Sunday, May 27, 2012

Sweet woodruff - gallium odoratum

Gallium odoratum
This plant is smelling and tasting so great. In german language, it is commonly called "Waldmeister", which means "Master of the forest". And that is also where this herb grows, and depending on the type of forest, favorably a deciduous forest, in a very large quantity.
The flower blooms from April to May. Usually it grows from 5 to 50cm. The flowers are small, white, and with five petals. The leaves form a "star shape", each consisting of 8 leaves. 

This plant contains cumarin, and when dried or starting to spoil, it sets it free. This makes the typical taste and smell. It can reduce inflammations and cramps, as well as widen vessels. Also it helps with headaches, migranes and menstruation problems. But if used too much or too regularely, it can also make headaches and damage the liver! Usually, the leaves of the plant are used for tea, syrup and Maywine. 

It also used to be used for flavor other things, but at least here in Germany it is forbidden in industrial food since about 1970. The things that still are flavored like this nowadays are made by something else.... 
Leaves and flowers
There you can see the leaves without the flowers.

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