Meisterwurz – Der Star der Hildegard Medizin und „Meisterin aller Heilwurzen“

Masterwort - The star of Hildegard medicine and "master of all medicinal roots".

The masterwort, which is mainly found in the alpine region at over 1000 metres above sea level, presents itself as a medicinal plant whose healing powers have been particularly appreciated by doctors over the past centuries. For some centuries it was even considered a panacea. Paracelsus valued the medicinal plant so much that he is said to have always carried a piece of root with him. "Masterwort is warm and good against fever", Hildegard von Bingen also wrote, describing the quality of masterwort to be internally warming and thus also immune-stimulating against infectious diseases.

However, masterwort has disappeared more and more from contemporary herb books in recent decades. However, this is without reason, as can be seen from its versatile applications and medically confirmed effects.

All-purpose remedy of the Middle Ages

In the Middle Ages, masterwort was held in its highest esteem. The internally stimulating effect of a plant whose "warm" elemental quality can stimulate the "inner fire", combined with a detoxifying effect, led Paracelsus to use masterwort in formulations designed to stimulate "the inner alchemist". But Paracelsus did not only use masterwort to stimulate the metabolism; he believed that it could strengthen vital spirits, especially in men. A popular saying expresses this quite clearly: "Masterwort helps the master to the master". In the Alpine region, it is still valued today as the "Ginseng of the West".

Application in folk medicine

Masterwort is and has been used in folk medicine to increase the immune system and for respiratory diseases, such as congestion of the respiratory tract, both internally as a tea and externally for inhalation. One of the main areas of application is also the digestive tract. Masterwort is used for problems such as loss of appetite, upset stomach, flatulence and stomach cramps and helps to cleanse the entire intestinal tract and improve bowel function by stimulating all digestive juices.

It is also popular as a diuretic or perspirant in febrile conditions, as well as to remedy states of weakness in the elderly. Last but not least, masterwort is known as a potency-promoting tonic and is also used to change the metabolism with good results.

However, use in cases of inflammation of the stomach or intestinal mucous membranes and gallstones should be avoided.

Masterwort scientifically

Masterwort is an Amarum aromaticum, i.e. an aromatic bitter drug. The pungent taste of masterwort is due to the essential oil it contains, which contains 95% terpenes. These are strongly antibacterial, immunomodulating and anti-inflammatory. The bitter substances have a tonic, appetising and digestive effect, which among other things stimulates digestion and promotes the production of bile. Flatulence is alleviated. Studies at the Institute for Pharmacognosy at the Karl - Franzens - University in Graz showed that extracts from masterwort have antioxidant and radical scavenging effects.

Our tip: preparing masterwort tea

Add 2 teaspoons of the dried rhizome to 250 ml of cold water and heat until boiling; cover and steep for 10 minutes and drink twice a day.

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