Herbs

Herb of the Day for June 28th is PennyRoyal

Herb of the Day

PennyRoyal – Fleabane


(Mentha pulegium)

 
Medicinal Uses: Pennyroyal will ease flatulence and abdominal colic due to wind.
It will relax spasmodic pain and ease anxiety. However, its main use is as an
emmenagogue to stimulate the menstrual process and to strengthen uterine
contractions.
Pennyroyal is used as a household ant and flea repellent. 

If used during pregnancy, pennyroyal may cause fetal death by liver and brain damage
as well as promote uterine contractions to expel the fetus.
Pennyroyal is not recommended for internal use, it contains pulegone, a toxic compound notorious for causing abortion, and also leads to irreversible kidney damage.
People with liver failure or kidney failure, and all children, should avoid pennyroyal.
Signs and symptoms of pennyroyal toxicity include severe stomach pain, dizziness, seizures, vomiting, difficulty walking, and coma.

Magickal Uses: Pennyroyal is an herb of peace and protection when worn or carried. It is placed in ones shoes when traveling to prevent weariness and to add strength. It wards off evil and aids in business negotiations. Pennyroyal will cause a quarreling couple to stop fighting and prevents seasickness. Tied to the bedpost, it sharpens the brain and wits. Pennyroyal kept in a bowl brings peace to the household. It is used to bathe the body of the deceased to bring a peaceful transition to the next life.
Pennyroyal is feminine and ruled by the planet Venus. It is associated with the Element of Earth.

Properties: Carminative, diaphoretic, stimulant, emmenagogue. Pennyroyal contains volatile oil, consisting mainly of pulegone,isopulegone, menthol, isomenthone, limonene, piperitone, neomenthol and miscellaneous; bitters and tannins.

Growth: Pennyroyal is a perennial mint with a variable habit, ranging from low-growing, spreading plants to lanky, upright subshrubs. The pale or deeper pink, blue, or violet flowers are clustered in dense whorls at the upper nodes. The plant has a powerful and pungent minty odor. The stems are square in cross-section, ascending from rhizomes. Branches and simple leaves are opposite on stems.
Source:
Author: Crick
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Herb of the Day for June 27th is Lemon Balm

Herb of the Day

 

Lemon Balm: Bee Balm


 

Leaf and Flower: 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: Lemon balm is a member of the mint family. It is used to reduce stress and anxiety, promote sleep, improve appetite, and ease pain and discomfort associated with digestion. Combines well with valerian for a soothing, relaxing effect. For cold sores or herpes sores, steep 2 to 4 tsp of crushed leaf in 1 cup boiling water for 10 to 15 minutes. Cool. Apply tea with cotton balls to the sores throughout the day. An infusion of the leaves added to bath water is also said to promote the onset of menstruation.

Lemon Balm should not be used by pregnant or breastfeeding women. Lemon balm may interfere with sedatives and thyroid medications.

Magickal uses: Used in spells to ensure success.  It is used in spells associated with healing, health, friendship, love, and success.  Historically, it is a symbolic plant used to transmit messages between lovers. 
Carry Lemon Balm in a charm or sachet to find love, or burn it as an incense when doing spells related to success.

Properties: Lemon Balm is carminative,  emmenagogue, stomachic, diaphoretic, antibacterial, anti viral  and febrifuge. Lemon balm contains terpenes, tannins and eugenol.

Growth: Lemon balm is native to Europe but is now grown all over the world. In the spring and summer, clusters of small, light yellow flowers grow where the leaves meet the stem. The leaves are very deeply wrinkled and range from dark green to yellowish green in color, depending on the soil and climate.
Source:
Author: Crick
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Herb of the Day for June 26th is Ginger

Herb of the Day

Ginger

(Zingiber officinalis)

 

Folk Names: African Ginger The Dobu tribe of the Pacific Islanders use ginger in much of their magick. By first chewing it, they then spit it at the “seat” of an illness, or at an oncoming storm to stop it while still at sea.

 

Herbal Uses: The root is warming to the body, is slightly antiseptic, and promotes internal secretions. Chop about two inches of the fresh root, cover with one cup of water, and simmer for about twenty minutes, or one-half teaspoon of the powdered root can be simmered in one cup of water. Add lemon juice, honey, and a slight pinch of cayenne. A few teaspoons of brandy will make an even more effective remedy for colds. This preparation treats fevers, chest colds, and flu. A bath or a foot soak in hot ginger tea is also beneficial. The tea without additives helps indigestion, colic, diarrhea, and alcoholic gastritis. Dried ginger in capsules or in juice is taken to avoid carsickness and seasickness. Use about one-half teaspoon of the powder. It works well for dogs and children.

