Herb of the Day for December 19th is Myrrh

Herb of the Day


Its name is derived from the Hebrew murr or maror, meaning “bitter.”

Medicinal Uses: Especially valued as a disinfectant, myrrh is used as a wash for wounds. Use as a wound wash only after the wound has been well cleaned. It has the tendency to seal wounds once it is placed on them. Use the alcohol tincture in water or the tea as a wound wash.
Myrrh promotes circulation and increases heart rate and power. Said to move stagnant blood through the uterus, it has been used for menopause, menstrual irregularities , and uterine tumors. Myrrh benefits diabetes and obesity; the dose is one to fifteen grains. Combined with echinacea and mullein to one quarter part myrrh; steep two teaspoons per cup of water for twenty minutes; take a quarter cup every four hours. Myrrh, goldenseal, arnica, and cayenne can be soaked in rubbing alcohol for a few weeks to make a liniment for bruises and sprains.
Myrrh is used in mouthwashes to soothe mouth and throat irritations.

Prolonged internal use of myrrh (longer than a few weeks) can lead to kidney damage.

Magickal Uses: Myrrh , which is sacred to Isis, is burned to purify sacred space. Myrrh increases the power of any incense to which it is added. Myrrh is also used in healing incenses and sachets. Its smoke is used to consecrate and purify objects such as amulets, talismans, charms, and magickal tools. It also aids meditation and contemplation. The essential oil can be added to blends designed to enhance spirituality and meditation.

Properties: Antibacterial and antifungal. Myrrh contains volatile oil, resin (myrrhin), gum, ash, salts, sulphates, benzoates, malates, and acetates of potassa.

Growth: Myrrh grows as a  small tree or shrub. The bushes yielding the resin do not grow more than 9 feet in height. They are sturdy built, with knotted branches, and branchlets that stand out at right-angles, ending in a sharp spine. It is of the botanical family “Burseraceae”.
Author: Crick
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Herb of the Day for December 17th – Elecampane

Herb of the Day



Medicinal Uses: Elecampane is used for intestinal worms, water retention, and to lessen tooth decay and firm the gums. It gives relief to respiratory ailments. It is usually used in combination with other herbs. Elecampane is a specific for irritating bronchial coughs, especially in children. It may be used wherever there is copious catarrh formed e.g. in bronchitis or emphysema. It may be used in asthma and bronchitic asthma. Elecampane tea is much used to quiet coughing, to stimulate digestion and to tone the stomach; for bronchitis, urinary and respiratory tract inflammation, and menstrual problems. Elecampane oil is used for respiratory and intestinal catarrh, chronic diarrhea, chronic bronchitis, and whooping cough. The decoction or tincture is used for worms, and externally as a wash or fomentation for skin problems such as scabies and itches.

Elecampane has been used in the treatment of tuberculosis. The bitter principle makes it useful also to stimulate digestion and appetite.                                                                                                                                             

Externally it is used as a wash for wounds and itching rashes. It is burned to repel insects.                                       
Elecampane combines well with White Horehound, Coltsfoot, Pleurisy Root, Lungwort and Yarrow for respiratory problems.

Magickal uses: Add this herb to love charms and amulets of all kinds. Used with mistletoe and vervain, it is especially powerful. Use when scrying for better results. Place leaves and flowers into a pink pouch to attract love or for protection. Burn as incense to increase visions when scrying. Scatter the root around the home to attract the Fae.

Properties: Expectorant, anti-tussive, diaphoretic, hepatic, anti-microbial. Contains volatile oil, containing sesquiterpene lactones, main lyalamtolactone ( helenalin or elecampane camphor), isoalantolactone and their dihydro derivatives, alantic acid and azulene. As well as Inulin and miscellaneous; sterols, resin etc.

Growth: Elecampane enjoys roadsides and damp fields and pastures. Plant it in full sun in a damp, but not soggy, location. It is a perennial that grows 3 – 6 feet tall. The fibrous, top-shaped rootstock is brown outside and white inside. The stout, round stem is coarse and woolly. It bears large, alternate, ovate, serrate, olive-colored leaves with white veins. The large, yellow flower heads are solitary or grow in paniculate clusters from July to September. The fruit is a brown, quadrangular achene.The root is most commonly used. It is indigenous to Europe and temperate Asia, naturalized in the USA, and cultivated widely in Europe and also China.
Author: Crick
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Herb of the Day for December 16th – Lovage

Herb of the Day



Medicinal Uses: The roots and fruit are aromatic and stimulant, and have diuretic and carminative action. In herbal medicine they are used in disorders of the stomach and feverish attacks, especially for cases of colic and flatulence in children. Regulates menstruation, assists in removal of waste products, aids rheumatism, and reduces water retention.

Magickal uses: Add the dried and powdered root to cleansing and purification baths to release negativity. Carry to attract love and the attention of the opposite sex.
Lovage is masculine and ruled by the Sun. Its Element is Water.

