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Sunday, May 9, 2010

Today in the garden

Happy Mother's Day to you! Here are a few plants growing near the house in the rock garden:

Lavender (Lavandula) getting ready to bloom. It's best to harvest the flowers early when they first come into bloom. Teas can be made with the flowers and I've heard they are an exceptional addition to lemonade. Many people use blooms in the form of essential oils or potpourri to have a fresh linen smell in their linen closets. I love this plant since I can have it out in the rock garden and the deer will not eat it.

The lavender is growing with Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis), Sage (Salvia officinales) and Skullcap (Scrutellaria laterifolia).

According to Herbalist David Hoffman, Skullcap's aerial parts can be used once the plant has flowered. People have used this plant to make a tincture (1:2 parts vodka). The tincture is a nervine tonic used to reduce stress and relaxes nervous tension. It is said to work by relaxing the nervous system. It can also be taken as a tea.

Rosemary acts as a circulatory and nervine stimulant. It can have a toning and calming effect on digestion (reduces flatulence) and it can be a remedy used when psychological tension is present. Both Skullcap and Rosemary can be used together to assist with depression. They can be combined in a tea. Rosemary has a very stimulating effect on the senses. Most people I know, love rubbing it between their hands and smelling the fresh plant release it's oils. It can give be a wonderful awakening of the senses. I know it can be used for so many things, and I simply love using Rosemary when cooking.

Sources: The New Holistic Herbal by David Hoffman.

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