Category Archives: Herbs

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

Herb of the Day for Dec. 8th – Hawthorn

Herb of the Day




Dedicated to Hymen, the god of marriage, the hawthorn was used as a symbol of hope at weddings in Greece; bridal attendants wore its blossoms while the bride carried an entire bough. Also, in both Greece and Rome, torches carried in wedding processions were made of hawthorn. The Romans put hawthorn leaves in the cradles of newborn babies to ward off evil spirits.                                                                                                                             

Medicinal Uses: Hawthorn is effective for curing insomnia. Hawthorn is used to prevent miscarriage and for treating nervousness. Hawthorn has been used for centuries in treating heart disease, as regular use strengthens the heart muscles, and to prevent arteriosclerosis, angina, and poor heart action. Hawthorn normalizes blood pressure by regulating heart action; extended use will usually lower blood pressure. It is good for heart muscle weakened by age, for inflammation of the heart muscle (myocarditis), for softening the arteries in arteriosclerosis, helps strengthen blood
vessels, cures giddiness, reduces palpitations, angina pectoris, weak heart, vascular insufficiency, blood clots (embolism, phlebitis), and for nervous heart problems.                                                                                                     
People under stress and strain from pressures of the job can benefit from hawthorn tea, aids in digestion. The tea is also a good remedy for other nervous conditions, particularly insomnia. Dilates coronary vessels, to restore the heart muscle wall, and to lower cholesterol levels. Used to treat skin sores. Relieves abdominal distention and diarrhea, food stagnation, abdominal tumors, and is good for dropsy, drives out splinters and thorns.

Magickal uses: The leaves are used to make protection sachets. They are also carried to ensure good fishing. In Europe, Hawthorn was used to repel witchcraft spells. Bringing branches of it into the home is supposed to portend death. It is incorporated into spells and rituals for fertility. It will protect the home from damaging storms. Hawthorn branches carried at weddings ensure fertility. Place the leaves under a mattress or around the bedroom to ensure chastity.  Place in a bassinette to protect a baby from evil.  Druid sacred tree and Fairy tree. Wands of the wood have power. Used in marriage rituals to promote fertility. Hawthorn is the seat of Wild Magic and decorated May Poles.

Properties: Astringent, antispasmodic, cardiac tonic, carminative, diuretic, sedative, stimulant, vasodilator. Contains anthocyanin-type pigments, choline, citric acid, cratagolic acid, rich in bioflavonoids, flavonoid glycosides, tannins, glavone, glycosides, inositol, PABA, purines, saponins, sugar, tartaric acid, minerals and vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, B12, and C.

Growth: Hawthorn, a compact, deciduous tree, grows as either a shrub or a tree, to 15 feet; its trunk or stems have hard wood, smooth and ash-gray bark, and thorny branches. The small, shiny leaves are dark green on top, light bluish-green underneath, and have 3 irregularly toothed lobes. The frail white flowers, known as “may”, have 5 round petals and grow in terminal corymbs, spreading clusters, during May and June. In some varieties the blossoms may be pink or deep red. The fruit, or haw, is 2-3 seeded, egg-shaped, freshly pome, scarlet on the outside, yellowish and pulpy on the inside. The berries or fruit hang in small bunches from the thorny shrub, each berry has 1-5 seeds. Berries remain on the tree after the leaves fall off in autumn. Found in England and continental Europe; in England it is widely grown as a hedge plant. Found by the roadside or in the meadows, along streams, in bottomlands and open woods from Nova Scotia to North Dakota and south to Alabama and Texas. Native to Asia, Africa and Europe. Naturalized to the United States.
Author: Crick

Herb of the Day for December 4th – Cinquefoil

Herb of the Day



Cinquefoil (Potentilla anserina) is also known as five-finger grass. The five points of the leaves symbolize love, riches, good health, power, and knowledge. Cinquefoils are a popular garden perennial. A great variety of cinquefoil to try in your garden is called `Miss Willmott’. This plant bears strawberry-pink flowers and does very well in sunny gardens. Cinquefoil is associated with the planet Jupiter and the element of fire. Old herbals declared the cinquefoil to be a plant with abundant healing energy, so this is the reason that this blooming Herb is often worked into both prosperity and healing spells. In the language of flowers, this plant signifies a loving mother-daughter relationship.


Book of Witchery: Spells, Charms & Correspondences for Every Day of the Week Ellen Dugan

Healing Arts and Pagan Studies ~ Protection Herbs

Egyptian Comments & Graphics

Healing Arts and Pagan Studies ~ Protection Herbs


*A fresh sprig of dill, tied with a blue ribbon, can be hung over a
doorway to prevent those who mean you harm from entering. You can do the
same with a small bouquet of dill, yarrow, nettle and ivy.

*You can also make a wreath of rosemary, bind it together with green
yarn and hang it on your front door while saying: “Bonds of power, bonds
of light, grow strong, protect and defend against all those who would

*Or grind Dragon’s Blood herb into a powder and sprinkle it on door and
window sills, to protect your house from harm. You can also do the same
thing with salt.

*Garlic is best known for its properties of averting vampires. However,
it was considered equally effective in warding off the evil eye and
demons. Garlands of garlic worn around the neck or hung inside a house
can evil spirits, spells, and creatures.

*Acorns put on window sills keep evil from creeping into the house.

*Salt sprinkled in corners, around windows and doors also will keep bad
vibes out of a house.

