From the Herb Basket – 24

Aloe

The ancient Egyptians called the aloe “plant of immortality” and Cleopatra used the gel to help preserve her beauty and tighten sagging skin on her neck and face.

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Named for the Greek goddess Artemis, the Artemisia genus has over 300 species, although only a few are grown in the herb garden. Most Artemisia inhibit the growth of other nearby plants, often killing them in the process.

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The ancient Greeks and Romans believed that uttering a curse when sowing basil would hasten the germination of the tiny seeds.

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The Bay tree is sacred to the Sun God Apollo.

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Next time you brew a cup of chamomile tea, make an extra cup, allow it to cool and pour it in a spray bottle. Makes an excellent fungicide for treating mildew in damp places. Just spray it on and allow it to dry.

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The grated root of horseradish, cultivated in the eastern Mediterranean region for more than 3,500 years is used as a pungent condiment and also in herbal medicine. Wasabi horseradish which is used in Japan has an extremely hot taste — too hot for most people in America.

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The ancient Greeks called marjoram and oregano “brightness of the mountains” and it’s hard to imagine Mediterranean cooking without their warm, aromatic taste.

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The lowly sorrel plant with its sharp, citrus taste may not be a gourmet cook’s delight, but it was good enough for Julius Caesar. He used its leaves and roots as a cure for scurvy among his troops.

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Josephine, Napoleon’s wife, loved the scent of violets. Among Napoleon’s possessions was a lock of her hair and dried sweet violets kept inside a locket that he carried into battle.

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In South Africa, the leaves of the rooibos (pronounced ROY-boss) plant Aspalathus linearis have been brewed for centuries. Rooibos tea is becoming a wildly popular beverage with its pleasant flavor, caffeine-free content, and most importantly, its remarkable antioxidant properties.

Blessed be, sweet ones

~Meadow Walker

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