lunes, 26 de agosto de 2019

Allium sativum

Familia: Liliaceae


Originating in the steppes of Central Asia, garlic is a plant cultivated for thousands of years and used as medicine by the doctors of ancient India. Like the onion (Allium cepa), the garlic migrated to Egypt passing through Asia Minor. The Egyptians began to cultivate these two plants systematically, which caused their strong spicy flavor to be attenuated, to be used and appreciated as a common food. Without the radish, the onion and the garlic, the pyramids of Giza could not have been built. These three plants allowed that all the people who worked in the construction were protected of epidemics thanks to their consumption.

The consumption of garlic was only forbidden to priests, as it was considered sacred, divine and also aphrodisiac. Advancing towards the west and the north the garlic was used by Greeks, Romans, Gauls and Germans as food, spice and as a remedy. Praised by Hippocrates and Dioscorides is also mentioned in the manuals of the Middle Ages. In Norse mythology, garlic is mentioned as a remedy to ward off demons. Loniceruslo qualified as "thériaque des paysans" that is, the panacea of ​​the people. I recommended it in case of "body tumors" to soften the ulcers, open them and remove them. The privileged affectations with the use of garlic were cutaneous problems, infections, intestinal parasites, kidney failure, bronchial catarrh and belly disease. According to Lonicerus the garlic cloves had to be planted (they multiplied by vegetative division) and the seeds did not have to be sown, since the plant became toxic after six years. The ancient Greeks and Romans called garlic "scorodon". The etymology of the word "Allium" is uncertain. They resemble the Latin "olere" from the Greek "hallensthai" which means to arise, because of its rapid growth. "Sativum" means "cultivate". Despite the intense smell, garlic is used in many countries as a fundamental element of the alimentacion.According to Dr. A.Vogel this drawback is eliminated with the simultaneous intake of fresh and raw parsley.

In our own interest, we should be more tolerant at the olfactory level, since after the discovery of allicin in 1944, innumerable publications have demonstrated the healing virtues of garlic.

Botanical characteristics

The smooth floral stem, with a height between 30 to 80 cm, grows from the central bulbil. Enveloped by a tight papyrus sheath that encloses a variable number of bulbils and concludes with an umbel almost completely protected by a white, long and pointed spar. The flowers, most of the times sterile, appear delicate, from white to pink and six-petalled verdáceo. Among the flowers, there is a huge amount of oval bulbils that fall on the ground and reproduce new plants. The flowering takes place in July and August.


Garlic is grown throughout the world and in regions with warm or temperate climates. It is used mainly as a seasoning and as a vegetable.

Picea abies (L.) KARST

Nombre oficial: Abeto rojo 
Familia: Pinaceae


Picea, from the family of the abietáceas, comes from the Greek "peuke", which means "fish", resin that emanates from the trunk once cut. The word pine or spruce comes from the Latin "spina" which means "spine" because of its needles reminiscent of spines. The red fir owes its name to the red-bruno color of the trunk and the pineapples in the form of pure, reddish also. Popularly, the different varieties of the families of the abietáceas, are known with the name of "pine." The Celts appreciated in a special way the firs, which they cited in the calendar and that went from January 2 to 11 and from 5 to July 14. The winter solstice, on December 21, was dedicated to the white fir and the vowel "A", named Ailm. During that special night, the days lengthened and since then it was considered as the tree of the genesis of light. The books of the Middle Ages clearly distinguish the different types of spruce, pine and larix, but which were intended for the same use.Lonicerus said that "the leaves of the boiled pines relieved the inflammation of the plagues and also the bad teeth; for hepatic patients, a little honey is added. The resin baked with honey is good for constipation, sore throats called angina, as well as all external injuries to the body. Botanical CharacteristicsThe spruce is a large tree with persistent leaves, which can exceed 60 meters in height, with a straight and steep trunk with a pyramidal top, with a relatively smooth and grayish bark and the branches arranged by floors, extended and intense green color. It is part of the family of conifers. Its roots are superficial and therefore harmful in case of storms. The bark, over the years, cracks and flakes. The first flowering takes place after thirty years. The male and female flowers are born from the same tree in the month of May. It forms plump pineapples of about 5 cm. of width, prolonged, erect on the branches of reddish color. With maturation, they darken, bend and detach. In the same year, the first pineapples mature at the top of the tree. Some species can live up to 600 years. Conifers suffer more than other species the pollution factor, acid rain and arid soils since these species do not have deciduous leaves. Some of its components, such as piceina and picéol, are considered stress substances of the tree, since they only occur under the effect of an unknown environmental threat. 


The spruce grows in Central Europe to the great North. In the south, the limit is up to 40º parallel, and to the east, to the Volga. It grows at an altitude higher than 900 meters, often together with other species of leafy trees. At the moment it is cultivated also in plains where it begins to replace the silver fir.

Betula pendula ROTH


Betula pendula

Birches and poplars already dominated in the antiquity the meadows of the bordering countries of the North. The birch was also the most characteristic tree for the Teutons and Slavs, which they considered the "sacred, magical tree" that personified the spring.
Its botanical term betula does not derive from the Latin, but from the celta.El birch was very appreciated by the ancient Celts who used the tree in the initiatory rituals. The druids used the birch branches with dew to welcome the new members of the community. In the Celtic calendar, the birch is the first tree that symbolizes the period from December 24 to January 20. They say that in Sweden, if a young woman wanted to marry during the current year, it was enough to rub against a birch tree near a pond so that her wish could be fulfilled. Even today, birch enjoys, especially in all the Nordic countries, a extraordinary reputation of magic tree.
Botanical characteristicsThe birch is a beautiful tree. Its silver-white bark, when the tree is young, becomes brown and cracked. The flexible branches and their pendulums give the tree a certain languid and graceful aspect despite its height that can reach 30 meters. The leaves are alternate, triangular, with long petiole, very dentate and a nice bright green color in the beam. The flowers, unisexual and yellowish green, are arranged in hanging triggers or catkins. On the same tree there are male and female catkins. The masculine ones fall once their mission is fulfilled and the feminine triggers are conserved until their maturity, dispersing with the air the frutitos in verano.Florece in April and May and their fruits mature in summer. In October, before releasing the last yellowish leaves, the triggers, which will open their flowers in the spring, are already formed. While the new buds that will give life to new twigs, poke through the back of the leaves.
The leaves of birch, the catkins and the bark are excellent diuretics, and in popular medicine they are used to purify the blood and in cures of spring asthenia. In Finland they often hit their backs with fine birch branches during the sauna. With this technique, the sanguineous irrigation of the skin and the cutaneous metabolism are stimulated. It was not until the Middle Ages, when they began, with the Abbess Hildegarda, the first knowledge and mentions about the medicinal virtues of this tree.


The birch is native to Eurasia, and can be found throughout the Mediterranean basin and up to 65º north latitude. It grows in arid zones and dunes, in wetlands and banks. It prefers torva, sand, ferrous soils, it is very adaptable and it supports frosts very well. Due to its enormous capacity to resist all types of terrains, it can cause habitat for other botanical species. You can find birches at altitudes of up to 2,000 meters.