Annual Clary

This is salvia viridis or annual clary. In Mrs Grieve’s and Mrs Leyel’s 1931 book A Modern Herbal: The Medicinal, Culinary, Cosmetic, and Economic Properties, Cultivation, and Folklore of Herbs, Grasses, Fungi, Shrubs, and Trees with All Their Modern Scientific Uses, it is claimed that, if added to fermenting vats of beverage, clary will

"greatly increase the inebriating quality of the liquor."

The confidence with which this claim is made persuades me that Mesdames Grieve and Leyel had first hand experience of clary’s benefits. In Proverbs 31, another wise matriarch, King Lemuel’s mother, urges:

Give strong drink to him who is perishing,

And wine to those who are bitter of heart.

Let him drink and forget his poverty,

And remember his misery no more.

(vv7-8, NKJV)

It is because the Christian is neither perishing, nor bitter of heart, nor impoverished, nor miserable, that he need not turn to strong drink for consolation. And if any of these are characteristic of your life, seek more the Lord and less the bottle.