Herb of the Day for January 23 is

Herb of the Day



The common name, Dogbane, refers to the plant’s toxic nature, which has been
described as “poisonous to dogs.” Apocynum means “Away dog!” and cannabinum means “like hemp,”. This is in reference to the strong cordage that can be made by weaving together the stem’s long fibers.
The fiber was particularly useful in making fishing and carrying nets, for string and for ropes, and to some extent for weaving rough cloth.

Medicinal Uses: DogBane was dried, crushed, and then snuffed for coughs in head colds.
The root was made into a tea and was used to help a baby’s cold, earache, headache, nervousness, dizziness, worms and insanity.
This tea was also taken for heart palpitations, but care should be observed if using it for cardiac disorders. It acts as a vasoconstrictor, slows and strengthens the heartbeat, and raises blood pressure.
The root could also be used as an emetic, diaphoretic, antispasmodic, cathartic, anodyne, hypnotic, laxative, treats vomiting, diarrhea, hydrocephalus, urinary difficulties, dropsy, jaundice, liver problems, and stimulates the digestive system. It has been successfully employed for alcoholism.
A wash made of crushed root can be used to stimulate hair growth, remove dandruff and head lice.
The milky juice can remove warts.
A poultice of the leaves reduces tumors, hemorrhoids, and inflammation of the testicles. The poultice placed over the eyelids works on opthalmia and eye diseases.
The leaves ground into powder can dress wounds, sores and ulcers.

DogBane can be toxic if ingested without proper preparation.

Magickal Uses: The flowers are used in magickal love mixtures. Dogbane is an herb of protection and is ruled by Jupiter. Native American women kept track of important events in their lives by knotting a piece of hemp from the Dogbane. These knots were adorned with bead, shells and so forth in accordance to the event being remembered.

DogBane is harvested for its fiber. The stems are cut in the fall; they are then split open and the long, silky fibers removed. The fibers are then twisted into string, which provides cordage. String, thread, rope, baskets, snares, netting, and clothing can be made from these fibers.

Properties: Dogbane contains: Strophanthin, apocannocide, choline, trigonelline, cymarin, rosins, fixed oils, starch and proteins.

Growth: The flowers of DogBane are small, white to greenish-white, and produced in terminal clusters (cymes). The flower size is 1/4 inch wide. Blooms first appear in late spring and continue on into late summer. The flowers are borne in dense heads followed later by the slender, pointed pods which are about 4 inches in length.
Many small insects, such as wasps and flies, pollinate the flowers.
The leaves are ovate or elliptic, 2-5 inches long, 0.5-1.5 inches wide, and arranged oppositely along the stem. Leaves have short petioles (stems) and are sparingly pubescent or lacking hairs beneath. The lower leaves have stems while the upper leaves may not. The leaves turn yellow in the fall, then drop off.
The leaves lack hairs, and often have a reddish-brown tint when mature, it becomes woody at the base, and are multi – branched in the upper portions of the plant. The stems and leaves secrete a milky sap when broken. Dogbane has a long horizontal rootstock that develops from an initial taproot.
Author: Crick
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Herb of the Day for January 21 is Alum Root

Herb of the Day

Alum Root

Leaf tea used for diarrhea, dysentery, piles and gargled for sore throat. The root is used as a poultice on wounds, sores, abrasions. Used to reduce inflammation of mucous membranes, curb irritation of hemorrhoidal tissue, and to restore venous health. It is an especially powerful astringent for passive bleeding. Also good for gastroenteritis, stomach flu, and dry bilious vomiting, douche for leucorrhea and vaginitis. Alum Root has been found to be active against tuberculosis bacteria. The Blackfoot used the root of “Geranium maculatum” and closely related plants to stop bleeding.

Magickal uses: Burn the dry leaves to enhance psychic vision

Properties: Styptic, astringent. Contains 9 to 20% tannins and gallic acid, also starch, sugar, gum, pectin and coloring matter.                                                          

Growth: Alumroot is a perennial that grows to 1-3 feet; the leaves are toothed, roundish to somewhat maple-shaped, base heart-shaped. The entire plant is erect and unbranched, more or less covered with hairs; the leaves deeply parted, each division again cleft and toothed. The flowers are small, greenish white, on short stalks; April to June. Usually found in woods, and amongst shaded rocks. Its growing area is Southern Ontario, Connecticut to Georgia; Oklahoma to Michigan.

