HERBAL COMBINATIONS for ILLNESSES

HERBAL COMBINATIONS for ILLNESSES

Healing herbs are often used in combinations when combatting an illness. Herbs are combined to give the benefits needed from each, some to give a boost to others, some to boost the body with healing energies. Below are some of the more popular herbal combinations. The herbs can be taken singly for these illnesses as well, although the suggested combinations are best. Don’t fret if you don’t have all of the suggested herbs for any given combination – use what you have, and add the rest as soon as you can. These combinations can usually be in any form you choose – teas, tinctures, capsules, etc. You will want to use equal parts of each herb, or use more of the herb most needed, with equal parts of the booster herbs.

Remember that in any herbal healing undertaken, diet is also very important. These combinations are not meant to be used in the place of a doctor’s advice. Also realize that you should not take herbs continually over a long period of time on a daily basis, as your body may build an immunity to the herb itself, or you may experience side effects. The exception to this would be when treating a chronic illness, but even then, there should be time off for your body from the herbs on a regular schedule. Herbs are medicine, and should always be treated as such.

Often, when taking antibiotic herbs, or prescription antibiotics, the natural bacteria in our digestive system is destroyed, making digestion difficult (and sometimes causing constipation) for several days to several weeks. To combat this, eat fresh real yogurt daily (not the stuff with lots of sugar and flavors, and make sure it has active cultures), or take acidophilus or probiotic capsules, to restore the natural digestive bacteria. This can also help to alleviate vaginal yeast infections in women.

When using an herb or herbal combination to combat an illness or strengthen various systems in the body, it is best to start with a small amount, and then wait a few hours to be sure you are not going to have an adverse reaction, before continuing with the therapy. Stop any ingestion of herbs at the first sign of any adverse reaction.

This is of course not a complete list, this is only to give you a general idea of what may be needed for common ailments. My book has more information on additional illnesses, and there are plenty of naturopathic doctors available, including myself, to answer questions about other ailments. This listing is not meant to diagnose, only to inform. Your body and medical history may dictate that you need very different combinations from these to treat your specific ailments.

 

ACNE

Herbs Used: Evening Primrose Oil, Raspberry Leaf, Nettle, Dandelion, Lemon Grass     Recipe for Acne Help     Bring to a simmer in a non-metallic pan 2 quarts water, 3 tablespoons Witchhazel bark, 1 tablespoon ground cinnamon, 1 tablespoon ground cloves; let simmer  for 5 minutes. Then add 1/2 cup chopped fresh thyme, 1 cup fresh chopped peppermint leaves, and 1/2 cup fresh chopped marjoram. Simmer 5 more minutes, set  aside until cold. Mix 1/2 cup of the simmered mixture with 2 teaspoons cider vinegar, 2 ounces grain alcohol(vodka is best), 4 drops lemon oil, and enough  water to make one pint. Apply with cotton to acne prone areas after washing. A good aloe moisturizer afterwards is recommended.

ALLERGIES

Herbs used: Blessed Thistle, Scullcap, Goldenseal, Cayenne, Marshmallow, Lobelia, Burdock.        

Other uses: Colds, Hay Fever, Upper respiratory infections

ANEMIA

Herbs Used: Red Beet, Yellow Dock, Lobelia, Burdock, Nettle, Mullein    

Other uses: Energy, Fatigue, Multiple Sclerosis, Parkinson’s Disease

ARTERIOSCLEROSIS

Herbs Used: Cayenne, Garlic, Hawthorne, Parsley                

Other Uses: Blood Pressure, Heart

ARTHRITIS

Herbs Used: Yucca, Comfrey, Alfalfa, Yarrow, Cayenne, Lobelia, Burdock, Chaparral, Black Cohosh, Cat’s Claw, Lemon Grass                    

Other uses: Bursitis, Rheumatism, Gout, Blood Cleanser

CHRONIC FATIGUE SYNDROME

Herbs Used: For the acute phase of CFS, a combination of Echinacea, goldenseal, and licorice. If this combination is needed for more than seven days, add potassium-rich foods and/or herbs to your diet. For the chronic phase, a combination of goldenseal, astragulus, licorice, ginseng, and evening primrose oil. One month on, one month off is the recommended usage frame.                        

