‘Alecost is frequently known and be an inhabitant of almost every garden, that it is needless to write a description there of.’ He continues to speak of its uses: ‘it cleanses that which is foul, and hinders putrefaction and corruption…. helps their evil effects……it is an especial friend to evil, weak and cold livers’Alecost is little used medicinally today.The leaves have a minty, balsam-like flavour reminiscent of spearmint chewing gum. The aromatic leaves were once pressed between the pages of bibles, giving it another name ‘bible leaf’. It is possible the leaf was placed within the pages to keep the book smelling sweet rather than mildewy. Perhaps fresh leaves were placed in the good book for something to chew, stopping the worshipper from falling asleep during a long sermon!Alecost contains a natural insect repellent and was employed by Native Americans to deter various potato pests. It was also used regularly till the end of the Victorian era in wardrobes and clothes stores to deter clothes moths.
Advantages of this herbThis attractive plant provides a lovely ‘cottage garden’ addition to the herb garden.
The dried leaves of alecost retain their minty-balsam perfume for a long time and make a sweet addition to pot pourris. A sachet containing lavender and Alecost provides a pleasant perfume for the wardrobe, used to deter clothes moths.A small amount of the leaf can be added to soups and salads. Add to melted butter and new potatoes.
Alecost is recommended in modern herbals to relieve a stuffed up nose. Place a handful of the leaves in a bowl of boiling water, cover the head with a towel and inhale for five to ten minutes.
Recipes for ointments to relieve mild skin irritations can be found in herbal books.
Extract from – www.gardenorganic.co.uk]
Alecost available online at :-