Herbs

Herb of the Day for July 23 is Rosemary

Herb of the Day


Rosemary

The name comes from the Latin ros, “dew”, and maris, “ocean”, meaning “dew of the sea”. In the sixth century Charlemagne decreed that rosemary should be grown in all the imperial gardens. Christian legend claims that flowers were originally white but were turned varying shade of blue when Mary hung her blue cloak over a rosemary bush.

Medicinal Uses: Rosemary is a stimulant of the circulatory system. It is used to treat bites and stings externally. Internally it is used to treat migraines, bad breath, and to stimulate the sexual organs. The tea makes a mouthwash for bad breath. It is also used to treat nervous disorders, upset stomachs, and is used to regulate the menstrual cycle and to ease cramps. The oil benefits stomach and nerves. Use rosemary in salves for eczema, wounds, and sores. Mix the crushed leaves generously into meats, fish, potato salads, etc. at your next picnic to prevent food poisoning. The essential oil is used in aromatherapy as an inhalant and decongestant, and to enhance memory and clear concentration. It is also used in lotions to ease arthritis and muscle pain. It is a strong antiseptic, and good in shampoos and hair rinses. An infusion of the leaves has also been used, alone or with borax, as a scalp wash to prevent baldness.

Steep the herb in white wine for a week and strain. Rub the rosemary wine into gouty or paralyzed limbs. Taken internally, the wine quiets the heart and stimulates the kidneys, brain, and nervous system. Rosemary tea relieves depression. The leaf and flowers are stimulating to the liver and the digestion. For this reason, rosemary is a classic herb for migraine headache when associated with liver or stomach torpidity.

Rosemary increases the circulation and slightly raises the blood pressure. To make the tea, steep two teaspoons of the dried flowering tops in one cup of water for twenty minutes. Take one-fourth cup four times a day. Rosemary and coltsfoot are smoked as herbal tobacco to relieve asthma and lung conditions. Rosemary essential oil is often blended with cedar wood, geranium, ginger, lemon balm, myrtle and sweet basil.

When used as a tea, the dose should not exceed one cup per day. Overdose can cause fatal poisoning. Even small doses of Rosemary oil can cause stomach, kidney and intestinal problems, and large amounts may be poisonous. If you’re pregnant, avoid using the herb altogether.

Magickal uses: Rosemary is an herb of consecration and purification from disease. As an herb of purification, rosemary can be a substitute for frankincense. Add it to incense and to the ritual chalice and distributed to guests. Burning it before performing magick will rid the area of negativity. It is carried in the hand during funerals and cast into the grave, as the coffin is lower into it. Rosemary or rosemary with juniper berries is burned as a protection from disease. Stuff healing poppets with rosemary for increased healing strength. Rub the hands with an infusion before beginning the healing process. Place it in books and drawers to repel moths. Place under the pillow or bed for restful sleep and protection from nightmares. Hang at the doors to repel thieves and disease. Wearing a chaplet improves the memory. The aroma of the wood preserves youth. Add it to the bath for this and its purifying qualities. Add to mixtures for love or lust. An answer may be divined by inhaling the smoke of rosemary. Wrap the powdered leaves in a piece of linen and wear on the right arm to be rid of depression and to generally improve the emotions. Rosemary in all of its forms is used for protection and banishment. Rosemary leaves under your pillow do away with evil spirits and bad dreams. It is hung on porches and doors to keep thieves out. Rosemary is grown to attract elves.

Properties: Stimulant, diaphoretic, carminative, nervine, aromatic, cephalic antispasmodic. Contains volatile oil: composed of borneol, camphene, camphor, cineole, limonene, linalool, isobutyl acetate, 3-octanone, terpineol, verbenol, flavonoids: apigenin, diosmetin, diosmin, genkwanin, 6-methoxygenkwanin, hispidulin, sinensetin, luteolin and derivatives. Rosmarinic acid and other phenolic acids, diterpenes such as picrosalvin (carnosol), carnosolic acid and rosmariquinone

Growth: Rosemary is a perennial that prefers mild climates, so it needs to be grown indoors where the winters are harsh, or very heavily mulched. It reaches 2-4 feet in height, and is tolerable of poor soils. Rosemary has narrow, needle-like leaves and lovely blue flowers. Cut back after flowering to keep it from becoming leggy. It is an evergreen shrub with numerous branches; ash-colored. scaly bark and bears opposite, leathery, thick leaves which are lustrous and dark green above and downy white underneath. They have a prominent vein in the middle and margins which are rolled down. The pale blue, sometimes white, relatively small, flowers grow in short axillary racemes, arranged in false whorls on the upper parts of the branches, blooming during April and May, or later in cooler climates.

