The Appeal Of Flowers
Flowers have always had a special appeal for human beings and from
the earliest days of civilization people have cultivated gardens and grown
flowers.Many flowers have the power to heal and cure, but the pleasure
they can give is also a tonic in it self, refreshing and revitalizing
the spirits or soothing the mind after a busy day.
Flowers In Country Lore
Well into the twentieth century, counrty wives traditionally
grew there own favourite plants and gathered wild flowers from the fields
and hedgerows to prepare them as remedies for every day complaints
and for household uses.With the growth of modern science and changing ways
of living these traditions have almost slipped into the past, but the more
science investigates, the more it is found that there is often a good scientific
reason for the effectiveness of the old traditional remedies
Using Flowers Today
With home-grown or brought dried ingredients,
we can still use flowers today to maintain our health,
freshen our homes and soothe our senses in the traditional way.
How To Dry Flowers
Shake off any insects, but do not wash the flowers
how to Store Dried Flowers
Smaller flowers are best dried spread flat in a single layer on sheets
of clean white paper, but larger flowers can be hung upside down
in loose bunches tied with string.
Always dry flowers in a warm airy room away from full light
Aromatic flowers in particular need to be dried in a shady, but warm
and airy place, to prevent there oils from deteriorating
When drying flowers flat, turn them frequently to make sure that they dry evenly
With plants such as Lavender and Rosemary, you can dry the
flowering spikes, rather than picking off the tiny flowers separately
When the flowers are completely dry they will have lost a little of
there colour and feel dry and papery.To keep them in the best
possible condition follow the procedure below.
Store them in glass jars with the lids well secured, dark glass is ideal
label jars with the content and the date
Store on a dry place, out of the light
Do not keep dried flowers for more than two years
as they will gradually lose there strength.
The simplest way to use flowers is to make an infusion
with fresh or dried flowers or herbs, use hot or boiling water
use as a tea, as a lotion, compress, or inhalation.
Making an infusion
A herbal infusion for drinking and for external use is made just like tea
make it in a cup or tea pot, kept specially for this purpose.
First...warm the container.
Measure the required amount of the flowers into the container.
Pour on a measured amount of boiling water.
Cover and stand to infuse for no more than 10-15 minutes.
Strain, drink warm or cold, many flower teas are slightly bitter.
Sweeten with a little honey if you wish.
CHAMOMILE...use a standard infusion as a soothing eye wash
Flowers In The Home
or to ease irritated skin, and as soothing calming drink
ELDER FLOWER...A standard infusion of Elder Flower can be drunk warm
for colds and fever, and allowed to cool for use as a complexion lotion.
HAWTHORN (MAY) use 2 tbsp of fresh flowers to 600ml(1 pint) of water,
drink as a tonic for the circulation and for insomnia.
LAVENDER...A standard infusion of flowering spikes of lavender
can be used as a cold compress for headaches.
MARIGOLD...A cold standard infusion can be used as a skin lotion.
MEADOWSWEET..An infusion made with 1 tbsp of fresh flowers to a cup
of water, drunk three times a day before meals is said to help arthritis.
YARROW...The standard infusion can be used as a mouth wash for mouth sores.
An infusion made with half the standard amount can be
wiped over the skin to deter gnats and mosquitoes.
Many flowering plants were once commonly used
to keep the house clean, fragrant and pest free.
Some traditional recipes are just as practical now as in the past
TRADITINAL POT POURRI
A pot pourri is a lovely way to enjoy the colours, textures and scents
of your favourite flowers .If you make your own, you can
prepare a blend that gives off completey individual fragrance
HOW TO MAKE POT POURRI
Choose a selection of dried flowers for there shape, scent and colour.
Pick and dry garden flowers as described earlier.
Good flowers to use are CARNATION, CHAMOMILE,
CORNFLOWER, ELDER FLOWER, JASMINE,LAVENDER,
LILY OF THE VALLEY,
Mix the petals together in a large, wide bowl
For an aromatic green scented mix, add dried herbs.
Good leaves to use;BALM,BASIL,BAY,LAVENDER,MINT,ROSE,
To give the mixture a long life, add a fixative.
Fixatives to use;CARY SAGE oil powdered MYRRH
ORRIS ROOTor SANDALWOOD
to round off the perfume, and to give it an exotic depth,
add ground spices of your choice.
spices to use..ALLSPICE,CINNAMON,
for further scent add a few drops of essential oils of your choice.
Store the mixture in a closed container-half filled- for six weeks,
shaking the container frequently so that the ingredients can mix and blend.
Empty into pot pourri dishes, which have lids so that the
fragance is not released too quickly, or into open bowls.
Decorate the tops of open bowls with a few small Rose buds or dried Cornflower.
PROPORTIONS TO USE
3 cups of dried flower /leaves
up tp 2 tbsp powdered spices
up tp 6 drops of essential oil
1 tbsp fixative powder/6 drops of fixative oil
FIXATIVES TO USE ARE
Clary sage oil, powdered Myrrh,Orris Root or Sandalwood, brought talcum powder
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