Herbs

Herb of the Day for January 13th is Barley

Herb of the Day

Barley 


Medicinal Uses: Barley is the most alkaline of the cereals and is rich in magnesium. Contains the alkaloid “hordenine” which is diuretic and mildly relaxing. Barley water used for coughs, poor appetite, recurrent diarrhea in children, catarrhal inflamed bowel, stomach irritation and digestion during convalescence.                                                               
Barley is used to clean out the arteries and valves around the heart that have become clogged with fat buildup.  
      
It is used for urinary cystitis particularly in females ( Boil till soft and strain the liquid and flavor with a little lemon juice or cinnamon or fresh fruit juice.) Barley water is a skin freshener which cleanses and softens the skin. To make;  simmer 3 tbsp. barley in 3 cups water for an hour. Strain and cool. Rinse off face after using and refrigerate the barley water.

Magickal uses: Use Barley when performing Love, Healing, or Protection spells. Feminine. A toothache can be cured with barley. To free yourself from pain, wrap a straw of barley around a stone while visualizing the pain into the stone. Next throw the stone into a river (or any running water) and see your pain ‘being washed away’. Scatter on the ground to keep evil and negativity away. Venus (Deity)

Properties: demulcent, digestant, carminative, nutritive, tissue healing, expectorant, abortifacient, febrifuge, stomachic, tonic, , soothes irritated tissues, stimulates appetite, suppresses lactation.

Contains Amylase, invertase, dextrin, phospholipid, riboflavin, pyridoxine, maltose, glucose, Iron, sulfur, phosphorus, magnesium, niacin, protein, vitamin B1,

Growth: An annual grass growing to a height of 1½ to 3 feet. The stout simple stem (culm) is hollow and jointed. The narrow tapering leaves with pronounced ‘ear’ appendages are alternate and arise on stems in 2 ranks. They form loose sheaths around the stem. The flowers appear in bristly terminal spikes.

Not to be fed to nursing mothers; suppresses lactation.

Barley Water

Method 1 = Add 10 parts washed pearl barley to 100 parts water and boil for 20 minutes. Strain. Dose is 1 to 4 oz.

Method 2 = Boil 2 oz pearl barley for a few minutes in a little water; then strain and add barley to 4 pints of boiling water and boil till water is reduced to 2 pints. Add lemon juice or raisins (if desired) 10 minutes before cooking is completed.

Method 3 = Soak 1/2 lb. barley in 1 quart water for 12 hours or simmer till soft. Strain and sweeten with honey if desired. Give several cups per day.

Method 4 = Wash 2 oz. of barley, then discard the water. Boil briefly in 1 pint of water, then discard the water again. Place barley in 4 pints of water and add lemon peel; boil down to 2 pints; strain and add 2 oz of honey to the water.

Method 5 = 4 oz. whole barley, 2 oz honey, lemon peel (washed), 1/2 lemon. Add 1 pint of water to the barley, lemon and lemon peel. Simmer till soft, then remove from heat and let stand. Strain and add honey.

Compound Barley water – 2 pints barley water, 1 pint hot water, 2½ oz. sliced figs, 1/2 oz sliced and bruised licorice root, 2½ oz. raisins. Boil down to 2 pints and strain.

Barley Broth –  Simmer 1 cup of barley in 6 cups of water. Bring water to boil for 2 minutes, then let stand for 15 minutes. Strain out barley and set aside. The water should be drunk during convalescence. The barley can also be eaten (can be blended with honey to give a pudding-like flavor).

Decoction  –  Wash 2 oz. of barley with cold water, then boil in 1 cup of water for a few minutes. Discard water and boil barley in 4 pints of water till reduced to 2 pints. Strain and use.
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Author: Crick
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Herb of the Day for January 10th is Sassafras

Herb of the Day

Sassafras

 
Columbus is said to have sensed the nearness of land from the strong scent of sassafras. There is an old story that tells of the scent of sassafras carried out to sea by the wind; it helped Columbus to convince his mutinous crew that land was near.                                                         

Medicinal Uses:A hot infusion of dried root bark has been used to treat rheumatism, arthritis, gout, and as a wash for skin irritations, eczema, acne, and ulcers. Tea of the bark of the root was used by old timers as a spring tonic, to cleanse the blood. Good to flavor other herbs that have a disagreeable taste. Will relieve gas, ague, and colic. Taken warm, it is remedy for spasms. Good wash for inflamed eyes. Oil of sassafras is good for the toothache. Used as a wash, good for varicose ulcers. The bark of the roots contains a volatile oil that has anodyne and antiseptic properties.  The powdered leaves are used in Louisiana to thicken soup.

