!”