History of Herbs
Herbs have always played an important part in human history. Since ancient times they have been used as food or to flavour foods, for
their range of medicinal qualities, for their fragrances or for dyeing cloth. Herbs and their uses are mentioned in many ancient egyptian, hebrew, greek, roman, saxon, indian and chinese texts. The herbalists of
the past have incuded many prominent and noteworthy philosophers, historians, physicians and doctors, such as Hippocrates, Dioscorides, Pliny the Elder and Dr Nicholas Culpeper. A lot of our ancestor's
knowledge of herbs sprung from pure instinct, and it is interesting to see that the scientists of today are proving much of this ancient herb-lore to be correct.
A garden is a holy place. When we create a garden, we create a bond with nature which bestows a sense of sanctuary and well-being. To learn the magical significance of plants and flowers is to imbibe something of their ancient fragrance of mystery and benign sorcery,
rooted in the breath of that great spirit which is
the earth herself, goddess of wisdom and instructress of wisewomen.
A word on Weeds
In some countries herbs grow as wild as weeds along hedgerows or wasteland. Once a weed has become useful to humans, it reaches "herb" status. There are many wild herbs in your garden which you probably just pull
up as "weeds", whereas they could be put to good use, eg. to make an interesting and tasteful salad. Bear in mind that every single plant that comes up in your garden grew there for a purpose. No matter how inconvenient it's appearance seems, it must be thanked and blessed. If you have
any ailment or discomforture, it is probably precisely that plant which you find such a nuisance in your garden that can ease your recovery.
Never ever uproot plants while they are in flower, even the so called "weeds". This will greatly anger the fairies, or nature spirits. In other words, it disturbs the spiritual harmony in your garden. Wait just before they go to seed to pull them up.
Herbs as Medicine
When eating herbs, or drinking them as a tea, it is wise to vary them and sometimes blend them, and not eat or drink only one herb many times a day , every day for months, unless prescribed by a professional.
:-) Just remember, too much of anything, no matter how good is bad or you. So don't overdo it. :-)
If you can leave a little corner of your garden to grow wild, this will please the fairies, and many little animals will visit it by day and night.Some of these may partake of your seeds and flowers, but this is only part of nature's plan, for moles improve the soil and birds assist
in pollination. Spiders are lucky to have in the garden. They are sensitive to human feelings and can be spoken to and will respond. Spiders also catch other insects, like mosquitos and flies. Beetles do no harm in the garden, besides nibbling a few leaves occasionally :-) and can be asked to leave,
as can ants. The request must be spoken to them on
three consecutive nights in a spirit of authority and respect, and they will surely leave.
Ladybirds devour any greenfly you mighthave in your garden.
If infesting insects mar your plants, infuse horsetail with stinging nettle and use it as a spray, this gentle cleanser works in harmony with nature. Each insect and animal plays it's part in the great scheme and it's soul has mystery.
Oceana's Garden Home Page
One of the best organic gardening sites on the web. If you have to get rid of the "pests" in your garden, please use one of the recipes supplied on this site.
Algy's Herb Page
Herbs on the web? This is THE place to go. Anyhing you could possibly imagine on the topic - and more. Great herbal links.
A Modern Herbal
One of the most comprehensive books on the market, complete hypertext version.
Disclaimer: The Herbal remedies provided on this page are meant as a guide only and cannot replace a visit to a qualified doctor.