Herbs

The Herbal First Aid Kit

The Herbal First Aid Kit


Please remember that when dealing with potentially serious injuries, first aid is a stop gap measure until adequate medical attention can be found! Follow up on any serious injuries with a qualified physician!

Aloe
Break off an aloe leaf and scrape the gel to soothe minor burns, scalds, and sunburns. Aloe has tissue regenerative properties and will help heal all wounds.
Arnica
Arnica cream or oil can be used on bruises or sprains where the skin is not broken. Caution should be used with Arnica however since it can become toxic in high doses. 

Calendula Cream
Homemade or storebought, this is antispetic and antifungal. If you make it, try adding comfrey to the cream; it will help speed the healing process. 

Clove Oil
Clove oil is an excellent antispetic for cuts and is also useful for treating toothaches. It should be cut with a carrier oil when used on the skin since severe irritation can occur. 

Compresses
Keep squares of gauze or cheesecloth on hand to make compresses. Use comfrey, witch hazel, or arnica for sprains; St. John’s Wort for deep cuts; comfrey or witch hazel for burns. 

Crystallized Ginger
Chew for motion sickness or morning sickness. 

Eucalyptus Oil
This is a good inhalant for colds, coughs, and respiratory infections. 

Rescue Remedy
This combination of 5 of the Bach Flower Remedies is effective for shocks and emotional upsets, especially in children. 

St. John’s Wort Infused Oil
Excellent for minor burns and sunburn. 

Slippery Elm
Slippery elm powder is used to make poultices for drawing out splinters and bringing boils to a head. 

Tea Tree Oil
Antispetic and antifungal. Useful for cleansing wounds. 

Witch Hazel Extract
Use it to treat minor burns, sunburn, and insect bites. Apply to nasal passages to stop nosebleeds. Wash cuts with it to help cleanse them.
Categories: Articles, Daily Posts, Herbal Remedies, Herbs | Leave a comment

Herb of the Day for November 12 – Allspice

Herb of the Day

 

Allspice


Allspice is used as a paste to soothe and relieve toothache, as well as a mouthwash to freshen the breath. The rind contains the most active medicinal components and is considered to be stimulant in action, particularly the aroma. The tea has antiseptic
properties (due to the eugenol content in the berries) and is used primarily as a digestive aid for flatulence, intestinal gas and indigestion. The tea is also used as an appetite stimulant, and as a carminative. Both the tea and a poultice are used for rheumatism and neuralgia.
Allspice lowers blood sugar (useful in diabetes) and improves protein absorption. The leaves are used in the bath for varicose veins, gout, and edema. The eugenol content is said to promote digestive enzymes in the body.

Magickal uses: Allspice encourages healing and is used in mixtures to ask for money and good fortune. Also used in determination and healing spells

Properties: Aromatic, carminative, stimulant

Growth: Allspice is harvested from a tree that is native to Central and South America as well as the Caribbean. Allspice is the dried berry of the pimento, an evergreen tree growing to 40 feet in height. It bears opposite, leathery, oblong to oblong-lancelet leaves whose pinnately arranged veins show prominently on the underside. Small white flowers grow in many-flowered cymes in the upper leaf axils from June to August. The fruit is a fleshy, sweet berry which is purplish-black when ripe.

Poultice: Boil berries and make a thick paste. Spread on a soft clean cloth. The cloth can also be dipped in warm tea and used as hot pack                                                

Pimento water: Combine 5 parts crushed berries with 200 parts water and distill down to half the original volume. A dose is from 1-2 fluid ounces.                                                                                     

Oil: A dose is from 2-5 drops. For flatulence, take 2 or 3 drops on sugar                                                    

Powder: A dose is from 10-30 grains
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Author: Crick
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Herb of the Day for November 10th – Bee Balm

Herb of the Day

   Bee Balm    


The name “Oswego tea” was coined by John Martram who discovered Native Americans and settlers in Oswego, New York, making tea from the leaves of this mint. All of the above ground parts of the flowering plant are used.

