Sweet, Sweet Sunday

Aromatherapy…The Which

Sweet, Sweet Sunday

Aromatherapy…The Why

Sweet, Sweet Sunday

Aromatherapy…The What

Chamomile; German Chamomile; Hungarian Chamomile; Camomile; Matricaria recutita; Chamomilla recutita; Matricaria chamomilla

We are all familiar with chamomile tea, having been read The Tale of Peter Rabbit, 

Chamomile has been used for centuries for its fragrance, relaxing properties and flavor profile. In the next several posts, we will be looking at how chamomile can be used in…

  • aromatherapy
  • beverages
  •  cosmetics and skincare
  • household care, such as by repelling insects
  • orally
Sweet, Sweet Sunday

Chamomile…The What

Chamomile is an herb that comes from the daisy-like flowers of the Asteraceae plant family….a family of plants which also includes sunflowers, Echinacea and marigolds.

 

 

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Types of Chamomile

There are actually nine different types of chamomile, including…

But of these different types, only two types of chamomile are commonly used— German chamomile and Roman chamomile.

 

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German Chamomile

German chamomile is an annual plant typically found in Eastern Europe where the herb grow as widely as bluebonnets grow here in Texas.

German chamomile grows to be about three feet high and are harvested by machines two or three times over the growing season.

The German chamomile flowers have a strong, herbal and sometimes pungent scent and a sweeter taste than Roman chamomile when used in making herbal tea.

 

 

 

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Roman Chamomile

Roman chamomile, however, is s perennial plant typically found in Egypt where the flowers are gathered either by hand or with a tool called a chamomile rake. Roman chamomile flowers stay in bloom for several months and are picked every seven to ten days. Roman chamomile flowers have a sweeter, almost fruity scent…and more of a bitter taste when used in teas.

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What’s Next?

Chamomile has been used in ancient medicine as far back as ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome….

And still has medical benefits today….as evident in the fact that chamomile is included  in prescribede drugs in 26 countries.

So let’s take a look at why we should all start drinking chamomile tea…and then other uses for chamomile…

Food on Fridays, Sweet, Sweet Sunday

Better Than the Wish Book Ever Was

So obviously after we’ve gotten our containers for our container gardening, we’re gonna need some plants to stuff in them…empty containers are just not that exciting, right?!

So that’s where the catalog comes in…

 

The seed catalog, that is…

 

 

Seed catalogs offer a colorful glimpse into the past and  have a colorful and important place in history, not only in gardening history.

These publications offer so much of an interesting and informative glimpse into our past, that the Smithsonian Institute has gathered a collection of about 10,000 seed catalogs—dating from 1830 to the present day—which reveal not only details about the history of gardening in the United States…but also a fascinating look at how printing, advertising and fashion trends have also changed throughout these years.

 

 

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Seed Catalogs Way Back When

Seed catalogs have been around a lot longer than most of us would imagine…as far as back as the plant identification books used during the Middle Ages to identify plants to be used for medicinal purposes…books referred to during those times as “herbals.”

 

 

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Florilegia

During the British Colonial era of the 16th century, more and more exotic plants were imported from various British colonies to fill the estates of elite British society.

These British aristocrats quickly became enterprising gardeners with quite the green thumb…and soon began publishing their own personal catalogs, known  as “florilegia,”…catalogs that began to focus not only on the medicinal value of the plants, but also their ornamental value.

 

 

 

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Emmanuel Sweerts

The oldest surviving seed plant catalog is the Florilegium, a catalog that Emmanuel Sweerts, a Dutch merchant and garden prefect for Emperor Rudolf II, brought with him to the 1612 Frankfurt Fair.

The Florilegium was an illustrated list of 560 hand-tinted images of flowering bulbs, plants, and other novelties from distant lands that, like previous botanical publications, contained not only the typical illustrations of plants and their medicinal uses, but also a list of the bulbs that he had available for sale.

In 2010, Christie’s auction house sold a copy of the book for nearly $40,000.

 

 

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Examples of American Seed Catalogs

As more and more American pioneers moved out West, ordering seed through seed catalogs became a vital necessity for these pioneers to bring fruits, vegetables and flowers with them to their new homes.

 

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Burpee

Another major seed catalog that people have looked forwarded to getting each year is the catalog put out by the Burpee Company, a company that was founded in Philadelphia in 1876 by W. Atlee Burpee.

In 1915 the Burpee Company was mailing over a million catalogs per year across the country…..and the Burpee catalog was the first catalog to offer yellow seed corn.

