This summer I have had more time in the garden. The flowers and herbs are flourishing. I picked a nosegay including these herbs with their flowers: calendula, echinacea, feverfew, lavender, mint, lemon balm and marjoram.
Some years ago, when I was working as maternity nurse and Lamaze instructor, I came across a book that fueled my interest in herbs. Susun Weed wrote, Herbal for the Childbearing Year. Her introduction alludes to the history of herbal knowledge collected by women and midwives.
Wise women have used herbs—gathered, eaten, tended, loved herbs—and taught their daughters the wisdom of herbs in the childbearing years.
I became familiar with the benefit of nettle as a nourishing herb and found nettle tea in the health found store. I now have a stinging nettle plant in my garden–grown from seed– and add the leaves to soup stock.
The libraries have books about herbs. I discovered calendula flowers, also known as poor man’s saffron. When the flowers are dried the petals become yellow and orange threads. they can be added to rice or muffins. I make a calendula tea with the dried flowers. I am fascinated by the variations in color in this lovely flower.
Sometimes I add mint leaves to fresh ground coffee to brew a mint flavored coffee. The leaves of lemon balm can be used for tea.
When I worked as a home birth nurse, I carried lavender oil to use for a soothing massage. You can read about it here. The scent of lavender has a calming effect.
Herbs are nourishing and flavorful. Some are medicinal. Rosemary and thyme are favorites in my kitchen. I am still learning ways to include more herbs in recipes.
There are many stressful things in our world. It is good to pause in the garden, give thanks for the abundance of God’s creation and pick a little bouquet.