Other Uses: The combination of herbs for the chronic phase is being studied for the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis.

COLDS

Herbs used: Chamomile, Slippery Elm, Cayenne, Goldenseal, Myrrh, Peppermint, Sage, Lemon Grass, Rose Hips, Garlic                            

Other uses: Bronchitis, Ear infections, Fevers, Flu, Tonsillitis

COLIC

Herbs Used: Alfalfa, Peppermint, Fennel, Catnip                                

Other uses: Digestive disorders, Heartburn, Appetite

CONSTIPATION

Herbs Used: Aloe Vera, Slippery Elm, Barberry                                    

Other uses: Cleansing, Colon

COUGHS

Herbs Used: Elecampane, Wild Cherry Bark, Licorice, Comfrey Root, Lobelia                                        

Other uses: Hay fever, Sore throats

DRUG WITHDRAWAL

Herbs Used: Chamomile, Ginseng, Licorice, Cayenne, Gotu Kola            Other uses: Endurance, Energy, Memory

EARACHES

Herbs Used: Oil of Mullein, Garlic Oil, or Lobelia Extract drops directly into the ear.

ENERGY

Herbs Used: Cayenne, Ginseng, Gotu Kola  Also add: Bee pollen, bee propolis, royal jelly                                                    

Other uses: Endurance, Fatigue, Memory

EYE PROBLEMS

Herbs Used: Goldenseal, Bayberry, Eyebright                                                         Other uses: Eyewash, Allergies, Hay fever, Cataracts

FEMALE PROBLEMS

Herbs Used: Black Cohosh, Ginger, Raspberry Leaf, Blessed Thistle, Dong Quai                                                            

Other uses: Hormonal balance, Vaginal problems, Uterine infections

FLU

Herbs Used: Ginger, Cayenne, Goldenseal, Licorice      

Other uses: Nausea, Motion sickness

FRACTURES

Herbs Used: Comfrey, Horsetail, Alfalfa, Slippery Elm               

Other uses: Fingernails, Hair, Joints, Teeth

GALL BLADDER (TO CLEANSE)


Before bed, mix together the juice of 2 lemons, 4 ounces olive oil, 6 ounces Coke Classic; drink. Upon rising, take 10 ounces of magnesium citrate (available in drug stores). Do not eat until you have had your first bowel movement. Bowel movements will continue sporadically for several hours, so do this on a day you are at home!

GUM DISEASE

Herbs Used: Goldenseal, Myrrh (both internally and as a mouthwash)

HEART

Herbs Used: Hawthorne, Cayenne, Garlic                                                                 Other uses: Arteriosclerosis, Cholesterol, Circulation

HEARTBURN

Herbs Used: Anise seed, Fennel seed, Peppermint, Cinnamon, Lavendar

IMMUNE SUPPORT

Herbs Used: pau d’arco(taheebo), Echinacea, Burdock, Spirulina, Kelp, Cat’s Claw

INFECTIONS

Herbs Used: Echinacea, Goldenseal, Cayenne, Myrrh                 

Other uses: Colds, Earaches, Fevers, Flu, Measles, Mumps

INSECTS, REPELLING

For repelling insects on skin: Mix 1 teaspoon each of essential oils of pennyroyal, citronella, eucalyptus,  rosemary, and tansy. Shake oils in 1 cup of vegetable or olive oil. Store away from light in a sealed container. Use by rubbing a small amount between the palms of your hands, and then apply to any exposed skin. Avoid applying to the face to prevent eye contact. Reapply as necessary. Discontinue using if a rash develops(some people are sensitive to pennyroyal oil. Test on a                                small area first). Also safe for animal use. DO NOT INCLUDE THE PENNYROYAL OIL IF PREGNANT OR NURSING!!                                