 

 

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Breck’s Bulbs

Joseph Breck & Co. seed company was established in Boston in 1818 and published its first seed catalog in 1840..,.known as “The New England Agricultural Warehouse and Seed Store Catalogue”….an 84-page publication that included illustrations and horticultural details next to product listings.

 

 

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D. Landreth Seed Co.

Perhaps the first “true” seed catalog, the sort of publication that we think of whenever we think of seed catalogs, was published in the United States by 18th century horticulturist David Landreth, founder of the D. Landreth Seed Co., which was founded in 1784 in Philadelphia and still exists today as one of the oldest companies in the nation.

D. Landreth Seed Co. has made such important contributions to gardening as we know it today by introducing, through the pages of its catalog, several flowers and vegetables that no true garden of today would be without—such as the zinnia, the white potato, and various breeds of tomatoes.

 

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The Turn of the Century 

Seed catalogs had been little more than printed price lists, used mostly for wholesale and not retail sale up until the late-18th and early-19th centuries.

Gardeners simply saved and traded seeds, or bought things locally as needed, and most plants were grown strictly for food or medicinal purposes….not just for the heck of it.

 

But, boy was this fixing to change…

 

Seed catalogs would soon become an elaborate affair as the dozens of seed companies in the seed company business fought hard for the business of their new mail order audience.

 

Only now did North Americans begin growing flowers and ornamental plants,  as the Victorian-obsessed American population became inspired by traditional British gardens.

Gardening was becoming not only a way to get food on the table, but was also starting to be enjoyed for its many other benefits also.

 

Seed and bulb merchants also began using their catalogs to promote gardening as a respectable and desirable endeavor of the emerging middle class. Editors encouraged their readers to pursue this new hobby by telling them things like…

  • Nothing more conspicuously bespeaks the good taste of the possessor than a well cultivated flower garden,”
  • “When we behold a humble tenement surrounded with ornamental plants, the possessor is a man of correct habits, and possesses domestic comforts.”
  • “A neglected, weed-strewn garden…or the lack of a garden at all…is a mark of indolence and an “unhappy state.”

The turn of the century was an exciting time here in America…a time just right for such publications as mail order catalogs…thanks to the latest and greatest “apps” of that day…”apps” such as…

  • Better printing presses that would for the first take make it econimically produce nice, thick catalogs filled with color illustrations
  • Cross-country rail travel
  • Improved agriculture, botany, and plant breeding methods
  • Improved commercial and postal networks
  • Introduction of cultivated home gardens
  • Shifting consumer preferences and cultural trends

 

Newly developed mail-order services meant that the previously isolated individual was no longer limited to  whatever fruit and vegetable seeds the local merchant had in stock, but could expand his horizons by buying products from all over the country and having the items shipped directly to his own home….(a novel concept in that day…long, long, long ago from our current days of Amazon Prime)

 

Increased competition meant that the previously boring lists of what seeds plants were available and at what price would now have to become more appealing to the newly liberated farmer…meaning that catalogs would now not only have to provide basic information, but also need to start using marketing gizmos for the first time if they were going to stay competitive…gizmos such as…

  • an introduction or message of greeting from the company owner
  • articles from gardening experts across the country
  • contests
  • detailed descriptions of how to cultivate the seeds and bulbs
  • lists of awards that the nursery’s plants had won at recent horticultural fairs or exhibitions
  • more and more ornate illustrations
  • more detailed descriptions…such as more use of superlatives like “Superb”, “Majestic”, “Giant” or “Perfection”
  • more elaborate and artistic catalog covers
  • more space given to illustrations and descriptions
  • novelty varieties
  • quirky art. hand drawings, and romanticized illustrations
  • special offers
  • testimonials

 

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WWI, the Great Depression, and WWII

World War I, the Great Depression and World War II impacted the gardening industry in several ways.

The fact that a dramatically fewer number plants were now being exported meant that the farmer was once more turning to local sources for their seeds.

The focus once again shifted to finding the basic staple foods—such as corn and potatoes—at the lowest cost possible…instead of exploring the novelty fruits and veggies from around the world that mail order catalogs had previously given him.

Exotic seed catalogs during this time frame were once again replaced with simple, boring  lists…especially given the fact that many countries put a ration on paper during World War II.

