Wednesday, 1 September 2010

From Aloe to Žen-Šen

Today is theme day on the City Daily Photo network, and since the selected topic is 'open air markets'  let me take you to Kubánské Náměstí (Cuban Square - the word 'Revolution' was quietly dropped from the name in 1991) to visit the Czech Chinese Herbalist.

Here are a few of the things he has on sale - please click on the picture to read the names more clearly. Aloe Vera is said to be 'zázračna' - miraculous - against eczema, diabetes and high blood pressure.

Next along is 'Žen-Šen' (Ginseng), underneath which is written 'The Devil's Plant - a Panacea!' To the right are two tubs of 'Citrónová Tráva' (Lemon Grass), 'good in salads', and Eucalyptus, while below is 'Kukuřice' (Sweetcorn).

Out of camera-shot is the overpowering scent of Meduňka (Lemon Balm - see smaller picture). This last, we are assured, will give us a good night's sleep and the sweetest dreams. Many of these plants are supposed to be beneficial to those suffering from Angina, or simply the Common Cold ('rýma'), two facts inscribed on the signs above. Between them hangs a placard advertising, simply, 'Bylinky' - Herbs.

But what is Mr Louda (I believe that's his name) holding in his hand? It's labelled 'H.V.N.O' - which is very polite of him really. The equivalent in English would be writing 'S.H.*.T'  That's right. Compressed pellets of the guano of cows, horses, pigs and chickens. Feed these to your herbs and watch them grow!

Open air markets from around the world: Click here to view thumbnails for all participants


J Bar said...

Wonderful market shots.
Sydney - City and Suburbs

Alex Went said...

Thank you! The weather had been dreadful up to that point so I was lucky to get enough light - and people - to make this work. That stallholder was a hoot - he wanted me to know all about his favourite fertilizer!

Jilly said...

Oh I love this shots, Alex. What a fascinating market. I love the explanations. I could do with the Lemon Balm. Didn't know it was an aid to sleep. Don't need the aloe vera as that grows in my garden but bring some H.V.N.O to Monaco next time you come - need that for my garden. Only kidding! Super post and photos for our Theme Day.

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