Week 8 – Catnip

Catnip (Nepeta cataria)

by Morgana Moonfire

Catnip is also known by the names Catmint, Catnep and Catnap, Catrup, Cat’s wort, Field balm, Cat, Nip and Nepeta. The genus name, Nepeta cataria, comes from Nepeti, a Roman town where this herb was first cultivated.

The herb is named catnip because of the peculiar behaviour of cats when they get a whiff of this feline favourite. It does not cause such behavior in humans but, like many botanical, it has many excellent nutritional properties.

Catnip is called a Woman’s Love Herb because it is said to make women enticing and charming to make men ready and increase their nature. For this reason, women use it to aid in bringing about relations.

Associations: Venus, Libra, Cancer, the Moon (Tarot), the element of water, Aengus Óg, Áine and Bast, its gender is feminine.

  • Catnip, if grown near the house or hung over the door will attract good spirits and good luck.
  • Early American settlers believed catnip would make kind people mean and so the dried roots were fed to hangmen and executioners.
  • Catnip is a Druid sacred herb.
  • All through history, this herb has been used in humans to produce a sedative effect. Traditional herbalists have treated other conditions like cancer, toothache and corns with catnip.
  • Catnip does not just intoxicate domestic felines: large cats, such as lions and jaguars, are also susceptible to its effects.
  • Tradition says that growing catnip near your home will attract luck and good spirits.
  • Catnip is a perennial or biennial herb of the mint family.
  • Catnip and savory will discourage flea beetles and bean beetles on your bean plants.
  • In addition to cats, bees are also fond of catnip.
  • Catnip leaves were brewed as tea and before Chinese tea was imported.

Catnip can reach up to 3 feet high.

Catnip grows on banks and waste places in northern temperate regions around the world.

Catnip is easy to grow. They grow well with little attention and will withstand crowding.

è They thrive in sun or partial shade.

è They prefer average, well drained soil over rich soils although will grow in most soils. So fertilizer is not usually required, except in the poorest of soils. A little fertilizer is recommended at planting time and a couple of times a year to promote maximum growth.

è After the plants have grown a few inches, pinch back the shoots to promote bushy growth. It will first bloom in mid summer. After harvest, trim back the plants again. With luck, you will get three harvests in a season.

Propagation

  • Catnip can be grown by seed.

Sow seeds into your garden in the spring.

Space seedlings or thin plants to 20″ apart.

  • Propagation by division

1. Dig up the plant on a cloudy day, keeping as much of the roots intact as possible. Remove or shake off any loose soil so you can easily see the crown and roots.

2. Divide the plant into smaller pieces using the knife or garden fork to cut through the crown and roots. (You might need two garden forks to pry apart roots of extremely overgrown clumps.) Each division should have at least two to five vigorous shoots with ample roots attached. Remove any diseased or discolored portions.

3. Cut back the top growth to about 6 inches or half the plant’s height.

4. Replant or pot up your new plants immediately and water well.

Planting

* When growing catnip, allow for plenty of space. Catnip are aggressive growers and will overcrowd nearby plants in your herb garden if allowed.

Harvesting

Harvest the leaves before and while flowering. Wait until the plant is 8 to 10 inches tall before harvesting. By that stage, the leaves will be large and mature.

Gather catnip for drying in late summer. The harvest process will depend on how you will be drying the catnip. If drying flat, then snip or pinch off the top leaves. If hanging the catnip to dry, snip off long stems.

Storing

Dry the leaves before storing them.

  • Drying can be achieved by placing the snipped leaves on a screen to allow the air to dry the leaves, which can take several weeks.
  • Another option to dry flat is to place the leaves on a baking sheet in the oven on the lowest setting; it can take up to 6 hours for the leaves to dry.
  • To dry the leaves by hanging them, secure bunches with string and hang them in a dry location.

* The leaves are dry when you can easily crumble them with your fingers.

  • Crumble the dried leaves and place them in an air-tight plastic container or glass jar.
  • The leaves can also be stored in a sealed plastic bag in the freezer.

Parts used: leaves

Magickal uses

v  Love: used for luck in love affairs.

