Sharing the Knowledge

                                                                 Vol.5        7 April 2016
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 Dear Friends,

As You know, the Wild herbs have not only applications in cooking.
For thousands of years, people knew and continuously used these for medical and pharmaceutical purposes.
Apart from Chinese and more generally Asian medicine, the ancient Greeks, the Romans but also the subsequent civilizations through the centuries till the present day, had recognized and used the wild herbs in thousands of treatments.
Therefore, we will try - through the books we have - to gather the most of the basic information and details on the use and application of the wild herbs from our mythical land.
Please excuse any spelling and translation errors.
If you know more information and details about the wild herbs and if You 'ld like to share, please contact us!
We 'ld love to incorporate these in the existing ones and share further.
Wild Bay Leaves from Taygetus Mountain

 Daphne  (Bay/Laurel)
For the pains of rheumatism and aerophagy.
Known as: Apollo’s Daphne, Vagia, Laura gentle.
Official: Laurus nobilis.
The ancient Greeks and Romans had dedicated the laurel to Apollo and Asclepius (god of medicine).
From its branches, they used to make wreaths honor heroes and race winners.
Therefore, because the laurel was so closely connected with glory, success and protection from evil, they believed that something bad would come/happen if a bush was getting dried!
Later, people were using the laurel for rubbing the skin of animals to combat lice and parasites. Also to stimulate and darken the color of head hair and eyelashes of men and women (Used to boil together laurel and walnut leaves and washing their heads).
Even today, the leaf porridge is still used in many villages with flour of chickpeas in “seven-dough” bread.
Today the extract and the essential oil of bay leaves are used as a natural fragrance vermouth, ice cream, sweets, bakery products, canned meat, soups, pasta, candy and chewing gum.
Tip:  You can put a bay leaf in Your coffee to add flavor. (The Bedouins have their coffee in such way).
Finally, several villagers tend to put bay leaves in baskets that keep raisins and figs to add flavor and not avoid getting any worms.
Fresh Dried Wild Bay leaves
 Useful parts: The leaves and fruits (without the pit).
Where to find: the easiest thing we can do is to have a large pot with bay leaves on our balcony, terrace or garden as it is also a beautiful decorative plant.
The laurel has no preference in specific types of soil or climate but needs frequent watering. The leaves have a strong aroma and can be dry for future use in a dark place (not to lose their color). The dried leaves have a stronger flavor than fresh and can be purchased at various stores and pharmacies. Just remember that the seeds of laurel are toxic.
Active substances: According to various chemical analyzes, the fruit is containing essential oil, wax, resin, cineol, geraniol,  lauric acid. The leaves contain a volatile oil, which comprises tannin and other substances.
Properties - Indications:
The essential oil of laurel fights aerophagy (gas concentration in the stomach, abdomen, and intestine).
Also relieves rheumatism and arthritic pains. The decoction of bay leaves is used as a solvent of the body salts that accumulate in the joints.
Generally, the laurel has multiple utilities for anyone who has gastritis or other problems with his stomach. It is antispasmodic, fight atonic indigestion and stimulates the functions of digestion.
Considered effective antiseptic.
Considered as having diuretic and abilities.
During the 19th century, doctors used it in pharyngitis and sinusitis (with external use patches).
The leaves are considered astringent, antidiarrheal, bile and liver, sweat and emmenagogue.
Strengthen and darken hair, and stop hair loss.
The powder of dried leaves stops nose bleed (topical use).
An ointment containing laurel oil and glycerin is used in liniments for sprains and contusions.
Finally, the leaf decoction is effective against amoebae.
Fresh Bay Leaves Handpicked ready to dry

 How we use it:
As a decoction: Boil 2-3 leaves in a cup of water and strain after 10 minutes .We can drink up to 2-3 cups a day between meals. Particularly a cup after dinner helps digestion and sleep.
As infusate:  Soak 2-3 bay leaves in a liter of boiling water for 8-10 minutes.
For external use: We can boil for 3 minutes 5 leaves for each cup of water and make gargles and washes our mouth in a sore throat or mouth infections.
We can use 10 leaves in a cup of water and put it in warm compresses to the forehead and the parts that hurt from sinusitis. The French physician Valne recommends the compress stay overnight.
For hair that has begun to whiten and fall, boil 150 gr fresh bay leaves or 80 gr dried in 6 liters of water and when cool bathes our head every night for two weeks.
To prevent the whitening of hair, also, can not use the fruits of laurel. Boil 150-300 seeds, peel them and beat them in a wooden mortar with similar extra virgin olive oil. Then hit to be an ointment, which is used by spreading the hair at night before sleep.
A practical recipe using many women in Crete add to unripened olive oil, then beaten seeds in a transparent jar and then leave it in the sun for 40 days. Then, when they want to use, using a linen cloth, strain them the desired quantity and put the roots of the hair by rubbing. This is the only use of pits without side effects.
Precautions: If used alone bay leaves oil in spreads, they can cause burns to the skin. If you drink even two drops are likely to shock nausea, vomiting, colic or burns to the gastric mucosa.
In large doses, the leaves of laurel cause vomiting.

