Herb of the Day
Medicinal Uses: Marsh Mallow is useful in inflammation and irritation of the alimentary canal, and of the urinary and respiratory organs. The dry roots boiled in water give out half their weight of a gummy matter like starch. Decoctions of the plant, especially of the root, are very useful where the natural mucus has been abraded from the coats of the intestines.
The decoction can be made by adding 5 pints of water to 1/4 lb. of dried root, boiling down to 3 pints and straining: it should not be made too thick and viscid.
It is very useful in painful complaints of the urinary tract, exerting a relaxing effect upon the passages. This decoction is also effective in curing bruises, sprains or any ache in the muscles or sinews. In cases of hemorrhage from the urinary tract and in dysentery, it has been recommended to use the powdered root boiled in milk. The action of Marsh Mallow root upon the bowels is unequaled by any other astringency. Mallow is a very soothing demulcent. It can be used internally as a cough preparation.
The flowers, boiled in oil and water, with a little honey and alum, have proved good as a gargle for sore throats.
Teas made from marsh mallow may be taken up to three times a day. Marsh mallow leaf tea may be made by adding 2 to 5 teaspoons of dried leaf to about 5 ounces of hot but not boiling water, allowing it to soak for 10 minutes, and then straining out the solid particles. For marsh mallow root tea, place 2 to 5 teaspoons of the dried powdered root in about 5 ounces of warm water and let it soak for at least an hour before straining out the solids. The resulting tea may be heated or consumed cold. Drink three to five cups a day.
For use on the skin, shredded or powdered marsh mallow root may be mixed with enough warm water to form a thick paste, which may be spread onto a soft cloth. The resulting poultice may be heated or simply applied to irritated skin as often as needed. If the skin at the area where marsh mallow is applied blisters or becomes more irritated, the marsh mallow preparation should be washed off with warm water and it should not be re-applied.
Marsh Mallow may possibly reduce blood sugar levels, individuals with diabetes should be careful when taking it.
Magickal Uses: Place a bouquet of mallow in a vase in your window to attract a straying lover.
Culinary Uses: The mallow root was used to make the French candy, pâté de guimauve, which is the original “marshmallow.” The root is also good lightly steamed and then fried with butter and onions. Add the tender young leaves to salads.
Properties: Demulcent, anti-inflammatory and emollient. Marsh Mallow contains starch, mucilage, pectin, oil, sugar, asparagin, phosphate of lime, glutinous matter and cellulose.
Growth: Marsh Mallow is a very hardy perennial. It likes moist, light soil with a neutral pH in full sun. The Marsh Mallow plants consist of tall, thick stems with broad leaves that are covered in soft hairs.
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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.
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Medicinal Uses: The infusion of the Mint herb has been used for diarrhea and as an emmenagogue (it brings down the menses). It is great for colds and influenza, especially when mixed with elder flower (this remedy will induce sweating). Stomach flu is helped by a mint, elderflower, and yarrow combination in a standard infusion of
two teaspoons per cup steeped for twenty minutes and taken in quarter-cup doses.
Mint is helpful in stomach complaints, but a strong infusion will become a emetic. Mint tea eases colic and depression. The menthol in peppermint soothes the lining of the digestive tract an stimulates the production of bile, which is an essential digestive fluid. It relieves earaches when the fresh juice of a few drops of the essential oil are placed in the ear.
Mint tea with honey soothes a sore throat. A classic cold remedy that will unblock the sinuses is two drops of mint essential oil, two drop eucalyptus essential oil and the juice of half a lemon in a cup of hot water. The mix is first inhaled and then drunk when warm. Nervous headaches can be relieved if you lie in a dark room with fresh peppermint leaves on the forehead.
A few drops of the oil in water, applied with a cloth, help burning and itching, heat prostration, and sunburn. Apply it directly to an itchy skin condition or sunburn. For heat prostration place the cool fomentation on the forehead and wrists. Peppermint oil is the most extensively used of all the volatile oils.
For insomnia try the following:
1 oz. Peppermint herb, cut fine, 1/2 oz. Rue herb, 1/2 oz. Wood Betony. Well mix and place a large tablespoonful in a tea cup, fill with boiling water, stir and cover for twenty minutes, strain and sweeten, and drink the warm infusion on going to bed. Peppermint is an excellent breath freshener. When using peppermint tea as a breath freshener, increase the effectiveness by adding a pinch of anise, caraway or cinnamon.
Wild Mint (Mentha sativa) is considered to have emetic, stimulant, and astringent qualities, and is used in diarrhea and as an emmenagogue. The infusion of 1 oz. of the dried herb to 1 pint of boiling water is taken in wineglass full, doses.
Rub pennyroyal on the skin as an insect repellent.