  • Traditionally used in conjunction with rose petals to bring loving relationships that last forever.
  • Use in love sachets or add a small amount to herbal teas. If you carry catnip in a flannel bag, the man you want will be attracted to you like a cat to catnip.
  • To attract a new lover: use it in an herbal bath, sprinkle it at the 4 corners of the bed or burn it with incense.
  • Soak catnip leaves in whiskey and sprinkle the liquid on your doorstep for 21 days, starting on the full moon.

v  Happiness

è Use catnip while calling on Aengus Óg, the god of love, to bring happiness and love.

v  Cat magick

  • Give it to your cat to create a psychic bond.

v  Animal contacts, familiars

v  Beauty

  • In order to experience beauty and clarity, call on the goddess Áine while using.

v  Large dried leaves are powerful markers for magickal books.

v  Courage (smudging)

  • Chewed by warriors for fierceness in battle.

v  Friendship (smudging)

Medicinal uses

Catnip is a sedating/stimulating herb which is rich in volatile oils and which can also tonify or nourish. The primary chemical constituents of catnip include essential oils (carvacrol, citronella, geraniol, nepetol, nepetelactone, pulegone, thymol), iridoids and tannins. It also contains iron, selenium, potassium, manganese, chromium and moderate amounts of other minerals & vitamins.

Catnip has a substance called nepetalactone, which is similar to valerian. The herb is anti-inflammatory and has mild antibiotic properties. In addition, it relieves stress or pain (anodyne) and is diaphoretic (increases sweating).

v  Stimulates the appetite

v  When smoked, leaves give mild euphoria with no harmful effects.

v  Hair rinse for scalp irritations

v  Controls and reduces fever and will help soothe feverish chills

v  Catnip contains antispasmodic properties that are ideal for treating abdominal and menstrual cramping, as well as chronic coughing.

Carminative herb: aids digestion, constipation, calms upset stomachs, relieves diarrhea, flatulence and indigestion

  • Particularly good for children with upset stomachs in a very mild infusion.
  • Bath herb for colic
  • Catnip tea for upset stomach, colic, spasms, flatulence and acid.

v  It is a stronger nervine (relaxing herb): Catnip is good for nervous conditions, relieves stress, good for anxiety and nervousness, induces relaxation: drink catnip or chamomile tea (infants or adults)

  • Soothes nervous headaches
  • Bath herb for stress

v  Epilepsy

v  Eyewash for inflammation, allergies and bloodshot eyes

v  Hiccup remedy

v  Catnip’s antibiotic and astringent properties are also beneficial for treating colds and bronchial infections (chronic bronchitis): keeps colds at bay; catnip tea helps reduce mucus

v  The flu

v  For a stimulating state of mind

v  Relaxes the muscles

v  Heals minor tissue injuries

  • To treat minor mishaps that occur in the garden, press some crushed catnip leaves on cuts and scrapes until you are able to get inside to wash and bandage your injury.

v  Helpful for pain: soothes headaches and reduces migraine pain

  • Use as a poultice for toothache
  • Bath herb for teething
  • As a compress or poultice for pain, sprains and bruises
  • Salve for hemorrhoids

v  Liniment for arthritis and rheumatism

v  Enema to cleanse the colon

v  Compress or poultice for insect bites

v  Boils and carbuncles

  • Poultices made of ground flaxseed, peach tree leaves, catnip leaves or roasted onion and applied hot will draw out the infection.

v  Aids sleep, insomnia, ensuring a restful sleep

  • Sweet dreams and peaceful nights: place catnip under your pillow.
  • Healing dreams: drink tea-potion made from catnip or mint

CAUTION

*** Avoid during pregnancy!

*Catnip is a gentle herb and makes a suitable drink for children.

Other uses

v  Catnip prevents mosquito bites

  • Undiluted catnip oil can provide up to two hours of insect repellant properties when applied directly to the skin. Research in 2001 showed that catnip oil repels mosquitoes ten times better than DEET. Further research showed that depending on the species of mosquito, protection lasted for up to four hours. The active ingredient in catnip oil is called nepetalactone.

***Nepetalactone can cause skin irritations to those with sensitivities, so a patch test is recommended.

v  The root and leaf scent, mint with cat pheromone overtones, intoxicates cats and repels rats and flea beetles.

Catnip medicine

  • Catnip tea can be used effectively as a drink and also as an enema.
    • To make catnip tea, use 2 teaspoons of the dried herb per cup of boiling water.

