Thursday, October 20, 2005

The Weed Song

I wrote the weed song because I felt so miserable every time I was asked to rip out all the good herbs growing round our company block of flats with the other wives once a month, in order to clear the 'breeding ground for mosquitos and protect our children from bugs'. I felt sad about every mugwort plant I uprooted, thinking of all the dream pillows going to waste, and delicious home-made dango for the kids. The wonderful smelling dokudami with its white flowers, which is very tasty when you eat a curled up new leaf nipped off as it shoots, but which Japanese herbal stores sell dried as a cure for constipation. You know, if you worry about getting bitten by mosquitos, rub on some of the gel from an aloe vera plant: does the trick wonderfully, if you don't have lemon eucalyptus essential oils...

Yuki no shita 'Under the snow'

Yukinoshita is just GREAT in TEMPURA, not bitter like some spring herbs. My kids love it in spring, and I do too: nothing like a free meal.I think, but am not sure that Yukinoshita is saxifrage in English, although it looks different in the pics. Perhaps it is one of many varieites of saxifrage on the planet. I love the name, meaning 'Under the snow'.

In my Japanese herbal it particularly mentions a few drops squeezed in a cotton swab and placed in the ear for middle ear infections- I admit I've never tried it out, but I should, because my ears hurt on and off....I will report when I get up the courage.

Horsetail, put me in some tea...yeah! Sugina in Japanese, Zinnoberkraut in German, and very very health giving: Today, horsetail continues to have medicinal value. The plant's stems are rich in silica and silicic acids, which help mend broken bones and form collagen, an important protein found in connective tissue, skin, bone, cartilage, and ligaments. Horsetail is also used to treat infections of the urinary tract, kidney and bladder stones, and as topical therapy for burns and wounds. Research suggests that silicone helps prevent osteoporosis as horsetail is amoung the richest plant sources of this mineral, which the body can readily use. of absorbable whatever the bio-chemics is (I admit, I can never be bothered to remember) but in a word, A MOST GENEROUS WEED