No more than two drops of the essential oils should be taken at any time, and no more that two cups a day of the above mixture. Larger doses can be toxic to the kidneys.
Never eat pennyroyal, as it is toxic.
Magickal Uses: Mint is used in the home as a protective herb. It belongs to the sphere of Venus and has long been used in healing potions and mixtures. Mint worn at the wrist assures that you will not be ill. Mint is used in money and prosperity spells. Bergamot mint is sometimes rubbed on money to cause it to return to its owner.
Fresh mint laid on the altar will call spirits to be present and ready to assist you in magick, especially healing spells. Added to incenses it cleanses the house or ritual area. Mint is masculine, and ruled by the planet Mercury or Venus. It is associated with the Element of Air.
Properties: Anti-inflammatory, stimulant, carminative, antispasmodic and antiseptic. The chief constituent of Spearmint oil is Carvone. There are also present Phellandrine, Limonene and dihydrocarveol acetate. Esters of acetic, butyric and caproic or caprylic acids.
The chief constituent of Peppermint oil is Menthol, but it also contains menthyl acetate and isovalerate, together with menthone, cineol, inactive pineneand limonene.
Growth: The common types of mint are peppermint, pennyroyal, crinkle-leafed spearmint, spearmint, and applemint. Mint is a perennial herb that is propagated by root division or rooting cuttings in water. The plant is invasive and should be grown in pots or in lengths of plastic pipe buried in the ground. It enjoys a damp location, shaded from strong afternoon sun, and rich soil.
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American hemp, Rheumatism weed, Choctaw-root, Indian Hemp
Apocynum cannabinum L.
The common name, Dogbane, refers to the plant’s toxic nature, which has been described as “poisonous to dogs.” Apocynum means “Away dog!” and cannabinum means “like hemp,”. This is in reference to the strong cordage that can be made by weaving together the stem’s long fibers.
The fiber was particularly useful in making fishing and carrying nets, for string and for ropes, and to some extent for weaving rough cloth.
Medicinal Uses: DogBane was dried, crushed, and then snuffed for coughs in head colds.
The root was made into a tea and was used to help a baby’s cold, earache, headache, nervousness, dizziness, worms and insanity.
This tea was also taken for heart palpitations, but care should be observed if using it for cardiac disorders. It acts as a vasoconstrictor, slows and strengthens the heartbeat, and raises blood pressure.
The root could also be used as an emetic, diaphoretic, antispasmodic, cathartic, anodyne, hypnotic, laxative, treats vomiting, diarrhea, hydrocephalus, urinary difficulties, dropsy, jaundice, liver problems, and stimulates the digestive system. It has been successfully employed for alcoholism.
A wash made of crushed root can be used to stimulate hair growth, remove dandruff and head lice.
The milky juice can remove warts.
A poultice of the leaves reduces tumors, hemorrhoids, and inflammation of the testicles. The poultice placed over the eyelids works on opthalmia and eye diseases.
The leaves ground into powder can dress wounds, sores and ulcers.
DogBane can be toxic if ingested without proper preparation.
Magickal Uses: The flowers are used in magickal love mixtures. Dogbane is an herb of protection and is ruled by Jupiter.
Native American women kept track of important events in their lives by knotting a piece of hemp from the Dogbane. These knots were adorned with bead, shells and so forth in accordance to the event being remembered.
DogBane is harvested for its fiber. The stems are cut in the fall; they are then split open and the long, silky fibers removed. The fibers are then twisted into string, which provides cordage. String, thread, rope, baskets, snares, netting, and clothing can be made from these fibers.
Properties: Dogbane contains: Strophanthin, apocannocide, choline, trigonelline, cymarin, rosins, fixed oils, starch and proteins.
Growth: The flowers of DogBane are small, white to greenish-white, and produced in terminal clusters (cymes). The flower size is 1/4 inch wide. Blooms first appear in late spring and continue on into late summer. The flowers are borne in dense heads followed later by the slender, pointed pods which are about 4 inches in length.
Many small insects, such as wasps and flies, pollinate the flowers.
The leaves are ovate or elliptic, 2-5 inches long, 0.5-1.5 inches wide, and arranged oppositely along the stem. Leaves have short petioles (stems) and are sparingly pubescent or lacking hairs beneath. The lower leaves have stems while the upper leaves may not. The leaves turn yellow in the fall, then drop off.
The leaves lack hairs, and often have a reddish-brown tint when mature, it becomes woody at the base, and are multi – branched in the upper portions of the plant.
The stems and leaves secrete a milky sap when broken.
Dogbane has a long horizontal rootstock that develops from an initial taproot.
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Greek physician Dioscorides would apply Lemon Balm to scorpion or animal bites for its antibacterial properties, and then give the patient wine infused with Lemon Balm to calm their nerves.
