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Heather is a low growing evergreen shrub that blossoms late July to November. It has multiple spikes of pink, white or purple bell-shaped flowers. Heather is native to Europe and western Asia and has been naturalized and cultivated in garden’s in North America, Australia and New Zealand. The shrub thrives throughout the British Isles in the region’s dry, acidic soils and moorland environments. The Heather species is hermaphrodite (has both male and female organs) and is pollinated by bees, flies and Lepidoptera (Moths & Butterflies). When the seeds are ripe birds feed on them. Heather is a member of the Ericaceae family, that includes other evergreen shrubs such as Cranberry, Bilberry, Wintergreen and Uva Ursi.
Heather is considered a symbol of Scotland and has been revered and used in Scottish culture for an estimated 3,000 years. Heathers woody stems and roots have been used for firewood, thatching for buildings, bedding, baskets and broom making.
The Latin name, Calluna, is said to come from the Greek “kallyno”, meaning to cleanse, beautify, or to sweep. Heather honey with it’s unique flavour and thick gelatinous consistency was used to make beer and mead. In The medieval period, ancient Pictish people of Scotland were famous for their fierceness in battle and their Heather ale. Heather, also called Ling, was used to dye wool yellow, to tan leather and the roots stems were used to make rings and pendants. White heather flowers were said to be good luck in Scotland, the Druids considered it a sacred plant and some legends say the white Heather grow over the burial grounds of fairies.
As an ancient folk remedy in northern European countries, Heather tea has been used medicinally for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. The Tea was used to alleviate certain inflammatory conditions, coughs and colds, for symptoms associated with the bladder and kidneys and for sleep issues. Heather was traditionally used in balms, salves and in baths and for its skin healing properties.
The taste and energetics of Heather Tea is a little sweet, with a light floral-herbal and aromatic flavour with cooling and astringent energetics. Heather has an affinity towards the digestive system, nervous system, kidneys, bladder, liver, skin, lungs, musculoskeletal system and prostate. For a Tea to calm and soothe the bladder combine Heather with Corn Silk, Marshmallow Root and Cleavers. For a tea to support joints, muscles and tendons combine Heather with Meadowsweet, Celery Seed, Birch Leaf or Rosemary.
How to use:
1 teaspoon of Heather to one cup of boiling water. Simmer for 15 minutes, strain and drink up to three cups a day. Or make a tea and use topically on skin.
Cautions & contraindications:
This information is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease or illness. Please consult your healthcare provider prior to the use of this product if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medications or have a medical condition. Individual results may vary.
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