Herb of the Day for October 31st is Hemlock

Herb of the Day

Hemlock


                                                                                                                                                                                                      
Socrates drank the juice of poisonous hemlock in order to commit suicide.                                                                   

Medicinal Uses: The whole plant has been used as a traditional folk cancer remedy, narcotic, sedative, analgesic, spasmolytic, anti-aphrodisiac. Hemlock has been used as an antidote for strychnine poisoning. The antidotes for Hemlock are emetics of zinc, castor oil, mustard, tannic acid and stimulants such as coffee.

Poison hemlock is a deadly poison. Ingestion can be lethal. Contact can cause dermatitis; juice is highly toxic. The young poison hemlock plant closely resembles Osha root.

Magickal uses: Once used to induce astral projections and to destroy sexual drives. Rub the juice (be sure to protect your hands) onto magickal knives and swords to empower and purify them before use. Hemlock is ruled by Saturn and associated with the Goddess Hecate.

Properties: astringent, diaphoretic, diuretic. Contains the poison alkaloid, coniine, conhydrine and methyl-coniine.

Growth: A species of evergreen plant; the volatile oil extracted from dried, unripe fruit of Conium maculatum, poison hemlock or a poison made from the hemlock. A European plant with compound umbels of small, white flowers and finely divided leaves. A branched perennial, 2-6 feet tall. Stems are hollow, grooved; purple-spotted. Leaves are carrot-like, but in overall outline more like an equilateral triangle, and with more divisions; leaves ill-scented when bruised. Leafstalks are hairless. Flowers are white, in umbels; May to August. Similar in appearance to caraway, valerian, Queen Anne’s lace, wild carrot, etc. Care should be taken in identifying the hemlock plant; Poison Hemlock is found in waste ground in most of the United States. A good way to distinguish the plant is by the fetid mouse-like smell it emits and by the dark purplish spots that pepper the stem.
Author: Crick

Herb of the Day for August 29th is Catnip

Herb of the Day

Catnip


Medicinal Uses: In the Middle Ages, it was considered useful against leprosy and colds.                                                  
Throughout history, this herb has been used in humans to produce a sedative effect. Catnip also has a long history of use as a tranquilizer, sedative, digestive aid, menstruation promoter, and treatment for menstrual cramps (Catnip’s antispasmodic effect supports its traditional use for relieving menstrual cramps. Catnip is also used as a menstruation promoter), flatulence, and infant colic.                                                                                                           
It was used in a infusion as a digestive aid (Have a cup of catnip tea after meals if you are prone to indigestion or heartburn), also to reduce gas, for nervous dyspepsia, diarrhea, colic, and as a sleep aid. Also used for colds, fever with chill, and head congestion before a flu. Its pleasant, lemon-mint vapors were considered a cold and cough remedy, relieving chest congestion and loosening phlegm. Catnip tea is thought to purify the blood. It is said to relieve the symptoms of colic in children.                                                                                                                            
The leaves were also chewed for toothache, smoked to treat bronchitis and asthma!

Do not use if pregnant.

Magickal uses: Catnip was chewed by warriors for strength and courage. Feed to a cat to create a psychic bond with it. Offer to Bast or Sekhmet. Use the large leaves, well dried, to mark pages in magickal books. Use in conjunction with rose petals in love sachets. Catnip is associated with the element of Water. It is a feminine herb ruled by the planet Venus.

Properties: Diaphoretic, refrigerant. antispasmodic, carminative, emmenagogue, nervine, stomachic, stimulant, and mild sedative, digestive aid. Contains volatile oils, sterols, acids, and tannins. Specific chemical connpounds include nepetalactone, nepetalic acid, nepetalic anhydride, citral, limonene, dispentine, geraniol, citronella, nerol, -caryophyllene, and valeric acid. The essential oil in catnip contains a monoterpene similar to the valepotriates found in valerian, an even more widely renowned sedative.

Growth: Catnip is a perennial herb native to Eurasia and widely naturalized in North America. This erect-growing plant, which can reach a height of three feet, has pubescent leaves and a spike-like inflorescent with purple-spotted white flowers. The plant thrives in well-drained soils and is commonly considered a weed when growing in gardens of the northeastern United States.

Source

Author: Crick

Herb of the Day for August 23rd – 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.

Source

Author: Crick
Website: The Whispering Woods

Herb of the Day for August 20th – Licorice

Herb of the Day
Licorice


(Glycyrrhiza glabra)

Medicinal Uses: Licorice is used to relieve respiratory ailments such as allergies, bronchitis, colds, sore throats, and tuberculosis. Licorice root is often used to prevent and treat stomach ulcers. Licorice is also used in the treatment of heart disease because of its effects on cholesterol and blood pressure. It has also been used for over 3,000 years by the Chinese as a tonic to rejuvenate the heart and spleen, and as a treatment for ulcers, cold symptoms, and skin disorders.
Licorice is used in treating adrenal insufficiencies such as hypoglycemia and Addison’s disease, counteracting stress, and in purifying the liver and bloodstream.

