Posts Tagged With: Herb

Herb of the Day for July 30th is Bee Balm

Herb of the Day

 Bee Balm    



The name “Oswego tea” was coined by John Martram who discovered Native Americans and settlers in Oswego, New York, making tea from the leaves of this mint. All of the above ground parts of the flowering plant are used.

Medicinal Uses: Bee Balm has antibacterial properties because of its high thymol content. Bee Balm can be used as part of a first-aid-dressing regimen for cuts, abrasions, insect bites, and other wounds.
An infusion is good for colds, coughs, nausea, catarrh, headaches, gastric disorders, to reduce low fevers and soothe sore throat, to relieve flatulence, nausea, menstrual pain, and insomnia. Steam inhalation of the plant can be used for sore throats, and bronchial catarrh (inflammation of the mucus membrane, causing an increased flow of mucus). Externally, it is a medicinal application for skin eruptions and infections.                                                                   
Native Americans used leaf tea for colic, gas, colds, fever, stomachaches, nosebleeds, insomnia, heart trouble, measles, and to induce sweating. A poultice is used for headaches.

Magickal uses: Use in love charms and spells to attract a partner. Soak herb in wine for several hours, strain and share with a friend. Or, carry herb with you to find love. Also used in magical healing, and spells to ensure success.

Properties: Stimulant, carminative, rubefacient

Growth: A perennial with square-shaped stems, characteristic of herbs in the mint family. The roots are fibrous and spread via rhizomes. The leaves are lance-shaped, opposite, glabrous, fuzzy, and toothed. When bruised or damaged, the leaves are highly fragrant. The bright red flowers range from one to three inches terminal clusters each with dozens of tiny blossoms. The flowers are approximately one and a half inches long, ending in two lips (the upper one rigidly overhangs the other which has three spreading lobes). Bee Balm grows in dry, sunny meadows and sloped areas, preferring a full sun or partially shaded environment. Usually found in bracken grasslands, cliff areas, northern lowland and upland forests, southern upland forests, pine barrens, prairies, savanna, and sedge meadows.

Medicinal tea: To 1 tsp. dried herb add 1 cup boiling water, steep 10 min. sweeten to taste, take at bedtime.

Source:
Author: Crick

Website: The Whispering Woods

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Herb of the Day for July 26th 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.
Source:
Author: Crick
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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
Categories: Articles, Daily Posts, Herbs | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

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.
Source:
Author: Crick
Categories: Articles, Daily Posts, Herbs | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

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 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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Let’s Talk Witch – Making Magick Potions

Let’s Talk Witch – Making Magick Potions

The art of making potions goes back to the earliest civilizations and in terms of history, as one of the oldest crafts known to humankind. Brewing beer, making wine, and infusing potions are traditions that have been perfected through time. Many of the techniques making a great beer, wine or potion are the same. The mixture is often called a wort. The wort is then put through a process, which in the case of potions, gives it magickal properties.

The different ways of making potions stem from ancient medicinal and alchemical recipes, formulas that you can put together from basic ingredients in the privacy of your own kitchen. Historically magick love potions also called

philters, were often made of unappealing ingredients. You had to be extremely thristy or unaware of the contents to sip one. Today, this isn’t the case as most potion ingredients are tasty and appealing.

Potion brews can be anything from an herb tea to a fruit smoothie. One of the main things to remember when making any potion is to make it taste good if a person is going to drink it. If you are using a potion primarily for its scent, for example in a powder form, then make sure it smells good. Try to avoid unfortunate situations like the infamous wizard Aleister Crowley found himself in when he developed a perfume potion for sex magick called “It.” Great idea Aleister, but nothing came of “It,” because the stuff reputedly had a horrid smell!

