Halloween is just a few days away and it seems as if
everything is trying to get into the groove this year – even the Herb Garden.
While weeding the other day, I felt as if I was being
watched. I shrugged, looked around, and spied an eyeball plant (Acmella oleracea) staring at me with its
bulbous fishy eyes. This plant has also been called toothache plant, buzz
buttons, Szechuan buttons, and Para cress.
An ancient plant, it has been used to deaden tooth pain. Reportedly,
young leaves can be cut up and added sparingly to salads – both the leaves and
the flowers can cause a “buzzing” sensation in one’s mouth. Eating an entire
flower purportedly causes one’s mouth to go so numb that the unfortunate soul
who has munched on one will drool uncontrollably.
Still weeding, I pulled back a clump of wood sorrel (or sour
grass) and uncovered a few clumps of pretty Rumex
sanguineus. This plant is more commonly known as bloody dock. A member of
the buckwheat family, the young leaves are edible if one can get past the name
which describes its bloody red leaf veins.
Right behind the bloody dock there are a few Bhut jolokia,
or, more commonly, ghost peppers. I don’t know for sure, but my guess is that
they are called ghost peppers because they are so hot they will definitely make
you give up your ghost if you eat them!
Wormwood (of the redstem variety) catches my eye next. Fluffy
leaved Artemisia scoparia has a scary
name, but wonderful medicinal uses (it has been used to treat hepatitis and
jaundice). Redstem wormwood also has a promising future in the treatment of
Hmmm. I am seeing a trend here: just because something
sounds scary, that does not mean it really is!
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Central Daylight Time Hours:
9 a.m.-6 p.m.
Central Standard Time (Winter) Hours:
9 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
We are located at:
750 Cherry Road
Memphis, TN 38117
(Between Park & Southern)