INSOMNIA

Herbs Used: Valerian, Scullcap, Hops                                

Other uses: Headaches, Stress, Hyperactivity

KIDNEYS

Herbs Used: Juniper, Uva Ursi, Marshmallow, Ginger, Goldenseal, Dandelion                                                                

Other uses: Bladder, Urinary problems                                

LIVER

Herbs Used: Dandelion, Parsley, Horsetail, Blessed (or Milk) Thistle, Chamomile, Lobelia, Wild Yam, Ginger,  Sassafras, Kelp            

Other uses: Cleansing, Kidneys, Spleen, Gall Bladder                                

LUNGS

Herbs Used: Comfrey, Fenugreek, Marshmallow, Mullein, Chickweed                                                                

Other uses: Asthma, Bronchitis, Coughs, Hay Fever, Pneumonia                                

MEMORY

Herbs Used: Gingko Biloba, Gotu Kola, Ginseng              

Other Uses: Energy, Circulation, Tinnitus                                

MENOPAUSE

Herbs Used: Black Cohosh, Licorice, False Unicorn, Ginseng, Squaw Vine, Blessed Thistle        

Other uses: Hormone imbalance, Menstrual problems, Hot flashes, Uterine problems

MENSTRUAL CRAMPS

Herbs Used: Cramp Bark, Ginger root, Raspberry Leaf, Yellow Dock, Vitex, Wild Yam

MIGRAINES

Herbs Used: Fenugreek, Thyme, Lobelia, Wood Betony, Feverfew         Other uses: Fever, Flu, Headache

MORNING SICKNESS

Herbs Used: Wild Yam, Dandelion, Ginger, Vitex

NERVES

Herbs Used: Black Cohosh, Cayenne, Valerian, Ginger, St. Johnswort, Hops, Wood Betony                

Other uses: Headaches, Anxiety, Stress

POISON IVY/OAK

Herbs Used: Burdock, Mullein, Yellow Dock (bathing in a peppermint tea bath will relieve the itching as well as aid in drying up the          oak/ivy)                    

Other uses, Itching, Insect Bites          

PREMENSTRUAL SYNDROME

Herbs Used: Evening Primrose Oil, Dong Quai, Vitex                    

Other uses: Menstrual regulation, Painful breasts          

PROSTATE

Herbs Used: Black Cohosh, Licorice, Kelp, Gotu Kola, Ginger, Cayenne, Juniper, Uva Ursi, Taheebo, Saw Palmetto, Cat’s Claw                    

Other uses: Bladder, Liver, Spleen

REDUCING WEIGHT

Herbs Used: Chickweed, Licorice, Safflower, Echinacea, Black Walnut, Hawthorn, Papaya, Fennel, Dandelion                    

Other uses: Energy, Cleanser          

SEXUAL DESIRE

Stimulant:

Damiana, Ginseng, Saw Palmetto, Gotu Kola          

Depressant:

Hops, Scullcap, Valerian          

SKIN

Herbs Used: Horsetail, Sage, Rosemary                    

Other uses: Hair, Nails

SORE THROAT

Herbs Used: Marshamallow, Fenugreek                    

Alternate: Cayenne, Ginger mixed with honey and lemon          

STOP SMOKING

Herbs Used: Hops, Scullcap, Slippery Elm, Valerian, Lobelia                     Other uses: Cough, Nerves, Stress

THYROID

Herbs Used: Irish Moss, Kelp, Parsley, Black Walnut, Sarsaparilla       

Other uses: Fatigue, Glands, Lymphatic System             

TUMORS

Herbs Used: Chaparral, Red Clover, Taheebo (Pau d’arco)                         Other uses: Cleansing, Blood Disorders

ULCERS

Herbs Used: Cayenne, Goldenseal, Myrrh, Marshmallow, Calendula  

Other uses: Indigestion, Heartburn            

YEAST INFECTION

Herbs Used: Cayenne, Garlic, White Oak Bark, Marshmallow, Mullein (all mixed together and used as a bolus)                        

Other uses: Leuchorea, Vagina
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Safety With Herbs

Safety With Herbs

I want to talk to you about Safety. There are a lot of common misconceptions out there regarding herbal healing, and I hope with this to be able to clear some of those up. Safety with any treatment is essential for overall health and well-being, whether it be allopathic or alternative in nature.

