Herbs

Herb of the Day for July 5th – Belladonna

Herb of the Day

Belladonna

Deadly nightshade, Devil’s Herb, Naughty Man’s Cherries                                       
 
Its scientific name derives from Atropos, one of the Fates in Greek mythology, who held the shears to cut the thread of human life.   
                                                                                                                                                            
Medicinal Uses: Belladonna has a sedative, anticholinergic (an agent that blocks parasympathetic nerve impulses) and spasmolytic effects on the gastrointestinal tract. The leaves applied externally are used as a treatment and possible cure for cancer. Treats nervous congestion, suppresses the action of smooth muscles, and is helpful for kidney pains, and colitis. During the Parthian Wars it was said to have been used to poison the troops of Marcus Antonius. In the 16th century, herbalists laid moistened leaves on the head to induce sleep. Small doses to allay cardiac palpitation was administered by applying a plaster to the region of the heart. Atropine is used today to dilate eyes prior to eye surgery, and for certain eye exams.

Magickal uses: Belladonna is ruled by Saturn and is considered feminine. It is the plant of Hecate, Bellona and Circe. Encourages astral projection and produces visions. Belladonna is used in funeral rituals to aspurge the circle, helping the deceased to let go and move forward.

Properties: Antispasmodic, diuretic, anodynic, narcotic, sedative, anodynic, calmative, relaxant, mydriatic. Contains various alkaloids, such as  hyoscyamine and scopolamine, belladonnine, atrosin and  atropine. Acts through the central nervous system. Small, minute doses stimulate, large doses paralyze and can result in fatality. Atropine is a powerful nerve poison.

Growth: Atropa belladonna is a poisonous plant with reddish flowers and shining black berries. It is native to Europe, Asia, and North Africa. It is naturalized in the eastern United States. It is found in meadows, forests and waste places.   Belladonna grows to a height of five feet with a much branched lax, purplish colored stem. The leaves are a dull, darkish green, oval and pointed, of unequal size being 3 to 10 inches long. The lower leaves are solitary, the upper in alternate pairs on opposite side of the stem, one leaf of each pair being much larger than the other. They are pale green on the underside with prominent veins; mid-rib is depressed on the upper surface. Dingy purple-brown to purple bell-shaped flowers, about 1-inch long, dangle in the axils of the leaves; corolla has 5 large teeth or lobes, slightly refracted; the 5-cleft calyx clings to the berry. The smooth berries contain several seeds and follow the flower, turning from green to a jewel-like black and ripen in September.

This herb can could cause death or other serious consequences. Its use is not recommended without professional medical guidance. Every part of the plant is extremely poisonous.
Source:
Author: Crick
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Herb of the Day for July 4th – Oregano

Herb of the Day

Oregano


(Origanum vulgare)
 

Medicinal Uses: Oregano is high in antioxidant activity, paticularly due to a high content of phenolic acids and flavonoids. Additionally, oregano has demonstrated antimicrobial activity against foodborned pathogens such as Listeria monocytogenes. A tea made with Oregano is used for indigestion, bloating, flatulence, coughs, urinary problems, bronchial problems, headaches, swollen glands, and to promote menstruation. It has also been used to relieve fevers, diarrhea, vomiting, and jaundice.  Unsweetened tea can be used as a gargle or mouthwash.
Externally, Oregano leaves can be pounded into a paste (add small amounts of hot water or tea to reach the desired consistency. Oatmeal may also be added for consistency purposes.  This paste can then be used for pain from rheumatism, swelling, itching, aching muscles, and sores.   For tired joints and muscles, put a handful of Oregano leaves in a coffee filter, mesh bag, or cheesecloth bag and run steaming bath water over it.  Allow it to steep in the tub with you. An oil can be made with Oregano leaves to use for toothache pain.  Put a few drops on the affected tooth for relief.

Magickal Uses: Make a Tea or burn as an incense for happiness, tranquility, good luck, health, and protection. Plant Oregano around your home for protection, and scatter it inside the house for added protection. Carry it in a sachet or charm to bring good luck and good health.  It is also said to protect and promote psychic dreams when worn on the head during sleep.

Properties: The essential oil (max. 4%) may contain variable amounts of the two phenols carvacrol and thymol  also a variety of monoterpene hydrocarbons (limonene, terpinene, ocimene, caryophyllene, β-bisabolene and p-cymene) and monoterpene alcohols (linalool, 4-terpineol).

