Herbs have made our lives easier in so many different ways. Burnet is one such herb. Burnet can be defined as an herbaceous plant with round green flowers with pinkish stamens and toothed leaves composed of many small leaflets. It also has a long stem. The plant belongs to the rose family (Rosaceae). The evergreen perennial plant can be easily found in North America, North Africa, Canary Islands and in many parts of Europe. It is also found in Asia. The pot herb has a beautiful structure and tastes like cucumber. Some people more vividly describe the taste as a mixture of melon and cucumber. Some also say it gives a nutty flavor. The aroma too compliments the taste of it. Based on its characteristics, its name has been derived from the French word brunette. Burnets belongs to the Sanguisorba genus and has about 20 species. But the two most common types are Salad Burnet and Greater Burnet. The two tastes the same and shares similar characteristics but vary in looks. The salad burnet is smaller and more slender than the greater burnet. It is nutritious, has medicinal value and also an herbal constituent. This herb is cultivated for gardens in North America and Europe, where it is more appreciated, indeed, these days it is less often cultivated in the United States because other herbs have become more favorable. Burnett also does well in containers. When the leaves of burnet are fresh they are preferred for culinary uses. Dried burnet leaves taste bitter as flavor weakens over time. It is then used for medicinal purposes. For example, Dry leaves are used to make medicinal teas. All parts of the leaves are useful to humans. The medicinal values, culinary uses and nutritional values have been mention below:
Medicinal Values of Burnet
In China, roots of burnet is used to make local medicines. These medicines are baked to increase potency. It is also effective to stop gastrointestinal bleeding, cervical ectropion and periodontal disease. This has been documented in the Shen Nong Canon of Herbs, produced during the Han dynasty.
It can be used against plague.
Burnet leaves have the ability to reduce bleeding, both external and internal. In European medicines, burnet is used in such a way that the medicine prevents hemorrhage. The name sanguisorba is Latin for sanguis or ‘blood’ and is related to sorbere, meaning to soak up. This reflects the characteristic of the herb too.
Burnet leaves also have astringent and anti-inflammatory properties. They help destroy disease causing organisms in the stomach. Burnet leaves and roots are used to solve digestive problems.
It is an herbal supplement for women’s health
Culinary Uses of Burnet
Burnet leaves and flower heads are added to oriental cuisines. They are tossed into stir-fry’s and soups to flavor.
Fresh Burnet drinks are added to cold drink in Spain. It gives an authentic minty flavor to drinks like lemonade and wine spritzers.
Burnet leaves flavor cream cheese.
They are also added to tomato sauce.
The leaves can be tossed into salads or used on sandwiches.
Salad burnet can also be used to flavor dips and vinegars.
Nutritional Value of Burnet
All parts of burnet constitutes of glycosides, tannins, ellagitannins, antivirals and saponins. Glycosides are known to lower cholesterol level. The other nutrients stimulate the immune system and ensure bone health. They also act as anti-cancer agents. They have both tannic and gallic acid. These act as antioxidants and have several protective effects. Traces of rutin, quercetin, kaempferol can be found in the stem and leaf of the plant. These have anti antioxidant properties. Thus they neutralize dangerous disease causing free radicals in the body. They are anti-inflammatory too. Beta-sitosterol is another helpful constituent of the burnet. It not only reduces cholesterol level but also slows down the growth of cancerous tumors.
Medicinal, culinary or herbal, in whichever form it is used, burnets are not toxic. The plant is easy growing and emerges early in the season. It grows well in heat. The tasty and useful plant is known globally for its properties by gardeners, scientists and users of all kind. It would not be wrong to state burnet as the modern herbal remedy.
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