Wednesday, August 20, 2008

My knowledge bank - how to combine fact with own insight

After a long life's information gathering,some of this has become shelfware, stored in my brain repository for eventual later retrieval. Botany and the medical uses of plants has a special instant acceible shelf, that is even sorted alphabetically by name, by touch , by characteristics (such as roots,leaves, flowers and even perfumes that may trigger my memories).

In last blog post, I shared a favorite story from the past, about a holiday 25 years back in the past. The flashback happened when I saw a photo of a single potted salvia plant, shared on Facebook by a photographer and virtual friend from Texas, Dusty. I had just finished a fine herbal harvest from my garden, a big basket of salvia leaves, spread out on a clean cloth downstairs, because I've just made my husband want to drink this tea, and taken up the good habit of doing so, too.

I commented on Dusty's photo, and he asked for more information about the usage and preparation of salvia tea.

The prescription would be, from how I use the plant:
Take some fresh leaves, or a teaspoon fulll of dried leaves. Put them in a mug, pour over with boiling water, let draw for 10 minutes, use a strainer, or a paper filter. Sweeten with good honey or maple syrup, and drink in little sips, one cup a day.

So I went on Google to find out more details, and stumbled on a 23 pages long report by Dweck on the many usages of Salvia. This was known already by the ancient Egyptians, with more that 120 variants found all over the world! A group of these are known as Salvia Officinalis, proving the old medical reputation as a remedy. The plant was used in a secret recipe that was protecting thives stealing from plague contanimated households, in the medieval times in Europe where the epidemic minimized the population.

Beneficiaries acknowledged today by research range from anti-inflammatory to sweat reducing, two effects that I can recommend from personal experience, to the prevention of Alzheimers'disease because of the content of acetylcholine. Now this makes me even happier that me and my husband have made one cup of this healthy, home grown tea a good regular habit.

Another Google search, however, also revealed that an acient native American habit of smoking sage has had a modern revival. Some crazy videos up on YouTube with people on pipes, performing mad laughter spells, documentation which I will not promote here as I have no personal insight in this usage; however those that I skimmed did look very authentic. Apparently in the US, some variants of this ancient, traditional plant used this way, are by now under the drug restricion laws! Mighty medication industries do not want competition on drugs - but that's the usual story with roots that date back to the times where protestants wanted to remove the power of the Catholic church, banning their monasterial wisdom of medicine, and replacing these with pharmaceutical monopolism ...

1 comment:

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