Aromatic and medicinal plants


Complete the crossword making click in the number of each word. Then click on "Check" to check your answers. Two answers have two words linked.
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1. It is a deciduous shrub in the verbena family Verbenaceae, growing to 3–7 m high, with stems which turn to wood at the top. The 7 cm long glossy, pointed leaves, with unbroken or serrated edges and a short petiole, are light green in the front and with thick oil glands in the back which can be easily seen. They emit a powerful scent reminiscent of lemon when bruised. Sprays of tiny lilac or white flowers appear in late spring or early summer. It is native to South America spreading to Mexico and it was brought to Europe by the Spanish in the 17th century. It is cultivated in gardens with humid sunny climate.
In cuisine it is used as a spice and also as a digestive refreshing tea. It activates bowel functions and it is used as antispasmodic, with easing and relaxing properties, and it helps with toothaches, stomachaches and headaches.
It is used as a stimulant against stress due to overwork; against gastritis, gastroenteritis, bad breath, nausea, vertigo; it is restorative, sedative, stomach tonic. The name has two words linked..
4. It is a perennial herb plant which is spontaneously generated and it can be found wild. It has an edible bulb. It is originally native to the South East of Asia but it has become widely naturalized in Galicia, growing in waste lands, stony hillsides, along roadsides,…It is erect, bright green, and grows between 60 cm to 1.5 m tall, with aromatic leaves and seeds. The leaves are long, thin and with a needle-shaped end.
The flowers are small and yellow and appear in umbels, each umbel section having 20–50 tiny yellow flowers. This plant likes sunny places to grow. The warmer the place, the more perfume it will have.
It’s commonly used in Spanish cuisine in cured meats, dressings and sauces to provide the characteristic aniseed aroma. In Galicia the dried herb is traditionally used to flavor cooked chestnuts in autumn. It is also used all over the world to flavor natural toothpaste, lotions, soaps, perfumes, chewing-gums and other sweets.
In medicine it can be used as treatment for colds, cough, bronchitis, migraines, digestive upset, and asthma.
6. It is an upright, perennial herb, a member of the family Lamiaceae, which can reach 2 m tall. It is native to Southern Europe (Mediterranean region). Its woody stem has stiff branches with gaps in the bark. The leaves are needle-like, dark green above and white below. The flowers are light blue and small. The leaves and some parts of the flowers have essence oil. It likes the sun, heat and air and so it should grow outdoors, preferably in dry soils; it doesn’t need much water. The plant flowers in spring and summer (from March to September/October).
The name "rosemary" derives from the Latin for "dew" (ros) and "sea" (marinus), or "dew of the sea, probably because it grows near the coast.
Remains of this plant were found in the tombs of the first Egyptian dynasty, being also considered by Greek and Romans as a sacred herb with magical powers and as a symbol of love and death it was present in weddings and funerals.
8. It is an evergreen shrub or small tree growing to 12 m tall, with a branched stem and smooth bark in young trees and with gaps in the old ones. Arranged in opposite pairs along the stems, the leaves are dark green in the front and yellow-green in the back. They can be oval, spear-like or elliptic. The flowers, yellow and only 2 mm long, come out early in spring. The fruit is a brown or grey capsule, 1cm long, containing several seeds. Although this species is originally native to Europe, the other species of the genus are tropical or subtropical.
From the ancient Rome and Greece it has been used to demarcate gardens by making hedges. The hardness of its wood made it ideal for print sites and also for making woodwind musical instruments. As this wood is very hard, heavy and yellowish it is really appreciated in cabinet-making for woodturning and household items.
The leaves have been used as a substitute for hops in beer production.
Both leaves and fruit are toxic, but not for some birds, which facilitates the seeds spreading. The alkaloid concentration in the leaves and bark, up to 3%, is very dangerous, but an appropriate concentration seems to have medicinal properties against malaria and intestinal infection.
10. Scientific name of the genus of a small plant up to 25 cm tall, with strong branched roots from which many branches of linear stiff gross leaves and many pinkish flowers arranged in an inflorescence or a glomerulus emerge. It is found in marshes, brackish areas and coastal cliffs. Tradition says that if a few flowers of this plant are placed near someone who is sleeping, when they wake up they will fall for the first person they see.
12. A culinary herb of the family of Lamiaceae and originally native to India where it was considered sacred. In ancient cultures such as the Egyptian, it was highly estimated, being even used as an element in mummifying. It grows about half a metre tall. Its wide leaves are brighter on the upper side and they are very aromatic, being precisely this part the one used in treatments of depression, exhaustion, migraines, digestive problems, skin irritation and it is also used as a diuretic, antipyretic, sedative and cough suppressant and it has healing, antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties.
It is one of the most used spices in cuisine together with rosemary and thyme. For example it’s the main ingredient in the Italian sauce, pesto.
