Tea Time

Self Heal
Self Heal

Today’s picture is of Self Heal, it grows pretty much everywhere – especially in lawns. It doesn’t grow very tall, so nice short grass is its preferred environment. It gets its name from when it was used to heal wounds – in those bygone, olden days when wounds were healed with this sort of thing.
Most of the people Google knows note that it is edible. When you’re dealing with things herbal – it’s edible – is a euphemism for it won’t kill you immediately. No one really, ever eats it. I mean, what would you eat? You’d need a good acre of it just to make a salad topping. But, apparently, people did chop it up and make a drink from it.
This started me wondering. It wasn’t safe to drink the water unless it was boiled. Boiled water tastes yeugh. So anything that introduced even a slight flavour had to be useful. Therefore hot drinks were likely to be seasonal. This is where beer and wine came into their own – barley could be kept all year, so beer could be made all year round. Wine had the double advantage of not only did it keep, but it actually improved in the keeping.
So the terrible dilemma Marco Polo faced was – whether to have another Bud, a glass of Chardonnay, perhaps – or discover China?

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