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Heart & Circulation | Plant Lexica

Heart & Circulation

  • Botanical: Petroselinum crispum
  • Family: Apiaceae
  • Known as: Petroselinum hortense, Bittersilche, Bockskraut, Geilwurz, Grönte, Kräutel, Peterle, Peterling, Silk, Stehsalat
  • Old Use: culinary and medicinal use
  • Aroma: clean


Parsley is a bright green, biennial, plant in temperate climates, or an annual herb in subtropical and tropical areas.

Where it grows as a biennial, in the first year, it forms a rosette of tripinnate leaves 10–25 cm long with numerous 1–3 cm leaflets, and a taproot used as a food store over the winter. In the second year, it grows a flowering stem to 75 cm tall with sparser leaves and flat-topped 3–10 cm diameter umbels with numerous 2 mm diameter yellow to yellowish-green flowers.

  • Botanical: Adonis vernalis
  • Family: Ranunculaceae
  • Known as: Spring Pheasant's Eye, Yellow Pheasant's Eye, False Hellebore, Frühlings Adonisröschen, Frühlings Adonis

Pheasants Eye

Adonis vernalis is a PERENNIAL growing to 0.3 m (1ft) by 0.3 m (1ft in).

It is in flower in March, and the seeds ripen from May to June. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Bees, flies, beetles.The plant is self-fertile.

  • Botanical: Punica granatum
  • Family: Lythraceae
  • Known as: Granatapfelbaum
  • Old Use: culinary; medicinal
  • Aroma: exotic, fruity, sweet


An attractive shrub or small tree, to 20 or 30 ft (6 or 10 m) high, the Pomegranate is much-branched, more or less spiny.

An extremely long-lived species, some specimens at Versailles are known to have survived two centuries. The leaves are evergreen or deciduous, opposite or in whorls of 5 or 6, short-stemmed, oblong-lanceolate, 3/8 to 4 in (1-10 cm) long and leathery. Showy flowers are home on the branch tips singly or as many as 5 in a cluster.

  • Botanical: Rubus idaeus
  • Family: Rosaceae
  • Known as: Red Raspberry, Raspberry, and Wild Raspberry, Himbeere
  • Old Use: culinary; medicinal
  • Aroma: fruity, sweet, warm


The stems are erect and shrubby, biennial, with creeping perennial roots. Flowers: Royal purple or bluish pink, showy, fragrant, 1 to 2 in. broad, loosely clustered at top of stem. Calyx sticky-hairy, deeply 5-parted, with long, pointed tips; corolla of 5 rounded petals; stamens and pistils very numerous.

  • Botanical: Krameria lappacea
  • Family: Polygalaceae
  • Known as: Para rhatany, Peruvian rhatany, Ratanhia, Rote Ratanhia, Payta Ratanhia
  • Old Use: medical


It is a low shrub with large red flowers. The root, as found in commerce, consists of long, cylindrical pieces, varying in thickness from 1/4 to 1/2 inch or more (long Rhatany), or a short, thick portion, knotted, and as large as a man's fist (short, or stumpy Rhatany).

The bark of the root is thin, readily separable, rough and scaly; of a dark, reddish-brown colour outside, and bright brownish-red within. It breaks with a somewhat fibrous fracture, is tough and difficult to powder, and has a strong, purely astringent taste, tingeing the saliva red when chewed. The central woody portion is very hard and almost tasteless. Neither bark nor wood has any marked odour. As the virtues of Rhatany reside in the bark, the smaller pieces are preferable.

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.

Rose Cabbage
  • Botanical: Rosa centifolia
  • Family: Rosaceae
  • Known as: Rosa gallica, Centifolie, Bischofsrose, Fleischrose, Gartenrose, hundertblättrige Rose, Jungfernrose, Kaiserrose, Knopfrose, Moosrose, Pomponrose, Trianonrose, Vielblättrige Rose
  • Old Use: culinary

Rose Cabbage

Rose plants are usually shrubby, in appearance with long drooping canes and grayish green leaves. The flowers are round and globular, with thin overlapping petals that are highly scented. The shrub is erect, with a height of 3 to 6 feet. The branches are closely covered with nearly straight prickles. The shoots of the plant are also erect. The leaves are unequally pinnate and there are 5 to 7 leaflets, which are oblong or ovate. The flowers of rose plant, which account for the petals, are large and pinkish or red in color. The flowers vary in hues, form and size. There are 100 documented varieties of flowers from this plant.

