short time ago I received a mysterious parcel via UPS: a brown paper package tied up with string. No return address. With some reservations, I opened it.
Inside was a small manuscript hand lettered and illustrated. The name on the frontispiece is Sam Gamgee. Could this little book really be the long lost field notes of Sam Gamgee, hobbit and master gardener? Tests to verify are underway.
If the manuscript is authentic one of the great mysteries of our time may have been solved for within the contents is an entry for KINGSFOIL.
Ever since the publication of the Baggins’ manuscripts many scholars have wondered if there could possibly be a modern equivalent of the famous healing herb. Theories have been offered: comfrey, wintergreen, willow, heal-all. None of these plants were a perfect fit to the descriptions, though.
I scanned the entry which you can view below:
The text of the various Baggins manuscripts offered tantalizing clues about this important botanical but this new image (though crudely drawn) may make identification more certain.
What we already knew:
The plant grows in wooded areas and so must tolerate some shade
The leaves are long in shape
The scent of the crushed leaves is pleasant and soothing
The herb can be used as an infusion or mashed
The plant is not commonly found in the north
The plant would be considered a weed (wild or native) and would not have been commonly cultivated
The plant should be helpful for many maladies such as fevers, infections and inflammation but it also must have properties to guard against poison as it was used specifically to heal a wound made by a Morgul-blade.
I believe the mystery plant is Eupatorium ayapana.
Eupatorium ayapana is the tropical version of North America’s Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum) which is also a useful botanical though a little less potent.
I look forward to future debate and discussion.