Read the extracts and say, what medicinal plants are described in them

a) It is hard to believe that the fragrance of this plant comes from tiny flowers only 1/4 in long. Waxy white and bell- shaped flowers appear in April and May.It has clear green, broad leaves. This well-known plant grows from a branched horizontal rhizome.

It can be found growing wild and it has been cultivated for more than 500 years. The rhizome, leaves, flowers and fruits (round red berries) are all poisonous. Its aromatic oil is used in skin lotions and perfume. In medicine it is used for the treatment of cardiac diseases.

b) This plant has been spreading round the world via fields of cereals since the Neolithic about 8000 years ago. Pliny the Elder reported the medicinal power of it in the 1st century A.D. He said that the centaur Chiron used this plant to heal the wound on his leg inflicted by Hercules' arrow. It has bright blue flowers. Several hundred seed capsules ripen on a single plant. It is known not only as unwanted weed but also as one of the medicinal herbs of both folk and orthodox medicine. The bright blue flower heads of this plant are diuretic. In France a tincture made from the plant is used in eye treatment.

IV. Speaking.

Read and translate the following proverb. Do you agree with its meaning? Comment your point of view.

The remedy may be worse than the disease.

Notes: remedy


V. Supplement.

Text I

1. Read, translate and discuss the following text. Be ready to speak about the effectiveness and medicinal uses of licorice.


The Romans called it Radix dulcis, meaning "sweet root". The Germans called it "sweet wood". The armies of Alexander carried it to allay thirst, the Sioux in North America chewed it for toothache, and medieval1 English governments taxed it. Licorice has been used in many ways by many cultures.

Licorice is cultivated for its sweetness and medicinal properties. The roots are harvested at the end of the fourth year, when the sweet taste is the strongest. As many as 20 known species2 are native to South Asia, Europe, and North America. Glycyrrhiza uralensis and G. glabra most frequently used medicinally.

Licorice root has a variety of medicinal uses, and has been traditionally classed as anti-inflammatory, adrenal tonic, antiallergy, antimicrobial, cough-reducer, expectorant3, and mild laxative. It has been extensively investigated, and many of its traditional uses have been verified through clinical trials.

Licorice is widely used for upper respiratory problems: sore throats, bronchitis, coughs, and excess catarrh. It soothes and reduces coughing, while its antiviral action is excellent for mouth ulcers and cold sores. The sweet taste makes licorice a popular addition to cough syrups and lozenges4.

The healing effects of licorice make this herb a remedy for gastritis, peptic ulcer, and abdominal cramping. Some studies suggest that licorice can increase gastric juices by as much as 25 percent without altering the natural pH of the stomach, making licorice important for proper digestion.

Chemicals in licorice are metabolized by the body into molecules having a similar structure to some adrenal hormones. One of these hormones, Cortisol, may be the basis of the antiinflammatory effect of licorice. The herb is often added to formulas for chronic inflammatory conditions such as arthritic and rheumatic complaints.

Like all strong herbs, licorice must be treated with respect, and seeking the advice of a qualified natural health practitioner is recommended. While considered safe in low doses, adverse effects are common if you take more than 20 g of the root per day. Susceptible individuals may experience side effects at much lower doses.

Possible adverse effects include increased blood pressure, water retention, headaches, dizziness, and irregular heartbeat. The safety of licorice in pregnancy has not been established, and it should be avoided in any dose over 3 g a day.

Do not take licorice if you have an existing high blood pressure or heart condition, or if you are taking medications for high blood pressure or heart problems. Also avoid licorice if you are taking diuretics or using potassium supplements. Licorice has been reported to have negative effects on estrogen-sensitive conditions, on thyroid hormone production, and it should not be combined with prescription corticosteroids.

As one of our most versatile5 and effective herbs, licorice has proven its worth throughout history.



2species ,



5 versatile


2. Form word combinations.

1. sweet a) effects

2. cough b) use

3. clinical c) root

4. adverse d) trials

5. medicinal e) reducer

3. Answer the following questions.

1. How did the Romans call licorice? What about the Germans?

2. Has licorice been used by other cultures? How?

3. What is licorice cultivated for?

4. When are the roots of licorice harvested?

5. How has licorice root been traditionally classed?

6. Is licorice widely used for upper respiratory problems?

7. What does make licorice a popular addition to cough syrups and lozenges?

8. Is there any information about the importance of licorice for digestive system and its disorders?

9. Can we find licorice added to formulas for chronic inflammatory conditions? Why?

10.Is the advice of a qualified natural health practitioner recommended before taking licorice?

11.What possible adverse effects does licorice include?

12.Is it safe to use licorice while pregnancy?

13.When you should avoid taking licorice?

4. Are the following sentences true or false? Correct the false ones.

1. Licorice has been used in many ways by many cultures.

2. 20 known species of licorice are native to south Asia, Europe and Africa.

3. Licorice root has a variety of medicinal uses.

4. Licorice has never been extensively investigated.

5. Licorice soothes and reduces headache.

6. Some studies suggest that licorice can increase gastric juices.

7. Do not take licorice if you have bronchitis or cough.

8. Like all strong herbs, licorice must be treated with respect.

5. Read and memorize the licorice tea recipe. Drink and be healthy.

Use the whole root of licorice to make a tea by steeping 1/2 tsp (2 g) dried root in 1 cup (250 ml) boiling water, or take 1/4 to 3/4 tsp (1 to 3 ml) tincture (1:5 ratio of dried herb to 45 percent alcohol extract). Take this tea three times a day, for a maximum of four to six weeks.

Text 2

1. Read, translate and retell the following text:


Aloe vera is a species of the Aloe plant at is native to northern Africa. Although used topically to treat burns, aloe vera also provides natural support for the immune system.

Aloe vera has been found to be a concentrated plant source of health-supporting polysaccharides the beta-glucomannans, a class of long-chain sugars. Clinical studies have found these polysaccharides directly affect cells in the immune system.

Fresh aloe vera contains many other constituents, including vitamins, minerals, amino acids, essential fatty acids, a natura1 form of salicylic acid, and plant sterols (with antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, and analgesic properties). Aloe vera also contains trace amounts of vitamin B]2 and is one of the rare plant sources for this nutrient.

In fact, aloe vera has several medicinal purposes. Its leaves can be split to get out it the juice to rub on the skin to treat sunburns, wounds, insect bites, wrinkles, scratches, and skin irritations. A tea made from its dried juice serves to be a good wash to wounds and the eyes. According to a study in Europe, it can also reduce the blood sugar levels in people with diabetes. It also treats asthma, stomach ache, fever, and headache. Topical application of aloe vera may be effective for genital herpes and psoriasis. Aloe vera extracts have antibacterial and antifungal activities.

So aloe is used externally for the treatment of: - skin irritation;

- burns;

- scalds;

- sunburn;

- wounds;

- eczema;

- psoriasis;

- acne;

- dermatitis;

- ulcers;

- to stimulate cell regeneration.

And aloe is used internally to combat most digestive problems, including:

- constipation; -poor appetite;

- colitis;

- asthma;

- diabetes;

- immune system enhancement;

- peptic ulcers.

This herb is one of the main attractions of the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries and also the most widely used ingredient starting from vitamins and laxatives to face creams and body care lotions. Owing to its properties, aloe vera was incorporated in the composition of deodorants.

A wide variety of products with curative and therapeutic effects is obtained from aloe vera, one of the most effective herbs.


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