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Mind & Nerves

Galbanum
  • Botanical: Ferula galbaniflua
  • Family: Umbelliferae
  • Known as: Ferula, Steckenkräuter, Rutenkräuter, Riesenfenchel
  • Old Use: medical

Galbanum

There are two kinds of Galbanum in commerce, viz. Levant Galbanurn and the Persian Galbanum. The latter is softer than the Levant, has a more terebinthic odour, has the smell and consistency of Venice turpentine, and contains fruit and fragments of stalks in place of bits of sliced roots. Several species of Ferula are used as a source for commercial Galbanum, but the official plant is Ferula galbaniflua, a perennial, with smooth stem, and shining leaflets, ovate, wedge-shaped, acute and finely serrated on the edges. The umbels of flowers are few, the seeds shiny. The whole plant abounds with a milky juice, which oozes from the joints of old plants, and exudes and hardens from the base of the stem after it has been cut down, then is finally obtained by incisions made in the root. The juice from the root soon hardens and forms the tears of the Galbanum of Commerce. The best tears are palish externally and about the size of a hazel nut and when broken open are composed of clear white tears. The taste is unpleasant, bitterish, acrid, with a strong, peculiar, somewhat aromatic smell. The common kind is an agglutinated mass, showing reddish and white tears, this is of the consistency of firm wax, and can easily be torn to pieces and softened by heat; when cold it is brittle, and mixed with seeds and leaves, when imported in lumps it is often considered preferable to the tears as it contains more volatile oil. Distilled with water it yields a quantity of essential oil, about 6 drachms, to 1 lb. of gum. It was well known to the ancients and Pliny called it 'bubonion.' Galbanum under dry distillation yields a thick oil of a bluish colour, which after purification becomes the blue colour of the oil obtained from the flowers of Matricaria Chamomilla.

Ginger
  • Botanical: Zingiber officinale
  • Family: Zingiberaceae
  • Known as: Curcuma petiolata, Hidden Lily, Jewel of Thailand, Siam Tulip, Hidden Ginger, Queen lily, Ingber, Imber, Immerwurzel, Ingwerwurzel
  • Old Use: culinary; medicinal
  • Aroma: citrus, fresh, fruity, spicy, warm, woody

Ginger

Ginger is a spice and more popular in Central Europe, probably because the exotic cuisine, spreading more and more. Many grocery stores now have to get fresh ginger roots.

But not only as an exotic spice, ginger is suitable, but also a valuable remedy. His special ability is to eliminate nausea.

Grape
  • Botanical: Vitis vinifera
  • Family: Vitaceae
  • Known as: Wine Grape, Vitis vinifera, Weinstock, Traubenstock, Weintraube
  • Old Use: culinary, medicinal use
  • Aroma: sweet, warm

Grape

Vitis vinifera is a deciduous Climber growing to 15 m (49ft 3in) at a fast rate. It has larger fruits, 6-22 mm, which are sweet and vary in colour from green, yellow, red, or blackish-purple, with 2 or no seeds. 

Vine stems are "lianas" or woody, climbing vines and can be up to 35 m, climbing over trees, rocks or the pergola at the third floor of my neighbour's apartment. In cultivation it is usually reduced by annual pruning to 1-3 m. Most grapes have loose, flaky bark on older wood usually peeling from old stems in long shreds, but smooth bark on 1-year-old wood.

Guarana
  • Botanical: Paullinia cupana
  • Family: Sapindaceae
  • Known as: Guaraná, Paullinia sorbilis
  • Old Use: medical, culinary

Guarana

This climbing shrub has divided compound leaves, flowers yellow panicles, fruit pear shaped, three sided, three-celled capsules, with thin partitions, in each a seed like a small horse-chestnut half enclosed in an aril, flesh coloured and easily separated when dried.

After the seeds are shelled and washed they are roasted for six hours, then put into sacks and shaken till their outside shell comes off, they are then pounded into a fine powder and made into a dough with water, and rolled into cylindrical pieces 8 inches long; these are then dried in the sun or over a slow fire, till they became very hard and are then a rough and reddish-brown colour, marbled with the seeds and testa in the mass. They break with an irregular fracture, have little smell, taste astringent, and bitter like chocolate without its oiliness, and in colour like chocolate powder; it swells up and partially dissolves in water.

