In celebration of St. Patrick’s Day this week, I wished to put in writing about Irish or Celtic herbs.
Herbs have been utilized in all cultures for meals, drugs and rituals most likely because the daybreak of time. Every tradition or civilization has in fact its personal favorites. These favorites would initially be primarily based on native grasses that develop, however unfold to others as invaders take maintain within the space bringing in their very own vegetation.
A lot of historical conventional Irish drugs targeted on magic and the spiritual custom primarily based on animism, whereas natural drugs introduced drugs extra rooted in science. Surrounded by the ocean, seaweed was additionally necessary in Celtic drugs.
I wish to speak right here about a number of the herbs that we develop on our Colorado farm which are additionally necessary within the Celtic or Gaelic custom. Observe that though a few of these originated in Eire, others had been imported and are actually fashionable.
Comfrey (Symphytum officinale L.)
The ‘Flora of Northern Ireland‘signifies that comfrey might be native to Eire. Comfrey is usually known as a “knitbone” for its property of “knitting collectively” damaged bones. It has been used for sprains, bruises, wounds, and to alleviate ache from arthritis and again ache. It may be used as a compress instantly on the pores and skin. The expansion of comfrey is plentiful, producing very giant leaves. If in case you have an excessive amount of, you may feed it to feed the animals or put it in your compost because it makes an excellent fertilizer.
Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale). Lots of people try to rid their gardens of dandelion, and I’ve to say it is a tough plant to manage. Its fuzzy seed heads are able to spreading seeds for miles attributable to its parachute-like construction. Every flower can produce 150-200 seeds and every plant as much as 10 flowers. Dandelions are native to Eurasia, however are actually discovered everywhere in the world. I’ve not discovered any info on the date of their introduction in Eire.
In Irish Gaelic, the dandelion is known as after Brigid, a Celtic goddess, herbalist and patron saint of Eire. All elements of the dandelion are utilized in natural drugs; roots, leaves and flowers. The leaves are wealthy in potassium and B nutritional vitamins and will be added to salads. Their slight bitterness is great for exciting digestion. Choose them early within the spring earlier than they get too bitter – just a few combined along with your lettuce are scrumptious. They’ll act as a diuretic, eradicating extra water from the physique and decreasing blood stress. The flowers are used to make wine. The foundation stimulates the immune system and is nice for the liver by stimulating bile.
Elder (Sambucus nigra)
The Druids thought of the elder tree to be a sacred tree. As a sacred tree, it was forbidden to chop one down. We’ve got one in the midst of a lavender subject that was rising on the property earlier than we moved right here so it will not be minimize. It is extra of a bush than a tree. Elements of the Previous one are toxic; bark, unripe berries, leaves, however ripe elderberries are valued for his or her capability to struggle the flu. Sambucus extracts have been studied and repeatedly proven to lower higher respiratory tract flu signs. You possibly can read more here.
Elderflower is diuretic and anti inflammatory. They’re used to make tea in addition to a scrumptious liqueur / cordial known as St. Germaine. Flowers are nice for softening and brightening the pores and skin. They may also be breaded, fried and eaten.
Mint (Mentha spp)
Though there are lots of species of mint, it’s the water mint (Mentha aquatica) that’s native to Eire. Though Peppermint (Mentha piperata) has been cultivated in Eire and used medicinally for a while. Mints had been used as a “sprinkle” herb – unfold on the bottom to discourage bugs and rodents in a house. It may be drunk as a tea to calm digestion and used as a culinary herb in lots of cultures. It’s thought of a protecting plant.
Plantain (Plantago main). Herbalists name the plantain a “drawing herb” as a result of it may be utilized to irritation to take away the irritation. Plantain will be chewed right into a poultice to sting or chew an insect. It incorporates allantoin which helps soothe pores and skin irritations.
Self-healing (Prunella vulgaris). Self Heal can go unnoticed as a gradual rising weed in a backyard till it sends out its purple flower stalk. It’s an edible herb that can be utilized in salads or in tea. It’s mentioned to assist with chilly sores and different viruses. It may be used as a gargle for a sore throat.
Willow (Salix spp.). There are lots of species of willow, however the white willow (Salix alba) was most likely the one which was necessary to the Celts. It’s mentioned to be a guardian tree that protects. Willow bark incorporates salicylic acid and subsequently has been used historically to alleviate ache and irritation. We now use aspirin or acetylsalicylic acid which is comprised of salicylic acid. Salicylic acid can be utilized in skincare as an exfoliant.
A number of different herbs thought of necessary and sacred embody clover, rosemary, rue, sage, thyme, frankincense, myrrh, verbena (verbena), angelica, and St. John’s wort. Are there any herbs which are particular to you? Point out them within the feedback.
Some sources for extra info on Celtic herbs:
Tonya Reichley is an area Colorado herbalist who teaches Celtic herbalism and therapeutic. https://www.dancingwiththewild.com/about