Infusion: steep 1 tsp. dried flowering tops or leaves in 1/2 cup water. Take up to 1 cup per day.

Tea: prepare ordinary tea, put a pinch of ground ginger in the drink for variety. Drink 3 or 4 cups per day.

Tincture: a dose is from 5 to 20 drops.

Source:
Author: Crick
Website: The Whispering Woods

Categories: Articles, Daily Posts, Herbs | 1 Comment

Herb of the Day for July 21 is Bittersweet

Herb of the Day

Bittersweet

Medicinal Uses: The bark of the root is used.  The root-bark tea induces sweating and is diuretic and emetic. Externally the bark is used in an ointment for burns, scrapes, skin eruptions.
Bittersweet is a narcotic herb containing solanine and in large doses can paralyze the central nervous system. Bittersweet is used to treat skin diseases, bronchial conditions and asthma.  

Magickal uses: This is a masculine herb. It is ruled by the planet Mercury and its element is Air. Shepherds hung it as a charm around the necks of their animals as protection from evil.

Properties: narcotic, exportant, diuretic

Growth: This is a climbing, twining shrub. It grows up to 50 feet in height. The leaves are ovate to oblong, sharp pointed and fine-toothed. The flowers are greenish and in clusters, May to June. The fruit capsule is scarlet to orange, splitting, to reveal scarlet seeds. The stems are green and slightly hairy at first but become woody with age. It grows in hedges, wasteways and swamps. Bittersweet is found in North America and Europe.

All parts of this plant including the berries are potentially toxic.
Source:
Author: Crick
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Herb of the Day for July 13th is Fennel

Herb of the Day

Fennel

 

 

Medicinal Uses: Fennel is one of nine Anglo-Saxon herbs known for secret powers. In ancient days, a bunch of fennel hung over a cottage door on Midsummer’s Eve was said to prevent the effects of witchcraft. Try nibbling on the herb’s seeds, as Roman women did centuries ago, to help depress the appetite. Women in Roman times believed fennel prevented obesity.
Fennel is considered one of the oldest medicinal plants and culinary herbs. It is fairly certain that fennel was in use over 4000 years ago. It is mentioned in the famous Ebers Papyrus, an ancient Egyptian collection of medical writings made around 1500 BC. There it is referred to principally as a remedy for flatulence. Later authors of herbals, such as Pliny (AD 23-79), also describe fennel primarily as an aid to digestion. In the Middle Ages, it was praised for coughs. Fennel helps to take away the appetite. It is often used as a sedative for small children. It improves digestion, and is very helpful with coughs. It is also used for cancer patients after radiation and chemotherapy treatments.

Enriches and increases the flow of milk for lactating women. To help with indigestion and gas, pour boiling water over crushed seeds (one teaspoon seed to a pint of water). The seeds are simmered in syrups for coughs, shortness of breath, and wheezing. Place fennel inside a fish when you cook it to make it more digestible. The leaves and seeds when boiled with barley increase breast milk. The seeds and root help clean the liver, spleen, gallbladder, and blood. The tea and broth of this herb are said to help in weight loss.

It is eaten in salads, soups, and breads. The oil mixed with honey can be taken for coughs, and the tea used as a gargle. The oil is eaten with honey to allay gas and it is applied externally to rheumatic swellings. The seeds are boiled to make an eye wash: use one-half teaspoon of seed per cup of water, three times a day, and be sure to strain carefully before use. Powdered seeds repel fleas from pets’ sleeping areas.

Magickal uses: In several ancient civilizations fennel was used as an antidote for snakebite. The thyrsus, which were prominent in Dionysian ceremonies, was often made of giant fennel stalks with pine cones attached at the ends.

