Friday, 19 July 2013

Artemis

Being the Greek equivalent of the Roman deity Diana, Artemis was the twin of Apollo and goddess of hunting and wild animals.  Among the wild flowers of the British countryside, there is a tall and attractive plant named after her, Artemisia vulgaris although the common name of Mugwort doesn't sound quite so complimentary.
Mugwort belongs to the family of plants which includes Wormwood, used to flavour Absinthe and Nicholas Culpepper, the 17th century botanist and herbalist, had it down as a useful herb for bringing on the delivery of babies as well as reducing any associated swellings.  An infusion of the dried leaves, when taken in wine was said to cure sciatica.
Another of Culpepper's herbs, found growing around here, is the Weld (Reseda luteola).  Also called Wold or Dyer's Weed, it is a stately plant.  Culpepper has this plant as a way of combating 'thick phlegm' and 'gross humours'.  Lovely..!
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