 

Homeopathic Uses: Homeopaths use Zingiber for weakness in the intestinal tract and in the reproductive system, kidneys, and lungs. It treats dry coughs and asthma that is worse in the morning and without anxiety. A peculiar symptom calling for the remedy is that the patient is worse when eating melons.

 

Magickal Uses: When ginger is eaten before performing spells it will increase your power. Since ginger is a spicy and “hot” herb, it is most effective in love spells. Plant the root to attract money or sprinkle powdered root into pockets or on money for prosperity. Ginger also ensures success.

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Herb of the Day for June 25th is Aloe Vera

Herb of the Day

 

Aloe Vera

 

In ancient Egypt aloe was used during embalming processes, and also for soothing and  beautifying the skin. Cleopatra attributed her irresistible charm and beauty to the use of aloe vera gel.                                                    

Medicinal Uses: The gel of the inner part of an aloe leaf is used to treat burns, skin rashes, acne,  abrasions, eczema, sunburns and insect bites, as well as chafed nipples from  breastfeeding, when applied to the affected area externally.   Aloe has shown outstanding results in treating facial edema (swelling). Internally it can be used to keep the bowels functioning smoothly, or when there is an impaction, although it can cause intestinal cramping when taken internally. It aids in cleaning out the colon. It aids in healing wounds by drawing out infection, and preventing infection from starting. Rubbing the scalp with aloe keeps the hair from falling out. The fresh gel of Aloe was used by Cleopatra to keep her skin soft and young.

Magickal uses: Growing an Aloe Vera plant in the kitchen will help prevent burns and mishaps while cooking. It will also prevent household accidents, and guard against negative energy.

Properties: Emollient, purgative, vulnerary, tonic, demulcent, vermifuge, antifungal, alterative, emmenagogue.  Aloe vera has six antiseptic agents (sulphur, lupeol, salicylic acid, cinnamic acid, urea nitrogen and phenol) which acts in unison to provide antimicrobial activity.                                                                                                     

Growth: Does best when grown indoors in pots. Remember that Aloe is a succulent, not a cactus, so it needs water to keep the leaves fleshy and juicy. The aloe is a perennial plant that produces a rosette of fleshy basal leaves. The narrow-lancelet leaves are 1- 2 feet long and whitish-green on both sides, and they bear spiny teeth on the margins.

Diabetics may develop intolerance to aloe juice.
Source:
Author: Crick

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Herb of the Day for June 24th is Blue Cohosh

Herb of the Day

Blue Cohosh

                 Blue ginseng                  


Medicinal Uses: Blue Cohosh is used to regulate the menstrual flow. It is also used for suppressed menstruation. Native Americans used this herb during childbirth to ease the pain and difficulty that accompany birthing, as well as to induce labor. This herb should not be taken during pregnancy, and should be taken in very small amounts in conjunction with other herbs, such as Black Cohosh.                                          
Elevates blood pressure and stimulates uterine contractions of childbirth and stimulates the small intestine, and enhances symptoms of hyperglycemia. Good for hiccough, whooping cough, spasms, and epilepsy.

Blue Cohosh should not be used during pregnancy until the last 2 to 3 weeks before confinement; it is a uterine stimulant.

Magickal uses: none

Properties: Stimulant, sedative, sudorific (produces sweat), tonic, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, anti-rheumatic, parturient, emmenagogue (stimulates menstrual flow), anthelmintic (destroys intestinal worms), demulcent, diaphoretic, diuretic, oxytocic (stimulates uterine contractions).

Contains Calcium, coulosaponin, gum, inositol, iron, leontin, magnesium, methylcystine, phosphoric acid, phosphorus, potassium, salts, silicon, starch, and vitamins B3, B5, B9, and E.

Growth: Blue Cohosh grows best in deep, loamy, moist woodlands.  It has a range from southern Canada, as far south as the Carolinas, and as far west as Missouri. Found in eastern North America, near running streams, around swamps, and in other moist places. Blue Cohosh is a hardy perennial plant 3 feet in height; the round, simple, erect stem grows from a knotty rootstock and bears a large, sessile, tri-pinnate leaf whose leaflets are oval, petiole, and irregularly lobed. Smooth-stemmed, stem and leaves covered with bluish film. The 6-petaled, yellow-green flowers are borne in a raceme or panicle. April to June before leaves expand. The fruit is a pea-sized, dark blue berry on a fleshy stalk. Blooms in May or June and the berries ripen in August.

