Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Ivy soap bars with goat's milk!

Our new soap line, this is Ivy:Poison ivy? No. But your senses will be injected with this clean, vibrant, and embracing floral scent. Fresh clean scent goat milk soap with Olive oil, rapeseed oil, coconut oil, jojoba oil and love!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Mystique of the Mandrake!

Even a familiar plant could develope a supernatural reputation if its habits were sufficiently bizzare. An example of this kind of elaborate embroidery involves the mandrake, or mandragora, a small perennial herb common throughout the Mediterranean region.

Like other nightshades, the mandrake derives its reputation for magical power partly from toxicity. This potent herb can kill the unwary, although it has also served as an important source of therapeutic medicine. Adding to the mandrake's mystique is the appearance of its root. Thick and tuberous, it can be imagined to look like a little human being, a coincidence that deeply impressed some contemporaries of the ancient Greek botanist Theophrastus. They were the "root cutters" of the day. The herbalists of thier day, these root cutters supplied herbs to physicians. There was even more to add to the mandrake's magical power appeal. It is a plant that phosphoreses. Sometimes at night, chemical substances in its berries react with the dew to give a pale light. A phenomenon that today is explained by science oue ancestors attributed to spirits and magical forces.

Flaviuos Josephus, a Jewish general, statesman, and historian of the first century A.D., described the perils of harvesting the mandrake. While its glow makes it easy to find, the herb would shrink back whenever approuched, and merely touching it could prove fatal. One way to collect the herb was to dig around it carefully until only a small portion of the root remained covered. The collector would then leash a dog to the root and walk away. The dog would pull the root free in a frantic effort to get back to its masters side. But in exchange for the dogs death , according to Josephus, the master obtained an infallible charm against demons. Other people said the mandrake protected against battle wounds, cured all diseases, brought luck in love, promoted fertility, gauranteed perfect marlsmanship, and unearthed hidden treasures.

A remarkable thing about plant magic is how it runs through many periods of human experiance. As long as ignorance kept people enslaved to superstition, the idea of magical plants remainded powerful. Though nations sneered at the credulity of thier neighbors-and new generations laughed at the ignorance and gullibility of the old-each in turn wove its own new fantastic tissue of herbal taboos, tales, and lore. The tradition of the mandrake root, for instance, kept a firm hold on peoples imagination, if not belief, for many centuries. "Go and catch a falling star, get with child a mandrake root," were among a long list of impossible tasks set forth by the 17th-century poet John Donne.

Tall tales!

The tall tales spun by returning travelers and explorers spawned many a fanciful plant with magical properties. Because of the expense & danger of travel, premodern men rarley ventured far from thier homelands, and the few brave soals that did see the world could inflate thier experiences with little fear of being found out. To impress the stay at homers, these voyagers populated the world with monsters and marvels, including exotic plants that had fantastic attributes.

One of the most durable of these stories was that of the gooseberry barnacle tree. This extravagantly imaginary bit of flora was a seaside tree that bore shells, or barnacles, containing live geese as its fruit. It may have grown out of sailor's quite factual descriptions of the long necked barnacles that are found attached to ships' hulls. Accepted as fact for centuries, the goose barnacle tree provoked a theologicale debate. Technically its geese were fruit, not fowl. Therfore some Christians decided that these geese could be eaten on fast days when flesh was forbidden.

Sometimes such tall tales required careful sifting from fact from fiction. From the indian subcontinent, Europeans brought back stories of a plant now known to science as Datura metel, wich is related to the nightshades. They discribed the metel flowers as so powerful that its fragrance alone would fell passersby. This story has a basis in truth. Though the metel's unsavory perfume is not intrinsically fatal, the aroma can stupefy those who breathe it. Like other members of the nightshade family, metel contains scopolamine. This alkaloid acts as a powerful sedative and soporific.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Whats in a name!

Countless plants were tested by sorcerers in the hope of achieving power. Many plants of today still bear the testimony to these experiments, long after the plant has lost its supernatural reputation. Verbena, for instance, is the generic name of many shrubs and herbs. It recalls the use of one verbena species, V. Officinalis, or vervain, in sacred festivals in ancient Rome.

Garlic is a plant that has long enjoyed a reputation for white magic-the power to turn back the evil forces of black magic. Over the centuries not only has this homely plant herb added vitamins and minerals to meals, it was also said to have defended people against vampires and the plague. Even today, Chinese and Greek, and Jewish grandmothers will sometimes present a clove of garlic to thier infant grandchildren as protection against the evil eye.

In contrast to garlic's reputation for extroardinary goodness, other plants were marked as evil due to thier poisonous or norcotic qualities. These types of plants all to often were used as insruments of human wickedness. Thus belladonna, whose juice is both toxic and sedative, frequently figured in murderers' potions and devilish brews, and came to be known as deadly nightshade, withches berry, and sorcerer's-cherry, among other names.

Nessessity of plant life!

Every Autumn in temperate climes early man begins watching the forest die: the trees shed thier leaves; grasses and flowers wither; only a few evergreens retained a semblance of summer's vitality. Yet come spring, all were reborn: buds burst into leaf, and fresh shoots sprouted from the earth. Surely any beings that resurrected themselves each year must be filled with magic.

Out of nessessity plant life was made into foods, medicine, clothing and shelter. Some plant's behavior must have filled our ancestors with wonder. Why did the sinflower's blossoms turn to track the sun moving across the sky? Why did the morning glory's trumpets open only at daybreal? Unable to find an apparent cause for such behavier, our early ancestors used thier imagionation. They populated the countryside with nymphs and dryads. They animated trees and flowers with gaurdian spirits both benign and evil. In Peru, for example, sun worshipers venerated the sunflower as the earthly embodiment of the sun. And in Japan, morning glories became "jewels of heaven" because thier beauty lured the sun-goddess back into the sky at dawn.
Plants appeared to have magical power: if this could be harnessed and directed, then surely it would afford relief from misfortune and disease, control of the future, and peace with the gods.

Plants in Myth & Magic!

In the struggle to achieve mastery over the powerful forces of nature, man has always turned to plants for help-for food, shelter, clothing, weapons, and healing, and even for relief from hardships of life. Plants provide all these and something more: an astonishinh display of vital energy in their growth and seasonal birth. No wonder then that, from the most primitive societies to the most advanced, plants have been invested with magical power. No wonder that so many myths attribute to plants an intimate personal relationship with our daily lives and our destinies!

Happy New Year!

We are going to be back with full vengeance in 2012, lots of brand new ideas to share with you all and can't wait to get started. I hope you all had as Blessed new year!