By Caroline Clemmons
Beth Trissel has had a conflict, so I’m filling in for her. Beth always has such beautiful photos and interesting blogs, I’m a bit nervous.
I’ve taken several of Beth’s workshops on herbs. From those came her book, PLANTS FOR A MEDEIVAL HERB GARDEN IN THE BRITISH ISLES. Don’t let the title fool you because most of the plants are found in the U.S. and many other countries.
|Beth's book is available in print and e-book|
One of the entries is the apple, which is universal, right? Beth says that the history of the apple is closely linked with the history of man. She mentions the Johnny Appleseed blessing, but doesn’t give the words, so I’m including them after the photo below:
|Apples being gathered in an orchard|
The Johnny Appleseed Blessing
Oh, the Lord is good to me,
And so I thank the Lord
For giving me the things I need
The sun, and the rain, and the apple seed
The Lord is good to me.
When I read those words, the tune pops into my head from the Disney movie about Johnny Appleseed. But John Chapman, "Johnny Appleseed", was a real person who planted apples across the country. Today, there are many, many varieties of apples. I don't know how many were around when the great herbalist Culpepper was alive. Beth quotes A MODERN HERBAL:
"The chief dietetic value of apples lie in the mailic and tartaric acids. These acids are of benefit to persons of sedentary habits, who are liable to liver derangements, and they neutralize the acid products of gout and indigestion."
Many years ago when Hero and I lived between San Francisco and San Jose, California we grew a thyme groundcover which was very nice and had tiny lavender flowers. However, that dwarf groundcover was a newer variety. According to medieval herbalist Culpepper:
"Thyme is a noble strengthener of the lungs, as notable one as grows, nor is there a better remedy growing for whooping cough. It purgeth the body of phlegm and is an excellent remedy for shortness of breath. It is so harmless you need not fear the use of it. An ointment made of it takes away hot swellings and warts, helps the sciatica and dullness of sight and takes away any pains and hardness of the spleen; it is excellent for those that are troubled with the gout and the herb taken anyway inwardly is of great comfort to the stomach."
And we thought it was just pretty and smelled good.
If you read Beth's book, you'll learn a great deal about plants you may have thought only decorative or even a nuisance. She invites readers to "Journey back to the days when herbs figured into every facet of this realm and protection from evil in all its guises."
The book is available in print and e-book. Buy link is http://amzn.com/B00IOGHYVU
Photos from free commons