Active substances from A to Z

A

Acerola

Acerola is the fruit of a shrub indigenous to South America, Florida and the Caribbean. It looks like a small cherry. Its flesh is brick red when ripe and it has a very pleasant taste.

Acerola contains particularly high vitamin C levels. It also contains flavonoids, many trace elements such as iron, calcium and phosphorus, but also vitamins A and B. It is traditionally used to combat transient fatigue, in particular during the winter. The vitamin C that it contains stimulates the body's natural defences.

A number of studies have demonstrated the protective, antioxidant and anti-ageing role of acerola.

Aloe Vera

Aloe vera is indigenous to North Africa and was introduced to America. Crops have recently begun to flourish in the subtropical states of the United States (Florida, Texas, Arizona).

Aloe vera contains two usable parts: latex (yellow sap) and pulp (aloe gel). The gel consists mainly of water, amino acids, polysaccharides such as acemannan, and secondarily sterols, lipids and enzymes. Aloe vera helps reinforce the body's natural defences, thus enabling it to combat everyday aggressions (stress, transient fatigue, unbalanced diet).

Thanks to the many digestive enzymes that it contains, aloe vera enables better digestion. Its bitter yellow sap, obtained from the outer part of the leaves, is an intestinal tonic, able to regulate sluggish transit.

Anise

Originally an Eastern plant, anise is not widely cultivated in Europe. It greenish-grey fruit develops a flavour similar to that of dill, fennel or caraway.

Because it contains a specific substance, anethol, anise is ewll-known for promoting digestive work and for fighting against gas and bloating.

Anise has a beneficial effect on digestive spasms.

Argan

The argan tree is endemic to South-Western Morocco. It is a woody and spiny tree that can grow to a height of 8 to 10 m and live for 150 to 200 years. Argan oil is extracted from its fruit, the kernel, a green berry.

The skin benefits of  argan oil are due to two important elements: vitamin E, with antioxidant properties, helping to combat ageing, and unsaponifiables, equivalent to avocado oil, that play a restructuring role.

Applied topically, argan oil is naturally rich in essential fatty acids, that contribute to maintain the skin's barrier function and moisture.

Argan oil is applied to soften and protect the skin and to nourish the hair, without rendering the skin greasy. This oil is recommended by internal route for the diet of persons wishing to keep a healthy heart and arteries.

Ash

Ash is a large tree with a very deep taproot. It can be found in temperate European regions. It prefers deep, cool, clay soils.

Ash is known to facilitate the body's excretory functions, thanks to its draining properties (leaves) mediated by mannitol. It contributes to urinary comfort.

Ash bark was used as a tonic and as an appetiser plant. It is reputed for its ability to soothe painful joints. It also facilitates digestion.

B

Birch

A widespread tree throughout all of Northern Europe, birch prefers sunny land, where it flowers from April to May, giving yellowish-orange catkins. Its leaves are glabrous and triangular and its bark turns white with age and time.

Rich in saponins and flavonoid glucosides, birch possesses decongestive and draining properties. It actively contributes to the elimination of chlorides, urea and uric acid. It promotes urinary excretion (via the kidneys).

Birch has demonstrated its effectiveness in the following cases: water retention, slimming diets.

Bitter orange

A small tree indigenous to India, now cultivated throughout the Mediterranean basin, the bitter orange tree produces a fruit, bitter orange, similar to the orange that we know, though smaller and more bitter.

Bitter orange promotes physical relaxation and well-being.

Bitter orange is also used to regulate weight as it promotes lipid breakdown.

Black radish

Though the wild plant's origins are poorly known, black radish has been cultivated since pharaonic times when it was already very popular.

Blackcurrant

A small sub-shrub common to Northern and Eastern Europe, blackcurrant produces bunches of reddish flowers from April to May. Like its fruits, its leaves produce a very pleasant aroma.

Blackcurrant leaves are very good for relieving joint pain, they promote joint mobility and comfort.

 

Borage

Indigenous to Syria, borage has long been cultivated in Europe and North America. Small herbaceous plant with bristly hairs and blue flowers, it also grows spontaneously in fields and at the side of paths.

Particularly rich in essential fatty acids and in gamma-linoleic acid, borage oil is known for its nutritive and moisturising action on the outer layers of the epidermis. Because it helps preserve the skin's suppleness and effectively prevents wrinkles and skin ageing, it is indicated in the control of age- and menopause-related dry skin.

Borage flowers were traditionally used as draining agents in infusion.

Brewer's yeast

Brewer's yeast is known under its scientific name as Saccharomyces cerevisiae. This minute organism is also used by bakers when preparing leaven. While active brewer's yeast can be found in beer wort, this drink does not possess all of the properties of living yeast; it should thus be drunk in moderation. Brewer's yeast has been known since antiquity. The Babylonians, Celts and Egyptians used it to embellish and soften their skin.

