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A Primer on Healing Herbs Pt. 3

Another installment of an introductory course on healing herbs. This session will include information on the use of comfrey and rosemary.

(OOC: A teaching and RP event! Medeia will have Teaching 5 trains available for relevant stats, skills, and abilities. Others are welcome to come and share their trains if desired. Teaching or training is not required to attend the event. Directions from City Center: go east as far as you can, then S > SWS > GF > CB > AG.)


May 31, 2021, 7 p.m.

Hosted By



Poppy Raimon Saoirse



Arx - Upper Boroughs - Seawatch Sanctuary - Apothecary Garden

Largesse Level


Comments and Log

The apothecary garden of the Seawatch Sanctuary is in full summer bloom. The scent of honeysuckle and rose and mint and the salt on the air off the Bay of Thrax just beyond the walls is refreshing and inviting, along with the cozy seating arrangement at the center of the garden with a cart of drinks and fruit pastries for guests. Medeia is standing near the seating talking with a few guests.

Poppy has a rare day off and because of it, she looks less like a hot mess. Her hair is styled and her gown soft and thin. She smiles broadly at Medeia when she gets to the gardens. "I didn't know this place existed. It's beautiful!"

Raimon stands at the periphery, shoulders back, hands clasped behind him in what we would know as a 'parade rest' posture. Raimon is looking outward, toward the Sea . . . It's not very ofter than he can stand still in one spot and experience -both- the smells of the Sea -and also- the scents of blooming roses. It is as if this moment has conspired to confront him with a microcosm of his own life: the collision of Fidante and Thraxian . . . food for thought! Raimon thinks deeply. Of all that has come before, to bring him to this moment. And of all that is now opening up before him . . .

There's a flash of pride on Medeia's face as she looks to Poppy. "My lady! It has been far too long, how are you?" One hand lifts to beckon the northerner to the seating area. On the place, she says, "It's mine. I haven't opened it to the public, not officially, but I've been working on the building and grounds since winter. There's a classroom, and an office where I can see patients in a more private setting... I'll be sure to let you know once it's all done." As the guests begin to settle, she looks over at Raimon. "Your Highness! So good to see you. I hope you find my talk tonight informative."

Poppy gives a little curtsy to Raimon. "Your highness." After the greeting she moves to where Medeia suggests. "It's amazing. You should be so proud of it. " Sitting, she looks over the gardens, clearly itching to explore some more.

Raimon turns, slowly, as he's addressed. He scratches the stubble of his chin with the back of the thumb of his gloved right hand. Still thoughful a moment, there's a pensive pause. And then he bows, with courtesy, to the others assembled. "Lady Stahlben" *bow* "Lady Eswynd" *bow* "Aye! Very -much- looking forward to it! Although my knowledge of alchemy is in its early stages, I have been fascinated by what can be wrought of the bounty of Nature's gifts to us . . . "

"Thank you," Medeia says, bowing her head to Poppy. Recognizing the look on the other woman's face, she grins and adds, "You're welcome to roam as you please, once the lesson is done." For Raimon, she gives a nod. "It's amazing, truly. And I must thank all those who came before who figured out much of what we know now. And there is yet more to discover! The world is a wonder." Turning her attention fully to the gathered guests, she gives her welcoming statement. "Hello, welcome to Seawatch Sanctuary, a place of respite, healing, and learning. Please help yourself to a drink, a pastry, and a seat. I'll be talking about the uses of comfrey and rosemary today," A gesture to two small pots beside, "And I encourage any and all questions you have as we go."

Poppy happily grabs a cup of tea and a pastry before curling up on the bench to listen.

Raimon accepts the offer, chooses a chilled tea (an hibiscus herbal, with rose hips and mint) and takes a seat, foregoing partaking of pastries for the moment. (And perhaps for the duration as well.) Raimon settles in to listen, sitting straight, paying rapt attention.

