Herbs

Herb of the Day for July 30th is Bee Balm

Herb of the Day

 Bee Balm    



The name “Oswego tea” was coined by John Martram who discovered Native Americans and settlers in Oswego, New York, making tea from the leaves of this mint. All of the above ground parts of the flowering plant are used.

Medicinal Uses: Bee Balm has antibacterial properties because of its high thymol content. Bee Balm can be used as part of a first-aid-dressing regimen for cuts, abrasions, insect bites, and other wounds.
An infusion is good for colds, coughs, nausea, catarrh, headaches, gastric disorders, to reduce low fevers and soothe sore throat, to relieve flatulence, nausea, menstrual pain, and insomnia. Steam inhalation of the plant can be used for sore throats, and bronchial catarrh (inflammation of the mucus membrane, causing an increased flow of mucus). Externally, it is a medicinal application for skin eruptions and infections.                                                                   
Native Americans used leaf tea for colic, gas, colds, fever, stomachaches, nosebleeds, insomnia, heart trouble, measles, and to induce sweating. A poultice is used for headaches.

Magickal uses: Use in love charms and spells to attract a partner. Soak herb in wine for several hours, strain and share with a friend. Or, carry herb with you to find love. Also used in magical healing, and spells to ensure success.

Properties: Stimulant, carminative, rubefacient

Growth: A perennial with square-shaped stems, characteristic of herbs in the mint family. The roots are fibrous and spread via rhizomes. The leaves are lance-shaped, opposite, glabrous, fuzzy, and toothed. When bruised or damaged, the leaves are highly fragrant. The bright red flowers range from one to three inches terminal clusters each with dozens of tiny blossoms. The flowers are approximately one and a half inches long, ending in two lips (the upper one rigidly overhangs the other which has three spreading lobes). Bee Balm grows in dry, sunny meadows and sloped areas, preferring a full sun or partially shaded environment. Usually found in bracken grasslands, cliff areas, northern lowland and upland forests, southern upland forests, pine barrens, prairies, savanna, and sedge meadows.

Medicinal tea: To 1 tsp. dried herb add 1 cup boiling water, steep 10 min. sweeten to taste, take at bedtime.

Source:
Author: Crick

Website: The Whispering Woods

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Cautions & Considerations when Using Herbals


Witchy Comments & Graphics

Cautions & Considerations when Using Herbals

It would be pretty irresponsible to start taking herbs with little or no knowledge of herbal remedial treatments. By not taking the time to consider all the factors and seek advice you could be putting your health at serious risk.

For instance, women who are pregnant should be careful of the herbs they take because their baby may not be strong enough or sufficiently formed to handle the effects of such a nutrient and this can put the health of the baby and in fact the pregnancy in danger.

When compared to the synthetic medications your doctor may prescribe for you, herbal medications usually do have fewer side effects, if any at all, but again this reaction has to do with the individual person taking the herbs. For example one person may drink herbal tea with mint in it and have no problems at all whereas another person may do the same and develop a skin rash.

It is these risk factors which make it important to educate yourself before you decide to take herbs of any form and then you should test the herb for a few days at a diluted dosage before using it at its full concentration so that any adverse effects are mild rather than severe.

People who are diabetic should not be taking certain herbs; some herbs should not be taken when on certain medications and sometimes the combining of certain herbs will achieve a negative result. There are many rules which people neglect to learn before they jump into the herbal world with both feet. Take the time to do the research, find a reputable source of information you can trust, and learn what you can about herbal remedies so you can use them safely and without regret. It is your health; take the time to learn so you can take responsibility for it.

Making Herbal Remedies (Herbology At Home)
Anke Bialas
Categories: Articles, Daily Posts, Herbs | 1 Comment

Before You Make Herbal Remedies

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Before You Make Herbal Remedies

Make sure the herb you have is the herb that you want.

 

Although you may not wish to pop out into the woods to wildcraft your own herbs right now, you may wish to do so at another time. Wildcrafting is a term you may have already come across, it means collecting plants in the wild. In case you are a reader who has the opportunity to collect their herbs in the wild it is essential that you are able to identify the plants correctly. If there is any doubt at all leave it where it is. Many times poisoning has occurred due to the misidentification of plants. Better safe than sorry. Also, when collecting in the wild you should be aware of chemicals that have been used in the area which may have settled on your plants. Lastly, please leave endangered species alone. We are trying to preserve the old ways not extinguish the natural resources necessary to do so.