Steep for 10 to 20 minutes; then strain and drink. *Do not boil catnip as boiling dissipates the herb’s healing oil.

Drink up to 3 cups daily.

Catnip and rosemary mosquito chasing oil

Makes about 2 cups.

2 cups catnip, stemmed

1 cup rosemary, cut in 6-inch sprigs

2 cups grapeseed oil or any light body-care oil

Roll herbs lightly with a rolling pin and pack into a clean jar. Cover with oil, seal jar and place in a cool, dark cupboard for two weeks.

Shake jar lightly every day or so for two weeks. Strain into a clean jar, seal and refrigerate for up to 8 months unused.

To use, rub on exposed skin.

Herbal Tea Recipe for Aches and Pain.

1 Tablespoon – White Willow Bark.

1 Tablespoon – Catnip

Put into a Tea ball and steep in boiling hot water for five minutes.

Drink as hot as you can stand it; then lie down for a nap.

Dragons

Can create a psychic bond with certain dragons.

Dragons: Water, Earth, Light, Mountains, Guardian

Sources

Elemental Healing

Making and Using Dreampillows by Leslie Ravenwing

Garden Necromancy: Summoning Spirits ~Source Unknown~

Herbal Dreamcraft

Use Essential Oils to Prevent Mosquito Bites: Catnip, Clove, Neem and Lemon Oil by Melanie Grimes, citizen journalist

http://members.aol.com/fadedone33/herbs.html

Be Your Own Herbal Expert – Part 1: an article by Susun S. Weed

Herbal Remedies Solutions – Herbal Tea Remedies

Niche Website

Herbal Remedies for Sleeping Disorders by Pete Sharpe

Herbal Teas by Gillie Whitewolf

Herbs for every Sign! by Kim Rogers-Gallagher

How to Harvest, Dry, and Store Herbs from: “Harvesting and Drying Herbs” by James C Schmidt and Dianne Noland

Sacred Herbs Of The Goddess

The Healing Power Of Herbs by May Bethel.

Herbs That Repel Bugs

Using Herbs Simply and Safely: an article by Susun S. Weed

Herbs and their Magickal Properties-Very Long & Detailed List

Bewitched | July 6, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Tags: herbs, magickal, properties, roots, wild | Categories: Herbs | URL: http://wp.me/pYkp9-4F

Water Based Preparations by Susun Weed

Smudging Herbs by Chrissy from ‘Smudging with Sage & Other Herbs’ from the Flourescent Ranch in Grand Mesa, CO.

http://www.iampanic ked.com/anxiety- articles/ herbs-for- anxiety.htm

Herbal cures by Lady Edenbolake

http://www.herbalre mediesinfo. com/pregnancy. Html

http://www.herbcomp anion.com/ Health/Clean- Deep-Clean- Sweet-with- Herbs.aspx

Clean Deep, Clean Sweet with Herbs by Sandy Maine

March The Herb Companion (magazine)

http://seattlepi. nwsource. com/nwgardens/ 90412_lovejoy10. Shtml

Why Not Grow Some Mosquito Repellent of Your Own?

Aromathyme.com

Healing by the Moon by Rachel Raymond

Cough Relief

Farmer’s Almanac

http://www.alizons- psychic-secrets. com/magical- potions.html

Dancing with Dragons, pgs.238-256 by D.J. Conway

A Guide to Propagating Herbs by Kris Wetherbee (The Herb Companion)

Lady Becky

http://www.gardenersnet.com/herbs/catnip.htm

How to Dry and Store Catnip | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_5735047_dry-store-catnip.html#ixzz10SCVE87E

Week 7 – Rooibos

Rooibos Aspalathus linearis

It is also called Red Bush Tea or Red Tea.

Despite the popularity of the tea, earlier, there was some confusion over its name. However, this has been settled now and it has been agreed that henceforth the plant would be generally known as Aspalathus linearis. Occasionally, the rooibos plant is also called Borbonia pinifolia Marloth or Aspalathus contaminate.

