By Anne Ophelia Dowden
An advent to herbs, their background, features, and their many makes use of.
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Extra info for A Chronicle of Herbs: This Noble Harvest
Good housewives have always folded lavender, rosemary, and southernwood among their woolens to protect them from moths, and at one time pennyroyal was scattered among the strewing herbs to deter fleas, while tansy was used to discourage ants. More serious pests, from head lice to rats to wolves, were exterminated with the truly virulent poisons — aconite, helle- and pyre thrum. Pyre thrum flowers are the source of its poison, which kills insects without harming warm-blooded animals. It is still an effective and safe garden bore, larkspur, 59 spray and is now produced commercially.
Brushes were made from Scotch broom and butcher's broom, pens and rushlights from reeds, paste from scilla bulbs. Pots and pans and pewter plates, and even knightly armor, were polished with scouring rushes our common horsetails. Silica deposits in the stems of these make them both rough and tough; and a Dutch species, with an especially large amount of silica, was very popular in plants 58 ; HERBS FOR POISON' '- PYRETHRUM Chrysanthemum cocrineum C. cineranaefi ilium T England. This forerunner of steel wool was efficient enough to be used by cabinetmakers and arrowsmiths, and it can still serve very well for scouring aluminum.
To this day, its yellow — one of the many remedies proposed for warts as effective as any, because warts have the obliging property of going away by themselves. Evil spirits have always been much more numerous than good ones. Since people generally looked on the forces of nature with misunderstanding and fear, the supernatural beings they associated with those forces seemed sinister, or at least mischievious, rather than benign. Even elves and fairies gigantic and fearsome in Anglo-Saxon times were in juice is — 43 — ) The most on human Shakespeare's day capricious and troublesome.