Medicinal plants

IDAY at Pairi Daiza

Medicinal plants


Medicinal plants are plants that allow us to heal ourselves. They are sources of antioxidants, microelements and other health-promoting components. It is from medicinal plants that many medicines are produced.

The school garden not only teaches the benefits of the plants in the garden, but also introduces the students to the use of other plants. For example, baobab powder, rich in iron, is complementary with Artemisia annua for the good health of the population.

It is estimated that 70% of medical care in Africa is provided in the form of community medicine, according to traditional teachings. However, this local knowledge tends to disappear through the marketing of imported medicines, which often remain inaccessible to vulnerable populations.

Some examples of medicinal plants:


Thyme is a medicinal plant with many benefits. In particular, it contains flavonoids which are active ingredients that relax muscles.

Its leaves, stem and essential oil are appreciated for their antiseptic, anti-infectious, antispasmodic (which prevents spasms of the digestive tract) and expectorant (which clears the respiratory tract) actions.

This plant also stimulates the immune system and helps it to better fight infections. Thyme also has beneficial effects for skin diseases such as acne, eczema or chicken pox for example. It also acts on respiratory diseases or infections of bacterial or fungal origin such as fungus.


Mint is one of the most famous medicinal plants. The active ingredients of mint have antioxidant virtues that would reduce the appearance of diseases related to aging.

It is reputed to promote digestion, relieve nausea, soothe pain, treat respiratory tract infections, gastroenteritis and eczema.

It also relieves gastrointestinal and biliary spasms or flatulence. In addition, it is a source of iron and manganese.


The neem, also called neem tree, is a tree native to India. More than 140 compounds have been identified in different parts of the neem. It is believed to have beneficial effects on joints, immune system, digestion, nervous system, blood glucose, hypertension, etc. This tree also plays a natural phytosanitary role. Indeed, it has insecticidal, antifungal and fertilizing properties.


Moringa, also called the tree of life, is native to India but is also found on the African continent. The moringa is a tree with medicinal as well as nutritive virtues. The leaves of the moringa are used in the sauce that is prepared to eat millet, rice or corn paste. It is very rich in nutrients: analyses show that its leaves are very rich in vitamins A, C, B1, calcium, potassium and protein. Its leaves, eaten as vegetables, are currently recommended in hospital settings in some African countries to correct malnutrition in mothers and children. Moringa is considered a treatment for anemia and loss of appetite.

Due to the high micronutrient content of its leaves, moringa is a “super food”. Leaves, bark and even seeds are used. Each part of the tree provides something else: calcium, iron, potassium, proteins, vitamins A and C.


Rosemary is a condiment plant commonly used to flavor grills, stews, stews, soups and other sauces. It is also a medicinal plant found in the form of essential oils, capsules, ointments, tinctures, herbal teas, decoctions, inhalations and poultices.

It is said to have anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. It also has diuretic properties, i.e. it promotes the elimination of water by the kidneys and thus stimulates urinary excretion. Moreover, rosemary also acts on the nervous system. Indeed, it is often recommended in the event of tiredness or nervousness for example.