What are medicinal plants?

Medicinal plants are plants that can be used to cure diseases. Medicinal plants include parts of trees, plants and different types of plant foods. Fruits and nuts can also have healing effects. For example, the Brazil nut contains a lot of selenium and an acerola contains the most vitamin C of all fruits, making it good against many diseases. NB! This article is written from the personal view of the author and may contain information that is not scientifically substantiated and/or in line with the general view.


  • Healing with plants, vegetables, nuts and fruit
  • Fresh food
  • Food has healing power
  • Inedible medicinal plants
  • One substance or many substances


Healing with plants, vegetables, nuts and fruit

In phytotherapy, medicinal plants are prescribed to treat and prevent diseases. Many diseases can be prevented by eating the right food. In ancient times, doctors said that food is the best medicine. The following categories fall under the heading of medicinal plants:

  • Inedible medicinal plants,
  • Vegetables,
  • Fruit,
  • Nuts,
  • Seeds,
  • Cereals,
  • Vegetable oils from seeds and nuts.


Fresh food

Most medicinal plants are edible plants. To make optimal use of the nutritional value, it is usually best to buy fresh produce and prepare a meal from it. This not only benefits the nutritional value but also the taste.

Food has healing power

Many people know that some foods have medicinal properties. When you have a cold and sleep with half an onion on the bedside table, you can breathe freely at night. That is part of folk medicine. That doesn’t mean it’s a lesser form of medicine. This healing method with half an onion has been confirmed by science. There are many accepted treatments that come from traditional medicine. Another example of an herb that comes from folk medicine is valerian root. This will calm you down without losing your sharpness and concentration. Medicines containing valerian are now part of regular medicine and can be purchased in a drugstore.

Inedible medicinal plants

Not every medicinal plant is edible. Some plants such as butterbur or the climbing plant hedera helix are poisonous if you eat them as a vegetable. However, in small concentrations they can be excellent medicinal plants. For medicinal plants, you should consult a naturopath or preferably a herbal therapist. This has to do with side effects and contraindications.

One substance or many substances

By the way, medicinal plants have much fewer side effects than medicines. This is because in a plant all substances of a plant work together and a medicine contains only one active substance. The reason that there is only one active substance in medicines is that unfortunately science cannot yet investigate the effectiveness of a multitude of substances. Medicinal plants are characterized by a medicinal effect of all the joint substances in that plant and it is a pity that science is still unable to investigate the true medicinal power of a medicinal plant. They can only extract the substances one by one and check them for efficacy.

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