Ginseng root has been used in the Far East for centuries. Asian ginseng (Panax ginseng) belong to the Araliaceae family which also includes American ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) and Siberian ginseng also known as eleuthero (Eleutherococcus senticosus). Ginseng has been grown for more than 400 years. The plant contains valuable active ingredients including saponins, oils, phytosterol, carbohydrates, amino acids and peptides.
The substances responsible for its beneficial effect are called ginsenosides. They promote vitality and sufficient physical and mental strength.
There are two species of coneflower that are used for medicinal purposes: purple coneflower (Echinacea purpurea) and narrow leaved coneflower (Echinacea angustifolia). Both species have similar medicinal effects. They contain polysaccharides (arabinogalactans), caffeic acid derivatives (cichoric acid), essential oils, alkamides and en-yn-dicycloethers. The active ingredients promote the immune system that is the ability of the body to defend itself. Echinacea is used to treat mild and moderate colds and infections of the respiratory and urinary tracts. It is also used externally for wounds and skin inflammations that heal slowly.
The deciduous, dioecious tree belongs to the Ginkgoaceae family. Gingko is one of the longest living trees. Some specimens are older than a thousand years. It is an ancient monocot that might have developed as early as 200 million years ago, in Mesozoic times. The part of the plant used for medicinal purposes is the leaf. Ginkgo leaves contain flavonoids and terpenoids. The most important flavonoid components are quercetin and kaempferol. Ginkgo flavonoids contribute to normal circulation including cerebral circulation and maintaining our mental capacity, like for example memory.
American cranberry (Vaccinium macrocarpon) was unknown in Hungary before the 1990s. The evergreen, 10-15-cm tall shrub is indigenous to North America. The sour tasting, crispy fruit is larger than cranberries, it is ruby red with yellowish spots and light coloured flesh. American cranberry is very rich in antioxidants.