Herbs can be real miracle cures: They help against tiredness, sunburn or lack of concentration. Which herbs are particularly effective and how they best develop their effect.
It’s finally starting, everything is beginning to bloom, summer is coming! How about some fresh pots of herbs for your garden, patio or just the windowsill? The great thing is that they not only look good, smell good, taste even better and make the bees happy, but also quickly help against many minor ailments or diseases that we may encounter in the coming months.
Enjoyment and healing power are guaranteed with the following five herbs.
Franziska Rubin is a doctor, moderator, medical journalist and author of several bestsellers on the subject of health, home remedies and healthy cooking. For 17 years she presented the MDR program “Hauptsache Gesund” on TV. She lives with her husband, daughters and dog on the Bavarian Ammersee.
“10 herbs against 100 diseases” by Franziska Rubin
Are you often tired in the summer? Then rosemary tea helps, because it is stimulating like coffee.
Preparation: Pour 1 teaspoon of dried or 2 teaspoons of fresh rosemary leaves with 150 ml of boiling water. Leave covered for 10 minutes, then strain.
Application: Best in the morning. Also good as a cure for three weeks.
Are you unsure how to improve circulatory problems in your legs? Take a rosemary bath. Commission E (German Expert Commission for Herbal Medicinal Products) also recommends regular rosemary baths for circulatory disorders.
Preparation: Briefly boil 50 g of dried or 100 g of fresh rosemary in 1 l of water and leave to stand for 15 to 30 minutes. Then strain the leaves and add the brew to the bath water.
Application: The bathing time is a maximum of 20 minutes. Best as a cure over a maximum of two weeks.
Do you sometimes think your memory is failing? Rosemary ensures more concentration and a better memory, and is considered to be a mental fitness maker, so to speak. A study from 2018 even assumes that the daily consumption of rosemary as a spice has a memory-boosting and anxiolytic effect. Good reasons to use a lot of rosemary in the kitchen.
For 4 people
1 sprig of rosemary
some organic lime or organic orange slices
700 ml sparkling mineral water, chilled
Ice cubes at will
Rinse the rosemary, place in a carafe with the lime or orange slices, fill up with 500 ml mineral water and leave to steep for about 30 minutes. To serve, add the remaining mineral water and add a few ice cubes to the carafe or glasses, if you like.
Are you prone to migraine attacks? Then try lavender oil. In a placebo-controlled Iranian study, 47 women diagnosed with migraines inhaled either lavender oil or a neutral oil at the first sign of a headache. To do this, they rubbed two or three drops of lavender oil on their upper lip and breathed in the rising scent for a quarter of an hour.
The test subjects recorded the pain intensity and the intensity of the typical side effects of migraine such as sensitivity to light and noise, nausea and dizziness every 30 minutes for two hours. The lavender oil group performed significantly better than the control group. Almost two-thirds of migraine attacks could be partially or completely improved with lavender oil.
You can easily make the oil yourself.
If you often suffer from stomach aches or headaches, you can make a small supply yourself as massage or wrap oil. You will need a base oil (e.g. olive or almond oil) and fresh lavender or peppermint leaves, which must be dry and in good condition.
Place the plant parts in a clean screw-top jar so that the jar is two-thirds full. Pour in the oil so that all parts of the plant are well covered. Close the jar tightly. Leave the oil in a sunny place (window sill) for at least three weeks, but even better four to six weeks.
The active ingredients are released by the sunlight and go into the oil. Depending on the intensity of the sun’s rays and the duration of the extraction, the concentration of the active ingredient increases. Shake every now and then. You can increase the effect by adding more fresh herbs to the oil extract and repeating the process. Then strain through a cloth, finally squeeze out the cloth, fill the oil through a funnel into a dark bottle and label (name and filling date).
Prepare a lavender tea for sunburn.
Preparation: Boil 1 tablespoon of lavender with hot water and leave covered for 10 minutes. Let it cool down.
Application: You can use this to make envelopes if smaller areas are affected. For large areas of redness, mix 20 drops of lavender oil into the infusion and put everything in a spray bottle or an atomizer. Store in the refrigerator. Spray the reddened skin areas with this mixture several times a day. Shake well beforehand so that the oil mixes with the water. Repeat as needed several times a day for a few days.
Lavender is also powerful against insects. It is best to place the herb pot on the garden table. Swelling and itching after insect bites can also be relieved with lavender oil. Simply rub lavender oil onto the sting site. Lavender also helps against moths: put dried lavender or a cloth soaked with a few drops of lavender oil between the laundry.
Even in summer, many people are not spared from a sore throat. Pain in the throat is a typical symptom of inflammation of the mucous membrane in the throat (pharyngitis) or the tonsils (angina tonsillaris). Respiratory tract infections are the most common cause of such inflammations and the culprits are usually the typical cold viruses. A sage infusion is quick to make and provides immediate relief.
