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This is the well-known fruit of our British Oak, to Which tree it gives the name—Aik, or Eik, Oak.
The Acorn was esteemed by Dioscorides, and other old authors, for its supposed medicinal virtues.
Added Jun 12, 2010 | Healing Herbs | 5,189 Reads
The Agrimony is a herbal simple well known to all country folk, and abundant throughout England in the fields and woods, as a popular domestic medicinal herb.
Agrimony belongs to the Rose order of plants, and blossoms from June to September with small yellow flowers, which sit close along slender spikes a foot high, smelling like apricots, and called by the rustics "Church Steeples."
The Wood Anemone, or medicinal English Pulsatilla, with its lovely pink white petals, and drooping blossoms, is one of our best known and most beautiful spring flowers. Herbalists do not distinguish it virtually from the silky-haired Anemone Pulsatilla, which medicinal variety is of highly valuable modern curative use as a Herbal Simple. The active chemical principles of each plant are "anemonin" and "anemonic acid."
Added Jun 12, 2010 | Healing Herbs | 5,413 Reads
The wild Angelica grows commonly throughout England in wet places as an umbelliferous plant, with a tall hollow stem, out of which boys like to make pipes. It is purple, furrowed, and downy, bearing white flowers tinged with pink. But the herb is not useful as a herbal simple until cultivated in our gardens, the larger variety being chosen for this purpose, and bearing the name Angelica Archangelica.
The Anise Pimpinella, from "bipenella," because of its secondary, feather-like leaflets, belongs to the umbelliferous plants, and is cultivated in our gardens; but its aromatic seeds chiefly come from Germany. The careful housewife will do well always to have a supply of this most useful herbal simple closely bottled in her store cupboard.
Old Scandinavian traditions represent the Apple as the food of the gods, who, when they felt themselves growing feeble and infirm, resorted to this fruit for renewing their powers of mind and body
Added Jun 12, 2010 | Healing Herbs | 4,987 Reads
The "lords and ladies" (arum maculatum) so well known to every rustic as common throughout Spring in almost every hedge row, has acquired its name from the colour of its erect pointed spike enclosed within the curled hood of an upright arrow-shaped leaf.
"Liebig, or some other scientist maintains that asparagin—the alkaloid in asparagus-develops form in the human brain: so, if you get hold of an artistic child, and give him plenty of asparagus, he will grow into a second Raffaelle!"
Added Jun 12, 2010 | Healing Herbs | 4,679 Reads
"Balm," adds John Evelyn, "is sovereign for the brain, strengthening the memory, and powerfully chasing away melancholy." In France, women bruise the young shoots of balm, and make them into cakes, with eggs, sugar, and rose water, which they give to mothers in childbed as a strengthener.
The Common Barberry (Berberis), which gives its name to a special order of plants, grows wild as a shrub in our English copses and hedges, particularly about Essex, being so called from Berberin, a pearl oyster, because the leaves are glossy like the inside of an oyster shell.
Added Jun 12, 2010 | Healing Grain & Grass | 4,710 Reads
Hordeum Vulgare—common Barley—is chiefly used in Great Britain for brewing and distilling; but, it has dietetic and medicinal virtues which entitle it to be considered among serviceable herbal simples.
Roman gladiators who depended for their strength and prowess chiefly on Barley, were called Hordearii.
Added Jun 12, 2010 | Healing Herbs | 4,898 Reads
The herb Sweet Basil (Ocymum Basilicum) is so called because "the smell thereof is fit for a king's house." It grows commonly in our kitchen gardens, but in England it dies down every year, and the seeds have to be sown annually. Botanically, it is named "basilicon," or royal, probably because used of old in some regal unguent, or bath, or medicine.
The Bennet Herb, the Herba Benedicta, or Blessed Herb, or Avens (Geum Urbanum) is a very common plant of the Rose tribe, in our woods, hedges, and shady places.
It has an erect hairy stem, red at the base, with terminal bright yellow drooping flowers. The ordinary name Avens—or Avance, Anancia, Enancia—signifies an antidote, because it was formerly thought to ward off the Devil, and evil spirits, and venomous beasts.
Added Jun 12, 2010 | Healing Herbs | 4,600 Reads
Few, if any, herbal plants have been more praised for their supposed curative virtues than the Wood Betony (Stachys Betonica), belonging to the order of Labiates. By the common people it is often called Bitny. The nameBetonica is from the Celtic "ben," head, and "tonic," good, in allusion to the usefulness of the herb against infirmities of the head.
This fruit, which belongs to the Cranberry order of plants, grows abundantly throughout England in heathy and mountainous districts.
The small-branched shrub bears globular, wax-like flowers, and black berries, which are covered, when quite fresh, with a grey bloom.
Added Jun 12, 2010 | Healing Fruit | 5,947 Reads
Blackberry is the well-known fruit of the Common Bramble (Rubus fructicosus), which grows in every English hedgerow, and which belongs to the Rose order of plants.
It has long been esteemed for its bark and leaves as a capital astringent, these containing much tannin; also for its fruit, which is supplied with malic and citric acids, pectin, and albumen.
Added Jun 13, 2010 | Healing Flowers | 6,534 Reads
The bluebell—the Agraphis mutans,—of the Lily tribe—is so abundant in English woods and pastures, whilst so widely known, and popular with young and old, as to need no description.
The Borage, with its gallant blue flower, is cultivated in our gardens as a pot herb, and is associated in our minds with bees and claret cup. It grows wild in abundance on open plains where the soil is favourable, and it has a long-established reputation for cheering the spirits.
Added Jun 13, 2010 | Healing Shrubs | 2,791 Reads
The Broom, or Link (Cytisus scoparius) is a leguminous shrub which is well known as growing abundantly on open places in our rural districts. The prefix "cytisus" is derived from the name of a Greek island where Broom abounded.
Added Jun 13, 2010 | Healing Herbs | 3,926 Reads
English hedgerows exhibit Bryony of two distinct sorts—the white and the black—which differ much, the one from the other, as to medicinal properties, and which belong to separate orders of plants.
Added Jun 13, 2010 | Healing Herbs | 11,772 Reads
The Buckbean, or Bogbean or Marsh Trefoil, which is common enough in stagnant pools, and on our spongy bogs, is the most serviceable of all known herbal tonics.
The Buckbean may be easily recognised growing in water by its large leaves overtopping the surface, each being composed of three leaflets, and resembling the leaf of a Windsor Broad Bean.
Added Jun 13, 2010 | Healing Shrubs | 3,733 Reads
The common Buckthorn grows in our woods and thickets, and used to be popularly known because of the purgative syrup made from its juice and berries. It bears dense branches of small green flowers, followed by the black berries, which purge violently.
The Buttercup generally is known in Wiltshire and the adjoining counties as Crazy, or Crazies, being reckoned by some as an insane plant calculated to produce madness; or as a corruption of Christseye (which was the medieval name of the Marigold).
Added Jun 17, 2010 | Healing Vegetables | 3,229 Reads
"The time has come," as the walrus said in Alice and the Looking
"Of shoes, and ships, and sealing-wax; of Cabbages, and kings."
Added Jun 17, 2010 | Healing Shrubs | 4,274 Reads
The medicinal basis of Camphor is certainly a powerful agent, and its stimulating volatile principles are found to exist in most of the aromatic herbs; in fact, Camphor is a concrete volatile vegetable oil, and camphoraceous properties signalise all the essences derived from carminative Herbal Simples.