Growth: Several species of genus Origanum are native to the Mediterranean though it is generally distributed over Asia, Europe and North Africa. The leaves are opposite, petiolate, about an inch long, almost entirely hairy beneath. The flowers are in corymbs, with reddish bracts, a two-lipped pale purple corolla, and a five-toothed calyx, blooming from the end of June, through August. Oregano grows to a height of one to two feet, depending on species.
Source:
Author: Crick
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Herb of the Day for July 3 – Bamboo

Herb of the Day

Bamboo



Edison successfully used a carbonized bamboo filament in his first experiment with the light bulb.                                                                                                           

Medicinal Uses: The leaf is used as an antipyretic. The stem (new shoots) are used for hematuria. The powdered hardened secretion from bamboo is used internally to treat asthma, coughs and can be used as an aphrodisiac. Roots and leaves have also been used to treat venereal disease and cancer. Sap is said to reduce fever and ash will cure prickly heat. The juice of the stem is antipyretic, antitussive, expectorant and sedative. It is used for bronchial, cartarrhal and cerebral infections. The leaf is antipyretic and diuretic. It is used for chest and head colds, pharyngitis and stomatitis. The leaf encourages the flow of urine and suppression of fever.

Magickal uses: Make an elemental wand using Bamboo. Crush the wood to a powder and burn for protection or grow by the house for good fortune. For a wish to come true carve it on a piece of bamboo and bury it. Carve a symbol of protection, such as a pentagram, and plant it near your home. Growing near your home will also bring good fortune. Since its wood never changes color it is considered lucky so hang it over your door. To break hexes carry it in a sachet or grind the wood into a powder (bamba wood) and burn. The Chinese use the wood as a charm to ward off evil spirits or to call a spirit, carve the name and improvise a melody.

Properties: antipyretic, aphrodisiac, diuretic, febrifuge, expectorant, antitussive and sedative.  Controls vomiting, stems bleeding and is useful for bacterial infections. Contains Silicone and potassium hydroxide.

Growth: Bamboo is the fastest growing plant on earth. Some varieties (timber bamboo) growing 80 feet tall in 4 weeks. Requires moist soil in a sunny, sheltered spot.

Tonic - combine 1 part cinnamon, 2 parts cardamom, 4 parts black pepper, 8 parts bamboo tabisheer (powdered), 16 parts raw sugar. All are ground together into a powder. The dose is 3 to 12 grams. (used for treatment and prevention of colds, coughs, bronchitis and asthma.)
Source:
Author: Crick
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Herb of the Day for July 2 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 1 is Eucalyptus

Herb of the Day

Eucalyptus   


Medicinal Uses: Eucalyptus oil is a powerful antiseptic, and is used to treat pyorrhea (gum disease), and is used on burns to prevent infections. The oil breathed in will help clear the sinuses, as will the steam from boiling the leaves. The leaves and their preparations have been successfully used as a tonic and gently stimulating stomachic, in atonic dyspepsia, and in catarrh of the stomach and typhoid fever; also advised in mucous catarrhal affections generally; in pseudo-membranous laryngitis, in asthma, with profuse secretion, and in chronic bronchitis, with or without emphysema, and in whooping-cough; it has likewise proved efficient in chronic catarrh of the bladder, where the urine is high-colored, contains an abnormal amount of mucus, or, perhaps, some purulent matter, and micturation is attended with much pain.

When mixed with water or vegetable oils, it makes a good insect repellant. A small drop on the tongue eases nausea. Externally applied, the oil gives relief in some forms of neuralgic and rheumatic pains. The oil is often combined with Thymus.

Magickal uses: Healing energies come from the leaves. A branch or wreath over the bed of a sick person will help spread the healing energies. The oil is added to healing baths, and for purifications. Stuff healing poppets and carry for good health. Ringing three green candles with the leaves and pods may relieve colds. Then burn the candles all the way to the socket while visualizing the inflicted person. For sore throats, wear a necklace made of the green pods, strung on green thread. Place pods beneath your pillow to protect against colds. Carry the leaves for protection.

Properties:Antiseptic, deodorant, expectorant, stimulant, anti-microbial, anti-spasmodic, febrifuge.                      
Contains volatile oil, the major component of which is l,8-cineole (=eucalyptol), 70-85%; with terpineole, a-pinene, p-cymene and small amounts of sesquiterpenes such as ledol, aromadendrene and viridoflorol; aldehydes, ketones and alcohols. Polyphenolic acids; caffeic, ferulic, gallic, protocatechuic and others. And flavonoids including eucalyptin, hyperoside and rutin.

Growth: Eucalyptus reigns among the tallest trees in the world, capable of reaching heights of over 250 feet tall. It thrives only in areas where the average temperature remains above 60 degrees, and is adaptable to several soil conditions. The trunk is covered with peeling papery bark. The leaves on the young plant, up to 5 years old, are opposite, sessile, soft, oblong, pointed, and a hoary blue color. The mature leaves are alternate, petioled, leathery, and shaped like a scimitar. The flowers are solitary, axillary, and white, with no petals and a woody calyx. The fruit is a hard, four-celled, many-seeded capsule enclosed in the calyx cup.

Boil mature leaves In water and condense the vapor to recover the oil.

An infusion may be made with 1-2 teaspoonfuls of the leaves to a cup of boiling water. Let infuse for 10-15 minutes. The dose of tincture is 1 ml. three times a day.

Source:
Author: Crick
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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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