Between 300 and 500 species of willows are known.
They are found throughout the planet, from Tierra del Fuego to Lapland, in northern Europe, and intemperate tropical climates.
White willow can appear in almost all regions of the Earth above the Equator.
In ancient Greece was used the juice resulting from squeezing leaves and fruits to combat pain and in the sixteenth century was one of the medicinal plants most used by herbalists.
While today aspirin is chemically synthesized, the name is due to acetylsalicylic acid, so-called derives from a substance in willow, salicylic acid. It was extracted from the bark and used as a tranquillizer.
It is a tree that can grow up to 25 meters high, with very flexible leaves.
The leaves are elongated with jagged edges. the upper face is light in colour and has a smooth surface, while the lower face is rough and covered with a fine whitish fuzz.
The flowers, yellow or whitish, are grouped in hanging plumes (called catkins) that give an attractive appearance to the tree.
The fruit is a small capsule of two valves, that when it opens the seeds, accompanied by long interwoven hairs that like a parachute, allowing them to reach great distances pushed by the wind.
There are male and female willows, which can only be distinguished in flowers.
The fruit is formed in the female catkins. It is also called salsa, Salguero or Salguero.
Especially the bark, female catkins and leaves have a high proportion of salicylic acid. There are also tannins and mineral salts
It combats pain, rheumatism and fever and is effective against insomnia. The bark has been used against pain, which has earned it the nickname of the “machine of Europe”.
It has been used in double or triple doses that cinchona, to combat malarial fevers
The female catkins and leaves can be collected during the summer before the fruit is formed. The bark is extracted from the branches of more than three years, and it is expected that it is well into the autumn, when all the leaves have fallen.
USES AND APPLICATIONS:
To combat fever, pain and rheumatism, the bark is used in a decoction.
The decoction of the root is recommended against insomnia and to tone the organism: 100 grams of chopped rind are poured into a litre of water and kept that way until the next day. It is heated and boiled for fifteen minutes, strained and three cups a day are taken either hot or cold
Throughout history, Laurel has been given religious significance linked to triumph. Greek mythology consecrated it to Apollo, god of health and medicine. With the laurel, the Roman emperors were crowned and the winners in tournaments and battles. With palms and branches of laurel, Jesus Christ was acclaimed at his entrance in Jerusalem and to commemorate this episode the Christian world has instituted Palm Sunday, in which palms and laurels are blessed.
It is related to trees as diverse as a cinnamon tree (from which cinnamon is extracted), camphor (producer of camphor) or avocado.
It is a tree of two feet: while the male foot gives male flowers, the female foot originates the female and the fruits.
The strong, hard leaves, of intense green color in the upper face and lighter in the lower one, are present all year round, they are oval, with the pointed end, very aromatic. the flowers appear in spring, they are tiny, white, gathered in several groups of 4 or 5 that are located in the upper part of the branches.
The fruit, fleshy, is like a tiny olive. It lives in the temperate regions, of climate neither too hot nor too cold, in areas near the coast, in humid environments
The seed of the fruits contains a lot of oils, up to 70%
The leaves have cineol, the main component of the essence
Induces the secretion of gastric juices, which stimulates the appetite and promotes digestion.
It has the capacity to facilitate menstruation.
The oil of the seeds eliminates the external parasites of the iel and the scalp and attenuates the abdominal pains.
Any time is good to pick up the leaves. It is not necessary to cut them one at a time, twigs can be collected. They are left to dry and stored away from light and moisture. If possible in a sealed jar.
The fruits are picked once ripe, during the summer or at the beginning of autumn depending on the date of flowering
USES AND APPLICATIONS:
A cup of an infusion made with 2 or 3 leaves:
As an appetizer tonic to stimulate the appetite before meals
As a stomach tonic after meals
Bouquet garni: a bouquet next to thyme, oregano and parsley, is used to flavour different stews
For cause menstruation when it is delayed: three times a day after meals, a cup of laurel and juniper wine, prepared by macerating for nine days 100 grams of bay fruits and juniper in equal parts, in a litre of red wine.
The laurel oil is extracted by boiling the split fruits and hot crushed to extract the juice. When left to rest, the oil will form a layer of the water. With this oil, you can rub the abdomen to soothe the pains caused by poor digestion.
With the oil of laurel the parasites of the skin of domestic animals are eliminated.
It is recommended as an anti-inflammatory in contusions or dislocations
Scientific Name: HEDERA HELIX
A shrub plant is better known as ornamental than for its medicinal properties.
It is used in gardens around the world to upholster walls, walls and fences, and even to cover the floor as a carpet, as if it were grass, because its air rootlets, as on the walls, are also fixed to the ground
The ancients made the ivy a symbol of eternity as they attributed more than a thousand years of life. Although it is not so long lived, lives tens of years and shows great resistance to weather adversities.
A climbing plant, sow green. The stem is woody, fast-growing has many branches that cling to the walls or trees by means of rootlets that remain gripped to the support with such force, that if we try to tear them we will break the branches very easily. It has two types of leaves, the showiest have the edge with two or four slightly pronounced notches (webbed leaves). The leaves that protect the flowers, in a much smaller number than the palmate ones, are oval, without cracks.
The very small yellow flowers usually go unnoticed. They are grouped in umbels, several along the ends of the stems.
The fruit is a small black ball, smaller than a chickpea.
Live everywhere, on the walls, on the trees, on uncultivated, stony grounds.
It supports the Sun well, although it prefers shade and survives short periods of drought.
The pharmacologically active organs are leaves and fruits. both have a glycoside called hederin, which confers its properties. In addition, the fruit is rich in oil. The oil, could rival in quality with the olive, and represents 20% of the weight of the seed.
The stems secrete a resin whose production is stimulated by making small cuts through which it oozes
The hederina is vasodilatadora in low doses and vasoconstrictor when increasing them. It also acts as vulnerary (healing wounds and sores) and as vomiting.
As an evergreen plant, it allows the collection of the leaves at any time of the year. The umbels with the fruits should not be cut until spring, because although the flower appears with the autumn, the fruit takes six months to mature.
USES AND APPLICATIONS:
Ivy is a toxic plant, so you should avoid eating fruits and leaves, birds know it and never peck.
As a vulnerary, leaf decoction is effective: 50 grams in a liter of water, the wound is washed or Sore with the already warm liquid and cover with the boiled leaves, repeating the operation two or three times a day until completing the cure.
Against the pain the boiled leaves can be applied on the affected area.
The leaves marinated in vinegar (3 or 4 for half a liter for 24 hours) applied to the calluses and kept like this with a bandage for a whole day, make them jump without any effort