Juniper - Juniperus communis
Habitat: uncultivated places from the plain to the mountain.
Juniper contains a volatile essential oil - juniper - which, by absorbing oxygen from the air, deposits juniper camphor and other aromatic substances.
Of course the most used part is made up of juniper berries: making an intense cure that starts with five well-chewed berries on the first day and increasing the dose of one berry for each day of care up to a maximum of fifteen and, therefore, regress up to go back to five, not only will those hateful heartburns that so often afflict us disappear, but the stomach itself will emerge strengthened, while appetite will increase at the same rate.
This cure can be profitably replaced by two cups a day of an infusion prepared by pouring a cup of boiling water on six or seven carefully crushed juniper berries. Lymphatic prepared with three tablespoons of well crushed juniper berries and a liter of boiling water and taken in the measure of 3 or 4 cups a day will bring significant benefits to those suffering from uric acid, therefore to arthritics, rheumatic, gouty, or to those affected from jaundice, bladder stones, heart drops and nephritis, leucorrhoea and blenora.
Naturally, the infusion is followed by the famous juniper wine, prepared with 60 grams of crushed berries put to macerate for six days in a liter of good white wine.
Of this wine - diuretic and digestive - we drink two half glasses a day. For the volatile essences contained in them and which are eliminated through the lungs, juniper berries are also indicated in chronic pulmonary catarrhs, tuberculosis and asthma. A spoonful of crushed berries placed in half a liter of boiling water, give an excellent tea which, taken hot, in the measure of a cup every two hours, will make you sweat profusely, facilitate breathing, allow abundant and easy expectoration. Even the monthly rules will be promoted by taking in the evening, before bedtime, a cup of tea prepared with boiling water and twenty crushed juniper berries. And finally, for the many ailments, ailments and ... winter needs, a good handful of crushed juniper berries in a liter of old local grappa will be enough. You will get the best gin in this world, able to dispel the winter ailments and the others mentioned above.
Juniper - Lichen - Melissa
Lichen - Icelandic Cetraria
Habitat: on bare ground or rocks in mountain areas.
It is easy in the mountains to come across rocks covered by a plant that lives and develops like algae, which widens, almost, in odorless, leathery leaves, olive red in the upper face, whitish in the lower face, forming, the whole, strange bushes six or seven cm high from the ground.
When a dry and persistent cough shakes the chest, fatigues the heart and sleep, it is the Cetraria islandica that brings immediate relief, decongesting each mucous membrane and thus promoting a prompt expectoration of phlegm.
In these cases, the decoction prepared with a half handful of lichen is used, which is boiled for half an hour in a liter of water. The latter throws away and the lichen is boiled for another half hour in another liter of water, it is poured, sweetened with sugar or honey, lengthened with a little milk and the resulting decoction is administered four or five times a day, in tea cups and very hot.
On the other hand, if you suffer from general weakness, bad digestion, chronic dysentery, intermittent fevers, chronic enterogastritis, catarrhal gastritis, the decoction is prepared without rejecting the first water. The result will be a very bitter drink - which however can be sweetened - but very effective for the ailments mentioned above.
If you add half a teaspoon of potassium, or calcium carbonate, to the first pectoral decoction of lichen previously mentioned - the one to which you remove the first boiling water - and leave it to macerate for 24 hours, you will obtain a gelatinous substance, constituted mainly from lichen starch. This jelly, which can be conveniently mixed with jam or mixed and sweetened, as desired, with honey, constitutes a first-order nutrient which, eaten, is highly recommended, also, for people or convalescents, in intestinal inflammations, in colds rebellious and, in particular, for children exhausted and exhausted by the numerous attacks of whooping cough or canine cough.
Melissa - Melissa officinalis
Habitat: fresh uncultivated land from the plain to the mountain areas.
This herb, commonly called lemon balm or cedronella, grows in uncultivated places, along hedges, in fields or is grown in gardens.
The medicinal virtues of lemon balm are contained in the flowering tops, or in the leaves that contain a special essential oil that gives the plant a grateful smell and a tasty lemon flavor. Lemon balm has always been recommended in the aftermath of paralysis, in muscle weakness, in the tremors of the old, in the physical and moral languors following long sufferings. Thus lemon balm is very indicated in convulsions, neuroses, hysteria and in any pathological form afferent to the nervous system. It is also very useful in stimulating appetite, in strengthening the stomach in case of indigestion, in removing excessive and boring intestinal gas.
If the lemon balm spirit was famous, the melissa water of the barefoot Carmelites was equally famous. The latter is prepared with 150 grams of fresh or 60 dry lemon balm, 30 grams of grated lemon peel, 15 grams of cinnamon, 15 of cloves, 15 of nutmeg powder, 5 grams of angelica root and 5 of confetti . Everything is boiled for five minutes in half a liter of water, half a liter of grappa is added and it is exposed to the sun in a tightly closed jar for about three weeks. At the end, the resulting liquid is filtered and stored in tightly closed bottles.
This lemon balm water is taken in the measure of a teaspoon of coffee diluted in a little water before the main meals. Lemon balm water gives the same results if taken in the measure of thirty or forty drops on a sugar plate.
For children or people allergic to alcohol, lemon balm water can be replaced, with the same effects, by the decoction. It is prepared by boiling for two minutes two tablespoons of lemon balm in half a liter of water and taken in the measure of a glass before meals. In nervous disorders this decoction will be more effective if a tablespoon of valerian roots is boiled with lemon balm. Lymphatic, instead, prepared with a teaspoon of lemon balm, one of mint and a cup of boiling water, will be effective refreshment in the nervous vomiting of pregnant women.
The old famous lemon balm spirit is an excellent calming agent, it facilitates difficult digestions, fights nausea and vomiting, restores color to the face in frequent car sickness or sea sickness. It is prepared with 150 grams of lemon balm, 450 of pure alcohol and 450 of water. It is bottled, exposed to the sun for three days, filtered and taken a teaspoon in a cup of water or thirty drops on a sugar cube three times a day.
On cold winter evenings, there is nothing more suitable than a spoonful of water or lemon balm spirit in a cup of very hot water to be taken before bedtime.
Ferrante Cappelletti Herbal health Medicinal plants of the Alps Publilux Trento 1977
Juniper - Juniperus communis (photo www.floracyberia.net)