Magickal Properties of Ginger


Plants and Herbs for Your Zodiac Sign





Plants and Herbs for Your Zodiac Sign

An astrological guide to the benefits of Mother Nature

Which plants, herbs, fruits and vegetables are most helpful to YOUR zodiac sign? Each of the 12 signs can benefit from the properties of certain plants, which help to heal, grow, balance, and inspire. Look up your sign below and thrive by filling your garden, refrigerator, and home with these brilliant gifts from Mother Nature!

Aries (March 21 – April 19)

Aries is a Fire sign ruled by the planet Mars. Plants associated with this element and planet usually have thorns or prickles. They are also spicy or bitter in flavor or are red in color. Because Aries rules the head, eyes and face, the best plants for Aries are those that purify the blood, stimulate the adrenal glands, or are high in iron (Mars rules the mineral iron).

Fruits and Vegetables: Chinese cabbage, mustard, horseradish, onion, garlic, leeks, red pepper, rhubarb, chives, radishes

Flowers: Calendula, geranium, anise hyssop, poppies, red roses, tulips, amaryllis, hollyhock, cowslip, tiger lily, impatiens

Herbs: Nettles, burdock root, cayenne, red clover, yellow dock, yarrow, St. John’s wort, hops, marjoram, milk thistle, wormwood, gentian, sarsaparilla, tarragon, ginger, coriander

Taurus (April 20 – May 20)

Taurus is an Earth sign ruled by the planet Venus. Venus is the planet that represents desire and beauty, so Taurus plants often have gorgeous flowers and enticing fragrances. Because Taurus rules the throat and ears, the best plants for the Bull are often soothing to the throat, or may calm the digestive system after overindulging in the finest foods.

Fruits and Vegetables: Spinach, peas, potatoes, sweet potatoes, gourds, artichoke, olive, grape, apple, fig, apricot, pomegranate, strawberry

Flowers: Daisies, lilac, aster, lily of the valley, sweet pea, lilies, larkspur, columbine, violet, foxglove, rose, sweet William, daisy, geranium

Herbs: Licorice, fenugreek, slippery Elm, anise hyssop (Venus), mallow, lavender, dandelion, marshmallow, sage, vervain, feverfew, thyme, angelica, yarrow

Gemini (May 21 – June 20)

Ruled by the planet Mercury, Gemini is an Air sign that rules the lungs, shoulders, arms, and hands.

Gemini’s plants usually feature finely divided leaves or stems (like the bronchi of lungs), hairy or fuzzy leaves (related to the cilia in the lungs), or subtle odors. Plants associated with Gemini help to strengthen the lungs and respiratory system, or relax the nervous system.

Fruits and Vegetables: Endive, carrots, parsnips, oats

Flowers: Orchid, chrysanthemum, lilac, azalea, daffodil, Lily-of-the-valley, honeysuckle

Herbs: Mullein, hyssop, lemon balm, lobelia, elecampane, vervain, woodbine, yarrow, meadowsweet, dill, fennel, skullcap, lavender, fenugreek, licorice, valerian

Cancer (June 21 – July 22)

Because Cancer is a Water sign and is ruled by the Moon, Cancer’s plants generally have soft or Moon-shaped leaves, contain a lot of moisture, or are found near water. Oftentimes they are white in color, or have white or pale yellow flowers. Cancer rules the stomach, breasts, diaphragm, and liver, so plants that aid digestion or affect the subconscious are associated with the sign of the Crab.

Fruits and Vegetables: Brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, endive, kale, lettuce, watercress, kohlrabi, mushroom, turnip, sweet potato, cantaloupe, cucumber, gourds, watermelon, pumpkin, squash, seaweed, mango, banana, apple, pear

Flowers: Daisy, water lilies, jasmine, hyssop, morning glory, geranium, lily, lotus, white roses, opium poppy

Herbs: Peppermint, spearmint, papaya leaf, agrimony, lemon balm, parsley, verbena, chickweed

Leo (July 23 – Aug. 22)

Naturally, Leo is a Fire sign ruled by the brilliant Sun. The part of the body ruled by Leo the Lion is the heart. Leo’s plants are usually large and gold or orange in color, or have heart-shaped leaves or a radiating shape. Plants that regulate blood pressure and have an uplifting effect on the spirit are most beneficial to Leo.

