Acanthus leaves - What does it mean as decoration in architecture?
Acanthus leaves are one of the most common plant forms used to make foliage ornament and decoration in architecture.
Acanthus is common plant in Mediterranean basin with very lush leaves and majestic flowers.
It is a very hardy and rugged plant with great adaptation skills, specially for salty soils.
The acanthus plant has been used all around the world. It has really long and extensive history of medicinal uses in many cultures. All parts of the plant have been used in some form for medicinal purposes. Plants absorbs salt from soil and The plant itself and in return produces a salty leaf and oils. The salt in the leaves is used as a preservative for food. Foods were wrapped stored in the big leaves for example rice was stored like this, because they absorb water from air and prevent from mold. The plant has been used also as topical application for skin treatment (parasitic disease, and many other skin ailments such as bacterial, fungal infections and burns). It had been used as a natural antibiotic. Plant acts anti-inflammatory and as bone and joint healer, because of the mucilage and tannin in it. Different parts, not just the leaves, of the plant were also used, including the stock, roots and even the seeds. Powder of this plant could be administered orally and as it contain high concentration of alkaloids and was used as a painkiller starting form a headache to rheumatism. Taken orally, it has the ability to flush out toxins and poisons. It has been used for centuries in Asia as an anti-venom remedy from various poisonous snakes. The plant contains chemicals that flush out the liver, the ability of this plant to cleanse the body of toxins was widely understood in those parts of the world. It was common to eat the leaves of this plant as a defensive posture when going into deep wooded areas. There are many other uses not listed here that the plant has been historically used for. Today modern scientific research returning to acanthus plant and currently looking at its antioxidant and anticancer capabilities. This plant grow on it own each year again and again....
It explains a lot why acanthus leaves become to symbolize immortality – rebirth – longevity and healing.
You can find acanthus leaves not only as architectural element, but also in ironwork and metal scroll work.
As we moved away from large stone structures the acanthus leaf found its way into wood work trough ages and even in find it place in our modern life style.
I am happy to share this with you, however it is already history of our designs.
We had updated our unique design so much in last years, that only name are left from this story. Here is our stylized acanthus design in our modern looking version.
in March 2017