Medicinal plants

Mountain Laserkraut – Application & Treatment for Health

Berg-Laserkraut

The mountain laser herb is also known as mountain caraway and is mainly found in central and southern European mountains. The herb tastes similar to cumin and fennel and has historically been used to treat kidney problems, coughs, poisoning, eye problems and gastrointestinal disorders. In the meantime, mountain cumin is hardly used anymore.

Occurrence & cultivation of the mountain laser herb

The umbelliferae are an order of the cloudy plants, which is distributed worldwide and comprises seven families with a total of approximately 500 genera and 5500 individual species. One of these genera are the umbelliferae, which include the laser herbs. A plant species from this genus is the mountain laser herb . All types of Laserkraut grow as perennial herbaceous plants with strong hollow stalks.

The mountain laser herb is a deciduous and perennial herbaceous plant that measures between 30 and 150 centimeters and is sometimes referred to as mountain caraway. The bare stem has fine grooves and has a round cross-section with a tuft of fibers that attaches to the base. The vegetative parts are blue-green in color. The basal leaves are on average up to 50 centimeters long. The leaves of the stem become smaller towards the top and have a triangular outline.

The edge of the lanceolate pinnate sections on the petals is light colored to white. The inflorescence is doppeldoldig and carries between 20 and 50 rays. The plant is native to the European mountains, especially in the mountains of central and southern Europe. The plant species is considered warmth-loving and prefers sunny slopes or forest edges, where it mainly grows on limestone soil. In Germany, mountain cumin grows mainly in the Alps and in the Eifel.

Effect & Application

In the past, the mountain laser herb was used both as a spice plant and as a medicinal plant. The fruits of the herb taste bitter and smell similar to fennel or caraway. Compared to these plants, however, the herb has a much bitter and pungent taste. In the 9th century, mountain cumin was still one of the most important medicinal plants.

At that time, Charlemagne issued a decree known as the “Capitulare de Villis”. The ordinance contains the 89 most important medicinal herbs and also lists mountain cumin. According to the decree, the mountain laserweed should be planted on the estates. Charlemagne wanted to ensure a basic supply of medicinal plants and create a natural pharmacy, so to speak. The herb was popular until the late Middle Ages.

In the 16th century, doctors in particular used the plant, which is similar in effect to caraway and fennel . Caraway is used in the form of dried and ripe fruits as well as caraway oil and consists mainly of active ingredients such as essential oils with carvone, limonene, phellandrene and other monoterpenes. Caraway also contains phenolic acids and flavonoids.

The effect consists in a stimulation of the digestive glands. Antispasmodic properties are associated with cumin. Caraway is still used today, especially for indigestion , flatulence or a feeling of fullness and cramps in the stomach, intestines and gallbladder. Cumin seeds are drunk as a tea or used as an essential oil.

The oil in particular has antimicrobial properties and is used in mouthwash and toothpaste. In addition, bad breath disappears when chewing on ripe caraway seeds. In each of the above-mentioned contexts, the mountain laser herb was also used up until the Middle Ages. In addition, mountain laser herb has been linked to the effects of fennel, the herb and fruit of which stimulate milk secretion and the flower stalks of which are said to have healing properties for the bladder and kidneys.

Fennel was used in addition to the mucus solution. The medicinal plant was also used for eye diseases and intoxication. The plant is considered to strengthen the stomach and intestines. The effect is said to relieve abdominal pain , colic , stomach cramps, cough and chest affections. In addition, the plant has a calming effect.

Importance for health, treatment & prevention

Due to this intense taste under the difficult cultivation, they are now hardly cultivated. Even growing wild, they are currently extremely rare. Its use has since declined. The fact that mountain cumin no longer plays a role in modern medicine in the western world has to do not only with its low occurrence, but also with the alternatives.

In the meantime, it is no longer necessary to struggle with the cultivation of the plant in order to be able to fall back on a suitable medicinal plant for gastrointestinal complaints , kidney problems or eye diseases. Since the herb does not differ from real caraway or fennel in its mode of action, these two plants are a suitable substitute. They are easier to handle in cultivation and are also still widespread as wild growth.

An added benefit of these alternatives is taste. Because of its intense bitter taste and spiciness, mountain cumin has never been an optimal medicinal plant, especially for children. Caraway and fennel provide almost the same healing substances and active substances with a much more pleasant taste and are therefore much better suited for consumption. For this reason, the two alternatives have almost completely replaced the mountain laser herb.

The medically declining relevance of mountain laser herb is also reflected in modern books on medicinal plants. Hardly any modern book on medicinal plants still contains mountain cumin. Nonetheless, mountain cumin was of proven medical relevance from the eighth century, which continued into the Middle Ages. As the traditional decree of Charlemagne makes clear, the relevance of the plant was so great that agriculture was officially asked to cultivate it.

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Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.