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Plant Spirit Medicine

“The wound is the place where the Light enters you.”
― Rumi
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Re: Plant Spirit Medicine

Postby Spiritwind » Wed May 30, 2018 4:15 pm

Rosemary is one I love but no longer try to grow since I moved away from Camano Island, WA where it grew really well for me. Now that I live much further inland it tends to get killed off in early spring when it starts to warm up and then gets really cold again. I haven’t had much luck trying to keep it indoors for the winter either. I miss growing it though, as it is a beautiful plant whose energy is very nice to be around. Maybe if I expand the greenhouse and manage to find a viable way to heat it living off grid like we do I can give it a try again. The following is a long one, but not surprising as it has been in use for a very long time. I learned a lot I didn’t know.

http://www.adlunamlabs.com/History_of_Rosemary.html

Image

The History of the Magical Rosemary Plant
Medicinally and for purification rosemary was a mainstay in the practices of early medical and sterilization techniques.  During the plaque of 1665 it was carried and sniffed to protect against contamination from the dreaded epidemic.  Carried in either a pouch (ladies handbag), handkerchief or perhaps in the head of a gentleman's walking stick.

Tradition asserts burned rosemary emits powerful cleansing and purifying vapors and vibrations. Rosemary is one of Earth's oldest incenses.  Rosemary has been burned for centuries in sick chambers to purify the air, specifically in French hospitals during war (through WWII) to kill germs.  Burned also in churches and courtrooms and other public arenas for its antiseptic properties. Hence the French name incensier.

Centuries before the advent of the refrigerator, rosemary was used as a preservative for meats and other foods. Because of rosemary's high anti-oxident activity ancients would wrap their meats in crushed rosemary leaves. The freshness would be preserved and thus the smell and taste would remain pleasant.  Rosemary was also used to control pests such as mosquitos, fleas (the carrier of the plague) and moths.

During the Middle Ages rosemary was spread on the floor at midnight on Christmas Eve so as people walked on it the fragrance would fill the air; this in the belief that those who smelled rosemary on Christmas Eve would have a year of health and happiness.  Thus, started the long tradition of rosemary in Christmas wreaths and other holiday decorations.

Perhaps one of the more amusing tales of rosemary's magic involves Queen Elizabeth of Hungary (1305-1381).  Suffering from severe rheumatism and gout the Queen (aged 72) turned to the healing powers of the rosemary plant.  She began using a variant of Rosemary Water, also referred to as Hungary (Budapest) Water, allegedly given to her by a hermit who claimed that "it would preserve her beauty and health until her death."  In fact, legend claims, the treatment so enhanced her health, vitality and appearance that she, using her own words, "was not only cured, but recovered my strength, and appeared to all so remarkably beautiful that the King of Poland asked me in marriage." (from a text by John Prevost, published 1656).  By the way, the King was 26 years old.  Take from this what you may.

However, we do know that as we discover more about the chemical structure of rosemary and its anti-oxidental properties, the myth of the past is quickly becoming the reality of the future. As we continue to unlock the mysteries of the rosemary plant; we are validating the many applications of rosemary that have been utilized for centuries. Yet what can the marvelous rosemary do for you.

Back to Blanckes' Herbal . . . Rosemary - "washe thy face therwith . . . thou shalt have a fayre face."  "Smell it and it shall preserve thy youthe.  "And, remember Markham; "Rosemary "cleanseth away the spots of the face, . . . it
maketh a man look young."

Using the knowledge acquired over centuries and improving upon the techniques of the past, we have formulated creams saturated in the rich chemical ingredients that empower the magical rosemary plant.  Our predesessors were on to something.  They knew of the power of rosemary; now we have released it. Let Effulgere awaken the Sleeping Beauty in you.

The name rosemary is derived from the Latin "rosmarinus officinalis"; "ros", meaning dew, and "marinus", meaning sea.  This derivation probably stemming from the fact that the rosemary bush is native to the seaside regions of North Africa and the Mediterranean. Hence the ancient legend that rosemary grows "where one can  hear the sea".  One of it's common names "dew of the sea", is a likely reference to the shimmering blue flowers that cover the rosemary bush in mid-winter. Other of its common names include: Incensier, Sea Dew, Ros Maris, Rosmarine, Rosemarie, and Guardrobe.

The history of Rosemary is a story covering thousands of years.  A story steeped in the myth and tradition of many a varied civilization.  Starting with its strong association to the ancient Greeks and Romans, rosemary captivated these peoples for its mystical and healing powers.  Hellenistic and Roman gardens almost always contained rosemary bushes.  Moreover, rosemary was believed to grow only in the gardens of the righteous and protected one from evil spirits.  Today, as in the past, rosemary continues to capture the attention of those who seek its usefulness in the preservation of health and beauty.

Brought to Britain with the Roman armies, rosemary over the centuries has spread its influence through Europe and eventually to the New World.  In addition to the widespread belief in its cosmetic benefit, rosemary is again and again mentioned throughout the anals of Europeon history for it's properties of purification and it's healing powers.  Rosemary's long thought ability to increase circulation and strengthen blood vessels has also associated it with memory, remembrance and the heart (love).  Let us look at a few examples from the saga of the majestic rosemary plant.

Beginning with the written word as early as the fifith millenium B.C. references to rosemary were found written in cuneiform on stone tablets.

Pedanius Dioscorides (ca. 40 to ca. 90) Greek physician, pharmacologist and botanist practiced in Rome during the time of Nero.  His most famous writing, the five volume "De Materia Medica" is one of the most influential herbal books in history.  Dioscorides recommended rosemary for its "warming faculty". In addition to its importance in the history of herbal science, the "Materia Medica" also enlightens us about the herbs and remedies employed by the Greeks, Romans and other cultures of antiquity.

The first book printed in English which could actually be called an herbal is Blanckes' Herbal published in England circa 1525.  Of all the various and diverse herbs listed in Blanckes' the characteristics and attributes of this "dew of the sea"are perhaps the most fascinating and charming. An excerpt from Blanks' recommends cosmetic uses for rosemary; "boyle the leves in whyte wyne and wasshe thy face therwith . . . thou shalt have a fayre face." Further advice includes . . ." make thee a box of the wood (rosemary) and smell to it and it shall preserve thy youthe."  A rosemary tea is also touted in Blanckes' "for much worth against all evils of the body.”

Among medicinal benefits claimed include a topical application for gout; "if thy legs be blown with the gout, boil the leaves (rosemary) in water and then take the leaves and bind them in a linen cloth about thy legs, and it shall do much good."

