We thought we’d show you a sneak peek from our Outlander issue (don’t forget to subscribe or get the single issue HERE if you haven’t yet). Wellness expert and best-selling author Rona Berg, who interviewed Diana Gabaldon for the issue, also writes about the top 20 medicinal plants and remedies from 18th century Scotland:
Here’s an excerpt from the piece, starring the movie star-esque and ultra-glamorous lavender, which is obviously one of the loveliest herbs. We also have a lavender wand tutorial in the issue, plus lavender fudge from Outlander Kitchen!
Before Claire came along, says Diana Gabaldon, author of the Outlander series (see her interview on page 20), “I didn’t have any particular interest in plant medicine. But when I began thinking about Claire, I got interested in herbs—after all, some of these plants have been used medicinally for thousands of years.” Gabaldon wanted to make sure the herbs and plants she featured in the books were “historically accurate, native to 18th century Scotland, and used for the purposes described.”
Although she now has a vast collection of books on botanicals, Gabaldon’s primary resource for her research on herbs and plant medicine is A Modern Herbal by Mrs. M. Grieve, first published in 1931. An impressive tome, it contains the medicinal, culinary, and cosmetic properties—along with information on cultivation and folklore—of more than 800 plants.
LAVENDER (Lavendula angustifolia) Lavender is known for its relaxing and stress-relieving properties, which is why Claire gives Alex Randall a mixture of mint and lavender infused into poppy syrup to help him sleep in Dragonfly in Amber.
Lavender is an antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory, and many cooks, myself included, keep a vial of lavender essential oil by the stove because it helps heal burns. The smell of lavender has aromatherapeutic properties along with a calming effect on the central nervous system. It can kill the bacteria that causes acne, soothe tired muscles, and help you sleep.
In Elizabethan England—when housekeeping and hygiene left much to be desired—lavender buds were strewn on the floor to release their scent and perfume the air when walked upon.
We’ll leave you with this gorgeous image of Claire contemplating how on earth she’s going to get out of this labyrinth while looking so glam, which we think must be a metaphor for all our lives:
(Plus we can’t wait for you to read Jill Gleeson‘s interview with costume designer Terry Dresbach, who dreamt up this gorgeousness!)
But until then, and until next time, stay enchanted!