Once the guests have drinks and seats, Medeia picks up one of the pots - it contains a flowering plant that looks similar to honeysuckle, but in pale shades of purple. Where the petals meet the stem, grayish fuzz can be seen, and the leaves have a bit of fuzz as well. "This is one type of comfrey, there are many varieties. It has been used for... Well, for a very long time. This particular plant is still very young. At maturity, they can stand up to three feet in height, and the leaves nearer the roots become larger than my hands." She moves among the crowd to show off the plant.

Poppy curiously tilts her head at Medeia's plant. "Can the large leaves be used?" She nibbles at her pastry while sizing Medeia and the plant up.

Raimon watches, takes notes, and tries to sketch the comfrey plant. Annotations include both what he can see right now, as well as 'can grow up to 3 feet in height' . . . Raimon experimentally takes a *sniff* of the leaves when the sample is passed by him, eyes blinking thereupon as he's writing down something the instant after. He'd heard it'd be good for broken bones. (Soldiers break a lot of bones) but, unfortunately, no further details were conveyed at that time to him. So. At least now he has 'met the plant in person' and he leans back to learn more . . .

Poppy ....

"Yes!" Medeia replies to Poppy's question. "The roots and the leaves - not the flowers. They're just pretty. And feed bees." She smiles at that, settling the plant in a spot where most can see it as she continues to talk. "The leaves can be used right off the plant," One is plucked to demonstrate, placing it fplat on her arm. "They help with healing wounds, insect bites, and rashes. It can be laid on and secured by a bandage, or added to a poultice. Comfrey leaves and roots can be brewed like a tea as well, which can then either be ingested or used as a compress. I add comfrey to salves for pain and wound healing."

Poppy jots down what Medeia is saying before raising her hand to ask more questions. "What does the tea target? Does it have better properties?"

Raimon had already learned about poultices and compresses. And wound healing sounds like something a soldier would rather know than remain ignorant of. Oh yes. That's a fact. Raimon writes down, as best he can, the 'recipe' for healing wounds . . .

Medeia shakes her head gently. "Not necessarily better, so much as allowing for what is readily available. If fresh comfrey isn't something one has access to, but dried comfrey is around, the tea will allow the properties of the leaves to be used." She thinks for a moment, then hands the leaf over that she had plucked from the plant. "If you rub that between your fingers, you can feel a bit of the... Oil... from the plant? That gets released from the dried leaves when brewed as a tea."

Poppy listens to Medeia and eagerly reaches out to touch the plant. "Oh. It is greasy isn't it? In your experiences, what has this worked best on?"

Raimon finally asks the question: "Excuse me, Lady Eswynd, but some of the guys in the squad said that healers said this was good for fractures and broken bones, but not shatters. Since it's third-hand advise by the time it got to me, I would please like to know if this is true or if it's apocryphal?"

The pair of questions has Medeia pausing, teeth pulling at her lower lip. "Mm, well, topical application for minor skin wounds - cat scratches, bug bites - or clearing up rashes is probably my most common use. Especially when outside of the city, if I can find it growing wild. In my experience, it makes the skin recover more quickly. Which," She turns to Raimon at that, giving a small smile, "Is a good lead in to answering your question. It does seem to be true that the plant is helpful in healing bones. But, with a shattered bone? There is little any healer can do, even with a vast array of herbs and tools. I believe that by ingesting the tea, whatever properties from the oils that would normally work on the skin outside of the body are able to work on the inside of the body."

3 House Velenosa Guards, Dreya, an older woman in Velenosan livery, Ailfryd, a tall, thin man with a haugty air arrive, following Saoirse.

Poppy gapes slightly "It helps to heal broken bones? Really?" She hmms a little, "Does it have any pain relief properties?"

Raimons grimace is as taut as a lanyard. It's true, there's not much to be done with a shatter. Amputation, usually. He's seen his share. The screams never do really leave you. It's a bit of a moment before Raimon is ready to take notes again . . .

"If you were to pair it with, say, pennyroyal oil," asks the Lycene princess as she slides out of a shadow (WAS SHE HERE THE WHOLE TIME!!?!) "Would the impact of the pennyroyal be disguised for a reasonable amount of time." Leave it to the Lyceum.

