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Good Henry (Chenopodium bonus-henricus) is an ancient medicinal and useful plant native to Europe that was already valued in antiquity and the Middle Ages. Also known as wild or mountain spinach, the plant prefers to grow in nutrient-rich soil and is increasingly being rediscovered due to its versatile uses and health benefits.

Good Henry: discovery and history

Good Henry was first described by ancient herbalists and mentioned in numerous historical texts. Its healing properties were highly valued by the Romans and Greeks, who used it as a versatile remedy for a wide range of ailments. In the Middle Ages, the plant found its way into monastery gardens, where it was cultivated for its resilience and healing powers.

Dosage forms and dosage

Good henry can be taken in various forms. Traditionally, the leaves are prepared like spinach or used as an ingredient in soups and stews. The roots can be boiled or fried like black salsify. Here are some common ways of eating them:

  • Fresh: The young leaves are cooked like vegetables.
  • Dried: The dried leaves can be infused as tea.
  • Extract: Available in concentrated form as a dietary supplement.
  • Dosage: As a vegetable, a portion of approx. 100-200 grams per meal is sufficient. As a tea, about 1-2 teaspoons of dried leaves are added to a cup of hot water. For extracts or dietary supplements, the manufacturer’s dosage recommendation should be followed, usually around 1-2 capsules or 10-20 drops daily.

Good Henry: healing effects and areas of application

Good Henry is traditionally used to treat various diseases. Here are some of the most important health effects:

  • Anti-inflammatory: the plant contains flavonoids and other compounds that have an anti-inflammatory effect and can be helpful for conditions such as arthritis and rheumatic complaints.
  • Digestive: The high fiber content aids digestion and can help with constipation and other digestive problems.
  • Blood purifying: The detoxifying properties of the plant promote the elimination of toxins and improve liver function.
  • Strengthening the immune system: Rich in vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin C and iron, Good Henry strengthens the immune system and can help prevent infections.
  • Skin diseases: Poultices and ointments made from the leaves are used to treat skin problems such as eczema and wounds.

How it works in the body

The healing effect of good henry is based on its high content of secondary plant substances, vitamins and minerals. These ingredients have various positive effects on the body:

  • Flavonoids: they have an antioxidant effect and protect the cells from damage caused by free radicals.
  • Saponins: They promote the absorption of nutrients and have an anti-inflammatory effect.
  • Iron: Important for blood formation and oxygen transport in the body.
  • Vitamin C: Strengthens the immune system and promotes the absorption of iron from food.

Recommended intake and contraindications

Guter Heinrich should be taken in the following situations in particular:

  • In case of digestive problems: The dietary fiber stimulates intestinal activity.
  • For increased nutrient requirements: For example, during pregnancy or on a vegetarian/vegan diet.
  • To strengthen the immune system: Especially during the cold season or when there is an increased risk of infection.
  • Contraindications: People with an allergy to goosefoot plants (Chenopodiaceae) should avoid the plant. People with kidney problems should also be careful, as the plant contains oxalic acid, which can promote the formation of kidney stones.

Food supplements and medicinal plants

The following dietary supplements and medicinal plants can be taken to support the effects of Good Henry:

  • Nettle: Rich in iron and vitamin C, supports blood purification and the immune system.
  • Milk thistle: Promotes liver health and detoxification.
  • Probiotics: Support intestinal health and improve nutrient absorption.

Natural occurrence and dietary supplements

Good henry is difficult to find in nature as it is not widely distributed. In the kitchen, it can be used as a substitute for spinach or chard. Foods that contain similar nutrients are

  • Spinach: Rich in iron and vitamins.
  • Swisschard: Rich in fiber and vitamins.
  • Kale: Rich in vitamins and minerals.

Good Henry: Side effects and overdose

Side effects are rare at normal doses. Possible side effects in case of overdose are:

  • Gastrointestinal complaints: Flatulence or diarrhea may occur due to the high fiber content.
  • Kidney stones: In sensitive individuals, the oxalic acid it contains can contribute to the formation of kidney stones.
  • Overdose: If extremely high amounts are consumed, especially extracts, symptoms of poisoning may occur, which can manifest as nausea, vomiting and stomach cramps. In such cases, a doctor should be consulted immediately.

Good Henry: Use in naturopathy

In naturopathy, Good Henry’s wort is mainly used to aid digestion and relieve inflammation. Teas and extracts of the plant are used in phytotherapy, where they are used for various ailments.


Good Henry is an ancient medicinal plant that is experiencing a renaissance in our time. Its diverse health effects, from supporting the immune system to aiding digestion and relieving inflammation, make it a valuable component of naturopathy. However, as with any medicinal plant, it is important to pay attention to the correct dosage and keep an eye on possible contraindications. When used consciously, Good Henry can make an important contribution to health and well-being.

Published on: 4. July 2024


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