Herbs

Herb of the Day for March 23 is The Dandelion

Herb of the Day


Dandelion

Medicinal Uses: Dandelion benefits all functions of the liver. The leaves, which can be eaten in salads, are a powerful diuretic. The roots act as a
“blood purifier” that helps both kidneys and the liver to remove impurities from the blood. This effect seems to be due to its potassium content. It also acts like a mild laxative and improves appetite and digestion. It clears obstructions (such as stones) and detoxifies poisons that gather in the liver, spleen, and gall bladder. It will also promote healthy circulation. Dandelion is used whenever there is liver involvement with heat and toxins in the blood. This includes jaundice, hepatitis, red and swollen eyes, as well as urinary tract infection, abscesses, or firm, hard sores in the breasts. It is also very effective to increase the production of mother’s milk.The juice from a broken leaf stem can be applied to warts and allowed to dry; used for 3 days or so it will dry up the warts. It is also used to treat premenstrual syndrome, as it is a diuretic. It has been shown to reduce cholesterol and uric acid. Dandelion also helps clear skin eruptions when used both internally and externally. Both dandelion leaf and root have been used for centuries to treat liver, gall bladder, and kidney ailments, weak digestion, and rheumatism. They are also considered mildly laxative. The fresh root or its preparations are thought to be more potent than the dried root. Lukewarm dandelion tea is recommended for dyspepsia with constipation, fever, insomnia, and hypochondria.

Magickal uses: It is a sign of rain when the down from a ripened dandelion head falls without wind helping it to do so. To blow the seeds off a ripened head is to carry your thoughts to a loved one, near or far. The feathery seed balls of the dandelion were once used by young girls to determine if their true loves were really true. They would blow on the dandelion fuzzy ball 3 times; if at least one of the fuzzy seeds remained, it was taken as an omen that her sweetheart was thinking about her. To promote psychic powers make a tea of the root by drying, roasting and grind (like coffee). The tea, when steaming and placed beside the bed, will call spirits. Simple garden magic: pick a “puff ball’ on the night of a full moon, call in the sacred directions, and blow your wish to the winds.

Properties: Alterative, cholagogue (increase the flow of bile), deobstruent, diuretic, stomachic, hepatic, laxative, tonic, aperient, (a very mild laxative), liver and digestive tonic.. It is a rich source of potassium, and contains more vitamin A than carrots. Also contains Biotin, calcium, choline, fats, gluten, gum, inositol, inulin, iron, lactupicrine, linolenic acid, magnesium, niacin, phosphorus, potash, proteins, resin, sulfur, vitamins A, B1, B2, B5, B6, B9, B12, C, E, and P, and zinc. The principal constituents responsible for dandelion’s effect on the digestive system and liver are the bitter principles. known as taraxacin, these constituents are sesquiterpene lactones of the eudesmanolide and germacranolide type and are unique to dandelion. Dandelion is the only naturally occurring potassium-sparing diuretic.

Growth: Dandelion is a common yard, garden, and roadside weed. Do not gather where chemicals have been used, and don’t gather those near roadsides, as they have been contaminated from exhausts. A familiar weed; 2-18 inches tall. A small rosette-forming perennial plant with a long thin taproot and a clump of entire or sinuate leaves. Flowering, leafless, stalk is hollow, with milky juice. The leaves are jagged-cut. Flowers are yellow; March to September, or sporadically all year. Seeds form “clocks” round balls of seeds with parachutes of hairs.

Infusion: Steep 2 tsp. Plant or root in 1-cup boiling water. Take 1/2 to 1 cup a day, lukewarm or cold.

Decoction: Use 4 oz. Fresh plant with 2 pints of water; boil down gently to 1 pint and strain. Take 3 tbsp. Six times daily.

Cold extract: Use 2 tsp. Plant with 1 cup water; let stand for 8-hours.

Juice: For a springtime tonic, take 1 tsp. Juice pressed from the leaves in milk, one to three times a day. Use an electric vegetable juicer to extract the milk.

 

Source:
Author: Crick
Website: The Whispering Woods

Categories: Articles, Daily Posts, Herbs | Tags: , , , , , | 1 Comment

Herb of the Day for March 16th – Clover

Herb of the Day

Clover

There are several different types of clovers, but the most commonly known ones are the red and white varieties. Typically, they have three leaves, but every once in a while there is a strain that produces four, or even five leaves instead.

Usually, when people use the word “shamrock,” they’re thinking of a three-leafed variety of white clover. Fun fact: the word shamrock comes from the Irish Gaelic seamrog, which means “small clover.” In Ireland, the three-leafed shamrock has become a national symbol, and represents the Holy Trinity of Catholicism.