Gervase Markham (1568-1637) English writer and poet, included high praise for rosemary in his most famous work "English Housewife",first published in 1615.  He writes; "Rosemary water (the face washed therein both morning and night) causeth a fair and clear contenance."  Furthermore; "when one maketh a bath of this decoction, it is called the bath of life , the same drunk comforteth the heart, the brain, and the whole body, and cleanseth away the spots of the face; it maketh a man look young . . ."

Nicholas Culpepper (1616-1654) was an English botanist, herbalist and physician, who spent the greater part of his life cataloging hundreds of medicinal herbs.  His two great works "The English Physician" (1652) and the "Complete Herbal" (1653) vastly contributed to our knowledge of the pharmacalogical properties of herbs.  Dr. Culpepper devoted himself to using herbals to treat the illnesses of his patients, greatly criticizing what he considered the unnatural methods of his contemporaries. Ultimately, he transformed traditional medical knowledge and methods via his quest for improved solutions for ill health.

The use of herbals by Culpepper was key to the development of modern day pharmaceuticals most of which originally had herbal origins.  Culpepper was one of the pioneers to translate documents discussing medicinal plants found in the Americas from the Latin.  The impact on medicine in the North American colonies by Culpepper's translations and approach to using herbals was incalculable.  His "Complete Herbal" was so highly regarded in the colonies that many of the species that he touted were imported to the New World from England.

One of the most flattering descriptions of the benefits of rosemary (rosemary water) was set forth by Dr. Culpepper.  Among the attributes he ascribed to rosemary; "the (rosemary) water is an admirable cure-all remedy of all kinds of cold, loss of memory, headache, coma."  It receives and preserves natural heat, restores body function and capabilities, even at late age.  There are not that many remedidies producing that many good effects." ("Pharmacopeia Londoniensis", Nicholas Culpepper, 1653).

Students in ancient Greece wore garlands of rosemary around their necks, or braided it into their hair to improve their memory during exams.  Others would place it in their pillow the night before to enhance memory during sleep.

As to rosemary’s power to enhance memory we have a mutitude of testimonials. Sir Thomas More,  (Aka Saint Thomas More, (1478-1535) English lawyer, author and stateman wrote, "As for rosmarine, I lette it runne all over my garden walls, not onlie because my bees love it, but because it is the herb sacred to remembrance, and, therefore to friendship . . .”

Shakespheare’s Juliet was honored at her burial with rosemary for remembrance.  Early Europeons commonly threw sprigs of rosemary into graves as a symbol that the dead would not be forgotten.  In ancient Egypt rosemary was placed in the tomb to remember the dead, used in the bouquets of funeral flowers and even utilized in the embalming practices of that time. The tradition of tossing rosemary sprigs into the grave did not end in England until the 19th century.  This tradition was memorialized in the lines of George Sewell (1687-1726) English poet and physician;

           "All must be left when Death appears,
            In spite of wishes, groans, and tears;
            Not one of all thy plants that grow
            But rosemary will with you go."

Unfortunately Dr. Sewell died indigent and alone, afforded neither a memorial at his grave nor a sprig of rosemary for remembrance.

Rosemary is still today regarded as the funeral flower signifying respect and remembrance for the departed.  The honored war dead are annually commemorated on ANZAC (Australia and New Zealand Army Corps) Day by the wearing of small rosemary sprigs in the coat lapel, pinned to the breast or held in place by medals.  This, yet again, done for remembrance.

On a lighter note rosemary has been a long standing fixture in the lore of romance and matrimony.  As the symbol of remembrance and fidelity rosemary has been used for centuries in courtship and weddings.  According to English folklore if a girl placed a plate of flour under a rosemary bush on midsummer's eve, her future husband's initials would be written in it.  Other's believed that to see your true love in a dream one should put rosemary under your pillow.  Sleeping Beauty was said to have been awoken from her sleep by Prince Charming brushing a rosemary sprig over her cheek.

Rosemary has long held a prominent role in the wedding ceremony.  Used in weddings to help one remember the wedding vows, the bride and groom might dip rosemary in their wine cups to toast each other.  Dried rosemary has been laid in the bed linen to ensure faithfulness and a bride who gave her groom a sprig of rosemary to hold on their wedding night would ensure that he remain faithful.  In the middle ages the more elegant couples gave rosemary as a wedding favor.  Sprigs were often dipped in gold and tied with a beautiful ribbon, this to symbolize that though the couple were starting a new life they would always remember their friends and family.

Rosemary has been celebrated in song for it's power over memory. Simon and Garfunkel in 1966 revitalized an old Elizabethan ballad, "Scarborough Fair".

Are you going to Scarborough Fair?
Parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme
Remember me to one who lives there
For she once was a true love of mine."

And, the Elizabethans knew rosemary for love and faithfulness, rosemary to remember.

French legend has it that if a man didn’t like the scent of rosemary, he would be an inferior lover. Empress Josephine is said to have asked Napoleon to wash in rosemary water before entering her bedchamber.  Perhaps this explains Napoleon's obsession with rosemary.  It is said to have been his favorite perfume.  Chardin, "Perfumer of Their Imperial and Royal Majesties," recorded Napoleon's use of 162 bottles of rosemary water in the first three months of 1806.  Napoleon also favored rosemary for its qualities of restoring bodily vitality, brain stimulation and it's antiseptic properties.  In his book, “Memories of Saint Helena", Victor Masson wrote that Napoleon was such a fan that as he lay dying two of Chardin's perfumed pastilles (compressed herbs burnt to release medicinal properties) were burning in his bedchamber.  And, once again rosemary exhibited its magical power over love and remembrance. Despite many affairs, eventual divorce and even remarriage, the Emperor Napoleon's last words as he died on the Island of Helena in 1821 were "France, the Army, the Head of the Army, Josephine."  Thus, their great love affair passed into immortality.  Rosemary water subsequently became so popular that it was the first herbal product to be commercially produced and marketed.

As for English royalty, Anne of Cleves wore a "rich crown of stone and pearls set with rosemary in her hair" when she became King Henry the Eighth's fourth wife in 1540.  However, even the power of rosemary could not preventrenowned womanizer King Henry from forgetting his wedding vows. Four months later the marriage was doomed as he succombed to the charms of Catherine Howard, lady-in-waiting to Queen Anne.  Yet many, many couples have had far more good fortune with the rosemary used in their wedding ceremonies.  Today brides in Europe still wear the traditional sprig of rosemary in their hair.