Sassafras should be avoided by women who are pregnant or breast-feeding.

Magickal uses: Sassafras is added to prosperity incenses. Carry it in the purse or wallet for this reason. It is also added to spells and sachets for healing.

Properties: Aromatic, stimulant, alterative, diaphoretic, diuretic, antiseptic. Contains a volatile oil, resin, wax, camphor, fatty matter, albumen, starch, gum, lignin, tannic acid, salts, and a decomposition product of tannic acid known as sassafrid.

Growth: Sassafras officinale is a small tree with green twigs and large simple or lobed leaves. It grows to 40 ft tall and10 in. in diameter with a narrow crown. The bark is thick, gray to brown, deeply furrowed. The twigs are thin, usually greenish, smooth, glabrous. The buds are rounded, greenish, covered with four scales. The leaves are variable, entire or with 2 or 3 lobes, elliptical in outline, 3-5 in long and 1.6-4 in. wide, shiny green above and paler below. The flowers are small, yellowish green, clustered at end of leafless twigs in early spring. The fruits are elliptical blue-black berries about 0.4 in. long in a red cup on a long red stalk, ripening in Fall. Sassafras is native to about the eastern half of the U. S. It is found scattered in upland and bottomland forests, often forming thickets in abandoned fields and other disturbed areas.

Take no more than a week at a time.

Infusion: steep 1 tsp. bark of root in 1 cup of water. Take 1 cup per day.

Tincture: A dose is 15 to 30 drops.

I personally place a large root in a large pot of water and boil until the water has become dark red. I then sweeten it to taste.  (Crick)
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Author: Crick
Categories: Articles, Daily Posts, Herbs | 3 Comments

Herb of the Day for January 9th – Avens

Herb of the Day

Avens


 
The dried root of this plant is used. The rootstock makes a tasty and effective  remedy for diarrhea and dysentery when taken with milk and sugar. It also acts to  improve appetite and digestion, dyspepsia. An infusion made from the whole plant  can be used to clear up respiratory congestion and to counteract nausea. The  powdered root is used as an astringent for hemorrhage, fevers, and leucorrhea.

Magickal uses: Avens is added to incense in order to enhance psychic vision. It is also used to enhance love spells. Use in exorcism and purification rites by adding to incense, mixtures and sprinkling around ritual area. Protects against venomous beasts when worn as an amulet. American Indian males use it to gain love.

Properties: Astringent, styptic, stomachic, tonic. The principle constituent of the root is a volatile oil which is composed mainly of eugenol and a glucoside, plus Gein, geum-bitter, tannic acid, gum and resin.

Growth: Water avens is a hairy perennial plant; its woody rootstock produces a simple, erect stem from 1-3 feet high with small, sessile, simple or three-cleft leaves. From the rootstock also grow long-petiole, hairy, pinnate leaves with three large terminal, coarsely double-toothed leaflets and one or two pairs of small lower leaflets. The leaves vary considerably according to their position on the plant but the upper leaves are composed of 3 narrow leaflets. At the top of the stem grow from 3-5 purplish flowers on short pedicels, blooming from May to July. Found mostly in moist and wet places from Colorado and New Mexico northeastward, and in Canada, Europe and Asia. It was well known to the gypsies who called it “the kind herb”.

Infusion: steep 1 tsp. rootstock in 1 cup water for 30 minutes. Take 1/2 cup before going to bed, or a mouthful 3 times a day. Take no more than 2 cups in total consecutive doses.

Infusion: steep 1 or 2 tsp. fresh plant in 1 cup water. Take 1 cup a day.