And a last but very important fact: Always  remember that the fruits of laurel can cause interruption of pregnancy!

Types of packaging for the Wild Bay Leaves

  Ways to use the Wild herbs
   Decoction: We take the therapeutic part of the plant and boil with water. Usually, boil hard plant parts (roots, bark, stems, seeds).If is chopped need to boil only five minutes.The hard roots or peels should boil 15-20 minutes to give us all their beneficial properties.
Generally, for the herbs  that you will not have special instructions, the time boil depends on the strength of plant tissues to heat.
Usually, boil 3 tablespoons to 2 cups water.
Then pass from the strainer and should be drunk within 12 hours, because after deteriorates and loses its therapeutic power.
Inject: It is the best method to obtain the pharmaceutical properties of the sensitive parts of the plants, flowers, and their leaves.
Once it starts water to boil, remove from heat and pour in the therapeutic part of the herb.
Leave it there from 10-20 minutes and then strain and use.
Alternatively, we can take boiling water over the herbs in a teapot that closes well and after 10-20 minutes filter and drink (not maintained).The conventional proportions (where there are no specific instructions for a herb) is from 1 to 3 teaspoons in a cup of water.
Tincture: Alcohol is the element which use as the solvent.
Alcohol dissolves the components without heating or boiling.
The tincture is maintained at glass tightly closed container away from heat light and air.
To make the tincture, take the therapeutic part of the herb and put it in a bottle with alcohol in a ratio generally 5 parts of white spirit 70 points for each plant part (which we will grind to a small mixer).
Let soak 5 to 15 days,  and often shake the container.
After filter the tincture with a filter paper or blotting paper or with the filter for a French / American coffee and put into another bottle, where we can keep it for some time.
Tinctures should be used only in certain cases or for external use only.
Gargling: For irritations in the mouth, the tonsils, pharynx, and larynx made with infusion or decoction, but should not be too hot to have the desired results.
Extract: occurs when to evaporate a solution of the components, ie after putting medicinal plants to soak in water or alcohol, concentrated by evaporation and keep in a glass bottle.
When we want to use them pour a teaspoon in a cup of water.
Compress: To make a compress take a diluted piece of cloth or cotton and dip in the infusion, decoction, tincture, lotion etc and touching the part that we want from 5-15 minutes depending on the properties of the plant and the severity of the health problem .
Lotion: Becomes as infusion or decoction is used externally to the part needing treatment with gentle massage movements so that the skin can absorb it.
We even with lotions do liniments for the treatment of dermatoses and the scalp of the head (for example, hair loss or dandruff)
Bathrooms: Bathroom with herbs is usually very effective means of treatment because it allows the therapeutic properties of herbs and plants to have direct contact with the sore part.
But if something prevents us to go and stay whole for some time in the bathroom, then we can only immerse the hands or feet in water with the same beneficial effects on our body.
A practical way to prepare a bath for the feet and hands are: Boil 2 liters of water.Then, remove the water from the fire, put the herbs and wait 4-5 hours.
When you want to make the hand or foot bath, boil an additional 2 liters of water, which add to the previous infusion.
You can keep it in your refrigerator for a week and heat it daily, but without extra boil.
The best stuff  is porcelain.Use plastic only if you don't  have something else.
The best time for the bath feet is the morning on an empty stomach and the duration of 5-10 minutes.
The best temperature is what you can tolerate.
For the bath of hands the best time is in the evening before meals.
For the whole body, may prefer the more hot water you can tolerate.
Add the infusion into a full bathtub.
The English method recommends that you put the herbs in a small bag of white linen cloth and the tie under the tap of the bathtub, so when you open the hot water to fill the tub, the water passes through it.

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