Preparation: Pour 1 heaped teaspoon of dried sage (2.5 g) or 2 heaped teaspoons of fresh herb with 150 ml of boiling water. Leave covered for 10 minutes, then strain.
Use: Gargle as warm as possible several times a day. Then spit it out. Use for several days, maximum one week.
If the mucous membrane in the mouth is inflamed by injuries, pressure points, viruses (herpes) or bacteria or as a side effect of therapies or medication, chewing on fresh sage leaves helps.
Two species of sage, Salvia officinals (common sage) and Salvia officinalis subsp. Lavandulifolia (Spanish Sage), may have promising effects on mental performance, prevention of Alzheimer’s and dementia that is already mild. Scientists suspect that the rosemary or caffeic acid contained in sage is responsible for this. Season generously with sage – great with meat, but also tossed in a little butter with pasta, for example.
This can be a signal from the body and soul that you need rest and relaxation. Then the calming lemon balm can support us, especially as lemon balm tea.
Preparation: For a daily ration, pour 600 ml of boiling water over 4 teaspoons of lemon balm leaves and leave covered for 10 minutes. Then strain and fill into a thermos bottle.
Application: Drink throughout the day. Use as a cure for two to three weeks.
The delicate lemon balm can do more than you would think: it even reduces the fear of heart surgery! In a double-blind study from 2019, 80 patients suffering from coronary artery disease and scheduled for bypass surgery were given either a lemon balm extract or a placebo (wheat starch) before the operation. It was observed whether anxiety symptoms before and after the operation and the quality of sleep in the patients could be improved with a lemon balm preparation (500 milligrams of dry extract).
The results were clear: the group that was supplied with the lemon balm extract had less anxiety and improved sleep quality compared to the placebo group. This can probably be transferred to many other types of operations or stressful situations.
The rosmarinic acid contained in lemon balm prevents the herpes virus from penetrating the cells. Both the internal application of three to five cups of lemon balm tea daily and the external application in the form of a lemon balm pad are advisable. However, it only works as a home remedy at the beginning of the infection.
Preparation: For the topping, pour 150 ml of boiling water over 1 tablespoon of lemon balm, leave covered for 15 minutes and then strain. After cooling, add the juice of one organic lemon.
Application: Dab the herpes blisters with the lemon balm extract (cotton swab) or place a soaked paper handkerchief on the spot. Use swab and cloth only once. Do this several times a day, ideally every hour. Use until improvement occurs.
Strawberries harmonize very well with lemon balm. This smoothie tastes good and is simply good for you.
For 2 people
1 handful of lemon balm leaves
1 handful of strawberries
Rinse the lemon balm leaves and set aside two of them for decoration. Wash and hull the strawberries. Wash, quarter and core the pear. Peel the lime and cut the flesh into pieces. First chop the lime briefly in a blender, then add the lemon balm leaves, strawberries and pear with 250 ml of water and process into a creamy smoothie. Pour into two glasses, then decorate with the lemon balm leaves and enjoy.
The symptoms range from pressure in the upper abdomen to a feeling of fullness after small meals, nausea, flatulence and loss of appetite to abdominal pain. Peppermint stimulates an influx of calcium ions into the cells of the smooth muscles of the gastrointestinal tract, thus causing them to relax.
Preparation: Pour 1 heaped teaspoon of dried peppermint or 2 teaspoons of fresh peppermint with 150 ml of boiling water. Leave covered for 10 minutes, then strain.
Directions: Drink up to three cups a day until symptoms improve, but no longer than three weeks. Then take a break.
Do you know that? The scalp itches and dry scales trickle down. A sign that she is irritable and overworked. Then hair conditioners with peppermint can provide relief.
Preparation: Pour 1 liter of boiling water over 3 tablespoons of fresh leaves or 3 bags of peppermint tea and leave the infusion covered for 10 minutes. Then strain or remove the bags and let cool to body temperature.
Application: Rinse your hair thoroughly with it, wrap your head in a towel and leave it on for 15 minutes. Use regularly as needed.
Pliny the Elder recommended putting fresh peppermint leaves on the temples for headaches. However, the exact mode of action was never scientifically clarified for centuries. Today we know that oil activates the body’s own pain defense systems when it is applied, including through its cooling effect. This will block the pain locally.
At the same time, blood circulation in the skin is increased, which relieves muscle cramps. Frequent triggers for tension headaches are stress, muscle tension (especially in the neck and shoulder area), but also lack of sleep. A massage with peppermint oil has a pain-relieving effect on tension headaches.
Preparation: As a home remedy, mix 1 ml peppermint oil (maximum 25 drops) with 50 ml skin-friendly oil (jojoba, sesame, olive oil) or cream. Or you can use your own oil extract (see info box “Make your own lavender or peppermint oil”).
Application: Apply small amounts to the forehead, temples and neck and massage gently for about three minutes. Repeat every 15 minutes if necessary