Medicinally and for purification rosemary was a mainstay in the practices in early medical and sterilization techniques.  During the plaque of 1665 it was carried and sniffed to protect against contamination from the dreaded epidemic.  Carried in either a pouch (ladies handbag), handkerchief or perhaps in the head of a gentleman's walking stick.

Tradition asserts burned rosemary emits powerful cleansing and purifying vapors and vibrations. Rosemary is one of Earth's oldest incenses.  Rosemary has been burned for centuries in sick chambers to purify the air, specifically in French hospitals during war (through WWII) to kill germs.  Burned also in churches and courtrooms and other public arenas for its antiseptic properties. Hence the French name incensier.

Centuries before the advent of the refrigerator, rosemary was used as a preservative for meats and other foods. Because of rosemary's high anti-oxident activity ancients would wrap their meats in crushed rosemary leaves.  The freshness would be preserved and thus the smell and taste would remain pleasant.  Rosemary was also used to control pests such as mosquitos, fleas (the carrier of the plague) and moths.

During the Middle Ages rosemary was spread on the floor at midnight on Christmas Eve so as people walked on it the fragrance would fill the air; this in the belief that those who smelled rosemary on Christmas Eve would have a year of health and happiness.  Thus, started the long tradition of rosemary in Christmas wreaths and other holiday decorations.

Perhaps one of the more amusing tales of rosemary's magic involves Queen Elizabeth of Hungary (1305-1381).  Suffering from severe rheumatism and gout the Queen (aged 72) turned to the healing powers of the rosemary plant.  She began using a variant of Rosemary Water, also referred to as Hungary (Budapest) Water, allegedly given to her by a hermit who claimed that "it would preserve her beauty and health until her death."  In fact, legend claims, the treatment so enhanced her health, vitality and appearance that she, using her own words, "was not only cured, but recovered my strength, and appeared to all so remarkably beautiful that the King of Poland asked me in marriage." (from a text by John Prevost, published 1656).  By the way, the King was 26 yearsold. Take from this what you may.

However, we do know that as we discover more about the chemical structure of rosemary and its anti-oxidental properties, the myth of the past is quickly becoming the reality of the future.  As we continue to unlock the mysteries of the rosemary plant; we are validating the many applications of rosemary that have been utilized for centuries.  Yet what can the marvelous rosemary do for you.

Back to Blanckes' Herbal . . . Rosemary - "washe thy face therwith . . . thou shalt have a fayre face."  "Smell it and it shall preserve thy youthe.  "And, remember Markham; "Rosemary "cleanseth away the spots of the face, . . . it maketh a man look young."

Using the knowledge acquired over centuries and improving upon the techniques of the past, we have formulated creams saturated in the rich chemical ingredients that empower the magical rosemary plant.  Our predesessors were on to something.  They knew of the power of rosemary; now we have released it.  Let Effulgere awaken the Sleeping Beauty in you.
May the song from within come forth, Expressing itself as it may
With nary a thought or worry, For how else to spend the day
- by Me : )

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Re: Plant Spirit Medicine

Postby Spiritwind » Fri Jun 08, 2018 3:06 pm

Mullein wasn’t really on my list, as it’s considered a weed by most and grows profusely in our area. I’ve had to dig quite a few up and the seeds really liked my garden. I have left a few of the more stunning specimens, because I do recognize it as a medicine and have no desire to get rid of them all. I realize even the few I left will create much work for me next year, but my inner nudge is to leave them anyway. I think, after reviewing what mullein is good for, I should actually be harvesting some for use. Like, duh! I have used it in herbal ear drops from when my daughter was little and had re-occurring ear infections. More and stronger antibiotics was actually making her health decline. In fact, when I finally quit that routine and took her to a naturopath she never had another serious ear infection growing up. They generally don’t know if there is a real bacterial infection when they prescribe antibiotics anyway, since you’d have to do more than just look in your ears to know for sure. And now, of course, I think back on the vaccines I did subject her to, even though I did not follow their little chart recommendations, may have contributed. I guess I’ll never know for sure.

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http://www.eldrumherbs.co.uk/content/co ... hp?state=1

Mullein

Latin: Verbascum thapsus
Also Known As: Aaron's Rod, Blanket Leaf, White Mullein, Mullein Dock, Our Lady's Flannel, Blanket Herb, Woollen, Rag Paper, Wild Ice Leaf, Clown's Lungwort, Bullock's Lungwort, Beggar's Staff, Golden Rod, Adam's Flannel, Beggar's Blanket, Cuddy's Lungs, Fluffweed, Feltwort, Hare's Beard, Candlewick Plant, Clot, Doffle, Feltwort, Flannel Plant, Graveyard Dust, Hag's Tapers, Hedge Taper, Jupiter's Staff, Lady's Foxglove, Old Man's Flannel, Peter's Staff, Shepherd's Club, Shepherd's Herb, Torches, Velvetback, Velvet Plant

Family: Scrophulariaceae
Habitat and Description: As you can no doubt guess by the wide variety of colourful and descriptive nicknames for this tall, stately plant, Mullein has decidedly hairy leaves, covered in a soft silvery coloured down. The leaves themselves grow in rosettes around the stem, and are large and oval in shape, a soft pale green grey in colour. The flowers grow on a tall stem rising many feet above the leaves, with randomly placed, honey fragranced yellow flowers growing up the stem in profusion – these appear in the second year of growth. It prefers a well drained soil that tends towards dryness and can be a bit tricky to grow in the herb garden as a result – I find them a bit hit and miss at times for this exact reason. The flower spikes sometimes divide at the top into smaller flower laden branches. The plant itself is a biennial, native to Europe, Asia and Western China, and can these days also be found in North America. It can be found on sunny banks, fields, roadsides and in wasteland, preferring a poor, dry, chalky soil for best growth.

Parts Used: Aerial parts – leaves and flowers. The leaves are gathered in the first year, the flowers in the second year. The roots are sometimes used.
Constituents: iridoids including ajugol; flavonoids such as verbascoside; saponins; volatile oils; tannins; mucilage.

Planetary Influence: Saturn
Associated Deities and Heroes: Jupiter, Circe, Odysseus, St. Fiacre. Given the folklore and alternative names for this plant, I suspect you could probably associated with assorted crone deities and death deities as well.

