MOTHER OF HERBS
Queen of Herbs, Five in One Herb, Five Seasons Herb, Allherb, Country Borage, Indian Borage, Five Spice Herb, Chinese Three in One, Broad Leafed Thyme, Spanish Thyme, Spanish Sage, Puerto Rican Oregano
Coleus amboinicus syn. C. aromaticus, C. abroicus, Plectranthus amboinicus F. Lamiaceae
Sprawling, aromatic, perennial herb to 50cm, from subtropical Asia, with round, fleshy, hairy stems and oppositely forming thick, hairy, ovate shaped leaves 4-10cm long, with serrated/scalloped margins. Spikes of two-lipped mauve/pink flowers, rise above the foliage.
Propagation is by cuttings or root division. Plant in welldrained soil, sun or shade. Plants tend to sprawl quite quickly, and need regular trimming so that they do not spread over neighbouring plants. For this reason, I personally prefer to grow the Variegated Leaf form (2 toned green, with very attractive creamy/white markings, that can be around the leaf margins, or blotched on the leaf) which does not spread so rapidly, as the leaves cannot ‘fix’ as much light by photosynthesis as the green leaf form (p 247). The variegated form makes a most decorative potted plant, and looks great cascading from a hanging basket, as a border plant in herb garden or rockery. It is ideal as an indoor foliage plant in an airy, warm position with plenty of light. Do not over-water, in fact this plant can be treated similar to a succulent. The plant is not cold or frost tolerant, and in such climates, it is advisable to grow it in pots and move pots to warmth and shelter in winter.... ... see How can I use HERBS in my daily life? for full text.
Chew a leaf for sore throat and coughs. Make a tea for bronchitis, asthma, coughs, viral conditions, to relieve indigestion and stomach cramps, convulsions, as a liver tonic and for pain relief. A leaf can been rubbed or laid on the forehead, to relieve headaches.
Some years ago, a lass who joined in a herb course, shared her experience with mother of herbs. A girl friend and she decided to make it as a tea, one evening. They drank the tea and went to sleep ‘like lights’. When the lass’s husband arrived home, he found them asleep on the couch, just where they had been drinking their tea. Later, when he found out what had put them so soundly to sleep, he was intrigued with the possibility of using mother of herbs to help people with insomnia. As he was a doctor, he decided to use it with a number of patients who had been on sleeping pills for many years, with the results that they were able to come off drugs. Over the years, I have shared this herb with numerous people who suffer with sleeplessness, and many have been helped. Robert, said that a leaf chopped in a cup of boiling water was sufficiently strong to send him soundly to sleep. He had been on sleeping pills for a long time, but did not need them any longer, as the herb worked wonderfully.... ... see How can I use HERBS in my daily life? for full text.