Properties: Diurectic,carminative, aromatic and stimulant. Lovage contains a volatile oil, angelic acid, a bitter extractive and resins. The fresh leaves contain max. 0.5% essential oil; phthalides (ligustilide, butylphthalide and a partially hydrogenated derivative thereof called sedanolide). Terpenoids (terpineol, carvacrol) and eugenol.

Growth: Lovage has a thick and fleshy root, 5 or 6 inches long, shaped like a carrot, of a greyish-brown colour on the outside and whitish within. It has a strong aromatic smell and taste. The thick, erect hollow and channelled stems grow 3 or 4 feet or even more in height. The large, dark green radical leaves, on erect stalks, are divided into narrow wedge-like segments, and are not unlike those of a coarse-growing celery; their surface is shining, and when bruised they give out an aromatic odour, somewhat reminiscent both of Angelica and Celery. The stems divide towards the top to form opposite whorled branches, which in June and July bear umbels of yellow flowers, similar to those of Fennel or Parsnip, followed by small, extremely aromatic fruits, yellowish-brown in colour, elliptical in shape and curved, with three prominent winged ribs.
Author: Crick
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Herb of the Day for December 15th – Bearberry

Herb of the Day



Bear Grape, Crowberry, Foxberry, Uva-ursi, Yukon holly

Medicinal Uses: Bearberry was smoked in peace pipes by American Indians to promote calming and mental clarity. People of the Middle Ages believed that since bearberry grew in sandy, gravely soils, it would effectively remove “sand” and “gravel” from the kidneys.  
Bearberry is considered to be a kidney herb. Primarily it is used for bladder infection, kidney infection and irritation. The plant is believed to have urinary antiseptic properties. It helps to reduce accumulations of uric acid and to relive the pain of bladder stones and gravel. It is used to alleviate chronic cystitis. The tea or tincture is used for bronchitis, nephritis, and kidney stones.                      
It is used to strengthen the heart muscle.  Also used as a broad-range remedy for diabetes, liver and spleen problems (to cleanse and strengthen), hemorrhoids, and mucous discharges.  
Used in combination with blueberry for diabetes (20-40 drops tincture of blueberry leaves, 10-20 drops tincture of bearberry; dose is 10-20 drops in water three times daily).

Magickal uses: Uva-ursi is used to increase psychic powers. Used in a shaman smoking mixture. Ruled by the planet Mars and Pluto.

Properties: Diuretic, strongly astringent, tonic. Contains arbutin (a powerful astringent that has antiseptic properties), chorine, ellagic acid, ericolin, gallic acid, hydroquinolone, malic acid, methyl-arbutin, myricetin, volatile oils, quercetin, tannins, ursolic acid, ursone, and a substance similar to quercetin. Tannin is present up to 6% or 7%.

Growth: A sprawling shrub with much-branched irregular stems and evergreen leaves with a single, long, fibrous main root which sends out several prostrate stems from which grow erect, branching stems 4 to 6 inches high; found over most of the northern hemisphere (primarily the mountains of Europe, Asia, and America, it is also common in Scotland on heaths and barren places in hilly terrain (especially the Highlands), and extends as far south as Yorkshire. Also found on hills of northwestern Ireland. In North America it is found throughout Canada and the United States as far south as New Jersey and Wisconsin.    

Infusion: soak the leaves in alcohol (not rubbing alcohol) or brandy, then add 1 tsp. soaked leaves to 1 cup boiling water. Drink 2-3 cups per day, cold. You can let the leaves soak in brandy for a whole week before making the infusion with water and add a tsp. of the brandy to each cup of infusion. Do not boil this herb. Just steep in boiling-hot water.

Dried herb: mix 1 tbsp. in 8 oz. warm water. Drink 1 cup daily.

Tincture: take 10 to 20 drops in water, 3 to 4 times per day.

Not to be taken by pregnant women or those breastfeeding, by children, or those with kidney disease. High doses cause nausea and can actually inflame the lining of the bladder and urinary tract. Overuse can cause symptoms of poisoning. Long term use can cause liver damage, especially in children.
Author: Crick
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Herb of the Day for December 14th is Licorice

Herb of the Day


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.
Author: Crick
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Herb of the Day for December 12th is Holly

Herb of the Day


Medicinal Uses: The leaf is dried and used as a tea for fevers, bronchitis, bladder problems, and gout. Steep half an once of the chopped leaf in boiled water for twenty minutes; take one tablespoon per day. Holly can be used as a substitute for quinine. Homeopaths use Ilex aquifolium for intermittent fevers, spleen pain, and eye symptoms, especially when the symptoms are better in winter.        
An infusion, or tea, of the leaves was believed to promote sweating and hence was given for malaria and other  intermittent, or recurring fevers.  The juice of the berries, although highly toxic, was a common remedy for jaundice. 
Holly is rarely used today.  Its leaves are diuretic, fever-reducing, and laxative, and they have been employed to treat fevers, jaundice, and rheumatism.                                                                                                          
Holly berries purge the bowels and cause vomiting if taken in large doses. They have been used in the treatment of dropsy and as a powder they have been used as an astringent to check bleeding. The root has been used as a diuretic, though there are more effective diuretics available.

