The next time you’re on your way to a gathering of Kinfolk, forget about nipping into the florists to pick up a bouquet of flowers.
Instead, step outside and put a little something together with what you see. Tie it all up with a piece of twine and you’re ready to go.
In this bouquet we have:
- Bougainvillea: native to Brazil, first observed by European eyes in 1768. Dr. Philibert Commerçon, a French naturalist (and colleague of Carl Linnaeus) on board the Boudeuse, the first French ship to circle the globe, named the showy flower after Louis-Antoine de Bougainville, the commander of the Boudeuse. This was the age of exploration, and exotic plants from all parts of the globe were sent to Europe to be recorded and classified. In the case of the bougainvillea, it made its way to France and England, only to be sent out once more to beautify the boulevards of the colonies. Over time, the bougainvillea turned out to be truly emblematic of our global age, flourishing no matter where it put down its roots.
- Berries from the Vanuatu fan palm (Licuala grandis): native to Vanuatu, land of the Bungee jumpers. The tribes of Vanuatu use the leaves of the fan palm for many medicinal purposes, one of which was recorded by G. Bourdy in her 1989 thesis: “…On Maewo…the leaves are known to cure the condition known as GWATUWAWALE. This is a headache that is known to affect men who have been in contact with menstrual blood. The leaves must be crushed as it is very tough and the pulp thus obtained is mixed with a little water, so as to make a juice which is spread on the head of the patient. The treatment is repeated daily until recovery.” WHAT?
- Curry leaves (Murraya koenigii or Bergera koenigii): native to India and Sri Lanka and an essential ingredient in South Indian/ Sri Lankan cuisine. Herein lies the secret to Indian women’s thick, jet-black hair.
- Leaves of the Eugenia Oleina tree (Syzygium campanulatum): The leaves of this tree turn a most autumn-like maroon, although they are native to tropical Southeast Asia. In traditional medicine, this plant is used as a stomachic to tone the stomach and improve its function.