Herbs

Herb of the Day for November 25th – Basswood

Herb of the Day

Basswood


Basswood is used as a  remedy for colds, flu, coughs, fever, headaches, epilepsy, indigestion, and sore throats. The inner bark contains mucilaginous materials and makes a soothing application for skin irritations, boils, wounds, sores, and burns. It is a relaxing remedy for nervous tension. Also used as a prophylactic against the development of arteriosclerosis and hypertension. Also used in the treatment of raised blood pressure associated with arteriosclerosis and nervous tension. In raised blood pressure it may be used with Hawthorn and European Mistletoe, with Hops in nervous tension and with Elder Flower in the common cold.

Magickal uses: none  

Properties: Diaphoretic, stomachic, anti-spasmodic, hypotensive, diuretic, anti-inflammatory, emmenagogue, astringent. Bark: emollient. Contains volatile oil (farnesol), flavonoids; hesperidin, quercitin, astralagin, tiliroside and others, mucilage (in the bract), phenolic acids and tannins.

Growth: Basswood is commonly found in mixed northern hardwood forests and prefers moist but slightly drained fertile soils. Basswoods typically reach a height of between 50 to 80 feet; the trunk having a diameter of 2 to 3 feet. The flowers (Jun-Aug) of the tree are white and speckled with yellow and purple. The leaves turn russet in the autumn. The brownish-gray bark is perpendicularly, but not deeply, fissured. The cordate, serrate leaves are from 4-7 inches long have pointed tips and heart-shaped bases; clusters of yellow-white fragrant flowers (1/2 inch wide) with 5 sepals and petals and numerous stamens cohering in groups, grow on long stalks from narrow bracts, appear in June and August; they are followed by small round nutlets. The fruits or seeds are about the size and shape of a pea and are commonly called “monkey-nuts”.

Infusion: steep 1 tsp. flowers or leaves in 1 cup water. Take 1-2 cups a day.

Frequent consumption of flower tea may cause heart damage.
Source:
Author: Crick

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Herb of the Day for November 18th – Camphor

Herb of the Day

Camphor

Medicinal Uses: Marco Polo was the first to note that the Chinese used camphor oil as a medicine, scent and embalming fluid. Camphor crystals are applied externally as unguents or balms as a counter-irritant and analgesic liniment to relieve arthritic and rheumatic pains, neuralgia and back pain. It may also be applied to skin problems, such as cold sores and chilblains, and used as a chest rub for bronchitis and other chest infections. The stems together with the root and the wood and the leaves and the twigs and the essential oil are used.

Magickal uses: Camphor is used for a ritual cleansing of the home before moving in. Good for cleaning altar before setting up. A bag of camphor hung around the neck keeps flu’s and colds away. Use in divinatory incenses. It is feminine and ruled by the Moon. Its associated element is Water.

Properties: Antiseptic, antispasmodic, analgesic, expectorant, carcinogenic, stimulant, anti-rheumatic, emollient.

Growth: Camphor is native to China and Japan. This evergreen tree can reach 100 feet, producing red leaves that turn dark green as they mature, small fragrant yellowish flowers, and oval red berries. When the root or bark is steamed, it produces a volatile, white, crystalline compound with a characteristic pungent odor, usually referred to as camphor.

Do not use internally. Do not use in the facial area of children or infants as it can be a powerful convulsant.
Source:
Author: Crick
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Herb of the Day for November 17th – Balmony

Herb of the Day

Balmony


The name of the genus Chelone comes from the Greek word meaning a tortoise, from the resemblance of the corolla to a tortoise-head.

Medicinal uses: Balmony is beneficial for a weak stomach and indigestion, general debility, constipation, and torpid liver, it also stimulates the appetite, and in small doses is a good tonic during convalescence. In addition, Balmony is an effective antheimintic. Balmony is an excellent agent for liver problems. It acts as a tonic on the whole digestive and absorptive system. It has a stimulating effect on the secretion of digestive juices by way of its laxative properties. Balmony is used in gall stones, inflammation of the gall-bladder and in jaundice.
It stimulates the appetite, eases colic, dyspepsia and biliousness and is helpful in debility.
Externally it has been used on inflamed breasts, painful ulcers and piles.
It is very useful after malarial fevers when used as a tonic.
Externally, it is used for sores and eczema. The ointment is useful in relieving the itching and irritation of piles.