Brewer's yeast is also known for its nigh nutrient content: proteins and amino acids, B complex vitamins and minerals.

Burdock

Burdock is a large and very common herbaceous plant whose fruit stick to clothes (small balls covered in burrs).

Burdock helps maintain healthy skin. It relieves and soothes skin inflammations (spots, etc.).

Burdock is also used to stimulate the body's excretory functions and to facilitate digestion.

 

Butcher's broom

A shrub with persistent leaves, indigenous to the scrubland of the Mediterranean basin, having colonised a vast region ranging from the Azores (off the Portuguese mainland) to Iran. This species is protected in the wild.

Butcher's broom, helps maintain good blood flow. It can thus be used to maintain light legs.

C

Carnitine

Carnitine, already present in our body's cells, is mainly found in our muscles and heart. The body synthesises carnitine (mainly via the liver and kidneys) from lysine and methionine, two amino acids found in food.

Carrot

Indigenous to the Middle-East and Central Asia, carrot is a biennial plant. It only flowers the 2nd year, after the winter.

This vegetable's dark colour reflects the many antioxidants it contains, including carotenoids. These are compounds with antioxidant properties, i.e. they are capable of quenching the free radicals that cause cell ageing. Beta-carotene, also called provitamin A, is a member of this family. This compound contributes to skin health and protection, particularly when this latter is exposed to the sun's rays. Carrot is thus particularly indicated in persons with sensitive pale skin.

Carrot (raw or cooked) and carrot juice are excellent sources of provitamin A, that is then converted to vitamin A by the body. Vitamin A is one of the most versatile of the vitamins, playing a role in several of the body's functions. Amongst other things, it promote bone and tooth growth. Moreover, it possesses antioxidant properties and promotes good vision.

Chamomile

Indigenous to Northern Europe, chamomile is also known as German chamomile. Growing wild in Central and Eastern Europe, it is now widely cultivated in all of the world's temperature regions.

Chamomile is most certainly the most popular medicinal plant. It is used both for its digestive and relaxing properties.

Chamomile also helps the body's natural defences.

Cherry Stalk

Initially a wild tree, the cherry tree is now widely cultivated in France. The cherry period is short, as the harvest spans only from late spring to early summer.

Traditionally used to improve the body's excretion functions, cherry stalks are genuine toxin "cleaners" Because they help drain the tissues and facilitate urinary excretion, cherry stalks are frequently recommended at the start of a slimming diet, to give the body a "slimming" boost.

Chicory

The main characteristic of chicory is the widely appreciated bitterness of its leaves. In ancient Greece and Rome, Dioscorides, Galien and Pliny ascribed various medicinal properties to chicory.

Because it helps reduce blood lipids, chicory contributes to correct cardiac function.

Inulin, a carbohydrate widely used as a texturing agent and as a fat or sugar substitute in processed foods, is extracted from chicory root. Over the past years, inulin has also begun to be used for its prebiotic effects. Chicory promotes digestion thanks to its "prebiotic" effect, i.e. it stimulates the growth of intestinal bifidobacteria.

Chitosan

Chitosan was discovered in 1859 by C. Rouget. Produced by a microscopic fungus, it is used in cosmetic and nutritional products.

Chitosan is known to be able to trap fats: it binds to dietary fats, traps them and excretes them before they can be absorbed by the body.

Moreover, chitosan also reduces calorie intake: by binding to fat in the stomach, it is able to neutralize calories and reduce weight gain.

Chromium

Chromium was discovered in 1797 by Vauquelin, a French chemist. It took a further two centuries, however, before scientific research would take a closer look at this trace element.

Currently, chromium is recognized as an essential trace element involved in preserving the body's health and well-being. Indeed, it has been shown to play an important role in blood glucose level regulation. It is also involved in the metabolism of lipids, proteins and some enzymes, essential for correct metabolic function.

Cocoa

Cocoa, whose name comes from nahuatl "cacahuatl" was traditionally used by meso-American populations, in particular by the Mayas, then by the Aztecs. Cocoa is the powder obtained after roasting and grinding the stone of fermented cocoa beans produced by the cocoa tree.

Cod liver oil

Cod liver oil has traditionally been used for generations as a food supplement for children. The disgust caused by its strong smell and taste are amongst the oldest memories of the elderly.

Vitamins A and D contained in this oil help to maintain the body's natural defences. Vitamin D contributes to normal absorption of calcium and phosphorus and helps keep your bones strong and healthy. Moreover, the fatty acids in this oil (Omega 3 EPA and DHA) help maintain a healthy heart and arteries.

 

 

Copper

Copper is a trace element found in the lover, hear, skin and connective tissue.