Herbs Are Medicine!! They should be treated with the very same respect that most of us give to prescription drugs. Many herbs can be harmful in large or prolonged dosages, as can most anything in this life, I might add. Many herbs can be addictive after long term improper use. Some are poisonous. Some can have toxic side effects if not properly balanced with herbs that counteract those effects. They should not ever be used indiscriminately without the proper guidance of a health care professional. They should not ever be used on a daily basis without the proper guidance of a health care professional. Many people feel that just because herbs are natural, they can’t be hurt by them. Nothing can be further from the truth.

More Is Not Better!! Many people feel that if a little makes me feel better, a lot will make me feel fantastic. This is not the case with herbs. Dosages need to be carefully controlled, as with any medicine. You wouldn’t swallow a whole bottle of antibiotics at one time to kill a bacterial infection. Apply the same caution to herbal medicines. It is possible to overdose! Herbs work slowly, with the body and its own natural defenses. You must give herbs time to work before changing your dosages. In this modern world of a “pill for everything”, folks have come to expect instant cures, instant relief. You should note that with chronic illness, even prescription drugs take time to work. The same applies with herbal medicines. Give them time to work. Support them with a proper diet, with exercise, and with proper attention to yourself. If the herbs aren’t working for you, then you either have the wrong combinations, the wrong dosages, or you aren’t adhering to a proper healing regimen. Contact a health care professional for guidance as to what works for you.

One Dose Does Not Fit All!! You wouldn’t give a small child the same amount of cough syrup you give an adult. The same applies with herbal medicines. The dose must fit the individual. The dosages need to be based on the illness treated, your past and present medical history, your age, your weight, and several other factors. Combinations must be chosen so as not to interfere with any specifics with your particular body, and so as not to further aggravate that which is being treated. A health care professional can help you choose the proper combinations and dosages for your unique body and health concerns.

Tell Your Doctor What You Are Taking!! You wouldn’t hide the fact that you are a smoker or a drinker or have a heart condition from your physician. You shouldn’t hide the fact that you are using herbal medicines, either. Some herbs can have serious adverse reactions when improperly mixed with prescription drugs. Just because they are natural doesn’t mean there can’t be reactions! Many chemical drugs are derived from healing plant constituents. So you could be causing a serious problem for yourself if you are getting far too much of something that is supposed to be helping you. There is no reason to hide. Herbal healing is becoming much more mainstream today, and many physicians are learning about herbs as medicine. If yours isn’t, then help educate him or her. Or find a doctor that can help you work with your herbs. Most communities have herbal professionals, naturopathic doctors, Chinese Medicine practitioners, and other professionals that are trained in the proper uses of the healing herbs. Seek one out before you make some major mistakes with your precious body.

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HERBAL BASICS

 

HERBAL BASICS
By Don Wildgrube ñ 1992

In Herbalism, the definition of herb is not the dictionary definition. Herb
refers to all parts of the plant, whether it is the leaves (dictionary
definition), stems, seeds, roots, flowers or fruit, and each are prepared
differently.

Unless noted otherwise, the rule of thumb for herbal teas are as follows:

1 Teaspoon of herb per cup of water. Most recipes call for 2 cups of water (one
pint) per person or dose. This would need 2 teaspoons, total, of the herb. If
three or more herbs are used, mix the herbs in proportion in a container then
measure out 2 teaspoons. Please note that some powdered herbs are too
concentrated to be used at this strength, for example cayenne pepper and
capsicum.

For regular teas (hot infusions):
Leaves and flowers are steeped. Boiling water is poured over the herb and
allowed to steep for 5 to 10 minutes. Sometimes it is good to allow them to
steep longer to increase the strength, but herbs like Chamomile should be
steeped no longer then 5 minutes or they will become bitter.

Seeds should be bruised and steeped in hot water for 5 to 10 minutes.

Stems, bark, roots should be chopped and simmered for a minimum of 5
minutes.

Fruit coatings such as citrus can be “zested” and added to hot water to
steep. Do not boil or the volatile oils will go off in the vapor. Fruit juices
can be added while steeping or just before drinking.

Teas may also be made by COLD INFUSION, commonly known as “Sun Tea”. Please note that the Sun is not necessary. Just place the herb in cold water, in
the proper proportion as above, and let stand, in the shade, in the Sun or
wherever, for at least 2 hours. This is an excellent method to extract the
essence from very fragile hers, such as flowers. This way the essence will not
be “boiled off”.

