A Chronicle of Herbs: This Noble Harvest by Anne Ophelia Dowden

By Anne Ophelia Dowden

An creation to herbs, their historical past, features, and their many makes use of.

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Extra resources for A Chronicle of Herbs: This Noble Harvest

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Penuinkle was used as an astringent and Ground up tonic. " ST. JOHN'S WORT Hypericum perforatum Aristotle first recorded the belief that swallows used greater celandine to restore sight to their young The plant scientific Inevitably, is they were blinded. therefore sometimes called swallow- wort, name comes from it if and its the Greek word for swallow. was considered a cure for various eye troubles, as well as for yellow diseases like jaundice. To this day, its yellow — one of the many remedies proposed for warts as effective as any, because warts have the obliging property of going away by themselves.

47 THE GRACE THAT LIES IN HERBS Every spring, with the return of green leaves, we see emerging from death all around us. life Primitive people were even more aware of this resurrection than we are, and the yearly miracle filled them with wonder and awe. If plants were not gods themselves, they thought, they must be inhabited by or controlled by supernatural beings, and fallible men and women must approach them with reverence. Even today, when many of us no longer live close to nature, plants still exercise a real power over our minds and bodies.

Dyeing cloth was fabrics known in But by 3000 plants. C. C. were colored with a red purple from the madder plant and a blue from indigo. C. were dyed blue with either indigo or woad; and at nearly the same time, the Egyptians were using safflower for yellows and reds. Pliny writes of the dye recipes of his day and mentions skilled dyers in Gaul who used vegetable pigments. All the life and color of the Middle Ages came from plant dyes, which tinted the wools of the intricately pictured tapestries as well as the bright fabrics of clothing and tournament banners.

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