In European folk medicine, clover has been used for centuries as a diuretic. Clover tea is often brewed up for patients who have issues with digestive organs – constipation, liver problems, and poor appetite have all been treated with clover. In some countries, the flowers are mashed up to produce a syrupy paste, which is then applied to skin disorders such as open sores or athlete’s foot. Typically, the flowers of the white clover plant have been used as a whole-system cleanser.

Clover is edible, as well. Try adding some leaves, stems or flowers the next time you make a green salad! Some strains of clover have a lemony taste to their leaves. Red clover in particular is good for you – it’s known to be full of calcium, potassium, and other vital nutrients.

In many agricultural societies, heavy growth of clover was seen as a sign of fertile farmland – however, this may be because clover is a favorite snack of cows and sheep, which then leave droppings, creating healthy and strong soil.

Magically speaking, clover is typically seen as a symbol of fortune and good luck. In some Scandinavian countries, it is also used to ward off evil spirits and to help a seer develop their psychic abilities. Hang a bundle over your door to keep negative entities away, or plant it in your front yard, around the edge of your property.

Carry some dried clover in your wallet to bring financial gain your way, or keep it in your pocket when you’re at a gaming table. Because of its cleansing properties, you can dry some clover and burn it like you would sage or sweetgrass, as part of a smudging or purification ritual.

Source:

Author: Patti Wigington, Paganism/Wicca Expert

Article found on & owned by About.com

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Herb of the Day for March 13 is Blessed Thistle

Herb of the Day


Blessed Thistle

Holy Thistle, Bitterweed, Spotted Thistle

 

“Monks once grew blessed thistle as a cure for small pox”

Medicinal: Blessed Thistle is used to strengthen the heart, and is useful in all remedies for lung, kidney, and liver problems. It acts as a liver tonic and supports in conditions of liver congestion, jaundice and hepatitis. It is best used for indigestion, chronic headaches, diarrhea and in recovery from long-term illness through improved appetite. It is also used as a brain food for stimulating the memory. It is also used in remedies for menopause and for menstrual cramping. Often used by lactating women to stimulate blood flow to the mammary glands and increases the flow of milk.

Blessed Thistle is also highly recommended for digestive troubles. It is useful against headache, especially migraine. Blessed Thistle is believed to have great power in the purification and circulation of the blood. It is such a good blood purifier that drinking a cup of thistle tea twice a day will cure chronic headaches.

Try a combination tea of Blessed Thistle, peppermint, elder flower and ginger for cold, fever and backache.

Magickal uses: Properties: Blessed Thistle is masculine and ruled by the planet Mars. Its astrological sign is Aries and its element is Fire. It is sacred to Thor, Minerva, Pan. Cunningham says that “Wizards in England used to select the tallest thistle in the patch to use as a magical wand or walking stick”. It is used to communicate with the spirit realm. Throw onto a fire to protect the house from lightning. Drives out melancholy when worn or carried. Crush a flower and see what color the juices are: Red, your love has a heart full of love for you. White, they don’t love you. If you have a plant growing indoors bury a coin in the soil to prevent the negative vibrations this plant brings indoors.

Properties: anti-inflammatory

Growth: Blessed thistle is an annual, branched, woolly plant, with a fibrous, whitish root, sending out several rounded, reddish stems. Blessed Thistle is generally found along roadsides and in wastelands. It is an annual, and reaches to 2 feet tall. Most folks consider this a pesky weed, so cultivation is not common.

Do not use during pregnancy. Should be avoided by those suffering from stomach ulcers.

 

Source:
Author: Crick

Website: The Whispering Woods

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Herb of the Day for March 2nd is Celandine

Herb of the Day

 Celandine

 
Medicinal Uses: Celandine has recently been found to contain at least four chemicals with anti-tumor activity. The juice mixed with vinegar is said to remove warts and corns.                                                                                                  
A decoction is used for stomach pains and inflammation of the binary duct. Taken internally, celandine has a special effect on the digestive system (stomach, gallbladder, liver), and its antispasmodic properties make it useful for asthmatic symptoms. As a hydragogue it is used for dropsical conditions.
Externally, made into an ointment or a poultice, celandine can be used for skin diseases like herpes, eczema, and ringworm.

Magickal uses: Use in charms, amulets & incenses designed to aid in escaping, either physical escape or mental. Wear next to the skin to aid in curing depression. Also worn to win the favor of the judge or jury in court. It cures depression by bringing good spirits and joy when worn. It is a protective herb. Use in sachets to bring joy and good spirits. Celandine is masculine, ruled by the Sun and is associated with Fire.