It contributes to the skin's normal pigmentation and protects cells from oxidative stress.

Coriander

Indigenous to Southern Europe and Western Asia, this Mediterranean plant is cultivated worldwide and has been used for the past 2000 years. Its seeds and leaves are used.

Thanks to its high content of flavonoids and essential oils (camphor, linolol, etc.), coriander is able to relieve intestinal pain by combatting flatulence and bloating. It facilitates digestion.

It also combats the effects of nervous tension. It has also been ascribed antioxidant properties, along with a beneficial action on the body's natural defences.

Cranberry

Cranberry is a plant with persistent leaves. Its pinkish-purple flowers are replaced in summer with bright red berries. Nearly 98% of world cranberry production comes from the Northern United States and Canada. Wild cranberry is harvested, though cultivation in semi-artificial environment has developed widely over the past years.

Cystine

Cystine is a component of keratin. It arises from the combination of two non-essential cysteine molecules.

D

Dandelion

A smell herbaceous plant, dandelion prefers uncultivated fields and land, where it flowers from March to October, initially in the form of buttons, followed by flowers, then fruits or "pappi".

Dandelion leaves are appreciated for their draining and detoxifying actions, cleansing the whole body by eliminating accumulated toxins.

Dandelion leaves are particularly indicated for promoting water excretion in the event of water retention and excess weight.

E

Elder

Elder is a common countryside shrub, producing dark green berries. Its flavonoid-rich flowers are most certainly the most interesting part of the plant.

These molecules actively contribute to the body's defences in winter. In particular, elder is frequently used to promote respiratory comfort.

Finally, it naturally participates in drainage by promoting excretion of the body's excess water. Water retention and swelling sensations are thus limited.

Eucalyptus

Indigenous to Australia, eucalyptus is now widely cultivated throughout the Mediterranean regions. Its leaves, when crushed, release a strong aromatic odour: initially hot, then very refreshing.

The highest concentrations of eucalyptol are found in old eucalyptus leaves. Known for its expectorant and soothing properties, this essential oil is particularly effective at helping to soothe the throat

Evening primrose

Indigenous to North America, evening primrose prefers temperate regions. In France, it can be found in particular on the banks of Languedoc lakes. It gets its name from the fact that its flowers open at nightfall.

Frequently associated with the pre-menopause or menopause period, evening primrose oil is reputed for its high linoleic acid and gamma-linoleic acid content. These essential fatty acids help maintain optimal comfort during menstruation.

Thanks to its high linolenic acid content, evening primrose oil helps maintain normal blood cholesterol levels and a healthy skin.

F

Fennel

Growing wild in Mediterranean arid limestone regions, fennel is now perfectly adapted to all temperate zones.

Rich in essential oil (anethol), fennel is an excellent digestive tonic. It facilitates intestinal transit, reduces intestinal fermentation and gas formation, while relieving gastric pain and abdominal spasms.

Fennel is also sometimes used to provide relief to the upper respiratory tract.

Flax

Flax is an annual herbaceous plant that can grow to a height of 0.50 to 0.80 m. It is one of the oldest plants, probably indigenous to the Caucasus, of which many varieties and sub-species exist worldwide, used to produce textile fibres, oil and seeds for medicinal use.

Flax oil is very rich in alpha-linoleic acid, an Omega 3 fatty acid, hence its cardiovascular protective role.

Flax seed contains mucilage that can enhance intestinal transit, improve intestinal peristalsis and regulate digestive function.

G

Garcinia

Garcinia cambogia is a tree indigenous to India and South-East Asia, whose yellow fruit, red when ripe, looks like a small pumpkin.

The Garcinia fruit peel is particularly rich in hydroxycitric acid (HCA). This latter inhibits the action of an enzyme involved in fatty acid synthesis. Consequently, this substance could limit fat storage in the body.

Garlic

Indigenous to Central Asia, garlic was introduced into the Western world by the Romans. This plant blossoms in summer, producing pink or white flowers.

Garlic helps maintain normal cholesterol levels and is excellent for both the heart and arteries. Because it contributes to thin the blood, it has a beneficial effect on blood pressure. Garlic helps maintain a healthy heart. It is also known to strengthen the body's natural defences.

Ginger

A perennial plant, ginger is indigenous to India and China. Currently cultivated just about everywhere worldwide, it grows best in sunny regions.

Ginger has a remarkable effect on the gastric mucosa, that it can protect, for example, against the deleterious effects of alcohol. Moreover, thanks to its calming effect on the stomach, it reduces nausea and vomiting. It is for this reason that it is indicated in cases of transport sickness. But ginger's reputation is based mainly on its aphrodisiac properties.

Ginger helps relieve joint pain and promotes joint mobility.

