hist-brewing: Re: Costmary vs Gill-over-the-ground

PBLoomis at aol.com PBLoomis at aol.com
Sat Jun 12 06:59:38 PDT 1999

In a message dated 6/10/99 4:06:55 PM EST, melcnewton at pcis.net writes:

<< Huh? According to my copy of Culpeper, Ground Ivy is listed under Alehoof
 (glechoma hederacea) and I've seen in other herbals (from the library, so I
 can't give you titles off the top of my head) that it's related to the mint
 family. Alecost (balsamita major, or b. vulgaris), or Costmary as it is
 listed in Culpeper is related to Tansy, which is considered dangerous in
 medium to large doses. I'd rather put the first in something to drink,
 although considering how bitter Tansy is, I can't say I'm surprised to learn
 that Costmary was used as a bittering agent. >>

	I'm not clear whether the Linnean names are in your version of 
Culpeper [I thought Culpeper antedated Linneus] or whether you've 
included them here to reduce confusion, but I think PlantsToGo and 
you are saying the same thing about the botanical names: 
Alecost or costmary is Tanacetum balsamita (formerly Chrysanthemum 
balsamita, or Balsamita major, or Balsamita vulgaris [damn these 
revisionists and their name changes, they're as bad as authenticity
mavens!]), and is a member of the chrysanthemum family.  Alehoof, 
or gill-over-the-ground, or ground ivy, is Glechoma hederacea (formerly 
Nepeta hederacea), and is a member of the mint family.  Agreed?

	As to the relationship of costmary to the poisonous-in-large-doses 
tansy, the fact that tomatoes are in the nightshade family does not 
stop million of us from eating them.  Water will kill you too, in 
sufficiently large doses.  Besides, if costmary is dangerous for 
me, maybe it'll be lethal for the bacteria in my gruit ale.

	In joy and service,    Scotti

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