  • Rooibos tea is not a true tea since it doesn’t use leaves from the Camellia consensus plant and comes from the South African shrub Aspalathus linearis.
    • Today the red bush tea or rooibos is the most well-liked hot brew in South Africa.
    • Rooibos is an indigenous shrub, which grows exclusively on the slopes of the Cedarberg Mountains in the Western Cape province of South Africa and has been used by traditional healers of the area for centuries. This is a traditional medicine for two indigenous groups that are native to South Africa–the Bushmen and the Hottentots.
      • 300 years ago European explorers discovered the “Red Tea”. Then, in the early 1900’s, the healing powers of South Africa’s ‘Miracle Tea’ became apparent, and acclaimed as a treasured elixir for the mind, body and spirit
      • Rooibos is Afrikaans for “red bush” and is pronounced as “RoyBoss”
      • Rooibos, also known as “Red Bush” tea, is an herbal tea native to South Africa. Unlike most teas (such as black, green and oolong), which come from camellia plants, rooibos comes from the Aspalathus linearis plant. Its leaves are green, but when oxidized the leaves turn red, giving the tea a distinctive appearance. The main use of this herb is brewed tea, which has a variety of health benefits.
      • Rooibos is a member of the legume family of plants. It is a shrub that belongs to the Fabaceae family.

Harvesting

The Aspalathus linearis plant is harvested in late summer or during autumn.

Storing

After harvesting, the long stalks of the plant are chopped into smaller parts. The cut stems along with the leaves are then moisturized, crushed and then left to ferment for some time. After the fermentation, the substance is left out in the sun to be dehydrated. The end product is the red bush tea that is prepared like the common or ordinary tea.

Parts used: The leaves and twigs are used, after being cut and bruised to allow enzymatic oxidation and then dried.

Medicinal uses

Rooibos is a mildly astringent herb (because of the tannins) with restorative properties and it is antispasmodic. It contains polyphenols, shown to have anticarcinogenic, anti-allergic and anti-inflammatory and antiviral qualities.

It is an extremely nutritious herb, containing a wide variety of vitamins and minerals to keep the body healthy. Rooibos contains Vitamin C; Alphahydroxy Acid; calcium, manganese and fluoride for strong teeth and bones; iron, which prevents anemia; zinc, copper, potassium, magnesium and more than 37 natural or common antioxidants.

v  Tooth decay (due to high fluoride content)

v  Insomnia

  • The beverage prepared with the herb helps in stimulating sleep. Research has shown that rooibos induces sleep by influencing the metabolism (the process by which ingested food is transformed into energy) of acetylcholine (a substance known to be a transmitter of nerve impulses) in the brain and thwarting the discharge of neurons responsible for wakefulness. In some other way, rooibos provokes sleepiness by obstructing the reactions of the hormones that lead to pain and irritation or inflammation. * However, here is a word of caution. The tea prepared with rooibos should be used for this purpose only after consultation and consent of the physician.

v  Cramps

v  Heartburn

v  Beneficial in the treatment of high blood pressure

v  Nervous tension, mild depression, anxiety

v  Diabetes mellitus

  • Rooibos can help to control blood sugar levels

v  Atherosclerosis

v  Cataracts

v  Liver diseases

v  Syphilis

  • The plant is widely recommended as a supplementary medication while treating syphilis as it inhibits common inflammation (swelling and irritation) and reduces pain. However, the herb does not cure the disease.

v  Constipation, diarrhea (because of the tannins), digestive distress and cramping

v  Asthma

v  Ulcers

v  Aging (because of the antioxidants)

v  Helps build strong bones

v  High cholesterol (helping to prevent heart disease)

v  Vomiting

v  Rooibos is also effectual in treating mental disorders related to old age.

v  Rooibos may help relieve insomnia

v  HIV

  • A couple of studies conducted by Japanese scientists have found that rooibos is active against or combats the human immunodeficiency virus. The polysaccharide (a complex carbohydrate) amalgams present in rooibos thwarts the HIV from sticking to its intended or target cells in the body.

v  Rooibos is given to babies with colic, he herb is anti-spasmodic: it relieves cramps and stomach aches

  • Many mothers use this property of the tea to ease colic and stomach discomfort in their infants by mixing the tea with milk and bottle-feeding it to their children. The soothing properties of the tea may also pass along through breast milk.

