Herbs

Herb of the Day for June 13th is Dill

Herb of the Day

Dill

Medicinal Uses: An ancient Egyptian remedy in the Ebers papyrus (c. 1500 BC) recommends dill as one of the ingredients in a pain-killing mixture. The Romans knew dill as “anethum” which latter became “anise”.

Dill is used to treat colic, gas, and indigestion. Dill has always been considered a remedy for the stomach, relieving wind and calming the digestion. Dill’s essential oil relieves intestinal spasms and griping and helps to settle colic, hence it is often used in gripe water mixtures.

Chewing the seeds improves bad breath. Dill makes a useful addition to cough, cold and flu remedies, and is a mild diuretic.
Dill increases milk production, and when taken regularly by nursing mothers, helps to prevent colic in their babies. To stimulate the flow of breast milk in nursing mothers bring one pint of white wine almost to a boil, remove from heat and add 1 tsp each of anise, caraway, coriander and dill. Bring one pint of white wine almost to a boil, remove from heat and add 4 tsp of dill seeds, let steep 30 minutes and strain. Drink 1 ½ cups a half hour before retiring to sleep well. Chewing dill seeds removes bad breath. Dill can also be made into a Tea, and sweetened with honey, or prepared as an infusion by steeping 2 teaspoons of seed in 1 cup of water for 10-15 minutes, then straining. Take 1- 2 cups per day.

Magickal uses: Dill is used in love and protection sachets. The dried seed heads hung in the home, over doorways, and above cradles provides protection. Add dill to your bath to make you irresistible to your lover. Place in the baby’s cradle for protection. Use in money spells.

Properties: Digestive, antibacterial, antispasmodic, diuretic. Contains volatile oil, consisting mainly of carvone with dihydrocarvone, limonene, a- and b-phellandrene, eugenol, anethole, myristicin, carveole, x-pinene. Flavonoids: kaempferol and its blucuronide, vicenin. Coumarins such as scopoletin, esculetin, bergapten, umbelliferone. Xanthone derivatives such as dillanoside. And triterpenes, phenolic acids, protein and fixed oil.

Growth: Dill grows in most regions of North America. It needs sun and a well-drained soil, and frequent waterings. It is a hardy annual, biennial in the deep southern regions, that reaches 2 – 3 feet tall. The leaves are bluish-green, bi-pinnate with fili-form leaflets; the base dilates into a sheath surrounding the stem. Flat, compound umbels of yellow flowers appear from July to September, producing eventually the oval, ribbed dill seeds. Dill matures quickly, and self-sows for the following year. Plant in six week intervals for a season-long supply of fresh dill.

 

 

Source:
Author: Crick
Website: The Whispering Woods

Categories: Articles, Daily Posts, Herbs | Tags: , | Leave a comment

Herb of the Day for June 9th is 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.

Author: Crick
Website: The Whispering Woods

Categories: Articles, Daily Posts, Herbs | 1 Comment

Let’s Talk Witch – Getting Those Herbs Gardens Ready, How About Planting By The Moon

Egyptian Comments & GraphicsGetting Those Herbs Gardens Ready, How About Planting By The Moon

A lot of gardeners, even those who aren’t witches, plant and harvest by the phases of the Moon. You can still find old almanacs that list what to plant and when in line with astrological timings. Think how much the Moon affects the sea and her tides, so it must affect the earth and how things grow too.

A Waxing Moon is good for planting. Fruit ready for eating straight away should be picked on a Waxing Moon; a Waning Moon is good for planting plants that fruit below ground such as potatoes. A Waning Moon is also good for pruning, weeding and harvesting food to be stored.

Just after a New Moon plant leafy vegetables and herb seeds.

Waxing Moon gardening activities include potting cuttings, re-pottting house plants and picking herbs, fruit and vegetables for eating straight away.

On a Full Moon plant vegetables such as tomatoes, peppers and onions (any type of ‘watery’ vegetables and fruit). Fertilise your plants on a Full Moon too.
Just after Full Moon plant tuber vegetables such as carrots and potatoes, also biennials and perennials.

On a waning Moon start a compost heap, weed, cut and prune, pick fruits and flowers, herbs and vegetables that will be stored.

Close to the Dark Moon cut timber and spray any fruit trees (preferably with eco friendly spray).

Then you have the categories for the astrological signs; a list of each type of energy is show below, either barren, productive, semi-fruitful or fruitful:

Moon in Aries: Barren
Moon in Taurus: Productive
Moon in Gemini: Barren
Moon in Cancer: Fruitful
Moon in Leo: Barren
Moon in Virgo: Barren
Moon in Libra: Semi fruitful
Moon in Scorpio: Fruitful
Moon in Sagittarius: Barren
Moon in Capricorn: Productive
Moon in Aquarius: Barren
Moon in Pisces: Fruitful

Another useful guide is:

Above Soil-Level Plants: These are the plants that will produce crops above the ground; these should be sown the day after the New Moon up until the first quarter, preferably in a fertile or semi-fertile astrological sign.

Annuals: Plant the day after the New Moon up until the day before the first quarter, preferably in a fertile or semi-fertile astrological sign.

Below Soil-Level Plants: These are the plants that crop under the ground. These should be planted during the day after the Full Moon, preferably in a fertile or semi-fertile astrological sign.

Biennials and Perennials: This category includes shrubs and trees. Begin planting the day after the Full Moon and up to the day before the last quarter preferably in a fertile or semi-fertile astrological sign.

Seed Collection: This is best done at the Full Moon when the Moon is in a fire or air astrological sign such as Aries, Leo, Sagittarius, Libra, Gemini or Aquarius.