Fruits and Vegetables: Chinese cabbage, corn, collards, mustard, Swiss chard, okra, peppers, pineapple, orange, grapefruit, olive, coconut

Flowers: Marigolds, anise hyssop, sunflower, dahlia, larkspur, aster, passion flower, heliotrope, poppy, peony, calendula, crocus

Herbs: Borage, hawthorn, motherwort, rosemary, celandine, mint, lavender, parsley, dill, fennel, chamomile, St. John’s wort, angelica, eyebright, anise, ginger, saffron

Virgo (Aug. 23 – Sept. 22)

Virgo is an Earth sign ruled by the planet Mercury. Virgo is traditionally the Goddess of the Grain, and is associated with autumn. Her plants often have finely divided leaves or stems, subtle odors, or small, brightly-colored flowers. The most beneficial plants for Virgo are high in potassium and help to calm the nerves.

Fruits, Vegetables and Grains: Endive, carrots, parsnips, barley, oats, rye, wheat, millet

Flowers: Narcissus, chrysanthemum, aster, violet, all brightly colored small flowers (particularly blue or yellow)

Herbs: Dill, fennel, blackberry (leaves and root), plantain, St. John’s wort, skullcap, woodbine, valerian, lavender, marjoram, licorice, parsley, fenugreek, dill

Libra (Sept. 23 – Oct. 22)

Libra is an Air sign, and is ruled by the planet Venus. Because Venus is the planet of beauty and love, Libra’s plants often have light, lovely flowers and gorgeous scents. Libra rules the kidneys and the adrenals, so her plants help to bring balance to these areas of the body.

Fruits and Vegetables: Broccoli, eggplant, spinach, peas, sweet potato, artichoke, watercress, pomegranate, apricot, apple, fig, plum, grape, strawberry, olive

Flowers: Orchid, gardenia, tea roses, tuberose, freesia, gladiolus, aster, hydrangea, daisy, nasturtium, rose, violet, primrose, pansy, columbine

Herbs: Parsley, cleavers, juniper, corn silk, uva ursi, mint, thyme, yarrow, angelica, vervain

Scorpio the Scorpion (Oct. 23 – Nov. 21)

A Water sign ruled by both Mars and Pluto, Scorpio’s plants are often found in remote places or underground. They will likely have thorns, be red in color, and grow under adversity. The reproductive organs are ruled by Scorpio, so plants that balance the hormones, regulate the menstrual cycle, or help with childbirth and pregnancy are very beneficial to Scorpio.

Fruits and Vegetables: Mushroom, peppers, rhubarb, leek, onions, chives, pepper, garlic, horseradish, radish, mustard

Flowers: Calendula, rhododendron, geranium, holly, black-eyed Susan, scarlet monkey flower, anemone, heather, gardenia, honey-suckle, peony, hibiscus

Herbs: Aloe vera, ginseng, pennyroyal, raspberry leaf, saw palmetto, cramp bark, basil, gentian, wormwood, ginger, coriander

Sagittarius (Nov.  22 – Dec.  21)

Sagittarius is a Fire sign that is ruled by the planet large and optimistic planet Jupiter. So the Archer’s plants tend to be large in size and fairly conspicuous, with a pleasant odor. The best plants for Sagittarius will support the liver, are high in the mineral silica, and promote a positive frame of mind.

Fruits and Vegetables: Asparagus, endive, rhubarb, beets, tomato, turnip, watercress, olive

Flowers: Red roses, calendula, anise hyssop, pinks, carnations, clematis, peony, crocus, jasmine

Herbs: Dandelion, horsetail, Oregon grape root, wild yam, sage, feverfew, sage, anise, nutmeg, mint

Capricorn (Dec. 22 – Jan. 19)

As an Earth sign ruled by the planet Saturn, Capricorn’s plants usually have few flowers, are knobby or woody, and may have an unpleasant smell or taste. Saturn rules plants with long lives and slow growth, so plants with annual rings are also associated with the Goat. And because Capricorn rules the knees, joints, bones, and teeth, plants that are high in calcium can be very beneficial.

Fruits and Vegetables: Spinach, mushroom, beets, parsnips, barley, rye

Flowers: Calendula, black poppy, henbane, nightshade, African violet, snowdrop, jasmine, love-lies-bleeding, pansy, baby’s breath

Herbs: Comfrey, sarsaparilla, rue, kava kava, mullein, thyme, horsetail, shepherd’s purse

Aquarius the Water Bearer (Jan. 20 – Feb. 18)

Aquarius is an Air sign ruled by odd-ball Uranus, so the Water-bearer’s plants will often grow in unusual places and may vary in appearance. The most healing and beneficial plants for Aquarius are ones that help circulation, relax the nervous system, or promote inspiration.