MAKE SURE EVERYTHING IS CLEAN – Sterilize all utensils. You can boil some for 15 minutes or you can sterilize in the oven. Also handy is a sanitising solution which is used to sterilise baby bottles. All you do is keep the equipment in the sterilizing liquid for 30 mins, then rinse with boiled water. It is important to maintain hygiene to prevent the remedies, especially creams and syrups, from turning mouldy.

STORE PREPARATIONS CORRECTLY – Different preparations have different life expectancies before they lose their medicinal properties. Infusions should be made fresh every day. Decoctions

can be kept up to 48 hours in the fridge. Tinctures, syrups and essential oils can last for months and even years if stored in dark glass bottles and kept in a cool place away from the sunlight. Ointments, creams and capsules are best kept in dark glass jars, but you can use plastic containers. Sometimes fresh creams need to be stored in the fridge if you wish them to last longer.

 
Making Herbal Remedies (Herbology At Home)
Anke Bialas
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Let’s Talk Witch – Herbal Wisdom Everyone Can Benefit from Herbs


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 Herbal Wisdom Everyone Can Benefit from Herbs

 

There is a strong movement towards the use of herbal preparations instead of the never ending supply of store bought, synthetic alternatives. Many people think that by using natural products they are eliminating chemicals from their lives. The word chemical has become such a negative word when in fact all herbs contain thousands of chemicals. And it’s the natural combination of these chemicals that provide the health benefits you get from your selected herbal medicine.

A herbal remedy is much more likely to help with a broader spectrum of related problems than synthetically derived drugs which target one particular issue. Diagnosis is rarely 100% correct and this is where herbal medicine can help your cells maintain a state of optimal balance. Not only do herbs provide medicinal help, they also provide nutrients essential for a healthy life. Many herbs contain natural ingredients that cannot be found in synthetic pharmaceuticals.

Today, more and more people are rediscovering the healing powers of herbs. They do however have to realize that although herbs are effective healers of many medical problems, there is much that herbs cannot do. Herbs cannot substitute medical science, especially in life threatening situations. Even though there are some things that herbal medicine cannot do, ALL people can benefit from using herbal remedies at home.

Making your own remedies will cost you far less than synthetic pharmaceuticals, and you can avoid a lot of the unwanted extras, such as preservatives, stabilizers and colorants that are found in many products sold in natural food stores. Living in a litigious world, commercial manufacturers tend to use a lot of fixatives and preservatives, because they are concerned that someone might sue them for a spoiled product. What they don’t tell you is that many herbs contain their own natural preservatives (and beeswax is a great natural preservative as well).

When used correctly, herbal remedies can help infants, toddlers, school kids, teenagers, men and women of all ages, your pets, your garden and your general household. You probably already have everything necessary to transform your kitchen into a herbal laboratory. What you need now is a guiding hand to help you start.

Making Herbal Remedies (Herbology At Home)
Anke Bialas
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Herb of the Day for July 28th is Chicory

Herb of the Day

 Chicory


                                                
Medicinal Uses: The herb was cultivated in Egypt over 5000 years ago, and was known to the ancient Greeks and Romans, who used it as a salad ingredient and a vegetable. Its use as a coffee substitute is thought to date from 1806 when Napoleon’s Continental blockade prevented imports of coffee. It was widely used for the same purpose during the World Wars.   

Chicory tea taken internally is believed to be effective in treating jaundice and liver problems. A tea made from roots or leaves appears to be useful for those with digestive problems.  Save a little tea and try dipping a cotton ball into it for a refreshing and soothing eye wash. You can also add a spoonful or two of  honey to thicken and use as syrup for a mild laxative for kids. For external use, bruise fresh Chicory leaves and apply to areas affected by gout, skin eruptions, swellings, skin inflammations, and rheumatism. The dried, crushed root is made into infusions and decoctions for digestive upsets and to improve appetite. A tea made from the flowers promotes the production of bile, the release of gallstones, and the elimination of excessive internal mucus. Homeopathically it is used for the help in relieving liver and gall bladder ailments.