Medicinal Uses: Bee Balm has antibacterial properties because of its high thymol content. Bee Balm can be used as part of a first-aid-dressing regimen for cuts, abrasions, insect bites, and other wounds.                                                        
An infusion is good for colds, coughs, nausea, catarrh, headaches, gastric disorders, to reduce low fevers and soothe sore throat, to relieve flatulence, nausea, menstrual pain, and insomnia. Steam inhalation of the plant can be used for sore throats, and bronchial catarrh (inflammation of the mucus membrane, causing an increased flow of mucus). Externally, it is a medicinal application for skin eruptions and infections.                                                                   
Native Americans used leaf tea for colic, gas, colds, fever, stomachaches, nosebleeds, insomnia, heart trouble, measles, and to induce sweating. A poultice is used for headaches.

Magickal uses: Use in love charms and spells to attract a partner. Soak herb in wine for several hours, strain and share with a friend. Or, carry herb with you to find love. Also used in magical healing, and spells to ensure success.

Properties: Stimulant, carminative, rubefacient

Growth: A perennial with square-shaped stems, characteristic of herbs in the mint family. The roots are fibrous and spread via rhizomes. The leaves are lance-shaped, opposite, glabrous, fuzzy, and toothed. When bruised or damaged, the leaves are highly fragrant. The bright red flowers range from one to three inches terminal clusters each with dozens of tiny blossoms. The flowers are approximately one and a half inches long, ending in two lips (the upper one rigidly overhangs the other which has three spreading lobes). Bee Balm grows in dry, sunny meadows and sloped areas, preferring a full sun or partially shaded environment. Usually found in bracken grasslands, cliff areas, northern lowland and upland forests, southern upland forests, pine barrens, prairies, savanna, and sedge meadows.

Medicinal tea: To 1 tsp. dried herb add 1 cup boiling water, steep 10 min. sweeten to taste, take at bedtime.
Source:
Author: Crick

 

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Herb of the Day for November 8th is Coltsfoot

Herb of the Day

Coltsfoot

                                               


Medicinal Uses: The plant received the Latin name of Tussilage because the word meant, “cough dispeller,” one of the usages of the plant.                                                                                       
Used to treat respiratory problems, and is soothing to the stomach and intestines. Combine with horehound, ginger, and licorice root for a soothing cough syrup.                                                                                                                        

A leaf and flower tea is a demulcent and expectorant for sore throats, coughs, asthma, bronchitis, and lung congestion. Warm infusions of the leaves sooth irritated mucus membrane tissues, helps bring up phlegm, and relieve spasmodic types of coughs. Coltsfoot may be used in chronic or acute bronchitis, irritating coughs, whooping coughs. Coltsfoot a role in most respiratory conditions, including the chronic states of emphysema.                              
The leaves can be used externally in poultices on the chest that relieve fevers and pulmonary blockages, on swellings and skin irritations to draw out inflammation and irritating substances, and for bruised or sore feet.             

Native Americans smoke dried leaves to open up bronchial congestions, coughs, and asthma. The smoke of the herb is believed to impede the impulse of fibers of parasympathetic nerves and act as an antihistamine and anticholinergic.  The fresh bruised leaves can be applied to boils, abscesses and suppurating ulcers.

Coltsfoot contains traces of liver-affecting pyrrolizidine alkaloids. It can be potentially toxic in large doses.

Magickal uses: Coltsfoot is added to love sachets and is used in spells of peace and tranquility. It is smoked as part of a shamanic vision quest. Coltsfoot is feminine and ruled by the planet Venus. Its associated element is Water.

Properties: antihistamine, antitussive, bactericide, collyrium, demulcent, diuretic, emollient, expectorant, pectoral, spasmolytic, styptic, sudorific, and tonic. Contains flanonoids; rutin, hyperoside and isoquercetin, mucilage, consisting of polysaccharides based on glucose, galactose, fructose, arabinose and xylose; and inulin, pyrrolizidine alkaloids, including senkirkine and tussilagine and tannin.

Growth: Coltsfoot is a perennial that prefers damp, clay soils. It grows 5 to 18 inches high, and likes full to partial sun. It is a perennial that grows to the height of 4 – 8 inches. The yellow flowers appear before the leaves in early March and consist of a disk of numerous long, narrow, petal-like ray flowers. The flowers are 1inch wide and closely resemble a dandelion, of which they are commonly mistaken for. The flowers appear on the ends of 1/8 inch thick stems that are grayish-green, wooly, and covered with reddish-purple scaly bracts, giving them the appearance of asparagus stalks. Several stems arise from the same root crown, reaching a height of 2 – 6 inches when the flowers appear, and continue to 12 – 20 inches by the time seeds mature. As the flower head matures, it turns into a white ball with tufted seeds. The seeds are 1/8 inch long, cylindrical, and yellow or reddish-brown.