Excessive use can cause gastric irritation and kidney and liver failure.
Author: Crick
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Herb of the Day for January 20th is Cumin

Herb of the Day


Medicinal Uses: Cumin relieves flatulence and bloating, and stimulates digestion, relaxes the gut, useful for insomnia, colds and fevers.  Also stimulates milk flow. Cumin is a general tonic to the whole digestive system.

Magickal uses: Cumin is used for Protection, Fidelity, and Exorcism spells. For protection, burn with frankincense and scatter on the floor, sometimes with salt, to drive evil out. Brides wear it to keep negativity away from the wedding. When carried it gives peace of mind. Use in love spells and when given to a lover it promotes fidelity. Steep in wine for a lust potion. Remember, if you plan to grow it yourself, you must curse while planting the seed to ensure a good crop.

Properties: Antibacterial; Antispasmodic; Aphrodisiac; Carminative; Galactogogue; Poultice; Stimulant; Stomachic

Growth: Annual growing to 0.3m by 0.2m . It is hardy to zone 8 and is frost tender. It is in leaf from May to October, in flower from June to July, and the seeds ripen from August to September. The scented flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Insects. The plant prefers light (sandy) and medium (loamy) soils and requires well-drained soil. The plant prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires dry or moist soil. Not known in a wild state.
Author: Crick
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Herb of the Day for January 15th – Red Raspberry

Herb of the Day

Red Raspberry

Red Raspberry is one of the most proven female herbs. It strengthens the uterine wall
during pregnancy, reduces the pain of childbirth, and helps to reduce false labor pains.
After childbirth it is used to decrease uterine swelling and cut down on post-partum bleeding. It is used to ease menstrual cramps and to regulate the flow during menstruation. It is also good for vomiting in small children, and dysentery and diarrhea in infants. It has been recognized to be rich in astringent tannins that can have a beneficial effect on diarrhea.                                                                                          
It is also good for vomiting in small children, and dysentery and diarrhea in infants and children. The warm tea soothes sore throats, mouth ulcers and bleeding gums, and is applied to canker sores. It also strengthens and nourishes the male reproductive organs. Raspberry has also been recognized as a topical remedy for use on burns and wounds. The Chippewa’s used the inner bark of the root to treat cataracts. It is also used for easing of mouth problems such as mouth ulcers, bleeding gums and inflammations. As a gargle it will help sore throats.

Magickal uses: Raspberries are served as a love-inducing food.  Hang the branches (brambles) at the doors and windows for protection. It is also part of the funerary décor of the home, done to prevent the deceased from re-entering the home once it has left.  During pregnancy carry the leaves to help alleviate the pains of childbirth.

Properties: Contains the alkaloid fragrine, ellagic acid, flavonoids including quercetin and kaempferol; tannins; polypeptides; and vitamin C, calcium, and other nutrients.

Growth: Red Raspberry is a biennial or perennial, depending on the variety, growing 3 – 6 feet tall. They need a cold winter and a long cool spring, so they do not do well in the South. They aren’t too picky about soil, so long as they get plenty of water. It is a strong perennial with sparsely to copiously bristly and prickly branches, the bark mostly yellow to cinnamon-brown, peeling off in layers. Flowering branches non-glandular to more or less with bristly or stalked glands and otherwise with or without hairs. The leaves are alternate, palmately compound, 3-5 foliate; leaflets ovate to ovate-lanceolate, 5-15 cm (2-6 in) long; sparsely pubescent above, gray-woolly beneath; dark green above, pale below; rounded to cuneate at base; acuminate at apex; margins serrate or doubly serrate; stipules linear, tapering toward the apex. It is native to both North America and Europe. They are found in open woodland and stream sides.

Infusion: Pour a cup of boiling water onto 2 teaspoonfuls of the dried herb and let infuse for 10-15 minutes. This may be drunk freely.

Tincture: take 2-4 ml of the tincture three times a day
Author: Crick
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Herb of the Day for January 13th is Barley

Herb of the Day


Medicinal Uses: Barley is the most alkaline of the cereals and is rich in magnesium. Contains the alkaloid “hordenine” which is diuretic and mildly relaxing. Barley water used for coughs, poor appetite, recurrent diarrhea in children, catarrhal inflamed bowel, stomach irritation and digestion during convalescence.                                                               
Barley is used to clean out the arteries and valves around the heart that have become clogged with fat buildup.  
It is used for urinary cystitis particularly in females ( Boil till soft and strain the liquid and flavor with a little lemon juice or cinnamon or fresh fruit juice.) Barley water is a skin freshener which cleanses and softens the skin. To make;  simmer 3 tbsp. barley in 3 cups water for an hour. Strain and cool. Rinse off face after using and refrigerate the barley water.

