The Royal Horticultural Society.

The Royal Horticultural Society.

Anachronous History Forums EUROPE THE WESTERN ISLES Albion (England) The Royal Horticultural Society.

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  • #6280
    Beric
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    @beric_debenkah

    Folk medicine has always been closely allied to ritual and magic, in most cultures curing the sick, fumigation buildings with incense and perfuming and embalming the departed loved ones, which were once considered divine acts, to be performed according to religious and spiritual guidelines.

    Plants of great beauty and fragrance came to be regarded as sacred for their importance in mediating between sickness and health, humanity and divinity, death and eternal afterlife, most of these had medicinal properties too, as fragrance is usually due to volatile oils that have a wide range of curative powers.

    Reference used : http://www.rhs.org.uk.              (& the possible use of extracts from. ‘Medieval Bodies’ by Jack Hartnel).

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    • #6305
      Beric
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      Beneficial Herbs Of North America :

      American Mandrake – One of the prime sources of anti-cancer drugs, Cascara Sagrada – Well-known laxative, used both as a food source and a medicine, also the native Americans use it as a effective source of permanent dye. Blood Root – Originally as expectorant, now valued as a dental plaque inhibitor found like seaweed in toothpaste.

      Virginia Skullcap – Important herbal sedative, Wild Senna – A native American laxative, Saw Palmetto – Vanilla-scented tonic and aphrodisiac, Jojoba – An oil widely used in cosmetics, originally used in lubricants, Wild Sarsaparilla – A tonic and flavouring for soft drinks, Arbor Vitae – Anti-rheumatic tea drunk by tree-fellers and loggers, now used to treat catarrh and cystitis.

      Slippery Elm – Inner bark is a soothing remedy for serious digestive problems and ulcers. The native American medicine bag used by the tribal medicine-man contained herbs for a wide-range of ailments, packaged in tied leaves to prevent the cross-contamination of herbs, to the tribe the medicine-man with his leafy packaging reverently unrolled had the air of a special spirit with a mighty mystique, an important person, surrounded with the powers of healing or placebos.

      Reference used : RHS.

    • #6304
      Beric
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      @beric_debenkah
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      Beneficial Herbs Of North America :

      Unicorn Root – Rhizomes used as a digestive tonic, now endangered in Canada largely because of the trial-bike routes have destroyed most of the wild site, New Jersey Tea – Used in threatening skin cancers by native Americans, and by European settlers as a substitute form of tea, Fringe Tree – One of the best remedies for liver and gall bladder disorders, Californian Poppy, a popular garden annual with seductive properties.

      Witch Hazel – Astringent used in eye lotions, also skin lotions and healing creams, Golden Seal – A tonic herb used mainly for digestive and menstrual complaints, Labrador Tea – Characteristic shrub of the northern forests, also used as a substitute tea, Lobelia – A respiratory stimulant and anti-asthmatic, used in cough medicine and anti-smoking mixtures.

      American Ginseng – Similar to Korean ginseng, now mass cultivated in China, Passion Flower – Perhaps a misleading name of one of the worlds best-known herbal tranquillisers, Pokeberry – Native American remedy for rheumatism, now important to the pharmaceutical industry for anti-viral compounds, and the control of water-snails that can cause schistosomiasis, internal blood flukes and the name of the disease created by this organisms infestation into the human blood stream.

      Reference used : RHS.

    • #6303
      Beric
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      North American Herbs :

      My apologises this has to be ancient and also modern-day uses of beneficial herbs, in North America there is an extraordinary range of environments in this huge land mass, from the artic tundra, to various kinds of forests and extensive prairies, to semi-deserts and subtropical swamps, also with the Rocky Mountains and the Appalachians bordering much of the west and east respectfully.

      Many of the characteristics landscapes, wild habitats, and plant species of the United States are preserved in an outstanding system of National Parks, thanks to the explorer, naturalist, and visionary conservationist John Muir.

      Nearly all of the most important medicinal North American herbs are woodland species, and were originally native American remedies, indigenous uses had little impact on the wild populations, involving very small amounts of local use, and careful use of the resource, as new settlers adopted remedies, then commercial collections increased with little regard to the consequences as demands for native American remedies increased.