Infusion: pour a cup of boiling water onto l-2 teaspoonfuls of the dried flowers of leaves and let infuse for 10 minutes. This should be drunk three times a day, as hot as possible.

Tincture: take 2-4 ml of the tincture three times a day.

Combinations: In the treatment of coughs it may be used with White Horehound, Mullein or Elecampane.
Source:
Author: Crick
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The Healthy Witch – A Tea for the Cold


Witchy Comments
A Tea for the Cold

Blend two parts dried stinging nettle (Urtica dioica) to one part dried licorice root (Glycyrrhiza glabra) and one part dried rose hips (Rosaceae). The nettle is loaded with vitamins and minerals, licorice root sweetens the tea and aids with sore throats and coughs, and rose hips are a good source of vitamin C. Drink as needed.

Another tea you can rely on to help you through a cold would be yarrow (Achillea millefolium). It’s
useful in offering relief for cold and flu symptoms, fevers, and respiratory infections. Yarrow grows abundantly just about anywhere, so it’s easy to gather in fields or grow in your own garden. Use the dried flowering tops and dried leaves off the top ⅓ of the plant. You can prepare a standard tea and drink 2 to 4 ounces at a time up to 5 times daily. If you prefer, you can take it as a tincture, 10 to 40 drops, up to 5 times a day.

Herbs Gone Wild! Ancient Remedies Turned Loose
Diane Kidman

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Herb of the Day for November 3rd 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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The Healthy Witch – Elderberry Syrup


Unicorn Comments & Graphics

The Healthy Witch – Elderberry Syrup

 

For a decadent remedy to take at the onset of colds and flu, you can try this elderberry syrup. I’m considering planting elderberry (Sambucus nigra) in my yard just so I can harvest the berries to make a new batch each year.

Collect the berries (no exact measuring required here, but about a cup is a good place to start), place them in a pan, and smash them well. Simmer on very low heat and continue to smash so you can release as much juice as possible. Once you’ve released the juice, strain out the crushed berry material and measure the juice. Add an equal amount of honey to the juice, along with a pinch of cinnamon, clove, or ginger (according to your tastes). Add a few drops of lemon and 20% alcohol. For instance, if you have 10 ounces of juice, you’d want to add 2 ounces of alcohol. Something like vodka would work just fine. You can take this syrup liberally as soon as you feel the symptoms of cold or flu sneaking up. Take it often. This is one time you won’t mind taking your medicine.

If you enjoy the heat of a spicy pepper, you’ll be happy to hear it’s good for you. Cayenne (Capsicum spp.) taken at the beginning of a cold will help you build up resistance, making it easier to fight the virus. Add fresh cayenne to your dinner or sprinkle dried cayenne on just about anything, or if you’re really brave, just eat the darned thing whole. Don’t overdo it, of course. You don’t want a burning stomach in place of the cold symptoms.

Herbs Gone Wild! Ancient Remedies Turned Loose
Diane Kidman

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Herb of the Day for October 30th – Valerian

Herb of the Day

 

Valerian

All-Heal, Garden Heliotrope

 

Medicinal Uses: One of natures most effective herbal tranquilizers. The roots are used for nervous tension, anxiety and insomnia. A powerful root for the nerves, valerian should not be taken for longer than a few weeks, as it can become addictive. It helps cure depression when taken once or twice. It is a good sedative for such conditions as neuralgia, hypochondria, insomnia, and nervous tension. It also appears to have real benefits in cases of sciatica, multiple sclerosis, shingles, and peripheral neuropathy, including numbness, tingling, muscle weakness, and pain in the extremities.  
                     