 

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Post World War II Seed Catalogs

Catalogs from 1945 celebrated the end of the World War II with colorful pictures and the advice that soldiers returning home from the war should now settle down and celebrate by decorating their homes with flowers bearing victory-related names. …such as the ‘Purple Heart’ viola shown on the back cover of the Jackson & Perkins catalog in 1945…or the V-For-Victory red Swiss chard plant displayed in the 1945 Burpee Seeds catalog.

After World War II, the soldiers return back home…and seed catalogs also returned to home mailboxes—in full size and color…as they still are today.

 

 

 

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Or are they?!

Actually, sad to say, seed catalogs may quickly become dinosaurs of the past only seen in museums…

Kinda like the real pianos that every single living room in America, both “in town” and “out of town,” but don’t get me started…oh yeah, kinda like hymnals in Southern Baptist churches…definitely don’t get me started on that one…

Seed catalogs seem to become few and far between as we are turn to our closest friend and companion, the internet, to order everything under the sun…(no pun intended)…

Thanks to our new BFF…the internet, though…printed seed and nursery catalogs are an endangered species these days, as almost all of us rely on the convenience of online browsing and same-day or next-day delivery.

Fewer and fewer seed companies are publishing seed catalogs at all any more because they can’t justify the increasing costs of printing and postage…given that the typical consumer is driven more by online shopping.

Sweet, Sweet Sunday

Growing Pains

    • I definitely wasn’t born with a green thumb, but I have taken it on myself to learn how to grow some of your family’s favorites—such as tomatoes, potatoes, onions, carrots, peas, cucumbers, pumpkins or watermelon.
    • Kinda ambitious considering that every houseplant that I’ve ever bought has died within a month, right?!
    • These are my three goals…
    • —Patio garden
    • —Square foot gardening
    • —Windowsill herb garden
    • I so look forward to eating homegrown veggies that I can be proud of and showing off my hopefully-new harvesting skills….so in the next three posts, I wll be “doing my homework” so that I can get started on this new adventure…Come grow with me!!!

     

    (Yes…I know that this post looks wierd with all the stupid dots, but I can’t figure out how to get rid of them)…

Getting Healthy

Book Review…Essential Oils: The Complete Guide: Essential Oils for Beginners, Aromatherapy and Essential Oil Recipes

 

 

Chamomile; German Chamomile; Hungarian Chamomile; Camomile; Matricaria recutita; Chamomilla recutita; Matricaria chamomilla

Essential Oils: The Complete Guide: Essential Oils for Beginners, Aromatherapy and Essential Oil Recipes is a guide book about essential oils written to “introduce you to the world of essential oils and aromatherapy.”

The book was written primarily for beginners who have absolutely no prior knowledge about using essential oils and carrier oils.to show how to use them properly…

This book sparked my interest because so many of the natural body care and skincare products that I will be making and sharing in the near future contain them.

The title, Essential Oils: The Complete Guide: Essential Oils for Beginners, Aromatherapy and Essential Oil Recipes, is appropriate for the book because the book explains everything in simple, easy to understand steps..

The purpose of the book–showing how to use essential oils  properly-is carried out throughout the book as evident by the fact that the book tells the reader how to store your essential oils and carrier oils, and the fact that It is important to know what you are doing when you are using essential oils because some essential oils can do things such as increase UV light/sunlight sensitivity and affect your hormones.

According to the introduction, this book promises to teach you a natural treatment that takes care of both your mental and physical health at the same time…how to cure your common cold without the use of drugand how to start the day exploding with motivation and energy, whilst finishing the day calm, content and stress-free.all through the proper application of essential oils.

The author of the book is Amy Joyson.

The main idea of the book is that both your health and vitality can be improved through the use of essential oils.

My favorite part of the book was definitely the over 100 recipes for natural body and skincare products, as well as home cleaning products because this is something that I am focusing on right now in both my life and my blog…recipes to enhance your calm or self-esteem and confidence, to uplift your mood, to support your detox and many, many more.

Other topics discussed include what aromatherapy is and how you can use aromatherapy at home for stress relief and weight loss, what carrier oils are and how to use them, and what exactly essential oils are and how they work in the body.

I highly recommend this book, and feel that you will also be happy that you bought it.

Getting Healthy, Sweet, Sweet Sunday

Book Review…Essential Glow

Chamomile; German Chamomile; Hungarian Chamomile; Camomile; Matricaria recutita; Chamomilla recutita; Matricaria chamomilla

Essential Glow: Recipes & Tips for Using Essential Oils is an all-inclusive guide to natural beauty written for people who would like to learn how to use essential oils in their daily lives to boost their beauty, home, and general wellness.

