I’ve always loved herbs, even as a little child. In their kitchen, my parents have a cross-stitched hanging with the words, “Behold, I have given you every herb bearing seed,” surrounded by blocked images and the names of herbs. If my dad ever wanted to get me to squeal with delight, all he’d have to do is read the names of all the herbs in order, really, really fast. It got me giggling and clapping every single time!
As a middle school student, I fell in love with Jean M. Auel’s Clan of the Cave Bear series — but not because of the plot. It was the herbs! Isa, Ayla’s adoptive mother, knew everything about plants and herbal remedies. I used to page breathlessly through all the descriptions of plants, preparations, cooking and healing salves. Even when the series took a bit smuttier turn, the main thing that held my interest was Ayla’s seemingly magical ability to heal with herbs. I also liked the animal communication and shamanic journeys, but that’s another post. Continue reading