Magickal uses: The Druids and other ancient European peoples bedecked their dwellings with holly leaves and berries at the time of the winter solstice.  Romans exchanged holly branches during the December festival called “Saturnalia”, a tradition adopted by early Christians.  To “deck the halls with boughs of holly,” from the Christmas carol, was most likely adopted from the Roman Saturnalia.  According to Roman folk belief, the holly’s white flowers would turn water into ice.                                                                                                                              
Holly, with its warrior-like bristles, is known as an herb of protection. Holly guards against lightning, poison and evil spirits. Grown around the home it protects from mischievous sorcerers. Throw at wild animals to cause them to quietly lie down and leave you alone. “Holly water” (water in which holly has been soaked, especially if left under a full moon overnight) is sprinkled on newborns to protect them and keep them happy. Carried by a man, it promotes good luck (holly is a ‘male’ plant, use Ivy for this for women) and hang in the home at Yule for luck. On a Friday, after midnight and in total silence, gather nine holly leaves from a non-spiny plant. Wrap in a white cloth using nine knots to tie the ends together. Place beneath your pillow to make your dreams come true. Holly is one of the evergreens brought into the home by Druids. It symbolizes a willingness to allow the nature spirits to share one’s abode during the harsh, cold season. Planted outside the home, it will also afford protection. Sprinkle holly water on newborn babies to protect them.

Properties: Astringent; bach; diaphoretic; diuretic; emetic; expectorant; febrifuge; purgative. Contains ilicin (a bitter principle), ilexanthin, theobromine (only in the leaf), and caffeic acid.  Theobromine is a caffeine-type alkaloid, used to treat asthma.

Growth:  Evergreen bush or tree growing to 15 feet with shiny, deep green leaves edged with spines, clusters of small white flowers June-July, and round red berries on the female trees.  It is hardy to zone 6 and is frost tender. It is in leaf all year, in flower from May to June, and the seeds ripen from November to March. The scented flowers are dioeciously  and are pollinated by Bees. The plant not is self-fertile. It is noted for attracting wildlife. Holly grows throughout much of Europe, western and central Asia, and North Africa.  It is found in woods in North Africa.
Author: Crick


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Herb of the Day for December 11th is Balmony

Herb of the Day


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.
Author: Crick
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Herb of the Day for December 9th is

Herb of the Day


Medicinal Uses: Cayenne was introduced to Europe by Christopher Columbus.

Cayenne, also called capsicum, is very effective added to liniments for all sorts of arthritis and muscle aches. Internally it benefits the heart and circulation when taken alone or added to other remedies. It is also used to stimulate the action of other herbs. Capsicum is also used to normalize blood pressure. It also acts as a heart stimulant which regulates blood flow and strengthens the arteries, possibly preventing heart attacks. It reduces the likelihood of developing, atherosclerosis by reducing blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels. It also reduces the platelet aggregation and increases fibrinolytic activity.                                                                               

It will stop bleeding both externally and internally, making it excellent for use with ulcers. Cayenne has anti-ulcer activity. It lowers body temperature by stimulating the cooling center of the hypothalamus in the brain.                       

It is used in antibiotic combinations, for menstrual cramps, and as a part of treatment for depression. Sprinkle a small amount into socks or shoes to warm the feet during the winter months.                                                                   

It can be taken safely with NSAIDS, and may help you to reduce your dosages of these common arthritis drugs. Rubbed on the skin, cayenne is a traditional, as well as modern, remedy for rheumatic pains and arthritis due to what is termed a counterirritant effect. Capsaicin may be effective in relieving the pain of either osteoarthritis or rheumatoid arthritis.

Cayenne dramatically drops blood sugar levels and should by avoided by hypoglycemic’s. Cayenne is safe if used in moderation but can cause problems in people with stomach problems and ulcers.                                                                                                                                                                                                             

Magickal uses: Cayenne pepper scattered around your house will break bad spells. Adding it to love powders will ensure that your love will be spicy, and can inflame the loved one with passion.

Properties: Stimulant, tonic, sialagogue, alterative, rubefacient, carminative, digestive. High in Vitamin E and acts as a preservative. Also contains Vitamin C, calcium and beta-carotene.

Growth: Cayenne pepper plants like a good, rich soil, plenty of water, and full sun. The peppers are dried after ripening. For herbal use, the peppers are usually ground into a powder and mixed with other powdered herbs in capsules.



Author: Crick

Website: The Whispering Woods

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