Magickal uses: Gather in perfect silence at noon or midnight on Midsummer using a gold knife. Take the herb
gathered this way and place it against locked boxes or doors to open them. Carry to remove obstacles in your life. Carry specially cut chicory to become invisible. Spread chicory juice over your body to gain favors from a great person. Carry to promote frugalness. Place fresh flowers on altar or burn as incense. Chicory is masculine, ruled by the Sun and is associated with the element of Air.

Properties: Tonic, stimulant, laxative, appetizer, astringent, carminitive, cholagogue, digestive, diuretic, hepatic.

Growth: Chicory is a perennial herb.Chicory, or succory, known botanically as Cichorium intybus L., is a perennial member of the daisy family (Asteraceae), native to Europe but now found growing wild along roadsides and in neglected fields throughout North America. Attaining a height of three to five feet or more, it is conspicuous for its attractive azure blue flowers.

Laxative: 2 Tbsp Root to 2 cups Water. Let come just to a boil, take off burner and let cool. Take 1 to 1 1/2 cups a day, a mouthful at a time. 
Source:
Author: Crick
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Herb of the Day for July 26th is Thyme

Herb of the Day

 Thyme

(Thymus vulgaris)

                                                          
Around 3000 BCE the Sumerians were using it as a medicinal ingredient, and the Egyptians included it among the herbs and spices used in mummification.

Medicinal Uses: Thyme is a powerful antiseptic. It is used in cases of anemia, bronchial ailments, and intestinal disturbances. It is used as an antiseptic against tooth decay, and destroys fungal infections as in athlete’s foot and skin parasites such as crabs and lice. It is good for colic, flatulence, and colds.                              
It is used for sinusitis and asthma. Eliminates gas and reduces fever, mucus, and headaches. Good for chronic respiratory problems, colds, flu, bronchitis, whooping cough, and sore throat. Lowers cholesterol levels. Good to relieve coughs, and whooping cough. Externally, helps sprains and strains.                                                                       
A poultice can be made from the leaves of thyme that will combat all forms of inflammation and infection. Effective against hookworms. Rub the extract between the toes daily for athlete’s foot. Used externally, the extract can be used daily for crabs, lice, and scabies.                                                                                                                                 
Taken internally by standard infusion, thyme is a first-rate digestive, febrifuge and liver tonic. Anti-spasmodic and nervine, it is held to cure a wide range of psychological disorders, even insanity. Hysteria, halitosis and assorted female ailments, especially mastitis, loss of appetite.                                                                                                           
Thyme baths are said to be helpful for neurastenia, rheumatic problems,, paralysis, bruises, swellings, and sprains. The salve made from thyme can be used for shingles.                                                                                                         
Thyme is an excellent lung cleanser. Use it to dry up and clear out moist phlegm and to treat whooping cough. It makes a good tea for the mother after childbirth, as it helps expel the placenta. Steep one-half teaspoon fresh herb or one teaspoon dried herb in one-half cup of hot water for five minutes. Take up to one and a half cups a day in quarter-cup doses. A natural antiseptic, thyme is often used in salves for wounds, swellings, sciatica, and failing eyes. The tea relives gas and colic (as does the oil, taken in one- to five-drop doses). The tincture can be used in ten- to twenty-drop doses, taken three times a day. Use thyme for headaches and hangovers.

Thyme oil should be reserved for topical use, as internally it may lead to dizziness, vomiting, and breathing difficulties

Magickal uses: The Greeks burned thyme in their temples to purify them as we do today to purify an area. Add it to the magickal, cleansing bath of springtime, along with marjoram, to remove all sorrows and ills of winter. It is worn or added to the ritual cup to aid in communicating with the deceased. (It also helps one see Otherworldly entities.) To ensure a restful night’s sleep free from nightmares, sleep with it beneath your pillow. When worn it will help psychic powers develop, and if worn be a woman in her hair, it will make her irresistible. The aroma will revitalize your strength and courage. A place where wild thyme grows will be a particularly powerful energy center on the Earth.

Properties: Anthelmitic, antispasmodic, carminative, diaphoretic, expectorant, sedative. Contains borneol, cavacrol, fluorine, gum, trace minerals, bitter principle, saponins, flavonoids, essential oils, tannins, triterpenic acids, and vitamins B-complex, C, and D.

