In the ancient Greek story “The Iliad”, or the story of Homer’s hero “Achilles” epic-adventure around the ancient world around 800 B.C., Homer mentions Achilles gave his army the plant “Yarrow” (the scientific name ‘Achilles millefolium”) to stop the blood from bleeding battlefield wounds.
Modern medical research has taken the ancient herbal medicine lore into twenty-first-century science! For example, THE ENCYCLOPEDIA OF MEDICINAL PLANTS by Andrew Chevallier (Dorling Kindersley Limited, London, England 1996, page 54) states “Yarrow” or the classical “herba militaris” does indeed “arrest” the flow of blood internally and externally in humans, and the chemical agent responsible has been labeled by modern science “achilleine”!
Interestingly, modern science has also found anti-inflammatory chemical agents in Yarrow and chemical agents -when consumed as a tea- that calm nervous jitters and muscular spasms from traumatic injury or wounds – like one would receive by swinging swords at one another on a routine basis.
Yarrow actually has over a dozen useful chemical agents that are also helpful with anything medical from allergies to varicose veins.
Fortunately, Yarrow grows like a weed now across most of the Northern hemisphere now. It kinda looks like a three-foot-tall carrot with yellow and white flowers on top in a fan- shape.
Another Macho Garden Must be Comfrey or “Knit-bone” (Symphytum officinale).
The first time I heard of “knit bone” was from an old Rocky Mountain man. He told me a story about a trapper in the early 1800s that was terribly mauled by a grizzly bear and his partners left him for dead and took his new rifle. As the story goes, this trapper ate and hid out in a “knitbone patch” alongside a creek to stay out of sight of hostile Indians and hungry predatory animals that would have taken advantage of his weakened condition. Long story short, He survived and got his new Sharps rifle back!
Modern medicine calls the “knitbone chemical agent” ALLANTOIN. This chemical agent is strongest in the roots and fortunately, this plant spreads by rootlets, like mint; and it is considered extremely invasive! Plant this plant in a container in the Macho Garden!
The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Plants, mentioned above, states “Comfrey’s ability to promote the healing of bruises, sprains, fractures, and broken bones has been known for thousands of years…A comfrey compress applied immediately to a sprained ankle can significantly reduce the severity of the injury”.( page 136).
Warning: Never eat or ingest Comfrey root or it may cause liver damage!
Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) would be another likely candidate for a Macho Garden; for instant relief of “Athlete’s foot” and “Jock Itch” or other fungus related male maladies.
According to the book, THE GREEN PHARMACY by James A. Duke, Ph.D. (Rodale Press, Emmaus, Pennsylvania, 1997, page 69), Licorice has no less than “25 reportedly fungicidal compounds” to treat whatever itch You might encounter!
Incidentally, a fresh sprig of Licorice leaf in your favorite shampoo will help it become a “baldness-prevention shampoo” according to Doctor Duke (page 79).
Further, Duke (page 189) recommends Licorice and Anise (Pimpinella anisum) for an Erection Problem-Prevention Tea!
Further, on page 108, Duke recommends Licorice tea to prevent “Tennis elbow”, “Bursitis” and “Tendinitis” in overworked male joints. Licorice contains natural hydrocortisone; and I quote: “Plus, the herb has none of the usual side effects, such as weight gain, indigestion, insomnia and lowered resistance to infections, that are associated with cortisone and hydrocortisone.”
Speaking of insomnia, guys occasionally get stressed out or overworked or play too hard or get caught up in a “love-life issue” and simply find it hard to mentally shut-down and rest and fall quietly to sleep for our beauty rest. The fore-mentioned ENCYCLOPEDIA OF MEDICINAL PLANTS states (page 146), “Valerian reduces mental over-activity and nervous excitability, helping people who find it hard to ‘switch off’. It is beneficial for almost any stress-related condition, and, in general, has a calming, rather than directly sedative, effect on the mind.”
Thus, Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) would be another good plant to have readily available in your backyard or patio planter for a Macho Garden.
The fast-growing vine we all know as Hops (Humulus lupulus) is also good for “sleeplessness, but it is more of a sedative in tea form or beer. The ENCYCLOPEDIA suggests “A sachet placed inside a bed pillow releases an aroma that calms the minds. Hops help to reduce irritability and restlessness and promote a good night’s sleep” (page 102).
However, “Hangovers” are a part of a man’s existence and as such, we should find plant- prevention herbs for it in our Macho Garden!
Doctor Duke recommends Wintergreen (Gaultheria procumbens) and Willow ( any Salix species) leaf teas (page 231). Both contain a natural relative to aspirin to stop the head-ache and flush the body of toxins with none of the bad side-effects of concentrated, commercial aspirin.
The main difference between these two plants is their size. A willow tree won’t fit on an apartment patio very well; but the two-foot-tall and wide, evergreen, Wintergreen plants could fit on a patio’s planter? Personally, the author prefers the taste of a Wintergreen leaf tea to a willow leaf tea.
However, Doctor Duke recommends You avoid these plants too if you are allergic to aspirin!
Lastly, Doctor Duke recommends Wolfberry (Lycium Chinese), a hardy, a twelve-foot shrub with red medicinal berries (like Wintergreen plants), for male anti-aging teas or snacks.
Let us quote from page 192, “Can the wolfberry make a young wolf out of an old wolf? In one study, men over the age of 59 ate about two ounces…of wolfberries a day for ten days and came away with significantly raised testosterone levels. Raising testosterone boosts male sexuality only in cases of a deficiency of this male hormone, but some elderly men do become deficient.”
In conclusion, an apartment size patio-Macho Garden could contain the plants of yarrow, comfrey, licorice, anise, valerian, wintergreen, and a big planter box that could hold the root of the vine known as Hops. The vine could weave itself through the uprights and it would provide plenty of Hops’ cones or leaves for a calming night’s rest in the pillow or in a night-cap tea.