Magickal uses: Use Barley when performing Love, Healing, or Protection spells. Feminine. A toothache can be cured with barley. To free yourself from pain, wrap a straw of barley around a stone while visualizing the pain into the stone. Next throw the stone into a river (or any running water) and see your pain ‘being washed away’. Scatter on the ground to keep evil and negativity away. Venus (Deity)

Properties: demulcent, digestant, carminative, nutritive, tissue healing, expectorant, abortifacient, febrifuge, stomachic, tonic, , soothes irritated tissues, stimulates appetite, suppresses lactation.

Contains Amylase, invertase, dextrin, phospholipid, riboflavin, pyridoxine, maltose, glucose, Iron, sulfur, phosphorus, magnesium, niacin, protein, vitamin B1,

Growth: An annual grass growing to a height of 1½ to 3 feet. The stout simple stem (culm) is hollow and jointed. The narrow tapering leaves with pronounced ‘ear’ appendages are alternate and arise on stems in 2 ranks. They form loose sheaths around the stem. The flowers appear in bristly terminal spikes.

Not to be fed to nursing mothers; suppresses lactation.

Barley Water

Method 1 = Add 10 parts washed pearl barley to 100 parts water and boil for 20 minutes. Strain. Dose is 1 to 4 oz.

Method 2 = Boil 2 oz pearl barley for a few minutes in a little water; then strain and add barley to 4 pints of boiling water and boil till water is reduced to 2 pints. Add lemon juice or raisins (if desired) 10 minutes before cooking is completed.

Method 3 = Soak 1/2 lb. barley in 1 quart water for 12 hours or simmer till soft. Strain and sweeten with honey if desired. Give several cups per day.

Method 4 = Wash 2 oz. of barley, then discard the water. Boil briefly in 1 pint of water, then discard the water again. Place barley in 4 pints of water and add lemon peel; boil down to 2 pints; strain and add 2 oz of honey to the water.

Method 5 = 4 oz. whole barley, 2 oz honey, lemon peel (washed), 1/2 lemon. Add 1 pint of water to the barley, lemon and lemon peel. Simmer till soft, then remove from heat and let stand. Strain and add honey.

Compound Barley water - 2 pints barley water, 1 pint hot water, 2½ oz. sliced figs, 1/2 oz sliced and bruised licorice root, 2½ oz. raisins. Boil down to 2 pints and strain.

Barley Broth -  Simmer 1 cup of barley in 6 cups of water. Bring water to boil for 2 minutes, then let stand for 15 minutes. Strain out barley and set aside. The water should be drunk during convalescence. The barley can also be eaten (can be blended with honey to give a pudding-like flavor).

Decoction  -  Wash 2 oz. of barley with cold water, then boil in 1 cup of water for a few minutes. Discard water and boil barley in 4 pints of water till reduced to 2 pints. Strain and use.
Author: Crick
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Herb of the Day for January 10th is Sassafras

Herb of the Day


Columbus is said to have sensed the nearness of land from the strong scent of sassafras. There is an old story that tells of the scent of sassafras carried out to sea by the wind; it helped Columbus to convince his mutinous crew that land was near.                                                         

Medicinal Uses:A hot infusion of dried root bark has been used to treat rheumatism, arthritis, gout, and as a wash for skin irritations, eczema, acne, and ulcers. Tea of the bark of the root was used by old timers as a spring tonic, to cleanse the blood. Good to flavor other herbs that have a disagreeable taste. Will relieve gas, ague, and colic. Taken warm, it is remedy for spasms. Good wash for inflamed eyes. Oil of sassafras is good for the toothache. Used as a wash, good for varicose ulcers. The bark of the roots contains a volatile oil that has anodyne and antiseptic properties.  The powdered leaves are used in Louisiana to thicken soup.

Sassafras should be avoided by women who are pregnant or breast-feeding.

Magickal uses: Sassafras is added to prosperity incenses. Carry it in the purse or wallet for this reason. It is also added to spells and sachets for healing.

Properties: Aromatic, stimulant, alterative, diaphoretic, diuretic, antiseptic. Contains a volatile oil, resin, wax, camphor, fatty matter, albumen, starch, gum, lignin, tannic acid, salts, and a decomposition product of tannic acid known as sassafrid.