Festival: Samhain
Constitution: cool and moist but only slightly so – generally temperate.
Actions and Indications: Being a classic herb of Saturn, Mullein is used to restore balance and bring structure back to the body. It is used for conditions where the body has either worn down villi and tissues, resulting in harsh, dried out conditions, and for the other side of the coin – problems causing the body to be saturated with too much fluid, such as oedema and mucous building up in the digestive tract and respiratory system.

The root is used by herbalists in North America to soothe acute pain. The flowers are particularly good for earache, and problems affecting the nerves, whereas the leaves are better for the respiratory system and related problems, and for musculo skeletal problems.

As a softening, soothing herb, it is wonderful for old, dry, tickly coughs and conditions of the lungs where the lining has worn down, resulting in regular chest infections with a tight chest, dry membranes and a chronic, long lasting cough. Mullein softens the membranes, opens the chest and allows proper breathing, acting as a tonic to the respiratory tract and alleviating the misery of winter chest infections.

The other area that Mullein particularly suits is conditions affecting the joints – hot, dry, constricted conditions such as rheumatism, arthritis and related joint complaints, as well as broken bones, strained tendons and ligaments and torn muscles – I rather suspect it will combine particularly well with Comfrey in this general area. Indeed, it has such a long standing reputation in this area that even Culpeper recommended it as useful for gout and stiff sinews, as well as for dislocated joints and broken bones.

Apparently Mullein can also be used as a pain killer and nervine, soothing and easing conditions where the nerves have become trapped and tight. The flowers can also be used as a mild sedative for insomnia – another usage linking the flowers to the nerves. Quite appropriate really when you consider the structure of the plant and where the flowers are located – right at the very top of the stem.

Mullein can also be used to ease both acute and chronic cystitis, and to relieve water retention and bladder irritation. As a useful digestive remedy, it can be used for those suffering from abdominal pain, diarrhoea with urgency and long lasting digestive upset.

The flowers infused in seed oil is a useful remedy for ear ache and ear infections when rubbed around the base of the ear and one or two drops placed into the ear itself – not recommended, however, if you have a perforated ear drum.

Topically, Mullein can be used to make a great drawing poultice or ointment for splinters and bites, and can be used to soothe rashes, cuts and grazes, and of course to ease the pain from broken bones and dislocated joints.

Spiritual and Energetic Uses: As a flower remedy, Mullein's general appearance is a very good indication as to its uses. Mullein can be used to bring clarity and inner light, to help a person stand firm and develop inner strength (think of Mullein's appearance for a moment – strong, upright central stem, almost represents a backbone really, with the flowers at the top as the head.) It can be good for those who struggle with their conscience – perhaps to help them see whether what they did was right or wrong and how to learn from their mistakes if their choice was wrong. Mullein is a very good plant for those who feel they have lost their sense of 'self', to help them figure out where their boundaries are and develop into the people they are supposed to be. I'd be inclined to give it to those who have gone through a traumatic or life changing experience and who need help processing it all and learning from their experiences. It could possibly also be used as a bit of a safety net, to provide reassurance and prevent the descent into bitterness that can follow negative experiences.

Magical Uses: Mullein, like so many of the more well known herbs, has a long history of magical usage, and is yet another of those herbs used to engender courage in the bearer. It protects those who carry it against wild animals, and apparently if you put it into your shoe it will prevent you from catching a cold. The dried herb guards against nightmares, evil spirits and negative magic and is added to sachets and charms to hang over doors and windows for these purposes. It is also used in men's love magic. I rather suspect that, given the plant's long history as a candle substitute, it could be added to spells to bring illumination and understanding to whoever was performing the spell in question. The plant can be used to make a purple dye, suitable for colouring robes, cords and possibly altar cloths for magical works.

Folklore: Some think that the Latin name 'Verbascum' is a corruption of the original word for beard, 'barba', alluding to the wooly appearance of the plant. The plant was certainly known by the Greeks and Romans – Pliny suggested that figs should be wrapped in Mullein leaves to help them keep fresh for longer. The stems were used as replacement torches by legionaries and were dipped in wax and used as candles at funerals – this usage continued up until the middle ages. The flowers were used by Roman women to make a blonde hair wash.

Apparently both Circe and Odysseus used the plant – Circe used it as part of her spells, and Odysseus used it to protect himself from her spells, amusingly enough!

In the Middle Ages, Mullein was grown in monastery gardens as a protection from the devil. Again, conversely, Mullein was used as candles in witches spells, though if the plant was gathered in a particular set of circumstances – the sun in Virgo and moon in Aries – the plant could be used to guard the bearer against sorcery.

Dose: up to 5mls three times a day of the tincture, or 1 cup of hot water over 2tsps of the dried leaf or flower, infused for up to 15 minutes and drunk three times a day.

Contraindications: If using any of the plant as a tea, strain the resulting liquid through muslin as the hairs growing on the leaves irritate the mouth.


And this is from another site:
http://www.alchemy-works.com/verbascum_thapsus.html

This magick herb also has various connections to the idea of returning, which we can see as a Saturnian power (emphasizing borders and staying inside them). For instance, in Great Britain it was used to help bring back children who had been kidnapped by fairies. Various Native Americans knew a good thing when they saw it and used this Eurasian native that became naturalized in North America to return people to their right mind. For instance, the Hopi mixed the leaves with osnomodium to be used as a smoke by crazy people and those who had been betwitched. The Navajo wrapped the leaves in a corn husk to be smoked to help a mind return if it was lost, and the Potowatami smudged unconcscious people with the leaves to help them return to consciousness. Consider mullein useful in centering the spirit and add it to the pipe smoked as an aid to astral work.
May the song from within come forth, Expressing itself as it may
With nary a thought or worry, For how else to spend the day
- by Me : )

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Re: Plant Spirit Medicine

Postby Spiritwind » Wed Jun 20, 2018 8:56 pm

I'm going to make another detour here, seeing how the solstice is upon us, and indeed, St. John's Wort is in full bloom, and the wild kind just happens to grow here in abundance. The following is an awesome article on making solstice cookies. I would check out the link to see all the images, as they are beautiful, and I feel quite inspired.

SWEET MAGIC: SUMMER SOLSTICE HONEY COOKIES

https://gathervictoria.com/2016/06/10/s ... y-cookies/

Then followed that beautiful season… Summer…
Filled was the air with a dreamy and magical light; and the landscape
Lay as if newly created in all the freshness of childhood. ~Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Looking for a festive way to celebrate the upcoming summer solstice? Well, these aromatic sunny cookies may be just the ticket. Made with sacred herbs and flowers of the sun, they’re filled with the gathering magic of midsummer traditions. And served up at a summer solstice picnic, they will delight young and old. After, all doesn’t everyone love a pretty cookie?