The Capsicum, or Bird Pepper, or Guinea Pepper, is a native of tropical countries; but it has been cultivated throughout Great Britain as a stove plant for so many years (since the time of Gerard, 1636) as to have become practically indigenous. Moreover, its fruit-pods are so highly useful, whether as a condiment, or as a medicine, no apology is needed for including it among serviceable Herbal Simples.
The name Caraway comes from the Gaelic Caroh, a ship, because of the shape which the fruit takes. By cultivation the root becomes more succulent, and the fruit larger, whilst more oily, and therefore acquiring an increase of aromatic taste and odour.
Added Jun 17, 2010 | Healing Vegetables | 3,798 Reads
The yellow core of the Carrot is the part which is difficult of digestion with some persons, not the outer red layer.
Before the French Revolution the sale of Carrots and oranges was prohibited in the Dutch markets, because of the unpopular aristocratic colour of these commodities.
Added Jun 17, 2010 | Healing Flowers | 4,202 Reads
The celandine flower is a conspicuous herald of spring, which is strikingly welcome to everyone living in the country throughout England, and a stranger to none. The Pilewort, or lesser Celandine, bespangles all our banks with its brilliant, glossy, golden stars, coming into blossom on or about March 7th, St. Perpetua's day.
Added Jun 17, 2010 | Healing Vegetables | 3,053 Reads
In 1879, Mr. Gibson Ward, then President of the Vegetarian Society, wrote some letters to the Times, which commanded much attention, about Celery as a food and a medicament.
"Celery," said he, "when cooked, is a very fine dish, both as a nutriment and as a purifier of the blood; I will not attempt to enumerate all the marvellous cures I have made with Celery, lest medical men should be worrying me en masse. Let me fearlessly say that rheumatism is impossible on this diet."
Of all the bitter appetising herbs which grow in our fields and hedgerows, and which serve as excellent simple tonics, the Centaury, particularly its white flowered variety, belonging to the Gentian order of plants, is the most efficacious. Centaury shares in an abundant measure the restorative antiseptic virtues of the Field Gentian and the Buckbean
No Simple in the whole catalogue of herbal medicines is possessed of a quality more friendly and beneficial to the intestines than "Chamomile flowers." This herb was well known to the Greeks, who thought it had an odour like that of apples, and therefore they named it "Earth Apple," from two of their words, kamai—on the ground, and melon—an apple.
The wild Cherry (Cerasus), which occurs of two distinct kinds, has by budding and grafting begotten most of our finest garden fruits of its genus. The name Cerasus was derived from Kerasous, a city of Cappadocia, where the fruit was plentiful. According to Pliny, Cherries were first brought to Rome by Lucullus after his great victory over Mithridates, 89 B.C.
Added Jun 18, 2010 | Healing Herbs | 2,935 Reads
"There is found," writes Parkinson, "during June and July, in almost every English hedge, a certain plant called Choerophyllum, in show very like unto Hemlockes, of a good and pleasant smell and taste, which have caused us to term it 'Sweet Chervill.'"
Added Jun 18, 2010 | Healing Trees | 5,164 Reads
Ever since 1633 the Horse Chestnut tree has grown and flourished in England, having been brought at first from the mountains of Northern Asia. For the most part the Chestnut tree is rather known and admired for its wealth of shade, its large handsome floral spikes of creamy, pink-tinted blossom, and its white, soft wood, than supposed to exercise useful medicinal properties.
Added Jun 19, 2010 | Healing Herbs | 2,939 Reads
Subsequently, the chickweed herb, when given in quite small doses of tincture, or fresh juice, or infusion, has been found by its affinity to remove the train of symptoms just described, and to act most reliably in curing obstinate rheumatism allied therewith.
The Christmas Rose or Black Hellebore, a native of Southern Europe, and belonging to the Ranunculus order, is grown commonly in our gardens for the sake of its showy white flowers, conspicuous in winter, from December to February. The root has been famous since time immemorial as a remedy for insanity. From its abundant growth in the Grecian island of Anticyra arose the proverb: Naviget Anticyram—"Take a voyage to Anticyra," as applied by way of advice to a man who has lost his reason.
Added Jun 28, 2010 | Healing Trees | 3,308 Reads
Cinnamon possesses positive medicinal as well as aromatic virtues. What we employ as this spice consists of the inner bark of shoots from the stocks of a Ceylon tree, first cultivated here in 1768.
The word clover is a corruption of the Latin clava a club; and the "clubs" on our playing cards are representations of clover leaves; whilst in France the same black suit is called trefle.
Added Jun 28, 2010 | Healing Shrubs | 4,590 Reads
Cloves (from clavus, a nail), also found in the kitchen spice box, and owning certain medicinal resources of a cordial sort, which are quickly available, belong to the Myrtle family of plants, and are the unexpanded flower buds of an aromatic tree (Caryophyllus), cultivated at Penang and elsewhere.
Added Jun 28, 2010 | Healing Herbs | 3,642 Reads
Though not generally thought worth more than a passing notice, or to possess any claims of a medicinal sort, yet the Club Moss, which is of common growth in Great Britain on heaths and hilly pastures, exerts by its spores very remarkable curative effects, and therefore it should be favourably regarded as a Herbal Simple. It is exclusively due to homoeopathic provings and practice, that the Lycopodium clavatum (Club Moss) takes an important position amongst the most curative vegetable remedies of the present day.
The Coltsfoot, which grows abundantly throughout England in places of moist, heavy soil, especially along the sides of our raised railway banks, has been justly termed "nature's best herb for the lungs, and her most eminent thoracic."
Added Jul 3, 2010 | Healing Herbs | 2,818 Reads
The Comfrey of our river banks, and moist watery places, is the Consound, or Knit-back, or Bone-set, and Blackwort of country folk; and the old Symphytumof Dioscorides. It has derived these names from the consolidating and vulnerary qualities attributed to the plant, from confirmo, to strengthen together, or the French, comfrie.
Added Jul 3, 2010 | Healing Herbs | 2,948 Reads
Coriander comfits, sold by the confectioner as admirably warming to the stomach, and corrective of flatulence, consist of small aromatic seeds coated with white sugar. These are produced by the Coriander, an umbelliferous herb cultivated in England from early times for medicinal and culinary uses, though introduced at first from the Mediterranean.
Added Jul 3, 2010 | Healing Flowers | 5,788 Reads
The tiny people were then supposed to be fond of nestling in the drooping bells of Cowslips, and hence the flowers were called fairy cups; and, in accordance with the doctrine of signatures, they were thought effective for removing freckles from the face.
Added Jul 3, 2010 | Healing Herbs | 6,466 Reads
It includes "Land Cress (formerly dedicated to St. Barbara); Broad-leaved Cress (or the Poor-man's pepper); Penny Cress (thlapsus); Garden, or Town Cress; and the well known edible Water Cress." Formerly the Greeks attached much value to the whole order of Cresses, which they thought very beneficial to the brain
The ancients were acquainted with the power of Cumin to cause the human countenance to become pallid; and as a medicine the herb is well calculated to cure such pallor of the face when occurring as an illness.
The original Currants in times past were small grapes, grown in Greece at Zante, near Corinth, and termed Corinthians; then they became Corantes, and eventually Currants.
Added Jul 3, 2010 | Healing Flowers | 4,602 Reads
The chemical principles of the Daffodil have not been investigated; but a yellow volatile oil of disagreeable odour, and a brown colouring matter, have been got from the flowers.
Arabians commended this oil to be applied for curing baldness, and for stimulating the sexual organs.
Added Jul 11, 2010 | Healing Flowers | 3,438 Reads
Daisies were said of old to be under the dominion of Venus, and later on they were dedicated to St. Margaret of Cortona. Therefore they were reputed good for the special-illnesses of females.
