Monday, April 4, 2016

The 2016 A-Z CHALLENGE brought to you by The Letter "C"


Hello! And welcome to the 2016 A-Z CHALLENGE!!

* confetti *

This year, I’m blogging my way through a botanical alphabet

I hope you enjoy your time here and by all means, 
come back tomorrow and see what plant I’m highlighting! Cheers!!

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Costmary
tanacetum balsamita
aka: alecost, balsam herb, Hebe Sainte Marie


photo from www.medievalcookery.com


Native to Asia, Costmary was introduced to the western world in the 16th century. It has a balsamic odor and is known by some as "balsam herb". Costmary will thrive in almost any soil situation but will only flower if grown in the sun. Its name comes from the Latin "cortus" after an Asian plant whose root is used as a spice and preservative and "Mary" after the Holy Mother with whom the herb was associated in the Middle Ages.

Costmary was tied in bundles with lavender to fragrance rooms and linens. Traditionally it's good internally for the stomach and externally as an ointment for bruises, burns, shingles, and skin abrasions.

Its balsam fragrance is quite strong and very popular with early beer drinkers. Supposedly if the herb is dropped into a pint of stale ale it will revive it. Ironically those staunch prohibitionists the Puritans kept Costmary pressed between the pages of their Bibles. It's suspected they did so to use the strong fragrance to revive themselves during all those long sermons.

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All research references can be found in my Library of Botanical Miscellany

Disclaimer
These posts are in NO WAY medical suggestions. They are intended for informational purposes only.
If you are interested in pursuing natural, herbal remedies, get thee to a reputable herb shop (preferably one that is locally and independently owned and operated) and get educated!

Disclaimer II
It’s ridiculous that anyone writing about herbal and traditional remedies should have to put a disclaimer at the end of anything. 
Use your brain and think for yourself! Just as you shouldn't take a pharmaceutical at face value, 
do your herbal research and learn about the amazing plants around us.

11 comments:

  1. Ha ha, funny about those long sermons. Mmm. I wish we still fragranced rooms with herbs and flowers. (Although, my allergies might not like that as much.)
    Mary at Play off the Page

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    Replies
    1. Oh me too! I've thought about using "strewing" herbs in my house and then sweeping them up after they've sat a while but OH what a mess that would make!

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  2. Yeah, the long sermons part is funny.
    I've never heard of that herb before today.

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    Replies
    1. I tried to pick some herbs that were unfamiliar. I almost went with Chamomile for "C" but then I stumbled across this one and I'd never heard of it before so I used it!

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  3. I love herbs and this fascinates me~ Wow, used to revive people because of long sermons-that is funny~

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    Replies
    1. I know! I loved that little story. I read it in three different sources :)

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  4. Ah, so it was used by drinkers and prists... for a very similar reason ;-)
    Nice post as usual.

    @JazzFeathers
    The Old Shelter - Jazz Age Jazz

    ReplyDelete
  5. Ah, so it was used by drinkers and prists... for a very similar reason ;-)
    Nice post as usual.

    @JazzFeathers
    The Old Shelter - Jazz Age Jazz

    ReplyDelete
  6. That was interesting, as I have a contact allergy for a different type of balsam. I wonder if these things that smell similar actually have the same structure, or whether it's like animals that evolve to similar forms and functions because they have the same niche?
    Too much thinking!
    Jemima Pett

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    Replies
    1. They very well could! I know that Chamomile is related to the daisy family and if you have allergies to daisies you should stay away from Chamomile. I wouldn't be surprised if the same was true about types of balsam.

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