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Showing posts from March, 2008

The folklore of Gems

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Throughout the centuries jewelry has been created and worn by people of different cultures. Every culture had it gemstones that they valued and they attributed a special meaning to each. Today the list of precious and semi-precious gemstones is very large and each one has a history and folklore associated with it. The Quality Jewelry Directory has created a list of the most popular gemstones and gives a brief outline of each. Alexandrite: One of the most valued and sought after gemstones is Alexandrite. Born in metamorphic conditions that bring together specific chemical elements to produce the mineral chrysoberyl, the gemstone has been valued by jewelers throughout the ages for its unique ability to change color from green to shades of red or very soft purple when exposed to daylight and incandescent light. Russia is the primary source for most gem quality alexandrite and was named after the Russian Tsar Alexander II. With a rich folklore history, alexandrite was thought to impart wis

Medieval Remedies

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Researching my novels is one of my favourite things to do. I come across such interesting tidbits. In my novel, Orphan of the Olive Tree, I use a lot of medieval folklore and superstition. Here's some interesting remedies for common ailments of ancient times that I've found: In the year 1250, if you wanted to cure warts, you were required to procure a live eel, fresh or salt water species were both acceptable, and cut its head off. Rub the hot blood of the eel over the afflicted area. Allow to stand until the blood dries and do not wash the body parts so treated for at least three days. Bury the head of the eel deeply within the earth. Remember where you buried it, so you can check its decomposition ---- if required. As the head of the eel rots over time, the warts will disappear. This cure generally works better in the summer months, because the eel's head rots faster. To improve eyesight, add a drop of dew to the gall bladder of a nightingale caught before daybreak a