The medicinal tincture of Dandelion is made from the entire plant, gathered in summer, employing proof spirit which dissolves also the resinous parts not soluble in water. From ten to fifteen drops of this tincture may be taken with a spoonful of water three times in the day.
Dates are the most wholesome and nourishing of all our imported fruits. Children especially appreciate their luscious sweetness, as afforded by an abundant sugar which is easily digested, and which quickly repairs waste of heat and fat. With such a view, likewise, doctors now advise dates for consumptive patients; also because they soothe an irritable chest, and promote expectoration; whilst, furthermore, they prevent costiveness. Dates are the fruit of the Date palm (Phoenix dactylifera), or, Tree of Life.
Added Sep 19, 2010 | Healing Herbs | 4,628 Reads
The Deadly Nightshade or Belladonna berries (in size like small cherries) are of a rich purplish black hue, and possess most dangerously narcotic properties. They are medicinally useful, but so deadly that only the skilled hands of the apothecary should attempt to manipulate them
Added Jul 11, 2010 | Healing Herbs | 2,760 Reads
Cordial waters distilled from the fragrant herb called Dill are, as every mother and monthly nurse well know, a sovereign remedy for wind in the infant; whilst they serve equally well to correct flatulence in the grown up "gourmet." This highly scented plant (Anethum graveolens) is of Asiatic origin, growing wild also in some parts of England, and commonly cultivated in our gardens for kitchen or medicinal uses.
Added Jul 11, 2010 | Healing Herbs | 3,493 Reads
The term Dock is botanically a noun of multitude, meaning originally a bundle of hemp, and corresponding to a similar word signifying a flock. It became in early times applied to a wide-spread tribe of broad-leaved wayside weeds. They all belong to the botanical order of Polygonaceoe, or "many kneed" plants, because, like the wife of Yankee Doodle, famous in song, they are "double-jointed.
Added Jul 11, 2010 | Healing Shrubs | 2,933 Reads
The Tree-Mother has been thought to inhabit the elder bush; and it has been long believed that refuge may be safely taken under an Elder tree in a thunderstorm, because the cross was made therefrom, and so the lightning never strikes it. Elder was formerly buried with a corpse to protect it from witches, and even now at a funeral the driver of the hearse commonly has his whip handle made of Elder wood. A cross made of the wood if affixed to cow-houses and stables was supposed to protect cattle from all possible harm.
Elecampane is a tall, stout, downy plant, from three to five feet high, of the Composite order, with broad leaves, and bright, yellow flowers. Campania is the original source of the plant (Enula campana), which is called also Elf-wort, and Elf-dock.
In olden times the Olitory, or Herb-garden, formed an important annex to all demesnes having any pretensions to completeness, and was under "My Lady's" special charge. In fact, the culture and preparing of Herbal Simples formed a part of every lady's education.
Found in abundance in summer time on our heaths, and on mountains near the sea, this delicate little plant, the Euphrasia officinalis or eyebright, has been famous from earliest times for restoring and preserving the eyesight. The Greeks named the herb originally from the linnet, which first made use of the leaf for clearing its vision, and which passed on the knowledge to mankind. The Greek word, euphrosunee, signifies joy and gladness.
Added Jul 11, 2010 | Healing Herbs | 2,705 Reads
Pliny also asserts that the ophidia, when they cast their skins, have recourse to to the Fennel Plantt for restoring their sight. Others have averred that serpents wax young again by eating of the herb; "Wherefore the use of Fennel is very meet for aged folk."
Added Jul 11, 2010 | Healing Shrubs | 6,856 Reads
Only some few of our native Ferns are known to possess medicinal virtues, though they may all be happily pronounced devoid of poisonous or deleterious properties. As curative simples, a brief consideration will be given here to the common male and female Ferns, the Royal Fern, the Hart's Tongue, the Maidenhair, the common Polypody, the Spleenwort, and the Wall Rue.
The herb Feverfew is strengthening to the stomach, preventing hysteria and promoting the monthly functions of women. It is much used by country mediciners, though insufficiently esteemed by the doctors of to-day.
Bacchus was thought to have acquired his vigour and corpulency from eating Figs, such as the Romans gave to professed wrestlers and champions for strength and good sustenance.
Added Jul 11, 2010 | Healing Flowers | 2,370 Reads
The root of the Blue Flag, "Dragon Flower," or "Dagger Flower," contains chemically an "oleo-resin," which is purgative to the liver in material doses, and specially alleviative against bilious sickness when taken of much reduced strength by reason of its acting as a similar.
The Flax seeds ate very rich in linseed oil, after expressing which, the refuse is oil-cake, a well-known fattening food for cattle. The oil exists chiefly in the outer skins of the seeds, and is easily extracted by boiling water, as in the making a linseed poultice.
Added Jul 11, 2010 | Healing Flowers | 2,966 Reads
Chemically, the Foxglove contains a dangerous, active, medicinal principle digitalin, which acts powerfully on the heart, and on the kidneys, but this should never be given in any preparation of the plant except under medical guidance, and then only with much caution.
Added Jul 20, 2010 | 3,080 Reads
The common Fumitory (Fumaria officinalis) is a small grey-green plant, bearing well known little flowers, rose coloured, and tipped with purple, whilst standing erect in every cornfield, vineyard, or such-like manured place throughout Great Britain.
Added Jul 20, 2010 | Healing Vegetables | 3,370 Reads
The Garlic (Allium sativum), Skorodon of the Greeks, which was first cultivated in English gardens in 1540, takes its name, from gar, a spear; and leac, a plant, either because of its sharp tapering leaves, or perhaps as "the war plant," by reason of its nutritive and stimulating qualities for those who do battle.
Added Jul 20, 2010 | Healing Shrubs | 2,916 Reads
Ginger (Zingiberis radix) is the root-stock of a plant grown in the East and West Indies, and is scraped before importation. Its odour is due to an essential oil, and its pungent hot taste to a resin. It was known in Queen Elizabeth's reign, having been introduced by the Dutch about 1566.
The Gooseberry (Ribes grossularia) gets its name from krüsbar, which signifies a cross, in allusion to the triple spine of the fruit or berry, which is commonly cruciform. This is a relic of its first floral days, preserved like the apron of the blacksmith at Persia, when he came to the throne. The term grossulariaimplies a resemblance of the fruit to grossuli, small unripe figs.
Added Jul 20, 2010 | Healing Herbs | 3,312 Reads
Among Curative Simples, the Goosefoot, or Chenopod order of British plants, contributes two useful herbs, the Chenopodium bonus Henricus (Good King Henry), and the Chenopodium vulvaria (Stinking Goosefoot).
Added Jul 20, 2010 | Healing Herbs | 7,848 Reads
The medicinal Goosegrass (Galium aparine), which is a highly useful curative Simple, springs up luxuriantly about fields and waste places in most English districts. It belongs to the Rubiaceous order of plants, all of which have a root like madder, affording a red dye.
Added Jul 20, 2010 | Healing Herbs | 2,710 Reads
A passing word should certainly be given to the Goutweed, or, Goatweed, among Herbal Simples. Goutweed is, though but little regarded, nevertheless, a common and troublesome garden weed, of the Umbelliferous tribe, and thought to possess certain curative virtues.
Added Jul 20, 2010 | Healing Fruit | 3,114 Reads
Grapes, the luscious and refreshing fruit of the Vine, possess certain medicinal properties and virtues which give them a proper place among Herbal Simples. The name Vine comes from viere, to twist, being applied with reference to the twining habits of the parent stock; as likewise to "with," and "withy."
