February 26, 2024

Herbs - the healing gold of Bulgaria 

There are countries with gold deposits, others with oil deposits. Bulgarian land is blessed with exceptional nature that is not gifted with an abundance of medicinal plants. Herbs are Bulgaria's greatest wealth, they are our healing gold, our gold mines. 

"They are living beings like us!"

says Petar Dimkov, the great folk healer. Today as claimed by the pharma industry, the healing properties of herbs do not work better than their analyzes in chemistry. On the contrary - they are more effective and "faster" because they are "familiar" evolutionarily from the cells of our physical body, say modern herbalists. Unlike other antidepressants, for example, which have a number of side effects, herbs support the functioning of the central nervous system without harming the body. This is the preferred means.

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Our folk medicine is not just "drink this herb and you'll be fine", it goes much deeper. Treatment with medicinal plants is connected to our spirituality and life and is in sync with the folk calendar, which began to be compiled thousands of years ago.

   "Bulgarians are guardians of mercy. The practice, theory and spirituality in Bulgarian folk art and folk healing, intertwined with the rhythm of the Bulgarian folk calendar and the annual cycles in the space and earth computer condition the expression of this mercy, through the achievement of high therapeutic results in the application of natural-scientific methods of treatment and prevention"

wrote in his report on Folk Medicine the herbalist Dr. Vasil Kaniskov - the healer who dedicated his life to helping people. The healer says that folk medicine and herbal medicine in Bulgaria are valued as one of the greatest treasures of our people, who have become familiar with their life and struggle over the centuries.

   "Today, in the entire world of broad therapy, the returns for phyto, or herbal medicine, are dissolving, and in our country, sufficient opportunities for application and reasonable use are being created in parallel with the methods of official medicine. I deeply believe in that Bulgaria is called to save the world from deadly diseases. Notice - not the USA and Russia with these countless riches, but little Bulgaria with its unique herbs - still ecologically clean, with preserved medicinal qualities, full of divine energy! Bulgaria and the people living on the Bulgarian lands are blessed with mineral springs, rivers, mountains, sea, plains, unique nature and, above all, herbs. Let us share this wealth with other nations.”

says Dr. Kaniskov.

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How did the Thracians heal?

Their medicine had a magical character - treatment with music and songs (Orpheus), with whispers, talks and kind words. A major part of their health culture is the knowledge of herbs - centaur, wormwood, snake's milk, St. John's wort, sweet fern, thyme, fennel and many others. They also used hydrotherapy with mineral water. Herodotus also describes the great balneological centers in Pautalia. It is not clear how they consumed herbs, but there is evidence of some foods of plant and animal origin - yogurt, called Elixir of the Thracians, is a high healing factor. They also used it as a cosmetic, for stomach ailments and others.

The greatest physicians were of Thracian origin, not to mention the Bogomils, who were also wonderful healers. They are the only ones in the world who bring medicine to the people, until then it was only for the upper class.

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There are data on the use of medicinal plants in the Bulgarian state created in the 7th century with the merging into a single Bulgarian people of the three tribal communities - Thracians, Slavs and Proto-Bulgarians. In the small dictionary Glossary recorded in the Six Days of John the Exarch, which is kept in the British Museum, there is talk of pleurisy, called by the purely Bulgarian name Rebrenica, and its treatment is indicated - with willow and poplar containing salicylates, as well as with cornflower.

The first Bulgarian doctor to receive his education in the West was Doctor Nikola Savov Piccolo (1792-1865). From the time of slavery, 19 manuscripts of folk remedies are known, which date from the 18th-19th centuries. The composition of most of the recipes is from medicinal plants.

In the notebook of Vasil Levski, the herb cat's foot is recorded along with two other herbs, and it was one of the most frequently used by him. In all probability, it was Levski's associate and associate, priest Matei Mitkalotto, who introduced him to the medicinal properties and application of the herb.