For the relief on constipation, Balmony may be combined with Butternut. For jaundice it will best be used with Milk Thistle and other toning hepatics such as Golden Seal.

Infusion: Use I tsp. leaves to I cup water. Take I to 2 cups a day.

Tincture: Take 10 to 20 drops in water, three or four times a day.

Magickal Uses: Balmony is used in hexes. Wrap a persons name in a bundle of balmony and it will cause them to become ill.

Properties: Cholagogue, hepatic, anti-emetic, stimulant, laxative, antheimintic, aperient, cholagogue, tonic. Contains gallic acid

Growth: Balmony has a simple, erect, square stem that reaches a height of 1 to 3 feet. Opposite and short-petioled, its shining, dark green, pointed leaves are serrated and oblong-lancealate in shape. Blooming from July to September, the white flowers, often tinged with pink or magenta, grow in dense terminal or axillary spikes. The two-lipped corolla of the flower somewhat resembles a turtle’s head. The fruit is an ovoid capsule.
Source:
Author: Crick
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Herb of the Day for November 16th – Belladonna

Herb of the Day

Belladonna


Its scientific name derives from Atropos, one of the Fates in Greek mythology, who held the shears to cut the thread of human life.                                                                                                                                                               

Medicinal Uses: Belladonna has a sedative, anticholinergic (an agent that blocks parasympathetic nerve impulses) and spasmolytic effects on the gastrointestinal tract. The leaves applied externally are used as a treatment and possible cure for cancer. Treats nervous congestion, suppresses the action of smooth muscles, and is helpful for kidney pains, and colitis. During the Parthian Wars it was said to have been used to poison the troops of Marcus Antonius. In the 16th century, herbalists laid moistened leaves on the head to induce sleep. Small doses to allay cardiac palpitation was administered by applying a plaster to the region of the heart. Atropine is used today to dilate eyes prior to eye surgery, and for certain eye exams.

Magickal uses: Belladonna is ruled by Saturn and is considered feminine. It is the plant of Hecate, Bellona and Circe. Encourages astral projection and produces visions. Belladonna is used in funeral rituals to aspurge the circle, helping the deceased to let go and move forward.

Properties: Antispasmodic, diuretic, anodynic, narcotic, sedative, anodynic, calmative, relaxant, mydriatic. Contains various alkaloids, such as  hyoscyamine and scopolamine, belladonnine, atrosin and  atropine. Acts through the central nervous system. Small, minute doses stimulate, large doses paralyze and can result in fatality. Atropine is a powerful nerve poison.

Growth: Atropa belladonna is a poisonous plant with reddish flowers and shining black berries. It is native to Europe, Asia, and North Africa. It is naturalized in the eastern United States. It is found in meadows, forests and waste places.   Belladonna grows to a height of five feet with a much branched lax, purplish colored stem. The leaves are a dull, darkish green, oval and pointed, of unequal size being 3 to 10 inches long. The lower leaves are solitary, the upper in alternate pairs on opposite side of the stem, one leaf of each pair being much larger than the other. They are pale green on the underside with prominent veins; mid-rib is depressed on the upper surface. Dingy purple-brown to purple bell-shaped flowers, about 1-inch long, dangle in the axils of the leaves; corolla has 5 large teeth or lobes, slightly refracted; the 5-cleft calyx clings to the berry. The smooth berries contain several seeds and follow the flower, turning from green to a jewel-like black and ripen in September.

This herb can could cause death or other serious consequences. Its use is not recommended without professional medical guidance. Every part of the plant is extremely poisonous.
Source:
Author: Crick
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Herb of the Day for November 15th – Bay

Herb of the Day

Bay

Bay Laurel,  Noble Laurel, Roman Laurel, Sweet Bay    


The leaves, berries and oil have excitant and narcotic properties. Bay is  well known for it’s ability to relieve the aches and pains associated with rheumatism, and for sprains, bruises, and skin rashes.  Distill an oil from the leaves and rub on the affected areas, or make an ointment to rub into affected areas. Heat leaves in a little olive oil to make a bay oil salve for arthritis and aches.  
Used externally as a poultice on the chest for bronchitis and coughs. The Berries have are considered useful in the for suppressed menstruation and womb problems, as well as being taken during childbirth when the delivery is imminent to help expel afterbirth. Lesser doses are diaphoretic while large doses are emetic.

