Herbs

Herb of the Day for August 20th – Broom

Herb of the Day

 Broom

                 Scotch broom, Butcher’s broom, Irish broom                  


Medicinal Uses: Broom is used for circulatory disorders, gout, leg cramps, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, phlebitis, thrombosis, and jaundice. When used with uva-ursi, cleavers, and dandelion, it makes an excellent remedy for cleansing the kidneys and bladder, and to increase the flow of urine. It is a cardiac depressant used to quiet an overactive heart.

Large doses can cause vomiting, purging, weakening heart, lowered nerve strength and low blood pressure. Large doses have been reported to cause fatal poisoning.

Magickal uses: Broom is a masculine herb ruled by the planet Mars. It is associated with the element of Air. Carry bunches of green broom tied up in colorful ribbons at weddings. Use stalks to clean ritual area. Broom is one of the nine fairy herbs, and a cologne prepared from its flowers is said to inspire affection. Broom is a shamanic herb that is smoked prior to meditation. Store the flowers in a sealed container for 10 days until dry prior to use. Throw into the air and invoke the spirits of Air to raise the wind, or burn and bury the ashes to calm the wind.

Properties: The tops are cathartic and diuretic. The seed is cathartic and emetic. Broom contains alkaloids, hydroxylramine, 42% potash, and ruscogenins, tannin, bitter principle, and traces of an essential oil.

Growth: An attractive, evergreen shrub, it has bright green, almost leafless stems; erect green branches from which oval leaflets grow, with bright yellow pea-like flowers, much favored by butterflies, blooms in April to June. The height ranges from 3 to10 feet. The fruit is a brownish-black, shaggy pod contains 12-18 seeds. Requires full sun, prefers poor soil with perfect drainage.

The tops of young branches should be picked, and an infusion made using 3 tsp. to 3/4 pint of water. Dosage is a tbsp. night and morning.

Decoction: prepared from the root, boil 1 tsp flowering tops or seeds in 1 cup water. Dosage is a tbsp. night and morning. Or take 1 to 2 cups per day, a mouthful at at time.
Source:
Author: Crick
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Herb of the Day for August 18th is Chickweed

Herb of the Day

 Chickweed           


                                                            
Medicinal Uses: Chickweed is an excellent source of many B vitamins and various minerals. It is used to treat bronchitis, pleurisy, coughs, colds, and as a blood builder. Externally it is good for skin diseases, and the tea added to the bath is good for soothing skin irritations and rashes. Chickweed had been used for external application for inflamed substances, skin diseases, boils, scalds, burns, inflamed or sore eyes, erysipelas, tumors, piles, cancer, swollen testes, ulcerated throat and mouth, and all kinds of wounds.                                                                                                  
The fresh herb is made into a salve to relieve eczema. Also used for  hoarseness, bowels, constipation and blood disorders. It is used to “draw the poison out” of infections, inflammations, boils, or abcesses. Any form of internal inflammation is soothed and healed by application of chickweed as an external poultice. Traditional Chinese herbalists used a tea made from chickweed to treat nosebleeds.

Magickal uses: Chickweed is carried and/or used in spells to attract love and to maintain a relationship. Excellent offering for those that work with birds or avian spirit guides. Chickweed is associated with the element Water. It is a feminine herb and ruled by the Moon.

Properties: Alterative, demulcent, refrigerant, mucilaginous, pectoral, resolvent, discutient and antiscorbutic. Contains lecithin, is a source of phosphorus and potash salts, flavonoids and is high in Vitamin C.

Growth: Chickweed is an annual or biennial weed found in abundance all over the world. It prefers full sun, average to poor soils, and infrequent watering. Chickweed stems, usually less than 1 foot  tall, are so weak that the whole plant leans on other plants or adjacent firm supporting surfaces, often forming a tangled mass. Wherever the stem touches the ground the nodes give rise to roots and new stems. The stem has a row of hairs that change sides at the nodes. The opposite leaves are ovate to oblong in shape. The higher leaves are largely sessile, while those lower down on the stem have hairy petioles. The flowers, about 1/8 inch  in diameter, consist of five petals, but each petal is so deeply cleft that the blossoms look ten-pointed. The white petals are shorter than the green sepals.

Decoction: Boil 3 heaping Tbsp in 1 qt water till one pint remains; take 1 cupful warm every 3 hours or more often until bowels move.

or

Take a handful of fresh herb and add to boiling water; steep and take in half-cup doses twice a day till relief is gained.

