Once upon a time, our gardens were not only our source of beauty, but also our grocery stores and our pharmacies.
We weren’t the only ones using them, either. Into our gardens we welcomed a whole host of creatures we relied upon for food, too. Rabbits and poultry for eggs and protein (and fertilizer), bees for pollination and honey. Ladybirds and butterflies were our pesticides. The mice fed our cats, and dogs kept us safe. Fences were made from the barbed wires of briars. Brambles, hedgerows and woods gave us nuts and hops and the makings of wine, cider and beer.
No-one wants to get stung on the lips, yet all the girls want bee-stung lips. Honey is an antibiotic.
Monarda, or Bee Balm, is a plant native to the New World. Bee Balm is a strong natural antiseptic, and is the source of Thymol, found in today’s mouthwashes. Thymol, which also gave its name to the herb thyme, is also a fungicide.
You could spend a lifetime being stung by how little we know about bees.
Yes, there is opium latex in poppy leaves.
A Plain Cookery Book for the Working Classes, Charles Elmé Francatelli, 1852