Magickal Uses: The leaves are burned to enhance psychic powers and to produce visions. Place beneath the pillow for prophetic dreams and inhale for visions. Worn in an amulet, it will provide protection from evil and negativity. The leaves are used as decorations during the Yule season, and placed in your window it will protect against lightning striking your house. Write a wish on a bay leaf and then burn it if you want the wish to come true. Sprinkling the crushed leaves in your cupboards will keep out cockroaches and other insect pests. To ensure lasting love, a couple should break a twig off the tree, then break the twig in two and each keep a half. If worn during competition, it gives strength to those in wrestling and athletic sport.

Properties: Astringent, bitter, carminative, diuretic, emetic, emmenogogue, narcotic, nervine, aromatic, stimulant, digestive aid, locally antiseptic, antiparasitic, expectorant. Contains parthenolides. The plant also contains tannic acid and bitters.         

Growth: A slow growing, pyramidal, perennial evergreen tree native to the Mediterranean region and Asia Minorwhich can reach a height of 40 to 60 feet. The bark is smooth and olive green to a reddish hue. The evergreen leaves are smooth, shiny, dark, aromatic, and alternate with short stalks and lanceolate 3 to 4 inches long, the margin being smooth and wavy. The flowers are inconspicuous, small, creamy yellow, having no petals, unisexual, composed of 4-lobed calyxes which are greenish-yellow in small umbels from the leaf axils. One-seeded fruit is purple to black, but when dried the berries (1/2″ diameter) are black and aromatic.
Source:
Author: Crick
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Herb of the Day for November 14th – Calamus Root

Herb of the Day

Calamus Root     

Calamus has been regarded as an aphrodisiac in India and Egypt for at least 2,500 years.                                              
Medicinal Uses: An infusion of the rhizome is used for fevers and dyspepsia; chew the rhizome to ease digestion and to clear the voice.  It is considered as a “rejuvenator” for the brain and nervous system, and as a remedy for digestive disorders. Calamus is used for digestive problems such as gas, bloating, colic, and poor digestive function. Calamus, particularly A. calamus var. americanus, which is the most effective antispasmodic, relieves spasm of the intestines. Calamus helps distended and uncomfortable stomachs, and headaches associated with weak digestion. Small amounts are thought to reduce stomach acidity, while larger doses increase deficient acid production.                          
It is used externally for rheumatism, gum disease, and angina.

Magickal uses: Calamus root is feminine and associated with the element of Water. It is ruled by the Moon. It is one of the ingredients of” flying ointment”. For Shamanic use, 2 inches of the root will produce a stimulating effect and 6 to 10 inches of the root will cause a psychedelic effect. Use powdered root in incenses and sachets. Used to strengthen and bind spells. Growing the plant brings good luck. String the seeds like beads on a necklace to use for healing. The powdered root is used in incenses and sachets for healing. To keep hunger and poverty from your home, keep pieces of this root in the corners of your kitchen. Use to strengthen and bind.

Properties: carminative, antispasmodic, diaphoretic, stimulant, tonic. Calamus contains mucilage, up to 3% volatile oil (acorin), bitter principles (choline), calamine, glycoside and tannin.

Growth: A grass-like, rhizome forming, perennial that can grow to 2 meters high, resembling an iris. This species inhabits perpetually wet areas like the edges of streams and around ponds and lakes, in ditches and seeps. Calamus looks similar to other flag Irises and sedges.
Source:
Author: Crick
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Easy Herbal Magick

Easy Herbal Magick

 

Here are some herbs that I have used through the years. There are many places on the web to buy fresh herbs and plants.

**Before you begin – make sure you are not allergic or sensitive to any of the herbs**

If you live with any animals – check with your vet to make sure that what you plant is not toxic to your furry friend(s).

Money and Prosperity

Benzoin – Burn with cinnamon for business success.

Bryony – Use the root and set it on a piece of money to watch your riches grow.