Another method is called maceration. This means to soak in a liquid to get the
essence of the herb. It us usually done in one of two ways. The first is soaking
in oil, the result is an “oil”, the second is soaking in alcohol, and called a
tincture.

Oils are made by filling a bottle with the herb, pouring oil over the herb to
fill the bottle. Let it stand for a week or two, shaking daily, then strain the
used herbs out. If the oil is not strong enough, add more herb to the bottle or
jar and pour the same oil over it. Repeat as often as necessary.

The same method is used for tinctures and is an excellent way to extract certain
oils that can be damaged by boiling. Place the herb in a jar or bottle, pour
alcohol over the herb. Note: do not use rubbing alcohol, or wood alcohol. These
are very poisonous. Wood alcohol is made from just that and can cause blindness
and brain damage. Rubbing alcohol or other “denatured” alcohols are denatured by
adding things such as acetone. Use alcohol which is manufactured to drink. I
use Vodka, and I buy the plain label brands or the cheapest brand.

To make salves, put a large amount of herb in a bowl. Add 1 pound of lard or
other semi-solid fat, plus 2 to 3 ounces of bees wax (for firmness). Place in a
low-medium oven, 250-300 degrees for 3 hours. Strain, bottle and cool.

There are many more types of herbal preparations that are not listed here, they
may be found in many herbal books. I would suggest a good herbal book, such as
“The Herb Book” by John Lust. In regard to Herbal Books, some books have very
valuable information, but others have information that can be harmful. Be
cautious, check several sources. Some Herbal Books such as “Culpeppers Herbal”
base their information on planetary considerations, or the “doctrine of
signatures”. Planetary rulership of herbs is useful for magical purposes, but
may get you into trouble when used for other purposes. The “doctrine of
signatures” in essence says that Herbs heal parts of the body that they look
like, such as: Broad Leaf Plantain looks like the sole of the foot, therefore is
for healing feet, or Toothwort and Dandelion (Dent = tooth, of the Lion) is for
teeth because they look like teeth, or Boneset for setting bones because the
opposing leaves are joined at the stalk.

I hope that the above information will be of some help, and happy Wortcunning.

 

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Let’s Talk Witch – Herbal Preparations

Witchy Comments & Graphics

Let’s Talk Witch – Herbal Preparations

An herbalist’s definition of an herb differs from that of a botanist. The botanist defines an herbaceous plant as one with a fleshy stem that dies back in the winter. The herbalist, however, considers all medicinal and cosmetic plants as <!=-1″>herbs. This broad definition of <!=-1″>herbs includes trees, shrubs, mushrooms, lichens and, of course, fruits and vegetables that have medicinal properties. In many of my recipes, you will find items that you consider food rather than herbs, such as apple juice or <!=214″>shiitake mushrooms.

There are countless different herbs and combinations of herbs that are used for health and healing. But even the most potent herb can become worthless if not properly prepared. Fortunately, there are only a few basic kinds of preparations that are used in treating illnesses and wounds herbally; these are the delivery systems for the healing powers of <!=-1″>herbs.

These preparations transform dried or fresh herbs into something that can be taken internally, such as a tea or capsule, or applied externally, as in a skin salve or a massage oil. In many cases, more than one preparation is applicable for a specific treatment.

Some preparations, such as tinctures and body oils, can be made from either fresh or dried <!=-1″>herbs. The best method for extracting an herb’s properties varies from herb to herb. For example, <!=222″>Saint-John’s-wort, oat berries and <!=99″>feverfew lose most of their properties when dried. A significant portion of the <!=-59″>essential oils in fragrant herbs such as <!=183″>peppermint and <!=61″>chamomile is lost in even the most careful drying process. On the other hand, herbs that contain a great deal of water-<!=75″>comfrey and <!=54″>calendula flowers, for example-are sometimes best when used in dried form; otherwise, the final product will be too diluted.

Whenever one type of preparation is better than another to treat a specific condition, the reason is explained in that chapter. For example, if an <!=13″>aloe vera lotion is better for a burn than a salve is, you will find out why this is so.

