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Uses of Medicinal Plants

Updated on February 25, 2014

Common Medicinal Plants

Throughout the ages herbs and plants have contributed many ingredients to help fight disease and illness and many are still used around the world today. There are a variety of plants used for a multitude of different health problems.

Yarrow is a medicinal plant that is said to have a variety of uses in medicine and has been used for medicinal purposes since the Middle Ages. Europeans used yarrow as a tea to help stop internal bleeding. Its main purposes in medicine today are as an anti-stringent and an anti-inflammatory agent. Since the Middle Ages Yarrow has been considered a plant with medicinal properties.

For inflammation and respiratory difficulties, as well as the production of marshmallows, hollycock has proven to be an effective source of treatment.Garlic is not only a seasoning used in cooking, but also as an aid to treat a variety of different ailments. During World War I garlic was used to help prevent infection in field dressings. Garlic has been used in medicine since the Middle Ages and is still useful today to help lower blood pressure, blood sugar, and cholesterol.

Artemisia vulgaris (named for the Greek goddess, Artemis), is also more commonly known as mugwort, and is used for regulation of menstrual cycles in women. Mugwort has many other uses including: as an insect repellant, relief from aching feet, and to lessen labor pains.Digitalis plants are all different variations of the more commonly known plant, foxglove. All species of the digitalis plant contain useful cardiac glycosides that help strengthen the heart muscle. Lanoxin, which is used in the treatment of congestive heart failure, is made from grecian foxglove.

St. John's Wort

St. John's Wort is a plant whose flowers contain properties useful in the treatment of mental disorders, and is believed by many to help ward off evil spirits. Other uses for St. John's Wort include: pain treatment, tuberculosis, and for wound healing. Horehound is most commonly known as a flavor of hard candy which is a popular Christmas candy. It has also been found to be effective in the treatment of respiratory problems, as a cough suppressant, an expectorant, and as an appetite suppressant.

Castor oil is made from the castor bean plant and is used as a laxative, cathartic, demulcent, and a purgative. It has also been used in cancer therapy as a protein synthesis inhibitor. Petals of the apothecary rose (marinated in wine) were used by ancient Romans as a remedy for hangovers. Throughout the centuries The apothecary rose has also been used for such ailments as depression, sore throats, skin rashes, and indigestion.

Medicinal Plants Used in the Middle Ages

Rosemary has been known as a symbol of fidelity between lovers since Shakespearean times. It is also popular in bridal bouquets and funeral arrangements. The rosemary leaves contain oil that is an important ingredient in the making of perfume. In some cultures it is known to stimulate cerebral circulation and enhance memory.

Clary sage, or clear eye, was first used to treat diseases of the eyes. Other uses for clary sage include: indigestion reliever, menopausal remedy, and flatulence controller. Sage is also used to reduce problems with the stomach and intestines.Betony was used frequently during the Middle Ages to ward off evil spirits. Betony has more than 25 common uses such as an antidiarrheal, antistringent, and as a remedy for facial pain, anxiety, chronic headaches, and irritations of the throat, mouth, and gums.

The Comanche and Sioux Indians have been known to use purple cone flower for respiratory infections, cancers, treatment of burns, and snakebites. Today this flower has been found to have antibacterial, antiviral, and antibiotic properties. Modern medicine would not be the same today without some of these plant derivatives.The use of herbs, plants, flowers, and roots can be traced back beyond the Middle Ages.


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      harmit 5 years ago

      very informative

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      tomoy 5 years ago

      these plants are amazing

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      abdul lagungan 5 years ago

      please post more important medicinal plants to understand by everybody......but i love it

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      loveofnight 5 years ago from Baltimore, Maryland

      We too often want to surrender our dollars to the store in order to purchase the very thing that we can get for free just by looking to nature. This is a well written hub and I love the detailed information that you have supplied....thx 4 share

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      Jade Murzello 6 years ago

      i just love this................its awsome.!!!!!

    • ubanichijioke profile image

      Alexander Thandi Ubani 6 years ago from Lagos

      Great piece so awesome. I luv this so useful

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      jim 6 years ago

      yo this is awesome