Fruits and Vegetables: Spinach, beets, rye, barley, parsnip

Flowers: Bird of paradise, orchid, gladiolus, trillium

Herbs: Chamomile, catnip, skullcap, passion flower, valerian, hops, aloe, myrrh, frankincense, spikenard, kava kava, comfrey, cinnamon, cloves

Pisces the Fish (Feb. 19 – March 20)

As a Water sign ruled by both Jupiter and Neptune, Pisces plants are often large but hard to find, and may grow near the ocean. The most healing plants for Pisces are those that strengthen the immune system or have an antibacterial effect. Pisces plants may also catalyze expanded states of awareness and be helpful in dream work.

Fruits and Vegetables: Asparagus, endive, mushroom, rhubarb, beets, tomato, seaweed, watercress, olive

Flowers: Calendula, anise hyssop, jasmine, lilac, narcissus, water lily, poppy, clematis, wisteria, lilac, orchid

Herbs: Golden seal, Echinacea, chaparral, eyebright, mugwort, kava kava, yarrow, skullcap, oatstraw, nutmeg, anise is a Daily Insight Group Site

Herb of the Day for February 16th is Gotu Kola

Herb of the Day

Gotu Kola

(Centella asiatica) 

Medicinal Uses:Gotu kola has been important in the medicinal systems of central Asia for centuries.                              
It was purported in Sri Lanka to prolong life, as the leaves are commonly eaten by elephants. Numerous skin diseases, ranging from poorly healing wounds to leprosy, have been treated with gotu kola.                                                              
Gotu Kola is and excellent mental stimulant. It is often used after mental breakdowns, and used regularly, can prevent nervous breakdown, as it is a brain cell stimulant. It relieves mental fatigue and senility, and aids the body in defending itself against toxins.                                                                                                                       
Gotu kola also has a historical reputation for boosting mental activity and for helping a variety of illnesses, such as high blood pressure, rheumatism, fever, and nervous disorders. Some of its common applications in Ayurvedic medicine include heart disease, water retention, hoarseness, bronchitis, and coughs in children, and as a poultice for many skin conditions. It reduces scarring when applied during inflammatory period of the wound. It was found effective when applied on patients with third degree burns, when the treatment commenced immediately after the accident. Daily local application to the affected area, along with intramuscular injections, limited the shrinking of the skin as it healed. It prevented infection and inhibited scar formation.

Magickal uses: Gotu Kola is used in meditation incenses.

Properties: The primary active constituent is triterpenoid compounds. Saponins (also called triterpenoids) known as asiaticoside, madecassoside, and madasiatic acid are the primary active constituents. These saponins beneficially affect collagen (the material that makes up connective tissue), for example, inhibiting its production in hyperactive scar tissue. Also contains a green, strongly volatile oil composed of an unidentified terpene acetate, camphor, cineole, and other essential oils. Cintella oil also contains glycerides of fatty acids, various plant sterols such as campesterol, stigmasterol, and sitosterol, and various polyacetylene compounds.

Growth: Gotu Kola is a slender, creeping, ground hugging plant that grows in a widespread distribution in swampy areas of India, Sri Lanka, Magagascar, South Africa and Eastern Europe. In shallow water, the plant puts forth floating roots and the leaves rest on top of the water. In dry locations, it puts out numerous small roots and the leaves are small and thin. Typically, the constantly growing roots gives rise to reddish stolons. The leaves can reach a width of 1 inch and a length of 6 inches. Usually 3 to 6 red flowers arise in a sessile manner or on very short pedicels in auxiliary umbels. The fruit, formed throughout the growing season, is approximately 2 inches long with 7 to 9 ribs and a curved, strongly thickened pericarp.



Herb of the Day for January 21 is Horehound

Herb of the Day


Its Latin name is thought to have come from the Romans who named it after an ancient town, but it may also have derived from the Hebrew “marrob”, meaning bitter herb, as it is still eaten during Passover.                                

