From the Herb Basket – 27

angelica-herb

The angelica herb was named in honor of the archangel Raphael, who is said to have revealed to a monk that the plant could cure the plague.

Sweet basil is sometimes called “the royal herb” for once long ago only royalty had access to the plants.

The ancient Egyptians called the aloe  “plant of immortality.” Members of the royal house of Egypt had the fronds of the aloe placed in their tombs as an offering to the Gods.

Anise, with its licorice flavor is used in baking, liquors, teas and chewing gum.

The name “arnica” is from the Greek “arni” meaning lamb — due to the soft texture of its leaves.

Tabasco, the famous chili sauce from Louisiana is made using a three year process that was invented in 1868.

Another name for the elder tree is the Judas tree, so named due to its medieval association with the cross of Christ. Judas was said to have hung himself from the limb of an elder tree.

In the United States, galangal was traditionally chewed, just like chewing tobacco, to calm the stomach and sweeten the breath, but it is also associated with good luck. It said that if you spit the juice on the sidewalk outside the courthouse doors, you will win your case in court. Other names for the galangal root are “Little John” and “Little John Chew”.

Lemon balm’s association with bees goes back to ancient times. According to Greek mythology, Melissa was one of the nymphs who hid Zeus from his father Cronus. Once Zeus ruled Olympus, he changed Melissa into a queen bee in gratitude for keeping him alive.

To deter weevils and wood roaches from infesting books and documents, crumble dried lavender leaves into the containers or boxes where they are stored.

Poppy seeds, the source of poppy oil, are harmless flavorings for baked goods. There is no opium in poppy seeds. However seeds may be coated by, or absorb some of the opium from the pods if they are not well cleaned after harvest.

High in vitamin C and iron, arugula [ rocket ] stimulates the appetite and aids digestion.

Blessed be, sweet ones

~Meadow Walker

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