Gardening

Veronica, medicinal plant for lung ailments, rheumatic conditions or digestive disorders

 

Allergy, insomnia, poor digestion, rheumatic pain, gastritis …. are some of the ailments for which Veronica is recommended due to its medicinal action.

If you want to know the uses of these plants, how to take it and the contraindications, we will tell you everything in this article.

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What is Veronica?

Veronica officinalis , commonly known as Veronica, is native to Europe and the eastern United States, where it grows in open fields and meadows. It is a quite aromatic perennial plant. It has a long history of medicinal use as a diuretic and diaphoretic agent. It has been used to treat kidney disorders, bleeding, and skin conditions . Contemporary herbalists frequently use this herb to treat bronchial coughs, inflammation of the mucous membranes, and other inflammatory conditions, including rheumatism.

The genus Veronica L. is the largest genus of the Plantaginaceae family, with about 500 species scattered throughout most of the northern hemisphere and in many parts of the southern hemisphere; it presents a great ecological diversity, with species that grow in steppe habitats, aquatic to dry, from sea level to high alpine regions. It grows wild in dry meadows, forests, pastures, and heaths. It generally prefers humid and warm places. This diversity, and the fact that many species have beautiful blue flowers, may explain the interest that the Veronica plant has aroused for a long time.

The Veronica officinalis L . is a popular medicinal plant in several European countries, especially in Central and Eastern Europe and the Balkans, it has a long history of use in traditional medicine . It is also cultivated in some regions both in northern America and southern Latin America.

Some of the common names by which this plant is known are:

Veronica, common veronica, male veronica, officinal veronica, vinegar, herb / triaca plant, triaca / tríaca, morga herb, malarranca, paulina, tea from Spain, tea from Europe, ribera tea, becabunga, bérula or Hierba de los Lepers (this last denomination would have been obtained for having cured a king of France of leprosy).

It is a perennial plant with a creeping and branching stem. The leaves are opposite, oval and toothed, with a short petiole and a green color. Erect spikes or clusters of white, bluish or purplish flowers sprout from their armpits with a very mild aroma and a bitter taste; in addition, it produces small fruits full of seeds. It blooms between May and August, depending on the altitude of the terrain in which it grows. The entire plant is covered with fine hair.

Active principles and therapeutic action

Species of the genus Veronica are rich in iridoid glycosides, mainly aucubin, catalpol, and benzoic and cinnamic acid esters of catalpol, all compounds that have been investigated for their bio-activities. Phytochemical analysis identified verproside and verminoside as the most abundant iridoid glycosides.

Its tannin and aucuba content give it its bitter taste and astringent, aperitif and digestive properties . It also contains saponins that give it balsamic properties . Its anti-inflammatory and antiallergic attributes are provided by heterosides.

Other active ingredients in Veronica are acetophenone, flavonoids such as apigenin, escutellarin and lutelonia, organic acids, vitamin C, essential oil, mineral salts, mannitol, pungenin and isopungenin.

Recent studies detected other compounds in the genus Veronica such as: p-coumaric acid, ferulic acid, hispidulin, β-sitosterol, eupatorin and eupatilin, which probably play a role in its therapeutic activity.

Medicinal action and properties of Veronica

The Veronica plant is considered as a diuretic, expectorant, healing, aperitif, digestive, anti-inflammatory, anti-allergenic, cholesterol-lowering, sedative and purifying.

It is popularly used as an appetite stimulating tonic and stomach medicine in digestive disorders such as: dyspepsia, gastritis, gastroduodenal ulcers and flatulence.

In rheumatic conditions , including gout, it is applied as hot poultices or baths to reduce rheumatic pain.

It also contains saponins, with a balsamic action for the bronchi and has expectorant properties, which is why it is used in the treatment of coughs, asthma, bronchitis and pulmonary emphysema.

Formerly, it was very popular as an infusion in England as a relaxing tea .

Its tannin content favors the healing of wounds, sores and ulcers , and it can be used through its decoction to wash the skin. Applied to wounds and canker sores, it helps healing and is often used as a gargle to relieve a sore throat . It is also used to soothe itching and soften dry skin.

The Veronica officinalis L . They have a long history of medicinal use as a diuretic and diaphoretic agent.