Medicinal Uses: Barley is the most alkaline of the cereals and is rich in magnesium. Contains the alkaloid “hordenine” which is diuretic and mildly relaxing. Barley water used for coughs, poor appetite, recurrent diarrhea in children, catarrhal inflamed bowel, stomach irritation and digestion during convalescence.
Barley is used to clean out the arteries and valves around the heart that have become clogged with fat buildup.
It is used for urinary cystitis particularly in females ( Boil till soft and strain the liquid and flavor with a little lemon juice or cinnamon or fresh fruit juice.) Barley water is a skin freshener which cleanses and softens the skin. To make; simmer 3 tbsp. barley in 3 cups water for an hour. Strain and cool. Rinse off face after using and refrigerate the barley water.
Magickal uses: Use Barley when performing Love, Healing, or Protection spells. Feminine. A toothache can be cured with barley. To free yourself from pain, wrap a straw of barley around a stone while visualizing the pain into the stone. Next throw the stone into a river (or any running water) and see your pain ‘being washed away’. Scatter on the ground to keep evil and negativity away. Venus (Deity)
Properties: demulcent, digestant, carminative, nutritive, tissue healing, expectorant, abortifacient, febrifuge, stomachic, tonic, , soothes irritated tissues, stimulates appetite, suppresses lactation.
Contains Amylase, invertase, dextrin, phospholipid, riboflavin, pyridoxine, maltose, glucose, Iron, sulfur, phosphorus, magnesium, niacin, protein, vitamin B1,
Growth: An annual grass growing to a height of 1½ to 3 feet. The stout simple stem (culm) is hollow and jointed. The narrow tapering leaves with pronounced ‘ear’ appendages are alternate and arise on stems in 2 ranks. They form loose sheaths around the stem. The flowers appear in bristly terminal spikes.
Not to be fed to nursing mothers; suppresses lactation.
Method 1 = Add 10 parts washed pearl barley to 100 parts water and boil for 20 minutes. Strain. Dose is 1 to 4 oz.
Method 2 = Boil 2 oz pearl barley for a few minutes in a little water; then strain and add barley to 4 pints of boiling water and boil till water is reduced to 2 pints. Add lemon juice or raisins (if desired) 10 minutes before cooking is completed.
Method 3 = Soak 1/2 lb. barley in 1 quart water for 12 hours or simmer till soft. Strain and sweeten with honey if desired. Give several cups per day.
Method 4 = Wash 2 oz. of barley, then discard the water. Boil briefly in 1 pint of water, then discard the water again. Place barley in 4 pints of water and add lemon peel; boil down to 2 pints; strain and add 2 oz of honey to the water.
Method 5 = 4 oz. whole barley, 2 oz honey, lemon peel (washed), 1/2 lemon. Add 1 pint of water to the barley, lemon and lemon peel. Simmer till soft, then remove from heat and let stand. Strain and add honey.
Compound Barley water – 2 pints barley water, 1 pint hot water, 2½ oz. sliced figs, 1/2 oz sliced and bruised licorice root, 2½ oz. raisins. Boil down to 2 pints and strain.
Barley Broth – Simmer 1 cup of barley in 6 cups of water. Bring water to boil for 2 minutes, then let stand for 15 minutes. Strain out barley and set aside. The water should be drunk during convalescence. The barley can also be eaten (can be blended with honey to give a pudding-like flavor).
Decoction – Wash 2 oz. of barley with cold water, then boil in 1 cup of water for a few minutes. Discard water and boil barley in 4 pints of water till reduced to 2 pints. Strain and use.
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Herbs For Children
|There are many herbal treatments that are safe and effective for use with children of all ages. Here I will deal with the childhood illnesses and problems I am most often asked about. The most important factor in dealing with any illness, whether acute or chronic, is diet. A proper diet goes a long way to alleviating problems and illnesses that stem from inadequate nutrition. Were you aware that medical studies are proving that diet can profoundly affect illness in children? It has also been proven that a lot of dietary factors are responsible for worsening such problems as Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), hyperactivity, asthma, and others. A child who is getting what his or her body needs through good nutrition is going to develop more normally, be less prone to illness, and the duration of common illnesses is shortened.
Remember too that our children today are under a lot of stress, just as us adults are. Peer pressures, pressures in the classroom, dealing with separation anxieties and broken marriages are just some of the things creating stressful situations for our youngsters. This stress can manifest itself in many mysterious physical and mental ailments. Teaching your children when young how to meditate and relax is an important building block for their young lives, and is a useful tool that they will carry with them through adulthood.
ANXIETY, STRESS, EXCITABILITY
From the Website, Coven of the Goddess.com