Aromatherapy for the Holidays

Was Jesus A Capricorn - or an Aries?


The Christmas Herbs


Traditions of the Winter Solstice


The Yule Log


The Darkest Time


The Holly Tree


The Stag


Memories of Christmas Past


Ghost Lights


We Three Kings


Herbs Articles


A Gift From Mother Nature

Basil For Beginners

The Christmas Herbs


Herbs For Flavor
And Flare

Herbs for Fertility
And Flare

Herbs The Friendly Plants

Home Made Herbal Teas

Oh No! Don't Eat the Daisies!


The Christmas Herbs

Many herbs have legends that connect them to Christmas. When Jesus was born, Joseph gathered herbs and grasses to make a bed in the manger for the babe. These herbs are sometimes called “manger herbs”. At midnight on Christmas Eve, the herbs whisper their Christmas greetings. Here are a few of the charming tales about the herbs of Christmas, together with some suggestions about how to use them.

Chamomile (Matricaria chamomile) is thought to have been one of the herbs used to make Jesus’ bed in the manger. You can use the flowers in salads or made into a tea to enjoy hot or cold. You can also use them in a bath bag.

Costmary (chrysanthemum balsamita), sometimes called Our Lady's Balsam, is said to have been used by The Virgin as a healing ointment. Make a tea from the leaves (don’t drink) and dab it onto your face with a cotton ball after cleansing. Costmary symbolizes everlasting life.

Horehound (Marrubium vulgare) was among the plants Joseph gathered to make a bed for Jesus. It has oval, velvety leaves and tiny cream or purple flowers. Horehound gives good health but foreshadows betrayal. Mary tried to pick it out of the straw, but it was entwined amongst the other herbs. However, she discovered another herb: thyme, a symbol of courage and endurance.

Lady’s Bedstraw (galium verum) as the name suggests, has been used for centuries to stuff mattresses and make sweet smelling resting-places. Mary is thought to have slept upon this herb when she was nursing the baby Jesus - at which time, its white flowers turned golden and it gained its sweet, fresh scent. Farmers used to feed Bedstraw to cows to sweeten their milk, and it was common in stables.

Lavender (lavandula) symbolizes purity and immortality. During the flight into Egypt, the Holy family stopped to rest beside a stream. Mary washed the baby’s clothes. She spread the laundry to dry on a lavender bush, which sent forth a wonderful fragrance to scent the fabric. Mary blessed the plant and allowed it to retain its fragrance all year. Lavender was believed to have sprung up wherever the swaddling clothes of the Holy Child were laid down. Lavender is good for insomnia.

Pennyroyal (Mentha pulegium) has a minty scent and was one of the herbs Joseph gathered for the baby's bed. When Jesus was laid upon it, the herb, normally flowerless, burst into blooms of bright purple - fit for a king. Pennyroyal is a wonderful herb to grow in a garden. It is good for fragrant lawns as it releases its scent when stepped upon. Plant it in the cracks of crazy paving. The flowers attract bees.

Rosemary (rosmarinus officinalis) was supposed to have ensured a safe escape from Herod's soldiers for the Holy Family by muffling the sounds of their passing with its soft leaves. During the journey, Mary lay her cloak out to dry upon rosemary bushes in bloom. The white rosemary flower was turned to blue - the colour of the cloak. Out of respect, a rosemary bush never grows higher than six feet - so as not to be taller than Jesus. Rosemary symbolizes remembrance. Catching the scent of rosemary on Christmas Eve will bring happiness and good fortune. You can use it in festive bows or to trim gifts.

Sweet woodruff (galium odoratum) represents humility because it grows close to the ground. It is another herb said to have been used to make Jesus’ bed. It repels insects and smells like new mown hay. You can add dried woodruff leaves and flowers to sachets or potpourris

Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) was also one of the herbs gathered by Joseph to mix with the manger grasses. It symbolizes bravery. Thyme is a popular culinary herb.

Let these Christmas herbs scent and decorate your home, flavour your food, raise your spirit and bring you comfort in the form of a soothing tea or a unique gift.

By Sylvia Richards 16th December 2009

This site is being updated often with new information to share all the time.
Stay as long as you want, and come back often!

NOTE: The writer is not a medical professional. The information in this article and on the Spiritual Haven web site is NOT medical advice. Consult a trained doctor or herbalist before attempting any treatment. We are not responsible for any misuse of information posted on this site.



© 2009 Sylvia Richards www.yourspiritualhaven.com All rights reserved