The tea is strengthening to the eyesight, especially when problems are due to weakness in the optic nerve. Valerian has been used as an anticonvulsant in epilepsy. It slightly slows the heart and thus is a good remedy for palpitations. Simmer two teaspoons of the root in a pint of water for twenty minutes, and take one-fourth cup, cold, four times a day. The tincture may be taken twenty drops in water, three times a day.  
                                                                       
The root is simmered with licorice, raisins, and anise seeds to make a cough sedative. The scent is very attractive to rats and is used to bait traps. Valerian is a warm and spicy herb that has a stimulating effect on the brain as well as being a sedative. If a person has a hot constitution it will be especially stimulating and may negate the calming and sedative quality. A hot constitution is one that is prone to constipation, dryness, redness in the eyes and skin and a warm body temperature (a cold constitution has the opposite qualities).                                                                             
Valerian is useful as a digestive aid, is helpful in cases of gas, diarrhea, and cramps, and alleviates the pain of ulcers. In the respiratory tract, it is believed to be of benefit in reducing the discomfort of asthma attacks. Valerian is used for irritability, mild spasmodic affections, epilepsy, migraine headaches, croup, hysteria, vertigo, nervous cough, delirium, neuralgia, muscle cramps, colic, panic attacks, emotional stress, PMS, menstrual cramps, despondency, insomnia. A marvelous remedy for fevers. Will often clear a cold overnight. Good for expelling phlegm from throat and chest. Will expel worms when everything else fails. Excellent for shortness of breath and wheezing. Tea can be used as an enema for pinworms and tape worms and externally as a wash for sores, wounds, chronic skin diseases, and pimples. Combines with with lemon balm, hops, passion flower and scullcap.

Valerian produces depression when taken over a longer period. Valerian is best suited to individuals with cold, nervous conditions. Those with heated conditions can experience opposite (stimulant) effects. Valerian may increase the effects of anti-anxiety medications or painkillers. It may also react with antiepileptic drugs. Valerian is contraindicated in pregnant and breast feeding women.

Magickal uses: Powdered valerian may be used as a substitute for graveyard dust to repel unwanted presences. Valerian is added to the chalice as an herb of peace. Valerian is a frequent ingredient in love and harmony spells and potions, including spells for sexual love. It is used to aspurge the ritual space and in incense for purification. Even though this is a rather foul smelling herb it is hung in the home as protection from lightning and the Greeks used sprigs of it at windows to keep evil out. For protection from evil and magick, use Valerian in sachets, amulets, or talismans and carry it with you. To prevent unwanted visitors, sprinkle powdered herb on your front stoop and say their name. For eliminating troubles, write the trouble on parchment paper, then burn and mix the ashes with powdered herb, then bury. Sachets placed around the home help protect the home from lightening strikes.  
                
Being an herb of peace, place some in the vicinity of a quarreling couple. Add it to love sachets and it is said if a woman wears a sprig of it, it will cause men to “follow her like children.” It will also help insomnia by placing it in the pillow. A few leaves placed in the shoes protect against colds and flu.  
                                                                           
To find out if your love is reciprocated, bend a plant in the direction of their home.  If the plant continues to grow in that direction, you are loved in return.  Growing the plant on your property ensures harmony with your spouse.           Valerian stalks can be dried and soaked in tallow or oil, then used as a torch for spells and rituals.  The torch can then be used to light sacred fires.  Meditation in the light of a torch improves clarity for a given situation. Valerian is ruled by Venus and its Element is Water.

Properties: Calmative, antispasmodic, nerve tonic, nervine, sedative, anodyne, and carminative, aromatic, emmenagogue. Contains active components are called valepotriates. Valerianic, formic and acetic acids, essential oils, resin, starch, a glucoside, and 2 alkaloids (chatrine and valerianine).

Growth: Valerian is a tall perennial herb found in damp, elevated areas and grasslands. It consists of a long stem (3-5 feet in length) with pointed dark green leaves. It blooms in the summertime, with small, fragrant flowers (white, light purple or pink) that can reach four inches in diameter. A native of damp woods, roadsides, and riversides.

Harvest in the fall. Do not boil the root.

To obtain the maximum benefit take 1 tbsp. of fresh juice daily. The latter is often prescribed as a cure for insomnia, where its great value is that it calms the mind without having a narcotic effect. Non-addictive.

Drying roots is different from drying leaves. Roots should be dried at a high temperature, such as 120 degrees F. until the roots are brittle. If they are rubber-like, they should be dried longer. Store roots after drying to keep free from moisture.

Infusion: steep 1 tsp. root in 1 pt. boiling water. Take cold, 1 cup per day, or when going to bed.

Cold extract: use 2 tsp. roots with 1 cup water; let stand for 24 hours and strain. Take 1/2 to 1 cup when going to bed.

Tincture: take 20 drops on sugar or in water, 3 times a day.
Source:
Author: Crick
Categories: Articles, Daily Posts, Herbs | Tags: | Leave a comment

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