Image

And what better way to capture the magic of the longest day of the year? This is the day (June 20th) the sun’s powers are at their peak, from now on the sun will recede from the sky a little earlier each evening. For our Northern European ancestors, summer solstice was the turning point between the waxing and waning cycle of the great year. And they marked the occasion, as they so liked to do, by throwing a party. Feasts, bonfires, and dancing, all in celebration of the glorious midsummer sun. And they still do today!

Across old Europe, summer solstice had many different names. In Britain it was known as Midsummer, in Latvia, it was Kupala Day or Herb Evening, and in Scandinavia, it was celebrated as Litha. For women, this was a “Gathering Day”, an important day of ritual first harvest. Wearing ceremonial clothing adorned with symbols of the sun, they would weave flowers into garlands and crowns. Then they would go into the fields and forests to gather plants and herbs.

On this day plants were believed to be vigorous with the heightened life force of the sun – so it was common knowledge that a curing or magical herb plucked on Midsummer doubled its powers! Folklore tells if you picked nine flowers or the leaf of plantain and put it under the pillow – you would dream your future spouse.

St. John’s Wort, with its solar yellow flowers, is the herb most associated with Midsummer. According to old herbals, it blooms on this day, and along with its many healing abilities, it brought protection from fire, disease, disaster and the evil eye.

Image

While it was renamed by the Church after St. John ( it’s bright red red sap mimics the blood of St. John) it’s association with female powers and witchery is strong. It’s flowers were left at the feet of statues of Greek and Roman goddesses, such as Hecate, the goddess of ghosts and sorcery, and Circe, who distilled its leaves and flowers for potent charms. And my favorite herbalist, wise woman Susun Weed, steadfastly refers to this herb as St. John’s Wort.

Other herbs bearing the magical power of the sun include rosemary, vervain, hyssop, fern, mullein, basil, lavender, thyme, fennel, and wormwood. These herbs were associated with powers of invigoration, healing, purification and protection, and the flowers (rose, daisy, marigold, cornflower, calendula and more) represented beauty and love.

Petals were scattered in water or dried in love charms. In Bohemia, girls wore chaplets of mugwort while dancing around the Midsummer bonfire. And on Midsummer’s Eve Italians washed their faces in bowls of water containing flowers, rose petals and herbs.

And of course, this herbaceous solstice bounty was also consumed! Fresh herbs and traditional midsummer feasting are a long-standing culinary tradition. They were used in dishes made from the first harvest of the season; vegetables (peas and mint, new potatoes and dill), fresh cheeses (like the Latvian Caraway cheese) and alcoholic libations (the Scandinavians made Aquavit with dill, fennel, and coriander). And in Provence five sacred aromatic herbs-rosemary, thyme, marjoram, hyssop and sage, are gathered to make an “infusion aux herbes de Saint Jean.”

In Nordic countries, midsummer feast included “sun breads”, cakes or buns made with honey (also a golden sun food) believed to bring fertility, prosperity, and abundance to the community. One Scandinavian folk tradition recommends including midsummer dew in the dough to cure diseases! Roman’s had their own summer solstice celebration Vestalia, during which priestesses Vestales made sacred cakes with water from her holy spring.

So inspired by these many summer solstice food traditions, I decided to a do a little baking ritual of my own – midsummer sun cookies! Infused with herby aromatic flavours and flowers of the sun (like rosemary, thyme, lavender, and sage) then coloured golden with a few drops of orangey St.John’s tincture and adorned with symbols of the sun – they would be food magic indeed.

And I think they turned out beautifully. So if you’re looking for a way to mark the turn of the seasons and connect with mother nature, celebrate Gathering Day. Summer solstice festivities traditionally occurred somewhere between June 20th to early July according to differing calendars. So you have plenty of time!

Wear something sunny, and take the children (or not) for a flowery, herby harvest. But however you decide to enjoy nature’s midsummer bounty, remember that above all, “On Midsummer we eat and dance with abandon, leaving all worries behind. The sun never sets and there are flowers everywhere.” Seems a good a reason as any to celebrate with cookies!

Summer Solstice Herby Honey Cookies

Ingredients:

1 & 3/4 cups of flour
¾ C. softened butter
¼ C. honey
¼ brown or cane sugar
1 teaspoon minced thyme
1 teaspoon lavender buds
1 teaspoon minced rosemary
1 teaspoon minced sage
a few crushed cardamom seeds
pinch of salt
NOTE: I used more like a tablespoon of each herb in my cookies, but this might be too herbaceous for some, so adjust accordingly. And I also added 3/4 cup oatmeal to another batch of cookies and cut back on the flour. Feel free to experiment or use whatever cookie recipe you like…after all it’s not the cookie that matters as much as the spirit!

Icing:

3 teaspoons milk
1 cup icing sugar
wee bit of grated lemon rind. ( I also added lavender buds to the second batch of icing)
Colouring. I used a combination of golden beet juice, St. John’s Tincture and a pinch of turmeric powder, but of course, you could use a store-bought natural food dye. Recipe for a carrot-based colored icing here.
Combine your milk and icing sugar. Slowing add in your colouring and mix until you find the desired colour/consistency
Directions:

Preheat Oven to 300
Beat flour, sugar and soft butter together until creamy.
Slowly drizzle in honey while beating until mixture pulls together.
Add minced herbs and petals, mix well through the dough.
Divide into four balls and chill for an hour or so.
Roll out and cut into round shapes. Add flour as needed.
Bake at 300 for 10-15 minutes.
Let cool.
Decorate using the flowers and herbs of the sun: petals of calendula, daisy, St. John’s Wort, rose, or sprigs of rosemary, thyme and sage.
May the song from within come forth, Expressing itself as it may
With nary a thought or worry, For how else to spend the day
- by Me : )

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Re: Plant Spirit Medicine

Postby Herbnut » Wed Jun 20, 2018 10:02 pm

Spiritwind wrote:Mullein wasn’t really on my list, as it’s considered a weed by most and grows profusely in our area....


One of my favorite plants... Thanks for the invite.

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Re: Plant Spirit Medicine

Postby Spiritwind » Wed Jul 04, 2018 2:55 pm

So I’ve chosen yarrow for our next herb to highlight. It grows wild where I live and is in full bloom right now. It’s an amazing and wonderful herb, with so many applications. And quite the extensive history of use.

