YARROW TEA (Achillea Millefolium)

Written by Simon Mitchell

Yarrow has an ancient history. The generic name comes from Achilles who savedrepparttar lives of his warriors by healing their wounds with yarrow leaves. Crushed and rolled inrepparttar 147759 handsrepparttar 147760 plant provides a temporary styptic to check blood flow. Millefolium means 'thousand leaves' which were reputed to help with binding a wound and helping a scab to form. One of this astringent herb's ancient names is 'Soldier's Woundwort', along with 'Carpenter's Weed', 'Staunchweed' and others that show its popularity and prolonged use over many centuries.

The herb tea has also been used inrepparttar 147761 past for stimulating appetite, helping stomach cramps, flatulence, gastritis, enteritis, gallbladder and liver problems and internal hemorrhage - particularly ofrepparttar 147762 lungs. It's effect is described as 'diaphoretic', causingrepparttar 147763 dilation of surface capillaries and helping poor circulation. The promotion of sweating can be useful for fevers and colds. Yarrow mixed with Elderflower and Peppermint (sometimes Boneset) is an old remedy for colds.

The decoction has been used for all sort of external wounds and sores such as chapped skin or sore nipples. In China Yarrow is still considered to have sacred properties, readers ofrepparttar 147764 I Ching will often use Yarrow stalks in their studies.

Wild medicine and Tansy cakes

Written by Simon Mitchell

It started withrepparttar Tansy cakes. I had to ask myself 'Why would anyone eat anything so utterly disgusting in taste'?

Chrysanthemum Vulgare is a common perennial inrepparttar 147758 British Isles andrepparttar 147759 name Tansy is said to be derived fromrepparttar 147760 Greek 'athansia', meaning 'immortal'. Reasons suggested for this includerepparttar 147761 fact thatrepparttar 147762 dried flower lasts forever or that it has a medicinal quality contributing to long life. Looking back to Greek literature, Tansy was given byrepparttar 147763 Gods to Ganymede to make him immortal. Inrepparttar 147764 language of flowersrepparttar 147765 gift of Tansy means 'Rejected address' - " I am not interested in you". Its strange taste, not unlikerepparttar 147766 smell of 'mothballs' might have something to do with this.

Tansy certainly had a reputation as a vermicide and vermifuge (killing and dispelling intestinal worms) inrepparttar 147767 middle ages. John Gerard wrote in his 17th century Herball:

"Inrepparttar 147768 Spring time are made withrepparttar 147769 leaves here of newly sprung up, and with eggs, cakes of Tansies, which be pleasant to taste, and good forrepparttar 147770 stomacke. For if any bad humours cleave there unto, it doth perfectly concoct them and scoure them downewards".

Tansy was a common kitchen garden herb for medicinal and culinary use, in place of expensive foreign spices such as nutmeg and cinnamon. It was used to flavour custard, cakes, milk puddings, omlettes and freshwater fish. In Ireland it was included in sausages called 'Drisheens'. Its use as a springtime 'cleanser' became ritualised into a part ofrepparttar 147771 Christian religious Easter traditions; "On Easter Sunday berepparttar 147772 pudding seen, To whichrepparttar 147773 Tansy lends her sober green."

The consensus on this much written about herb is that it was used at Easter to purifyrepparttar 147774 blood after lent. This consensus shows a problem though, in that in Englandrepparttar 147775 plant does not show leaves untilrepparttar 147776 end of May - well after Easter. This is evidence ofrepparttar 147777 assimilation of natural 'self-medicating' herbalism into a controlling religious patriarchy.

Observation of wild and domesticated animals shows that they regularly self-medicate with wild plants. Sick chimpanzees chew bitter leaves from a bush not normally part of their diet, and then recover. Research by Michael Hoffman shows that a particular nematode worm is common inrepparttar 147778 monkey's gut duringrepparttar 147779 rainy season and that their chewing ofrepparttar 147780 leaves coincided withrepparttar 147781 prevalence of this parasite, which it destroyed. This wasrepparttar 147782 same bush that local tribes use to get rid of stomach parasites.

Dogs and cats self medicate by eating couch grass or cleavers. Parrots, chickens, camels, snow geese, starlings - all have been observed consuming substances normally alien to their diet to remedial effect. Bears particularly are venerated by North American Indian culture because they symboliserepparttar 147783 powers of 'regeneration'. North American Indians discoveredrepparttar 147784 use of a root called Osha from bears. It is so effective as an all round painkiller, antiviral, antipeptic that it is now onrepparttar 147785 endangered species list.

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