- JUST BLOOMED TODAY
- TWEET TREATS
- DID YOU KNOW...?
- GARDEN UPDATE
- THE HERBAL PRIMER, DAY TWO~THE MEDICINAL HERBS
- GARDEN GIGGLE
- WHAT IN THE WORLD?
Heard from the weatherman that all week it is expected to be record-breaking heat in the High Desert, along with a monsoonal moisture. I just know it's HOT and STICKY, and our electric bill is killing us.
THE HERBAL PRIMER: DAY TWO THE MEDICINAL HERBS
Most cultures have a history of using herbs medicinally. Herbs have been mentioned in the Bible and were used by primitive peoples for preserving, flavoring, and remedies. Later, herbs were grown in monasteries in the Middle Ages and during Victorian times, it was fashionable to have an elegant herb garden. With the emergence of modern drugs, herbs fell into a decline medicinally, but there has been a new interest in organic remedies. Let's look at some of the medicinal herbs and how they are used.
Depending on the specific herb, the usage varies. Some are used for their leaves; some are steeped to make a infusion,tincture or tisane; some are eaten; some are swallowed; some can be applied in a poultice to the skin; it all depends on the need and the herb.
TEAS: We have all heard of herbal teas for comfort and relaxing. Chamomile is a well known herb for sleeplessness and anxiety, but lemon verbena can also be a useful aid for sleeplessness; hyssop tea for sore throats as a gargle;yarrow tea applied to cuts and bruises;borage for coughs and dill or basil for flatulence.
To make a tisane in a one cup serving, you will need 1 tsp of dried herbs or lightly crushed herb seeds, or 1 tablespoon of fresh herbs. Pour boiling water over the herbs and then let them steep for 5 to 10 minutes. Strain and add sugar or honey to taste. Can be consumed hot or cold.
TOPICAL REMEDIES: Aloe is a wonderful herb that you can simply cut a leaf and use it straight from the plant onto a wound or sunburn or scrape. Many other herbs can be applied topically in other forms, such as poultices, baths or compresses.
BATHS:Healing Baths can be aided by the addition of herbs wrapped in cheesecloth that are hung from the bath spout under the running water. Sage and strawberry leaves for aching muscles and joints;blackberry leaves to rejuvenate and refresh the skin tone- also jasmine and orange blossoms can make a bath heavenly. Don't forget using herbs in your footbaths as well for soothing relief with a lovely fragrance.
POULTICES: Many of these applied topically are crab apple, comfrey or flax seed. Poultices are made from dried, powdered or crushed herbs mixed with hot water to make a paste. This is applied to the skin and covered with a warm towel, cloth or bandage to keep it warm.
You will notice that the amounts in herbal recipes differ between using fresh herbs and dried herbs. This is because dried herbs are concentrated and have more oils then fresh herbs.
The best bet is to buy a herbal book to guide you in which herbs will work with your specific need. You should never experiment with wild herbs as many are toxic, or may be toxic over an extended period of time in certain quantities. Always consult your doctor to ensure you are not contraindicating medicines you are already taking, or conditions you may already have, such as liver disease.
Herbs are wonderful and will add much to your life, be it aromatic, culinary or medicinally.
Tomorrow: The Culinary Herbs
1. Avoid alliteration. Always.
2. Never use a long word when a diminutive one will do.
3. Eschew ampersands & abbreviations, etc.
23. Last but not least, avoid cliches like the plague; They're old hat; seek viable alternatives.
On today in American history, people in gardens everywhere were talking about:
1782 George Washington created the order of the purple heart
1912 Teddy Roosevelt nominated for presidency by the 'Bull Moose' party
1942 US forces invade Guadalcanal
1944 Volkswagen halts production during WWII
1947 Thor Heyerdahl completes his voyage of 4,300 miles on the Kon-Tiki
1959 The first photo of the Earth by a satellite is transmitted by Explorer 6
1974 French Daredevil Phillippe Petite walked a tightrope between the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center
1990 Bush order Operation Desert Shield
2000 Joe Lieberman became the first Jewish candidate for Vice President
2012 Seven people are killed at a Wisconsin Sikh temple by a gunman