Medicinal Uses: Horehound is used in children’s cough remedies, as it is a gentle but effective expectorant.  
It acts as a tonic for the respiratory system and stomach.
Horehound has long been used to treat respiratory infections, including colds and asthma, and to help heal the membranes. Horehound is valuable in the treatment of bronchitis where there is a non-productive cough. It combines the action of relaxing the smooth muscles of the bronchus whilst promoting mucus production and thus expectoration. Because of the bitterness of the herb, it is used mainly in the form of a syrup.                                     
As a bitter tonic, horehound can be made into decoctions, infusions, and tinctures to increase the appetite and support the function of the stomach. It is most beneficial in influenza cases where the patient has lost the desire to eat. It is used to treat liver and gallbladder complaints, dyspepsia, appetite loss, and intestinal worms. It is also used to normalize heart rhythm and improve regularity.                                                                                                   
Externally, infusions and decoctions help heal skin conditions. Horehound is also used externally to promote the healing of wounds.
Horehound has also been used in the fields of gynecology and obstetrics as it as an alternative effect on the menstrual cycle, as well as expelling the placenta after birth. This is achieved by taking a strong infusion or decoction immediately after the birth. Black horehound is not used as much today as its medicinal effect is inferior to horehound, but it can still be substituted for horehound when nothing else is available. It is perhaps the most useful when nausea stems from disorders of the inner ear as opposed to those of the digestive system.
In large doses it acts as a laxative. To use as an expectorant or cough soothing medication, take 1 teaspoon of Horehound leaves and pour 1 cup of boiling water over them.  Keep covered and take 1 tablespoon at a time as needed. Horehound tea can also be made and used to ease the symptoms of a common cold. As a wound cleanser, crush Horehound leaves, boil them in a pan of lard, let cool, and use as an ointment on the wound.  
Depending upon the specific needs, it combines well with Coltsfoot, Lobelia, Elecampane, Wild Cherry Bark and Mullein.

Horehound can cause irregular heartbeat in large quantities, so use with caution.

Magickal uses: Use in protective sachets and carry to guard against sorcery and fascination. It is also an exorcism herb. Drinking an infusion of the herb will clear the mind, promote quick thinking and strengthen the mental powers. Mix with the leaves of ash in a bowl of water for the healing properties and keep in the sick room. In magick, Horehound is bound to the Earth and to Mercury.  It’s name is a derivative of Horus, the Egyptian God of sky and light.
Burned as an incense, Horehound is believed to honor Horus, the God of sky and light, and to increase protection from evil forces.

Properties: Horehound: antiseptic, expectorant, heals wounds, stimulates bile flow, stabilizes heart rhythm.
Black Horehound: antispasmodic, antiemetic (relieves vomiting), stimulates bile flow. Contains marrubim, a diterpene lactone, with premarrubim, diterpene alcohols: marruciol, marrubenol, sclareol, peregrinin, dihydroperegrinin, volatile oil, containing a-pinene, sabinene, limonene, camphene, p-cymol, a-terpinolene, alkaloids; traces of betonicine and its isomer turicine, choline, alkanes, phytosterols, and tannins. Marrubiin is a strong expectorant and bitter. As an expectorant, it is believed to be responsible for thinning and loosening airway mucus making it easier to cough up.

Growth: Horehound likes dry sandy soils and full sun. It is a perennial (except in very cold climates) that reaches to 3 feet tall. It is a vigorous grower and can become a pest if not carefully controlled. It needs little water, tolerates poor soils, and does best in full sun. It blooms during its second year. It is indigenous from the Mediterranean region to central Asia, horehound has since become established in central Europe and introduced into America, South Africa, and Australia, flourishing in dry, bare, or open areas. A member of the mint family, it is a square-stemmed perennial, growing to about twenty inches and having toothed, downy grayish leaves and a long woody stem that bears rings of double-lipped, white flowers that evolve into a burr containing a few brown or black seeds. Horehound is gathered in the spring.                                                                                                                      
Black horehound is considered a weed in Europe, thriving in open areas, pavement cracks, by roadsides, and mostly near human habitation. It was intentionally introduced to the US, but it also grows in Asia. Black horehound is a straggling, strong-smelling perennial, growing to about three feet and having oval, toothed leaves and pinkish-purple flowers in whorls at the base of the upper leaves. It is harvested when in flower in the summer. All parts of the plant are used medicinally.

