Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Cardinal Flower – Lobelia cardinalis

Cardinal Flower tops
Cardinal Flower tops

Cardinal flowers bloomed creek-edge,

hummingbirds sucked the dark reds.

My toes went mussels tunneling

brief in sand or mud.

Brown snails seemed neither

deceived nor amused.


By Will Inman


When first I noticed this flower, it was a bright red glow of color alongside the babbling creek under the shadowed recesses of the tall oaks, tulip poplars and Virginia pines. I had located other members of this genus in the past, but never had I noticed the red flowered variety, and red is my favorite color! It goes by many descriptive common names…Gagroot, Emetic Weed, Pukeweed, and Asthma weed!


Its species name (cardinalis) and the common name Cardinal Flower reflects the color of the flower and in its time referenced the color of the Catholic Cardinals robes. Although this is true to me the names reference the beautiful red cardinal bird that makes this area its home year round. Gigage Asuwisdi (red paint), the Cherokee name, for this plant was given due to an old myth, where the drab bird helped coyote and his reward was being given this beautiful plant with which to paint himself, today we know the bird as the cardinal!


This plant came to the attention of the Europeans in the 1620’s when French explorers in Canada first sent it back to France. The botanist John Parkinson of England wrote, “The rich crimson cardinal flower…it groweth neere the river in Canada, where the French plantation in America is seated,” after having received a shipment of seeds from Paris in 1629.


 It was used for many years by the Cherokee and other native tribes to treat epilepsy, fever sores, parasitic worms, typhoid, witchcraft, and grieving sickness. It’s most common use was for bronchitis, bronchial asthma, and in the treatment of venereal disease such as syphilis. The root is a primary ingredient in the formulae for this final purpose. To treat respiratory complaints like the bronchitis and asthma, as well as catarrh (inflammation of the mucous membranes accompanied by copious mucous production) the Meskwaki used a leaf tea for treatment,


All use as a medicine should be carefully considered as all parts of this plant are toxic. Cattle, sheep, goats and humans find the alkaloid lobeline very poisonous. The symptoms of poisoning are nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, salivation, exhaustion and weakness, dilation of pupils, convulsions, and coma. It is reported that it must be consumed in large quantities to accomplish the worst level toxicity.


An interesting Native American use of the plant was in magic. The root was used as part of a love potion. The entire plant was dried and powdered was used in ceremonies, and may have been used to help dispel storms.

Honeysuckle – Lonicera ssp.

Sacred to: not noted

Myth 1: In Greek mythology Daphnis and Chloe were lovers, but they lived far apart and only could see each other while the honeysuckle bloomed. Daphnis asked the god of love if the plant could bloom longer than a season, so they could be together longer, which is why, according to legend, honeysuckle blooms continually throughout warm weather periods.

Myth 2: In some countries, bringing the blooms of honeysuckle into the house means there is going to be a wedding within the year.

Myth 3: In Scotland honeysuckle vines were hung on barns to prevent cattle from being bewitched.

Other Notes: Honeysuckle is the symbol of love. In the language of flowers it stands for the bond of love, devoted love and fidelity, probably because of the Greek legend of Daphnis and Chloe. The fragrance is supposed to induce dreams of passion



Home – Herbe Rowe

Our new web site has just started…please check it out at  Home – Herbe Rowe.

We will be offering lots of different things….articles, products, photos, ebooks…and so much more, come with us on this adventure!


Summer Snowflake – Leucojum aestivum

Summer Snowflake
Summer Snowflake

These bulbous perennials are native to central and southern Europe. In 1629 John Parkinson listed the snowflake in ‘A Garden of Pleasant Flowers’ as the “great bulbous violet.” In Europe this plant is becoming endangered due to over collecting and loss of habitat.

Saint Agnes’s flower (one of this flowers other common names) is named for and dedicated to this saint, who is the patron saint of young virgins. It gained this prestige due to its loveliness and purity.

Summer Snowflake was named the county flower of Berkshire following a 2002 survey by the wild flower and plant conservation charity Plantlife. This pretty little flower is also slightly toxic…it causes dermatitis if the bulb (presumably the juices) comes in contact with the skin.

Radiation Protection

With what is happening in Japan at this very moment, it is imperative that whatever can be found and shared for personal safety should be compiled in one place to make access easier for everyone.

Sean Donahue has posted a very interesting blog please read it…..

Gail Faith Edwards has made available an MP3 titled Natural Substances to Protect Ourselves Against Radiation Poisoning

Dr  Sircus has posted this article ‘Treatments for Nuclear Contamination…link is

Back in 2005 the Idaho Observer published this article titled: How to Detox Your Body of Depleted Uranium Residues, the Effects of Radiation, and Radioactive Contamination

The link is

Susun Weed published an article on Oct 12, 2007 titled Surviving Radiation….the link is

Whenever I find more interesting information I will pass it along!

Take care all


The Laurel plant – Laurus nobilis

Bay Laurel Leaves
Bay Laurel Leaves

The Bay Laurel is a Christmas plant where the pagan and Christian meanings are similar. The Bay Laurel is the true Laurel of Greek and Roman use and mythology. Daphne was transformed, by her father, into a Laurel tree to avoid Apollo’s advances. After that Apollo always wore a Laurel wreath on his head to symbolize his love of Daphne!

Laurel has also been credited by the Romans with magical properties (in ancient times) of keeping away witches, the devil, and repelling lightening. Later the Italians thought Bay Laurel guarded against evil and brought good luck.

Early Christians adopted the laurel leaf altering the meaning slightly to mean the triumph of man through the birth of Christ, the Savior. Both ivy and laurel leaves continue to be used in Christmas decorations, especially wreaths and garlands.

The leaves and berries contain essential oils that produce the spicy aroma of which they are noted. The essential oil is still used in the making of perfume, candles and soaps. Infusions of the plant are thought to sooth the stomach and relieve gas. The berry oil was a liniment for arthritis, and sore muscles.

Laurel is a good treatment for all respiratory ailment, is healing to wounds topically), relieves pain, aids in digestion, and helps increase liver function.

Bay leaves are used whole (removing them before serving) in soups, stew, meat, seafood, and vegetable dishes. The whole leaf is never eaten, as it can cause cuts in the mouth. If the leaf is crushed it can be used in cooking also, it then imparts more of the aromatic fragrance to the dish.

Other uses include keeping weevils out of flour, oatmeal, grains, and even dried fruits. A single leaf added into the storage container helps with this. Or conversely, a few leaves on the shelves of the pantry will do the trick. Bay leaves are also a nice addition to pot pourri, adding a strong spicy scent!

For some interesting recipes using Bay leaves for the Holidays, check out the Herb Companions article from December 17, 2009.


Unknown shrub
Unknown shrub

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