Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Even More

There were also some herbs growing in various places. This was another opportunity to put into action our 'good life' skills. You remember the Good Life TV series from the 1970s? Ohhh......... well if you don't, you can see a selection from the video bar to the right. Incidentally, apart from the living off the land aspect of the series, the relationship between the snobby Margot and Gerry her husband, and the down to earth, but still middle class Tom and Barbara, paints such a contrasting picture of middle class English life, whereas here in Bulgaria there is no middle class, even though one is much needed to generate the economy. Anyway more about that next time.
There is a patch of Lavender plants running along the side of the house, in about the second sunniest place of the garden. At the height of the summer heat, when they were most aromatic and when we were most intoxicated by their scent, we gathered and then dried the stalks up on the third floor on the stair rail. Later they would be put into bags to perfume the cupboards and other enclosed spaces.

There are also many other benefits from lavender which can alleviate these conditions :-

Relieving anxiety and tension especially through massage
Aiding sleep
Natural chemical free alternative to perfume
Pain Relief
Muscular aches and pains
Headaches and Migraines
Menstrual Cramps
Acne/Dry skin/Sunburned Lips
Insect Bites

Divisil (Lovage) and Mursalski Chai (Mountain tea)

Drying the Lovage

By the other wall there was a clump of Lovage. There is a Bulgarian dish called Bop. I like that name. Bop is a bean casserole, and cooked with lovage is delicious. 

But the star of our garden herbs has to be a visitor from the Rhodope and Pirin Mountain. Although it was only a small plant, we made use of it by drying and making it into tea. I don't know how the herb arrived. Its harvesting is actually protected by law here. But it is endemic in Bulgaria and the Balkans and drunk all over Europe. Its natural habitat is above 1000 metres. Here we live at about 750 metres. It has various names such as Shepherd's tea, Olympus tea (in Greece) and Ironwort. In Germany it is known as Bergtea. 
Once again it has many curative properties:-

Reputedly protects against prostate cancer
Bronchitis and Viral Infections
Promotes elasticity of the skin
Anti aging 
Protects against the formation of free radicals
Anti oxidant.
It is known as the Bulgarian Natural Viagra.



  1. You've got a great blog. As a Buglarian I am happy that you find your life here joyful. It is admirable that you enjoy the nature that our country offers. In these days fewer and fewer people prefer to go out when they can stay at home infront of the computer.

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