"Ah, Princess Saoirse, I didn't see you there. My apologies for the delayed greeting." Medeia gives the Velenosan a bright smile, her own Lycene origins causing it to turn into a smirk for the woman's question. "Let me answer Lady Poppy first, hm?" Her eyes sparkle for a moment before turning back to the northerner. "Yes and yes. Though, it is not one of the herbs I go to first for pain relief. When used as a poultice or compress, it does seem to have some effect on reducing pain in the affected area. Also, ingesting the tea does have some benefit to a sore throat or stomach." With the release of a slow breath, she addresses the princess' question. "It would, I imagine, depend on your definition of 'reasonable.' My instinct is to say /no.' However, comfrey /would/ be something I would consider in treating someone who had been given a non-lethal but ill-making amount of pennyroyal."

Saoirse wrinkles up her nose a little in what seems to be disappointment. She flits through a little book she's rummaged out of some pocket or other, makes a quick note, and taps the page with her writing utensil. "Hm," she mumbles to herself. "Would it delay a reaction from other plants and herbs that cause inflammation? Is that what comfrey generally soothes?"

Poppy glances between the two lycene women, but keeps quiet while listening.

Raimon is a practical sort. And so Raimon is mostly a 'learn by doing' kind of guy. And therefore Raimon proceeds to a more experimental and experiential understanding of all of this theory. Raimon 'draws' an 'imaginary sword cut' on his forearm. The ink isn't red. But, you get the idea. Raimon fishes a set of bandages out of his military field pack. He waits politely to ask his question. But, plainly, it's going to be a highly practical one from the looks of it. Bandage in hand and at the ready, Raimon waits his turn to speak.

"Hm." Medeia's eyes flick to Raimon curiously as she considers Saoirse's inquiry. "It can, but there are other things I would choose to treat inflammation, first. It also would depend on internal or external use. Sunbride, winterbloom, birch, feverfew, and marsh mallow all come to mind. I spoke on sunbride in the first primer, I'd be happy to catch you up sometime." She looks around at the assembled guests. "Any other questions before we discuss rosemary?"

Saoirse makes another few notes in her book and tosses out a quick, "Thank you so much," as she, nose in pages, exits the discussion.

3 House Velenosa Guards, Dreya, an older woman in Velenosan livery, Ailfryd, a tall, thin man with a haugty air leave, following Saoirse.

Poppy glances back at the exit and asks surprisedly, "Was she asking how to mask poison?"

Raimon asks his question. First he sets the stage: "Lady Eswynd, if you would, please imagine I'm one of those idiots who tries to block a rising Underhaw slash from Vom Tag guard stance. Naturally, my idiocy is rewarded with a slice to the forearms. If I'm also stupid enough to only be wearing cuirbouilli, perhaps due to the summer's heat, well, -this- happens. Raimon displays his 'drawn-on' wound. I now know enough alchemy to concoct a poultice and prepare a compress. Not being a complete moron, I have planted comfrey in my garden, two seasons prior. So. What do I do exactly?" Raimon sets down the bandage and listens!

Raimon gets Fresh and clean bandages from adventurer's backpack with bedroll.

Raimon drops Fresh and clean bandages.

Raimon takes Fresh and clean bandages.

As Saoirse departs, and Poppy asks her question, Medeia just smiles and shakes her head ever-so-slightly. When her eyes meet the Mercy's, there's no clear yes or no given. "She was asking how to reduce inflammation." Clearing her throat, she turns to Raimon, listening to his question and looking at the 'wound.' "How deep is it? Will it need stitching?" Without waiting for his response, she rattles off the steps, "Apply pressure to try to slow or stop the bleeding, clean the wound, stitch if necessary and able, place a comfrey leaf over the wound, wrap in bandages, seek a physician or Mercy at your earliest convenience."

Poppy's eyes glaze when Raimon talks about all those technical stuff. She is grateful for how Medeia answers that but her head cocks again with worry at Saoirse and now Medeia's answer. Her drink in slowly and not so subtly returned to the bench.