v  Allergies and hay fever

  • Research has shown that it is possible that rooibos impedes the release of histamine, an organic derivative of ammonia discharged by immune cells producing allergic reactions. In fact, the release of histamine is said to be liable for nasal congestion as well as stomach disorders during allergic effects and anxiety. Hence, this property of rooibos makes the herb immensely beneficial for everyone suffering from food allergies and respiratory allergies.

v  Calms skin allergies and other skin complaints such as eczema

  • Brew the tea and apply it to the area with a cotton ball
  • Rooibos tea contains a variety of antioxidants and flavonoids, including alpha hydroxy acid, which help control free radicals in your body. Free radicals can lead to premature aging of the skin, so this tea can help keep your skin looking young. This benefit applies to drinking the tea, but you can also apply the tea directly to the skin; many people claim that when used this way, the tea helps prevent and treat acne, sunburn and eczema.
  • It has a soothing and healing effect on the skin.

* Rooibos is very low in oxalic acid, a compound that can cause problems for people with kidney stones, so those who suffer from this problem can drink it safely.

* The beverage does not have any unwanted effect on the body or mind.

* Rooibos tea is naturally caffeine free, which means that you can drink a cup before bed without worrying that it will keep you awake. Since it lacks caffeine, people with heart conditions and expectant mothers can safely drink this tea.

CAUTION

Like black tea, rooibos also slows down the absorption of iron from the consumed food. However, rooibos is less effective than the black tea in soaking up iron from the ingested food. Hence, people suffering from deficiency of iron and related diseases should try to avoid drinking the rooibos as well as black tea. Drinking any of the two beverages may be detrimental for their health as they are likely to further bring down the iron content in their system.

Rooibos Tea

* Contains no caffeine

* Is low in tannin (the tannins in black tea are responsible for the bitter flavour): the tannin content in the red bush tea is approximately five per cent.

*** The tea prepared with rooibos contains no stimulants and is known to be safe, mild and uncontaminated.

Normally, the dehydrated leaves and the fine stems are used as tea.

The beverage is also highly refreshing.

The tea is very mild and can be taken every day, or whenever you feel the need for an extra nutrition boost.

If you drink one to three cups a day, it can help increase your overall state of health. A spot of tea? image by Gretchen from Fotolia.com

Sandalwood & Rooibos Bath Soap

150g Pure clear unfragranced glycerine soap

5 Drops Sandalwood Fragrance

Rooibos leaves

* Gently melt the soap either in microwave or on stove top.

* Add Fragrance and sprinkle a few leaves into the melted soap.

* Give the soap a few swirls.

* Pour into soap mould. Allow to cool and demould.

* The leaves work as a great exfoliator and add colour and texture.

* Use a piece of corrugated cardboard to decorate the soap and tie it with a raffia bow.

Sources:

What is herbal medicine?

http://www.umm. edu/altmed/ articles/ herbal-medicine- 000351.htm

http://en.wikipedia .org/wiki/ Herbalism

Guide To Green Tea

How to Understand the Medicinal Uses of Rooibos Tea

By Katherine Huether, eHow Contributor

How to Understand the Medicinal Uses of Rooibos Tea | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_2094552_understand-medicinal-uses-rooibos-tea.html#ixzz0zIcdV4D1

Rooibos Benefits & Uses

By StephenR, eHow Contributor

updated: July 19, 2010

Rooibos Benefits & Uses | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/list_6750513_rooibos-benefits-uses.html#ixzz0zId2hdrE

http://www.herbs2000.com/herbs/herbs_rooibos.htm

http://www.ageless.co.za/herb-rooibos.htm

http://www.phytochemicals.info/plants/rooibos.php

http://www.theherbspiral.com/supps/herbpages/Rooibos.htm

Week 6 – Ginseng

Ginseng (Panax ginseng or Asian ginseng; and Panax quinquefolius or North American ginseng)

 by Morgana Moonfire

Also called the “Chinchona of China” or “the wonder of the world root”. 

Associations: Scorpio, Mars, Uranus, the sun, Saturn, Lammas

  • In China ginseng is considered the main herb as a male tonic.
  • In China, ginseng is held in high repute, and the prices they realize are dependent upon the extent to which they resemble the human form.
  • With the exception of teas, ginseng is the most celebrated plant in all the Orient. The Chinese have great faith in its curative and strengthening properties and call it the “Chinchona of China”. The Manchurian Ginseng comes from the Emperor’s mother country, from the soil from which legend says sprang the `God of Heaven’.  It is, therefore, regarded as more efficacious than the ginseng grown anywhere else.
  • Roots older than two years are a famous yang stimulant (North American less so than Oriental).