Use for scenting soaps and perfumes to ward off negativity and evil. Grow near the home for the same purpose. Hang it around the doors and windows at Midsummer to repel evil spirits. Carry the seeds to ward off evil and to influence others to trust your words. To prevent wood ticks from biting your legs, wear a piece in your left shoe. Use in purification and healing sachets and spells.

Properties: Stomachic, carminative (relieves gas), pectoral (relieves chest congestion and cough), diuretic, aromatic, antispasmodic, expectorant, mild expectorant, anti-inflammatory, stimulant. Contains anethole, calcium, camphene, cymene, chlorine, dipentene, fenchone, 7-hydrozycoumaarin, volatile oils, oleic acid, petroselinic acid, phellandrene, pinene, limonene, stigmasterol, sulfur, and vitamins A and C.

Growth: Fennel prefers dry, sunny areas. It is a perennial that can reach 4 – 6 feet high, and grows in most average to poor soils. A tall herb of the umbel family, with feathery leaves and yellow flowers. A stout, strongly scented perennial plant, with erect stems and blue-green leaves. The striated stems are solid when young, becoming hollow with age. The yellow flowers grow in compound, terminal umbels, each with 10-30 stalks. Aniseed-scented, egg-shaped fruits follow the flowers. Flowers appear July to October. Needs full sun; partial shade in warm climates. Zones 6-9. Found growing as a weed in waste places in much of the United States, in southeastern Canada and in southern British Columbia. Native to Mediterranean Europe where it is found growing wild.

Gather the root in the spring for medicinal purposes:

Infusion: steep 1 tbsp. freshly crushed seeds in 1 cup water for 5 minutes. Sweeten with honey to taste.

Decoction: boil 1/2 tsp. seed in water. Strain. Use as an eye-wash, 3 times per day.

Extract: mix 10 to 20 drops in water. Use warm water and 1 tsp. honey for a soothing drink daily.

Milk decoction: boil 1 tsp. seed in 1/2 cup milk for 5 to 10 minutes. Take for colic.

Tincture: take 10 to 30 drops in water, as required.

Fennel-honey: add 1 to 3 drops fennel oil to 1 tbsp. honey and mix. Take a teaspoon at a time. A natural cough remedy.

Source:
Author: Crick
Website: The Whispering Woods

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Herb of the Day for July 8th is Licorice

Herb of the Day

Licorice


 

Medicinal Uses: Licorice is used to relieve respiratory ailments such as allergies, bronchitis,
colds, sore throats, and tuberculosis. Licorice root is often used to prevent and treat stomach
ulcers. Licorice is also used in the treatment of heart disease because of its effects on
cholesterol and blood pressure. It has also been used for over 3,000 years by the Chinese as
a tonic to rejuvenate the heart and spleen, and as a treatment for ulcers, cold symptoms,
and skin disorders.
Licorice is used in treating adrenal insufficiencies such as hypoglycemia and Addison’s disease, counteracting stress, and in purifying the liver and bloodstream.

Persons with a history of congestive heart failure, kidney disease, and liver disorders should not use licorice compounds. Do not use if you are pregnant or nursing.

Magickal uses:

Properties: Licorice is demulcent, expectorant, diuretic, and laxative. It contains glycosides, flavonoids, asparagine, isoflavonoids, chalcones and coumarins. Primary of these is Glycyrrhetinic acid, a natural anti-inflammatory compound.
Licorice Root contains Vitamins E, B-complex, phosphorous, biotin, niacin, pantothenic acid, lecithin, manganese, iodine, chromium, and zinc.

Growth: Licorice is a mediterranean perennial plant having blue flowers, pinnately compound leaves, and a sweet, distinctively flavored root.



Source:
Author: Crick

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Herb of the Day for July 3rd is Barley

Herb of the Day

Barley

        

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.
Source:
Author: Crick
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A Quicker Method to Herbal Infused Oils

A Quicker Method to Herbal Infused Oils


Items You Will Need:
2 – 3 oz. dried herbs or 3 – 4 oz. fresh
1 1/4 cups unblended vegetable oil (preferably sunflower or olive)
A heat-proof container with a tight-fitting lid (jam jars work well)

Chop the herb and put it in the container with all the oil. Put the container in a pan filled with water to within 1 inch of the top of the container of oil. Simmer slowly for 2 hours.