Hops
  • Botanical: Humulus lupulus
  • Family: Cannabaceae
  • Known as: Hops, Humulus lupulus, Hoppen, Hopf, Hecken-Hopfen, Weiden-Hopfen
  • Old Use: culinary; medicinal

Hops

The root is stout and perennial. The stem that arises from it every year is of a twining nature, reaching a great length, flexible and very tough, angled and prickly, with a tenacious fibre.
The leaves are heart-shaped and lobed, on foot-stalks, and as a rule placed opposite one another on the stem, though sometimes the upper leaves are arranged singly on the stem, springing from altenate sides. They are of a dark-green colour with their edges finely toothed.

Indian Berry
  • Botanical: Anamirta cocculus
  • Family: Menispermaceae
  • Known as: Cocculus indicus, Scheinmyrte, Indische Scheinmyrte, Kokkelskörnerstrauch, Kokkelspflanze
  • Old Use: medical
  • Aroma: herbaceius

Indian Berry

A poisonous climbing plant with ash-coloured corky bark, leaves stalked, heart-shaped, smooth, underside pale with tufts of hair at the junctions of the nerves and at the base of the leaves, the flowers are pendulous panicles, male and female blooms on different plants; fruit round and kidney shaped, outer coat thin, dry, browny, black and wrinkled, inside a hard white shell divided into two containing a whitish seed, crescent shaped and very oily.

Jimson Weed
  • Botanical: Datura stramonium
  • Family: Solanaceae
  • Known as: Datura, Gemeiner Stechapfel, Weiße Stechapfel
  • Old Use: medical

Jimson Weed

D. stramonium is a foul-smelling, erect, annual, freely branching herb that forms a bush up to 2 to 5 ft (60 to 150 cm) tall. The root is long, thick, fibrous and white. The stem is stout, erect, leafy, smooth, and pale yellow-green. The stem forks off repeatedly into branches, and each fork forms a leaf and a single, erect flower. The leaves are about 3–8 in (8–20 cm) long, smooth, toothed, soft, and irregularly undulated. The upper surface of the leaves is a darker green, and the bottom is a light green. The leaves have a bitter and nauseating taste, which is imparted to extracts of the herb, and remains even after the leaves have been dried. D. stramonium generally flowers throughout the summer. The fragrant flowers are trumpet-shaped, white to creamy or violet, and 2 1⁄2–3 1⁄2 in (6–9 cm) long, and grow on short stems from either the axils of the leaves or the places where the branches fork. The calyx is long and tubular, swollen at the bottom, and sharply angled, surmounted by five sharp teeth. The corolla, which is folded and only partially open, is white, funnel-shaped, and has prominent ribs. The flowers open at night, emitting a pleasant fragrance, and are fed upon by nocturnal moths. The egg-shaped seed capsule is 1–3 in (3–8 cm) in diameter and either covered with spines or bald. At maturity, it splits into four chambers, each with dozens of small, black seeds

Kola
  • Botanical: Cola acuminata
  • Family: Malvaceae
  • Known as: Cola nitida, Kolanuss
  • Old Use: medicinal and culonary use

Kola

This tree grows about 40 feet high, has yellow flowers, spotted with purple; leaves 6 to 8 inches long, pointed at both ends.

The trees have yellow flowers with purple spots, and star-shaped fruit. Inside the fruit, about a dozen round or square seeds can be found in a white seed shell.

The seeds are extensively used as a condiment by the natives of Western and Central tropical Africa, also by the negroes of the West Indies and Brazil, who introduced the trees to these countries. 

Lavender
  • Botanical: Lavendula officinalis
  • Family: Lamiaceae
  • Known as: Lavendel, Lavandula angustifolia,
  • Old Use: medicinal; culinary

Lavender

The genus includes annual or short-lived herbaceous perennial plants, and suffrutescent perennials, subshrubs or small shrubs.

Leaf shape is diverse across the genus. They are simple in some commonly cultivated species; in others they are pinnately toothed, or pinnate, sometimes multiple pinnate and dissected. In most species the leaves are covered in fine hairs or indumentum, which normally contain the essential oils.

