Karen Kennedy of the Herb Society of America visited our Main Branch on Wednesday to talk about where folklore, magic and herbalism intersect.
Here are four fun facts from her talk:
1. Basil is said to be a protective herb. Hence the saying, “Where basil grows no evil goes.”
Other protection herbs: chive, lavender (especially for children and homes) and garlic.
2. Chive has the longest recorded herb history, dating back 5,000 years. Etchings of it have been found on ancient Egyptian monuments.
3. It was said that when the devil walked out of the Garden of Eden after the fall of man, garlic bloomed wherever his left foot landed. (And I thought it was a protective herb…)
4. The yarrow plant’s Latin name, Achillea Millefolium, comes from the Greek hero (or villain, if you’re a Trojan,) Achilles.
The plant was said to grow from his rusty spear shavings. It has a history of being used on the battlefield to stop bleeding.
The Herb Society has spoken at the library before. Last year, Karen talked about the best practices for preserving herbs.
The society has chapters all across the country, and it’s based in Kirtland. It’s a great resource for both seasoned and neophyte green thumbs.