Herbal Magic

Part 1 - herbal history

Ancient Greek herbal medicine is the foundation of our modern western medicine.

 

The Ancient Greeks had amazing extensive knowledge of herbs and their healing properties.

 

One of the most well know known Classical Greek Scholars was  called Hippocrates (460 - 370 BC).

 He was known to have extensive knowledge and wisdom, regarding herbs and medicine, he was also known as the father of herbs.

 The medicine of Hippocrates was humble and passive, based upon the conscious healing power of nature.

 

There were also other great well known herbalists worth mentioning, Theophrastus (371 - 287 BC), Pedanius Dioscorides (40 - 90 AD), Nicholas Culpeper (1616-1654), Robert Hooke (1635 - 1703), Carl Linnaeus (1707 - 1778 AD)  and Joseph Banks (1743 - 1820).

 

Its no wonder Hippocrates was so keyed up with herb lore considering the herb friendly environment in Greece. if we travel to any of the Greek Islands especially the Islands in the South of Greece, its so fine to smell the fragrance of sage, oregano, rosemary, thyme and basil filling the air, especially in September and October.

 

If clean herbal healing is what one seeks, travel to Kos, Rodos or Crete, take time away from the tourist areas, leave the well beaten paths and head for the hills and become one with the land and the local herbs.

 

For any information on interesting, forgotten places in Greece,

please don't hesitate to contact me.

 

Herb Uses and Practicalities

  •  Herbs for spiritual cleaning, purifying the air (incense, oils, resins).
  •  To ward off unwanted spirits.
  •  In rituals.
  •  In cooking to flavour food.
  •  As a source of food.
  •  As a perfume.
  •  For bathing (ritual baths).
  •  As a source of unique subtle energy.
  •  Steeped in freshly boiled water for tee.
  • As healing medicine

10 Ancient Favourites:

Sage

There are two distinct main types of sage that occur, in Europe, usual garden sage, and Greek mountain sage. The Greek variety has strong camphor or sometimes musky smelling over-tones, and is also different from the popular greek mountain tee.

 

For thousands of years Sage has been burned in temples and churches around the world, to purify and cleanse the space. 

The Greeks and Romans both documented that the smoke from this plant imparted wisdom and mental acuity, and at the least a long and healthy life! 

 

Sage also makes a fantastic cup of tee.

 

Oregano

Although oregano is heavily associated with Italian cuisine it is likely that it originated in Greece. The word oregano comes from the Greek, meaning “joy of the mountain”.  Oregano is also believed to calm nerves and is sometimes used to cure sea sickness. The ancient Greeks made creams derived from oregano leaves and used them to treat sores and aching muscles.

 

Traditional Chinese doctors have used oregano for centuries to relieve fever, vomiting, diarrhea, jaundice and itchy skin. In Europe, the herb is still used to improve digestion and soothe coughs. Keep a few plants in the garden to dispell any negative energy.

 

Basil

Basil actually belongs to the mint family of herbs. In Europe the Genovese variety is all to common it's also called (sweet basil) and is originally from from Genoa (Italy), it is very easy to grow and it's great in the kitchen, but certainly has a different energy in comparison to its older Greek cousins. 

 

In Greece there are many different varieties still in there native form, be sure to collect some seeds from some dry flower heads next time visiting Greece. 

 

Basil is great for keeping mosquitos and flies away from its growing area. Not only do the Greek people believe it keeps away mosquitos, they also believe that if a basil plant is growing outside there house it will keep away unwanted spirits.

 

Basil really enjoys being grown in pots, making it a great herb for growing on the kitchen window ledge or on the balcony. Please contact me if you need any rare basil seeds or young plants.

 

Rosemary

There are more than 24 different types of upright rosemary and 12 types of creeping varieties. This plant increases one`s memory and has a long history of use in all manner of spiritual and religious rites. Rosemary tea is said to act as a stimulant for study and concentration, and is great for many dishes in the kitchen.

 

Chives

Chives are a great powerhouse of health, such a small thin plant can give us such a big boost. Chives contain thio sufinites which convert to allicin when its leaves are crushed. Lab studies show that allicin reduces cholesterol production by inhibiting the HMG-CoA reductase enzyme in the liver cells. It also has anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal properties.

 

Chives also contain much more vitamin A than any other allium(onion) family member, protecting the body from lung and mouth cancers. Chives also contain large amounts of vitamin C and vitamin K  for bone health - strengthening and formation.

 

The thin deep green long succulent stems are also packed with  B-complex vitamins as well as essential minerals such as copper, iron, manganese, zinc and calcium.

 

Lemon Balm

Lemon balm is usually used in the healing of people with nervous disorders. A tea made with the leaves brings stability and calmness of the mind, making it a great tea of anyone studying. Lemon Balm leaves may also be scattered into the bath water to create a tranquil calming bath.

 

It is said that the usage and respect of lemon balm opens one up to the divine love of the goddess, and is also brings much positive energy. Also great for musicians and students for focusing on their art or studies.

 

Nettle

These often neglected wonderful plants are associated with the ability to dispel unconsciousness. The young leaves taken as a tea are not only good for the body but also good for the spirit. Nettle leaves are full of iron and help with formation of red blood cells. The leaves infused as tee or boiled and eaten decrease the risk of skin disorders and are also great for healing asthma.

 

Nettles are still to this day used as spell breakers, a simple spell breaker can be made by crushing up dried nettles into a powder and putting the powder into some linen and hanging it around ones neck. 

 

The dried leaves can also be burned, and the smoke wafted into the corners of the room or a doorway to chase out any unwanted spirits. 

 

The leaves infused as tee or boiled and eaten decrease the risk of skin disorders and are also great for healing asthma. Nettle tee is a great tonic, perfect for anyone with low energy or lack of iron. it's also a great internal cleanser getting to quick guaranteed healing for the kidneys, liver and urinary tract.

 

Thyme

Thyme tee can help with headaches and inflammatory pain, but it's best use is for relieving flu symptoms and colds, even some intestinal problems can be overcome by drinking a cup of thyme tee in the morning and evening.

 

Its also said that growing thyme in the garden will encourage the garden spirits to be more lively, and to be honest there's  much spiritual energy to be found in a garden where the thyme is in abundance.

 

Lavender

Lavender has always been a herb associated with bringing calmness and serenity to the inner self, it reduces stress, banishes depression, purifies the air, gives an altogether good feeling all around.

 

Lavender grown below roses can guarantee parasite and lice free roses!.

 

It is also possible to take the old dried lavender flowers, sprinkle them on the carpet or rug jump around on them a bit, leave them for an hour letting them impart there aroma into the carpet, then vacuum them or shake the carpet outside or simply vacuum the the dried flowers up, the room air and carpet will be for many days holding the fine fragrance of Lavender.

 

Mint

There are 3 main varieties of mint: peppermint, spearmint, and water mint.

Peppermint makes a great tea for digestive purposes also drink the tea at bedtime to enhance the mystical nature of our dreams.

 

 

What makes a herb a herb?

Many say a herb is a herbaceous plant (a plant which dies back to the ground each year and renews itself).

 

My own personal definition of a herb is any plant that has been recognised to have either a medicinal or spiritual value, that can include anything from cress to the oak tree!

 

Herbs have an ability to heal and better our lives when used with respect and thankfulness and always try to remember...

prevention is better than cure.

 

Peter Carvello,

January 2024.