Posts Tagged ‘herbal remedies’

Our previous blog post about the virtues of lavender got me to thinking. (Stimulation of the synapses is among the effects of lavender essence, after all.) As a greenhorn gardener on the Central Coast, it’s almost impossible for me to think about this wonderful purple bush without conjuring savory thoughts of pungent rosemary. In the drought tolerant herb garden, these supercharged Mediterranean perennials go together like Batman and Robin.

When it comes to warding off arch-enemies like olfactory ennui, culinary mediocrity, and general malaise, few shrubs can rival the super powers of the mighty rosemary. What other herb has such a rich history, a wealth of uses in cooking, cologne and aromatherapy, and grows so easily throughout California? Riddle me this.

From horror film classics to the folksy lyrics of Simon and Garfunkel, tributes to rosemary are countless, and its imprint on the collective psyche unforgettable. Among its many reputed benefits, in fact, is the improvement of memory. You may recall the words of Ophelia, “There’s rosemary, that’s for remembrance.” (Hamlet, iv.5.)

But the mystique surrounding rosemary dates back far earlier than Shakespeare. In Greek mythology, when Aphrodite is born from the sea, she emerges from the water draped in rosemary. The Greek Ros Marinas actually translates as “Dew of the Sea,” and rosemary remains a mighty symbol of the goddess of love and beauty.

In the 1300s — so legend has it — the 72-year-old queen of Hungary charmed the pants off the king of Poland (Zoinks!) thanks largely to the wooing powers of Hungary Water, the illustrious perfume whose key ingredient was rosemary. For many centuries, rosemary continued to enjoy tremendous popularity for its scent and as an herbal remedy.

So whether you’re plotting a garden, preparing a dish, and craving a refreshing cleanse, consider the many benefits of rosemary. And if you’re skeptical about legends and jokers, just know that rosemary is also extremely high in iron, calcium and vitamin B6!

Song of the Day: enjoy another spicy dynamic duo with “Crimson and Clover” by Tommy James and the Shondells.

It’s three in the morning, and you jolt awake from a nightmare involving  clowns and people with creepy mustaches. Your head is pounding, which prevents you from going back to sleep. The dream has left you with anxiety and your heart pounds big rhythmic thumps in your chest.  The anxiety brings on your asthma and as you reach for the inhaler you get a charlie horse in your leg. Jumping from the pain, you accidentally scrape your head on the corner of the nightstand containing said inhaler and a small amount of blood is drawn. Your headache worsens and you now have a plethora of problems whose pay dirt can only be purloined by procuring that purple miracle: lavender. 

Aside from looking pretty, and smelling even better, lavender has a variety of uses. lavender has been used for quite some time as an antiseptic and pain reliever, and as a calming agent for anxiety, stress, and nervous tension.There’s a couple of different methods for using nature’s purple bushy wonder. One unique way to relieve tension headaches and treat respiratory problems with lavender is to put its oil derivative in to a vaporizer.Amongst the long list of uses that lavender has, it can work as a pain reliever, when used in massage. It can fight off pesky insects from mosquitoes to lice, and has possibly reduced mammary tumors in lab rats (though I doubt those mammary tumors are the worst of a lab rat’s problems)lavender oil has anti-fungal properties. As a result, it may be able to treat acne, cuts, burns, psoriasis, and when added to chamomile, eczema. This amazing stuff can improve circulation, lower blood pressure and aid in treating hypertension.As a dietary aid, the oil stimulates digestive properties that fend off indigestion, stomach pain, gas, and other unpleasant problems caused from that two am pizza binge.In aromatherapy lavender oil is used for depression and emotional stress. It can increase mental activity and relieve restlessness.

All around, lavender and its derivatives are pretty useful in every day life. You can grow lavender in rough terrain and if prefers the hot weather. It’s a natural cure all that makes your house smell like heaven, and it tastes pretty dang good in ice cream! Put a little purple in your life and try Ruth’s lavender salve.

Song of the day: Start Wearing Purple by Gogol Bordello.