Posts Tagged With: Herb

Herb of the Day for July 21 is Bittersweet

Herb of the Day

Bittersweet

Medicinal Uses: The bark of the root is used.  The root-bark tea induces sweating and is diuretic and emetic. Externally the bark is used in an ointment for burns, scrapes, skin eruptions.
Bittersweet is a narcotic herb containing solanine and in large doses can paralyze the central nervous system. Bittersweet is used to treat skin diseases, bronchial conditions and asthma.  

Magickal uses: This is a masculine herb. It is ruled by the planet Mercury and its element is Air. Shepherds hung it as a charm around the necks of their animals as protection from evil.

Properties: narcotic, exportant, diuretic

Growth: This is a climbing, twining shrub. It grows up to 50 feet in height. The leaves are ovate to oblong, sharp pointed and fine-toothed. The flowers are greenish and in clusters, May to June. The fruit capsule is scarlet to orange, splitting, to reveal scarlet seeds. The stems are green and slightly hairy at first but become woody with age. It grows in hedges, wasteways and swamps. Bittersweet is found in North America and Europe.

All parts of this plant including the berries are potentially toxic.
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Author: Crick
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Herb of the Day for April 16th is Blue Cohosh

Herb of the Day

Blue Cohosh

Blue ginseng

(Caulophylum thalictroides)

Medicinal Uses: Blue Cohosh is used to regulate the menstrual flow.

It is also used for suppressed menstruation. Native Americans used this herb during childbirth to ease the pain and difficulty that accompany birthing, as well as to induce labor. This herb should not be taken during pregnancy, and should be taken in very small amounts in conjunction with other herbs, such as Black Cohosh.

Elevates blood pressure and stimulates uterine contractions of childbirth and stimulates the small intestine, and enhances symptoms of hyperglycemia. Good for hiccough, whooping cough, spasms, and epilepsy.

Blue Cohosh should not be used during pregnancy until the last 2 to 3 weeks before confinement; it is a uterine stimulant.

Magickal uses: none

Properties: Stimulant, sedative, sudorific (produces sweat), tonic, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory, anti-rheumatic, parturient, emmenagogue (stimulates menstrual flow), anthelmintic (destroys intestinal worms), demulcent, diaphoretic, diuretic, oxytocic (stimulates uterine contractions).

Contains Calcium, coulosaponin, gum, inositol, iron, leontin, magnesium, methylcystine, phosphoric acid, phosphorus, potassium, salts, silicon, starch, and vitamins B3, B5, B9, and E.

Growth: Blue Cohosh grows best in deep, loamy, moist woodlands. It has a range from southern Canada, as far south as the Carolinas, and as far west as Missouri. Found in eastern North America, near running streams, around swamps, and in other moist places. Blue Cohosh is a hardy perennial plant 3 feet in height; the round, simple, erect stem grows from a knotty rootstock and bears a large, sessile, tri-pinnate leaf whose leaflets are oval, petiole, and irregularly lobed. Smooth-stemmed, stem and leaves covered with bluish film. The 6-petaled, yellow-green flowers are borne in a raceme or panicle. April to June before leaves expand. The fruit is a pea-sized, dark blue berry on a fleshy stalk. Blooms in May or June and the berries ripen in August.

Infusion: use 1 oz. rootstock with 1 pint boiling water; steep for 1/2 hour. Take 2 tbsp. every 2 to 3 hours, in hot water.

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Author: Crick
Website: The Whispering Woods

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Herb of the Day for March 2nd is Celandine

Herb of the Day

 Celandine

 
Medicinal Uses: Celandine has recently been found to contain at least four chemicals with anti-tumor activity. The juice mixed with vinegar is said to remove warts and corns.                                                                                                  
A decoction is used for stomach pains and inflammation of the binary duct. Taken internally, celandine has a special effect on the digestive system (stomach, gallbladder, liver), and its antispasmodic properties make it useful for asthmatic symptoms. As a hydragogue it is used for dropsical conditions.
Externally, made into an ointment or a poultice, celandine can be used for skin diseases like herpes, eczema, and ringworm.