Added Jul 24, 2010 | Healing Grain & Grass | 3,703 Reads
Our abundant English grasses furnish nutritious herbage and farinaceous seeds, whilst their stems and leaves prove useful for textile purposes. Furthermore, some few of them possess distinctive medicinal virtues, with mucilaginous roots, and may be properly classed among Herbal Simples, including Vernal Grass, Couch Grass, and the Bearded Darnel.
Added Jul 24, 2010 | Healing Herbs | 2,838 Reads
In the hands of Herbal Simplers the Groundsel formerly held high rank as a herb of power. An old herbal prescribes against toothache to "dig up Groundsel with a tool that hath no iron in it, and touch the tooth five times with the plant, then spit thrice after each touch, and the cure will be complete."
Added Jul 24, 2010 | Healing Shrubs | 2,717 Reads
The Hawthorn, or Whitethorn, is so welcome year by year as a harbinger of Summer, by showing its wealth of sweet-scented, milk-white blossoms, in our English hedgerows, that everyone rejoices when the Mayflower comes into bloom. Its brilliant haws, or fruit, later on are a botanical advance on the blackberry and wild raspberry, which belong to the same natural order.
Added Jul 24, 2010 | Healing Herbs | 3,883 Reads
The Spotted Hemlock (Conium maculatum), is a plant well known to everyone familiar with our Herbal Simples. But it is so highly narcotic as a medicine, and yet withal so safely useful externally to allay pain, as well as to promote healing, that their outward remedial forms of application must not be overlooked among our serviceable herbs. Nevertheless, for internal administration, this herb lie altogether beyond the pale of domestic uses, except in the hands of a doctor.
"These, the Henbane seeds, and the juice," says Gerard, "when taken internally, cause an unquiet sleep, like unto the sleep of drunkenness, which continueth long, and is deadly to the patient."
The Hop (Humulus lupulus) belongs to the Nettle tribe (Cannabineoe) of plants, and grows wild in our English hedges and copses; but then it bears only male flowers. When cultivated it produces the female catkins, or strobiles which are so well known as Hops, and are so largely used for brewing purposes.
Added Aug 21, 2010 | Healing Herbs | 3,547 Reads
The Horehound or Marrubium was called by the Egyptian Priests the "Seed of Horus" or "the Bull's Blood" and "the Eye of the Star." It was a principal remedy in the Negro Caesar's Antidote for vegetable poisons.
Added Aug 21, 2010 | Healing Herbs | 2,470 Reads
The Horse Radish of our gardens is a cultivated cruciferous plant of which the fresh root is eaten, when scraped, as a condiment to correct the richness of our national roast beef.
Added Aug 21, 2010 | Healing Herbs | 4,359 Reads
The House Leek (Sempervivum tectorum), or "never dying" flower of our cottage roofs, which is commonly known also as Stone-crop, grows plentifully on walls and the tops of small buildings throughout Great Britain, in all country districts.
The cultivated Hyssop, now of frequent occurrence in the herb-bed, and a favourite plant there because of its fragrance, belongs to the labiate order,
Added Aug 21, 2010 | Healing Shrubs | 3,371 Reads
By the ancients the Ivy was dedicated to Bacchus, whose statues were crowned with a wreath of the plant, under the name Kissos, and whose worshippers decorated themselves with its garlands.
Added Aug 21, 2010 | Healing Shrubs | 3,295 Reads
Juniper oil, used officinally, is distilled from the full-grown, unripe, green fruit. The Laplanders almost adore the tree, and they make a decoction of its ripe berries, when dried, to be drunk as tea, or coffee; whilst the Swedish peasantry prepare from the fresh berries a fermented beverage, which they drink cold, and an extract, which they eat with their bread for breakfast as we do butter.
Added Sep 9, 2010 | Healing Herbs | 2,703 Reads
Black Knapweed, the Centaurea nigra, is a common tough-stemmed composite weed growing in our meadows and cornfields, being well known by its heads of dull purple flowers, with brown, or almost black scales of the outer floral encasement.
Added Sep 9, 2010 | Healing Shrubs | 4,067 Reads
The Lavender of our gardens, called also Lavender Spike, is a well-known sweet-smelling shrub, of the Labiate order. It grows wild in Spain, Piedmont, and the south of France, on waysides, mountains, and in barren places. The plant was propagated by slips, or cuttings, and has been cultivated in England since about 1568.
Added Sep 9, 2010 | Healing Vegetables | 3,265 Reads
The Leek (Allium porrium) bears an Anglo-Saxon name corrupted from Porleac, and it is also called the Porret, having been the Prason of the Greeks. It was first made use of in England during 1562.
Added Sep 9, 2010 | Healing Trees | 4,704 Reads
Prize-fighters refresh themselves with a fresh cut Lemon between the rounds when competing in the Ring. Hence has arisen the common saying, "Take a suck of the Lemon, and at him again."
Added Sep 9, 2010 | Healing Vegetables | 3,444 Reads
Among the leguminous plants which supply food for the invalid, and are endowed with certain qualifications for correcting the health, may be justly placed the Lentil, though we have to import it because our moist, cold climate is not favourable for its growth.
Added Sep 9, 2010 | Healing Vegetables | 3,398 Reads
Our garden Lettuce is a cultivated variety of the wild, or strong-scented Lettuce (Lactuca virosa), which grows, with prickly leaves, on banks and waysides in chalky districts throughout England and Wales. It belongs to the Composite order of plants, and contains the medicinal properties of the plant more actively than does the Lettuce produced for the kitchen. An older form of the name is Lettouce, which is still retained in Scotland.
Added Sep 9, 2010 | Healing Flowers | 2,760 Reads
The Lily of the Valley grows wild in many of our English woods, and possesses special curative virtues, which give it, according to modern knowledge, a just place among Herbal Simples of repute.
Added Sep 9, 2010 | Healing Trees | 4,284 Reads
The Lime Trees sweet-smelling and highly fragrant linden flowers blossom in May, and are much sought after by bees, because abounding with honied nectar.
Added Sep 9, 2010 | Healing Herbs | 2,729 Reads
The use of the Liquorice plant was first learnt by the Hellenes from the Scythians; and the root was named adipson, being thought from the time of Theophrastus to powerfully extinguish thirst.
Added Sep 9, 2010 | Healing Flowers | 2,666 Reads
Allied to the Lentil as likewise a leguminous plant is the LUPINE, grown now only as an ornament to our flower beds, but formerly cultivated by the Romans as an article of food, and still capable of usefulness in this capacity for the invalid.
Added Sep 9, 2010 | Healing Shrubs | 2,987 Reads
All the Mallows (Malvaceoe) to the number of a thousand, agree in containing mucilage freely, and in possessing no unwholesome properties.
Added Sep 9, 2010 | Healing Flowers | 3,890 Reads
In the Grete Herball this plant was called Mary Gowles. Three varieties of the Marigold exercise medicinal virtues which constitute them Herbal Simples of a useful nature—the Corn Marigold (Chrysanthemum segetum), found in our cornfields; the cultivated garden Marigold (Calendula officinalis); and the Marsh Marigold (Caltha palustris), growing in moist grass lands, and popularly known as "Mareblobs."
Added Sep 19, 2010 | Healing Herbs | 2,964 Reads
The common Marjoram (Origanum) grows frequently as a wild labiate plant on dry, bushy places, especially in chalky districts throughout Britain, the whole herb being fragrantly aromatic, and bearing flowers of a deep red colour. When cultivated in our kitchen gardens it becomes a favourite pot herb, as "Sweet Marjoram," with thin compact spikes, and more elliptical leaves than the wild Marjoram.
