• Botanical: Beta vulgaris
  • Family: Chenopodiaceae
  • Known as: Beet Root, Garden Beet, Mangold, Runkelrübe, Zucker­rü­be, Rote Bete, Rote Rübe
  • Old Use: culinary; medicinal
  • Aroma: balsamic, oriental, sweet


A polymorphic biennial (flowering in the second year of growth), up to 2 m tall when in flower.

Basal leaves forming a rosette.

Flowers are small, green, borne in clusters subtended by bracts, forming dense, usually branched inflorescences. Each flower contains two stigmas (female parts).

‘Seeds’ are actually fruits that are attached to each other and enveloped in a woody covering (calyces). 

  • Botanical: Acorus calamus
  • Family: Acoraceae
  • Known as: Kalmus, Ackermann, Sweet flag, Sweet sedge,
  • Old Use: culinary; medicinal


Acorus calamus Linn. is an herbaceous perennial with a rhizome that is long indefinite branched, smooth, pinkish or pale green. Its leaf scars are brown white and spongy and it possess slight slender roots. The leaves are few and distichously alternate whose size was found to be between 0.7 and 1.7 cm wide with average of 1 cm. The sympoidal leaf of Acorus calamus is shorter than that of the vegetative leaves. The flowers are 3 to 8 cm long, cylindrical, greenish brown and contains multitude of rounded spikes covering it. The fruits are found to be small and berry like with few seeds.

  • Botanical: Foeniculum vulgare
  • Family: Apiaceae
  • Known as: Fennel, Foeniculum vulgare, Brotsamen, Enis, Femis, Fenikl, Fenis, Fenkel, Finchel, Frauenfenchel
  • Old Use: medicinal; culinary
  • Aroma: spicy, sweet


Fennel, Foeniculum vulgare, is a perennial herb. It is erect, glaucous green, and grows to heights of up to 2.5 m, with hollow stems. The leaves grow up to 40 cm long; they are finely dissected, with the ultimate segments filiform (threadlike), about 0.5 mm wide. (Its leaves are similar to those of dill, but thinner.) The flowers are produced in terminal compound umbels 5–15 cm wide, each umbel section having 20–50 tiny yellow flowers on short pedicels.

  • Botanical: Zingiber officinale
  • Family: Zingiberaceae
  • Known as: Curcuma petiolata, Hidden Lily, Jewel of Thailand, Siam Tulip, Hidden Ginger, Queen lily, Ingber, Imber, Immerwurzel, Ingwerwurzel
  • Old Use: culinary; medicinal
  • Aroma: citrus, fresh, fruity, spicy, warm, woody


Ginger is a spice and more popular in Central Europe, probably because the exotic cuisine, spreading more and more. Many grocery stores now have to get fresh ginger roots.

But not only as an exotic spice, ginger is suitable, but also a valuable remedy. His special ability is to eliminate nausea.

  • Botanical: Ipomoea purga
  • Family: Convolvulaceae
  • Known as: Mexikanische Purgierwinde
  • Old Use: medical


Ipomoea purga is described as a vine that can reach heights of 12 feet. When fresh, the root is black externally, white and milky within, and varies in size according to its age. It has heart shaped flowers and purple trumpet like leaves. Ipomoea purga is rather difficult to break down, but if triturated with cream of tartar, sugar of milk, or other hard salts, the process of pulverization is much easier, and the powder rendered much finer. When in powder form in order to ingest, the color is a pale grayish-brown

Red Squill
  • Botanical: Drimia maritima
  • Family: Asparagaceae
  • Known as: Urginea maritima, Squill, Sea Squill, Sea Onion, Maritime Squill, Weiße Meerzwiebel,
  • Old Use: medicine, industry, poison

Red Squill

This plant grows from a large bulb which can be up to 20 cm wide and weigh a kilogram. Several bulbs may grow in a clump and are usually just beneath the surface of the soil. In the spring, each bulb produces a rosette of about ten leaves each up to a meter long. They are dark green in color and leathery in texture. They die away by fall, when the bulb produces a tall, narrow raceme of flowers. This inflorescence can reach 1.5 to 2 m in height. The flower is about 1.5 cm wide and has six tepals each with a dark stripe down the middle. The tepals are white, with the exception of those on the red-flowered form. The fruit is a capsule up to 1.2 cm long.

  • Botanical: Valeriana officinalis
  • Family: Valerianaceae
  • Known as: Valeriana officinalis, Garden Valerian, Echter Arznei-Baldrian,Katzenkraut, Stinkwurz, Hexenkraut, Augenwurzel, Mondwurz, Bullerjan, Tolljan, Katzenwargel
  • Aroma: minty, spicy


The roots tend to merge into a short, conical root-stock or erect rhizome, the development of which often proceeds for several years before a flowering stem is sent up, but slender horizontal branches which terminate in buds are given off earlier, and from these buds proceed aerial shoots or stolons, which produce fresh plants where they take root.

  • Botanical: Artemisia absinthium
  • Family: Asteraceae
  • Known as: Vermouth, Absinthium, Absinthe, Wormwood, Common wormwood, Green Ginger, Absinth, Aetsch, Bermet, Bitterals, Else, Eisenkraut, Gottvergesse, Hilligbitter, Magenkraut, Mottenstock, Würmut, Wiegenkraut
  • Aroma: camphorus, earthy, medicinal, warm, woody


Artemisia absinthium is a herbaceous, perennial plant with fibrous roots. The stems are straight, growing to 0.8–1.2 metres (2 ft 7 in–3 ft 11 in) (rarely 1.5 m, but, sometimes even larger) tall, grooved, branched, and silvery-green. The leaves are spirally arranged, greenish-grey above and white below, covered with silky silvery-white trichomes, and bearing minute oil-producing glands; the basal leaves are up to 25 cm long, bipinnate to tripinnate with long petioles, with the cauline leaves (those on the stem) smaller, 5–10 cm long, less divided, and with short petioles; the uppermost leaves can be both simple and sessile (without a petiole).

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Your Medical Plant Guide

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