Harvesting: Picking fresh flowers and smaller harvests for magical use straight away, can be done in the early evening. If you want to dry and store the flowers and herbs, cut them mid morning, after the dew has evaporated. Fruit and vegetables are best harvested during the Waning Moon and when the Moon is in a barren or semi-barren fire or air sign such as Aries, Leo, Sagittarius, Libra, Gemini or Aquarius.

Pagan Portals – Moon Magic
Rachel Patterson

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Herb of the Day for May 14th is Eucalyptus

Herb of the Day

Eucalyptus

(Eucalyptus globulus) Leaves, oil

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
Website: The Whispering Woods

Categories: Articles, Daily Posts, Herbs | Leave a comment

Herb of the Day for May 4th is Chickory

Herb of the Day


Chicory

Coffeeweed

(Cichorium Intybus)

Medicinal Uses: The herb was cultivated in Egypt over 5000 years ago, and was known to the ancient Greeks and Romans, who used it as a salad ingredient and a vegetable. Its use as a coffee substitute is thought to date from 1806 when Napoleon’s Continental blockade prevented imports of coffee. It was widely used for the same purpose during the World Wars.

Chicory tea taken internally is believed to be effective in treating jaundice and liver problems. A tea made from roots or leaves appears to be useful for those with digestive problems. Save a little tea and try dipping a cotton ball into it for a refreshing and soothing eye wash. You can also add a spoonful or two of honey to thicken and use as syrup for a mild laxative for kids. For external use, bruise fresh Chicory leaves and apply to areas affected by gout, skin eruptions, swellings, skin inflammations, and rheumatism. The dried, crushed root is made into infusions and decoctions for digestive upsets and to improve appetite. A tea made from the flowers promotes the production of bile, the release of gallstones, and the elimination of excessive internal mucus. Homeopathically it is used for the help in relieving liver and gall bladder ailments.

Magickal uses: Gather in perfect silence at noon or midnight on Midsummer using a gold knife. Take the herb gathered this way and place it against locked boxes or doors to open them. Carry to remove obstacles in your life. Carry specially cut chicory to become invisible. Spread chicory juice over your body to gain favors from a great person. Carry to promote frugalness. Place fresh flowers on altar or burn as incense. Chicory is masculine, ruled by the Sun and is associated with the element of Air.

Properties: Tonic, stimulant, laxative, appetizer, astringent, carminitive, cholagogue, digestive, diuretic, hepatic.

Growth: Chicory is a perennial herb. Chicory, or succory, known botanically as Cichorium intybus L., is a perennial member of the daisy family (Asteraceae), native to Europe but now found growing wild along roadsides and in neglected fields throughout North America. Attaining a height of three to five feet or more, it is conspicuous for its attractive azure blue flowers.

Laxative: 2 Tbsp Root to 2 cups Water. Let come just to a boil, take off burner and let cool. Take 1 to 1 1/2 cups a day, a mouthful at a time.

Source:
Author: Crick
Website: The Whispering Woods

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Beltane Herb of the Day for May 1st is Angelica

Beltane Herb of the Day

Angelica

Dead nettle, Archangel, Masterwort, Wild celery

 

Angelica is a good herbal tea to take for colic, gas, indigestion, hepatitis, and heartburn. It is very useful to add in remedies for afflictions of the respiratory system, as well as liver problems and digestive difficulties. It promotes circulation in the body. Angelica is an excellent tonic in diseases of the lungs, gout, and stomach troubles.

It is used for lack of appetite, dyspepsia, gastrointestinal pain, gas, sciatica, and the heart.

An infusion of dried root can be used as a remedy for coughs and colds and to dispel gas and to soothe intestinal cramps. It is also used to stimulate the kidneys. It is often used to stimulate the circulation in the pelvic region and to stimulate suppressed menstruation.
In China, angelica has been used for several thousand years to treat many kinds of female problems. It has been used for abnormal menstruation, suppressed menstrual flow, painful or difficult menstruation, and uterine bleeding. As well as for hot flashes associated with perimenopause.

Magickal uses: Grow it in your garden as a protection for garden and home. The root is often used as a protective amulet, and has been used to banish evil by burning the leaves. It is also used to lengthen life, and is used in protection against diseases, as well as to ward off evil spirits. Adding it to a ritual bath will break spells and hexes. It has often been used to ward off evil spirits in the home. Some American Indian tribes carried a talisman of this root for luck in gambling.

Properties: Stimulates appetite, carminative, expectorant, diaphoretic, emmenagogue, diuretic’ Contains essential oil with phellandrene, angelica acid, coumarin compounds (bergapten, linalool and borneol), bitter principle and tannins

Growth: Angelica needs rich, moist garden soil in partial shade. It prefers wet bottomlands and swamps, and prefers the cooler northern regions to grow best. It is a perennial that can reach up to 6 feet tall. Angelica is a biennial producing foliage the first year and stems and flowers the second. Flowering time is June to August.

Angelica should not be used by pregnant women or diabetics.

Source:
Author: Crick
Website: The Whispering Woods

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Spells, herbs and Aromatherapy to Help with Fevers and Colds

Keep away Fevers {Folk Magic} # 4 

Ingredients: Honeysuckle

Another way of keeping fevers at bay, is to grow Honeysuckle above your front door, and/ or around the windows around your house.

Protection from Colds {Aromatherapy & Folk Magic} # 5

Ingredients: Eucalyptus Leaves

Another method of preventing colds from infecting you is to place eucalyptus leaves under your pillow before going to sleep. These can be fresh or dried leaves.

Flowers, Dawn (2012-03-24). The Spell Book of Wiccan Shadows (Kindle Locations 902-906). Under the Moon. Kindle Edition.

Categories: Aromatherapy, Herbal Remedies, Natural Healing | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Herb of the Day for April 27th – 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
Website: The Whispering Woods

Categories: Articles, Daily Posts, Herbs | Leave a comment

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