Added Sep 19, 2010 | Healing Herbs | 2,517 Reads
The Mercuriallis perennis (Dog's Mercury) grows commonly in our hedges and ditches, occurring in large patches, with egg-shaped pointed leaves, square stems, and light green flowers, developed in spikes and it is decidedly poisonous, even when cooked.
Added Sep 19, 2010 | Healing Herbs | 2,981 Reads
Pliny said: "As for the garden Mint, the very smell of it alone recovers and refreshes the spirits, as the taste stirs up the appetite for meat, which is the reason that it is so general in our acid sauces, wherein we are accustomed to dip our meat."
Added Sep 19, 2010 | Healing Shrubs | 3,344 Reads
The Mistletoe, which we all associate so happily with the festivities of Christmas, is an evergreen parasite, growing on the branches of deciduous trees, and penetrating with simple roots through the bark into the wood.
Added Sep 19, 2010 | Healing Trees | 2,698 Reads
The title Rowan tree has affixed itself to the Mountain Ash, as derived from the Norse, Runa (a charm), because it is supposed to have the power of averting the evil eye.
Added Sep 19, 2010 | Healing Herbs | 4,980 Reads
Mugwort is named from Artemis the Greek goddess of the moon, and is also called Maidenwort or Motherwort (womb wort), being a plant beneficial to the womb.
Added Sep 19, 2010 | Healing Trees | 4,025 Reads
The Mulberry tree (Morus nigra) has been cultivated in England since the middle of the sixteenth century, being first planted at Sion house in 1548. It is now grown commonly in the garden, orchard, or paddock, where its well-known rich syrupy Mulberry fruit ripens in September.
Added Sep 19, 2010 | Healing Flowers | 2,703 Reads
Flowers of Mullein in olive oil, when kept near the fire for several days in a corked bottle, form a remedy popular in Germany for frost-bites, bruises, and piles.
Added Sep 19, 2010 | Other | 5,801 Reads
In the context of curative Herbal Simples, notice will be bestowed here on two productions of the Mushroom nature—the Puff Ball and the Fly Agaric,—because of their medicinal qualities.
Added Sep 19, 2010 | Healing Herbs | 3,322 Reads
Now we have for commercial and officinal purposes two varieties of the cultivated plant, the black Mustard (Sinapis nigra), and the white Mustard (Brassica, or Sinapis alba). There is also a plain plant of the hedges, Hedge Mustard (Sisymbrium officinale) which is a mere rustic Simple. It is the black Mustard which yields by its seeds the condiment of our tables, and the pungent yellow flour which we employ for the familiar stimulating poultice, or sinapism.
Added Sep 19, 2010 | Healing Herbs | 4,161 Reads
Actually as Nettles are to be found: the annual Urtica dioica, or true Stinging Nettle; the perennial Urtica urens (burning); the White Dead Nettle; the Archangel, or Yellow Weasel Snout, and the Purple Hedge Nettle. This title "Urtica" comes ab urendo, "from burning."
Added Sep 29, 2010 | Healing Trees | 2,931 Reads
The Banda, or Nutmeg Islands in the Indian Ocean, are twelve in number, and the strength of the Nutmeg in its season is said to overcome birds of Paradise so that they fall helplessly intoxicated.
Added Sep 29, 2010 | Healing Grain & Grass | 3,397 Reads
Physicians formerly recommended highly a diet-drink made from Oats, about which Hoffman wrote a treatise at the end of the seventeenth century; and Johannis de St. Catherine, who introduced the drink, lived by its use to a hundred years free from any disease.
Added Sep 29, 2010 | Healing Vegetables | 5,352 Reads
Added Sep 29, 2010 | Healing Trees | 4,086 Reads
Though not of native British growth, except by way of a luxury in the gardens of the wealthy, yet the Orange is of such common use amongst all classes of our people as a dietetic fruit, when of the sweet China Orange sort, and for tonic medicinal purposes when of the bitter Seville Orange kind, that some consideration may be fairly accorded to the orange as a Curative Simple in these pages.
Added Sep 29, 2010 | Healing Flowers | 3,823 Reads
Our common English Orchids are the "Early Purple," which is abundant in our woods and pastures; the "Meadow Orchis"; and the "Spotted Orchis" of our heaths and commons. Less frequent are the "Bee Orchis," the "Butterfly Orchis," "Lady's Tresses," and the "Tway blade."
Added Sep 29, 2010 | Healing Herbs | 2,998 Reads
Parsely is found in this country only as a cultivated plant, having been introduced into England from Sardinia in the sixteenth century. It is an umbelliferous herb, which has been long of garden growth for kitchen uses. The name was formerly spelt "Percely," and the herb was known as March, or Merich (in Anglo-Saxon, Merici).
Added Oct 28, 2010 | Healing Vegetables | 2,727 Reads
This cultivated Parsnip has been produced as a vegetable since Roman times. The roots furnish a good deal of starch, and are very nutritious for warming and fattening, but when long in the ground they are called in some places "Madnip," and are said to cause insanity.
Added Oct 28, 2010 | Healing Vegetables | 2,576 Reads
"Peas were brought from Holland, and were fit dainties for ladies, they came so far, and cost so dear."
The Peach (Amygdabus Persica), the apple of Persia, began to be cultivated in England about 1562, or perhaps before then. Columella tells of this fatal gift conveyed treacherously to Egypt in the first century:--
"Apples, which most barbarous Persia sent, With native poison armed."
The Pear, also called Pyrrie, belongs to the same natural order of plants (the Rosacoe) as the Apple. It is sometimes called the Pyerie, and when wild is so hard and austere as to bear the name of Choke-pear. It grows wild in Britain, and abundantly in France and Germany.
Added Oct 28, 2010 | Healing Shrubs | 2,456 Reads
A plant belonging to the order of Nettles, the Pellitory of the Wall, or Paritory--Parietaria, from the Latin parietes, walls--is a favourite Herbal Simple in many rural districts.
Added Oct 28, 2010 | Healing Herbs | 3,276 Reads
The Mint Pennyroyal (Mentha Pulegium) gets its name from the Latin puleium regium, because of its royal efficacy in destroying fleas (pulices). The French call this similarly, Pouliot. It grows on moist heaths and pastures, and by the margins of brooks, being cultivated further in our herb gardens, for kitchen and market uses.
Added Oct 28, 2010 | Healing Shrubs | 2,753 Reads
Black pepper is said to ward off evil and in the Middle Ages, was burned like incense to protect from the plague.
Added Oct 28, 2010 | Healing Herbs | 2,846 Reads
The Roman housewives made a paste of the Peppermint with honey, which they esteemed highly, partaking of it to sweeten their breath, and to conceal their passion for wine at a time when the law punished with death every woman convicted of quaffing the ruby seductive liquor
This periwinkle name has been derived either from pervincire, to bind closely, or from pervincere, to overcome. Lord Bacon observes that it was common in his time for persons to wear bands of green Periwinkle about the calf of the leg to prevent cramp.
In Germany this plant is the emblem of immortality.
Added Oct 29, 2010 | Healing Trees | 3,191 Reads
All-Spice (Pimento) is another common occupant of the domestic spice box. It is popular as a warming cordial, of a sweet odour, and a grateful aromatic taste; but being a native of South America, grows with us only as a stove plant.
The Pimpernel - "Poor Man's Weather Glass" or "Shepherd's Dial," is a very well-known and favourite little flower, of brilliant scarlet hue, expanding only in bright weather, and closing its petals at two o'clock in the day.