14. It is a flowering plant with a woody branched stem, oblong leaves (10 cm long and 0.5 cm wide) on the lower part of the stem, in the family of Lamiaceae. It is found in the Mediterranean basin and it spread to Northern Africa, the Arabian Peninsula and Southern Asia as far as India. Some species are very familiar and with Latin names such as dentata and latifolia, which refers to the shape of the leaf margin. The leaves and flowers, colour violet, are very aromatic. It can grow up to 60-80 cm tall, forming compact bushes. The leaves are simple, spear-like, opposed and with a lighter colour in the back. Flowers are borne in whorls, held on spikes rising above the foliage, the spikes being branched in some species. The calyx is tubular and the corolla is blue-violet and a bit bigger than the calyx. This plant grows in light dry clay soils and altitudes between 700 and 1,400 m. The quality of the essence increases with the altitude where the plant grows. Wet soils hamper its growth and make it more likely to get root diseases.
In the Middle Ages and until 1700 it spread around as a disinfectant. The spike is considered a charm against misfortune and devils and it is also said to be a talisman which brings prosperity and fertility. It was used as a remedy to snake bites. Externally used it helps to soothe painful ulcers and injures. It fights rheumatism. It was used to complement other treatments and so being able to stop temperature.
16. Large deciduous tree with leaves 5-18 cm long, with 5-7 lobes, and its fruit is called acorn. It’s the most representative Galician tree and it can live up to 1,000 years. It withstands moisture from the river banks and its wood is of high quality being used for furniture, for house building and for making maturing wine and distillation barrels. Being so abundant in Galicia, it has led to name many towns and villages.
17. Tree belonging to the family of Betulaceae with leaves 4-10 cm, almost round and with jagged edges. Flowering is produced before leaves appear. The male catkins, 5-10 cm long, are slender, cylindrical, pendolous and red. The female ones are smaller (2 cm long), dark brown to black in colour, somewhat woody, and superficially similar to some conifer cones. When the small winged seeds have been scattered the cones remain, often lasting through the winter. It holds moisture well, so it is part of the forests along the rivers. It is ecologically important for its anti-erosion action and it forms symbiosis with Frankia alni fungus, which is installed in its roots, absorbs nitrogen from the environment and fixes it. There is tannin in its bark, which is used to lower the levels of cholesterol. Gargling with the cooking water of its bark was used against tonsillitis and pharyngitis.
In Nordic mythology this species is a symbol of the resurrection, probably because its wood changes from white to red when it is cut down, reminding of human blood.
18. It is a deciduous bush in the gooseberry family Grossulariaceae, between 1 to1.5 m tall, with five-lobed leaves arranged spirally on the stems. The flowers are inconspicuous yellow-green, in pendulous 4–8 cm racemes, maturing into bright red translucent edible berries about 8–12 mm diameter, with 3-10 berries on each raceme.
This bush has two species originally native to northern and eastern Europe: the red one and the black one. In modern times there are numerous wild kinds across Europe and Asia. In northern and mid- Europe this species is often used in fruit soups and summer puddings, and it is supposed to have medicinal properties such as laxative, astringent, blood purifier, diuretic and digestive. It is also supposed to have the capacity of facilitating menstruation and increasing appetite due to its high content of vitamin C, fruit acid and fibre.
19. It is an evergreen shrub or small tree in the family Ericaceae which can grow up to 12 m tall. It can be found in thick bushes, the edge of forests, dry stony hills, spreading throughout the Mediterranean region, from France and west Ireland to Algarve in Portugal.
The oblong spear-like leaves are dark green and glossy (4–11 cm long), with a serrated margin and a hairy rosy petiole.
The bell-shaped white or pale pink flowers are produced in panicles in autumn together with ripe fruit.
The fruit is a red berry, 1–2 cm diameter, with a rough surface, yellow at first and then crimson, with a bitter taste while they are maturing. It has many uses, being cuisine the best known: marmalades, jams and alcoholic beverages by fermentation. The skin of the fruit has been used in natural medicine as a diuretic, astringent, antiseptic, urinary, renal agent.


2. It is an herbal plant of the family of Rutaceae, with rhizomes and a firm smooth branched stem which can grow up to 150 cm tall, getting more and more lignified in its base. It is native to Southern Europe, Mediterranean, Eurasia and the Canary Islands, although now grows throughout the world. The leaves are fleshy, lobed, smooth, alternate, long and of a greenish-bluish colour with tiny glandular spots. The upper leaves are simple, sessile or slightly lobed. The flowers are yellowish-greenish, (1.5 – 2 cm) in ending corymbs. It has a strong unmistakable scent which can get unpleasant. In ecology-based farming it is used as an insect repellent. It also is cultivated for medicinal use against nervous disorders, hypertension, ulcers, cramps, headaches, conjunctivitis, indigestion and digestive tract parasites.
