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Adaleine Shuster

Task 2: Herbology

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While most of the professors are excited about the switch, some are... less excited. Prof. Snape is having a difficult time adjusting to teaching herbology, and he needs a bit of your help. You see, he isn't quite sure what his lesson should be about, as he barely knows any plants. This is where you come in- write about your favorite plant in at least 100 words to help him get some more background knowledge. 

 

Posting below by January 31st at 11:59 pm HOL time will earn you 10 rubies. 

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Chamomile is an herb that comes from the flowers of the Ateraceae plant family. The flowers look like another common plant, daisies. Chamomile has been consumed for centuries in different formats as a natural remedy for several health conditions, some of which are high blood sugar, slowing or preventing osteoporosis, reducing inflammation, treating cold symptoms, decreasing anxiety, and helping sleep. People most commonly take chamomile by drinking it as tea. To make chamomile tea, the flowers are dried then infused into hot water. Chamomile has been used for a long time and is one of the most common infusions for traditional medicine.

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Posted (edited)

DF3765-DA-3-D9-F-4-ADD-A456-08070944-F38Tea Tree (Melaleuca alternifolia) is native to Queensland and New South Wales, Australia. The soft, pale yellow to colorless, linear leaves cultivated from this small tree/shrub alternate and are sometimes scattered or whorled. It is a dominant species where it grows —typically along streams and swampy flats— which offers many antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal benefits across a wide range of uses. This plant is a member of the myrtle family. With a strong, fresh, and clarifying camphoraceous smell, the essential oil of Tea Tree is an effective healing agent against infections, calms swelling and redness of skin, and can be used to treat such things as insect bites and stings, toothache and other oral conditions, blemishes, ear infection, lice, a cough, and burns, etc.

Edited by Prof. Sindor Aloyarc

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Lavender is a member of the mint family, native to the Mediterranean region, northeast Africa, and southwestern Asia, where it has been grown for over 2,500 years.  Known for much more than its pretty purple flowers and intoxicating aroma, lavender is used to combat anxiety, insomnia, eczema, and acute/chronic pain.  It is also believed to help lower blood pressure, provide relief from bronchial complications, and aid in the prevention of hair loss.  All in all, a handy plant to have around!  The ancient Egyptians certainly thought so, as they used lavender as part of their mummification process.  The Egyptians weren't the only ones to cash in on the benefits, either.  During the Bubonic Plague in the 17th century, lavender was used as a remedy to ward off potential disease.  It is even said that Queen Victoria herself was quite the fan, Woe be to the servant that forget that all of her furniture was to be  cleaned with a lavender-based solution, and that her drink of choice was lavender-infused tea to help ease her stomach. And if you need any more reason to run out and get some lavender,  the flower has also been used to symbolize devotion, which makes it a popular choice for flower arrangements and wedding bouquets.  How's that for versatility?! 

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Rosemary is a perennial evergreen herb, characterized by woody stalks and needle pointed leaves, though it also blooms small flowers that can be any variety of colors. It's native to the Mediterranean region. It's name means 'dew of the sea', which is quite lovely and a bit odd considering it tends to prefer more arid conditions.

 

While the first mentions of Rosemary are found on stone tablets dating back to 5000 BCE, it's usage started to really grow during the Greek/Roman era. Greek botanist Pedanius Dioscorides even mentioned it in his De Materia Medica, one of the most influential herbal medical books ever written. From them, it went to China during the Han dynasty, and to England, where it would later become of their premier herbs, dominating medical texts in the 1300s and 1400s. And now today, it has an almost global superstar reputation, particularly in the kitchen.

 

As mentioned, Rosemary, particularly the leaves, are widely used in cooking, particularly of Mediterranean dishes and with lamb and meat dishes. The leaves can be crushed or cut, or even left whole. Some chefs even use the a whole stalk to impart the flavor. It's also been used to make teas and perfumes. In fact, one of the oldest perfumes known as Hungary water, was made from distilled rosemary. Rosemary has also been widely used in medicinal ways, from sharpening the mind to curing the heart and many other cures through out history.

 

Rosemary also carries a lot of symbolic messages. Not only was it considered sacred to Venus and Aphrodite, it's had a long tie to remembering death and those we have lost to it. From the ancient Egyptians, who used it in their burial rites, to Shakespheare's Hamlet, to even today where it's used in war commemorations and funerals. In Australia, they often wear a sprig of it for Anzac Day and even Remembrance Day.  I would dare say Rosemary has earned the title of King Herb.

 

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Summer Savory (Satureja hortensis) is a member of the Savory genus, which is a member of the Mint (Lamiaceae) Family. It is used to flavour foods, and it has a hot, peppery flavour. It grows to 30 or 60 cms, it has lilac tubular flowers, and slender bronze-green leaves.

It is said to act an an antiseptic and an anti-fungal, due to some of the essential oils found in it. If it is distilled into warm water, it can be helpful for a sore throat. It can also be used on insect bites and stings. It is also said to have anti-flatulence, digestive and expectorant properties.

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Peppermint (Mentha × piperita, also known as Mentha balsamea Wild) is a hybrid mint, a cross between watermint and spearmint. Indigenous to Europe and the Middle East, the plant is now widely spread and cultivated in many regions of the world. It is occasionally found in the wild with its parent species.

 

Peppermint was first described in 1753 by Carl Linnaeus from specimens that had been collected in England; he treated it as a species, but it is now universally agreed to be a hybrid. It is a herbaceous rhizomatous perennial plant that grows to be 30–90 cm (12–35 in) tall, with smooth stems, square in cross section. The rhizomes are wide-spreading, fleshy, and bear fibrous roots. The leaves can be 4–9 cm (1.6–3.5 in) long and 1.5–4 cm (0.59–1.57 in) broad. They are dark green with reddish veins, and they have an acute apex and coarsely toothed margins. The leaves and stems are usually slightly fuzzy. The flowers are purple, 6–8 mm (0.24–0.31 in) long, with a four-lobed corolla about 5 mm (0.20 in) diameter; they are produced in whorls (verticillasters) around the stem, forming thick, blunt spikes. Flowering season lasts from mid- to late summer. The chromosome number is variable, with 2n counts of 66, 72, 84, and 120 recorded. Peppermint is a fast-growing plant; once it sprouts, it spreads very quickly.

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The Elderflower has many names but it's Latin name is, 'Sambucus', meaning, ' Gift of the Gods', because it has a beautiful scent and it comes from the sacred Elder Tree. Some nature worshippers such as the Druids believed that the Earth Mother Spirit resided within that tree and that it was her beautiful gift to them.

     This gift is known to be used as perfume but it's also used in cooking to add flavour to a meal or to make a non- alcoholic drink known as Elderflower cordial.

        If anyone is suffering from colds / flu, coughs, throat inflammation or laryngitis then using this flower as a herbal tincture or a herbal tea maybe for them. As It is a diuretic, it can remove illnesses from our system by promoting sweating and can act as a laxative too. As with all herbal remedies, it is not a good idea to take it in excessive amounts. 

 

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