Monday, December 15, 2008
Take two herbs and call a witch
…Scripps Howard’s Maureen Gilmer writes that just like 500 years ago, health care is expensive and people fear creepy or painful procedures. HA sure does!
…So who did they call then? The village healer. This was usually a woman (now it’s a health food store) who knew about recipes and plants that her mother told her about.
…Plants were the source. Today drug companies send people into the rain forest scouring for plants, did you know that?
…Digitalis to regulate heart rhythm was from foxglove, a nice purple flower.
…Yarrow was packed into wounds to stop bleeding.
..Aspirin is from willows.
..Camomile and mint calm icky tummies.
…Echinacea is from a daisy.
…Healers harvested their stock and trade and dried the plants for future use. They made infusions (tea) or ground the plants and mixed with fat to make salves.
…When upheavals came or times were bad, this woman was vilified and called a witch (sort of like saying doctors caused the economic mess with their penicillin). When so-called witches were killed, knowledge died with them.
…Sometimes, though, this info was captured into books, such as the 1931 classic, “A Modern Herbal” by Mrs. M. Grieve.
…You can get these at www.botanical.com. The contents are also free online.
…HA’s kid once burned her leg on a hot curling iron and HA ran outside and got her some aloe goo out of the yard.
…Otherwise, HA is blame free in the witch department.
…But she will add: Be cautious. Herbs are drugs. Remember the drug company guys looking through the jungle?