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Herbs useful for treating burns: Common houseleek, poplar.

Herb name: Common houseleek, sempervivum tectorum

herbs - common houseleek

Family: Crassulaceae

Useful plant parts: Leaves

Description: The common houseleek is a small plant that has many thick leaves gathered in a rosette that usually grows relatively close to the ground. During summer (although not every year) 30 to 40 centimeter tall flower stalks can emerge, which have many pink star-shaped flowers that come in smaller bloom formations.

Collecting period and locations: Since the leaves have the best healing properties, they can be collected at any time of the year, and in most cases only a few leaves are sufficient. Concerning the places where this herb can be found, it is widespread in Asia and southern Europe, but can be found in other places as well. It can often be found growing in cracks in rocks and similar relatively dry places.


Medicinal properties and applications: The common houseleek is known to have two main applications. The first is related to the treatment of burns, by using the juice squeezed from the leaves of this plant, or by using various topical products obtained from the leaves of this plant. The second most well known application of this medicinal herb is the treatment of ear pain (also known as otalgia).

Active compounds: Tannins, mucilage, resins, and malic acid.

Recipe: In the case of earache, it is necessary to take a few leaves of this plant, split them in half and squeeze a few drops of the juice from the leaves in the ear that hurts, and keep it like that a short period of time. With time, the pain in the ear should be reduced or completely healed. When treating burns, one should take a somewhat larger number of leaves and can once again squeeze out the juice from the thick leaves, that can than be applied to burns in order to reduce pain.


Herb name: Poplar, Populus nigra

herbs - poplar

Family: Salicaceae

Useful plant parts: Leaf buds.

Description: Poplar is a middle sized deciduous tree which can be found in Europe and in certain parts of Africa and Asia. It can grow from 20 to 30 meters tall. The trunk can be up to 1.5 meters wide. Leaves are diamond shaped, they can be from 5 to 8 centimeters long and from 6 to 8 centimeters wide. The leaves are green colored and smooth on both sides.

Certain mushroom species are known to grow often near poplars: Leccinum aurantiacum, Leccinum griseum, Pleurotus ostreatus, but also and many other species as well.

Collecting period and locations: The main source of medicinal properties are the leaf buds which contain most of the active compounds. They can be picked during spring. These buds are mostly used for making various types of grease, cream and similar products. Poplars can be found on humid locations, near ditches, rivers, and on flooded areas.


Medicinal properties and applications: Medications based on poplar are known to be good disinfectants, and they can also contract mucous membrane tissue. The active compounds can help in treating hemorrhoids (in form of grease) and for healing burns. Poplar tea can also be made, it is effective in treating various conditions related to the urinary system and prostate.

Active compounds: Tannins, essential oil, resins, manitol, glycosides.

Recipe: The process of preparing poplar grease, creams and similar preparations is fairly complex, so we will not go into further details here. However, one can easily find natural products based on this medicinal herbs. As for the tea, it can be made by adding one or two teaspoons of dried poplar leaves and/or leaf buds to 1/4 liter of hot water. This is then left for 10 minutes, and after that, the tea can be strained and used.



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