Lemon
  • Botanical: Citrus limon
  • Family: Rutaceae
  • Known as: Lemon, Citrus limon, Citrus Limonum Risso, Zitrone
  • Old Use: culinary; medicinal
  • Aroma: clean, citrus, fruity

Lemon

Citrus limon is the leading acid citrus fruit, because of its very appealing color, odor and flavor. The true lemon tree reaches 10 to 20 feet in height and usually has sharp thorns on the twigs. Leaves are reddish when young, and become dark green above, light green below. Mildly fragrant flowers may be solitary, or there may be two or more. Buds are reddish. Opened flowers have 4 or 5 petals, white on upper surface, purplish beneath. Fruit is oval with a nipple-like protuberance and is light-yellow. It is aromatic, and dotted with oil glands.

Lettuce Bitter
  • Botanical: Lactuca virosa
  • Family: Asteraceae
  • Known as: Bitter Lettuce, Lactuca virosa, Wild Lettuce, Bitter lettuce, Laitue vireuse, Opium Lettuce, Poisonous Lettuce, Rakutu-Karyumu-So, Gift-Lattich, Wilder Lattich, Stinklattich, Stinksalat

Lettuce Bitter

It is a biennial herb growing to a maximum height of 6 feet. The erect stem, springing from a brown tap-root, is smooth and pale green, sometimes spotted with purple. There are a few prickles on the lower part and short horizontal branches above. The numerous, large, radical leaves are from 6 to 18 inches long, entire, and obovate-oblong. The stem leaves are scanty, alternate, and small, clasping the stem with two small lobes.

Lily of the Valley
  • Botanical: Convallaria majalis
  • Family: Asparagaceae
  • Known as: Augenkraut, Chaldron, Faldron, Galleieli, Glasblümli, Herrenblümli, Maiblume, Maiblümchen, Maienlilie, Maizauken, Marienglöckchen, Marienriesli, Niesekraut, Schillerlilie, Schneetropfen, Springauf, Tallilie, Zaucken

Lily of the Valley

C. majalis is a herbaceous perennial plant that forms extensive colonies by spreading underground stems called rhizomes. New upright shoots are formed at the ends of stolons in summer, these upright dormant stems are often called pips. These grow in the spring into new leafy shoots that still remain connected to the other shoots under ground, often forming extensive colonies. The stems grow to 15–30 cm tall, with one or two leaves 10–25 cm long, flowering stems have two leaves and a raceme of 5–15 flowers on the stem apex.

Linden
  • Botanical: Tilia
  • Family: Malvaceae, Tiliaceae
  • Known as: Lime Tree, Bee Tree, tilia grandifolia, tilia cordata, Linden, Sommerlinde, Grossblättrige Linde, Winterlinde, Stein-Linde, Kleinblättrige Linde
  • Old Use: medicinal
  • Aroma: citrus, forest, warm

Linden

It is a large tree attaining a height of from 60 to 125 feet with a trunk diameter of 2 to 5 feet, with spreading branches. The somewhat leathery leaves are pointed at the apex, heart-shaped at the base, with sharply toothed margins and are borne on stems about 1 or 2 inches long. The flowers are produced in great abundance from May to June in drooping clusters composed of from 6 to 20 yellowish, very fragrant flowers.

Nutmeg
  • Botanical: Myristica fragrans
  • Family: Myristicaceae
  • Known as: Nutmeg, Mace, Muskat, Muskatblüte, Macis
  • Old Use: culinary; medicinal
  • Aroma: spicy, sweet, woody

Nutmeg

The tree is about 25 feet high, has a greyish-brown smooth bark, abounding in a yellow juice. The branches spread in whorls - alternate leaves, on petioles about 1 inch long, elliptical, glabrous, obtuse at base - acuminate, aromatic, dark green and glossy above, paler underside and 4 to 6 inches long. Flowers dioecious, small in axillary racemes.

Peduncles and pedicles glabrous. Male flowers three to five more on a peduncle. Calyx urceolate, thick and fleshy, covered with an indistinct reddish pubescence dingy pale yellow, cut into three erect teeth. Female flowers differ little from the male, except pedicel is often solitary.

Orange
  • Botanical: Citrus aurantium
  • Family: Rutaceae
  • Known as: Orange, Citrus aurantium, Apfelsine
  • Old Use: culinary; medicinal
  • Aroma: citrus, fruity, sweet

Orange

It is a small tree with a smooth, greyishbrown bark and branches that spread into a fairly regular hemisphere. The oval, alternate, evergreen leaves, 3 to 4 inches long, have sometimes a spine in the axil. They are glossy, dark green on the upper side, paler beneath. The calyx is cup-shaped and the thick, fleshy petals, five in number, are intensely white, and curl back.