Medicinal plant of the year 2019

the Edelweiss. One of the most valuable medicinal plants on earth.

The medicinal plant of the year 2019 is the "eternal beauty", the white star of the Alps, symbol of the Alps and of love - the Edelweiss. Known worldwide through the Edelweiss song in "Sound of Music", the Edelweiss has now been honoured as one of the most valuable medicinal plants by experts from the Institute for the History of Medicine at the University of Würzburg.

"Due to some active ingredients discovered only in the last few years, the exclusive Edelweiss extracts can be found today mainly in cosmetics and skin care. Explains Franz Chlodwig, Vice President of the Herbal Medicinal Products Platform Austria. The Edelweiss, once known as "Bauchwehbleamerl", was used in folk medicine centuries ago for heart problems, was effective against dysentery and helped with digestive problems. According to the latest findings, more than 60 high-quality ingredients of Edelweiss have now been identified. The most important groups of active ingredients are tannins, flavonoids, anti-oxidants and especially the active ingredient leoligin. These extracts and individual substances have a particularly strong antibacterial, antiseptic and antioxidant effect. Free radicals can be optimally bound. This makes Edelweiss highly interesting for pharmacology (cardiovascular, nervous system etc.) as well as for cosmetics and skin care. The skin is efficiently protected by the substances of the edelweiss, skin aging and wrinkle formation is reduced. The high tannin content protects the skin, tanning agents have a skin tightening effect, the high content of flavonoids prevents the fragility of blood capillaries and protects the vessels from the formation of so-called spider veins and couperose. Hydroxycinnamic acid and phenylpropane derivatives have an astringent effect. The active ingredients of edelweiss additionally stimulate the blood circulation, increase cell elasticity and stimulate skin renewal.

The active ingredients are obtained by gentle extraction processes from all parts of the Edelweiss, i.e. the flowers, leaves, stems and roots. As the Edelweiss is a protected plant, the demand can only be met by cultivation. In Switzerland, there are therefore projects to cultivate edelweiss. The first efforts to use Edelweiss in Austria are being made by the skin care expert team at siin life in Graz.

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