Most of these preparations can be bought ready-made from natural food stores-either as individual herbs or in blends of several different herbs. If you feel ambitious enough to make your own concoctions, I have also provided a number of recipes. When deciding which preparation is the most suitable for you, consider availability, cost, convenience and, of course, effectiveness.

Many herbal recipes will use as their basic ingredient not herbs, but <!=-59″>essential oils derived from <!=-1″>herbs. These oils carry many medicinal properties of the herbs from which they are extracted. They are easy to use but are also highly concentrated, so they must be diluted and used moderately to prevent overdoses. As a result, they are mostly used externally, and appropriate cautions are given throughout this book. Do not confuse <!=-59″>essential oils with vegetable oils such as olive oil, which are used as carrier oils in skin products.

Treatments are divided into internal preparations and external preparations, as the nature of the ailment generally determines the nature of the treatment.

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Protective Magical Ointment

Protective Magical Ointment

Do you feel that you or a loved one is the subject of black magic, a curse or negativity?

Moon Phrase: Full

Supplies:

Mallow Leaves & Stems, Vegetable Shortening, Strainer, Container
Instructions:

– Steep a handful of mallow leaves & stems into a 1/4 cup of vegetable shortening

– Leave it steep overnight

– Strain and place in container

– Rub ointment into skin

– Reapply as needed

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Herb of the Day – Cinnamon

Herb of the Day

Cinnamon

(Cinnamomum zeylanicum) Bark

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.

The Daily OM for December 9th – A Soulful Cure

A Soulful Cure
Working with a Shaman

by Madisyn Taylor

Working with a shaman can be a great puzzle piece in the process of becoming whole again.

Since time immemorial, certain men and women have felt called to heal the sick, to safeguard knowledge, to guide the lost, and to commune with the spirit world. These unique individuals, known as shamans, were mystics and seers, repositories of wisdom, and keepers of herbal lore. During those periods when ignorance loomed large in the world, shamans across the globe bided their time, peacefully practicing their practical yet refined arts in the jungle, mountains, deserts, and tundra that protected them from those who misunderstood shamanism. Today, however, shamanism has reemerged, as modern men and women feel the same call to service that their ancestors felt long ago. Also, as more individuals explore the notion that healing necessarily involves the soul as well as the physical self, people are consulting shamans in their search for wellness, wisdom, and guidance.

The word shaman literally means “he or she who knows. Shamanism is an art that has not changed in any quantifiable way for millennia and is not bound to any particular form of spirituality. It is grounded on the principle that the visible world is saturated with unseen forces that influence the lives of human beings. Shamans, in addition to acting as fonts of wisdom, are dedicated to diagnosing and curing human suffering—whether emotional, physical, or spiritual. To treat an illness, a shaman may communicate with the spirit world in order to connect more directly with the soul of their patient or with the force causing ill health. They often work closely with animal guides, plant and earth spirits, or your spirit guides, and may make use of use of herbal remedies to supplement other forms of treatment. Shamans, as intermediaries between the physical and spiritual realms, recognize that all objects are in manner alive and retain information that can be utilized to heal.

Shamanism is powerful in part because its practitioners tailor healing to the individual needs of those who seek them out. A shaman manipulates energy, giving you power where you have lost it and removing misplaced energy lurking within you. When you seek out a shaman, they will endeavor to know and understand you before treating you. In this way, they can provide you with therapies that act on your whole being, positively influencing your body as well as your soul.

The Daily OM

Tools Necessary for Herbalism

Tools Necessary for Herbalism

The first step in herbalism is to gather the tools you will need, and that is the main point of this first message. I have found the following useful and in many cases vital to learn and practice the use of herbs.

1) A Good mortar and Pestile, one of stone or metal is prefered. If wood is used you will need two, one for inedibles and one for edibles – make sure they do not look identical, as you do not want to accidentally poison anyone!!!

2) Containers. Although you can buy dried herbs over the counter in many places these days, do not store them in the plastic bags they come in, as these are usually
neither reuseable nor perfectly airtight. Rubbermaid style plastic containers are good, but expensive. I have used glass coffee and spice jars/bottles to good effect, as well as some medicine bottles. The more you recycle the better ecologically, just make sure they
have been thoroughly washed and dried before placing anything inside them.