Ginkgo biloba

Indigenous to the Far East, this tree can grow to heights of 40 to 50 m. It is characterised by its fan-shaped leaves and its extreme longevity.

A genuine anti-ageing product, ginkgo owes its reputation to its antioxidant properties. Thanks to the highly active flavonoids that it contains, it improves blood flow and hence brain irrigation, and helps maintain a good memory and concentration.

Ginseng

Originally from China and Korea, ginseng is a perennial plant that is now cultivated on a large scale worldwide. It takes 6 to 7 years before its precious roots can be harvested.

Amongst other things, ginseng root contains ginsenosides that stimulate the central nervous system, hence its tonic action. It increases resistance to fatigue and stress. Ginseng induces strength, tone, energy and endurance, along with sexual vigour, its first indication for use in Europe.

Ginseng strengthens the body's adaptive ability and protects from aggressions such as cold and heat.

Goji

Goji is a shrub belonging to the Solanaceae family (tomatoes, potatoes, chilli, aubergine etc.). Native to China, it produces oval, bright red berries, and generally grows in the sun, in alkaline, dry soil.

Goji berry is extremely rich in vitamin C, it is one of the fruits with the highest content. Vitamin C has an energy-boosting effect, helping to reduce fatigue.

Grape marc

Grape marc constitutes the solid part of a pressed grape.  It has long been used for its properties. Grape skin and pips possess numerous cosmetic properties, thus rendering grape marc an inescapable beauty care product.

It helps decongest and drain the tissues to combat orange peel skin.

Green clay

Very rich in silica and aluminium, green clay is known for its ability to protect the gastrointestinal mucosa and to facilitate digestion. By virtue of its absorbent properties, it helps eliminate gasses and toxins that frequently give the impression of being "compressed in ones clothes" after meals.

Applied externally, clay is also reputed to relieve painful joints. In dermatology and cosmetology, it is known to promote skin healing (wounds, burns, suppuration, acne, etc.).

It should not be taken within 2 hours of taking medicine.

Green coffee

The coffee tree is a small tree with tough and shiny leaves. Even though only two species supply the main part of market coffee (C. arabica and C. canephora) a number of coffee tree species grow wild.

A coffee bean contains about 5% of phenolic acids: quinic acid, caffeic acid and chlorogenic acid. Caffeine content is variable: from 0.6% to 2% and over 3% for some. A number of studies have demonstrated the ability of chlorogenic acids to reduce glucose production by the liver and to regulate blood sugar levels, thus preventing their storage as fat. These benefits are combined with the "fat-burning" effect of caffeine. Green coffee thus helps you reach your ideal weight.

The caffeine contained in coffee is also a physical stimulant, helping combat the transient fatigue associated with slimming diet periods.

Green tea

Indigenous to the mountainous regions of South-East Asia, the tea plant prefers high altitudes, in equatorial or tropical regions with high rainfall. Productive only after their 6th year, tea plants can be used for up to fifty years.

Containing flavonoids and caffeine, green tea, obtained from the youngest leaves of the tea plant, is traditionally used to facilitate weight loss in supplement to appropriate dietary measures. It helps regulate fat metabolism. A powerful draining agent, it promotes water excretion by the kidneys.

The caffeine in green tea also possesses significant anti-fatigue properties in the context of a slimming diet.

Guarana

A fast-growing shrub, guarana is indigenous to the forests of tropical America. It produces large capsule-shaped red fruit. When ripe, these latter open to reveal one or two seeds that curiously resemble human eyeballs.

Guarana is the plant material with the highest caffeine content currently known. It is rightfully used as a potent energy factor. It reduces fatigue, gives the body vitality and a sensation of well-being and stimulates our intellectual abilities.

Guarana activates fat combustion and stimulates thermogenesis, enabling the body to "burn" fat more rapidly.

 

H

Hamamelis

Indigenous to North America, this subshrub, during flowering, blossoms into long pale yellow thongs. It is currently cultivated in Europe and grown in many ornamental gardens.

Traditionally used to improve blood flow in the vessels, Hamamelis is particularly recommended for maintaining light legs.

Thanks to its high astringent tannin content, hamamelis is also used externally to treat skin inflammations such as minor burns.

Harpagophytum

A plant with woody fruit, harpagophytum likes the arid soils of Southwestern Africa. It is found mainly near the Namibian and Botswanan deserts, where it grows wild.

Harpagophytum root, rich in glucosides and particularly in harpagosides, possesses remarkable calming properties, speeding up the recovery of joint flexibility and mobility.

Hawthorn

A small spiny sub-shrub found in woods and hedgerows, hawthorn blossoms between May and June, producing small scented flowers closely resembling those of the sloe tree.

