Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Thyme for healing...

Note: the information provided here is for educational purposes only. Before using any plants and their derivatives, you should seek the advice and training of a qualified professional and your personal physician. that the disclaimer is out of the way...let's talk herbs. We have a wonderful herb garden here at the Village, and an even MORE WONDERFUL group of people who manage it: The Greater Fort Worth Herb Society. Why herbs at a frontier Texas living history museum, you ask? Herbs played very important roles in the lives of our ancestors. Early Texans used them for cooking, cleaning, and healing. Although we are still unraveling the mystery of "natural" healing, we can acknowledge that the pioneers were definitely on to something.

We love the annual "Thyme for a Cure" event for a few reasons. It gives us a chance to collaborate with our Herb Society volunteers and highlight their hard work. It allows us to illustrate different aspects of health and medicine. And finally (and perhaps most importantly), it gives us the opportunity to make all sorts of goofy puns using the word "thyme" (this is second only to the pun chances with "corn" and "Maize Days" in the fall).

Just for fun, here's a list of herbs and other plants early Texans may have used (and why) in everyday life:

Lamb’s Ear (aka "woundwort") – may have been used as a bandage

Lemon Balm – This herb was used to make tea, and the leaves were put in bath water. Pioneers also chewed the leaves to help get rid of a headache. Insomnia, bacterial infections, cold sores, calms nerves

Feverfew—fever—Native Americans used it for burns

Artemisia (Wormwood) —“mountain” fever

Lemon Verbena—well-being/love (aromatherapy), tea, lemonade

Lemon Balm--sedative, inhibit growth of fungi and bacteria

Rosemary – Pioneers burned the plant to make the air smell nice, and to keep the bugs away, nervousness

Mint – This herb was used in cooking, and to make tea. Pioneers also chewed on the leaves to cure bad breath. They also thought it could cure hiccups, upset stomach.

Oregano – Pioneers used this herb in their bath, to make tea, and they made it into a lotion that they used for pain and swelling.

Sage—cough and cold, upset stomach

Cat Mint – Today called “Catnip,” the dry leaves of this herb were burned to put a calming scent in the air, fever, babies with colic or colds

Lavender – Pioneers would rub the leaves on their body to keep the bugs away. They also used it to make tea to soothe headaches and make their breath smell nice.



Parsley—upset stomach, diuretic, vitamin C

Tansy—vegetable dye, leaves collected for food

Thyme--deodorant, local anesthetic, antiseptic

Skullcap—relaxation, exhaustion

Trumpet vine--Brought from the East Coast and grown for home beautification

Hollyhock--Cultivated for home beautification

Clove Currant--Fruit and leaves collected for food

Soapwort--Leaves and stems collected for making soap

Wild Onion--Leaves and bulbs collected for food

Prairie Sage--Leaves collected for making tea

Mexican Plum--Fruit collected for food

Crested Iris--Collected and grown for ornamental value

Wild Ginger--Roots collected and used for seasoning

Passion Vine--Fruit collected for food

Harison’s Yellow Rose--Brought from the East Coast and grown for home beautification

Butterfly Weed--Roots collected for food

Sassafras--Roots and bark collected for making tea

Beebalm--Leaves collected and used for seasoning

Wild Garlic--Roots collected and used for seasoning

Redbud--Native tree grown for home beautification

Blackberry--Fruit collected for food

Wild Plum--Fruit collected for food

Yucca--Roots collected and used for making soap

Sunflower--Seeds collected for food

Horseradish--Roots collected for food

Links to more information...

No comments: