Ancient Herbs in the J. Paul Getty Museum Gardens by Jeanne D'Andrea

By Jeanne D'Andrea

The Getty Museum development re-creates an old Roman villa at the beaches of the Pacific Ocean, the place visitors can believe that they're traveling the Villa dei Papiri prior to it used to be buried by means of the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in advert seventy nine. The weather of Southern California has made it attainable to plant the gardens with dozens of herbs, plant life, and fruit timber recognized to the Greeks and Romans. In classical occasions they have been sensible in addition to appealing, delivering colour, fragrance, domestic drugs, and flavorings for foods and drinks.

Martha Breen Bredemeyer, a San Francisco Bay sector artist, was once encouraged to color dozen of the garden’s herbs. Her watercolor gouaches mix brilliant colour with the delicate delicacy of those short-lived crops whereas her pen-and-ink drawings proportion their wiry grace. Jeanne D’Andrea discusses twenty-one of the herbs intimately after offering their position in fable, medication, and residential within the creation.

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One variety of chamomile accounts in part for the delightful aroma that fills the air around the Acropolis today. Pliny notes that anthémis was highly praised by the physician Asclepiades. He concurs with Dioscorides on names and types of chamomile and on harvesting it in the spring. It was gathered on thin soils or near foot paths and put aside for making chaplets or garlands. During the same season physicians also pounded the herb's leaves, blossoms, and roots into lozenges. He recommends the pounded herb in one-drachma doses for every kind of snake bite and agrees with Dioscorides on its efficacy for kidney and bladder diseases.

The lowest leaves are stalked and pinnate, leaflets round or oval, slightly lobed. Pale mauve, almost white flowers grow in short-stalked umbels of five to ten rays. Coriander seeds and leaves are intensely pungent. Warm, dry, light soil Seeds contain about one percent of volatile oil, the active ingredient. They yield about five percent of ash and contain also malic acid, tannin, and some fatty matter. Stimulant, aromatic, carminative. 42 Coriandrum sativum Linnaeus. Umbelliferae. 43 DILL (anethon) Anetum jL/ill is native to the Mediterranean and Black Sea regions and it still grows wild in many parts of this area, including the Italian coast.

Archestratus talks of a banquet in Book in: And always at the banquet crown your head With flowing wreaths of varied scent and hue, Culling the treasures of the happy earth; and steep your hair in rich and pungent odors, And all day long pour holy frankincense and Myrrh, the fragrant fruit of Syria, on the slow slumb'ring ashes of the fire: Then when you drink let the slaves these luxuries bring— Tripe, and the boiled paunch of well-fed swine, Well soak'd in cummin juice and vinegar, And sharp, strong smelling asafoetida; Taste, too, the tender well-roast birds, and game, Whate'er may be in season.

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