Herbs

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.
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Author: Crick
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BASIL BANISHING SPRAY

Posted by Lady Beltane
ladybeltane@aol.com

Merry Meet and Merry Greet

BASIL BANISHING SPRAY

This is used after the house blessing anytime you may feel a negative presence in any room in your home.

You will need:

Dried Basil-if you can get some direct from a garden and hang it to dry in your own home do so. If not store bought will work also. Use about 1 tablespoon.

Water-Tap water is all right to use but if you can gather rain water or melted snow they works even better. Use about 8 ounces.

Spray Bottle or Squirt gun

How to make Banishing Water:
Place basil in a bottle add water to the bottle. Let steep for two to three days then strain out the basil and put water into a spray bottle.

After straining it into the bottle empower it with these words:
To banish something from a room:

Walk counter clockwise starting at the entrance to the room. Hold spray bottle in your power hand (hand you write with) have the nozzle set on stream squirt rather then a mist type spray it along the base boards as you walk around the room.

To banish something from a person takes more then just using the empowered spray and should NOT be attempted unless you know exactly what you are doing. The reason for this is you could move it from one person to someone else in the same home, office, apartment building or more than likely have it come directly at you.

Copy write by Carla Schultz-Ruehl 2012 from Musing of an Everyday Witch.

 

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Herb of the Day for Feb. 16th is Dutchman’s Breeches

Herb of the Day

Dutchman’s Breeches


                       
Medicinal Uses: Considered a love charm by the Menominee. A young man would either throw the flower at his love, or chew the flower and breathe the scent on her so that she would follow him. “Dicentra” means “two-spurred” in Greek.                            
A leaf poultice can be used for skin ailments and a root tea is a diuretic and promotes sweating. Dried buds are used as a blood purifier. The alkaloids found within are used for paralysis and tremors.

May be toxic and may cause contact dermatitis in some people. Dutchman’s Breeches is narcotic.

Magickal uses: Wear the root to attract love.

Properties: Apomorphine, bicuculline, which is a convusant, biflorine, which is an antibiotic and fungicide, bulbocapnine, which is antidotal, cardiotonic, cataleptic, and hypotensive, corlumine, fumaric acid, protoberberine, protopine which and analgesic, convulsant, hypotensive, and a sedative, and sanguinarine, which is an anesthetic, antiseptic, antitumor, fungicide, and sialogogue. Apomorphine, protoberberine, and protopine are iosquinoline alkaloids that have CNS-depressant activity. Dutchman’s Breeches also contains a poppy-like hallucinogen

Growth: Dutchman’s Breeches resembles a pair of pants hung up to dry with the pockets inside out. The “pants pockets” of the flowers are tinged with yellow, and sometimes with pink. These delicate perennials with finely-cut, fern-like leaves bear 1 to 10 showy flowers on slender stalks. The 4 to 10 creamy white flowers of Dutchman’s breeches have spurs like bloomer legs. They flower from April to May. They are common spring wildflowers in established woodlands. The genus, Dicentra, consists of 16 species worldwide, all native to North America and Asia They are a member of the poppy family.

 

 

Source:
Author: Crick

Website: The Whispering Woods

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Herb of the Day for February 10th is Thyme

Herb of the Day

Thyme


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.
Source:
Author: Crick

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Herb of the Day for February 8th is Galangal Root

Herb of the Day

Galangal Root


                                                                                                                              
They have no well-defined medicinal use, although they have been advocated for many of the disorders that are treated with ginger. In Germany, herbalists use lesser galangal for dyspepsia biliary symptoms, bowel spasm and angina.
In the Philippines the root is mixed with oils and applied as a poultice to bring boils to a head.

Aleister Crowley uses galangal in his formula for the incense of Abremelin.

Magickal uses: Carry to court to help win your case. Carry or place in holy water to bring good luck.  Wrap money around the root and it will multiply. When worn or carried it offers protection, good luck and increases psychic abilities. If placed in a sachet of leather and silver, it draws money. Burn the powdered herb to break spells and curses. Ginger may be substituted when galangal is call for. Used in voodoo charms.

Properties: aromatic, stimulant

Growth: Its origin is Southeast Asia. Its rhizome (root) resembles ginger in appearance and in taste.
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Author: Crick
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Herb of the Day for February 6th is Bloodroot

Herb of the Day

 

Bloodroot

 
Medicinal Uses: Used by Native Americans to induce vomiting and as an expectorant; the orange juice of the plant was dripped onto lumps of maple sugar and taken for coughs and colds. Used to treat bronchial, respiratory tract and throat infections, including bronchial asthma (combined with Lobelia inflata), chronic bronchitis, bleeding lungs, pneumonia (1 to 2 drops tincture repeated often through day), whooping cough, croup, laryngitis, emphysema, bronchiectasis, sinus congestion, catarrh, scarletina, and colds, as well as to improve peripheral circulation and for sluggish liver, scrofula, jaundice, dyspepsia,, and dysentery.                         
Externally the sap, or liquid extract of the root, was applied directly for sores, eczema, ringworm, ulcers (especially those associated with varicose veins), warts (combined with Chelidonium majus), and other skin problems.                  Used to treat gingivitis; the extract is found in toothpaste and mouthwash; sanguinarine has the ability to prevent dental plaque and gum disease. It may be used as a snuff in the treatment of nasal polyps.

Used  in very small doses as overdose can be fatal. Excessive use depresses the Central Nervous System. Not to be used by pregnant or lactating women. Seeds are extremely dangerous! Contain a violent narcotic which produces fever, delirium, dilated pupils and other symptoms of poisoning.

Magickal uses: Ruled by Venus and its astrological sign is Scorpio. Wear or carry the root to draw love and to avert evil spells and negativity. Place near doors and windows to protect the home. The darkest red roots are considered the best and the ones known as ‘King root’ or ‘He root’.

Properties: This herb affects heart, lungs, liver. It is bitter (extremely so), acrid, alterative, warming, cathartic, emetic, expectorant, diaphoretic, diuretic, febrifuge, emmenagogue, antispasmodic, nervine, sialagogue, slows heart rate (once used in cases of palpitations and rapid pulse), locally anesthetic, antifungal, antibacterial.

Contains Sanguinarine, protopine (also found in opium), allocryptopine, orysanguinarine, homochelidonine, sanguindimerine, cholerythine, chelerythrine, berberine, whelidonine, chelidone acid, red resin, starch.

Growth: Flower (closes at night or on overcast days) is solitary, waxy white with 8 to 10 petals (2 to 4 inches across), growing in a whorl, and with golden-yellow stamens and a lightly cup-shaped corolla; leaves are deeply cleft, palmate, with orange veins beneath the paler underside, on a single stem which arises from a bud at the end of the thick, horizontal rhizome and which clasps the flower bud in the early stages of growth; fruit is a 1 inch long, 2-valved seed pod containing a number of reddish-brown, oval seeds.

Decoction: 1 tsp dried root in 1½ cup water, steeped 30 minutes; strained and cooled; 1 tsp traditionally taken 3 times daily, up to 6 times, as expectorant.

Ointment: 1 oz. dried root in 3 oz lard; brought to boil, then simmered several minutes; strain.

Dye: Ratio: 8 oz. chopped root to 4¼ gallons water.

Fresh rootstock yields red juice for dye which will give orange to orange-red with no mordant; rust with alum and cream of tartar; reddish-pink with tin.
Source:
Author: Crick
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