Romans used to plant the Houseleek in front of the windows because they believed this plant was a love medicine. Others believed that it could protect them from witchcraft and thunder. Juice made from Houseleek has been used for skin and eye treatments for centuries.
What Is Houseleek?
Most of us are familiar with Houseleek, and indeed many of us have seen it or, at least, heard some of the stories and legends surrounding this plant. Moreover, many different cultures and civilizations were familiar with this peculiar plant. Thus various stories they produced seem to discover the popularity and necessity of Houseleek.
The first interesting thing that sheds some light on this plant's popularity stems from its various names. Houseleek or Sempervivum is, in fact, a genus of about 40 plants in the family Crassulaceae. The Latin name Sepmrevivum tells us a lot about the characteristic of this plant. The name is formed of two words: "semper," which means "always," and "vivus," which means "living," indicating that this plant is perennial and that it can grow in very difficult conditions.
Planting Houseleek on the roofs of houses is believed to protect you from lightning strikes. For others, this plant is known as Live-forever and Hen and Chicks or Hen and Chickens. Many names of the Gods are also associated with this plant. Thus, some people called it Thor's Beard, indicating the name of the Norse God of Thunder, Thor, and other Jupiter's Beard. It is also known as Devil's Beard, Jove's Beard, St. George's Beard, and Bullock's Beard. The most interesting name is certainly Welcome-Home-Husband-Though-Never-so-Drunk, which shares with a plant Sedum acre.
It is believed that its ancestors were subtropical plants. The origin of this genus is Mexico, but it can grow almost everywhere: in the Carpathians, the Alps, Balkan Mountains, and Sahara deserts because it can store water in the leaves.
The particular plant from this genus we are writing about is Sempervivum tectorum, and this species is the most popular one. This plant has small and thick leaves that form a rosette. It can grow up to 6 inches (15 cm) tall and spread 20 inches (50 cm), producing beautiful red flowers in summer. This plant is resistant to drought and high temperatures and is a famous garden plant today.
Health Benefits of Houseleek
Houseleek has been used in folk medicine due to its anti-inflammatory, diuretic, and astringent properties. Modern medicine confirmed that Houseleek has important acids (citric, malic, malonic, isocitric, free amino acid, and phenol carbonic acid), flavonoids, and carbohydrates. This plant has two major benefits; in the first place, it is famous for its skin treatment, in particular burns, and for treating earache and ear pain in general (otalgia). Moreover, the juice made from Houseleek leaves is a famous immune system remedy.
Houseleek's effects on the skin are very similar to those of the Aloe plant. Moreover, it is considered one of the safest natural remedies for skin infections and different conditions. Also, Houseleek is a very popular skin remedy because it almost has no side effects and might occur depending on other conditions.
Skin healing can differ; one can use juicy fluid from the leaves, cremes, or tinctures. Until now, Houseleek has been very lucrative in treating burns, sunburns, insect bites, and frostbites. Moreover, one can treat redness, swelling, scratches, abrasions, and other inflammatory diseases.
For years, even known to an ancient civilization, Houseleek has been used to treat otitis, hearing loss, and damage. Ear pain can be caused by excessive accumulation of earwax and its huge buildups. Although cerumen protects the ear canal in general, as well as from bacteria, fungi, and water, and assists in lubrication, impacted cerumen can press against the eardrum, threaten the external auditory canal, and cause conductive hearing loss. The juice of Houseleek leaves can dissolve cerumen, thus easing the pain in general.
The best treatment is quite simple; just squeeze some drops of the juice in the ear. If the pain is severe, one can soak cotton wool in the juice, place it in the opening of the ear, and leave it for several hours.
Houseleek Juice Benefits
Science confirmed that Houseleek is rich in polysaccharides and other antibacterial ingredients that efficiently protect the immune system. Like Aloe vera, freshly squeezed juice from the leaves is used to treat the nervous system, especially nervous derangement, unrealistic fears, and falling sickness. The juice is also a remedy to remove warts and treat open wounds and sunspots. Moreover, it can help relieve the pain from insects' bites. When mixed with honey, the juice is used to treat soreness, ulcerated conditions of the mouth, and bronchitis, while the mixture with honey and hot water can bring down the temperature or a fever.
Benefits of Houseleek Tea
There is a difference in usage between Houseleek juice and tea. Although both are very efficient and lucrative, tea is especially good for heavy periods, menstrual cramps, and ulcers. It is very easy to prepare a Houseleek tea; one should add 12 grams of dried leaves or 10 grams of fresh leaves into 4 liters of water, cook it for 15 minutes, and then strain it and leave it to cool down. One should drink one cup of tea early in the morning on an empty stomach. After that, take one tablespoon of tea every hour.
Daily Dosage and Side Effect
The daily dosage of Houseleek depends on the user's age, health, and other conditions. As for the side effects, some people can be allergic, but that is very rare. However, it is advised not to take Houseleek when breastfeeding or pregnant.
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