      Trees and shrubs account for a high proportion of these plants used in native American medicine and its derivatives, including birch, pines, red cedar, cascara sagrada, sassafras, sweet gum and arbor vitae. In many cases the bark is harvested, often causing terminal damage to the trees.

      Reference used : RHS.

    • #6302
      Beric
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      The Ancient Narcotic Effects & Sorcery Of Herbs :

      A delicate subject I know, like the use of henbane, nightshade and mandrake that became visionary influences that sadly led to different forms of sorcery, the use of mandrake gave the intoxicating sensation of flying, in ancient Rome, there was the ritual of women sweeping the house clean with a rustic broom, this intoxicating drug then led to the belief of women flying through the night sky on a broom.

      The mandrake was one of the most feared plants in the ancient world as it resembled the human form and shrieked as the root was pulled from the earth, therefore giving it underworld implications. Another is the nightshade plant, its oils and ointments led to the belief in  outbreaks of lycanthropy, the supposed transformation of a human into a wolf, and aconite that gave the impression of extra strength, then there was the shaman’s use of narcotic herbs such as cannabis and opium with all its delusions.

      Finally there is ergot poisoning, the fungus that grows upon wheat, that some think was responsible for what happened at Salem, and the death of the first born in Ancient Egypt, the eldest child responsible for going to the wheat silo for his Egyptian family, a new meaning to Give Us Our Daily Bread, I need a beer, that’s all I require, but not a steam-beer.

      Reference used : RHS.

    • #6301
      Beric
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      The Sacred Maize Of America :

      As a staple crop, maize was synonymous with life to the ancient civilisations of Central and South America and was elevated to the status of a deity, many ceramics represent the Americans love of maize, the Mochica people of coastal Peru, grew maize and followed the paths of wild maize, many of the Central and South Americans forged ahead with advance agricultural systems including artificial irrigation techniques.

      A South American historian asked a horticulturist if he thought that the indigenous people of Central America ever ventured into North America, to which the horticulturist replied : ‘Of coarse they did, they would venture wherever the maize grows.’

      Reference used . RHS.

    • #6300
      Beric
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      Incense :

      The use of incense has long been important in spiritual ritual, frankincense and myrrh were burnt in the temples of ancient Babylon, Egypt, Rome, Greece, India and China, are were traded throughout the regions from Arabia, the trees were protected by legendary multi-coloured winged serpents, and their resins were held to be worth their weight in gold.

      The Lotus And The Rose :

      Scented blue and white lotus flowers, a narcotic in Ancient Egypt, and the night-blooming Nite-Lotus were favourite flowers offered 4,000 years ago by the Egyptians to their favourite gods and goddesses and used as garlands in funeral rites, the lotus was revered as the symbol of the Nile, the giver of life.

      The lotus was also sacred to Isis, the goddess of fertility, Egyptian lotuses are quite different from the sacred lotus, which is Asian in origin and was not known in Egypt before 5,000BCE, this species was sacred in Indian, Chinese and Tibetan cultures, as the lotus germinates in mud and unfolds its immaculate flowers in sunlight, it is seen as analogous to the growth of consciousness, purity and enlightenment.

      The rose are to Islam what the sacred  lotus is to Hinduism and Buddhism, the original sacred rose was white, pink-budded damask rose, one legend gives its origin as drops of perspiration fallen from the prophet Mohammed as he ascended into heaven, accounts of the creation of the red and white roses are found in Ancient Greek and Roman legends.

      In one Roman myth, the goddess Venus, on her way to meet Adonis, pricked her foot on the thorn of the white rose, turning it red with her blood, this tale was adapted later to the Christian Mary.

      Reference used : RHS.

    • #6281
      Beric
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      Herbs That Changed The World :

      The lives of ancient people and plants are more entwines than is often realized, and so the process continues with modern day pharmaceutical companies, some herbs have such power to change our physiological functioning that they have revolutionised medicine, created new fortunes for those who grow, process and trade in them.

      In certain cases, herbs have assumed social, religious and spiritual significance, take the ‘foxglove’, a wild flower an ancient folk remedy and now a vital ingredient in a medicinal drug, silly wars have been fought over the supply of opium and the coca bean, the great herbalist Paracelsus 1493-1541AD wrote that ‘All substances are poisonous, there are none which is not a poison, however, the right dose differentiates a poison from a remedy’.

      Reference used : RHS.

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