Added Oct 29, 2010 | Healing Flowers | 2,583 Reads
The Clove Pink, or Carnation of our gardens, though found apparently wild on old castle walls in England, is a naturalised flower in this country. It is, botanically, the Dianthus Caryophyllus, being so named as anthos, the flower, dios, of Jupiter: whilst redolent of Caryophylli, Cloves.
Added Dec 1, 2010 | Healing Vegetables | 2,539 Reads
The Plantains (Plantaginacecoe), from planta, the sole of the foot, are humble plants, well known as weeds in fields and by roadsides, having ribbed leaves and spikes of flowers conspicuous by their long stamens. As Herbal Simples, the Greater Plantain, the Ribwort Plantain, and the Water Plantain, are to be specially considered.
Added Dec 1, 2010 | Healing Flowers | 3,597 Reads
The Scarlet Poppy of our cornfields (Papaver Rhoeas) is one of the most brilliant and familiar of English wild flowers, being strikingly conspicuous as a weed by its blossoms rich in scarlet petals, which are black at the base. The title Papaver has been derived from pap, a soft food given to young infants, in which it was at one time customary to boil Poppy seeds for the purpose of inducing sleep.
Added Dec 1, 2010 | Healing Vegetables | 4,065 Reads
Our invaluable Potato, which enters so largely into the dietary of all classes, belongs to the Nightshade tribe of dangerous plants, though termed "solanaceous" as a natural order because of the sedative properties which its several genera exercise to lull pain.
Added Dec 1, 2010 | Healing Flowers | 3,269 Reads
Medicinally the primrose possesses similar curative attributes, though in a lesser degree, to those of the Cowslip. Both the root and the flowers contain a volatile oil, and "primulin" which is identical with mannite: whilst the acrid principle is "saponin." Alfred Austin, Poet Laureate, teaches to "make healing salve with early Primroses."
The Quince may well be included among remedial Herbal Simples because of the virtues possessed by the seeds within the fruit. The tree is a native of Persia and Crete; bearing a pear-shaped fruit, golden yellow when gathered, and with five cells in it, each containing twelve closely packed seeds. These are mucilaginous when unbroken, and afford the taste of bitter almonds.
When immersed in water they swell up considerably, and the mucilage will yield salts of lime with albumen.
Added Dec 1, 2010 | Healing Vegetables | 2,658 Reads
Radishes were celebrated by Dioscorides and Pliny as above all roots whatsoever, insomuch, that in the Delphic temple there was a Radish of solid gold, raphanus ex auro dicatus: and Moschinus wrote a whole volume in their praise; but Hippocrates condemned them as vitiosas, innatantes, acoegre concoctiles.
The term Ragwort, or Ragweed, is a corruption of Ragewort, as expressing its supposed stimulating effects on the sexual organs. For the same reason the pommes d'amour (Love Apples, or Tomatoes) are sometimes called Rage apples.
Added Dec 1, 2010 | Healing Fruit | 2,658 Reads
Raspberry is a cool magical ingredient, giving two important components - the sexy fruit, and the plant itself, which is a tough survivor. Raspberry lends itself to a huge variety of love spells, healing spells and all manner of energy magic potions.
Added Dec 1, 2010 | Healing Vegetables | 2,811 Reads
Our Garden Rhubarb is a true Dock, and belongs to the "many-kneed," buckwheat order of plants. Its brilliant colouring is due to varying states of its natural pigment (chlorophyll), in combination with oxygen. For culinary purposes the stalk, or petiole of the broad leaf, is used.
Added Dec 1, 2010 | Healing Grain & Grass | 3,566 Reads
The custom of throwing a shower of Rice after and over a newly married couple is very old, though wheat was at first the chosen grain as an augury of plenty. The bride wore a garland of ears of corn in the time of Henry the Eighth.
Certain curative properties are possessed both by the Briar Rose, or wild Dog Rose of our country hedges, and by the cultivated varieties of this queen of flowers in our Roseries. The word Rose means red, from the Greek rodon, connected also with rota, a wheel, which resembles the outline of a Rose.
Added Dec 1, 2010 | Healing Herbs | 3,291 Reads
It was usual to burn Rosemary in the chambers of the sick, just as was formerly done with frankincense, which gave the Greeks occasion to call the Rosemary Libanotis. In the French language of flowers this herb represents the power of rekindling lost energy. "The flowers of Rosemary," says an old author, "made up into plates (lozenges), with sugar, and eaten, comfort the heart, and make it merry, quicken the spirits, and make them more lively."
This herb was further termed of old "Herb of Grace" as well as "Serving men's joy," because of the multiplicity of common ailments which it was warranted to cure. Rue constituted a chief ingredient of the famous antidote of Mithridates to poisons, the formula of which was found by Pompey in the satchel of the conquered King.
Added Dec 1, 2010 | Healing Grain & Grass | 2,419 Reads
The true Rushes (Juncaceoe) include the Soft Rush (effusus); the Hard Rush (glaucus); and the Common Rush (conglomeratus). The Bulrush (Pool Rush) is a Sedge; the Club Rush is a Typha; and the flowering Rush, a Butomus.
The fabled origin of the Saffron plant ran thus. A certain young man named Crocus went to play at quoits in a field with Mercurie, when the quoit of his companion happened by misfortune to hit him on the head, whereby, before long, he died, to the great sorrow of his friends. Finally, in the place where he had bled, Saffron was found to be growing: whereupon, the people, seeing the colour of the chine as it stood, adjusted it to come of the blood of Crocus, and therefore they gave it his name.
Added Dec 1, 2010 | Healing Herbs | 2,757 Reads
A well-known monkish line about it ran to this effect: Cur moriatur homo cui Salvia crescit in horto? "Why should a man die whilst Sage grows in his garden?" And even at this time, in many parts of England, the following piece of advice is carefully adopted every year: "He that would live for aye Must eat Sage in May."
Added Dec 1, 2010 | Healing Herbs | 3,154 Reads
Samphire, of the true sort, is a herb difficult to be gathered, because it grows only out of the crevices of lofty perpendicular rocks which cannot be easily scaled. This genuine Samphire (Crithmum maritimum) is a small plant, bearing yellow flowers in circular umbels on the tops of the stalks, which flowers are followed by seeds like those of the Fennel, but larger.
Added Dec 1, 2010 | Healing Shrubs | 3,122 Reads
Savin, the Juniper Savin (Sabina), or Saffern, was known of old as the "Devil's Tree," and the "Magician's Cypress," because much affected by witches and sorcerers when working their spells.
Added Dec 1, 2010 | Healing Vegetables | 3,283 Reads
The Schalot, or Eschalotte, is another variety of the onion tribe, which was introduced into England by the Crusaders, who found it growing at Ascalon. And Chives (Allium schoenoprasum) are an ever green perennial herb of the onion tribe, having only a mild, alliaceous flavour. Epicures consider the Schalot to be the best seasoning for beef steaks, either by taking the actual bulb, or by rubbing the plates therewith.
Added Dec 1, 2010 | Healing Herbs | 3,146 Reads
This Scurvy Grass has the botanical name Cochlearia, or, in English, Spoonwort, so named from its leaves resembling in shape the bowl of an old-fashioned spoon. It is supposed to be the famous Herba Britannica of the ancients. Our great navigators have borne unanimous testimony to its never-failing value in scurvy; and it has been justly noticed that the plant grows most plentifully in altitudes where scurvy is specially troublesome and frequent.
Added Dec 1, 2010 | Healing Shrubs | 2,578 Reads
The Sea Holly (Eryngium maritimum), or Sea Hulver, is a well-known prickly sea-green plant, growing in the sand on many parts of our coasts, or on stony ground, with stiff leaves, and roots which run to a great length among the sand, whilst charged with a sweetish juice.
