are many plants in Portugal which have healing and
medicinal properties which can probably be found in your
garden. If you don't have these plants at your
Portuguese property, when not plant some and take
advantage of their properties?
Many of today's modern
medicines are derived from plants healing properties.
For example the bark of the willow tree is the source of
the humble aspirin. However despite the healing
properties of some of these plants it is best to consult
your doctor before utilising any in home made potions.
Vera is a succulent plant which grows well in the
Portuguese climate and not only will most gardens in Portugal have one of these plants
there are also commercial farms growing them.
are over 200 varieties of Aloe and it's healing
properties have been known about for thousands of years.
The ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans all wrote about
the plant's amazing properties.
Vera is probably so well known today due to its
inclusion in many of the cosmetic skin products
available around the world. Aloe Vera is renowned for
it's soothing properties for treating burns, sunburn,
insect bites, scalds and chapped skin. However Aloe Vera
is also known as a de-toxifying agent, it helps boost
the immune system, reduces the symptoms of arthritis and
rheumatism, relieves mouth and eye infections
helps with constipation. And if you are lucky enough to
have Aloe Vera growing in your Portuguese garden it's
like having a first aid kit at hand.
it's bright green, glossy stems the Aptenia
Cordifolia, commonly known as the Baby Sun Rose, is
a fast growing succulent popular with many gardeners in
Portugal though also possesses medicinal properties.
Baby Sun Rose flourishes in drought like conditions but
is used medically as an anti-inflammatory, a poultice
and as a deodorant. Burnt
stems and leaves are applied to aching joints and this
is believed to relieve symptoms.
has long been heralded for it's healing properties,
which are many. For hundreds of years Basil was used to
help calm the nerves, help clear up mouth infections and
to sooth tired and sore feet.
although you may think this a little bizarre use of the
humble herb more commonly used in flavouring sauces
today, but the medicinal properties are well documented. Basil
not only has anti-septic and anti-bacterial qualities
anti-spasmodic and as a
poultice used to draw out poison. So not only does basil
taste good it can do you good at the same time.
thought of as just an annoying weed by most gardeners
the common dandelion isn't given it's due. although it
is a prolific self seeders and somewhat of a pest
however dandelions have been used for centuries in the
kitchen and as a herbal remedy.
dandelion which derives it's name from the French
meaning lion's tooth (dent-de-lion) has been used
as a mild diuretic as well as a treatment for liver and
Lantana is a brightly
coloured plant which is found just about everywhere in
Portugal and makes a great addition. However not only is
the plant, which produces blooms with two colours
(usually yellow and pink), pretty to look at, it can be
helpful when treating wasp and bee stings.
Portuguese favour the petals of the Lantana plant in
treating stings and it can be an effective method of
reducing swelling and drawing out the poison. The petals
in the palm
and then rubbed for about ten minutes on the sting,
swelling is reduced and the pain dulls almost instantly.
is a welcome addition to any garden. Not only is it easy
to maintain and pretty to look at the perfumed plant
also has medicinal properties.
essential oil of lavender is used in the treatment of
depression, anxiety, rashes, arthritis, athlete's foot,
insomnia and nervousness.
has also shown remarkable results in recent studies in
the treatment of Alopecia and post surgery pain control.
At present further studies are being made on the
antibacterial and antiviral properties Lavender
Marigolds were first brought to Portugal in the 16th
century by explorers who discovered this brightly
coloured plant in central America.
are several species of Marigolds and the French,
perfumed type adorns many gardens in Portugal. However as well as
creating beautiful borders the flowers have been used
for centuries for their anti-inflammatory properties.
The petals of the Marigold when crushed can alleviate
the pain and swelling of wasp and bee stings.
from the petals can also help sore and swollen eyes.
Marigolds are also believed to help ward off snakes in
Portugal. The perfume the plant emits it is said to be
abhorrent to snakes and will avoid the plants at all
costs. If you are also plagued by mosquitoes in Portugal
then you will be pleased to learn these blood sucking
insects are also keep away by the scent of Marigolds. Planted
in pots around your home in Portugal could help keep
snakes away, brighten up your garden and also ensure you
have a herbal remedy at hand in case of a wasp or bee
Peppermint is a member of the mint family as it's name
suggests and can be found throughout Europe, growing
wild. Peppermint is actually a hybrid species of
spearmint and watermint.
Peppermint prefers damp habitats and can be found
Peppermint is a popular flavouring used for sweets,
though is also commonly used for the relief of
The plant has a
disinfecting property and can help in relieving the
symptoms of colds. it is well known Peppermint eases
colic and More recently peppermint, used in teas, has
help those suffering from Irritable Bowel Syndrome and
gall stones. However Peppermint should not be used by
those wishing to become pregnant and only in moderation
if you are pregnant or nursing.
has, for centuries, been used culinary and medicinal
purposes and is one of the oldest healing herbs.
Rosemary has a variety of properties including
anti-septic, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, antioxidant,
anti-inflammatory and an analgesic making it a vital
ingredient in many herbal remedies.
has been an active ingredient in many herbal recipes for
a variety of ailments including itchy scalps and poor
circulation. The essential oil of Rosemary is also used
to sharpen the memory - something even Shakespeare wrote
about in King Lear.
infusion made from Rosemary tips is also believed to
help mouth and throat infections as well as calming
nerves. However Rosemary should not be used by those who
suffer from epilepsy, high blood pressure and whom are