The silliness of the season is well and truly upon us here at Herbology HQ. There is some manic gift making and the decorations are all finally up – better late than never.
For those of you who are still in need of some herbaceous holiday ideas, never fear – I have searched the Net for some lovely herbal projects for you.
How about making a Herbal Holiday Kissing Ball?
“Rosemary, sage, lavender, anise hyssop, lemon geranium, oregano thyme and boxwood make this Victorian kissing ball an eye-catching touch for any room.”
A Scented Candle Ring will make your table extra festive.
“Fill the room with the aromatic scent of cinnamon, orange, cloves, nutmeg and anise. With a few easy-to-find potpourri ingredients you can make a scented candle ring that will give your home a wonderful fragrance.”
Pamper that special someone with a Lavender Eye Pillow.
“Beautifully made dream pillows and eye pillows are the epitome of pampering!”
And if you need to include even more herbal goodness in your holiday season you might be surprised at the hidden herbal benefits that are already part of your festive cheer.
Cranberries: “A landmark study published in the New England Journal of Medicine (October 6, 1998) found that condensed tannins, also known as proanthocyanidins, are the compounds in cranberry responsible for preventing and treating urinary tract infections. The Rutgers University team of scientists confirmed that these compounds, also present in blueberries, work by preventing E. coli bacteria from attaching to the urinary tract. The researchers used a process called bioassay-directed fractionation to isolate the compound, a process that took almost five years to complete. The Rutgers Blueberry and Cranberry Research and Extension Center has been conducting research and developing new cultivars of these two fruits since 1962.” (BW Healthwire, October 6, 1998.)
Red Wine – (not strictly a herb but it’s a plant with health benefits so it counts 😉 ) “The “French paradox” is a term that refers to the apparent contradiction observed in European populations who consume high fat diets, yet enjoy a reduced mortality from coronary artery disease. This surprising fact has been attributed to the beneficial effects of red wine, which contains antioxidant compounds such as resveratrol, catechin, epicatechin and proanthocyanidins. Results from this laboratory study suggest that the polyphenolic compounds present in red wine also may confer protection against ischemic reperfusion injury (damage that occurs when blood flow is restored to the heart). These benefits are believed to be related to the peroxyl radical scavenging abilities of compounds such as resveratrol and proanthocyanidins.” (Das D, Sato M, Ray P, et al. Cardioprotection of red wine: role of polyphenolic antioxidants. Drugs Exptl Clin Res 1999; 25(2/3): 115-120.)
Basically – EAT AND BE MERRY – it may even be good for you!!!