Before you make your potion, be sure that you have all the ingredients and tools you will need at your fingertips. Following is a list of potion-making tools you will need:

*A ceramic, earthenware, glass, or wood bowl

*A pot, preferably one that is NOT made of metal, for brewing the potion

*A wooden spoon for stirring the potion

*Cheesecloth for straining the potion

*A mortar and pestle for grinding potion ingredients

*A container for the potion

Clean, preferably sterilize, all of your tools, especially the potion container. You can clean containers by carefully pouring boiling water into them, or you can put the container in the dishwasher, running it through the entire cycle and turning on the heat/dry cycle. This also does a good job of sterilizing contatiners. If you don’t have time to properly clean the chalice, cup, glass or other containers the potion is going in, then just make sure that it is as clean as possible. Any residue may taint the potion.

The kind of water you use is important when preparing a magick potion. Spring, well, rain, and distilled waters are better than tap water, which often contains chemicals such as chlorine and fluoride. Well water with no harmful contaminants can be used; rain water can be used as long as there aren’t any pollutants in it; and distilled water can be used for potions, but it is inert. Unless the recipe calls for it, I seldom use sea water or mineral water due to their mineral content.

Witches and wizards make potions by mixing one, two, a few or many ingredients together into one. Sometimes the ingredients are used just as they are. Other times they are ground up, shredded, pureed or crushed with your fingers or with the mortar and pestle. The herbs that go into your potion can be either fresh or dried. If you use fresh herbs, it take three times more of them than dried herbs. For example, if a potion recipe calls for one teaspoon of dried sage leaves and you want to use fresh sage, it would take three teaspoons of fresh sage to make the potion.

Processes call infusions and decoctions are also employed. An infusion, the most common method of internal herbal preparation, is usually in the form of a tea. It can also take the form of magick water. The infusion method works best when the potion you are making requires soft plant parts, such as leaves, flowers or green steams.

When using the infusion method of preparing potions, there are a couple of things you can do to make your potion more effective. One thing is to brew aromatic ingredients such as garlic and clove, in a pot with a lid that fits

on tight. The reason for this is to keep from losing the natural oils of the aromatic ingredients to evaporation. These natural oils are important for the effectiveness of the potion.

Some ingredients are sensitive to heat, so you can make a cold infusion by soaking the herbs in water for anywhere from 6 to 12 hours. A sealed earthenware pot is best for cold infusions. When preparing potions using the infusion method, only make enough for immediate use as infusions rapidly lose their potency.

The method for making a decoction potion is similar to the infusion. You begin by grinding your ingredients into a powder that you can then make your potions. Ingredients that are hard, such as bark and stems, require more heat to release their magickal properties. The use of more heat to release the natural oils of an ingredient is primary difference between the infusion and decoction methods of potion making.

The decoction method would be the one most associated with the traditional use of magick cauldrons. In this way, dried herbal ingredients are ground into powder and are cut into small piedes, and then added to the potion. The potion is made in a pot, and the ingredients are simmered and boiled in order to release their magickal properties. Again in the case of aromatic ingredients, you should use a lid on the pot to slow the evaporation process. The amount of time that you heat the mixture depends on the potion recipe. Usually decoction are strained to eliminate the hard bark and stems before using them.

At times, potions use both methods in their recipe. In this case prepare the two separately as a decoction and infusion, and then mix the ingredients together after the decoction has cooled. By doing so, the infusion ingredients are not ruined by the heat that the decoction process requires. Always stir clockwise.

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A Healing Spell for Physical, Mental or Spiritual Health

A Healing Spell for Physical, Mental or Spiritual Health

Items You Will Need:

Blue candle

A piece of paper (written on it what needs to be healed from the Goddess)

Healing herbs such as calendula, lemon balm, lavender, or mint.

The spell can be done for healing of any kind: physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual. It can also be done for a pet.

Light the candle and place the piece of paper you are working to cure for yourself in front of the candle. Visualize you being surrounded with blue healing light. If you are casting the spell outside, you can toss the herbs into a bonfire for extra effect.

“God and Goddess
Grant me healing
Of body, mind, heart and spirit
Send your healing energy
To mend what is broken
Center what has become unbalanced
And soothe what is painful.
So Mote It Be.
 

You can do this spell anytime you have a need too.

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