lunes, 8 de septiembre de 2008

Balsam Fir

The Balsam Fir is well known as the Christmas Tree. In northern Europe this tree has been associated with Christmas since the Middle Ages, when it was considered a Christian symbol of everlasting life. St. Boniface an eighth-century missionary in Germany wrote "This little tree, a young child of the forest, shall be your holy tree tonight. It is the wood of peace, for your houses are built of the fir. It is the sign of the endless life, for its leaves are ever green. See how it points upward to heaven. Let this be called the tree of the Christ-child. Gather around it, not in the wild-wood, but in your own homes." ref. from Leaves in myth, magic & medicine by Alice Thoms Vitale. The native Americans used fresh balsam needles as a healing balm for colds and as a hot bath now called Turkish bath. The herbal shampoo that I make has just enough balsam in it to be of aromic therapy and helps heal the scalp.
One of the old superstitions surrounding the balsam fir is "A green branch laid across a bed prevents nightmares."
During the Christmas season I will have listed in my Nichols Soap N Stuff Store a branch of decorated Balsam Fir that has a tag with the ancient saying that was used to say I miss you at Christmas time. A great little gift for someone you can't be with during the holiday season!

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