Magickal uses: Use in charms, amulets & incenses designed to aid in escaping, either physical escape or mental. Wear next to the skin to aid in curing depression. Also worn to win the favor of the judge or jury in court. It cures depression by bringing good spirits and joy when worn. It is a protective herb. Use in sachets to bring joy and good spirits. Celandine is masculine, ruled by the Sun and is associated with Fire.

Properties: Anodyne, antispasmodic, caustic, diaphoretic, diuretic, hydragogue, narcotic, purgative, bronchiolytic, cholagogue, detoxifier, sedative, emollient

Growth: Chelidonium majus is a biennial. These hardy plants grow in somewhat sunny, moist places. Greater celandine has 4 petaled flowers up to 3/4 inch in diameter. Blossoms appear in April and continue through August. The blossoms are usually a yellow color. Usually found by old walls, on waste ground and in hedges. The stems and leaves are notable for their acrid yellow sap, which can stain and irritate the skin. The entire plant contains a bitter, orange-yellow juice that turns red when exposed to air.

Infusion: Use I level tsp. rootstock or herb with 1 cup boiling water; steep for 30 minutes. Drink cold, 1/2 cup a day.
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Author: Crick

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Herb of the Day for Feb. 23 is Calendula

Herb of the Day

Calendula


                                        
Medicinal Uses: An infusion of the petals used as lotion for skin cleansing and softening.
It is usually combined with chamomile and comfrey for a soothing ointment in cases of skin problems, burns, cuts, insect bites, stings and bruises. Calendula is said to strengthen and comfort the heart and aid in digestion. The flowers are used in infusion form as a wash for red eye. The flowers are also used for hair rinse, and in a herbal bath for stimulation to aid circulation and sooth skin.                                                                                                                 
The petals or leaves can be used in a tea to induce sweating, promote menstruation, increase urination, relieve stomach cramps, indigestion and stomachaches, and for relief from flu and fevers.                                                         
For bee stings, rub the fresh flowers directly on the sting to relieve the pain.

Do not use Calendula while pregnant.

Magickal uses: A masculine herb that is ruled by the Sun. The associated element is Fire. Wear a fresh marigold to court to help win a case. Place in your mattress for prophetic dreams. Add to bath water to increase confidence. Sprinkle around the bed to protect a person from evil and to bring greater understanding of dreams.

Properties: Antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, healing, anti-fungal and soothing.

Growth: Calendulas have been grown as garden plants for many years throughout North America and Europe. Calendula is a annual that requires warm temperatures and full sun. It has hairy leaves and golden-orange flowers, and has a long flowering period.

Infusion: Combine 1 to 2 tsp fresh or dried flowers with 1/2 C. water just off the boil; steep 5 to 10 minutes; strain. Used as a compress will soothe tired eyes.

Tincture: Soak a handful of flowers in 1 pint of whiskey for 5 to 6 weeks; dose is 5 to 20 drops.

Oil: Put 1 C. sweet almond oil and 1 oz. calendula petals in a jar; place in a sunny spot for 4 weeks then heat oil till petals are crisp; strain and bottle.

Salve/Ointment:  Boil 1 oz. dried flowers or leaves (or 1 tsp fresh plant juice) with 1 oz of Lard; OR; slowly heat 4 oz. white petroleum jelly in top of double boiler till melted; add 1 oz. crushed herb and simmer 20 minutes; strain into little pots; cover when cold.
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Author: Crick
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Herb of the Day for February 10th is Thyme

Herb of the Day

Thyme


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 February 8th 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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Herb of the Day for December 4th – Cinquefoil

Herb of the Day

Cinquefoil

 

Cinquefoil (Potentilla anserina) is also known as five-finger grass. The five points of the leaves symbolize love, riches, good health, power, and knowledge. Cinquefoils are a popular garden perennial. A great variety of cinquefoil to try in your garden is called `Miss Willmott’. This plant bears strawberry-pink flowers and does very well in sunny gardens. Cinquefoil is associated with the planet Jupiter and the element of fire. Old herbals declared the cinquefoil to be a plant with abundant healing energy, so this is the reason that this blooming Herb is often worked into both prosperity and healing spells. In the language of flowers, this plant signifies a loving mother-daughter relationship.

 

Book of Witchery: Spells, Charms & Correspondences for Every Day of the Week Ellen Dugan
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Herb of the Day for November 16th – Belladonna

Herb of the Day

Belladonna


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.
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Author: Crick
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