Woodruff: properties, herbal tea and grappa

Woodruff: properties, herbal tea and grappa

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L'Asperula odorata, more simply Woodruff, it is a plant that belongs to the Rubiaceae family, typically grows in the undergrowth of beech and broad-leaved trees and has many useful properties. It is native to Europe and Asia and can even reach a height of 30 centimeters.

This herbaceous perennial has erect stems, with a quadrangular section, and under its verticils it has hairs that form a strange and characteristic tuft. Its leaves have a lanceolate shape, are of a rather dark green, have 6-8 lobes and form a star with 8 or six points. The roots they are not very consistent and creeping while the flowers are white and appear starting from April until June. Initially, when they are fresh, they do not smell in a particular way, but when we dry, they make their aroma felt.

It is so powerful that in the past this dried plant was used for perfume the linen, remove insects and purify the air in the rooms of the house. This plant is called woodruff because it is rough or at least you can get this impression if you caress it on the leaves, but we also find it on the market with other names such as scented star or gletto.

Woodruff: properties

Woodruff is rich in lipids, vitamin C (the leaves), coumarins and pigments and all the “emerged” parts are used, ie all except the roots which are used to color the fabrics red. The characterizing active ingredients are: coumarins, asperuloside, tannins, anthraquinones, flavonoids and nicotinic acid.

It is usually harvested when it begins to bloom and immediately dried, tied in bunches, in a dark and cool, well-ventilated place. In the form of an infusion, this plant helps digestion and can also be used to treat nervousness while the tablets are recommended for treating red and congested skin. It can also be used "food and wine" as it happens in Alsace, Germany and Belgium where the woodruff is macerated when it is still whole, in wine, to obtain a drink that has some tonic and digestive properties much appreciated.

In folk medicine, this plant is known for its many properties: aromatic, diuretic, purifying, sedative, diaphoretic, tonic, antiseptic and cholagogue. If we use it on the skin, it has decongestant properties and is used to relieve skin redness while we find it used for internal use when it comes to treating dyspepsia, night cramps, joint pain, headaches and insomnia. It can also be very useful in case of kidney infections and kidney stones.

There are also gods side effects to report, when a subject is hypersensitive. It is important to know that it should not be used if you are pregnant or breastfeeding, it is also not recommended for those who are following treatment with anticoagulants and antiplatelet agents given the presence of coumarins among the active ingredients. Today one of the most frequent uses of Asperula is that of phytotherapeutic type, it is used to prepare herbal teas, decoctions, powders.

Woodruff: herbal teas

Many of the properties that we have listed can emerge when we prepare herbal teas and infusions that are therefore digestives, diuretics, purifiers, sedatives, antiseptics, cholagogues and tonics. This is not just a popular belief, there are studies that prove the effectiveness of this plant. The only problem is that when you prepare these herbal mixes, we often end up not knowing precisely the amount of active ingredients that we actually take. It is therefore difficult to understand if and how we are being treated with woodruff.

Among the herbal teas that have this plant as an ingredient there are many that treat headaches like this one, with Woodruff, Rosemary, Lavender and Lemon Balm. To be precise, it is necessary to take a whole plant of Asperula odorata, approximately 40 grams, 30 grams of rosemary leaves, 10 grams of lavender and 20 grams of lemon balm. To prepare the herbal tea you need 50 grams of mixture to infuse in a liter of boiling water for a maximum of ten minutes, then everything must be filtered. As doses, those recommended are three cups a day.

Woodruff: grappa

We talked about the wine, flavored with this herb, but not liqueurs, we can also prepare grappa. Let's take a closer look at the recipe which is not difficult at all. All you need is a bunch of fresh Asperula odorosa plants, and obviously a liter of grappa. The bunch is dipped in the liqueur and then the bottle is left in the sun for a couple of weeks. After two months the grappa it is ready, we can drink it without filtering or decanting it because Asperula, like rue, is perfectly preserved in the bottle.

Whoever holds up grappa well can drink it pure, otherwise it is possible stretch it with a little hot water, a teaspoon of sugar and a lemon zest. You get a tasty drink and also with powerful digestive properties.

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Video: Quaran-tea Files: New Puppy, Homemade Detox Tea, and Appliances (June 2022).


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