Jekyll & Hyde in the Herb Garden

Do you grow Barberry?

Some would call the European Barberry (Berberis vulgaris) a weed shrub, but thanks to Elizabeth Sockol, we know that although it is weedy, Barberry is also a useful shrub.  Along with its close relatives named in her article, we now know that its berries are edible and loaded with vitamin C.  Additionally, it had been used in the past for a long list of ailments.  Nevertheless, this attractive shrub has a dark side due to the fatal fungus that resides within–a fungus that very nearly wiped out wheat and barley growing in the US.

Intrigued?  Make sure you read this most fascinating article and tell us if you don’t agree that Barberry might be called the Jekyll & Hyde of the herb world.

Fortunately, we can turn to one of my favorite herbs, indeed an favorite of many, Calendula (Calendula officinalis).  This lovely, cheerful annual is not only delightful in our flower gardens, but an extremely useful herb, as well, Lindalu Forseth explains.  She talks of Calendula infused in oil, teaching how to grow, harvest, and infuse it for use in a variety of ways.   It’s a known anti-inflammatory, helps heal wounds, and may even be useful as an anti-cancer and anti-viral.

Many soap and b&b makers love Calendula for its skin-loving qualities.  After reading this article, you’ll want to give it a try!

Do you have questions regarding what you’ve read in this issue of the Saponifier?  Did you like particular articles, finding them helpful in your soap, bath product, or candle making?  Let us know.  We love to hear from our readers.

Lastly, be sure to drool over the photos sent in by our readers, and to read the bio of Maria Sarafi from Greece.  You’ll be inspired!

What did you learn from reading this issue?