Infusion: use 1 oz. rootstock with 1 pint boiling water; steep for 1/2 hour. Take 2 tbsp. every 2 to 3 hours, in hot water.
Source:
Author: Crick

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Herb of the Day for June 23 is Dogbane

Herb of the Day

DogBane

 

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.
Source:
Author: Crick
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Herb of the Day for June 21 is Lavender

Herb of the Day

Lavender

 

Lavender is by far one of my favorite herbs. Not only is it beautiful, but it has hundreds of uses. It is a fragrant aromatic, a relaxing herb, and it can be used in baking, lotion making, gourmet cooking, tea making, tinctures and much more.

Benefits of Lavender

According to Mountain Rose Herbs:

“Lavender has been thought for centuries to enflame passions as an aphrodisiac, and is still one of the most recognized scents in the world. The German Commission E commended lavender for treating insomnia, nervous stomach, and anxiety. The British Herbal Pharmacopoeia lists lavender as a treatment for flatulence, colic, and depressive headaches, and many modern herbal practitioners use the herb to treat migraines in menopause. In Spain, lavender is added to teas to treat diabetes and insulin resistance.”

According to this website, lavender has the following properties:

  • “Antidepressant
  • Analgesic
  • Antiseptic
  • Cicatrizant
  • Expectorant
  • Nervine
  • Vulnerary

Especially beneficial to the respiratory tract in particular coughs, colds, influenza. Certainly eases breathing when lungs and sinuses are choked with phlegm.
Defends system against airborne viruses.

A refreshing note to a tired mind – lavender has been named as one of the most useful of the essences for the relief of anxiety and stress.
Good for aches and pains and muscle stiffness and may also help with rheumatic discomfort and joint stiffness.”

Uses for Lavender

I use lavender often in many different forms:

  • As a dried herb to make a relaxing herbal tea (I often add Chamomile too) by steeping in hot (not boiling water) for a few minutes and adding honey
  • In a tincture to help promote relaxation and sleep
  • Adding the dried herb to homemade buckwheat pillows or sleep masks to help promote relaxing sleep
  • To sooth sunburns or other burns, I add a few drops of the essential oil to a bottle of cool water and spray on burns to offer relief. The dried herb can also be brewed in to a strong tea and sprayed on instead.
  • A strong lavender tea can be cooled and used as a scalp rinse to help prevent dandruff
  • Adding a few drops of lavender essential oil or a cup of strong brewed lavender tea and a cup of Epsom salts to a bath helps relax sore muscles.
  • I sew dried lavender flowers into small satchels and use them in place of dryer sheets in the dryer
  • For headaches, smelling lavender and peppermint oils or rubbing lavender oil  into the temples often helps
  • I often infuse lavender into vinegars for use in cooking or as a skin toner (diluted)
  • The essential oil or lavender infused oil in homemade lotion bars, lotions, whipped body butter and more
  • Lavender essential oil can be used topically to help with acne or skin irritations
  • Simmering dried lavender herb in a pot of water with some citrus peels for a natural air freshener

Precautions:

I personally do not use Lavender Essential Oil internally. There is some evidence that long term regular use of concentrated lavender can cause hormone imbalance in males, so I generally avoid it in things I am making for my husband or sons. Due to its relaxing properties, I would not use in conjunction with any medication that also causes relaxation or sleepiness. I don’t use even the dried or fresh herb internally when pregnant.

 

Source:
Wellness Mama

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Herb of the Day for June 20th is Vervain

Vervain

(Verbena officinalis)

Feminine

Venus

Earth

Deities: Cerridwen, Mars, Venus, Aradia, Jupiter, Thor, Juno

The Witches Herb. Love, Protection, Purification, Peace, Money, Youth, Chastity, Sleep. Healing. Empowers any magick, especially love spells. Enhances the dreaming process and is recommended for dream quests. Used to consecrate and empower any ritual tools. Protects from negative emotions and depression. Used in house and home blessings. Turns back negativity. In love spells: add to recipes to attract mates, find true love, achieve sexual fulfilment, work sexual magick, an for bringing extra bliss on the wedding night. The herb of poets, singers, and bards. Inspires artistry. Instills a love of learning. Best when gathered at Midsummer.

 

Source:

Earth Witchery

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