Possessing recognized digestive and sedative effects, hawthorn flower is reputed to calm nervous disorders, reduce irritability, excess emotiveness and palpitations. It represents an appreciable and effective natural solution for getting to sleep when stressed.

Hawthorn is also involved in maintaining a healthy heart.

Hazelnut

The oil is obtained by first cold pressing the seeds of the Mediterranean hazel. Used in phytotherapy, it is also an excellent accompaniment to fish and shellfish, or as a seasoning for salads and starch foods.

Very rich in mono-unsaturated fatty acids (oleic acid), hazelnut oil helps maintain normal blood cholesterol levels.

Hazelnut oil is used externally to restore balance to greasy skin and to give the body a satin and soft finish. Hazel leaves are thus used for their circulatory properties similar to those of hamamelis.

Heather

Bell heather is the most widespread of the Ericaceae family in Europe. Found in Europe and Asia Minor in acidic, sunny and well-drained soil, ling heather is a characteristic plant of moors, peat bogs and fine forests.

Ling and bell heather are traditionally used to facilitate urine excretion and thus to promote its elimination.

The variety Calluna vulgaris is also known for its relaxing properties.

Hop

Hop is a perennial climbing plant, now cultivated in all temperate regions. Male and female flowers blossom on different plants. The female flowers are highly sought after for their properties.

Hop possesses soothing properties, along with oestrogenic activity mediated by a group of compounds: essential oil, oxygenated compounds and flavonoids. It helps women deal with the problems of menopause such as hot flushes, irritability and sweats.

Hop is traditionally used to facilitate digestion. It also possesses antioxidant properties.

Horse chestnut

Indigenous to Asia, the horse chestnut is very common throughout Europe. It prefers deep and cool soil. This deciduous tree can grow to a height of 25 m. It produces a fruit, containing 1 to 4 seeds, harvested in autumn.

The properties of the horse chestnut seed and bark are similar. Horse chestnut is used to strengthen skin capillaries in individuals suffering from venous insufficiency. A source of flavonoids, it helps restore light legs by promoting venous tonus.

Horse chestnut also possesses antioxidant properties. It provides physical well-being and helps improve the body's resistance.



Horse tail

Very common in damp and sandy soil, this perennial plant has existed in our forests since primitive times.

Horsetail owes its remineralising properties to its exceptionally high mineral salts content, particularly silicon. It strengthens cartilage in joints.

Horsetail promotes hair growth and strengthens the nails.

K

Kola

The kola tree is indigenous to West Africa.

The caffeine-rich kola seed, also called kola nut, is known for its aphrodisiac properties, but mainly used for its "immediate boost" effect.

Kola nut has a stimulant effect on the nervous system and on muscles. Moreover, it helps maintain vigilance and promotes cognitive performance.

Konjac

Konjac is a plant indigenous to Asia, traditionally cultivated in China and Japan. The konjac tubercles are harvested.

It contains glucomannan. This substance presents the particularity of being able to absorb more than one hundred times its volume of water, thus forming a dense gel in the stomach that the body has difficulties assimilating. Providing no extra calories, Konjac plant gel mechanically procures an immediate sensation of satiety.

L

Lemon

The lemon tree is a tree of the Rutaceae family indigenous to India. It has long been acclimatised to the Mediterranean basin. Its oval fruit, with its abundant acidic juice, is the lemon.

Lemons contain particularly high levels of citric acid and mineral salts. When lemon juice is absorbed, the body retains the mineral salts, that alkalinise. Lemon is thus particularly indicated for individuals whose body has become acidified by poor diet (excess meat for example).

Lemon balm

Growing spontaneously in Meridional Europe, lemon balm is cultivated mainly in Central Europe. Its leaves, characterised by a dark upper side and a paler underside, produce a strong lemon scent when crumpled, hence the name lemon balm.

Lemon balm represents a precious natural aid for soothing intestinal disorders and digestive spasms. Because it also promotes bile secretion, it helps render "after-meals" more comfortable.

Lemon balm is also recommended to help combat stress, thanks to its relaxing and sedative properties, and also helps restore regular sleep.

Lime blossom

Whether cultivated or growing wild, this high tree produces small and strong-scented pale yellow flowers that are harvested in summer. Like oak, lime possesses a surprising longevity as it can live for several centuries.

Lime flowers and bracts contain, amongst others, mucilage and an essential oil whose sedative effects are traditionally used to reduce irritability and to promote better sleep. Traditionally used in infusion, lime blossom confers a honey taste appreciated by young and old alike.

Lime blossom also possesses draining properties (inflorescences). It is reputed for its ability to support liver and gallbladder function and to promote renal excretion of water.

Liquorice

Indigenous to Mediterranean regions, liquorice is a perennial plant with a woody stem, dark leaves and whose pea-shaped cream and purple flowers blossom in summer. Cultivated for its root, it can grow to a height of 2 metres.