Properties: Anodyne, antispasmodic, caustic, diaphoretic, diuretic, hydragogue, narcotic, purgative, bronchiolytic, cholagogue, detoxifier, sedative, emollient

Growth: Chelidonium majus is a biennial. These hardy plants grow in somewhat sunny, moist places. Greater celandine has 4 petaled flowers up to 3/4 inch in diameter. Blossoms appear in April and continue through August. The blossoms are usually a yellow color. Usually found by old walls, on waste ground and in hedges. The stems and leaves are notable for their acrid yellow sap, which can stain and irritate the skin. The entire plant contains a bitter, orange-yellow juice that turns red when exposed to air.

Infusion: Use I level tsp. rootstock or herb with 1 cup boiling water; steep for 30 minutes. Drink cold, 1/2 cup a day.
Source:
Author: Crick

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Incense of the Day for February 25 is Courage Incense

Incense of the Day

 

COURAGE INCENSE

2 Parts Dragon’s Blood
1 Part Frankincense
1 Part Rose Geranium Leaves
(or few drops Rose Geranium oil)
a few drops Tonka Bouquet
a few drops Musk Oil

Smolder this incense when you lack courage. If you are in a situation where you cannot burn it, recall its scent and be strong. If Tonka Bouquet is unavailable – use Tonka tincture or vanilla extract.

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Herb of the Day for February 25 is Evening Primrose

Herb of the Day

 Evening Primrose       


 
Medicinal Uses: Evening Primrose oil stimulates to help with liver and spleen conditions. In Europe, it has been used to treat Multiple Sclerosis. It lowers blood pressure, and eases the pain of angina by opening up the blood vessels.
It has been found to help slow the production of cholesterol, and has been found to lower cholesterol levels.                    
Used with Dong Quai and Vitex, it is a valuable part of an herbal remedy for treating the symptoms of pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) and menstrual cramping.                                                                                                        

Evening primrose oil has been used as a dietary supplement to provide essential fatty acids, especially gammalinolenic acid (GLA). Other problems for which Evening Primrose Oil can be taken internally include asthma, allergies, cholesterol regulation, arteriosclerosis, chronic headaches, prostate health, inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, lupus, and scleroderma, complications arising from diabetes and poor circulation, cirrhosis of the liver, and drunk as a tea as a metabolic way to fight obesity.                                              

Early settlers used the leaves to treat wounds and to soothe sore throats and upset stomach. Traditionally evening primrose had been used as a soothing remedy for coughs associated with colds.                                               

Externally, the leaves, stems,  and roots can be boiled in water for a tea to be used externally that is very nourishing for the skin  and is effective for use in treatment of acne, dry skin, rashes, itchiness, and for overall skin health in general.                                                                                                                                                                  

Native Americans in eastern North America used the whole plant as a poultice for bruises, a tea to treat obesity, and a decoction of the root to treat hemorrhoids. The roots of Evening Primrose can be dug and boiled to be eaten much like a potato.  The taste is somewhat like a turnip or parsnip, with a hint of pepper. Choose tender first-year roots, as the older and bigger roots may prove too tough.

Magickal uses: Carry some Evening primrose to ensure a good hunt.

Properties: Astringent, sedative, mucilaginous. Evening primrose oil contains gamma linolenic acid (GLA), a fatty acid that the body converts to a hormone-like substance called prostaglandin E1 (PGE1). PGE1 has anti-inflammatory properties and may also act as a blood thinner and blood vessel dilator.

Growth: It is native to eastern North America and widely naturalized in Europe and western North America. The American variety is found throughout North America. It enjoys dry soils and full sun. It is a biennial, and grows 3 – 6 feet tall. The flowers are yellow and open at dusk from June to October. The fruit is an oblong, hairy capsule. The stem is erect, stout, and soft-hairy, with alternate, rough-hairy, lanceolate, taper-pointed leaves about 3 to 6 inches long. Flowers June-October. The seed oil is the most commonly used portion of the plant.

Infusion: Use 1 tsp. of the plant with I cup of water. Take 1 cup a day, a mouthful at a time.

