Sunday, June 22, 2008
The Petting Garden of 13th St
I see you reach over my fence and stroke the rosemary bush as you walk up the street. I do this also as I leave my house for work and somehow the bright and fresh smell of rosemary on my hands always seems to provide a pleasant start to my day. What's rosemary good for besides lamb and potatoes--oh yeah, memory. Besides memory, rosemary may also be useful in the prevention and treatment of head lice. When was the last time you had head lice? See, it's working!
This year I decided to expand the Petting Garden to add a menagerie of esoteric Herbs such as basil, lavender, oregano, sage, dill and cilantro to join the rosemary on the strip of yard between the boxwood shrubs and the fence that borders 13th St. Not sure which Herb you need to get through another day of DC cubicle life? Whether you need protection from witches or a cure for excessive lactation, there is something for you in the Petting Garden of 13th St!
Basil--Sweet, Purple and Cinnamon varieties line the fence. It is traditionally used as supplementary treatment of stress, asthma and diabetes in India. It is a symbol of love in present day Italy but was symbol of hatred in ancient Greece. Take some to your boss--let her guess your mood today.
Oregano--Oregano in medicine is used for suppressing coughs. Dried oregano is sometimes mistaken for marijuana. In the movie "A Few Good Men", Tom Cruise's character has the following exchange with a very irate junior prosecuting JAG officer while at softball practice: "It was oregano, Steve. He bought a dime bag of oregano." Crumble a few leaves and throw some on a table in the break room and see who empties the vending machine of munchies in the afternoon.
Mint--Mint was originally used as a medicinal herb to treat stomach aches and chest pain. Mint was also used to whiten teeth in the Middle Ages. Oil from mint is used in environmentally friendly insecticides to kill some common pests like wasps, hornets, ants and cockroaches.
Sage--Sage is the little Herb that can! Sage has medicinal uses ranging from indigestion, gas, liver complaints, excessive lactation, excessive perspiration, excessive salivation, anxiety, depression, female sterility, and menopausal problems. And you just thought it was the Thanksgiving smell!
Cilantro--Some dislike the soapy taste/smell of cilantro but it is thought to relieve anxiety and insomnia.
Lavender--Lavender is used to induce relaxation. Oh definitely you must pet the lavender as you go by.
Dill--The name dill is thought to have originated from a Norse or Anglo-Saxon word "dylle" meaning to soothe or lull since the plant has properties for relieving gas. In the Middle Ages dill was thought to protect against witchcraft. Is today a company "Team Building" day? Take some dill. Maybe two pinches!
The Petting Garden of 13th St (13th St NW between Logan Circle and U) (follow your nose).
Herb references from Wikipedia and the back of Burpee seed packets.