Growth: Thyme is a perennial that loves warm, sunny fields, and is found throughout North America. Thyme has numerous woody stems 6-10 inches high, covered in fine hair, and flattish round leaves, growing in pairs. The flowers, small bluish-purple, two-lipped, are borne in whorled in dense, head-like clusters, blooming fro May to September, like the rest of the plant, are heavily scented. Thyme requires full sun and fairly dry, light, well-drained soil.  Trim it back after flowering to prevent it from becoming woody.

Infusion: steep 1/2 tsp. fresh herb or 1 tsp. dried herb in 1/2 cup water for 3 to 5 minutes. Take 1 to 1 1/2 cups per day, a mouthful at a time.

Oil: take 10-20 drops, 3 times per day.

Bath additive: make a strong decoction and add to the bath water.
Source:
Author: Crick
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Herb of the Day for July 23 is Blue Flag

Herb of the Day

Blue Flag

                      Blue Iris, Fleur-de-lis, Water flag                       


                                  
Medicinal Uses: Used externally for skin problems, wounds (infected) and rheumatic and arthritic complaints. American Indians poulticed the root on swellings, sores, wounds, bruises, ulcers. The Indians also used blue flag for dropsy. The root tea was used as a strong laxative, emetic, and to stimulate bile flow.                                                               
Blue flag is said to be good for chronic vomiting, heartburn, chronic gastritis and enteritis, liver and gallbladder ailments, and catarrhal sinus problems. It is highly recommended for migraine, especially when caused by stomach disorders. This herb is used in the treatment of skin diseases, apparently aiding the skin by working through the liver, the main detoxifying organ of the body. It may be used in skin eruptions such as eczema and psoriasis.

This herb can cause death or other serious consequences.

Magickal uses: Carry in a pouch in order to attract money

Properties: Acrid, aromatic, alterative, reduces inflammation, diaphoretic, sialogogue, diuretic, laxative; stimulates liver and gall bladder, cathartic, diuretic, resolvent, sialagogue and vermifuge. Contains volatile oil, containing furfural, Iridin (or irisin), a glycoside, acids such as salicylic and isophthalic, a monocyclic C3l triterpenoid, gum, resin, and sterols.

Growth: Blue flag is a perennial, 1-3 ft. in height. and grows erect, has narrow, sword-shaped leaves and, from May to July, violet blue flowers streaked with yellow, green, and white. The sword-like leaves are similar to those of garden irises, with flowers violet-blue, sepals violet at outer edge; veins prominent, sheaths papery. It prefers wet, swampy locations.

 

Source:
Author: Crick
Website: The Whispering Woods

 

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Herb of the Day for July 19th is Chestnut

Herb of the Day

              Chestnut                


The name is derived from a famous Taoist priest, Chang T’ien-shih, who lived in Ts’ing-ch’en.


Medicinal Uses: Horse-chestnut leaves have marked narcotic tendencies, and a cupful of standard infusion will ensure deep, calm sleep. It should not, however, be taken too often despite the tonic properties it also enjoys. Essence of horse-chestnut is rich in vitamin K and therefore valuable in treating all circulatory disorders. People suffering from poor circulation, piles, varicose veins, and chilblains may be helped with medical supervision. Peeled roasted nuts were brewed for diarrhea, prostate ailments. In Europe, preparations of the seeds are believed to prevent thrombosis, rheumatism, neuralgia, burns, thought to help weak veins and arteries. Also used in bronchitis, swollen prostate, gastritis and gastroenteritis. Leaf tea is a tonic; used for fevers, colds, malaria, dysentery; externally, for lupus and skin ulcers. A fluid extract from the fruit protects against sunburn.

Magickal uses: Used in love spells. May also be added to your beloveds food. Chestnuts are masculine, ruled by Jupiter and are associated with Fire.

Properties: Tonic, stimulant, narcotic, astringent, anti-inflammatory, nutritive, febrifuge, expectorant. The seeds contain various saponins including aescine, tannins, flavones, purines, starch, sugar, albumin, and a fatty oil. The bark contains coumarins, glycoside, resin and pigment.

Growth: Grows to 100 ft. in height. Has 5-7 toothed leaflets per leaf; up to 12 inches long; without stalks. Buds are large and very sticky. Broken twigs do not have foul-smelling odor as the Ohio Buckeye has. Flowers are white (mottled red and yellow); flowering in May. Fruits are spiny or warty; produced in September-October.
Source:
Author: Crick

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