The phenolic and sterolic content, and the antioxidant and antimicrobial activities of three species of Veronica (Plantaginaceae ), V. officinalis L., V. teucrium L. and V. orchidea Crantz were studied . Regarding the antimicrobial activity of the investigated species, Staphylococcus aureus, Listeria monocytogenes and Listeria ivanovii were the most sensitive strains. The results obtained by this study may serve to promote a better use of representatives of the genus Veronica as antioxidant and antimicrobial agents.

In 2013, research demonstrated for the first time the in vitro anti-inflammatory activity of extracts prepared from V. officinalis.

Recently, some studies confirm that certain species of Veronica exhibit remarkable antibacterial, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and cytotoxic bioactivity.

The species V. officinalis, V. teucrium and V. orchidea of the Romanian spontaneous flora were investigated in relation to their content of caffeic and chlorogenic acids, antioxidant and antimicrobial activity against anaerobic bacterial strains. The results of this study provide new perspectives for a greater pharmaceutical and nutraceutical development of the species of the genus Veronica as natural sources of bioactive compounds with antioxidant and antimicrobial potential.

Other studies verified the anti-inflammatory effects observed of the extract of Veronica offcinalis at the molecular level that would explain its use for the treatment of lung diseases .

Regarding the traditional use of Veronica officinalis as a cholesterol-lowering agent, an experimental study was conducted where it was shown that it did not exert a significant effect on the levels of cholesterol and triglycerides in the serum of animals on a cholesterol-free diet . On the contrary, Veronica officinalis did have a reducing effect on triglycerides and cholesterol level in the serum of animals with a high cholesterol diet, demonstrating its hypocholesterolemic effect.

Recommendations for its use

For the medicinal preparations of Veronica the whole plant is used and generally, using the infusion for internal use, or the decoction for external use.

Internal use

Infusion:

  • Add to a cup of boiling water a teaspoon of dried and crumbled plant. Let stand 5 minutes. Filter and drink about 3 cups a day.
  • 20 g of Veronica per liter of water: place the herb in a jug, pour the boiling water, cover and let it rest for 5 minutes, then strain and drink. They take 3 or 4 cups per day.

As an alternative to infusion, Dr. Burgstaller Chiriani uses a tincture with 20 g of Veronica and 100 cc of 60 ° alcohol. Leave to marinate for 15 days, shaking the mixture daily, strain and store in a dark glass jar with a lid. Take 1 teaspoon (15 drops) diluted in 1 glass of water, 3 or 4 times a day.

External use

Decoction:

Add 40 to 50 g. of the whole plant, dried, to a liter of water, boil for 10 minutes. Apply in the form of washes or compresses.

Precautions and contraindications

To date, Veronica officinalis has no contraindications. Most likely, the plant has not been sufficiently studied by official medicine. The only thing that is not recommended is to administer it to children under three years of age, pregnant and lactating women, people suffering from hypotension, severe heart disease, with increased acidity of the stomach and in people with individual intolerance.

Consulted bibliography

Veronica officinalis  Product Authentication Using DNA Metabarcoding and HPLC-MS Reveals Widespread Adulteration with  Veronica chamaedrys

Front. Pharmacol., June 19, 2017

https://doi.org/10.3389/fphar.2017.00378

Phytochemical Characterization of  Veronica officinalis  L.,  V. teucrium  L. and  V. orchidea  Crantz from Romania and Their Antioxidant and Antimicrobial Properties

Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2015, 16 (9), 21109-21127

HPLC / MS analysis of caffeic and chlorogenic acids from three Romanian veronica species and their antioxidant and antimicrobial properties

PHARMACY, 2015, Vol. 63, 6

Traditionally used  Veronica officinalis  inhibits proinflammatory mediators via the NF-κB signaling pathway in a human lung cell line

Journal of Ethnopharmacology

Volume 145, Issue 1, 9 January 2013, Pages 118-126

A survey of medicinal plants used by kavirajes of Chalna area, Khulna district, Bangladesh

African Journal of Traditional, Complementary and Alternative Medicines

Vol 7, No. 2, 2010

A comparative study of some Veronica species.

Rev. Med. Chir. Med. Nat. Iasi 2007, 111, 280–284.

Proving report Veronica officinalis

British Homoeopathic Journal July 1995, Vol. 84, pp. 144-148

Experimental anti-ulcer activity of Veronica officinalis L. extracts.

J Ethnopharmacol 1985; 13 (2): 157-163

 

 

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