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Text: Galiya Shakirova
Photos: Galiya Shakirova

Aroma magic of Crimea for beauty and inspiration

First of all, Crimea means a tender sea, much of sun and wine for the vast majority of citizens of Russia. It’s also about flavor and smell. Its aroma, created by mixed herbs in a duet with sea, steppe and mountain winds. This aroma can return you to summer for a while during one rainy autumn or frosty winter night. The energy of Crimean plants is much more powerful. “The Crimean Magazine” selected five “heroes” of the peninsula, which will replace a whole pharmacy and preserve beauty.

Smell of paradise

At the beginning of summer, Crimean yailas are able to make people fall in love with them with just one aroma. It spreads in the air for kilometers away. You’ll feel a desire to take it away in a small box or jar. It seems it’s perfect. It’s all in unison. Nobody “shouts” and nobody is eager to go ahead. But sections of thyme and magnolia vine are clearly heard in a well-orchestrated choir. One is bright and bitter-spicy, the other one is tender and light.

A scientific employee of a dendrology department, flower growing and landscape architecture of the Nikita Botanical Garden Svetlana Khalyavina:

An olfactory center of a brain is the most ancient part, which was formed even earlier than visual and hearing centers were. It’s closely linked to a limbic system of a brain through neurons, which controls all emotions or a person, creative abilities, memory, sexuality, as well as blood circulation, digestion, breathing and hormone production”.

Aromas affect not only a psycho-emotional state, but they also control physiological processes within a body. Crimean thyme or simply Thymus is widely known and deservedly beloved. The herb curing all diseases contains kalium, ferrum, selenium, magnesium, manganese, folic and ascorbic acid vitamins A, B, K, C and other. It perfectly boosts the immunity, tones up, fights with depression, acne eruption, heals septic wounds, reduces the pain in gastrointestinal tract illnesses. Thymus is useful for men in prostatic diseases and for nursing mothers to stimulate lactation.

Thyme is even used for treatment of alcoholism. Herbal infusion is to be taken of 50 g 2-3 times in a day and wash down it with a sip of vodka. Thymol in combination with alcohol causes nausea and vomit and forms a deep disgust to liquor.

Nevertheless, with all value of thyme, there are contraindications for use. It isn’t recommended to take this medicine by patients, who suffer from high blood pressure, as long-term consuming increases arterial pressure, from ulcer disease, acute kidney and liver illnesses, as well as patients, who have problems with thyroid – thyme inhibits heart function.

Thymus grows in sub-mountainous and mountainous areas of Crimea

Magnolia vine or Сrimean Sideritis is an endemic what means that it grows only in the peninsula. It’s a really unique plant on its properties. Specialists compare it with ginseng. The herb consists of pectin, C и E vitamins, mineral salts, essential oils, as well as antioxidants and fibers.

Лимонник

A bath with magnolia vine when you are exhausted: you’ll need to boil three table spoons of dry herb in 2 liters for 5 minutes. Then you will have to pour strained herb infusion into a bath.

Water temperature mustn’t exceed 30 degrees. You should take such bath not more than 15 minutes.

The most important property of magnolia vine is improvement of quality of a sexual activity. According to legends, before visiting a harem, Crimean khans take tea produced of that herb. Magnolia vine also heals wounds, burns and facilitates to cell renewal. Sideritis regulates arterial pressure, enhance vision, hearing and smelling, tones up, help body to suffer sudden temperature falls and recover itself after intensive physical activities. Existence of antioxidants and fibres in it reduces the risk of emergence of cancer and preserves young.

Current researches of German scientists showed that Sideritis can even effectively fight Alzheimer’s disease.

However, being a real storehouse of useful elements, it isn’t used in official media science – you won’t buy Sideritis at the pharmacy. Thus, this plant is recommended to be gathered on your own. This herb prefers to grow in mountains and rocks, but it also can be found in steppes.

Spice for memory. Rosmarinus

It’s one of the most favorite herbs of inhabitants of the Mediterranean region. Rosmarinus appeared in Crimea at the beginning of the XIXth century. But the plant became friendly to the Southern Shore for two centuries and it has its own independent life. An immunomodulator. An antiseptic. Rosmarinus stimulates functions of a central nervous system, increases working efficiency, brain activity and resistance to stresses, takes poisons and salts of heavy metals out of a body.

It helps women to handle with mood swings in the case of PMS and climax. Rosmarinus normalizes a hormonal balance and menstrual cycle. Rosmarinus essential oil is able to recover from toxicocis of pregnancy.

Mothers-to-be should consult a doctor before consuming any herb. All fragrant medical herbs can provoke bleeding and lost pregnancy in case of uterine tonus.

Розмарин

Rosmarinus blooms from March to May at SSC (Southern Shore of Crimea – editorial note)

Rosmarinus contains a carnosic acid. It protects a human brain from influence of free radicals, which harm neurons. According to scientists, consuming of Rosmarinus is able to fence from Alzheimer’s disease and range of other age-related alterations. The carnosic acid improves a brain activity. If the herb is used as spice, so it reduces a risk of development of cancer.

Herbs of perfumers. Artemisia

As a yaila, the Crimean steppe possesses its own special aroma – cocktail of Artemisia and breeze delivering splashes of seawater. In due time, Artemisia and lavender inspired creators of the American brand name “Trish McEvoy” to produce the perfume “10 Lavender Spice”.