Image

Yarrow the Warrior
by JOHN on FEBRUARY 15, 2009

http://www.redrootmountain.com/yarrow-the-warrior/17

Yarrow through history is a plant shrouded in the mystical, yet well grounded in its medicinal uses. Experiences with yarrow vary with the time period and culture. The Europeans used yarrow to summon demons, or to exorcise evil from a person. The plant became a talisman to many for courage and protection, and also for love in marriage. The Chinese used yarrow stems as a divination tool in the I-Ching. The Native Americans used it to relieve pain and inflammation from tooth, head or earaches, reduce fever and aid sleep. How can we use yarrow to empower and protect us in our lives today?

The definition of a plant in history begins with the name. Achille millefolium, the Latin name for yarrow, defines a part the mythology as well as the physical plant structure. Millefolium is derived from milfoil, meaning million-leaved plant. This refers to the many segments of its foliage. Achille is derived from the warrior Achilles, who is said to have used it to stop the bleeding wounds of his soldiers. As a result, warriors have carried yarrow into battle for centuries for its healing power and the spirit the plant brings, of courage and protection to those who wear it.

The common name, Yarrow, is derived from the Dutch and Saxon word gearwe and yerw. In the herb world, it is said that gearwe means healer. The term gearwe is also used in many Old English stories in the context of war. To translate loosely, gearwe in the Anglo-Saxon Dictionary of Weapons is defined as to arm oneself in some way, be it protective clothing or wrapping weapons for battle. This makes reference to the spiritual use of yarrow for protection.

The protective and healing power of yarrow is not merely for those in battle. In the realm of spiritual and emotional healing, the work of the inner warrior is important for us all. A warrior focuses on the present. The warrior makes a clear decision as to what they wish to happen, objectively assess their own strengths and weaknesses, and moves forward in an effort to accomplish and overcome any boundary in their way, be it personal or environmental. As yarrow is written of historically to be protective and bring courage, my own spiritual work with yarrow has taught me this plant has the ability to transmute negative energy, instill flexibility of spirit and strengthen the heart. The Chinese believe that yarrow brightens the eyes and brings clarity to the intellect. All of these spiritual and physical qualities of yarrow can help us merge with our warrior energy more effectively. To take advantage of these elements of yarrow, drink yarrow as a tea without sweetener 2-3 times daily, or carry yarrow in a pouch in your pocket. Be sure to introduce yourself to the spirit of the plant and let it know what you need support for.

When we think of warrior, we think of the masculine. Yet yarrow is feminine in nature, and finds itself quite at home in the realm of women’s health issues. The German Commission E Monographs indicates yarrow as a remedy for menstrual cramps. This is attributed to the high content of flavonoids, which stimulates the body to produce prostaglandin, a chemical that controls smooth muscle contraction. The high flavonoid content of yarrow also makes it useful in relieving gastrointestinal complaints such as intestinal bloating and cramping. Yarrow is an emenagogue, meaning it brings on the period, as well as an herb to slow heavy bleeding in periods and afterbirth. Yarrow is also an excellent urinary tract tonic. It is effective when urine is suppressed, or for incontinence. Yarrow is most effective as a urinary tonic in pre-menopausal, menopausal, or postpartum women. Yarrow combines well with cramp bark, black haw and motherwort for menstral cramps or postpartum cramping. If bleeding is excessive add shepherds purse. Take 60-90 drops of tincture of the combined plants every 30-60 minutes until relief is felt. If used for postpartum bleeding which is excessive, take 90 drops of shepherds purse and yarrow tincture every 10-15 minutes until desired results are achieved. For use as a urinary tonic drink 3 cups of yarrow tea a day, using 1 teaspoon of dried plant per cup.

Flavonoids, along with having an effect on prostaglandin production, are also anti-inflammatory. Another component of yarrow that is a powerful anti-inflammatory is azuline, which comprises almost half of yarrow’s chemical composition. Azuline is a chemical relative to chamazuline, which makes chamomile the powerful anti-inflammatory it is. With this we find yarrow effective for varicose veins, piles, and to lower blood pressure. As with any herbal protocol, choosing formulas for healing is specific to the client. Varicose veins, piles and blood pressure are symptoms of a greater imbalance and require a formula of plants.

Cold and flu season is upon us. With all the talk of mutant flu strains and anti-biotic resistant bugs, we must arm ourselves with a natural medicine cabinet. Having an arsenal of essential oils, herbal teas and tinctures won’t make winter in Wisconsin pass more quickly, but it will help it pass in healthier fashion. It is the duration and severity of the illness we hope to affect. Yarrow is a wonderful anti-bacterial. Yarrow is a diaphoretic, and being high in salicylic acid (that little chemical that became aspirin), it is excellent for fevers, aches and pains associated with the flu and colds. Because it is astringent, diarrhea is aided by yarrow. Whenever one of my kids gets sick, yarrow is always one of the teas in their formula. When they get sick it is also one of the teas in my formula! It has shown great effect on preventing colds and shortening the duration of them. To prevent and shorten, I love yarrow with some freshly grated ginger (1 tablespoon of each), a teaspoon of honey, and sometimes even a drop of cinnamon essential oil (only do this if your source for essential oils has been tested for purity). There are so many great plants for colds and flu. It is important to pick plants that speak to your symptom-picture as well as target the immune system and the bug itself.

Yarrow is a very busy healer, but one that reminds us to sit and relax as well. Yarrow has an intoxicating and sedating quality to it. There have been many times I or a fellow herbalist tells a story of attempting to harvest yarrow and becoming so intoxicated, giddy and relaxed by the process that time slips by without notice. In the Middle Ages, yarrow flowers were once a part of an herbal mixture known as gruit, used to flavor beer and wine. The gruit formula was said to be a preservative, have a bitter taste, and be slightly narcotic. And it has been said that yarrow was one of the most intoxicating plants of the formula.

Essential oil of yarrow is also good to have around. Yarrow moves blood and reduces stagnation, making it an excellent infused oil or essential oil for arthritis, rheumatism, and muscle aches. Combine 3 drops each of rosemary, yarrow, eucalyptus, clove and wintergreen into 2 oz. of arnica-infused oil for application to affected areas. Yarrow’s astringent and anti-inflammatory action works wonders for piles topically as well as internally. Mix 4 drops each of frankincense, geranium, cypress and yarrow in 2 oz. of calendula and comfrey-infused oils. Apply to the area affected 3 times daily. The astringent and anti-inflammatory actions also make yarrow an excellent plant for skin care. It deflates puffy places on the face, can eliminate scaly dry patches, and tightens pores without being too drying. In 1 oz. of witch hazel, add 3 drops each of yarrow, frankincense and lavender essential oil. Apply to face after washing.