3) Labels. This is vital! None of us in this day and age can possibly recognize each herb in its various forms simply by sight. Always label your containers as you fill them, and if possible date them when they were filled so you don’t keep spoiled stock on the shelf.

4) Tea Ball. A good metal teaball of the single cup size can be very useful in the longrun when your are experimenting, and when you are making single person doses of teas and tonics.

5) CheeseCloth : Useful for straining a partially liquid mixture and occasionnally for the making of sachets.

6) A Good sized teakettle. Preferably one that will hold at least a quart of water.
7) A Good teapot for simmering mixtures. I use one from a chinese import store that has done me well

.
8) A good cutting board and a SHARP cutting knife for just herbal work.

9) A notebook of some sort to record the information in as you go, both successes and failures. Always record anything new you try that may or may not work, and also and research information you get from various sources (like this echo!)

10) An eyedropper.

11) White linen-style bandages. Some ace bandages are also useful in the long run.

12) A metal brazier of some sort, or a metal container that can withstand heavy useage and heat from within or without, useful for several things including the making of your own incenses.

13) Reference sources. Shortly you should see a list of books that I have read from in the past that I consider useful, build from this as a starting point to others and to your teachers help.

Thats it to start, you’ll pick the rest up as you go. Take your time studying, take lots of notes, compare your sources and your own personal results on each herb and on herbal mixtures of any kind.

Calendar of the Sun for December 3rd

Calendar of the Sun

3 Yulmonath

Mengloth’s Day

Color: White
Element: Earth
Altar: Upon cloth of white place a figure of Mengloth, cut from cloth and filled with herbs, a cup of herb-fortified wine, a pot of herbal tea with cups, a mortar and pestle, and bunches and jars of all the medicinal herbs in the House.
Offerings: Give natural medicine to someone.
Daily Meal: Anything healthy and well-balanced.

Invocation to Mengloth

Hail, Lady of Lyfjaberg,
Mistress of Gastropnir,
High on the highest peak
In the pure air of the north country
Atop snowy cliffs you dwell.
Lady whose roads are long and winding,
Lady whose roads are treacherous and fell,
Lady whose hidden fortress is sought
By the weak, the ill, the desperate,
Those whom all medicine has failed.
Lady of the Last Resort,
Healer of the wounds that cannot be healed,
This offering we make to you
And all the maidens that cluster around you;
Hlif and Hlifthrasa, Thjofvara, Aurboda,
Bjort and Bleik, Blith and Frith,
Colleague of Eir the Healer of Asgard.
We pray your healing hands, Jeweled One,
We pray your healing mind, Mountain-High,
We pray your healing magic shall shape us whole.
Svipdag’s beloved, Keeper of the Wand of Light,
May your favor shine upon us
As we ascend to the trials of your high road.

(The wine is poured out as a libation. Each comes forward then and pours a cup of the herbal tea, asking for healing for themselves or others, and drinks it.)

[Pagan Book of Hours]

The Wonderful World of Herbs

The Wonderful World of Herbs

Author: Crick

The very first herb that I became aware of was Sassafras (Sassafras officinale) . I was about four years old and even now at the age of fifty three, I still savor the taste and smells of a hot mug of sassafras, which by the way is a mild diuretic. I was always amused by how the root would grow to just one side.

From then until now I can honestly say that I have rarely used a prescription/commercial medicine, preferring to use natural herbs instead, which is in keeping with my pagan upbringing.

And before the billionaires that make up the AMA get their tails in a knot, I am not advocating the use of natural herbs over prescription medicines. I do advocate doing your research to see if perhaps there is a more natural approach to ones individual well being. However this is a personal decision each has to make for him or herself.

At any rate, as the years passed, my interest and study of herbs grew and eventually I became certified as a Master Herbalist, which just means that I like the study of herbs, a lot. As such I am often asked a zillion questions about this ailment or that and what is the best herb to treat it with.

There is a story from Celtic paganism about how DianChect the master physician for the Tuatha De Danann, slew his son, Miach during a fit of jealousy. And from his grave sprang 365 different herbs which Miach’s sister, Airmed, harvested in order to give them to the human race. When their father saw what she was doing, he scattered the herbs all about so that humans did not obtain such knowledge so easily.

