The Mother Garden
Rosemary was strewn on the floor of the home to counteract bad odors and as mouth rinses for bad breath.
Thyme was used as medicine for bad dreams, coughs, etc., and as an antibiotic by the Native Americans.
Lavender was steeped in distilled water for perfuming.
Horsetail was used by Native Americans to scour bowls. It was also used as a tonic to enrich the blood and to produce yellow dye.
The Dye Garden
Dyes were extracted from herbs for use in coloring fabrics and for body paint.
Bloodroot produced a deep red dye that the Native Americans used as face paint and pioneers as dye for fabrics.
Echinacea produced a purple dye, but also was once used for snakebites. (No word on survivors!)
Tansy supplied several dyes. Dye made from young foliage was gray-green; old foliage was dark green, and the flowers yellow.
Parsley made a black dye and also was a natural breath freshener.
The Doctor’s Garden
Much of the medicine in use at that time was derived from herbs as extracts, infusions, poultices, teas and other preparations, incorporating many of the herbal remedies used by the earliest Americans, the Native Americans.
Southernwood or wormwood leaves when dried kept moths out of stored clothing.
Its seeds were given to children to kill intestinal worms.
Mint – The smell of mint was said to quicken the brain, and when added to water, cooled the tongue.
Mullein was used for congestion. The dried flower heads were dipped in wax and used
Yarrow was a valued herb for the pioneers to stop a wound from bleeding.
The Children’s Garden
The Children’s Garden was developed to attract butterflies, hummingbirds, native bees, and especially children. Many flowering plants, including herbs and host plants have been included. Enjoy the beautiful colors, textures and scents.
Fennel is a preferred host plant for the swallowtail butterfly.
Milkweed is a caterpillar host plant for monarch butterflies.
Sage is popular with hummingbirds and butterflies.
Red Zinger Hibiscus makes a great ruby red colored tea and also attracts butterflies.
Lamb’s Ear Touch the soft fuzzy leaves and see why they were once used as bandages.
The Scent Garden
TOUCH, SMELL, and EXPERIENCE this garden. Gently brush the leaves to release essential oils and feel the textures. Herbs include : Roses, Rosemary, Mint, Thyme, Lavender, Oregano, and Copper Canyon. Aromatic herbs were used as strewing herbs in homes to tone down odors due to lack of sanitation and for personal hygiene.
Information is presented here to add to the picture of life in earlier times and is intended for educational purposes only. The Old Alabama Town Herb Society does not recommend nor advise the use of herbs for medicinal or health use. Please consult a health care provider before using herbs for medicinal purposes.