Should not be used more than 2 days at a time. Excessive amounts can produce unpleasant side effects.
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Author: Crick
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Herb of the Day for January 8th – Eyebright

Herb of the Day

 

Eyebright


Medicinal Uses: Eyebright stimulates the liver to remove toxins from the body. It has been used internally and externally to treat eye infections and afflictions, such as pink-eye. The herb strengthens the eye, and helps to repair damage. Eyebright was and continues to be used primarily as a poultice for the topical treatment of eye inflammations, including blepharitis, conjunctivitis, and sties. A compress made from a decoction of eyebright can give rapid relief from redness, swelling, and visual disturbances in acute and sub acute eye infections. A tea is usually given internally along with the topical treatment. It has also been used for the treatment of eye fatigue and disturbances of vision.

Magickal uses: Eyebright is used to make a simple tea to rub on the eyelids to induce and enhance clairvoyant visions. This must be done several times to achieve the desired effect.

Properties: Source of sulphur, anti – inflammatory, antibacterial. Eyebright is high in iridoid glycosides, flavonoids, and tannins. The plant has astringent properties that probably account for its usefulness as a topical treatment for inflammatory states and its ability to reduce mucous drainage.

Growth: Eyebright is adaptable to many soil types in full sun. It is a small annual, growing 2 – 8 inches high. It attaches itself by underground suckers to the roots of neighboring grass plants and takes its nutrients from them. To be cultivated, it must be given nurse plants on whose roots it can feed.
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Author: Crick
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Herb of the Day for January 7th is Lobelia

Herb of the Day

Lobelia


The dried flowering herb, and seed named after the botanist Matthias de Lobel, a native of Lille, who died in London in 1616. 

Medicinal Uses: Lobelia is used as an expectorant in bronchitis. It is sometimes given in convulsive and inflammatory disorders such as epilepsy, tetanus, diphtheria and tonsilitis. Externally, an infusion has been found useful in ophthalmia, and the tincture can be used as a local application for sprains, bruises, or skin diseases, alone, or in powder combined with an equal part of slippery elm bark and weak lye-water in a poultice. The oil of Lobelia is valuable in tetanus. One drop of oil triturated with one scruple of sugar, and divided into from 6 to 12 doses, is useful as an expectorant, nauseant, sedative, and diaphoretic, when given every one or two hours. Lobelia has a general depressant action on the central and autonomic nervous system, and also on the neuro-muscular action. Lobelia has been used particularly for its antispasmodic qualities to treat asthma and whooping cough, and also in large amounts to induce vomiting.
Externally, this herb can be made into a poultice for bruises, insect bites, sprains, felons, ringworm, and poison ivy irritation. Lobelia has also been used for decades as a systemic relaxant with a slight depressive effect on the central and autonomic nervous systems.

The root of Lobelia was used by the Iroquois to treat syphilis, hence the species name siphilitica.

In excessive doses the effects are those of a powerful acro-narcotic poison, producing great depression, nausea, cold-sweats, and possibly death. Use of Lobelia is not recommended for people with high blood pressure or for those prone to faintness.

Magickal uses:

Properties: Expectorant, diaphoretic, anti-asthmatic. Contains gum, resin, chlorophyl, fixed oil, lignin, salts of lime and potassium, with ferric oxide. Lobelacrine, formerly considered to be the acrid principle, is probably lobelate of lobeline. The seeds contain a much higher percentage of lobeline than the rest of the plant. The primary known constituents include piperidine alkaloids (lobeline, isolobeline), lobelic acid, chelidonic acid, glycoside (lobelacrin), essential oil, resins, and fats.

Growth: Lobelia is an indigenous North American annual or biennial plant found in pastures, meadows, and cultivated fields of the eastern U.S
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Author: Crick
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Herb of the Day for January 6th – 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 of 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.
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Author: Crick
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Herb of the Day for Jan. 4th – Sunflower

Herb of the Day

Sunflower

 

Medicinal Uses: Native Americans used the tea of the flowers for lung ailments and malaria. Leaf tea was used for high fevers; poultice of roots on snakebites and spider bites.
Seeds and leaves are diuretic and expectorant. Seeds contain all the important nutrients that benefit the eyes and relieve constipation.

