Daily Chinese Horoscopes for June 8

Rabbit

The key to communication today is to keep in mind that no matter how critical someone may seem, they actually have your best interests at heart. So, if someone takes you to task over your diet, exercise patterns or commitment to medical treatments, remember, they love you.

Dragon

The way you make, save, and invest your money for the future has been undergoing a lot of dramatic changes lately, and you could benefit from finding an established professional or expert advisor. Make sure that you find someone who understands your unique needs.

Snake

Open your eyes and close your mouth. You will tend to be temperamental and somewhat anxious, and are vulnerable to saying the wrong thing at the worst moment. Don’t let yourself be goaded into confrontations that you can’t win, especially with relatives and loved ones.

Horse

In the morning you will feel lazy, self-indulgent and unfocused, and that feeling could intensify throughout the day. That may be just as well, ironically, because any new initiatives you would start in the afternoon may have to be rethought.

Sheep

You may find that your energy and the attitude of a friend are at odds right now. You have been through some spiritual changes and they haven’t kept up with the changes in your values. You may find they are asking you a lot of challenging questions today.

Monkey

You may find yourself at odds with authority figures, possibly those individuals in your family, or the family of your partner, who hold the purse strings or the keys to the big parties you’d like to attend this year. You will not be in the mood to schmooze and may be forced to play the “genteel host or hostess”.

Rooster

This is not the time to sink a large amount of money into a trip, and it is definitely not a good time to put travel or educational expenses on your credit cards. Resist the impulses coming from your itchy feet and sink that money into savings or paying down debts.

Dog

This is your day to make amends for an offense you caused someone recently. You may not quite be ready to say you were wrong, and if you are not sincere, then it may be better that you wait until you feel you truly understand the other person’s point of view.

Pig

You may feel impatient with a loved one or partner right now, but it’s not really them that is the problem – there is a meddlesome parent or family member somewhere in the picture. Talking things out could bring up an ideal way to sort out the differences.

Rat

You may have to spend money on medications or herbal remedies today. Be sure that you understand how different medications and herbs can react before you start any new treatment schedule. You will feel better if you know more about your own health.

Ox

Listen to the children in your life. If you are not a parent, and don’t have nieces or nephews, go borrow a friend’s kids and just pay attention to what they come up with. Cosby and Linkletter observed that kids say the darndest things – they are often a profound source of wisdom, too.

Tiger

Family members may seem to be determined to be contrary today. Instead of trying to get them to see your point of view, try putting yourself into their shoes. The change in perspective could bring the answers you need to put everyone back into harmony again.

Herb of the Day for April 5 – Cat’s Claw Bark Cut

Herb of the Day for April 5 – Cat’s Claw Bark Cut

    Latin Name: Uncaria tomentosa
Common Names: Bird of Paradise

Folklore:
This herbal treatment, known in Latin as Uncaria Tomentosa, is named after the hook-like horns that are found on its surface, and comes from a vine native to the Amazon Rain Forest and other similarly tropical locals within South and Central America. There, it has been found in traditional medicinal folk lore dating back to the age of the Incans, and is frequently described as a potent aid in treating health problems, such as arthritis, stomach ulcers, fever, and general inflammation. Some lore even suggests that the bark can be utilized when one is seeking a method ofbirth control.

Medicinal Properties:
More Modern studies have shown that Cat’s Claw Bark is indeed a stimulant to the immune system, helping it fight off disease and perhaps thereby relieving symptoms such as fever. Some herbalists also claim that it can be of great use in relaxing and soothing muscles, helping to ease away aches and pains. This is of particular use when combined with the fact that the bark has shown some ability to treat and ease assorted forms of arthritis. Some studies have also shown that Cat’s Claw Bark can help lower blood pressure as well, and act as a diuretic. The bark has also been shown to possess antioxidant properties, which remove the body of particles that damage cells and potentially cause cancer. Early studies are looking into this quality, and examining its antitumor and anticancer effects.

Magical Properties:

Purification, Unhexing, Protection

Cautions:

N
ot recommended for people who are pregnant or are trying to become pregnant. Not recommended for organ transplant recipients, it may stimulate the immune response and cause a rejection of the organ or tissue.

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.

CAUTIONS ABOUT HERBAL MEDICINE

CAUTIONS ABOUT HERBAL MEDICINE

by Camilla Cracchiolo

There is nothing about herbs that automatically makes them non-toxic just
because they are natural. Ever hear of deadly nightshade or poisonous mushrooms?
They are drugs, like other drugs and should be approached with the same caution.

This means, for example, that pregnant women should be as careful about
medicinal herbs as they are about conventional medicines. Some medicinal herbs
are clearly linked to birth defects. People on certain medications, like anti-
coagulants or psychiatric drugs, can have serious problems from interactions
between the herb and the medicine they’re taking. In the US, herb labels do not
list information about side effects, dangers and contraindications on the label
(which I think they should). Many physicians are not well informed about herbs,
and so you cannot always rely on your doctor to know about potential problems.
And if you have or suspect you have a serious illness, it is very important to
be under a doctor’s care. Self diagnosis is not always accurate and self
treatment doesn’t always work.

