Jane Perrone explores a pop-up community garden that's spreading the word about the power of plants. A pair of men in suits playing ping pong on a table fashioned from a skip; echinacea and arnica thriving in a raised bed marked "Dermatology Ward"; teas and coffees served out of the back of an ambulance - the Urban Physic Garden in Southwark isn't your usual "lovely garden" open for visitors to wander on the lawn and murmur approval of the hydrangeas. An army of volunteers have transformed a patch of wasteland earmarked for future development, hunkered down in the shadow of the Shard into a pop-up physic garden, packed full of medicinal plants and a place for learning, fun and film screenings
"Embroidered orchards and peony hair ornaments testify that women were practitioners of floral display, but many women sought knowledge as well as style. Linnaean taxonomy gave order to the botanical world; plants could be identified and classified by anyone once they mastered Linnaeus's straightforward system based on the sexual characteristics of plants. Jane Colden is perhaps the best example of an eighteenth-century American woman who diligently studied the Linnaean system (albeit in English rather than Latin). As a teenager living with her father, the scientist Cadwallader Colden, in New York's Hudson Valley, she put her knowledge into practice by classifying over 300 species of local plants in the 1750s. British collector Peter Collinson learned of Jane Colden's achievements through correspondence with her father, and Collinson passed on to Linnaeus himself the fact that Jane Colden was "perhaps the first lady that has perfectly studied Linnaeus' system." Colden continued her botanical studies up until her marriage, at age thirty-five, in 1759. She passed away the following year. Her notebook, carefully preserved by her family, eventually found its way into the Natural History Museum in London."
Early scientists, or natural philosophers as they were known, did not seek knowledge in the disconnected way modern academics tend to do. They were interested in how the universe worked, which meant studying everything from astrology and physics to Jewish mysticism and the Christian Bible. They constructed connections that the modern thinker might overlook or even dismiss as preposterous. In this book, Robin L. Gordon explores the lives and alchemical practice of a number of remarkable women. Searching for the Soror Mystica touches upon the history of science, biography, classical Jungian psychology, women’s studies, theology, and a dash of the occult sciences. Readers will encounter sixteenth to seventeenth century politics, religion, scientific inquiries, medical discoveries, and even the way love can result in some misguided choices.
Salvia, as its name suggests (Latin salvere, to feel well and healthy) has for millenia been used as a herb. Now the use in chewing gum as been patented!
"The present invention relates to a chewing gum formulation that serves as a means for awakening human consciousness and mindfulness to the sensorial subtleties, which in turn strengthens sovereignty such that overall psycho-spirituality is enhanced. ..."
A unique finding of wild flax fibers from a series of Upper Paleolithic layers at Dzudzuana Cave, located in the foothills of the Caucasus, Georgia, indicates that prehistoric hunter-gatherers were making cords for hafting stone tools, weaving baskets, or sewing garments. Radiocarbon dates demonstrate that the cave was inhabited intermittently during several periods dated to 32 to 26 thousand years before the present (kyr B.P.), 23 to 19 kyr B.P., and 13 to 11 kyr B.P. Spun, dyed, and knotted flax fibers are common. Apparently, climatic fluctuations recorded in the cave’s deposits did not affect the growth of the plants because a certain level of humidity was sustained.
For much of her long life, Mary Delany (1700-1788) was in many ways a typical 18th century society woman of accomplishments. She was an excellent “amateur” artist and also mastered the arts of japanning, silhouettes and embroidery. She was a prolific letter writer and, influenced by the work of Samuel Richardson, wrote a novel, Marianne, which she illustrated. Mrs. Delany was also an avid student of botany, zoology and the natural sciences. But it was at the age of 72 that Mary Delany began the work that brought her lasting renown: her Flora Delanica—nearly 1000 botanical collages that she completed over the following decade. These “paper mosaicks,” as she called them, are incredibly intricate and delicate, the level of detail and botanical accuracy is stunning.
Gripe water and other herbal tonics for colic have been around for hundreds of years. Making a comeback?
With so many crying babies out there, it's no surprise that a lot of parents are willing to try just about anything to get some peace and quiet. Many swear by gripe waters, herbal tonics available at drugstores and health food stores everywhere. A study published this month in the journal Pediatrics found that about 9% of babies are given herbal products in their first year of life; of all the options out there, gripe water was the most popular choice.
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