Tincture: Take 5 to 40 drops, as needed.
Source:
Author: Crick

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Herb of the Day for Feb. 23 is Calendula

Herb of the Day

Calendula


                                        
Medicinal Uses: An infusion of the petals used as lotion for skin cleansing and softening.
It is usually combined with chamomile and comfrey for a soothing ointment in cases of skin problems, burns, cuts, insect bites, stings and bruises. Calendula is said to strengthen and comfort the heart and aid in digestion. The flowers are used in infusion form as a wash for red eye. The flowers are also used for hair rinse, and in a herbal bath for stimulation to aid circulation and sooth skin.                                                                                                                 
The petals or leaves can be used in a tea to induce sweating, promote menstruation, increase urination, relieve stomach cramps, indigestion and stomachaches, and for relief from flu and fevers.                                                         
For bee stings, rub the fresh flowers directly on the sting to relieve the pain.

Do not use Calendula while pregnant.

Magickal uses: A masculine herb that is ruled by the Sun. The associated element is Fire. Wear a fresh marigold to court to help win a case. Place in your mattress for prophetic dreams. Add to bath water to increase confidence. Sprinkle around the bed to protect a person from evil and to bring greater understanding of dreams.

Properties: Antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, healing, anti-fungal and soothing.

Growth: Calendulas have been grown as garden plants for many years throughout North America and Europe. Calendula is a annual that requires warm temperatures and full sun. It has hairy leaves and golden-orange flowers, and has a long flowering period.

Infusion: Combine 1 to 2 tsp fresh or dried flowers with 1/2 C. water just off the boil; steep 5 to 10 minutes; strain. Used as a compress will soothe tired eyes.

Tincture: Soak a handful of flowers in 1 pint of whiskey for 5 to 6 weeks; dose is 5 to 20 drops.

Oil: Put 1 C. sweet almond oil and 1 oz. calendula petals in a jar; place in a sunny spot for 4 weeks then heat oil till petals are crisp; strain and bottle.

Salve/Ointment:  Boil 1 oz. dried flowers or leaves (or 1 tsp fresh plant juice) with 1 oz of Lard; OR; slowly heat 4 oz. white petroleum jelly in top of double boiler till melted; add 1 oz. crushed herb and simmer 20 minutes; strain into little pots; cover when cold.
Source:
Author: Crick
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Herb of the Day for February 19th is Cattail

Herb of the Day

 Cattail

                                                                                                                                                         

Medicinal Uses: The medicinal uses of cattails include poultices made from the split
and bruised roots that can be applied to cuts, wounds, burns, stings, and bruises.
The ash of the burned cattail leaves can be used as an antiseptic or styptic for
wounds. A small drop of a honey-like excretion, often found near the base of the
plant, can be used as an antiseptic for small wounds and toothaches.                                                                                 
The American Indians used the jelly from young leaves to treat wounds and other
skin problems. When the brown flower head is burnt, it produces a smoke that repels insects.

Culinary uses: Tender white cattail shoots pulled from the water are edible raw. The core of the shoot is crisp, tender, and white. In early spring, dig up the roots to locate the small pointed shoots called corms. These can be removed, peeled, and eaten, added to other spring greens for a salad, or cooked in stews or alone as a pot herb. As the shoots reach a height of two to three feet above the water, peel and eat like the corms, or sautee. This  is also known as “Cossack Asparagus”.
Soon after these shoots reach this height, the green female bloom spikes and the male pollen spikes begin to emerge. Both the male and female pollen spikes can be boiled and eaten like corn on the cob.
In turn, the male pollen head will begin to develop an abundance of yellow pollen with a talcum powder consistency that can easily be shaken off into any container. Use this pollen to substitute for some the flour in pancakes to make cattail pancakes. This pollen also works well with cornbread, thickeners or as a flour extender for breads and cakes.
From late Summer and early fall on through Spring, one can harvest the root starch. To extract the flour or starch from the cattail root, collect the roots, wash, and peel them. Next, break up the roots in a pail of cold water. The flour will begin to separate from the fibers. Continue this process until the fibers are all separated and the flour is removed. Remove the fiber and pour off the excess water.

Do no use if pregnant.

Magickal uses: Cattail is used in spells of lust

Properties: astringent, hemostatic

Growth: The broadleaf or common cattail, is an erect perennial herb that grows on nearly every continent and is native throughout the United States, in any area where the soils remain saturated or flooded during the growing season. The broadleaf’s stem may reach three meters high. Its pale green leaves may be two inches across, and do not usually extend above the dense, cylindrical flower spikes. The female part of the plant consists of brown spikes, each shaped like a cigar, composed of tightly packed seeds on a stiff stalk. The male flowers are borne in a dense mass above the female flowers. These last only a short time, leaving the female flowers that develop into the brown cattail. Pollen from the male flowers is often abundant and bright yellow.
Source:
Author: Crick
Categories: Articles, Daily Posts, Herbs | Tags: | Leave a comment

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