It contains saponosides, including glycyrrhizin, which is 50 times sweeter than sugar, that can promote digestion.

Liquorice root is also used to soothe the upper airways. It also stimulates the immune defences thanks to its antioxidant action.

Lutein

Lutein is not a plant. It is a yellowish-orange pigment of the carotenoid family, encompassing nearly 800 substances, the main member of which is beta-carotene. Lutein is found naturally in the retina, where it helps filter the sun's blue light that is harmful for the retina. It is not synthesised by the body however, and is provided by a healthy, balanced and fruit and vegetable-rich diet.

M

Maca

Maca is a perennial market garden plan related to radish and land cress (Brassicaceae), that only grows on some Andean high plateaux (altitude of 3,500 to 4,500 m) in Peru and, to a lesser degree, in Bolivia.

This plant is a natural energy stimulant that helps improve the body's muscle tone and provides a source of physical and intellectual energy. It is recommended in cases of lack of form or of vigour, both in men and women. Maca can also be used to promote vitality within a couple.

Maca is also known to support the immune system and facilitate relaxation. It also has a positive effect on the quality of life of menopausal women.

Magnesium

Magnesium is one of the minerals most essential to life. Our body contains on average 25 g, mainly in bones and muscles. Stress or intense physical activity are sources of elimination.  

It has multiple and essential effects on our body. Magnesium helps reduce fatigue and contributes to normal nervous system function. It also plays an important role in maintaining normal bone structure.

Mallow

Mallow, an herbaceous plant very common in Europe, grows spontaneously along paths and meadows. It possesses a branched stem with deeply lobes leaves and large mauve flowers, slightly striated with purple, that turn blue when dried.

Mallow is rich in anthocyanosides, glucose, tannins, vitamins A, B and C and mucilage. It helps support digestion and can be used in the event of constipation.

Mallow is traditionally used to soothe the throat and for its effects on coughs.

Applied externally, it is recommended in skin disorders for its softening properties.

Marjoram

Close to thyme by its scent, this herbaceous plant is cultivated as a condiment in gardens. Growing to a height of 20 to 30 cm, marjoram forms small tufts of white or pinkish flowers.

Traditionally used to facilitate digestion, marjoram is frequently combined with other sedative plants to help combat states of stress that prevent sleep. It is also indicated as a muscle relaxant.

Marjoram is also known for its antioxidant properties and its ability to reinforce the body's natural defences.

Maté

Maté is a small tree growing to a height of 4 to 8 metres, resembling an orange tree. Its leaves are persistent, measuring approximately 15 centimetres in length. Indigenous to Paraguay, Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay, it grows naturally on stream banks, in mountain forests at altitudes between 500 and 700 m.

Maté can be used in combination with a weight loss programme, it promotes renal excretion of water and thus helps drain the body and break down the lipids contained in adipose tissue.

Maté is also used as a physical and intellectual stimulant (thanks in particular to its caffeine content); it thus helps reduce the fatigue that may arise during a slimming diet.

Meadowsweet

A widespread perennial plant, prefers the moist soils of temperate regions. Growing to a height of up to 1.50 m, it is recognizable by its clusters of flowers and leaves with a downy underside.

Meadowsweet's flowering tips contain flavonoids (spireoside, heliotropin) and other salicylated derivatives (salicylic acid), giving the plant its ability to contribute to maintaining healthy and supple joints.

A powerful draining agent, it promotes water excretion by the kidneys.

Methionine

Methionine is an essential amino acid that cannot be synthesised by the body. Besides cysteine, of which it is the precursor, methionine is the only thioamino acid.

It integrates with the fundamental structure of nails and hair: keratin.

N

Nettle

Stinging nettle is a perennial plant covered with urent hairs containing formic acid. Its leaves are hairy on both sides and possess toothed edges. It grows in nitrogen-rich soil and is common to all temperate regions.

Nettle contains many minerals (calcium, chlorine, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, potassium, sulphur, zinc and, most importantly, iron and silicon) and vitamins (in particular B2, B5, B9, C, E and provitamin A). These substances give it its remineralising properties. Nettle leaves stimulate the body's drainage and help maintain supple joints.

Nettle leaves are also used for their tonic properties. They help support the body's immune defences and provide an energy boost. Applied externally, they are indicated in cases of greasy skin, thanks to their high zinc content.

 

O

Olive tree

Indigenous to Greece and Asia Minor, this small gnarled trunk tree is currently widely cultivated throughout the Mediterranean region. Its leaves have the particularity of being green on top and white underneath.

Rich in oleuropeoside, olive leaves are traditionally used to improve blood flow. Moreover, they are traditionally used to facilitate the body's excretion functions.