I believe it is vital for any person who wishes to try herbs to be very well
read before attempting them. I strongly recommend The Honest Herbal by Varro
Tyler to anyone who is considering or using herbal medicines. It is the one
herb book that I have ever found that relies solely on scientific studies
instead of anecdotes and which provides references. Tyler himself has
impressive credentials, being a tenured professor of pharmacognosy (the branch
of pharmacy that deals with herbal medicine) in the school of pharmacy at Purdue
University. The ISBN # is 1-56024-287-6 and it is published by the Haworth
Press, 10 Alice Street, Binghamton NY 13904-1580. It is in print, costs about
$20 and I got mine through a regular bookstore which special ordered it for me.

I personally regard herbal medicine as useful primarily in two situations:
* when a basically healthy person uses an herbal compound for a short, self
limiting condition such as a cold or the flu, where over-the-counter remedies
would normally be appropriate.

AND
* in the case of serious illness, where no effective standard treatment exists
and where there is some evidence from the scientific literature that a
particular herbal compound may help.

An example of this would be the use of silymarin (an extract from milk thistle)
in the treatment of chronic viral hepatitis. In this kind of situation, I
regard it as extremely important that the person be under the close supervision
of a physician well versed in the disease in question and who has reviewed the
available studies on the herb to be used.

Herbal medicine has some very big problems. The most important is probably that
herbs often have not been subjected to thorough testing. Even when an herb has
many studies published about it, almost always the studies are on animals; human
studies are quite unusual. Studies to determine whether the compound can cause
birth defects are vanishingly rare, as are studies to determine whether the
compound can cause cancer. Relying on traditional folklore is not much help;
very obvious or dramatic adverse effects may be caught this way, but it doesn’t
tell us much about either long term effects or problems caused in only a small
percentage of people.

Another major problem is that the amount of pharmacologically active ingredient
available varies widely from plant to plant, so accurately regulating dosage is
difficult. The pharmacologically active ingredient may also occur in conjunction
with other toxic compounds. Examples of toxic agents often found in herbs
include pyrrolizadine alkaloids (very toxic to the liver and cause both benign
and malignant liver tumors); coumarins (which decrease the ability of the blood
to clot); and allergens. The latter can be quite important to people who are
allergic to ragweed; some herbs in the ragweed family (chamomile and yarrow are
examples) can cause severe allergic reactions in these folks.) Most companies
do not list the source of their herbs or how they were grown. Pesticide
contamination is a possibility and heavy metal contamination of some herbs has
been reported in the scientific literature.

Because of the problems mentioned above, I believe it is often better to rely on
an extracted and standardized compound (conventional drugs) when possible.
However, some of the active ingredients of herbs cannot be found in this form.

Yet another problem is with herb labeling. Very few herbal medicines marketed
in the US have both the Latin name of the herb and an expiration date marked on
the bottle. Often, this is deliberate: fraud is rampant among companies
marketing herbs. One brand that does have good labeling is Nature’s Way.
Alternatively, if you live in a city with a large Chinese, Japanese or Korean
population, you can try the herb sellers in that district. I’ve personally
found the herb sellers in Chinatown here in L.A. to be very honest and
knowledgeable (although language is often a problem, alas. Gotta learn to speak
Chinese one of these days.) 🙂

If you decide, after your research, to try herbal medicines, you may wish to
consult a trained herbalist. Unfortunately, in the US anyone can hang out a
shingle and call themselves an herbalist. Lots of these people have no idea what
they’re doing. I have found practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine to be
the best trained. I don’t accept the model that traditional Chinese
practitioners use to explain the effects of herbs (yin/yang, hot/cold, damp/dry,
etc.). I also have problems with the amount of unsupported anecdotal info mixed
in with scientific studies. But traditional Chinese doctors treat herbs with a
lot of respect and caution. They are well up on the side effects and
counterindications.

And finally, very few herb books contain dosage information. I have a lot of
problems with Michael Tierra’s herb books. I don’t accept the medical models he
endorses (traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda). I also don’t like the
fact that Tierra doesn’t distinguish between scientifically validated
information and folklore. But Tierra’s books are among the very few herbal
medicine books that discuss dosage. Just making up a weak tea is usually not
enough to get a pharmacologically effective dose. Tierra is the author of The
Way Of Herbs and Planetary Herbology.

Warning: Tierra’s books should be used as supplemental sources only and never as
your primary source of information on herbs. I have spotted several places
where he has left out important information on toxicity.

Herb of the Day for Sept. 15th is Valerian

Valerian

Valeriana officinalis
MEDICINAL:Valerian is a relaxer, and is very effective for insomnia. It is often used as a tranquilizer, but it leaves no sluggish effects on the user. It is used for nervous tension, pain relieving, strengthening the heart, lowering blood pressure, IBS, diverticulosis, menstrual cramps, and for muscle spasms. It should not be taken over a long period of time, as it can cause mental depression in some people after long-term steady use. It is not habit forming.

 

RELIGIOUS:Valerian is used to get fighting couples back together, in spells of love, and in purification baths.

