17
BOG MYRTLE (SWEET GALE)

Myrica gale

Before the introduction of hops to Great Britain, and possibly as early as the 11th century, bog myrtle was used to flavour and add bitterness to ale. Some believe that the subsequent use of hops was an imposition of Protestant hardliners on a Catholic populace who were given to wildness and excess – driven by the stimulating and allegedly aphrodisiac qualities of the perfumed ale. Hops tend to have a sedative effect, as any regular beer-drinker will attest. The truth may be more pragmatic and political, with the switch to hops actually designed to neuter the monopoly of the monasteries.

Some believed bog myrtle to have magical properties when brewed with ale and it is said to have been a constituent of a drink concocted by Norse warriors to make them fearless and fearsome in battle. They became known as the Berserkers and were said to fight in an uncontrollable trance-like fury. These Úlfhéðnar were known as Odin’s own warriors: “[Odin’s] men went without their mailcoats and were mad as hounds or wolves, bit their shields…they slew men, but neither fire nor iron had effect upon them.”

BOG MYRTLE (SWEET GALE)

Discover the 22 Botanicals

apple mint

01

Apple mint

chamomile

02

Chamomile

Creeping thistle flower used in the botanist gin

03

Creeping thistle

Downy Birch

04

Downy Birch

Elder flower

05

Elder

Gorse

06

Gorse (Whin)

Hawthorn

07

Hawthorn

Heather

08

Heather

Juniper

09

Juniper

lady's bedstraw

10

Lady’s bedstraw

Lemon Balm

11

Lemon Balm

meadowsweet

12

Meadowsweet

Mugwort

13

Mugwort

Red clover

14

Red clover

Spear mint

15

Spear mint

Sweet cicely

16

Sweet cicely

Bog Myrtle (Sweet Gale)

17

Bog myrtle – Sweet gale

Tansy

18

Tansy

water mint

19

Water mint

White Clover

20

White clover

Wild thyme

21

Wild Thyme

wood sage

22

Wood sage

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