Over the centuries, the olive tree has often been used to enhance the body's defences.

Omega 3

Omega 3 fatty acids belong to the main lipid (or fatty substances) family and specifically to the long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA) category. The principle omega 3 fatty acids are alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

Omega 3 fatty acids are a source of energy for our body. As a precursors to certain molecules, they contributes to a healthy body. DHA contributes to normal brain function and EPA to that of the heart and arteries.

Orthosiphon

Orthosiphon (Orthosiphon aristatus) is a perennial plant that grows to a height of 30 to 60 cm. It is indigenous to South-East Asia and particularly to Indonesia. It grows in damp places, particularly along river banks and on the periphery of marshes.

Orthosiphon is recommended for its purgative action. It promotes waste excretion by the kidneys. Orthosiphon is also used to maintain joint comfort. This plant contributes to fat elimination.

P

Passion Fruit

This climbing plant indigenous to hot American regions is currently cultivated in European, North American and Asian gardens. Its pleasantly tart fruits are known as "Grenadilles" or "Passion Fruit".

Passion flower contains alkaloids and flavonoids whose calming effects are well-known, along with maltol, which helps reduce excitability. With no known side effects, passion flower is recommended for persons suffering the effects of stress and who wish to regain their restorative sleep.

 

Peppermint

Indigenous to the Middle-East, this small herbaceous plant is the result of hybridisation between watermint and spearmint. It flowers in summer, producing a purple conical spike. Its green leaves contain a strong-smelling essence and its peppery flavour gives it its Latin name.

Peppermint is a potent antispasmodic, thanks to the flavonoids and essential oil (menthol, menthone, menthofuran) contained in its leaves. It contributes to maintain normal intestinal tract function and promotes digestion.

Peppermint possesses antioxidant properties. It helps stimulate the body's natural defences and contributes to achieving optimum relaxation.

Pomegranate

The word "pomegranate" comes from the Latin Punica granatum, which means "seeded apple". Beneath the coriaceous bark, ranging from red to beige-orange, there hides a juicy pulp. Pomegranate, the fruit of the pomegranate tree, is a large berry comprised of pips surrounded by pulp (aril). Pomegranate is a super-fruit.

Pumpkin seed

A creeping food plant with broad yellow funnel-shaped flowers, pumpkin is indigenous to Mexico and the southern United States. It was one of the first vegetables brought back by the discoverers of the New World.

Pumpkin seed helps maintain normal prostate function. As such, it provides excellent results in maintaining normal urine flow.

Pumpkin seed oil is also recommended in cases of urinary tract infection.

R

Red rice yeast

Red rice yeast is a microscopic fungus which grows on rice. Because it contains a bright red pigment, it is commonly called red rice yeast.

Red rice yeast produces a molecule, monacoline K, that influences the amount of cholesterol in the body. As a supplement to a varied, balanced, fibre-rich and low "bad" fat diet, it helps maintain normal cholesterol levels.

Red vine

Indigenous to Asia, this sub-shrub that climbs in spirals is mainly cultivated in Mediterranean regions; its leaves are harvested in June.

Rich in anthocyanin, red vine is reputed for its ability to maintain venous system integrity. Because it also contains astringent tannins, this plant is traditionally used as a venous and capillary tonic, helping maintain light legs.

By virtue of its antioxidant properties, red vine also helps to combat premature cell ageing.

Rhodiola

Rhodiola is a perennial plant that grows in the sandy and dry soil of rocky slopes and cliffs in the cold regions of Asia, Siberia, Scandinavia and North America.

This plant is reputed to sustain physical and intellectual performance during periods of fatigue or stress. It also promotes relaxation and well-being.

Rhubarb

Indigenous to China, rhubarb is a large herbaceous plant with small with to reddish flowers that bloom in summer. It is partially cultivated in Europe, particularly in the French mountains.

Rhubarb facilitates digestion and promotes digestive comfort, it helps maintain correct liver function by supporting digestion and body purification.

Rhubarb is also used to strengthen the body's natural defences.

Rosemary

Preferring direct sunlight, this small aromatic sub-shrub grows wild throughout the Mediterranean basin. Easy to grow in any garden, rosemary only fears one thing: intense cold.

Rosemary supports liver and gallbladder function, thus promoting bile excretion from the gallbladder. An excellent hepatobiliary stimulant, it is by definition the ally of congested livers.

Rosemary is also used in cases of bloating or abdominal pain. Rosemary also promotes renal excretion.

S

Sage

Indigenous to the Mediterranean basin, sage is a subshrub with an affinity for hot and well-drained soil. Its long leaves produce a very strong fragrance.

Rich in phytoestrogens (plant-derived female hormones), sage leaves help the body adapt to hormonal changes. They moderate excessive sweating caused by menopause.