Persons with a history of congestive heart failure, kidney disease, and liver disorders should not use licorice compounds. Do not use if you are pregnant or nursing.

Magickal uses:

Properties: Licorice is demulcent, expectorant, diuretic, and laxative. It contains glycosides, flavonoids, asparagine, isoflavonoids, chalcones and coumarins. Primary of these is Glycyrrhetinic acid, a natural anti-inflammatory compound.
Licorice Root contains Vitamins E, B-complex, phosphorous, biotin, niacin, pantothenic acid, lecithin, manganese, iodine, chromium, and zinc.

Growth: Licorice is a mediterranean perennial plant having blue flowers, pinnately compound leaves, and a sweet, distinctively flavored root.
Author, Crick

To 10 essential oils for scars

CAN ESSENTIAL OILS HEAL SCARS?

You would have to be very lucky to get through much of life without having to deal with scars on your skin. Whether they are caused by acne, surgery or animal bites most of us will have a few battle signs dotted around our bodies.

Of course, it is highly unlikely that you will ever be able to get rid of these scars completely. You are likely to have to carry larger scars such as those caused by surgery or major wounds around with you for life. I have a very unsightly scar on my lower abdomen caused by stomach surgery and as much as it would be great to get rid of it, I have accepted that it is a part of me and will always be a part of me. Even smaller scars will be difficult to eradicate completely and the best you can hope for might be to lighten the scar so as it fades away and gradually becomes almost unnoticeable.



Fortunately for those of us who would like to be rid of unsightly scars, many essential oils provide a safe and natural solution. It is worth remembering that any scar treatment will not be a quick fix. You will need patience and treatment may last many months before you feel happy with the results. A number of essential oils have a great many properties that benefit the skin.

Essential oils can be used to treat skin conditions like acne and eczema or simply applied to keep your skin looking youthful and healthy. Some essential oils are especially effective on blemishes, stretch marks and other minor scars because they contain the cicatrisant properties which promote tissue regeneration.

This article will take a look at the essential oils that have the best scar healing effects; they are not listed in any particular order and there are no guarantees that they will work. You might have to try several oils before hitting upon the one that you feel most happy with but they have made the list for good reason having all been used successfully to treat scarring.

essential oils for scars
essential oils to the rescue!

ESSENTIAL OILS FOR SCARS

1. LAVENDER ESSENTIAL OIL

Lavender is one of the most popular and versatile essential oils. It is a very effective essential oil that can be used for a variety of skin conditions and is widely used to treat scars. Lavender essential oil can be applied to prevent new scar tissue from forming and also to reduce the evidence of existing scars.

Unlike nearly every other essential oil, it is a very gentle oil that can be applied topically without the need for dilution although it should be diluted when being applied to fresh wounds.

2. HELICHRYSUM ESSENTIAL OIL

If you are desperate to eliminate or dissipate your scarring, helichrysum essential oil is one of the absolute best oils. There are obvious budgetary considerations when choosing your essential oils and helichrysum is extremely expensive.

Because of its price, you may be better trying another oil first but if money is not an object, helichrysum has few equals. As well as its ability to treat scars and blemishes, it has a range of other skin applications and is a popular option for acne, eczema and psoriasis.

3. CARROT SEED ESSENTIAL OIL

Carrot seed essential oil has powerful antioxidant properties and is renowned as a tonic for the skin. It can help treat scarring whether caused by acne, burns or cuts while also working to strengthen your skin’s elasticity and reducing the signs of aging like wrinkles. Carrot seed oil is a popular ingredient in creams designed to treat eczema and psoriasis.

4. CEDARWOOD ESSENTIAL OIL

Cedarwood essential oil is a very popular choice for skin health. It is able to maintain both oily and dry skin and works to expel impurities and excess tissue fat. As well as its general skin care benefits, cedarwood essential oil can be used to regenerate scar tissue and diminish the signs of older scars whether they are caused by acne, stretch marks or small wounds.

5. GERANIUM ESSENTIAL OIL

Geranium is an excellent overall skin tonic. It is anti-inflammatory and antiseptic and has cicatrisant properties that will help eliminate or at least fade out any scarring when applied over a period of time. It is also helps to rejuvenate old skin cells and helps give your skin a fresh lease of life.

6. ROSE ESSENTIAL OIL

Rose essential oil does not come cheap but it is well known for its many skin applications. When applied regularly, it can have a significant impact on the appearance of your scars. Rose oil also improves circulation and helps maintain your skin’s youthful appearance and elasticity.