After 2 hours, allow the oil to cool, and strain well. Discard the spent herbs (makes lovely compost). Refill the canister with the remaining herbs and return to the water bath (remember to replace the lid). Simmer for another 2 hours. Be sure to check the water level occasionally so as to not burn the oil.

When the oil has cooled enough to work with, pour it through a jelly bag or sieve lined with cheesecloth. If using fresh herbs, there may be a watery liquid at the bottom of the oil.

This must be separated and discarded, or else it will spoil the oil over time. This oil can be used as a base for ointments, creams, or salves, or as a massage oil.

Categories: Articles, Daily Posts, Herbal This & That, Oils & Ointments | Tags: , | 1 Comment

Herb of the Day for June 30th is Valerian

Herb of the Day

Valerian

(Valeriana officinalis)

Medicinal Uses: One of natures most effective herbal tranquilizers. The roots are used for nervous tension, anxiety and insomnia. A powerful root for the nerves, valerian should not be taken for longer than a few weeks, as it can become addictive. It helps cure depression when taken once or twice. It is a good sedative for such conditions as neuralgia, hypochondria, insomnia, and nervous tension. It also appears to have real benefits in cases of sciatica, multiple sclerosis, shingles, and peripheral neuropathy, including numbness, tingling, muscle weakness, and pain in the extremities.

The tea is strengthening to the eyesight, especially when problems are due to weakness in the optic nerve. Valerian has been used as an anticonvulsant in epilepsy. It slightly slows the heart and thus is a good remedy for palpitations. Simmer two teaspoons of the root in a pint of water for twenty minutes, and take one-fourth cup, cold, four times a day. The tincture may be taken twenty drops in water, three times a day.

The root is simmered with licorice, raisins, and anise seeds to make a cough sedative. The scent is very attractive to rats and is used to bait traps. Valerian is a warm and spicy herb that has a stimulating effect on the brain as well as being a sedative. If a person has a hot constitution it will be especially stimulating and may negate the calming and sedative quality. A hot constitution is one that is prone to constipation, dryness, redness in the eyes and skin and a warm body temperature (a cold constitution has the opposite qualities).
Valerian is useful as a digestive aid, is helpful in cases of gas, diarrhea, and cramps, and alleviates the pain of ulcers. In the respiratory tract, it is believed to be of benefit in reducing the discomfort of asthma attacks. Valerian is used for irritability, mild spasmodic affections, epilepsy, migraine headaches, croup, hysteria, vertigo, nervous cough, delirium, neuralgia, muscle cramps, colic, panic attacks, emotional stress, PMS, menstrual cramps, despondency, insomnia. A marvelous remedy for fevers. Will often clear a cold overnight. Good for expelling phlegm from throat and chest. Will expel worms when everything else fails. Excellent for shortness of breath and wheezing. Tea can be used as an enema for pinworms and tape worms and externally as a wash for sores, wounds, chronic skin diseases, and pimples. Combines with with lemon balm, hops, passion flower and scullcap.

Valerian produces depression when taken over a longer period. Valerian is best suited to individuals with cold, nervous conditions. Those with heated conditions can experience opposite (stimulant) effects. Valerian may increase the effects of anti-anxiety medications or painkillers. It may also react with antiepileptic drugs. Valerian is contraindicated in pregnant and breast feeding women.

Magickal uses: Powdered valerian may be used as a substitute for graveyard dust to repel unwanted presences. Valerian is added to the chalice as an herb of peace. Valerian is a frequent ingredient in love and harmony spells and potions, including spells for sexual love. It is used to aspurge the ritual space and in incense for purification. Even though this is a rather foul smelling herb it is hung in the home as protection from lightning and the Greeks used sprigs of it at windows to keep evil out. For protection from evil and magick, use Valerian in sachets, amulets, or talismans and carry it with you. To prevent unwanted visitors, sprinkle powdered herb on your front stoop and say their name. For eliminating troubles, write the trouble on parchment paper, then burn and mix the ashes with powdered herb, then bury. Sachets placed around the home help protect the home from lightening strikes.