This book sparked my interest because I am just now starting to use essential oils in my home now that I have started this journey to a happier and healthier lifestyle.

The title, Essential Glow, is appropriate for the book because the book was written by the same people who host the popular Hello Glow website—the ultimate source for daily inspiration, recipes, projects, and tips for living a healthy, mindful life and learning more about natural beauty and wellness.

The author of the book is Stephanie Gerber, a Nashville-based natural living blogger, who has also written…Stephanie Gerber says that she believes that “the journey to well-being can and should be, simple and beautiful, natural and stylish.”

The book is filled with over two hundred simple recipes and tutorials for making organic skincare and haircare-products, household cleaners, and even cosmetics at home…all using essential oils…including recipes for laundry softeners, all purpose cleaners, steam tablets, masks, bath oils, and invigorating scrubs.

Sweet, Sweet Sunday

11 More Uses for Mineral Oil

In addition to the various uses for mineral oil around the home that we just got through talking about, there are several uses for mineral oil for your own use also.

So a bottle of mineral oil is well worth the investment.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the uses for yourself.. 

 

1.Arthritis...Mineral oil can decrease the stiffness and reduce the pain of arthritis.

2. Babies…Mineral oil can be used to treat cradle cap, diaper rash, and many other types of skin irritation. In fact, baby oil as marketed to new mothers is mineral oil with added fragrance…and costs much less,

3. Constipation...Mineral oil can be used as a laxative to treat constipation and hemorrhoids. Mineral oil creates a film around the stools that makes passage of the stools through the colon much easier.

 

Cosmetics...Mineral oil is a common ingredients in many ointments and cold lotions, in addition to baby oil.

5. Ears…Mineral oil can also be used to treat earaches and to remove ear wax, Drop a few drops of warm mineral oil into your ears at night to melt any ear wax. Be sure to rinse your ear with warm water in the morning.

6. Eyes…Mineral oil can be used to remove any oil which has settled on your eyes and to help maintain the your eyelashes from busting and cracking.

7. Face…Mineral oil can be used for about ten minutes before using mineral oil makeup. The oil does not cause acne or blackheads, but works as a great moisturizer

8. Feet…Mineral oil can make your heels crack-free. Rub your feet with the oil and wear socks.

9. Hands,,, Mineral oil can be used to treat dry hands if you apply it throughout the day.

10. Paint…Mineral oil can be used to remove paint spots from your skin.

11. RadIation…Mineral oil can hhelp treat radiation skin burns,

 

 

 

Beginning with Breakfast, Sweet, Sweet Sunday

When Life Gives You Lemons

Lemon water…simply lemons with water, or water with lemons…big deal, right?!

 

But wait!!!

Besides helping you drink your daily suggested amount of water, lemons actually add many health benefits to water…benefits that up until now, I didn’t realize…and many of us didn’t even recognize either. For this reason, lemons have been used in many forms of holistic medicine for centuries.

So let’s begin by taking a look at some of these “hidden” health benefits of lemon water…

 

  1. Blood Pressure…Eating or drinking one lemon per day can reduce high blood pressure by ten percent.
  2. Depression and Anxiety…Lemon water contains a high level of potassium, which is needed to prevent and cure depression and anxiety.
  3. Digestion…Lemon water helps with digestion and keeps your stomach from health problems—such as constipation, heartburn, indigestion, bloating and belching.
  4. Energy Levels…Lemon water can help you have more energy when you wake up in the morning…without causing a “caffeine crash” later in the day.
  5. Joint and Muscle Pain…Lemon water can help reduce both joint and muscle pain.
  6. Kidneys…Lemon water can help prevent and  dissolve kidney stones, gallstones, pancreatic stones and calcium deposits because of the amount of citric acid it contains.
  7. Liver…Lemon water helps your liver produce the digestive enzymes and bile necessary for moving food through gastrointestinal tract smoothly.
  8. Oral HealthLemon water helps relieve tooth pain, fight gingivitis, and get rid of bad breath caused by eating foods with strong smells like garlic, onions, or fish.
  9. Respiratory SystemLemon water helps relieve the symptoms of asthma, allergies and other respiratory problems.
  10. Skin…Lemon water contains Vitamin C, which reduces your risk of having wrinkled and dry skin.
  11. Urinary System…Lemon water is a mild diuretic that can help the urinary tract effectively clear out any unwanted elements.
  12. WeightLemon water can help you lose weight by keeping your hydrated, fighting food  cravings, and significantly decreasing your caloric intake.