Herbs

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.
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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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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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