Monday, May 26, 2014




 Eucalyptus is an evergreen tree and can grow to 300 feet or more.  When mature, leaves are bluish-green and covered with oil-bearing glands.  The leaves are used in dried potpourris and are an excellent air freshener.  Eucalyptus is stimulating, antiseptic, antiviral and an insect repellent.  It is good for colds, viruses, aches and pains.  Infuse Eucalyptus leaves in boiling water and breathe in the steam to clear congestion, sinus problems.  Wrap a warm eucalyptus soaked towel around your neck to ease sore throat pain and congestion.  Soak feet in eucalyptus water and rub feet with eucalyptus oil to freshen feet or for a good sleep.  Blend it with hyssop, lavender, lemon, lemon grass, melissa, pine and rose.  I grow my own Eucalyptus in my Eco-balanced organic botanical gardens.  I keep my eucalyptus trimmed back a little.  Caution:  do not take eucalyptus internally unless under care of a licensed alternative medical care professional since it can be toxic.  Eucalyptus does not normally grow in Arkansas.  I cover mine in the winter with two or three feet of compost, which generates heat for the plant.  As you can see, it survives, but has not grown to the 300 feet it can in Australia.

Yarrow is fascinating to me. It is a hardy herbaceous perennial and grows up to three feet.   This unassuming plant conceals great powers. One small leaf will speed decomposition of raw compost (I use it that way all the time); yarrow's roots secretions will activate the disease resistance of nearby plants; and it intensifies the medicinal actions of other herbs. Infuse with water, to make a copper fertilizer. It has long been considered sacred because the Druids used yarrow stems to divine seasonal weather in Europe, while in China yarrow stems were used to foretell the future. Consult a licensed alternative medical professional before ingesting yarrow.  It is edible and used as garnishes and in medicinal teas, so it is not toxic, but I do not have a medical degree; therefore I do not feel comfortable in referring ingesting any medicinal remedies to anyone other than myself!

Ahhh....Rosemary: the miraculous herb! The Dew of the Sea!  It has been used by apothecaries from the earliest of times. Rosemary has so many uses besides cooking.  It provides an aromatic addition to wreaths and garlands. It has antiseptic properties and is invigorating, increasing blood circulation as a bath tea. Dried stems can be used in the fire place for a "Christmas time" aroma.  The dried stems are also excellent barbecue skewers.  Rosemary repels insects, freshens the air and has many other uses. There are many types of rosemary: some grow into hedges and others creep along the ground.  Rosemary also has beautiful flowering blooms.

 I will be posting more "common lay terms" herbal knowledge from day to day, so please come back with comments and any fun herbal facts you may have.  Professionals with University Degrees are strongly welcome to comment!