Sage helps support digestion. Moreover, the rosmarinic acid it contains would appear to contribute to its soothing action on mouth and throat mucosa.

Selenium

Selenium was discovered in 1817 by the Swede Berzelius. It was named in tribute to Selene, the moon goddess in Greek mythology.

This essential trace element, reputed for its antioxidant action, plays a key role in maintaining a healthy body. Indeed, it helps maintain beautiful hair and nails and is involved in nervous system function.   

Senna

Known since the Middle Ages, senna, indigenous to Arabian pre-desertic areas, is currently cultivated on a large scale in Southern India, particularly in the Madras region.

Senna leaf helps to regain looser stools and thus facilitates better evacuation. It thus helps to activate intestinal transit in the event of occasional difficulties.

Silica

Silica is the natural form of silicon dioxide.  (SiO2). Silicon is naturally present in the human body, though levels tend to reduce with age. Silicon, a major trace element, is found in many foods: for example in wholemeal cereals and in the skin of vegetables and fruits. It is also contained in nettle, bamboo, horsetail, etc.

Silica is one of the essential nutrients required to promote hair and nail beauty.

Spirulina

Spirulina platensis is a microscopic blue-green alga that has existed for more than three billion years. It grows naturally in the salty alkaline lakes of the planet's hot regions.

Spirulina is known worldwide as one of the most complete food sources. Very rich in high-quality protein and containing many minerals and vitamins, spirulina is of particular benefit during periods of physical or intellectual fatigue.

T

Tamarind

The tamarind tree is a tropical tree indigenous to Eastern Africa, from where it spread to a number of tropical regions. It has been cultivated since ancient times and was known to the Ancient Egyptians. The fruit of the tamarind tree consists of pulp pods containing 4 to 10 seeds covered with pulp interspersed with fibres.

Tamarind pulp is edible, brown, sweet and sour depending on the trees and the degree of ripeness. It represents 40% of the pod and is rich in pectin, vitamin B and C, minerals (calcium, iron, phosphorus) and simple sugars. Of the organic acids and salts it contains, the most important are tartaric acid and potassium bitartrate, which are responsible for its effect on intestinal transit. Terpene compounds give it a light aromatic odour. Dry tamarind extract is used to stimulate transit by means of a ballast effect.

Tamarind is also known to facilitate digestion and improve digestive comfort.

Taurine

Derived from the thioamino acid cysteine, taurine is naturally present in the human body and found mainly in our muscles and brain.

It is involved in brain structure and in brain cell function. It also plays a role in cardiac functions.

Thyme

Indigenous to the Mediterranean basin, thyme is a small robust, rustic, greyish tree that grows on arid, rocky and sunny hills up to altitudes of 1,500 m.

The leaves are usually used in culinary preparations, whereas the flowering tips are used for the beneficial properties.

Thyme helps clear the airways and soothe throats. It also helps preserve the body's natural defences.

V

Valerian

A large herbaceous plant, valerian can grow to a height of 2 m. This plant, which produces small pinkish-white flowers, is particularly at home in moist places: pastures, ditches and river banks.

Used since antiquity, valerian root contains naturally relaxing essential oil and compounds (valepotriates, valerenic acid, essential oils). Because it facilitates falling asleep and promotes optimum relaxation, valerian is particularly indicated for anyone wishing to regain serene and natural sleep.

Valerian is also recommended for calming transient states of stress.

Vegetable charcoal

Most often, vegetable charcoal is obtained from the carbonisation of coconut husks, though it may also be produced by calcification of other tree species such as willow, poplar and lime.

Highly porous, vegetable charcoal possesses significant adsorptive properties. Because it helps trap intestinal gasses, toxins and bacteria responsible for heaviness, flatulence and belching after a meal. It constitutes a precious aid for difficult digestion. For these same reasons, vegetable charcoal helps restore a flat stomach.

It should not be taken within 2 hours of taking medicine.

Verbena

Common verbena is a relatively widespread annual plant found along paths, near villages or on rubble and in sandy meadows. It is easy to cultivate, by sowing in spring, or cutting propagation in autumn. It grows particularly well during hot and humid summers.

Known for its digestive properties, verbena contributes to normal gallbladder function. It is the ideal "after-supper" product as it promotes light digestion and, implicitly, facilitates going to sleep.

Z

Zinc

The body contains very small amounts of zinc. The body needs a daily input, through a varied and balanced diet, as it does not possess any reserves.

It contributes to correct epidermal cell function and affects the body's natural defences. As an antioxidant, it also plays a role in protecting the body from free radicals and helps preserve vision. Finally, a trace element essential to skin, hair and nail beauty, zinc is involved in protein synthesis. It plays a role in the cell division process, particularly in keratinocytes, thus helping embellish the skin, nails and hair.