  • Botanical: Crocus sativus
  • Family: Iridaceae
  • Known as: Safran, Saffron crocus,
  • Old Use: meidicinal use
  • Aroma: spicy


The domesticated saffron crocus, Crocus sativus, is an autumn-flowering perennial plant unknown in the wild. Its progenitors are possibly the eastern Mediterranean autumn-flowering Crocus cartwrightianus, which is also known as "wild saffron" and originated in Greece. The saffron crocus likely resulted when C. cartwrightianus was subjected to extensive artificial selection by growers seeking longer stigmas. C. thomasii and C. pallasii are other possible sources.

Sandalwood Red
  • Botanical: Pterocarpus santalinus
  • Family: Fabaceae
  • Known as: Pterocarpus santalinus, Red Sanders, Red Sandalwood, Rakta chandana, Sandelholz, Santelholz, Santalholz, lignum santalinum, lignum santali, bois de santal
  • Old Use: medicinal

Sandalwood Red

A small tree 20 to 30 feet high, with many opposite slender drooping branches, bark smooth grey-brown. Young twigs glabrous; leaves opposite, without stipules, petiole slender, about 1/2 inch long, blade 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 inches long, oval, ovate-oval or lanceolate, acute or obtuse at apex, tapering at base into petiole entire, smooth on both sides, glaucous beneath.

  • Botanical: Sassafras albidum
  • Family: Lauraceae
  • Known as: White Sassafras, Red Sassafras, Silky Sassafras, Sassafrasbaum, Fenchelholzbaum, Nelkenzimtbaum
  • Old Use: medical, culinary, industry


It is a medium-sized deciduous tree growing to 15–20 m tall, with a trunk up to 60 cm diameter, and a crown with many slender branches. The bark on trunk of mature trees is thick, dark red-brown, and deeply furrowed. The branching is sympodial. The shoots are bright yellow green at first with mucilaginous bark, turning reddish brown, and in two or three years begin to show shallow fissures. The leaves are alternate, green to yellow-green, ovate or obovate, 10–16 cm long and 5–10 cm broad with a short, slender, slightly grooved petiole. They come in three different shapes, all of which can be on the same branch; three-lobed leaves, unlobed elliptical leaves, and two-lobed leaves; rarely, there can be more than three lobes. In fall, they turn to shades of yellow, tinged with red. The flowers are produced in loose, drooping, few-flowered racemes up to 5 cm long in early spring shortly before the leaves appear; they are yellow to greenish-yellow, with five or six tepals. It is usually dioecious, with male and female flowers on separate trees; male flowers have nine stamens, female flowers with six staminodes (aborted stamens) and a 2–3 mm style on a superior ovary. Pollination is by insects. The fruit is a dark blue-black drupe 1 cm long containing a single seed, borne on a red fleshy club-shaped pedicel 2 cm long; it is ripe in late summer, with the seeds dispersed by birds. The cotyledons are thick and fleshy. All parts of the plant are aromatic and spicy. The roots are thick and fleshy, and frequently produce root sprouts which can develop into new trees.

  • Botanical: Strophanthus hispidus
  • Family: Apocynaceae
  • Known as: Strophanthus,
  • Old Use: medical
  • Aroma: spicy


The name Strophanthus is derived from the Greek strophos (a twisted cord or rope) and anthos (a flower), thus expressing the chief peculiarity of its appearance, the limb of the corolla being divided into five, long, tail-like segments. The official description of the seeds is 'lance-ovoid, flattened and obtusely-edged; from 7 to 20 mm. in length, about 4 mm. in breadth, and about 2 mm. in thickness; externally of a light fawn colour with a distinct greenish tinge, silky lustrous form, a dense coating of flat-lying hairs (S. Kombé) or light to dark brown, nearly smooth, and sparingly hairy (S. hispidus), bearing on one side a ridge running from about the centre to the summit; fracture short and somewhat soft, the fractured surface whitish and oily; odour heavy when the seeds are crushed and moistened; taste very bitter.

