Sniffing Spices


When my children were very young, we would play a game. They would smell spices, herbs, and other flavorings. The idea was not necessarily to know their names, but rather to become familiar with them directly, meeting them, letting them talk to the children.

Remarkably, many years later, I learned that this is how indigenous people would learn about healing plants – by meeting them and learning from them, rather than human experts.

The children really had definite opinions about each flavoring.

Almond and then vanilla extract were at the top of the list. Pumpkin pie spice and nutmeg were next.

Then came oregano, basil, and bay leaf. To this day, my daughter loves almond, and my son loves basil dearly. In the older days, there were scratch and sniff books which they loved – like the smell of pizza.

I, too, love to smell the spices, and candles.

We have a lemon grass plant and lots of peppermint and spearmint in the garden.

And I love the smell of carnations, jasmine, gardenia, and of course, pine straw.

Perhaps you would like to open a spice jar or two, and smell their aroma, to meet these friends, once again.

Date Recorded: 
Tuesday, January 23, 2018
Date Posted: 
Tuesday, January 23, 2018
Type of GEM: 
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