ASPARAGUS (lat. Asparagus officinalis L.)
Asparagus is a perennial plant species in the lily family with a woody and thorny stem. It grows wild or cultivated. Cultivated, it can grow up to one metre in height. It grows wild along the coast, among rocks and macchia, along paths and on meadows. Young green shoots of bitter taste are picked. It is picked from April till June.
LOŠINJ ONION (lat. Allium ampeloprasum var. lussinese)
This onion variety was described and named by the Lošinj naturalist Ambroz Haračić who discovered it on the island of Karbarus, a kilometre from the west coast of Lošinj. Unlike other species, the Lošinj onion has two little spikes on the stems of the external circle stamens. Flowers are white or violet, with long flower stems. They form a ball-like loose head 5 to 10 cm in diameter. It has a thick and circular stem with narrow leaves on the bottom part.
BORAGE (borago officinalis)
Borago officinalis, (borage family) is also known as starflower. It is an annual herbaceous plant. It grows to a height to 15-70 cm. The stalk is upright, ramified, hollow and dark green, but since it is covered in tiny white hair, it seems silvery. The stem is succulent and juicy, and leaves end in narrow stems. The flowers are star-shaped, with five spiky petals and black stamen tops, gathered in sagging loose heads. The flower crown is sky blue, pink or white. The petals are spiky, ending in short tube. The plant's nectar makes it a very popular bee pasture. It blooms from April till August. It is self-grown in the Mediterranean area and southern Europe, but is grown all over the world. It is grown simply so after the first sowing it hard to keep it under control in the garden, therefore it is often considered as weed. It is not to be watered often, and it can be grown out of the seed right after the period of soil freezing is over. When grown in a pot in enclosed areas, it needs a lot of warmth and sun.
MEDICINAL USE AND PROPERTIES OF ASPARAGUS
Even though it has a low energy value, due to being rich in mineral substances and vitamins, asparagus has a high nutritive value. It abounds in flavonoids that reduce cholesterol, lower the blood pressure and strengthen the weak capillaries. It is desirable to use it in diabetic diet because, apart from its favourable content, it increases the sensitivity of the cells to insulin, a hormone produced by pancreas, which enables the penetration of glucose to body cells and in this way leads to a better glucose control. Asparagus also contains a strong antioxidant glutathione which protects the organism from free radicals which cause cancer. They are also rich in inulin, a probiotic that enhances the development of probiotic bacteria and neutralises pathogenic bacteria in intestines. The consumption of asparagus is desirable in case of anaemia and during recovery from illnesses. Asparagus has a strong diuretic effect so it is traditionally used for urinary system difficulties – for the cleansing of kidneys, bladder, and urinary tract and for intestinal and liver cleansing. Asparagus has a stimulating effect after a long and hard mental work, but it is not recommended for persons who are usually tense and nervous.
MEDICINAL USE AND PROPERTIES OF BORAGE
Borage is a plant which is for its aromatic fragrance used not only in the kitchen, but for medicinal purposes as well. Many scientific researches have shown that borage oil is effective with various inflammations, such as kidney or bladder inflammation. If it is applied on the skin, borage oil reduces eczema, psoriasis and neurodermitis. Given the fact it is non-irritating, this oil is also used for treating wounds and scars and for the prevention of stretch marks. The long-term use of borage oil significantly reduces the symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis. Women use borage oil to reduce PMS symptoms, unregulated menstrual cycle, menopause difficulties and breast tenderness. Tonics made of dry borage leaves have a calming and fresh cooling effect and can be used to reduce high body temperature and as teas for high blood pressure and for calming down. Borage stimulates spirit, drives melancholy away and provides you with courage.
COUTERINDICATIONS: It is not good to use it too often or in too high concentrations because it contains compounds that have a harmful effect on liver.
BORAGE ESSENTIAL OIL FOR HEALTH AND BEAUTY
Borage has a special place in natural cosmetics. Cold pressed, unrefined herbal oil extracted from borage is used for the care of dry, mature and wrinkled skin. Unfortunately, this oil is not used as often as apricot, almond and olive oil. This is probably so due to the fact it is unstable and easily spoiled. For this reason, it is best to use it in home-made cosmetic products which you will use immediately after making them. The oil is rich in essential fatty acids, mostly with gamma-linoleic acid which is responsible for healing, grooming and anti-inflammatory properties of this oil. Therefore, borage oil is a true jewel among herbal oils of aromatherapeutic quality. With the help of borage oil, you can easily make several highly-valued completely natural preparations for your skin.
• Anti-age treatment in home wellness use:
Step 1 – face cleansing Natural cleansing milk: Mix a spoonful of soybean cream with a teaspoonful of borage oil. Mix the ingredients well and use it instead of your facial cleansing milk. Apply this mixture only once, freshly prepared every time. Having cleaned your face with the natural milk, refresh it with a natural tonic. Instead of your usual tonic, use lukewarm, light camomile or lavender tea.
Step 2 - wrinkle prevention and reduction Anti-wrinkle serum: In 10 ml of borage oil (approximately 1 spoon) add one drop of immortelle essential oil. Put the mixture into a dark-glass bottle and use it every day by tapping several oil drops into eye contour area and into facial wrinkles with your fingers.
3.step – neck and décolleté care Neck and décolleté cream rinse: Mix a spoonful of borage oil and a spoonful of olive oil and apply it richly on your neck and décolleté area. Over the layer of oil put the thin plastic wrap that is usually used in households. Lie on your back, throw you head back and enjoy yourself for 30 minutes. Afterwards, remove the wrap and use a cotton pad to sop up the remaining oil of you neck and décolleté area.
• More advice:
a)Have a spoonful of borage oil every day for a nice and healthy skin!
b)While making natural preparations try to create a wellness atmosphere in your home: play some music, light your aroma lamp and several candles. If we use the cosmetics knowingly and without stress, it will have a better effect on our skin! Be persistent – after a few weeks you will notice a change on your face: the lines have been reduced, softened, and the complexion is refreshed! It is interesting that all the above-mentioned ingredients are edible! Borage oil maintains the normal function of skin. It is believed that it has an ability of slowing the process of wrinkling and of tightening so borage is a common ingredient used in natural creams. It renews, calms and moisturises dry and sensitive skin, and cleans and tones combination and tired skin.
(Anamarija Pažin Morović, aromaterapeutkinja)