Being an herb of peace, place some in the vicinity of a quarreling couple. Add it to love sachets and it is said if a woman wears a sprig of it, it will cause men to “follow her like children.” It will also help insomnia by placing it in the pillow. A few leaves placed in the shoes protect against colds and flu.
To find out if your love is reciprocated, bend a plant in the direction of their home. If the plant continues to grow in that direction, you are loved in return. Growing the plant on your property ensures harmony with your spouse. Valerian stalks can be dried and soaked in tallow or oil, then used as a torch for spells and rituals. The torch can then be used to light sacred fires. Meditation in the light of a torch improves clarity for a given situation. Valerian is ruled by Venus and its Element is Water.

Properties: Calmative, antispasmodic, nerve tonic, nervine, sedative, anodyne, and carminative, aromatic, emmenagogue. Contains active components are called valepotriates. Valerianic, formic and acetic acids, essential oils, resin, starch, a glucoside, and 2 alkaloids (chatrine and valerianine).

Growth: Valerian is a tall perennial herb found in damp, elevated areas and grasslands. It consists of a long stem (3-5 feet in length) with pointed dark green leaves. It blooms in the summertime, with small, fragrant flowers (white, light purple or pink) that can reach four inches in diameter. A native of damp woods, roadsides, and riversides.

Harvest in the fall. Do not boil the root.

To obtain the maximum benefit take 1 tbsp. of fresh juice daily. The latter is often prescribed as a cure for insomnia, where its great value is that it calms the mind without having a narcotic effect. Non-addictive.

Drying roots is different from drying leaves. Roots should be dried at a high temperature, such as 120 degrees F. until the roots are brittle. If they are rubber-like, they should be dried longer. Store roots after drying to keep free from moisture.

Infusion: steep 1 tsp. root in 1 pt. boiling water. Take cold, 1 cup per day, or when going to bed.

Cold extract: use 2 tsp. roots with 1 cup water; let stand for 24 hours and strain. Take 1/2 to 1 cup when going to bed.

Tincture: take 20 drops on sugar or in water, 3 times a day.

Source:
Author: Crick
Website: The Whispering Woods

Categories: Articles, Daily Posts, Herbs | Leave a comment

Herbs that Can Be Found At Your Local Grocery

Herbs that Can Be Found At Your Local Grocery

Chocolate is excellent for money.

Spinach can help you get a job.

Bitter foods will make you work harder, sweet foods will ease the pressure on a workaholic (try honey, not junk food).

Apples are sacred to Aphrodite, so cut one in half and give it to your lover to enrapture them.

Get the one you want out of your life out of it by serving them a bowl of turnips. They’ll leave you-you won’t have to do a thing.


Ginger tea, or bathing with ginger will relieve stress.


Oat in a sock, popped in the bath, promotes gentleness and soft beauty.

Herbs


ANEMONE: Protects against sickness
ANGELICA: Lengthens life, protects from disease, exorcises evil
BASIL: Protects from evil, aids love
BORAGE: Generates courage, lifts spirits
CARAWAY: Guards against theft, promotes love
CEDAR CHIPS: Attracts money
CINQUEFOIL: Brings love, aids in divination, protects from evil
CLOVER: Brings luck, wealth, prosperity
COMFREY: Aids healing
CORNFLOWER: Promotes good eye-sight
DILL: Protects from evil
FENNEL: Purification
MARJORAM: Ensures happiness in the afterlife
MUGWORT: Alleviates female disorders, shows the future, protects from wild beasts
MYRTLE: Love and peace
PARSLEY: Protects from poison, promotes long life
PLANTAIN: Cleanses and purifies
ROSEMARY: Loyalty, devotion, love, strength
SAGE: Promotes long life
ST. JOHN’S WORT: Exorcisms, dispels evil
SOLOMON’S SEAL: Heals Wounds
SUNFLOWER: To find a thief
THYME: Courage, chivalry
VALERIAN: Restores peace, harmony, togetherness
VERVAIN: Reconciles enemies, protects from harm, ensures fidelity
WILD THYME: Protects against nightmares.

 

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