Salve#1
Fresh chickweed which has been chopped and slowly warmed in petroleum jelly or lard; put into containers; first aid for cuts, nicks, bites and scratches.

Salve #2
Place 12 oz. fresh chickweed in 1 pint of olive, sweet almond or other suitable vegetable oil in ovenproof container; heat at 150 degrees F for 3 hours; strain and add 1/2 oz. melted beeswax to oil; stir as mixture thickens; used for soothing itches and rashes.
Source:
Author: Crick
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Herb of the Day for August 17th is Allspice

Herb of the Day

Allspice

           Pimento, Jamaica pepper            

 

Allspice is used as a paste to soothe and relieve toothache, as well as a mouthwash to freshen the
breath. The rind contains the most active medicinal components and is considered to be stimulant in
action, particularly the aroma. The tea has antiseptic properties (due to the eugenol content in the berries) and is used primarily as a digestive aid for flatulence, intestinal gas and indigestion. The tea is also used as an appetite stimulant, and as a carminative. Both the tea and a poultice are used for rheumatism and neuralgia.Allspice lowers blood sugar (useful in diabetes) and improves protein absorption. The leaves are used in the bath for varicose veins, gout, and edema. The eugenol content is said to promote digestive enzymes in the body.

Magickal uses: Allspice encourages healing and is used in mixtures to ask for money and good fortune. Also used in determination and healing spells

Properties: Aromatic, carminative, stimulant

Growth: Allspice is harvested from a tree that is native to Central and South America as well as the Caribbean. Allspice is the dried berry of the pimento, an evergreen tree growing to 40 feet in height. It bears opposite, leathery, oblong to oblong-lancelet leaves whose pinnately arranged veins show prominently on the underside. Small white flowers grow in many-flowered cymes in the upper leaf axils from June to August. The fruit is a fleshy, sweet berry which is purplish-black when ripe.

Poultice: Boil berries and make a thick paste. Spread on a soft clean cloth. The cloth can also be dipped in warm tea and used as hot pack                                                

Pimento water: Combine 5 parts crushed berries with 200 parts water and distill down to half the original volume. A dose is from 1-2 fluid ounces.                                                                                     

Oil: A dose is from 2-5 drops. For flatulence, take 2 or 3 drops on sugar                                                    

Powder: A dose is from 10-30 grains
Source:
Author: Crick
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Herb of the Day for August 7th is Hemlock *Poisonous*

Herb of the Day

                       Hemlock                              


                                                                                                                                                  
Socrates drank the juice of poisonous hemlock in order to commit suicide.                                                                   

Medicinal Uses: The whole plant has been used as a traditional folk cancer remedy, narcotic, sedative, analgesic, spasmolytic, anti-aphrodisiac. Hemlock has been used as an antidote for strychnine poisoning. The antidotes for Hemlock are emetics of zinc, castor oil, mustard, tannic acid and stimulants such as coffee.

Poison hemlock is a deadly poison. Ingestion can be lethal. Contact can cause dermatitis; juice is highly toxic. The young poison hemlock plant closely resembles Osha root.

Magickal uses: Once used to induce astral projections and to destroy sexual drives. Rub the juice (be sure to protect your hands) onto magickal knives and swords to empower and purify them before use. Hemlock is ruled by Saturn and associated with the Goddess Hecate.

Properties: astringent, diaphoretic, diuretic. Contains the poison alkaloid, coniine, conhydrine and methyl-coniine.

Growth: A species of evergreen plant; the volatile oil extracted from dried, unripe fruit of Conium maculatum, poison hemlock or a poison made from the hemlock. A European plant with compound umbels of small, white flowers and finely divided leaves. A branched perennial, 2-6 feet tall. Stems are hollow, grooved; purple-spotted. Leaves are carrot-like, but in overall outline more like an equilateral triangle, and with more divisions; leaves ill-scented when bruised. Leafstalks are hairless. Flowers are white, in umbels; May to August. Similar in appearance to caraway, valerian, Queen Anne’s lace, wild carrot, etc. Care should be taken in identifying the hemlock plant; Poison Hemlock is found in waste ground in most of the United States. A good way to distinguish the plant is by the fetid mouse-like smell it emits and by the dark purplish spots that pepper the stem.
Source:
Author: Crick

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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

Witchy Comments & Graphics

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

Let’s Talk Witch – Herbal Wisdom Everyone Can Benefit from Herbs


Witchy Comments & Graphics

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

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