3. Highly appreciated in gardens, it’s an aromatic evergreen tree with green glossy leaves and yellowish flowers which come out in spring. Its Roman name refers to the laurel held as a symbol of victory and also as a prize for poets and sport competition winners. Its dried leaves are used as a spice for meat and stews.
5. It is a perennial herb, growing around 45 cm tall, with a reddish stem and with opposite oval leaves 2–5 cm long. The tiny flowers, white or purple, are produced in erect spikes protected by tiny red leaves. The aromatic essences are all over the plant but they concentrate in the flowers.
This herb has been used as tea for the treatment of cough and diabetes. It is a very important culinary herb, standing out as an aromatizing ingredient in the Mediterranean cuisine, especially Italian, used in all types of pasta, lasagna and pizza. There is a common expression in relation to this plant, “Not all the mount is -------” meaning ‘Not everything in the garden is rosy’ and trying to mention that it is a plant which brightens the mount.
7. A perennial herb in the mint family Lamiaceae, native to centre-southern Europe and the Mediterranean region.
The leaves have a gentle lemon scent, related to mint. It’s a natural tranquilizer used as tea and the essential oil is very popular in aromatherapy. It’s the main ingredient of Carmelite Water, distilled by Carmelites in the VII century in Paris being the precursor to eau de cologne.
9. It is a low evergreen shrub of the family of Asparagaceae, 30-80 cm tall, dark green in colour and with underground rhizomes from which floral stems emerge. It is originally native to Eurasia and it lives in Europe, mainly in the south of the continent, from sea level up to 1,000 m high, although it is also found in the north of Africa and Asia.
It prefers basic, dry, fertile soils and shaded areas.
It has two types of leaves: oval false leaves, 2-3 cm long, with a stiff spine tip; and real leaves, very small, like scales, 3-4 mm long. The flowers, greenish or violet, are small and are borne singly in the centre of the cladodes. They have six petals in two whorls, they appear in winter and spring and the seeds are bird-distributed. In autumn and winter the female flowers are followed by a small red berry (10-12 mm) with two seeds; the plant spreads by means of the bowel movement of the animals which eat the fruit.
It is used against haemorrhoids, varicose, cellulite, phlebitis and to improve circulation. It is also a good diuretic and it has febrifuge properties. It’s highly recommended to fight against bladder stones, a temperature, the disease gout and arthritis because it helps to eliminate uric acid. The name has two words linked..
11. It is a herbaceous plant of the family Lamiaceae which grows in fresh humid places in mild climates all over Europe. There are several well-known varieties such as pulegium, suaveolens (apple mint), spicata (spear mint), piperita (peppermint). All of them are herbal plants with underground interlinked rhizomes from where many stems emerge and grow up to 80 cm high. The spear-like leaves, with coarsely toothed margins, are hairy, dark green, opposed and deeply lobed. It blooms during the summer and its flowers are purple and they are produced in whorls (verticillasters) around the stem, forming thick, blunt spikes. It has a penetrating smell and its aromatic flavour leaves a freshness feeling.
The ancient Greek used it for bath oils and salts. The romans used it both as table decoration and to flavour sauces.
Peppermint liqueur is made with the piperita variety. The essential oil has a medicinal use, toothpaste, sweets, chewing-gum and liquors. One of the varieties facilitates digestion because it stimulates the stomach to secrete digestive juices and reduces diarrhoeas. It is also an excellent antispasmodic, appropriate for inflammation of the gallbladder, nervousness, insomnia, cramps, vertigo, migraines and sickness. It has a slight antiseptic and antibacterial effect. It is also useful in laryngitis, bronchitis and colds (inhaling).
13. This plant is native to the Mediterranean region. The different species include annual, biennial and perennial herbs as well as evergreen subshrubs with woody stems, typical of the family of the Lamiaceae. The spear-like leaves, with coarsely toothed margins, are hairy, greyish-greenish, opposed and deeply lobed. The flowers, violet in colour and big in size, are bilabial and have got a corolla with a stiff upper lobe. It prefers to be in the sun although it has no problems with being in the shade. It grows in soils with little organic substance, clay and sandy, with good drainage, permeable and without lime. Almost all species of this plant have trichomes (tiny hairs) on the surface of the leaves, stems and flowers, which prevents water loss. Sometimes these hairs are glandular and when they are rubbed some cells break releasing the volatile oils responsible for a peculiar smell, which is often unpleasant to livestock and some insects. In the Roman festivities and weddings this plant was always present to freshen the air and as a curative herb as its Roman scientific name refers to. It is used against numerous diseases of the digestive tract, stomach and bowel infections as well as against diarrhoea and vomiting. It also removes acidity, relieves sore throat, breathing problems, headaches and stress. It optimizes blood sugar levels and excess of sweating. It is a muscle relaxant and it promotes a goodnight's rest.
15. Name (two words) of a biliary secretion of the intestines of the sperm whale used in perfume industry as a fixative of the volatile aromatic essences.