7. PATCHOULI ESSENTIAL OIL

Patchouli essential oil does not have quite the same reputation and is less popular than many other oils but it should not be discounted when it comes to skin health and scars in particular. Patchouli has outstanding restorative qualities and is able to stimulate the regeneration of skin cells. It is both anti-inflammatory and cicastrisant and can help heal new scar tissue and fade out older scars.

8. NEROLI ESSENTIAL OIL

Neroli essential oil is another very expensive option but it has a great reputation for healing scars as well as treatment of numerous skin conditions.

9. MYRRH ESSENTIAL OIL

Myrrh has some powerful skin regeneration properties and is a popular remedy for a variety of conditions including acne and psoriasis. Myrrh essential oil also widely used to treat scars caused by burns, stretch marks and small wounds. It can help promote the growth of new skin around the area of fresh scars and over time causes any lasting scars to fade away.

10. FRANKINCENSE ESSENTIAL OIL

Frankincense essential oil is yet another great option for scars and skin health in general. This essential oil stimulates the regeneration of the new cells that grow over your scar tissue making the area smoother and the scarring less visible.

OTHER ESSENTIAL OILS TO CONSIDER FOR SCARRING

The list above is by no means definitive and many other essential oils are well known for their ability to treat skin complaints and reduce the effects of scarring. Rosemary, hyssop, Calendula and juniper essential oils have all been used with great success.

HOW TO USE ESSENTIAL OILS FOR SCARS

FOR FRESH WOUNDS AND CUTS

Clean the affected area with a mixture of warm water and 5 drops of lavender essential oil to help disinfect the area.
Dilute your chosen essential oil with a suitable carrier oil and apply it to the wound.
Cover the affected area with gauze or a band aid and change it several times a day.
If the wound is so serious that you need stitches, it is important that you see a doctor as soon as possible. Your doctor might recommend that you don’t apply essential oils until the stitches have been removed.

FOR OLDER SCARS

Make sure that you dilute your chosen essential oil with a base oil before applying it topically. Rosehip and hazelnut oil are considered to be excellent carrier oils when it comes to scarring.