A manufactory for making candied roots of the Sea Holly was established at Colchester, by Robert Burton, an apothecary, in the seventeenth century, as they were considered both antiscorbutic, and excellent for health.
Added Dec 1, 2010 | Other | 6,037 Reads
Of the more ordinary Sea Weeds (cryptogamous, or flowerless plants) some few are edible, though sparingly nutritious, whilst curative and medicinal virtues are attributed to several others, as Irish Moss, Scotch Dulse, Sea Tang, and the Bladderwrack.
Several Herbal Simples go by the name of Selfheal among our wild hedge plants, more especially the Sanicle, the common Prunella, and the Bugle.
The small Shepherd's Purse (Bursa Capsella Pastoris) is one of the most common of wayside English weeds. The name Capsella signifies a little box, in allusion to the seed pods. It is a Cruciferous plant, made familiar by the diminutive pouches, or flattened pods at the end of its branching stems.
Country folk often call it Cramp Weed: but it is more generally known as Goose Tansy, or Goose Gray, because it is a spurious Tansy, fit only for a goose; or, perhaps, because eaten by geese. Other names for the herb are Silvery Cinquefoil, and Moorgrass. It occurs especially on clay soils, being recognised by its pinnate white silvery leaves, and its conspicuous golden flowers.
A useful medicinal tincture (H.) is made from the Skullcap (Scutellaria), which is a Labiate plant of frequent growth on the banks of our rivers and ponds, having bright blue flowers, with a tube longer than the calyx.
Added Dec 1, 2010 | Healing Shrubs | 3,008 Reads
The term Sloe, or Sla, means not the fruit but the hard trunk, being connected with a verb signifying to slay, or strike, probably because the wood of this tree was used as a flail, and nowadays makes a bludgeon.
Added Dec 1, 2010 | Healing Flowers | 3,831 Reads
Snake Root, Echinacea or Purple Coneflower is a North American perennial that is indigenous to the central plains where it grows on road banks, prairies, fields and in dry, open woods; it belongs to the Aster, or Daisy family. It is called snake root because it grows from a thick black root that Indians used to treat snake bites.
Added Dec 1, 2010 | Healing Flowers | 3,345 Reads
The Soapworth root has a sweetish bitter taste, but no odour. It contains resin and mucilage, in addition to saponin, which is its leading principle, and by virtue of which decoctions of the root produce a soapy froth. A similar soapy quality is also observed in the leaves, so much so that they have been used by mendicant monks as a substitute for soap in washing their clothes.
Added Dec 1, 2010 | Healing Flowers | 3,446 Reads
The Arabs understand by Solomon's Seal the figure of a six-pointed star, formed by two equilateral triangles intersecting each other, as frequently mentioned in Oriental tales. Gerard maintains that the name, Sigillum Solomunis, was given to the root "partly because it bears marks something like the stamp of a seal, but still more because of the virtue the root hath in sealing or healing up green wounds, broken bones, and such like, being stamp't and laid thereon."
Added Dec 1, 2010 | Healing Herbs | 3,048 Reads
Southernwood, or Southern Wormwood is the Artemisia Abrotanum, a Composite plant of the Wormwood tribe, commonly known as "Old Man." Pliny explains that this title is borne because of the plant being a sexual restorative to those in advanced years.
Added Dec 1, 2010 | Healing Herbs | 2,786 Reads
The Spearmint (Mentha viridis) is found growing apparently wild in England, but is probably not an indigenous herb. It occurs in watery places, and on the banks of rivers, such as the Thames, and the Exe. If used externally, its strong decoction will heal chaps and indolent eruptions.
Added Dec 15, 2010 | Healing Flowers | 3,934 Reads
This little plant, with its exquisite flowers of celestial blue, grows most familiarly in our hedgerows throughout the Spring, and early Summer. Its brilliant, gemlike blossoms show a border of pale purple, or delicate violet, marked with deeper veins or streaks. But the lovely circlet of petals is most fragile, and falls off at a touch; whence are derived the names Speedwell, Farewell, Good-bye, and Forget-me-not.
Added Dec 15, 2010 | Healing Vegetables | 2,764 Reads
Spinach (Lapathum hortense) is a Persian plant which has been cultivated in our gardens for about two hundred years; and considerably longer on the Continent. Some say the Spinach was originally brought from Spain. It was produced by monks in France at the middle of the 14th century.
Added Dec 15, 2010 | Healing Shrubs | 3,050 Reads
During the autumn, in our woody hedgerows a shrub becomes very conspicuous by bearing numerous rose-coloured floral capsules, strikingly brilliant, each with a scarlet and orange-coloured centre. This is the Spindle Tree (Euonymus), so called because it furnishes wood for spindles, or skewers.
Added Dec 15, 2010 | Healing Herbs | 3,343 Reads
Conspicuous in Summer by their golden green leaves, and their striking epergnes of bright emerald blossoms, the Wood Spurge, and the Petty Spurge, adorn our woodlands and gardens commonly and very remarkably.
The name Hypericum is derived from the two Greek words, huper eikon, "over an apparition," because of its supposed power to exorcise evil spirits, or influences; whence it was also formerly called Fuga doemoniorum, "the Devil's Scourge," "the Grace of God," "the Lord God's Wonder Plant." and some other names of a like import, probably too, because found to be of curative use against insanity.
Added Dec 15, 2010 | Healing Herbs | 4,173 Reads
The Stitchworts, greater and less (Stellaria holostea), grow very abundantly as herbal weeds in all our dry hedges and woods, having tough stems which run closely together, and small white star-like (stellaria) blossoms.
Added Dec 16, 2010 | Healing Fruit | 3,285 Reads
"Strawberry" is from the Anglo-Saxon Strowberige, of which the first syllable refers to anything strewn. The wild woodland Strawberry (Fragaria vesca) is the progenitor of our highly cultivated and delicious fruit. This little hedgerow and sylvan plant has a root which is very astringent, so that when held in the mouth it will stay any flow of blood from the nostrils.
Added Dec 16, 2010 | Healing Flowers | 3,056 Reads
The Wild Succory (Cichorium intybus) is a common roadside English plant, white or blue, belonging to the Composite order, and called also Turnsole, because it always turns its flowers towards the sun.
Added Dec 16, 2010 | Healing Herbs | 5,579 Reads
The fresh juice of the Sundew herb contains malic acid in a free state, various salts, and a red colouring matter; also glucose, and a peculiar crystallisable acid. Cattle of the female gender are said to have their copulative instincts excited by eating even a small quantity of the plant.
Added Dec 16, 2010 | Healing Flowers | 3,276 Reads
Golden Sunflowers are introduced at Rheims into the stained glass of an Apse window in the church of St. Remi, with the Virgin and St. John on either side of the Cross, the head of each being encircled with an aureole having a Sunflower inserted in its outer circle. The flowers are turned towards the Saviour on the Cross as towards their true Sun.
Added Dec 16, 2010 | Healing Trees | 3,990 Reads
The parent tree, Tamar Hindee, "Indian date," is of East, or West Indian growth; but the sweet pulpy jam containing shining stony seeds, and connected together by tough stringy fibres, may be readily obtained at the present time from the leading druggists, or the general provision merchant. It fulfils medicinal purposes which entitle it to high esteem as a Herbal Simple for use in the sick-room.
Added Jan 9, 2011 | Healing Flowers | 3,142 Reads
The name Tansy is probably derived from the Greek word Athanasia which signifies immortality, either because it lasts so long in flower, or because it is so capital for preserving dead bodies from corruption. Tansy was said to have been given to Ganymede to make him immortal.