~Witches Moon
Courtesy of Granny Moon’s Morning Feast

Wednesday Flower of the Day – Lily of the Valley

Wednesday Flower of the Day

Lily of the Valley

Lily of the valley (Convallaria) is an old-fashioned cottage garden plant. This fragrant, romantic flower is also associated with Mercury. These lovely scented plants are best suited for growing in the shade and will multiply rapidly if you do not keep them under control in your garden. Flower folklore warns against planting lily of the valley alone. Instead, plant other magickal shade-loving flowers such as columbine or foxglove along with them to keep the garden happy. Lily of the valley is toxic if ingested, so simply enjoy the blooms in small arrangements or just for their scent in the garden. The perfume of lily of the valley was thought to have the power to improve the memory and to lift the spirits. In the language of flowers, the lily of the valley speaks of a true platonic friendship and a return to cheerfulness and happy times.



Book of Witchery: Spells, Charms & Correspondences for Every Day of the Week
Ellen Dugan

Herb of the Day for November 28th is Baneberry

Herb of the Day



Medical Uses: The root is used in both red and white baneberry. American Indians used red baneberry root tea for menstrual irregularity, postpartum pains, and as a purgative after childbirth; also used to treat coughs and colds.          
Menominees used small amount of white baneberry root tea to relieve pain of childbirth, headaches due to eye strain. Once used for coughs, menstrual irregularities, colds, and chronic constipation; thought to be beneficial to circulation.

Magickal uses: none

Properties: Antispasmodic

Growth: Red baneberry is a perennial; 2 – 3 ft. tall. Similar to white baneberry, though the flower head is rounder, and the berries are red and on less stout stalks. It fruits from July to October.                                                               
White baneberry is a perennial, 1 – 2 ft. tall. Leaves twice-divided, leaflets oblong, sharp-toothed. Flowers in oblong clusters on thick red stalks. Fleshy white berries with a dark dot at the tip; fruits July to October. Flowers April to June. It is found in rich woods. Southern Canada to northern New Jersey, West Virginia, west through Ohio and Iowa to South Dakota, Colorado, Utah, and Oregon.

All parts of white baneberry may cause severe gastrointestinal inflammation and skin blisters. Its use is not recommended. Red baneberry is poisonous. May cause vomiting, gastroenteritis, irregular breathing, and delirium. Its use is not recommended.
Author: Crick

Herb of the Day for November 25th – Basswood

Herb of the Day


Basswood is used as a  remedy for colds, flu, coughs, fever, headaches, epilepsy, indigestion, and sore throats. The inner bark contains mucilaginous materials and makes a soothing application for skin irritations, boils, wounds, sores, and burns. It is a relaxing remedy for nervous tension. Also used as a prophylactic against the development of arteriosclerosis and hypertension. Also used in the treatment of raised blood pressure associated with arteriosclerosis and nervous tension. In raised blood pressure it may be used with Hawthorn and European Mistletoe, with Hops in nervous tension and with Elder Flower in the common cold.

Magickal uses: none  

Properties: Diaphoretic, stomachic, anti-spasmodic, hypotensive, diuretic, anti-inflammatory, emmenagogue, astringent. Bark: emollient. Contains volatile oil (farnesol), flavonoids; hesperidin, quercitin, astralagin, tiliroside and others, mucilage (in the bract), phenolic acids and tannins.

Growth: Basswood is commonly found in mixed northern hardwood forests and prefers moist but slightly drained fertile soils. Basswoods typically reach a height of between 50 to 80 feet; the trunk having a diameter of 2 to 3 feet. The flowers (Jun-Aug) of the tree are white and speckled with yellow and purple. The leaves turn russet in the autumn. The brownish-gray bark is perpendicularly, but not deeply, fissured. The cordate, serrate leaves are from 4-7 inches long have pointed tips and heart-shaped bases; clusters of yellow-white fragrant flowers (1/2 inch wide) with 5 sepals and petals and numerous stamens cohering in groups, grow on long stalks from narrow bracts, appear in June and August; they are followed by small round nutlets. The fruits or seeds are about the size and shape of a pea and are commonly called “monkey-nuts”.

Infusion: steep 1 tsp. flowers or leaves in 1 cup water. Take 1-2 cups a day.

Frequent consumption of flower tea may cause heart damage.
Author: Crick

Herb of the Day for November 18th – Camphor

Herb of the Day


Medicinal Uses: Marco Polo was the first to note that the Chinese used camphor oil as a medicine, scent and embalming fluid. Camphor crystals are applied externally as unguents or balms as a counter-irritant and analgesic liniment to relieve arthritic and rheumatic pains, neuralgia and back pain. It may also be applied to skin problems, such as cold sores and chilblains, and used as a chest rub for bronchitis and other chest infections. The stems together with the root and the wood and the leaves and the twigs and the essential oil are used.

Magickal uses: Camphor is used for a ritual cleansing of the home before moving in. Good for cleaning altar before setting up. A bag of camphor hung around the neck keeps flu’s and colds away. Use in divinatory incenses. It is feminine and ruled by the Moon. Its associated element is Water.

Properties: Antiseptic, antispasmodic, analgesic, expectorant, carcinogenic, stimulant, anti-rheumatic, emollient.

Growth: Camphor is native to China and Japan. This evergreen tree can reach 100 feet, producing red leaves that turn dark green as they mature, small fragrant yellowish flowers, and oval red berries. When the root or bark is steamed, it produces a volatile, white, crystalline compound with a characteristic pungent odor, usually referred to as camphor.

Do not use internally. Do not use in the facial area of children or infants as it can be a powerful convulsant.
Author: Crick