Posted in Flower Herb Plant Of The Month, tagged Christianity, crucifixion, Crucifixion of Jesus, easter, Folklore, Herbal, Herbs, Holy Lance, Jesus, Jesus Christ, passion flower, Religion & Spirituality on April 15, 2011 |
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It’s a little late in the month, but after some consideration I decided to devote this month to the Passion Flower. Easter is coming and though I did not know this, many associate the scarlet passion flower with Jesus Christ..quite fitting because at easter we not only remember his death but celebrate his resurection.
Each flower has 5 white petals and 5 sepals that vary in color from magenta to blue. According to folklore, passionflower got its name because its corona resembles the crown of thorns worn by Jesus during the crucifixion.
In the 15th and 16th centuries, Spanish Christian missionaries adopted the unique physical structures of this plant, particularly the numbers of its various flower parts, as symbols of the last days of Jesus and especially his crucifixion:
The pointed tips of the leaves were taken to represent the Holy Lance
The tendrils represent the whips used in the flaggellation of Christ
The ten petals and sepal represent the ten faithful apostles (excluding St. Peter the denier and Judas Iscariot the betrayer.)
The flower’s radial filaments, which can number more than a hundred and vary from flower to flower, represent the crown of thorns.
The chalice shaped ovary with its receptacle represents a hammer or the Holy Grail
The 3 stigmas represent the 3 nails and the 5 anthers below them the 5 wounds(four by the nails and one by the lance).
Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata) was used traditionally in the Americas and later in Europe as a “calming” herb for anxiety, insomnia, seizures, and hysteria. It is still used today to treat anxiety and insomnia. Although scientists aren’t sure, it is believed that passionflower works by increasing levels of a chemical called gamma-aminobutyric acid (GABA) in the brain. GABA lowers the activity of some brain cells, making you more relaxed.
The herbal information on this web site is intended for educational purposes only. It is not the intention of the editor to advise on health care. Please see a medical professional about any health concerns you have.
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Since it’s March and nearly Saint Patricks Day…this month is dedicated to none other than the four leaf clover.
Real, genuine four-leaf clovers come from the White Clover plant, trifolium repens, considered to be the Original Shamrock. You may find others selling leaves as four-leaf clovers that are not genuine. These are actually Pepperwort or Water Clover (Marsilea Quadrifolia and Marsilea Polycarpa) or Oxalis (Oxalis deppei or Oxalis tetraphylla) plants that produce all four leaves. Another way of identifying a real four-leaf clover is that the fourth leaf is usually smaller than the other three leaves.
In Irish tradition the Shamrock or 3-leaf Clover represents the Holy Trinity: one leaf for the Father, one for the Son and one for the Holy Spirit. When a Shamrock is found with the fourth leaf, it represents God’s Grace.
legend, Eve carried a four leaf clover from the Garden of Eden.
“The clovers also occupied a position in the cultural life of early peoples. White clover (T. repens L.) in particular was held in high esteem by the early Celts of Wales as a charm against evil spirits.” Clover Science and Technology”. N.L. Taylor, 1985.
Druids held the 4 leaf clover in high esteem and considered them a sign of luck. In 1620, Sir John Melton wrote: “If a man walking in the fields find any four-leaved grass, he shall in a small while after find some good thing.
The mystique of the four leaf clover continues today, since finding a real four leaf clover is still a rare occurrence and omen of good luck.
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Since it’s February…I dedicate this month to Roses! Let’s start off with a little history
History:The Rose is thought to have
originated in Persia. According to the ancient Greeks, the red rose, a symbol of passion, first bloomed when Aphrodite stuck her foot with a thorn and bled while assisting Adonis. One legend has it that the rose was born from a drop of sweat that fell from the brow of Mohammed. It gave its name to the town of Damascus several thousand years ago and to the silk material made there in the color of the flower. Syria means “land of the rose”. From the Near East, its culture spread to Greece and Italy and the Mediterranean islands. The flowers are depicted on the walls of the Palace of Knossos in Crete dating from 2000 BC.
Rosa comes from the Greek word for red, rodon.It’s been awhile since I’ve been able to get on here…so I didn’t add as much information as I would like about roses…maybe next month will leave me more time
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