Don’t expect immediate results; scar tissue takes a long time to fade and there are no guarantees that it will work. You should however start seeing some satisfactory results within a few months.

~~~

For essential oils you can buy that help heal scar tissue, click here to see them from our original article.

Want to learn more about essential oils usage and natural wellness. Subscribe to our seasonal newsletter!Subscribe to our seasonal newsletter!

Herb of the Day of the Day for August 7th: Elder

Herb of the Day

Elder

Medicinal Uses: Elder has a long history of use dating back to the 5th century BC. Hippocrates wrote about Elder.       
Elder flowers, mixed with mint and yarrow blossoms, are excellent internal cleansers when fighting flu and colds. A tea of the elder flowers and sassafras is a remedy for acne. Elder flower oil is a remedy for chapped skin. Elder is used to cleanse the body, build the blood, treat inflammation, fever, and soothes the respiratory system. The flavonoids, including quercetin, are believed to account for the therapeutic effects of the elderberry flowers and berries. According to research, an extract from the leaves, combined with St. john’s wort and soapwort, inhibits the influenza virus and herpes simplex virus. The juice is especially good as a tonic for the reproductive and glandular system, and elderberry blossoms, when dried, can be used as a kidney tea. When cooked, the berries are harmless.                                              
The leaves can be used as an antiseptic poultice for external wounds, and as an insect repellant. The Greeks used a tea from the root as a laxative.

The leaves, bark, and roots of the American varieties generally contain poisonous alkaloids and should not be used internally. This herb should not be used internally by pregnant or lactating women. Elder can be toxic, especially if fresh, most notably the stems as they contain cyanide.

Magickal uses: The branches of the sacred elder are used to make magickal wands for ritual. Scattering the leaves in the four winds will bring protection. A person, place or thing may be blessed by scattering the leaves and berries to the four winds in the name of the subject to be blessed. Then scatter more leaves and berried over the named subject. Curses may be effected in the same manner. When worn it prevents all types of attacks. It keeps evil from the home when hung over the doors and windows. The berries drive away evil and negativity when carried. Grow it in your garden to protect from lightning and sorcery. Grown near the home it will bring prosperity. A fever may be dispelled by poking a twig into the ground while remaining in total silence. Since toothaches were one believed to be caused by evil spirits, it was also believed that chewing on a twig would rid you of it if you said; “Depart thou evil spirit.” To treat rheumatism, a twig is tied into three or four knots and carried in the pocket. Warts will disappear if they are rubbed with a green twig and then buried.                      
                                               
Elderberry wine, made from the berries, is used in rituals. In Denmark, it is believed to be unlucky to have furniture made of elder wood. Grown near your home, elder will offer protection to the dwellers. It is used at weddings to bring good luck to the newlyweds. Flutes made formt he branches are used to bring forth spirits. Rub warts with a green elder stick then bury it. The root and old bark can be used as a black dye. The leaves give a green dye when mixed with alum. Before felling an elder recite the following, while kneeling:

“Lady Ellhorn, give me of thy wood,
And I will give thee of mine,
When I become a tree.”

This will give the residing entity time to vacate. Especially among some Gypsies, sited as being dangerous, have long forbidden the use of the elder as firewood. However the wood has been used as wands for centuries.  Associated with the planet Venus and with MidSummer.

Properties: diaphoretic, diuretic, anti-inflammatory

Growth: Elder is a tree or shrub, growing to 30 feet tall. The fruit is 1/4 inch globular-shaped, purple-black in color.  It prefers moist areas throughout North America.

Liquid elderberry extract is taken in amounts of 5 ml (for children) to 10 ml (for adults) twice per day.

Tea is made from 3-5 grams of the dried flowers steeped in 250 ml (1 cup) boiling water for ten to fifteen minutes may also be drunk three times per day.

The bark and root bark must be used fresh.

Use 1 level tsp. Bark or root bark to 1/2 cup boiling water. Take no more than 1 cup a day, a mouthful at a time.
Author: Crick
Website: The Whispering Woods

Herb of the Day for July 26th is Cinnamon

Herb of the Day

Cinnamon

                                


Add cinnamon to remedies for acute symptoms, as this herb is a stimulant to other herbs and the body, enabling herbal remedies to work faster. It is also a blood purifier, an infection preventive, and a digestive aid. Cinnamon is used as a mouthwash, and is good for upset stomach.
For a cold medication simmer sticks with cloves for 3 min, add 2 tsp lemon juice, 2 tsp honey, 2 tbsp whiskey.

Cinnamon is also good for yeast infection and athlete’s foot. A 2% solution will kill both of these conditions. Boil 8-10 sticks in 4 cups water, simmer 5 min, steep 45 min, then douche or apply to athlete’s foot. Cinnamon reduces cancer causing tendencies of many food additives.


Do not ingest cinnamon oil.

Magickal uses: The ancient Hebrews used cinnamon oil as part of a holy anointing oil. The Egyptians also used the oil during the mummification process. The Romans wove the leaves into wreaths, which were used to decorate the temples. Burned in incense, cinnamon will promote high spirituality. It is also used to stimulate the passions of the male. It should also be burned in incenses used for healing. The essential oil is used for protection.

Properties: Warming stimulant, carminative, antispasmodic, antiseptic, anti-viral, alterative, analgesic, antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic, anti-rheumatic, aromatic, astringent, demulcent, diaphoretic, digestive, diuretic, expectorant, germicide, hemostatic, stimulant, stomachic

Growth: Cinnamon is native to Sri Lanka, growing in tropical forest and being extensively cultivated throughout the tropical regions of the world.
Reference
Author: Crick
Website: The Whispering Woods

Magickal Goody of the Day for July 14th – Calendula/ Marigold Healing Salve

Magickal Goody of the Day

witch potion 001

Calendula/ Marigold Healing Salve

Used externally for burns and irradiated skin, bruises, soreness, and skin ulcers. I love to use it for cracked, dry skin, eczema, diaper rash, and garden hands. It can help reduce bleeding and is wonderful for sore nipples and varicose veins! In other words, this salve is good for almost everything! And is a must-have in my healing cupboard.

3 cups dried calendula/ marigold petals
1 cup extra virgin olive oil, grape seed oil, or almond oil
2 ounces grated beeswax or beeswax pastilles
Optional: frankincense essential oil, 5 drops; tea tree oil, 5 drops
Cheesecloth
Heavy pot
Spoon
Measuring cup
Rubber band

Heat flowers in oil to a simmer (about 20 minutes).

Let the oil flower mixture set over night (the longer it sets, the stronger the salve).
Next, using cheese cloth over a clean cup or jar, strain the oil flower mixture (you will now have a lovely golden infusion).

In a double boiler, heat oil infusion and grated beeswax until melted and pour into clean jars and let cool, then seal (store in a cool dark place).

Magical uses: Being an herb of the sun, calendula can be used to remove negative energy. Oil can be used to consecrate tools, and the petals can be used as part of incense for divination.

The plant can be used in any ritual to honor the sun, as part of a sacred bath, incense, or strewing herb as well as to produce a yellow dye for and altar cloths for use in sun-honoring rituals. For protection, hang garlands of calendula over entry doors to prevent evil from entering.

Farmhouse Witchcraft
Penny Parker