 

GROWING: Valerian is a perennial plant that grows to 3 feet tall. It prefers full sun, and average to rich well-drained soil. Root cuttings are best for propogation, and once the plants are established, they self-sow and spread by root runners. Valerian has a similar effect on cats as catnip, so you may need to protect your patch with chicken wire. Harvest roots for medicinal use in the fall of their second year.

Herb of the Day for April 11th is Black Cohosh

Herb of the Day

 
Black Cohosh
Botanical: Cimicifuga racemosa (NUTT.)
Family: N.O. Ranunculaceae

Synonyms—Black Snake Root. Rattle Root. Squaw Root.
Bugbane.
Part Used—Root.


Habitat—A native of North America, where it grows freely in shady woods in Canada and the United States. It is called Black Snake Root to distinguish it from the Common Snake Root (Aristolochia serpentaria).

Description—The seeds are sent annually to Europe, and should be sown as soon as the season will permit. It flowers in June or early in July, but does not perfect seed in England, though it thrives well in moist shady borders and is perfectly hardy. It is a tall, herbaceous plant, with feathery racemes of white blossoms, 1 to 3 feet long, which being slender, droop gracefully. The fruits are dry.

The plant produces a stout, blackish rhizome (creeping underground stem), cylindrical, hard and knotty, bearing the remains of numerous stout ascending branches. It is collected in the autumn after the fruit is formed and the leaves have died down, then cut into pieces and dried. It has only a faint, disagreeable odor, but a bitter and acrid taste.

The straight, stout, dark brown roots which are given off from the under surface of the rhizome are bluntly quadrangular and furrowed. In the dried drug, they are brittle, broken off usually quite close to the rhizome. In transverse section, they show several wedge-shaped bundles of porous, whitish wood. A similar section of the rhizome shows a large dark-colored, horny pith, surrounded by a ring of numerous pale wedges of wood, alternately with dark rays, outside which is a thin, dark, horny bark.

Constituents—The chief constituent of Cimicifuga root is the amorphous resinous substance known as Cimicifugin, or Macrotin, of which it contains about 18 per cent but the bitter taste is due to a crystalline principle named Racemosin. The drug also contains two resins, together with fat, wax starch, gum, sugar and an astringent substance.

Medicinal Action and Uses—Astringent, emmenagogue, diuretic, alternative, expectorant. The root of this plant is much used in America in many disorders, and is supposed to be an antidote against poison and the bite of the rattlesnake. The fresh root, dug in October, is used to make a tincture.

In small doses, it is useful in children’s diarrhea.

In the paroxysms of consumption, it gives relief by allaying the cough, reducing the rapidity of the pulse and inducing perspiration. In whooping-cough, it proves very effective.

The infusion and decoction have been given with success in rheumatism.

In infantile disorders, it is given in the form of syrup. It is said to be a specific in St. Vitus’ Dance of children. Overdoses produce nausea and vomiting Preparations—Fluid extract, U.S.P., 15 to 30 drops. Fluid extract, B.P., 5 to 30 drops. Tincture, U.S.P., 1 drachm. Tincture, B.P., 15 to 60 drops. Cimicifugin, 1 to 6 grains. Powdered extract, U.S.P., 4 grains.

Attunement

Before choosing a tonic for yourself or a loved one, allow yourself to attune to the needs of the recipient. First, choose a tonic that most suits the  symptom.

Is the symptom acute or chronic and recurring? Acute symptoms need quick-acting, bitter, sedating, or cooling tonics. Chronic, recurring symptoms require warming and nurturing herbs. Roots and barks often have nurturing qualities. Leaves and flowers are cooling and can reduce the vitality of one with chronic, symptoms if used without building roots and soothing barks. Plan a tonic with long-term results for long-term or recurring problems. Stimulating herbs and spices may be used sparingly to allow the system to accept their warmth. Long-term and heavy detoxification is not recommended for chronic disease.

Choose herbs that support the personality and awareness of the recipient. It is normal to have emotional manifestations when the body’s chemistry is not in balance. If the individual is displaying anger, choose herbs that will not overstimulate or heat up their system, such as spearmint or chamomile. Do not choose a heating root like ginseng in the combination. If the individual is weepy, choose herbs that promote diuresis. When the kidneys flush they will move out excess fluids and metabolic wastes. Use the tonic long enough to achieve the desired effect. Longer duration is only acceptable for longevity tonics recommended by an experienced practitioner. If someone tells you “it’s natural, it can’t hurt you,” run home and make a tension-reliever tea. You probably know more about herbs and have been blessed with greater common sense.

Become acquainted with as many herbs as you can grow organically or obtain locally. It is better to be well-acquainted with a few herbs than to know little about many. When in doubt, use local compresses, external applications, and aromasignatures before ingesting a questionable tonic.

Hearsay and what works for your neighbor is not the safest way to choose a tonic. We wouldn’t think of sharing a prescription drug. Make sure you use tonics as a good and not a drug. Each individual has a body that knows how to heal itself. Give yourself that chance as you enjoy the rapport you will experience from growing organic herbs and cooking a tonic as an elixir for radiate health.