Herbs

Herb of the Day for July 15th is Alfalfa

Herb of the Day

Alfalfa  


 

Alfalfa is a member of the Pea family. It eliminates retained water, relieves urinary and bowel problems. The fresh or dried leaf tea is traditionally used to promote appetite and thus weight gain. Alfalfa is used in treating anemia, fatigue, kidneys, peptic ulcers, and pituitary problems. Alfalfa is used to detoxify the body, especially the liver. It is known to contain an antifungal agent. Alfalfa reduces gastric acid production.  It is known to neutralize uric acid in cases of arthritis and bursitis and is used for water retention. It is thought to reduce tissue damage of radiation therapy.  Often taken mixed in water combined with cider vinegar for arthritis. Alfalfa is very high in Vitamin K which aids in the clotting of blood.                                                                   

Magickal uses: Placed in a small jar and kept in a pantry or cabinet, it protects the home from poverty and hunger. Burn alfalfa and scatter the ashes around the property as a form of protection. Used in prosperity spells. Harvest a small quantity during the full moon. Dry and burn in the cauldron. Place the ashes in an amulet.                                                                                                              
Properties: Alterative, antipyretic, diuretic, appetite stimulant, antispasmodic, hemostatic.                                           
It contains calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, and potassium, as well as other vitamins, also very high in chlorophyll, Biotin, calcium, choline, inositol, iron, magnesium, PABA, phosphorus, potassium, protein, sodium, sulfur, tryptophan (amino acid), and vitamins A, B1 complex, C, D, E, K, B6, B12, C, D, E, K, niacin, pantothenic acid, biotin, folic acid), amino acids, sugars, minerals (Ca, K, P, Mg, Fe, Zn, Cu), trace elements and other nutrients . Alfalfa has up to 50% protein, is high in beta carotene, chlorophyll and octacosanol. Other ingredients are: saponins, sterols, flavonoids, coumarins, alkaloids and acids.

Growth: Alfalfa is found worldwide but originated in Asia. It grows in a wide range of soils, prefers full sun, and regular watering, although it can tolerate dry spells. Alfalfa is a deep-rooted perennial plant with small divided leaves, purple clover like flowers in loose heads, 1/4 to 1/2 inches long, and spiral pods loosely twisted. It grows 1 to 3 feet tall.  Alfalfa can be found flowering from June to August. It can generally be found growing in fields and along roadsides.

Extract - 9 grams of dry herb macerated in 45 ml alcohol and 45 ml water.

Tea - Use 1 Tbsp to 8 oz water

Vinegar - Add 1 oz powdered herb to 1 quart cider vinegar. Take 1 tsp in tepid water daily for nutrition and tonic.

Alfalfa has been known to aggravate lupus and other auto-immune disorders.
Source:
Author: Crick
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Herb of the Day for July 14th is Bloodroot

Herb of the Day

             

Bloodroot

Sweet Slumber, Indian Paint, Red Root


                        
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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Herb of the Day for July 11th is PATCHOULI

Herb of the Day

PATCHOULI

(Pogostemon patchouli or heyeanus)

 

This tender, aromatic herb has upright, square stems with soft oval leaves and whorls of whitish flowers on spikes. The leaves, placed among clothes to deter insects, give Indian shawls their characteristic fragrance. Patchouli gave the distinctive scent to original India ink and Chinese red ink paste.

 

Parts Used: Leaf

 

Magical Uses:

 

Patchouli smells like rich earth, and so has been used in money and prosperity mixtures and spells. It is sprinkled onto money, added to purses and wallets, and placed around the base of green candles. Also, owing to its earthiness, Patchouli is used in fertility talismans and is also substituted for ‘graveyard dust’. Patchouli is added to love sachets and baths. Patchouli is used to attract people and to promote lust. Burn as incense for: Drawing Money; Fertility; Protection; Defense; Lust; Banishing; Releasing; Love; Earth; Underworld.

