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