Added Jan 9, 2011 | Healing Herbs | 3,361 Reads
The volatile essential oil of Tarragon is chemically identical with that of Anise, and it is found to be sexually stimulating. The word Tarragon means "a little dragon."
Added Jan 9, 2011 | Healing Flowers | 4,572 Reads
As a class Thistles have been held sacred to Thor, because, say the old authors, receiving their bright colours from the lightning, and because protecting those who cultivate them from its destructive effects.
Added Jan 9, 2011 | Healing Herbs | 3,514 Reads
The name Thyme is derived from the Greek thumos, as identical with the Latin fumus, smoke, having reference to the ancient use of Thyme in sacrifices, because of its fragrant odour; or, it may be, as signifying courage (thumos), which its cordial qualities inspire. With the Greeks Thyme was an emblem of bravery, and activity; also the ladies of chivalrous days embroidered on the scarves which they presented to their knights the device of a bee hovering about a spray of Thyme, as teaching the union of the amiable and the active.
When used externally an infusion of Toadflax acts as an anodyne to subdue irritation of the skin, and it may be taken as a medicine to modify skin diseases. The fresh juice is attractive to flies, but at the same time it serves to poison them: so if it be mixed with milk, and placed where flies resort they will drink it and perish at the first sip.
Belonging to the Solanums the Tomato (Lycopersicum) is a plant of Mexican origin. Its brilliant fruit was first known as Mala oethiopica, or the Apples of the Moors, and bearing the Italian designation Pomi dei Mori. This name was presently corrupted in the French to Pommes d'amour; and thence in English to the epithet Love Apples
A decoction of Tormentil makes a capital gargle, and will heal ulcers of the mouth if used as a wash. If a piece of lint soaked therein be kept applied to warts, they will wither and disappear.
Added Mar 4, 2011 | Healing Vegetables | 3,097 Reads
When mashed, and mixed with bread and milk, the Turnip makes an excellent cleansing and stimulating poultice for indolent abscesses or sores.
The Scotch eat small, yellow-rooted Turnips as we do radishes. "Tastes and Turnips proverbially differ." At Plymouth, and some other places, when a girl rejects a suitor, she is said to "give him turnips," probably with reference to his sickly pallor of disappointment.
Added Mar 4, 2011 | Healing Trees | 6,864 Reads
From our English Pines, if their stems be wounded, the oleo-resin known as Turpentine, can be procured. This is so truly a vegetable product, and so readily available for medical uses in every household, being withal so valuable for its remedial and curative virtues that no apology is needed for giving it notice as a Herbal Simple.
Added Mar 4, 2011 | Healing Herbs | 3,597 Reads
The great Wild Valerian, or Heal-all (from valere, to be well), grows abundantly throughout this country in moist woods, and on the banks of streams. It is a Benedicta, or blessed herb, being dedicated to the Virgin Mary, as preservative against poisons.
The roots of Valerian have been given from an early period with much success for hysterical affections, and for epileptic attacks induced by strong emotional excitement, as anger or fear.
The Druids gathered Verbena with as much reverence as they paid to the Mistletoe. It was dedicated to Isis, the goddess of birth, and formed a famous ingredient in love philtres. Pliny saith: "They report that if the dining chamber be sprinkled with water in which the herb Verbena has been steeped, the guests will be the merrier."
Added Mar 5, 2011 | Healing Flowers | 4,430 Reads
Also, the Sweet Violet is thought to possess admirable virtues as a cosmetic. Lightfoot gives a translation from a Highland recipe in Gaelic, for its use in this capacity, rendered thus: "Anoint thy face with goat's milk in which violets have been infused, and there is not a young prince upon earth who will not be charmed with thy beauty."
The Viper's Bugloss is called botanically Echium, having been formerly considered antidotal to the bite of (Echis) a viper: and its seed was thought to resemble the reptile's head:
Added Mar 5, 2011 | Healing Flowers | 2,634 Reads
There are two varieties of the cultivated Wallflower, the Yellow and the Red; those of a deep colour growing on old rockeries and similar places, are often termed Bloody Warriors, and Bleeding Heart. The double Wallflower has been produced for more than two centuries. If the flowers are steeped in oil for some weeks, they contribute thereto a stimulating warming property useful for friction to limbs which are rheumatic, or neuralgic.
Added Mar 5, 2011 | Healing Trees | 3,215 Reads
The leaves of the Walnut tree, when slightly rubbed, emit a rich aromatic odour, which renders them proof against the attacks of insects. Qualities of this odoriferous sort commended the tree to King Solomon, whose "garden of nuts" was clearly one of Walnuts, according to the Hebrew word eghoz. The longevity of the Walnut tree is very great. There is at Balaclava, in the Crimea, a Walnut tree believed to be a thousand years old.
Added Jun 12, 2010 | Information | 5,458 Reads
It may happen that one or another enquirer taking up this study will ask, to begin with, "What is a Herbal Simple?"
The English word "Simple," composed of two Latin words, Singula plica (a single fold), means "Singleness," whether of material or purpose.
From primitive times the term "Herbal Simple" has been applied to any homely curative remedy consisting of one ingredient only, and that of a vegetable nature.
Many such a native medicine found favour and success with our single-minded forefathers, this being the "reverent simplicity of ancienter times."
Added Jun 10, 2012 | | 7,589 Reads
William Thomas Fernie MD was a physician in the late 19th and early 20th century and very little is known about him and his life that is easily discoverable.
However, he left behind a lifetime's fascination and love with exploring not just the world of all things hard, but taking a greater view - comparing his knowledge with that what has been told over the ages, collecting ideas and trying to find connections between people, plants, animals and minerals.
In olden days the Monks named this pretty little woodland plant Alleluia, because it blossoms between Easter and Whitsuntide, when the Psalms--from the 113th to the 117th, inclusive--which end with the aspiration, "Hallelujah!" were sung.
Its terminal syllable, "ruff," is derived from rofe, a wheel,--with the diminutive rouelle, a little wheel or rowel, like that of an ancient spur,--which the verticillate leaves of this Woodruff herb closely resemble. They serve to remind us also of good Queen Bess, and of the high, starched, old-fashioned ruff which she is shown to wear in her portraits.
Added Mar 5, 2011 | Healing Shrubs | 3,616 Reads
The Wormwood herb was formerly thought to possess the power of dispelling demons, and was thus associated with the ceremonials of St. John's Eve, owning the name, on the Continent, of St. John's Herb, or St. John's Girdle.
Added Mar 5, 2011 | Healing Herbs | 3,001 Reads
The Hedge Woundwort was named by Gerard, Clown's all heal, or the Husbandman's Woundwort, because a countryman who had cut his hand to the bone with a scythe, healed the wound in seven days with this plant.
Elspeth Reoch, in 1616, when tried for witchcraft, acknowledged to having employed the Yarrow in her incantations. She "plucked one herbe sitting on her right knee, and pulling it betwixt the mid-finger and thumbe, and saying: In nominee Patris, Filii, et Spiritus Sancti."
By the yarrow plant so gathered, she was enabled to cure distempers, and to impart the faculty of prediction.
Added Mar 5, 2011 | Healing Trees | 3,576 Reads
Although the Yew--a Conifer--which is so thoroughly English a tree, is known to be highly poisonous as regards its leaves to the humans subject, and as concerning its loppings or half-dead branches, to oxen, horses, and asses, yet a medicinal tincture (H.) is made from the young shoots, which has distinct and curative uses. Both the Yew and the Ivy were called abiga, because causing abortion
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