Useful against dysentery, inflammations of the bladder and kidney. The leaves are astringent and used in herbal tobaccos.

Sunflower seeds are simmered in water (one ounce seed to one quart of liquid) until half of the water is absorbed or evaporated. Add six ounces of gin as a preservative, and honey to taste. The preparation is a good syrup for lung and throat problems, coughs, and colds. The oil can be used for the same conditions; ten to fifteen drops, three times a day. A tea of the toasted seed has been used to treat fevers, and is a substitute for quinine.
 
Pollen or plant extracts may cause allergic reactions.
 
Magickal uses: An herb of happiness. The sunflower is said to protect one from smallpox by either wearing them like a necklace or in a small bag around your neck. When eaten they help a woman conceive. Place one under your bed to know the truth. They will also grant wishes. Cut it at sundown while making a wish. One who has been anointed with the juice from the stem of the sunflower will be virtuous. Grown in the garden they bring luck. In Aztec temples of the sun, priestesses carried sunflowers and wore them as crowns. As sun symbols, these flowers symbolize the healthy ego, the wisdom, and the fertility of the solar logos.
 
Properties: Diuretic, expectorant. The seeds are exceptionally rich in polyunsaturates (approx. 80%) and high quality plant protein, plus natural vitamins and minerals. (thiamine (B1), niacin, potassium, iron, phosphorus, calcium, iodine, fluorine, magnesium, sodium, vitamins D and E).
 
Growth: Sunflower is an annual plant growing 6-10 feet high; leaves mostly alternate, rough-hairy, broadly heart or spade-shaped. The flowers are orange-yellow; disk flat, flowers from July to October. Found on prairies, roadsides. Minnesota to Texas; escaped from cultivation elsewhere. A North American native plant.
 
Make sure the seeds are fresh.
 
Decoction: 2 oz. of seeds to 1 quart of water: boil down to 12 oz. and strain. Add 6 oz. of Holland gin and 6 oz. of honey. The dose is 1-2 tsp. 3 or 4 times a day.
 
Oil: unrefined oil has similar properties to the seeds. Take 10-15 drops or more, 2-3 times a day.

Source:
Author: Crick
Website: The Whispering Woods

Categories: Articles, Daily Posts, Herbs | Tags: , , , | 5 Comments

Herb of the Day for January 1st is Amaranth

Herb of the Day

Amaranth


Medicinal Uses: Amaranth is used to battle stomach flu, diarrhea, and gastroenteritis. It was used by Native Americans to stop menstruation and for contraception. It is also used internally for diarrhea, dysentery, hemorrhage from the bowels, and nosebleeds. Amaranth seed and leaves have been used effectively as an astringent for stopping diarrhea, bloody stools  and excessive menstruation. It is an excellent wash for skin problems such as acne and eczema to psoriasis and hives. It is used as a douche for vaginal discharges; as a mouthwash for sore mouths, gums, teeth and throat and as an enema for colon inflammation and rectal sores. Applied externally, it can reduce tissue swelling from sprains and tick bites.

Magickal uses: Amaranth is used to repair a broken heart. It is also associated with immortality, and is used to decorate images of gods and goddesses. It is sacred to the god Artemis. Woven into a wreath, it is said to render the wearer invisible. It is also used in pagan burial ceremonies.

Properties: Astringent, hemostatic, nutritive, alterative

Growth: Amaranth is an annual whose different varieties grow from one to five feet tall. It bears alternate, oblong-lancelet pointed, green leaves that have a red-purplish spot. Its flowers appear in August and grow in clusters. It does not transplant well, so sow it where you want it to grow. It is generally not picky about soil type, and tolerates heat and drought well. The leaves of the plant are used.

Infusion or decoction: Use 1 tsp. leaves with 1 cup water. Take cold, 1- 2 cups a day.                             

Gargle: 2 tbsp. to 1 quart water simmered 10 minutes and used as a gargle 3-4 times a day. May also be used as a douche for leucorrhea.                                                                                                                                                          

Tincture: A dose is 1/2 to 1 tsp.

Amaranth should not be used by pregnant or lactating women.
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Author: Crick
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