Range: Britain, Europe, North Africa, and western Asia. Now also in N. Amercia.
Habitat: Waste land, rocks and screes. Plants are longer lived, more hardy and more aromatic when they are grown in a poor dry soil.
Six years ago, when David Stewart’s 85-year-old mother-in-law was diagnosed with cancer and given six months to live, the family chose an interesting path. They took her off her medicine, switched to natural supplements and herbal teas, and anointed her regularly with oil. She lived four more years.
Intrigued by the biblical principle of James 5:14-15 (“Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well.”), Stewart and his wife discovered that the scriptural oils were still available today � and the healing was every bit as powerful. Frankincense, myrrh, rose of Sharon, spikenard and other essential oils can offer more than fragrant aromas, Stewart and others contend.
The aromatic bark can lower blood sugar, triglycerides and cholesterol levels, as well as improve insulin functioning, particularly in Type 2 diabetics, researchers have found. Richard Anderson, lead scientist at the Human Nutrition Research Center in Beltsville, Md. (USA), calls its medicinal properties the most significant nutritional discovery in 25 years.