Herbs & Spices

Discover the complete list and the most useful information for using and growing medicinal and aromatic herbs in your garden.

Over the centuries, man has understood how to use medicinal plants to relieve illnesses and pain, developing the so-called phytotherapy, which uses all parts of the plant (berries, seeds, leaves, roots, flowers) in the form of capsules , herbal teas, ointments, decoctions and drops. Most of the plant species that grow all over the world have therapeutic virtues, because they contain active ingredients that act directly on the body. For this reason they can be used both in conventional medicine and in herbal medicine.

These herbs are easy to use, but it should not be forgotten that they can also have side effects. For this reason they must be used with caution and it is always advisable to follow the prescriptions of a herbalist or specialist doctor. The action of a plant on the organism depends on its active ingredients. Only in the 18th century, however, did we begin to extract and isolate the chemical substances contained in plants and classify their effects based on them.

Research on active ingredients extracted from plants has allowed the development of essential medicines. For example, tubicurarine, a powerful muscle relaxant, is derived from Curare (Chondroaendron tomentosum) and morphine, the most powerful analgesic, is derived from the opium poppy (Papaver somniferum), while ephedrine (extracted from the genus Ephedra) alkaloid used for asthma and hypotension. These three plants and many others are widely used in classical medicine.

The way of using herbal remedies to prevent or treat diseases varies depending on tradition and the type of ‘alternative’ medicine present in a particular area, but the effects of herbal treatments are identical.

There are thousands of varieties of plants used in the world and their field of action is quite vast, as is their power. However, the active elements at the origin of the therapeutic action of plants have only recently been isolated and studied. It is therefore essential to know the composition of plants to understand how they act on the body.

This section presents two different categories, the part on medicinal herbs, where you will find the healing properties indicated clearly and simply, the ailments for which they can be used as a remedy and the contraindications of the various medicinal plants. A second part describes aromatic herbs from the point of view of culinary and beauty applications, to discover the best uses and their properties and synergies with other herbs.