Strychnine tree
  • Botanical: Strychnos nux-vomica
  • Family: Loganiaceae
  • Known as: nux vomica, poison nut, semen strychnos, quaker buttons, Gewöhnliche Brechnuss, Brechnuss, Krähenaugenbaum, Strychninbaum, Brechnussbaum
  • Old Use: medical

Strychnine tree

S. nux-vomica is a medium-sized tree with a short thick trunk. The wood is dense, hard white, and close-grained. The branches are irregular and are covered with a smooth ashen bark. The young shoots are a deep green colour with a shiny coat. The leaves have an opposite decussate arrangement, short stalked, are oval shaped, also have a shiny coat and are smooth on both sides. The leaves are about 4 inches (10 cm) long and 3 inches (7.6 cm) wide. The flowers are small with a pale green colour with a funnel shape. They bloom in the cold season and have a foul smell. The fruit are about the size of a large apple with a smooth and hard shell which when ripened is a mild shade orange colour. The flesh of the fruit is soft and white with a jelly-like pulp containing five seeds covered with a soft woolly substance. The seeds are removed from the fruit when ripe. They are then cleaned, dried and sorted.

The seeds have the shape of a flattened disk completely covered with hairs radiating from the center of the sides. This gives the seeds a very characteristic sheen. The seeds are very hard, with a dark grey horny endosperm where the small embryo is housed that gives off no odour but possesses a very bitter taste.

  • Botanical: Camellia sinensis
  • Family: Theaceae
  • Known as: Black Tea, Schwarztee
  • Old Use: culinary, medicinal use


A small evergreen shrub cultivated to a height of 7 to 8 feet, but growing wild up to 30 feet high, much branched. Bark rough, grey. Leaves dark green, lanceolate or elliptical, on short stalks, blunt at apex, base tapering, margins shortly serrate, young leaves hairy, older leaves glabrous.

Tinder Fungus
  • Botanical: Fomes fomentarius
  • Family: Polyporaceae
  • Known as: Polyporus fomentarius, tinder fungus, false tinder fungus, hoof fungus, tinder conk, tinder polypore, ice man fungus, Zunderschwamm
  • Old Use: medical, industry
  • Aroma: earthy

Tinder Fungus

Fomes fomentarius has a fruit body of between 5 and 45 centimetres (2.0 and 17.7 in) across, 3 and 25 cm (1.2 and 9.8 in) wide and 2 and 25 cm (0.8 and 9.8 in) thick, which attaches broadly to the tree on which the fungus is growing. While typically shaped like a horse's hoof, it can also be more bracket-like with an umbonate attachment to the substrate. The species typically has broad, concentric ridges, with a blunt and rounded margin. The flesh is hard and fibrous, and a cinnamon brown colour. The upper surface is tough, bumpy, hard and woody, varying in colour, usually a light brown or grey. The margin is whitish during periods of growth. The hard crust is from 1 to 2 mm (0.04 to 0.08 in) thick, and covers the tough flesh. The underside has round pores of a cream colour when new, maturing to brown, though they darken when handled. The pores are circular, and there are 2–3 per millimetre. The tubes are 2 to 7 mm (0.08 to 0.28 in) long and a rusty brown colour.

The colouration and size of the fruit body can vary based on where the specimen has grown. Silvery-white, greyish and nearly black specimens have been known. The darkest fruit bodies were previously classified as Fomes nigricans, but this is now recognised as a synonym of Fomes fomentarius. The colour is typically lighter at lower latitudes and altitudes, as well as on fruit bodies in the Northern Hemisphere that grow on the south side of trees.

  • 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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