Digitalis purpurea - Foxglove
Traditionally used for dropsy and other heart conditions. There's a possibly apocryphal story of a doctor discovering it's uses by talking to an old woman in country England about her remedies, then extracting the isolated component digoxin, which is still in use today. It's quite poisonous, though, if you don't need it, so I don't recommend adding it to salads!
The Friday-before-yesterday was to be my last Foto Phriday for some time, so I made the most of a lovely summer's afternoon and went to the herb garden in the Sydney Botanic Gardens for some photography.
Most of you already know that I'm a herbalist, so it will come as no suprise that I love herbs and herb gardens, and will happily spend hours in one, wandering around cooing to the plants and boring people with me with excited stories about the various histories, uses and quirk of each herb.
I'm gradually building up a library of herb images; partly in the vague hope of ending up with a viable commercial resource, but mainly for myself and the sheer love of herbal medicine & its history.
Symphytum officinale - Comfrey
Comfrey is very useful for helping to heal sprains, strains and broken bones. Unfortunately its use in Australia is restricted due to its supposed content of toxic alkaloids. Don't get me started on how much of a beat up that is!
Sadly, I didn't come away with too many images that I was happy with - I do hate a pedestrian herb photo, and it's so hard to avoid cliche. But what I do have I like, so that's the main thing. Besides, it's the perfect excuse to spend more time loitering with herbs!
Rosa 'Fantin-Latour' - Rose
Roses have been used throughout Europe and the Middle East for centuries for a whole range of therapeutic benefits, as well as their obvious beauty. I think just about every virtue and beauty has been ascribed to them at one stage or another - is there any other flower with such a cluster of attributed meanings?