Yarrow comes to teach us something of ourselves, how we relate to our world, and how we accomplish things. It is a plant that helps us see what we need to heal, in order to take action and move forward. It is a plant that earns the name panacea as a spiritual and medicinal healer.
May the song from within come forth, Expressing itself as it may
With nary a thought or worry, For how else to spend the day
- by Me : )

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Re: Plant Spirit Medicine

Postby Spiritwind » Sat Jul 28, 2018 1:09 pm

I’ve chosen Lemon Balm for the next herb to highlight. Its got a tremendously long history of use, and I found it interesting it was used in perfumes. It’s really unassuming in the garden, until it starts reproducing. Then it will get your attention, because it’s everywhere! Makes a great tea, so I don’t mind if it spreads. Better than knapweed taking over.

Image

Lemon Balm
By Melissa Morrison

http://www.herballegacy.com/Morrison_History.html

THE BENEFITS OF THE USE OF LEMON BALM
IN HERBAL PREPARATIONS

HISTORY OF LEMON BALM
ANCIENT HISTORY OF LEMON BALM

To truly obtain a full understanding of lemon balm, within ancient historical context, we must look to the scientific name ‘Melissa officinalis’ for the beginning clues.  The mystique that surrounds lemon balm is rich and spans thousands of years beginning in ancient Ephesus, known today as Turkey.  It is here we begin to understand where lemon balm’s scientific name originates as well as its magical attributes and cherished healing powers. 

“ In the Ephesian ceremonial the life of the bee was the model:  the Great Goddess was the queen bee, the mother of her people, and her image was in outline not unlike the bee, with a grotesque mixture of the human form:  her priestesses were called Melissai…” (1).  Within ancient Greece religious doctrine, the Melissai priestesses served the Great Mother (Rhea or Cybele) or the Goddess of Earth and Nature such as Demeter, Persephone, and especially Artemis.  The honeybee was considered to be a form the human soul took when descending from the Goddess Artemis herself. (2) 

“It was only those souls who had lived a righteous life who were called Melissae, and afterwards they returned to heaven, just as the bee returned to her hive.” (3) Bees were not only important in the cosmology of ancient man but also in their commerce (honey, wax).  Thus anything that helped to attract the valued honeybees to a hive, or keep the honeybees from swarming, gained in stature and usage to man as well.  This is where lemon balm enters recorded history.  Lemon balm was a sacred herb in the Temple of Artemis/Diana, and the herb that assisted the ancient beekeepers in keeping honeybees happy and well fed with nectar.

According to Pliny the Elder, bees were “delighted with this herb above others”; this statement accounts for lemon balm’s Greek derived scientific name “Melissa” and the lesser known name of “apiastrum”.  Both of lemon balm’s given Greek names mean bee/honey bee.   In ancient Greece sprigs of lemon balm were placed into beehives to attract wandering honeybee swarms. 

Lemon balm was also planted around the bee’s hives to keep them happy and more apt to stay at the hive and not swarm away. (4,5)

The magical property of lemon balm, referred to by Pliny, seemed to be more of a sympathetic nature than an actual healing property.  He wrote, “that the herb (lemon balm) tied to a sword which has inflicted a wound will stanch the blood”. (6) If one were to have followed Pliny’s dictum it would have been near impossible to find the specific sword that inflicted the wound after a large battle, to stop the wound’s bleeding.  Perhaps this is more a case of poor translation of historical writings than sympathetic magical tracings on the part of Pliny.  Dioscorides recommended application of lemon balm leaves to “the stings of venomous beast and the bites of mad dogs”. (7) He also stated “(the leaves) being smeared on they well assuage the pains of gout”. (8)  I found in my research Pliny and Dioscorides were referenced to repeatedly in medieval and renaissance English herbals and material medicas.  Whether this was due to actual working use of lemon balm by the herbal/material medica’s author or just repeated story is hard to deduce, but as with all  folkloric herbal knowledge there is usually some grain of truth within.  Homer’s Odyssey speaks of “sweet balm and gentle violets”(9) which to this author, gives credence of the high esteem beholden upon the healing virtues of lemon balm by our ancient forebearers. 

MEDIEVAL AND RENAISSANCE HISTORY OF LEMON BALM

Moving forward from ancient times to the Medieval and Renaissance ages we find lemon balm gains even more virtuous standing amongst humans not only in its healing abilities but as a trade good and a literary muse and subject.  “In the ninth century, the first Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne thought Melissa so beautiful and so valuable to the health of his subjects that he ordered it planted in all monastery gardens.  Benedictine monks later shipped the herb to other regions…” (10)

Arabians are thought to be the first to have introduced lemon balm’s many uses to the European countries.  Not only had lemon balm been a valued part of their Materia Medica for many hundreds of years, introduced to them from the Greeks, but was also grown as a herbal cash crop used in trade. (11)   This introduction of lemon balm into Europe is thought to have occurred around the tenth century.

Lemon balm first appeared in a late Medieval/early Renaissance manuscript of the year 1440 as “herbe melisse” and “bawme”. (13)  These names, plus “balm”, are the most commonly referenced names this author found given to lemon balm in most of the old herbal text up to around the mid 1900’s;  then the name “lemon balm” seems to have taken preference as the herb’s nom de plume in botanical and herbal literature.  The early name of “balm” was popularly used in reference to lemon balm’s balsamic nature due to its sweet smelling volatile oils and soothing qualities.(14)

Having followed their Holy Emperor Charlemagne’s orders, monastic monks began utilizing lemon balm in many creative ways.  Monasteries were the first hospitals for the common man as well as nobility.  Therefore, with lemon balm being a part of the monastery’s apothecary gardens, it was only a matter of time before its use became more beloved by the general European populace.  Lemon balm was used for dressing wounds and as a general panacea or tonic, but the monks are more well known for using lemon balm to create perfumes and liquors which were very popular among the people of Medieval and early Renaissance periods.

A perfume containing lemon balm, known as Carmelite Water, was in high demand due more to practicality than the need to allure through scent.  Carmelite Water helped to cover the stench of unwashed bodies as bathing was considered an “opening” for sinful thoughts due to exposure of naked skin to the eyes of the bather.  As most people of that time period only bathed once a year, or in some cases once a lifetime, the need for sweet smelling perfumed waters was very high.  Carmelite Water also covered the smell of disease (plague), death (from plagues), and filthy living environments (attributors to plague) so rampant at that period of human history.