During the Russo-Turkish War, the herb Cat's Foot was used in Russian field hospitals and infirmaries as an additional means of treating wounds, being taken internally and applied externally. The introduction of the herb into the treatment practices for wound processes made a strong impression on the Russian ekars and personally on Prof. Nikolai Pirogov (1810-1881). He participated in the Russo-Turkish war, on October 10, 1977 he arrived in Bulgaria, the village of Gorna-Studena near Pleven and organized all field military hospitals and radiations during the war. The person who carries out the treatment with the cat's foot herb is a Bulgarian volunteer from the Bulgarian militia to help the Russian army and his name is Vasil Todorov Chardakliev - Vasil Levski's first cousin. Even more - the first cousin of the Apostola is also the first officially recognized phytotherapist not only from the Apostolic family, but also in Bulgaria. Later, his grandson bearing the same name, Vasil Chardakliev, began growing the cat's step as a cultivated plant in the experimental field near Pazardzhik.


Prof. Boris Kitanov classifies them according to the color of the flowers


"The number of wild plants that are used in folk and modern medicine is huge — 750 species out of about 3,300 species growing in our country," writes botanist Prof. Boris Kitanov. The professor divides the herbs into groups according to one mark - the color of the flowers."

Seven groups of plants are accepted, the first comprising herbs without flowers (the fern-like and gymnosperms), the second - herbs with yellow flowers, the third - with brown flowers or inflorescences, etc.

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The Bulgarian medicinal flora is not only the richest in Europe, but also the best studied. The rich archives and herbaria of the specialized institutes of the Bulgarian Academy of Sciences are valuable for science and accessible to everyone. Bulgaria is a major supplier of herbs to the whole world. With a territory tens of times smaller than that of India and China, in proportion to its area, our country overtakes them in terms of export of herbs.

The most common and widely used medicines in every home are the freshly prepared aqueous extracts, called infusions and decoctions. Leaves, flowers and other plant organs, from which the active substances are easily extracted, are usually prepared in the form of infusions. The harder plant parts, such as roots, rhizomes, barks, etc., are prepared in the form of decoctions. To prepare the infusions and loads, the plant parts are crushed, since the active substances are more fully and quickly extracted from the small particles. Normally, the particle size of leaves, flowers and stems should not exceed 5 mm. For leathery leaves - no larger than 1 mm, stems, roots and rhizomes - no larger than 3 mm, fruits and seeds - 0.5 mm.

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They are prepared in the following way: the crushed herb is placed in an enameled, porcelain or glass container and poured with the prescribed amount of boiling water. The container is covered with a lid and left for the indicated time (preferably at least half an hour or even more), after which it is filtered through cheesecloth, cotton cloth or a non-metallic strainer. The herb is squeezed and the liquid is strained again. Top up with water to the prescribed amount.

 One of the main requirements for infusions is to prepare them daily if possible or to keep them in a dark and cool place, for example in a refrigerator, but no more than 3 days, as they spoil quickly.


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They represent aqueous extracts obtained from various medicinal raw materials after prolonged heating in a water bath. The saturated herb is placed in an enamel or porcelain vessel, preheated in a water bath for 15 minutes, poured with the prescribed amount of water, covered and heated in a boiling water bath for 30 minutes, with frequent stirring. The decoction is cooled at room temperature for 10 minutes, then strained by squeezing the plant material and topped up with boiled water to the prescribed amount. Decoctions prepared from oak bark and other vegetable raw materials containing tanning substances are filtered immediately after removing the vessel from the water bath. In general, extracts from denser plant parts, such as barks, stems, roots, are prepared as decoctions.

More often, decoctions are prepared by direct boiling for 10-15 minutes, after which the directions of the recipe are followed.

An important requirement for potions is that they should be prepared every day if possible or stored in a dark and cool place in the refrigerator, but no more than 3 days. Infusions and decoctions of St. John's wort, lily of the valley, roots and rhizomes of primrose and primrose are prepared in a ratio of 10:300 (10:200 for herbs containing mucilaginous substances).


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They are obtained by pouring the saturated herbal raw material with pure alcohol, most often in a ratio of 1:5 or high-quality alcohol concentrate (40-60 degrees), they stay in a dark and warm place for at least 1 week, after which they are filtered. They can be stored for a longer time. They are used in smaller amounts, usually in drops.


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They are prepared by pouring the chopped herbs with olive oil or oil and leaving them in a glass container for the specified time, after which the oil is filtered.

(SRC: https://portal12.bg/) 


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