A Christmas herbal song to bring cheer

On the first day of Christmas, my herbalist gave to me a leaf of sage (Salvia officinalis).

On the first day of Christmas, my herbalist gave to me a leaf of sage (Salvia officinalis).

To mix in the turkey stuffing and counter any lurking poultry germs.

On the second day of Christmas, my herbalist gave to me two sprigs of thyme (Thymus vulgaris).

To kill any germs the sage may have left behind.

On the third day of Christmas, my herbalist gave to me three green bunches of parsley (Petroselinum crispum)

To calm my full belly after feasting and freshen my breath for the cheek-to-cheek kissing.

On the fourth day of Christmas, my herbalist gave to me four sprigs of mistle toe (Viscum album).

To keep my blood pressure even while I drive around and around the Bower Place shopping mall trying to escape the parking lot.

On the fifth day of Christmas, my herbalist gave to me five spruce bows (Picea spp.)

To hang on the front door where their anti-septic scent disperses into the long, dark night, chasing the cold virus from the house.

On the sixth day of Christmas, my herbalist gave to me six half teaspoons of cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum).

To balance my blood sugars while I nibble on shortbread, raspberry squares and chocolate with nuts, white chocolate, dark chocolate, chocolate with cherry filling, orange chocolate, etc.

On the seventh day of Christmas, my herbalist gave to me seven bundles of rosemary (Rosemarius officinalis).

To help me remember the names of all the people I only see only once a year at my husband’s office Christmas party

On the eighth day of Christmas, my herbalist gave to me eight rhizomes of ginger (Zingiber officinale).

To slice into my tea on the morning after, settling my sea sick stomach and easing the unrelenting throb in my head.

On the ninth day of Christmas, my herbalist gave to me nine clove buds (Eugenia caryophyllus)

To chew on when the runny nose nephews descended with coughs and toys that sang, drummed, wailed and screeched.

On the 10th day of Christmas, my herbalist gave to me ten dashes of nutmeg (Myristica fragrans)

To calm my nerves after the nephews left.

On the 11th day of Christmas, my herbalist gave to me 11 incense sticks of frankesence (Boswellia thurifera)

To scent the room on the holy nigh while I wrapped gifts in sparkling paper with ribbons and bows.

On the 12th day of Christmas, my herbalist gave to me 12 drops of myrrh tincture (Commipora molmol)

To take with a grimace and honey, when I woke with a scratchy throat and a croaking voice.

And when the present were all unwrapped and the decorations were rewrapped, the turkey turned into soup and the tree back in its box, I thanked my herbalist, for I had not even a sniffle the whole holiday season.

Herbs for Life is written by Abrah Arneson, a local clinical herbalist. It is intended for information purposes only. Readers with a specific medical problem should consult a doctor. For more information, visit www.abraherbalist.ca. Arneson can be reached at abrah@shaw.ca