The recipe for Carmelite Water was so prized that patents for it, under the name ‘Eau de Melisse des Carmes’, were granted by Louis XIV,XV, and XVI of France.  This perfume patent was kept inviolate secret by the Carmelite friars who made it.  All that is known of the patent recipe now is it was comprised of lemon balm flowers, coriander seeds, angelica root, nutmeg, cinnamon, and cloves pounded together and steeped in wine, (15)    Carmelite Water was also used as a internal and external remedy for just about all ailments suffered in that period of history.  Other herbal concoctions brewed by monastic monks are known to modern man as fine liquors and aperitifs.  Many of these complex herbal formulations were used as general tonics and disease cures in the Medieval and Renaissance periods.  Two such formulas that contain lemon balm are the liquors known as ‘Chartreuse’ and ‘Benedictine’.  ‘Benedictine’ contains twenty-seven herbs and spices of which lemon balm is one.  In the early 1500’s lemon balm was used by a Venetian monk, Dom Bernard Vincelli, to create the liquor ‘Benedictine’.  He did this in an effort to revive his fellow monks and even claimed his herbal elixir cured the local populace of malaria. (16)   Whether through the liquor itself or the medicinal qualities of the herbs used in it, a supposition can be made that whoever  took this elixir was bound to feel better in some form or another!

The herbal known as “The Grete Herball” written by Gerad,  recommended using balm as an ointment for all aches; steeped in wine to “keep one from swooning if the cause be cold.”  The “Horitus Sanitatis” recommends placing the dried leaves of lemon balm atop the head to “…draw out congestion and leave one light headed.”  This book also states lemon balm is helpful to clear the chest, relive difficult breathing, and “helpeth conception more.”  Lemon balm was also used for seasoning soups ans sauces and cold wine beverages in medieval times. (17)

Many herbalist and people of the Renaissance period continued to hold lemon balm in high regard for its healing ability, some attributing to it the potential for long life when taken every day in an elixir form.  Gerad, the herbalist-surgeon, repeats the writings of Pliny and Discorides in his book “The Grete Herball” stating “…Drunk in wine, it (lemon balm) is good against the bitings of venomous beast, comforts the heart, and drives away melancholy…The juice glueth together green wounds.” (18)

John Parkinson, the author of “Paradisi I Sole Paradisus Terrestris” recommends using “Melissa, Balme…for baths in summer to comfort the sinews… steeped in ale, as a balm water for use instead of AquaVitae against suddaine qualms or passions of the heart.” (19) 

Nicholas Culpepper, an astrologer herbalist of seventeenth century stated lemon balm was an “Herb of Jupiter and under the (astrological) sign Cancer, and it strengthens Nature (the body) much in al its actions.”(20)  Culpepper re-iterated  lemon balm’s uses as described by Pliny, Dioscorides, and Avicenna, a Muslim herbalist and philosopher of the ninth century.  But Culpepper also added lemon balm could be used to “…open obstructions of the Brain; and hath so much purging quality in it…as to expel those melancolly vapors from the Spirits and Blood which are in the Heart and Arteries… it is food to wash aching Teeth therwith… It is good for the Liver and Spleen.” (21)   Culpepper, following the tradition of Galenic medicine of his time, classified lemon balm as hot in the 2nd degree, dry in the 2nd degree affecting cold, moist conditions of the lungs, heart, and stomach. (22)   Lemon balm was an herb dubbed by Paracelsus as “the elixir of life”.  He combined lemon balm with carbonate of potash creating what he called ‘Primum Ens Melissae’. (23)

Lemon balm seemed to be a favorite of William Shakespeare; or perhaps he was just reflecting lemon balm’s popularity within his lifetime.  In Shakespeare’s day lemon balm was used as a secret messenger or code, in the language of flowers, between lovers to signify sympathy.  Shakespeare mentions lemon balm in his plays” King Richard II, King Henry IV, and King Lear”.  In the plays, lemon balm is the herb used in the anointing or consecration of the kings, then again as help to assuage the king’s inevitable sorrows and grief.  Shakespeare also mentions lemon balm in his plays “The Rape of Lucrese, Macbeth, and Antony & Cleopatra.”  In “The Merry Wives of Windsor” lemon balm was referenced for use as a furniture polish to scent the chairs and banquet table before a feast. (24)

At this period of time in history ( mid 1500’s to 1700’s) colonization of the North American continent was occurring.  The prospective settlers not only brought tools and equipment over with them but more importantly they brought their cherished medical herbal books and healing plants as well.  Lemon balm was one of these herbs especially important for its multi-faceted uses.  The colonist used lemon balm for cooking & flavoring, for beverages such as teas and wines, medicine, cosmetic and house- hold uses such as cleaning and scenting.  In cooking, lemon balm was used for a ‘salet’ or salad herb, for flavoring meats, sauces, puddings, and cakes.  Many Old Williamsburg recipes called for it.  There are also records of Thomas Jefferson growing lemon balm at Monticello.(24)

As time went by lemon balm gradually fell out of favor for its medicinal powers, mostly due to lack of glamour when compared to other herbs of the day.  It did not seem to purge or puke sufficiently enough to remain in good stead with the doctors of that time.  This is evident in many of the nineteenth century American herbals, material medicas, pharmacopeias, or dispensatories.  Examples of the dismissive attitude toward lemon balm can be seen from the American edition of “Pereiara’s Materia Medica”…”the effects of balm are similar to, though milder than, those of the labiate plants…” and “Potter’s New Cyclopedia” stating lemon balm is “carmative, diaphoretic, febrifuge”. (26,27)  Potter’s also repeats information on lemon balm given by Culpepper and quotes Pliny much the same way earlier herbals did.

Today lemon balm is used in Switzerland as a flavoring agent for certain cheeses and generally as a cooking herb. (28)  European studies have proven the anti-viral effectiveness of lemon balm specifically in shortening the healing time of herpes cold sores and outbreak of shingles. (29)  Other studies are now being conducted on the use of lemon balm in the treatment of Grave’s disease, hyperthyroid, and Alzheimer’s/dementia.  With hope today’s science will rediscover the magical healing virtues of lemon balm so cherished by our forebears and place lemon balm back in its rightful place in our modern day pharmacopeias.
May the song from within come forth, Expressing itself as it may
With nary a thought or worry, For how else to spend the day
- by Me : )


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