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Medicinal plant Wasserdost helps with colds and liver diseases
Wasserdost has many names, and some recall that our ancestors attributed magical properties to the plant. It is called thunder herb or dragon herb, blue weather cool and weather herb, weather clover, deer herb, deer gorse or deer dost because it should keep rain away as a plant of the deer and weather god. Hunters are also said to have discovered the healing powers of the plant by watching how sick deer ate them. But that's speculation.
A medicinal and aquatic plant
Other names refer to its importance as a medicinal plant for liver diseases such as liver balm, liver rust or brown liverwort, for wound healing such as pagan miracle herb or stagwort, for heart diseases such as heart flower or for increasing male potency: man power.
Still other names show that the Dost loves riparian zones, riparian forests and wet meadows: water doust, water hemp, water mustard or water mustard. The Wasserdost is a pointer plant for moist soils with many nutrients.
Against poison and the devil
The Latin generic name Eupatorium is derived from the ancient king Mithridates Eupator, the ruler of Pontus, who is said to have used the plant against liver disease.
Carl von Linné classified the genus Wasserdost in 1753. However, it has been known as a medicinal plant since ancient times. The ancient Greeks used it to treat insect and scorpion bites and spider bites, and the Romans used it to keep ants away.
Pre-Christian cultures used the plant, and this is still reflected in names such as pagan weed or pagan weed.
In the Christian Middle Ages it found its place in Christian medicine, which revolved around the devil and his demons. Wasserdost was considered the home of the house spirits, and that's one reason why the plant is found in large quantities around old farms.
In the Middle Ages people used the Dost against various diseases and called it Kunigundenkraut. Saint Kunigunde, wife of Heinrich II, is the patron saint of sick children.
Kunigunden herb should purify the blood and help against diseases of the bile, liver and spleen.
However, Ordinary Wasserostost contains substances that can potentially damage the liver to a greater extent, and regular internal use for children should therefore be avoided.
Properties of Wasserdost
The plant stimulates appetite, purifies the blood, acts against bacteria and disinfects, drains, lowers fever, regulates menstruation, relieves pain, drives sweat and promotes wound healing.
It was used for colds, liver problems, fever, pollen allergy and hay fever, jaundice, dysentery, worms, cough, runny nose, kidney problems, edema, rheumatism and digestive problems.
What do we know?
Polysaccharides are found in the water east, and they strengthen the immune system by stimulating the formation of immune defense cells. That is why it is suitable to prevent colds like flu infections and to speed up their healing.
Active substances isolated from the plant, such as eupafolin, migrate through the signal lines of the immune system and can prevent inflammatory mediators from being released from human macrophages.
It inhibits inflammation in advance, namely the formation of mediators determined by lipopolysaccharide with the core factor NF-kB. The active ingredients are pushing back a key system that activates a gene family that increases inflammation.
In addition, preparations from Wasserdost work directly against herpes and influenza viruses.
Recipe for water tea
A tea from the medicinal plant offers good prophylaxis against colds. To do this, pour about a quarter liter of cold water over about two teaspoons of Wasserdost and let the mixture steep for twelve hours. As soon as a cold develops, drink from the tea.
The daisy is a component in kidney and bladder tea, which you can buy in pharmacies or normal shops.
How do I recognize Wasserdost?
The common waterost grows between 50 and 150 cm high and prefers moist locations. Its unpaired leaves consist of up to seven opposite leaf leaflets and are serrated, the inflorescence forms a dense panicle. The plant blooms in tubular flowers of pink-white color from July to September. It is deciduous and perennial.
How does Wasserdost work?
The plant contains essential oil, xylans, bitter glycoside, eupatorin, resins and tannins. The active substances release substances in the body that trigger the production of immune defense cells. Wasserdost is therefore not a direct remedy for specific diseases, but an input to build up a higher resistance to various infections.
Scientists at the University of Münster have shown that the anti-inflammatory effect triggered by him suppresses swelling and makes breathing easier. As an immune booster, however, it is best to take it at the beginning of a cold.
For skin inflammation, an ointment or an envelope with porridge from the plant is recommended.
Studies are currently underway to determine whether it offers natural protection against the flu virus. With flu-like effects, water-based supplements can reduce the duration of the illness by half.
The University of Münster came to an unexpected result: Water hemp is even suitable as a remedy for the H1N1 virus, the swine flu.
Ordinary water doses may cause liver damage if used for long periods. The American species are harmless and are commercially available.
However, external applications are not problematic.
How do I grow Wasserostost?
The daisy is a light germ, so the seeds can only tolerate a thin layer of earth between themselves and the sun. They can be planted directly in the field from May - as with all light germs, however, it makes more sense to let the seeds germinate in the greenhouse from March to April and to plant the sprouts, since most seeds will otherwise be eaten.
Germination takes up to two weeks at 20 degrees Celsius, what is important is a moist soil made from a mixture of clay and humus and a place that is at most partially shaded.
A garden ornament
The plant grows abundantly on the garden pond, in the swamp bed or in a damp place and shows itself in full bloom in late summer.
An important nutrient
Although it does not feed caterpillars, as a late bloomer it is an important nectar plant for bees, bumblebees, beetles and moths, including admiral, painted lady, map and large ox eye.
The Russian bear also afflicts the water east, which is a butterfly that relies on the plant.
The insects in turn attract spiders, including crab and wolf spiders.
When to plant
It's best to plant water hemp in spring. It works well for the background because it expands a lot. For example, a garden border behind the pond is ideal.
It needs a lot of water in hot summers. Either you plant it directly on water or you have to water it.
In the natural garden, cut the stems in spring because insects survive the winter in the plant. From mid-May you can then cut to about 40 cm. If you cut when budding, the leaves will darken.
We can cut the whole herb from May to October and use it as a medicinal plant, fresh or dried.
The multiplication is very easy and runs over division. In March before budding, prick off sections of the plant and dig it in again elsewhere.
Who suits the Wasserost?
Wasserdost can be excellently combined with other medicinal and insect plants in the natural garden. In the edge of a garden pond, it harmonises with loosestrife and meadowsweet, both also excellent insect willows and valuable medicinal plants for breastfeeding and for headaches.
The pink blooming water hemp nestles harmoniously in the purple of the loosestrife and the white the meadowsweet.
Other plants that inhabit a similar habitat in nature are marsh marigold, globeflower, frog spoon, water sword lily, brook bung, marsh cranesbill, forget-me-not, comfrey and carnation root. (Dr. Utz Anhalt)
Author and source information
This text corresponds to the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.
Dr. phil. Utz Anhalt, Barbara Schindewolf-Lensch
- Medicinal herb pages: www.heilkraeuter.de (accessed: 01.02.2018), Wasserdost
- Liath, Claudia: The Green Grove, Books on Demand, 2012
- Müller, Ferdinand (ed.), The large illustrated herb book: A detailed description of all plants with precise details of their use, benefits and effects in pharmacology, Unikum, 2012
- Hensel, Andreas et al .: "Eupatorium perfoliatum L. - New Findings on an Old Medicinal Plant", in: Zeitschrift für Phytotherapie, Volume 34 Issue 2, 2013, Thieme
- Judzentiene, Asta; Garjonytė, Rasa; Būdienė, Jurga: "Variability, toxicity, and antioxidant activity of Eupatorium cannabinum (hemp agrimony) essential oils", in: Pharmaceutical Biology, Volume 54 Issue 6, 2016, Taylor & Francis
- Hansel, Rudolf; Sticher, Otto: Pharmacognosy - Phytopharmacy, Springer, 2009