Horehound cough syrup: steep 1 ounce of leaves (fresh or dried) in a pint of boiling water.  Cover, and allow to steep for 10 minutes.  Strain out the leaves, and then measure the quantity of water remaining.  Add honey to equal twice the remaining water, mix well, and bottle.  Take 1 teaspoon as needed up to four times per day.

Infusion: pour a cup of boiling water onto l/2 – l teaspoonful of the dried herb and leave to infuse for 1-=15 minutes. This should be drunk three times a day.

Tincture: 1-2ml of the tincture 3 times a day.



Herb of the Day for January 15th is Hemlock *Deadly Poisonous*

Herb of the Day


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 January 11 is Allspice

Herb of the Day


Allspice is used as a paste to soothe and relieve toothache, as well as a mouthwash to freshen the breath. The rind contains the most active medicinal components and is considered to be stimulant in action, particularly the aroma.
The tea has antiseptic properties (due to the eugenol content in the berries) and is used primarily as a digestive aid for flatulence, intestinal gas and indigestion. The tea is also used as an appetite stimulant, and as a carminative. Both the tea and a poultice are used for rheumatism and neuralgia.
Allspice lowers blood sugar (useful in diabetes) and improves protein absorption. The leaves are used in the bath for varicose veins, gout, and edema. The eugenol content is said to promote digestive enzymes in the body.

Magickal uses: Allspice encourages healing and is used in mixtures to ask for money and good fortune. Also used in determination and healing spells

Properties: Aromatic, carminative, stimulant

Growth: Allspice is harvested from a tree that is native to Central and South America as well as the Caribbean. Allspice is the dried berry of the pimento, an evergreen tree growing to 40 feet in height. It bears opposite, leathery, oblong to oblong-lancelet leaves whose pinnately arranged veins show prominently on the underside. Small white flowers grow in many-flowered cymes in the upper leaf axils from June to August. The fruit is a fleshy, sweet berry which is purplish-black when ripe.

Poultice: Boil berries and make a thick paste. Spread on a soft clean cloth. The cloth can also be dipped in warm tea and used as hot pack                                                

Pimento water: Combine 5 parts crushed berries with 200 parts water and distill down to half the original volume. A dose is from 1-2 fluid ounces.                                                                                     

Oil: A dose is from 2-5 drops. For flatulence, take 2 or 3 drops on sugar                                                    

Powder: A dose is from 10-30 grains
Author: Crick

Herb of the Day for January 8th is Ginger

Herb of the Day


Ginger was recorded as a subject of a Roman tax in the second century after being imported via the Red Sea to Alexandria.                                      

Medicinal 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. Dry ginger is a stimulant and expectorant; fresh ginger is a diaphoretic, better for colds, cough, and vomiting.

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. 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.

Properties: Antispasmodic, anti-emetic, analgesic, antiseptic, appetizer, aromatic, carminative, condiment, diaphoretic, expectorant, febrifuge, pungent, sialagogue, stimulant Topically: increases blood flow to an area.            Contains bisabolene, borneal, borneol, camphene, choline, cineole, citral, ginerol, inositol, volatile oils, PABA, phellandrene, phenols, alkaloids, mucilage, acrid resin, sequiterpene, vitamins B3, B5, zingerone, and zingiberene.

Growth: The ginger plant is an erect herb with scaly underground stems that branch in a finger-like fashion and is known as “hands.” The stem reaches a height of about of 3-4 feet, the leaves growing 6-12 inches long. The sterile flowers are white with purple streaks and grow in spikes. The stem is surrounded by the sheathing bases of the leaves. The flowers are yellowish with purple lips. It is indigenous to tropical Asia and cultivated in other tropical areas, especially Jamaica.
Author: Crick

Herb of the Day for January 3rd is St. Johns Wort

Herb of the Day

St. Johns Wort

(Hypericum perforatum)

The first century Greek physicians Galen and Dioscorides recommended it as a diuretic, wound healing herb, and a treatment for menstrual disorders. In the sixteenth century Paracelsus, who ushered in the era of mineral medicines, used St. John’s wort externally for treating wounds and for allaying the pain of contusions. St. John’s wort flowers at the time of the summer solstice, and in medieval Europe it was considered to have powerful magical properties that enabled it to repel evil.                                                                                                                                                        