Seventeen species and subspecies of that plant are found within the peninsula. The Crimean Artemisia is an antidepressant. It possesses very powerful anti-fungicidal and bactericidal properties. It perfectly tones up and improves appetite. The plant contains tauremesine and it is applied at treatment of cardiac decompensation.

Artemisia was considered to be the sacral herb deterring evil spirits and helping to reach harmony with the world. Buddhists use the plant for meditations and ancient Slavs put it next to beds of newlyweds.

Полынь. Shutterstock ID 640021948;

However, Artemisia can be dangerous in the case of overdose. It is strictly forbidden for use by children and in the case of ulcer of stomach, erosive gastritis and epilepsy.

Artemisia grows in the steppe Crimea, foothills and in SSC.

Children’s doctor. Salvia

It’s one of the few medial plants and the only one in our list, which is officially allowed for use by children. Sage is put in small bathtubs for washing babies to reduce flushed and inflammation skin and it heals abrasions, intertrigos, as well as it’s used for gargling in the case of chest cold or toothache. It doesn’t tingle skin, smells nice and calms a baby. Salvia acts on grown-ups in the same way. Back then, ancient Greeks mentioned the ability of sage to heal wounds.

Sage contains the agent Salvinum, which prevents bacteria growth and thus, it considered to be an antibiotic.

It’s indispensable for women. As Rosmarinus, sage helps to fight against age-related changes of the female body, normalizes a menstrual cycle and relieves pain. The herb is included in the preparation for treatment of infertility, as it stimulates ovary functions and generation of spermatozoids, regulates the concentration of prolactin and estrogenic hormones, improves a condition of neck of the uterus and enhances an erectile function. The linoleic acid (Omega-6) aids to correct weight and strengthens a nervous system. Sage regulates a glucose level of the type-2 diabetes. However, hypertensive and hypotensive patient, who suffer from epilepsy, should better refrain from experimenting with it.

There are 15 species of this plant within the peninsula. Salvia on an equal basis with lavender and rose is grown on a commercial scale for producing of essential oil, officinal mixture and tea.

In the wild growing environment, it can be found in foothills, mountainous Crimea and in SSC.

Tea with the Crimean accent

All participants of our rating are elements of herbal teas both as a solo and in the company with other medicinal herbs. Very often, it’s consumed as tea. It’s extremely useful and tasty. For example, tea of thyme reinforces body, possesses antibacterial and expectorant properties, improves appetite, stimulates digestion and facilitates to weight loss and magnolia vine recovers strength very quickly.

According to specialists, such beverages are the perfect prevention of ARVI and ARD, if it’s started approximately three weeks before a respiratory season. Nevertheless, such drinking has got a large number of obvious and hidden properties affects health and mood in some or other way. That’s why you should remember several rules.

The Head of the Laboratory of Phyto Rehabilitation of the Nikita Botanical Garden Farkhad Melikov:

Herbal tea consists of plants, which give a certain pharmacological action. Essential oils, polyphenols, flavonoids and other agents are contained in those plants. Thus, a long-term use isn’t recommended. Three weeks are enough for accumulating of maximum active agents. Afterwards, you should take a break”.

  • A person shouldn’t drink liters of herbal teas. One of two cups is enough for a single intake. The beverage must be fresh. The tea brewed before shouldn’t be taken. The same recommendations are also valid for black and green tea.

  • Herbs and teas are kept, on average, for two years. Polyethylene isn’t appropriate material for keeping. Ideally, they must be put into fabric or paper sacks.

  • You should tell herbal tea and herbal preparation. The herbal preparation has explicit use. It’s prepared with a more serious approach for certain goals as Farkhad Melikov stresses.

Herbal ice

Ice of herbal infusion can be put into common tea. For instance, magnolia vine or Rosmarinus slipped into cold green tea assist to stand the summer heat refreshing and restoring strength. Invigorating ice cubes have another valuable property. In the morning, women clean their faces with it. This procedure tones up skin, minimizes pores, improves blood supply and prevents from wrinkling. In doing so, there is a perception that such types of the herbs are needed just for a pleasant smell. However, cosmetologist Natalia Delenskaya debunked that myth.

Any herb even in the frozen form has its own property. There are certain plants for different ages, type of skin and its condition. The common property of thyme, Artemisia, magnolia vine, sage and Rosmarinus is anti-inflammatory. In addition, sage suits greasy skin well and magnolia vine perfectly tones up”, — cosmetologist noticed.

The herbal ice is easy to be produced — table spoon of dried herb (or mixture) must be poured with a glass of boiling water and then cool it. Pour the infusion into molds and place it into a freezer.

SPA in Crimean

Very often, essential oils of Crimean plants can be seen on sale. Of course, it isn’t a trivial task to make them at home. But it’s rather easy to organize a SPA salon at home!

Bath with marine salt and herbal infusion

It’s a very popular SPA procedure. It helps to relax and improves metabolism, cardiac function and vasculars, cleanses skin from toxins and used as prevention of allergic reactions and cellulite.

Such salt can be bought at a pharmacy or do it yourself. The basic ingredients are the same: 500 g of salt, half a glass of soda or starch (for softening of water), essential oil (20-25 drops) and herbal infusion (1-2 table spoons of the herbal infusion in a glass of boiling water). Pour the preparation with boiling water and leave it for 30 minutes. Then strain the infusion and put marine salt there, which must be dissolved in water. Take a bath no longer than 15-20 minutes.

Important thing! Such bath procedure is prohibited in the case of increased body temperature, cancer, tuberculosis, thrombophlebitis, menstrual period, pregnancy and purulent skin lesions.