Parts Used: Flowers and flowering tops of shoots.

Pharmacy name: heather flowers – Ericae flos (formerly: Flores Ericae), heather grass – Ericae herba (formerly: Herba Ericae).

Botanical description. This evergreen shrub lives for a very long time (about 45 years). With heavily branched stems, reaching a meter in length, they lie down, and the branches, on the contrary, rise up. They are tiled in four rows of small linear-lanceolate leaves. Small light purple flowers are placed loosely in one-sided clusters. Blooms in August-September (October). It occurs in extensive clumps mainly in light, dry forests, on wastelands, raised bogs and dunes, on soils poor in lime.

Collection and preparation. During flowering, flowering leafy tops of shoots are collected or some inflorescences are plucked. Drying must take place in the shade.

Active ingredients: arbutin or its degradation product hydroquinone, enzymes, flavonol glycosides, tannins, saponins, minerals, especially lime and silicic acid.

Healing action and application. Despite the respect with which Sebastian Kneipp treated this healing plant, representatives of scientific medicine did not dare to investigate the common heather in more detail. Use in folk medicine. Medieval herbalists are the sources of folk medicine. According to these books, heather is an excellent blood purifier and diuretic, “a wonderful remedy for bladder and kidney stones, rheumatism and gout.” However, this plant was gradually forgotten until Sebastian Kneipp rediscovered and especially praised its “blood-purifying” properties, its healing effect in rheumatism and gout. Heather tea is also used for eczema.

  • Heather tea: 1-2 teaspoons of heather grass (or 1 teaspoon of heather flowers) pour 1/4 liter of boiling water, stand for 10 minutes and strain. It is necessary to drink every day in small sips of 1 cup of tepid tea. If sweetened with honey (flower tea is more suitable for this), it will promote better sleep. Do not sweeten diabetics! Tea can also be used for compresses and washes.

Side effects. Overdose should be avoided, as it can lead to stomach diseases.

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