 

Aromatherapy Uses:

 

Acne; Athlete’s Foot; Cracked and Chapped Skin; Dandruff; Dermatitis; Eczema; Fungal Infections; Hair Care; Impetigo; Sores; Oily Hair and Skin; Open Pores; Wounds; Wrinkles; Frigidity; Nervous Exhaustion; Stress Related Conditions. Key Qualities: Stimulant in small amounts; Sedative in large doses; Aphrodisiac; Nerve Tonic; Appeasing; Calming; Uplifting.

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Herb of the Day for July 10th is Heather

Herb of the Day

                                 Heather                             

 
Medicinal Uses: A tea made of heather blossoms is used to suppress coughing, and
as an aid for sleeplessness. A stronger infusion is used to treat urinary tract infections.
In particular it is a good urinary antiseptic and diuretic, disinfecting the urinary tract
and mildly increasing urine production. The flowering shoots are antiseptic, astringent,
cholagogue, depurative, diaphoretic, diuretic, expectorant, mildly sedative and
vasoconstrictor.  
                                     
The plant is often macerated and made into a liniment for treating rheumatism and
arthritis, whilst a hot poultice is a traditional remedy for chilblains.
An infusion of the flowering shoots is used in the treatment of coughs, colds, bladder
and kidney disorders, cystitis etc.
A cleansing and detoxifying plant, it has been used in the treatment of rheumatism,
arthritis and gout. The flowering stems are harvested in the autumn and dried for later use.

Magickal uses: Heather is carried as a guard against rape and violent crime. In potpourri, it adds protection. When burned with fern, it will bring rain. Burn to open the portals between this world and the next. Make an offering of heather on Beltane to induce the Fae to come to your garden. This feminine herb is associated with Water and is ruled by the planet Venus. It is sacred to Isis and Osiris.

Properties: Antiseptic; Bach; Cholagogue; Depurative; Diaphoretic; Diuretic; Expectorant; Sedative; Vasoconstrictor.

Growth: Heather prefers rocky or sandy soils and full sun. It is an evergreen shrub that grows 1 – 2 feet tall. Found in open woodlands, moors, and marshy grounds.
Source:
Author:  Crick
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Herb of the Day for July 9th is Cayenne

Herb of the Day

Cayenne

 
                                                                                                                                                                                                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 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.
Source:
Author: Crick
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Herb of the Day for July 7th is Thyme

Herb of the Day

Thyme    


(Thymus vulgaris)



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 July 6th is Mint (various)

Herb of the Day

Mint (various)


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.
Source:
Author: Crick

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WOTC Extra – HERBS FOR SLEEPING AND DREAMING

Witchy Cat Graphics & Comments

 

HERBS FOR SLEEPING AND DREAMING

 

There are many herbs used today which are helpful in making our dreams more accessible and for obtaining a good night’s sleep. Sometimes, rather than attempting to actually influence our dreams, it is often advisable when working magically simply to let the content of our subconscious come to the fore. For this we may use the group of herbs known as hypnotics or soporifics. Different herbs work for different people so the order here is alphabetical, without any particular preference:

 

Hops are often used as an infusion or tincture and should not be used when you are depressed. This herb has an effect on the central nervous system, and can be used when tension is making you restless. Gentle slumber is induced from the hop pillow, causing soothing dreams. (See how to make a dream pillow overleaf.)

 

Jamaican Dogwood can be taken combined with hops, although it is a fish poison and should be used with care. It is used in cases of insomnia or broken sleep patterns.

 

Passion flower acts without leaving any kind of a hangover effect and makes it easy for those who suffer from insomnia on a regular basis to find restful sleep.

 

Skullcap has a sedative action par excellence. Working on the central nervous system, it is particularly useful in cases of nervous exhaustion.

 

Valerian, which is included in many pharmacopoeias as a sedative, is used to manage tension and sleeplessness caused by tension.

 

Wild lettuce is invaluable where there is restlessness and excitability; it is both sedative and hypnotic – that is, relaxing and sleep inducing.

 

As a gentle remedy, it is particularly useful for children.

 

Nervines have a beneficial effect on the nervous system. Some which are relaxants are Balm, Black Haw, Bugleweed, Chamomile, Damiana, Lady’s Slipper, Lavender, Oats, Pasque Flower, Peppermint and Vervain.

 

 

Natural Magic: Spells, Enchantments & Self-Development

Pamela Ball

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