And that’s ok, for one thing I am not of the mind to question what decisions the Gods decide to make in relation to humans. And I am of the mind that one should always do their research before engaging in the use of herbs.

Also as a pagan I firmly believe in the old adage that rather then learning a little about a lot of herbs, one should learn a lot about just a few herbs.

Herbs are a natural form of medicine, so as with anything, do your research. For those who seek to incorporate herbs into their regimen but whom also take prescription drugs, you should be very aware of any possible contraindications between the herbs and the man-made medicines that you are taking.

You can complement your research into herbs by reading classics such as Culpepper’s Herbal, Shennong Emperor’s Classic of Materia Medica (Shennong Bencao Jing) , Compendium of Materia Medica (Bencao Gangmu) and the Treatise on the Nature of Medicinal Herbs (Yao Xing Lun) .

The Doctrine of Signatures is also interesting even if you don’t necessarily agree with it.
Of course every herbalist worth their roots have a few favorite herbs that they relate to. A few of mine are Hawthorn (Crataegus oxycantha) , an herb that is dedicated to Hymen, the God of marriage. Hawthorn is effective for curing insomnia and is used to prevent miscarriage and for treating nervousness. Hawthorn has been used for centuries in treating heart disease, as regular use strengthens the heart muscles, and to prevent arteriosclerosis, angina, and poor heart action. Hawthorn normalizes blood pressure by regulating heart action; extended use will usually lower blood pressure.

But again and I can’t stress this enough, Do Your Research!

I also employ Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum) as a remedy for liver problems. It is used for varicose veins, menstrual difficulty, and congestion in the liver, spleen and kidneys. And the poisons most dangerous to the liver, those contained in the Deathcap mushroom, can be effectively detoxified with Milk Thistle extract. Shitake mushrooms are known for their anti-tumor properties and have been used as a dietary supplement for thousands of years in the Orient.

Moving on, I cannot say enough about White Willow bark (Salix alba) . The White willow contains salicin, the active constituent from which commercial aspirin was first synthesized. White willow bark is used for rheumatic complaints, arthritis, headaches as well as diarrhea, dysentery and a number of other complaints. I suggest the White Willow because though a number of other Willows also contain salicin, the tannin levels may be too high for other types of Willow to be of use.

St. Johns Wort (Hypericum perforatum) has a long and interesting history. The first century Greek physicians Galen and Dioscorides recommended it as a diuretic, wound healing herb, and as 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.

Valerian (Valeriana officinalis) is considered to be one of nature’s most effective herbal tranquilizers. It is a powerful root for the nerves, and as such, valerian should not be taken for longer than a few weeks, as it can become addictive. It helps cure depression when taken once or twice. It is also a good sedative for such conditions as neuralgia, hypochondria, insomnia, and nervous tension. It also appears to have real benefits in cases of sciatica, multiple sclerosis, shingles, and peripheral neuropathy, including numbness, tingling, muscle weakness, and pain in the extremities. A very good herb when used properly.

And last but certainly not least is Red Clover (Trifolium pratense) . Red Clover is used as a nerve tonic and as a sedative for exhaustion. It is used to strengthen those children with weak systems, and is used with children for coughs, bronchitis, wheezing, as it is mild to their systems. Red Clover contains some of the best mucus clearing properties found in nature.
For over 100 years Red Clover has been used to treat and prevent cancer. It is often used in combination with many other drugs in the treatment of cancer and is known to be one of the best herbs for treating all varieties of cancer anywhere in the body.

If you make a personal decision to use herbs in your daily life and you decide to harvest such herbs yourself, please show some respect for Mother Nature. Please don’t harvest endangered or declining species. And when you do harvest, only take a little and leave a lot. This will contribute to a continuing harvest, as the herbs will have a chance to populate.

Some of the herbs listed in this article may not grow in your area, but there may be equivalent herbs that grow within your local area. And for the last time, please do your research. And when harvesting wild herbs be wary of nearby pollutants such as heavily traveled roads, polluted streams and such. Also think of the needs of the wildlife and insects in your area. Far too often as humans, we only think of our own needs. But as pagans we have a greater responsibility then just ourselves…