Medicinal Uses: St. Johns wort is useful for bronchitis, internal bleeding, healing wounds, and for dirty, septic wounds. It is used to ease depression, headaches, hysteria, neuralgia, shingles, as well as symptoms that occur during menopause. It is useful in swellings, abscesses, and bad insect stings. Studies are showing that it may be effective in combating AIDS by increasing the immune functions of the body. It is taken to relieve the pain of menstrual cramps, sciatica and arthritis.    
St. John’s wort is also used to treat circulation problems, bronchitis and gout.    
Internally, St. John’s Wort is believed to be of benefit for symptoms of  depression, anxiety, cough, digestion, bronchial problems, diarrhea, fatigue, flu, gout, insomnia, irritability, and ulcers.  As an anti-depressant, it may take some time when used regularly to have any noticeable effects.  A Tea can be made for any of the above symptoms using the leaves or flowers, and the dosage should be 1-2 cups morning and night until the symptoms retreat.  
Externally, St. John’s Wort can be made into an Ointment for bruises, wounds, burns, hemorrhoids, sunburn, herpes sores, varicose veins, sciatica, and nerve pain.  An Oil can be made to rub on areas affected by arthritis and rheumatism, inflammations, sprains, and massaged around the spinal cord for back pain symptoms.  

The use of St. John’s wort can make the skin more sensitive to sunlight. People with a history of manic-depressive illness (bipolar disorder) or a less severe condition known as hypomania, should avoid use of St. John’s wort as it may trigger a manic episode.                        

Magickal uses: St. Johnswort is hung around the neck to prevent fevers. Wearing the herb aids you in war and other battles, including those of the will and indecision. Burnt it will banish evil and negativity. Hung in the home or carried, it will prevent spells of others from entering, and it is used in exorcisms. If you pick the plant on the night of St. John and hang it on your bedroom wall, you will dream of your future husband. The red juice of the stems was associated with the blood of John the Baptist, hence the plant’s name.

Properties: antidepressant, antiseptic, pain killer, and anti-viral agent. Contains hypericin and other dianthrones, flavonoids, xanthones, and hyperforin.

Growth: St. Johnswort is a perennial reaching 32 inches tall. It is grown throughout much of North America. It prefers rich to moderately rich soils, and full sun. It is not long-lived, so replant every few years. Harvest the leaves and flower tops as they bloom and store in air-tight containers.
Author: Crick

Herb of the Day for December 28th is Cedar

Herb of the Day


Medicinal Uses: A decoction of the leaves has been used to treat stomach troubles. Steam from an infusion of the leaves has been inhaled in the treatment of colds. Lummi people chew and swallow cedar buds for sore lungs while
Cowlitz people chew these same buds for toothache, and the Skokomish boil them for a gargle. Skagit people also boil the leaf ends for coughs. Nez Perce made a tea of the boughs for coughs and colds. Leaves were made into a tea to combat diarrhea. The leaves are mildly diuretic and a phagocyte stimulator, especially of macrophage activity. Cedar is said to contain the antitumor compound, podophyllotoxin.

All parts may be toxic

Magickal uses: Cedar chips used in rituals or burnt attracts money, and is also used in purification and healing. It is a symbol of power and longevity. Cedar is used for a purifying fumigation and to cure the tendency of having bad dreams. Some Native Americans use twigs of cedar, smoldering of made into incense, to heal head colds and on hot rocks in sweat lodges for purification. Hung in the home it protects against lightning. Placing a three-pronged cedar stick, prongs up, in the ground, will protect the home from evil. Juniper can be used in place of cedar.

Properties: diuretic, antitumor

Growth: There are many types of cedars that grow throughout the world. Cedar is found in all classes and conditions of soils — from acidic wetlands to dry, rocky ridges. The mature leaves average 1/16 inches in length and are opposite. They are smooth, shiny, dark green and glandular. On young foliage, leaves are somewhat needle-like: linear; pointed; and prickly. They occur in whorls of three. The fleshy fruit is round, 1/4 to 1/3 inch in diameter and, at maturity, a bluish color with a grayish-white, waxy covering. The tree commonly is 40 to 50 feet tall with a trunk diameter of 1 to 2 feet, but it may grow much larger. The short, slender branches form a compact, pyramidal crown, except on very old trees. The bark is light reddish-brown. It is thin and separates into long, peeling, fibrous strips.
Author: Crick

Herb of the Day for December 18th is Amaranth

Herb of the Day



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

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

Properties: Astringent, hemostatic, nutritive, alterative

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

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

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

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

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