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…

Advertisements

Gris Gris Bag for Love Spell

Gris Gris Bag for Love Spell

Things to put into your bag for the Love Spell:

Something to connect the energy to you such as hair, nails and/or body fluids seems to work best; if you have someone in mind, you should get something of them to put in your bag.

Herbs associated with drawing new love such as Apple seeds, Grains of Paradise, Lavender, Rose buds, Cinnamon, Patchouli, Jasmine, Basil, Catnip Yohimbe, Valerian and Chili pepper.

Stones associated with love such as rose quartz, ruby, emerald, pearl and even rough diamonds.

 

One a Friday night, in the Waxing phase of the moon, and preferably in the Planetary Hour of Venus. Place all the things you intend to use in your bag into a bowl. Put your right hand over the bowl and allow energy to flow into the herbs. Picture in vivide detail for 20 minutes what you want the Gris Gris bag to do for you. It is important that you picture it as already done now. So you see clearly in your mind what you want as it is a reality happening now.

The total number of items used in the bag should equal to an odd number (5, 7, 9, 11 or 13). In the case of a love spell, 7 is a lucky number so you should put 7 items in your bag.

Every Friday put a few drops of Hoodoo Love Oil on your bag. When you are confident your desire has manifested bury the bag in the earth.

Insomnia Tea

Insomnia Tea

Add the following:

One-quarter teaspoon of valerian root
One-quarter teaspoon of skullcap
One-quarter teaspoon of lady’s slipper

Add all the above to one cup of boiling water. (Never boil valerian root.)

Add some honey or sugar to sweeten the tea and allow it to cool before drinking.
Do not drink more than one cup per day.

Herb of the Day for November 7th – VALERIAN

Valerian

Valerian is one of the most beneficial herbs known to man. It has incredible sedative properties and is very close to valium without chemical dependency or side effects. Although it smells a little like dirty feet, it has a pleasant taste with just a little sugar. It also cures insomnia without causing a drugging effect. Valerian is useful for tension, hysteria, nerves, headaches, insomnia and as a relaxant.

Spell Of The Day for Aug. 6 – Spell To Cover Your Rump

Spell To Cover Your Rump

Whether you’ve done something you shouldn’t or neglected to do something you should have this spell throws a “smoke screen” around you.

Best Time To Cast This Spell:

  • During the New Moon
  • When the Sun or Moon is in Scorpio

Items You Will Need:

  • Wood chips from these trees:  Ash, Rowan Pussy Willow, Holly
  • Small amounts of these herbs:  Fennel, Basil, Garlic, Dill, St. John’s Wort, Valerian, Star anise
  • Seeds or petals from these flowers, peony white snapdragon, primrose
  • An amber-colored glass bottle with stopper
  • A gray silk scarf
  • Matches

The Spell:

  1. In a safe place build a small fire using the wood chips, herbs and seeds or petals.
  2. When the fire has died down to ashes, hold the amber bottle above the ashes and collect some smoke. Stopper the bottle.
  3. Hold the silk scarf in the smoke (don’t let it catch fire) for a few moments. Extinguish the fire.
  4. The next time you need to cover your ass, open the bottle and let the smoke flow out. Imagine it swelling to form a dense cloud around you, completely hiding you from sight. Drape the scarf over your shoulders and imagine concealing yourself  with a cloak of invisibility.

Note:  Refill the bottle with magick smoke after each use.

Herb of the Day for June 15 – 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 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.