Growth: Sassafras officinale is a small tree with green twigs and large simple or lobed leaves. It grows to 40 ft tall and10 in. in diameter with a narrow crown. The bark is thick, gray to brown, deeply furrowed. The twigs are thin, usually greenish, smooth, glabrous. The buds are rounded, greenish, covered with four scales. The leaves are variable, entire or with 2 or 3 lobes, elliptical in outline, 3-5 in long and 1.6-4 in. wide, shiny green above and paler below. The flowers are small, yellowish green, clustered at end of leafless twigs in early spring. The fruits are elliptical blue-black berries about 0.4 in. long in a red cup on a long red stalk, ripening in Fall. Sassafras is native to about the eastern half of the U. S. It is found scattered in upland and bottomland forests, often forming thickets in abandoned fields and other disturbed areas.

Take no more than a week at a time.

Infusion: steep 1 tsp. bark of root in 1 cup of water. Take 1 cup per day.

Tincture: A dose is 15 to 30 drops.

I personally place a large root in a large pot of water and boil until the water has become dark red. I then sweeten it to taste.  (Crick)
Author: Crick
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Herb of the Day for January 9th – Avens

Herb of the Day


The dried root of this plant is used. The rootstock makes a tasty and effective  remedy for diarrhea and dysentery when taken with milk and sugar. It also acts to  improve appetite and digestion, dyspepsia. An infusion made from the whole plant  can be used to clear up respiratory congestion and to counteract nausea. The  powdered root is used as an astringent for hemorrhage, fevers, and leucorrhea.

Magickal uses: Avens is added to incense in order to enhance psychic vision. It is also used to enhance love spells. Use in exorcism and purification rites by adding to incense, mixtures and sprinkling around ritual area. Protects against venomous beasts when worn as an amulet. American Indian males use it to gain love.

Properties: Astringent, styptic, stomachic, tonic. The principle constituent of the root is a volatile oil which is composed mainly of eugenol and a glucoside, plus Gein, geum-bitter, tannic acid, gum and resin.

Growth: Water avens is a hairy perennial plant; its woody rootstock produces a simple, erect stem from 1-3 feet high with small, sessile, simple or three-cleft leaves. From the rootstock also grow long-petiole, hairy, pinnate leaves with three large terminal, coarsely double-toothed leaflets and one or two pairs of small lower leaflets. The leaves vary considerably according to their position on the plant but the upper leaves are composed of 3 narrow leaflets. At the top of the stem grow from 3-5 purplish flowers on short pedicels, blooming from May to July. Found mostly in moist and wet places from Colorado and New Mexico northeastward, and in Canada, Europe and Asia. It was well known to the gypsies who called it “the kind herb”.

Infusion: steep 1 tsp. rootstock in 1 cup water for 30 minutes. Take 1/2 cup before going to bed, or a mouthful 3 times a day. Take no more than 2 cups in total consecutive doses.

Infusion: steep 1 or 2 tsp. fresh plant in 1 cup water. Take 1 cup a day.

Should not be used more than 2 days at a time. Excessive amounts can produce unpleasant side effects.
Author: Crick
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Herb of the Day for January 8th – Eyebright

Herb of the Day



Medicinal Uses: Eyebright stimulates the liver to remove toxins from the body. It has been used internally and externally to treat eye infections and afflictions, such as pink-eye. The herb strengthens the eye, and helps to repair damage. Eyebright was and continues to be used primarily as a poultice for the topical treatment of eye inflammations, including blepharitis, conjunctivitis, and sties. A compress made from a decoction of eyebright can give rapid relief from redness, swelling, and visual disturbances in acute and sub acute eye infections. A tea is usually given internally along with the topical treatment. It has also been used for the treatment of eye fatigue and disturbances of vision.

Magickal uses: Eyebright is used to make a simple tea to rub on the eyelids to induce and enhance clairvoyant visions. This must be done several times to achieve the desired effect.

Properties: Source of sulphur, anti – inflammatory, antibacterial. Eyebright is high in iridoid glycosides, flavonoids, and tannins. The plant has astringent properties that probably account for its usefulness as a topical treatment for inflammatory states and its ability to reduce mucous drainage.

Growth: Eyebright is adaptable to many soil types in full sun. It is a small annual, growing 2 – 8 inches high. It attaches itself by underground suckers to the roots of neighboring grass plants and takes its nutrients from them. To be cultivated, it must be given nurse plants on whose roots it can feed.
Author: Crick
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