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Herbal Medicine Interesting Facts


Some of the most interesting stories of herbs and their uses are worth knowing if not for their own sake then for the £million question from Chris Tarrant. Hopefully some new information can be found here as well as some of the classic stories.
The amazing properties of Lavender essential oil were discovered before WW I when a French chemist burnt himself in the falmily perfumery. The only liquid available was a vat of lavender essential oil, so he stuck his hand into it. The burn healed very quickly, and the chemist devoted the rest of his life into studying the medicinal properties of essential oils.
Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata) is nothing to do with 'Passion'. It was named by missionaries who found it in South America, the flower reminded them of the crucifiction of Christ (also called the Passion of Christ) as it looks like it contains a crown of thorns (as worn during the crucifixion).
The humble garden daisy (Bellis Perennis) has a long history of being used as a medicinal herb, but is now much ignored. It is also used in homeopathy, where it is known as the 'gardener's friend' as it is so good at treating bruises and sore backs.

(We have recently started preparing an in depth monograph of daisy, if you have any interesting tales of its medicinal or other uses please contact us)

Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) is used by humans to help with sleep, however it has an opposite effect many animals, especially cats. Cats love valerian, even more than Catnip (Nepeta cataria). Therefore if you have any valerian, make sure you keep it out of the reach of any cats. We have heard stories of cats being very ingenious in finding ways to get into cupboards to get at valerian.

It is said that the Pied Piper of Hamlyn used valerian to lure away the rats.