Raimon notes this down, nodding, and practices tying the bandage on with one hand, with an 'imaginary comfrey leaf' simulated by paper. It's harder than it looks. But, proabably not a terrible thing to learn how to do. So Raimon does. Thus engaged he has no further comfrey questions!

Quietly, Medeia notes Poppy's reaction and gives her a reassuring smile. "Everyone is perfectly safe here, I assure you. The only work with poisons I do it creating their antidotes and treatments." She looks around and, satisfied there are no further questions, claps her hands together with a brilliant smile. "On to rosemary! You're likely all familiar with this as a culinary herb - delightful with roast potatoes and chicken." She picks up the second small pot containing a bristley, spiky plant and begins to move around so people can take a closer look.

Poppy nods and admits "We use it in fires and for cleansing. It seems to have good properties for aiding with infection."

Raimon knows what rosemary is. Everyone in the south is familiar. Raimon's tummy knows as well. Raimon imagines the potatoes and roast chicken. Hmmmm, so good. Raimon's tummy rumbles. Raimon forces himself back to the here - and - now. Concentrate! Food later. Raimon's stomach writes this down, intending to 'cash in' on this Promise.

"Mhm, I also will add sprigs to our fires, the scent is nice." Medeia says, then sets the rosemary plant back down beside the comfrey. "It has a lot of uses, but some of the more interesting ones include cosmetic uses - such as for hair and skin. Brewing rosemary for a tea to rinse your hair and clean your face is a very good idea." Of course the southerner is mentioning superficial beauty information first. "And, this herb is safe to use internally and externally every day."

Poppy pulls a face at the mention of beauty routines. Regardless, she jots it down before looking back to Medeia, "What else do you use it for?"

Raimon is still wrestling with hunger pangs at the mention of chicken and potatoes, while wrangling bandages one-handedly. So, he concentrates on getting all that sorted. He does write down: "Rosemary face wash" once he's managed the former.

A soft laugh passes Medeia's lips for the reactions fo both Poppy and Raimon. "This is also a good one for reducing inflammation, helping with breathing problems, bug bites, wound healing... It's sort of a wonder herb." She breaks off a couple of the leaves and hands them to guests to look at closer, smell and taste as they please.

Poppy enjoys the scent of the leaves when they are passed to her. "I haven't seen how they help with breathing. Do you steam them or ingest them?" she then hands on the leaves to Raimon.

Raimon asks: "Is the preparation the same? Or are bites a poultice and breathing an aromatic boiling?"

"Yes, steaming or boiling - Adding the leaves to a hot bath, or having the afflicted lean over a pot or kettle of boiled water with rosemary." Medeia gives the explanation easily enough, adding, "A rosemary and lavender bath is an excellent way to help someone who has ill humors of the chest find restful sleep."

Poppy checks as she scribbles down the answer, "Even if they are coughing up green goop?"

Raimon writes this all down. He gets to "green goop?" and looks up, ready for more knowledge!

Medeia nods, confirming, "Yes, even if they are coughing up green goop." She looks at Raimon, asking, "You know, when you become ill and there's phlegm clogging up your nose and throat and chest?"

Raimon nods. "Mostly seems to happen in the north? Southerners who move north find out they've got 'lung-ers' and northerners who move south wind up with stabby stomach pains. Fresh ocean air seems also good for the lung-stuff, . . . worked for me, at least?"

"It can happen to anyone, anywhere." Medeia says with a shrug. "Sometimes it depends on the season, or the weather, or having relocated somewhere as you say." She gives the guests a moment to gather their thoughts, asking if there are any further questions about rosemary.

Raimon nods. He writes this down. Raimon now seems 'empty of questions' . . .

With no further questions being asked, Medeia gives everyone a big, grateful smile. "Thank you all so much for coming to another primer on herbs, and I hope to see you at the next one. If you think of any questions later, you're always welcome to send me a note by messenger."

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