Cinquefoil – A great all-purpose herb. Make a prosperity sachet by mixing together equal parts of cinquefoil, cinnamon, cloves, lemon balm, and add a whole vanilla or Tonka bean. Do this on a Thursday after sunset during the Waxing Moon. Sew up into a rich purple cloth bag and carry it with you.

High John The Conqueror – Anoint the root with some mint oil and tie up in a green or purple bag to attract needed money.

Honeysuckle - Put flowers around green candles to attract money.

Poppy – Carry the dried seed-pod as a prosperity amulet.

Sage – Burn as an incense to attract money/prosperity.

Love and Attraction

Apple – Give an apple to a lover as a present, cut it in half and eat one half while your loves eats his or hers.

Camphor – If a would-be lover is lavishing too much attention on you and you are not interested – have them smell the camphor. It will instantly turn them off.

Cinnamon – Burn to stimulate and excite the passions of a man.

Dill – Add a half-handful of seeds to your bath water to attract the opposite sex to you.

Gardenia – Wear the flower to attract love, new friends and lovers. Dry and crush its petals, mix with ground orris root and light dust your body to attract the opposite sex.

Jasmine – The flowers attract spiritual love.

Lavender - Burn the flowers to attract the opposite sex.

Lemon Verbena – Wear to make yourself attractive to the opposite sex.

Lovage – Carry the root as a love attractor.

Orange – Add fresh or dried blossoms to a bath to make one attractive to the one you want.

Patchouly – Attracts men and woman – wear alone or with other love herbs. Normally used in oil form.

Rose – Burn the petals or scatter them in your bedroom to have a wondrous night.

Vanilla – Normally this herb is used in oil form, but the whole bean is sometimes carried on ones body to make yourself attractive and ready for an evening of loving. Used by some for some get up and go!

Violet – Use with lavender to make a powerful love sachet.

Protection

Acacia – Carry the wood as a protective amulet.

Angelica – Grow in the garden for protection.

Bay Laurel – Wear as an amulet to ward of negativity and evil.

Cactus – Fill a jar with cactus spines, rusty nails, old tacks, pins, and needles. Add rue and rosemary leaves to fill the jar, seal tightly, and then bury under your doorstep as a powerful protective device.

Celandine – The herb aids in escaping unwarranted imprisonment and entrapments of every kind. Wear the herb next to the skin.

Comfrey – Carry the herb while your traveling to ensure your safety. Put some in your luggage to make sure it arrives at your destination.

Cyclamen – Grow in the bedroom for protection.

Fern – Grow in the shady areas of the garden and in the house. Throw fern on hot coals for an aura of protection. All ferns are extremely powerful protection.

Frankincense – Mix with cumin and burn as a powerful protective incense useful for general working.

Garlic – Take garlic with you when you travel over water to prevent drowning.

Ivy – Grow on the outside of your house as Ivy is used as a guardian.

Juniper – Carry a sprig to protect yourself from accidents. Grow at your doorstep for protection.

Periwinkle – Hang on the door to protect all within the building.

Primrose – Plant in the garden to protect, especially the blue and red varieties.

Thistle – Grow in the garden to ward off thieves.

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Plant Kingdom Helps and Hints

Plant Kingdom Helps and Hints

The fresher a plant (or a plant preparation) is the better it responds to magical energy, unless you leave that item where it will receive constant charging.

Dry plants and plant parts are fine for convenience, but they don’t have the magical vitality fresh ones do because the vital oils (and life energy) are also “dry.” Mind you, there are cases when the dry quality may help your magic, such as when performing a good-weather spell!

The essential oil from a plant is a perfectly good substitute for fresh parts. Just be careful–these oils can be harsh on the skin, and some are toxic to pets.

Growing your own magical plants and harvesting them at a traditional tie (e.g., Midsummer’s Day) does seem to boost the magical energy within.

If you have to buy plants from a supplier, organic plants have the best magical potential (chemicals can obscure magical intention). Also, find a supplier you can trust. One green leafy thing looks a lot like another, and not all companies are honest in their packaging.

Along the same lines, as you collect plants for magical work make sure to carefully label everything both inside and outside the container. Always trust this rule: If you’re not sure what it is, don’t use it!

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