 

Planting

* Ginseng can be very difficult to grow. Germination of disinfected seeds (to kill mold, which plagues ginseng at all stages of growth) can take up to a year or more.  

 

Outside

Plant in early autumn in raised beds of very humus-rich soil.

Plants must be shaded at all times.

 

Harvesting

Roots are not harvested until the plants are at least 6 years old.

Take care during harvesting and drying not to break off any of the “arms” of the root.

Storing

Dry for one month before use.

 

Parts used: dried root

 

Magickal uses

 

* When the plant grows wild its root resembles the shape of the human body, and like mandrake, it is thought to be most appropriate for most any magickal spell.

*Ginseng is an effective substitute for mandrake in all spells.

v  Fertility, attracting love (essential oil), lust

  • Drink ginseng tea to stir up a magnetic physical attraction.
  • Carry it to attract love.
  • Carry it to ensure sexual potency.

v  Healing and health

  • Ginseng is carried to guard your health

v  Beauty

  • Ginseng will bring beauty to all who carry it.

v  Protection

  • Ginseng when burnt and used as a fumigant is potent for breaking hexes.

v  Creative work

v  Money

  • Carry it to draw money.

v  Wishes, attracting luck (essential oil)

v  Drawing strength and courage

* Carry the root with you, in pieces or whole, wrapped in a piece of red cloth and secured with gold or orange thread. Or else keep a ginseng pouch in your living room or on your altar.

*Ginseng spell:

By: S. Y. Zenith

For purifying home interiors, place ginseng root on your altar for three days. Then soak it in a bowl of warm water and leave it to stand overnight. Sprinkle the water from the bowl around the rooms of your home, or on the windows and doors. Sprinkle the water in the four corners of the property for protection against entities. Store the ginseng water in a spray bottle. Before you dress each morning, lightly spritz your body from head to foot. The ginseng spritz is especially helpful for those engaged in healing and psychic work.

Medicinal uses

Ginseng is a tonifying herb and stimulates the body to overcome all forms of illness, physical and mental. Rather than treating specific problems, ginseng strengthens the body by increasing the efficiency of the endocrine, metabolic, circulatory, and digestive systems. It reduces physical, mental, and emotional stress by increasing oxygen-carrying red blood cells and immune strengthening white blood cells and eliminating toxins.

* Ginseng is particularly useful in the treatment of young children as well as the aged.

v  Relief for flu symptoms.

v  For low sperm count, erectile dysfunction

  • Ginseng boosts the body’s synthesis of nitric oxide. As NO increases, so does the likelihood of erection.

v  Immune enhancement

v  When taken regularly it removes general fatigue and promotes good health. 

  • Improves hormonal functioning and as such reduces tiredness.
  • It makes you more active.

v  Indigestion

  • Combined with the juices of a ripe pineapple, it is an excellent medication for indigestion. 

v  Colds, fever

v  Skin diseases

v  Aphrodisiac: it is a sexual stimulant.

v  Anti-aging herb

v  Depression treatment (Siberian ginseng), anxiety

  • Herbs such as Siberian ginseng increase the availability of serotonin in the brain.
  • Ginseng has been used for various ailments but most effectively as an anti-anxiety herb.
  • Ginseng has stimulant properties that reduce stress.
  • It helps to maintain emotional balance.
  • Ginseng is relaxing.

v  Poor circulation of the blood

v  Very powerful remedy for rheumatism

v  Cancer

v  Memory

v  Hiccoughs: like dill, it relieves certain forms of hiccoughs due to its anti-spasmodic properties

v  Diabetes

  • Ginseng also reduces blood-sugar levels but diabetes requires professional treatment; consult your physician about ginseng.

v  To improve athletic stamina, endurance

  • Many athletes take ginseng as part of their training in order to significantly increase their stamina. Ginseng is safe, but it does have anticoagulant action so increased bruising is possible.

v  High blood pressure

  • 10 drops of dandelion or ginseng tincture in the morning.

v  Lack of energy

  • 25 drops of motherwort or ginseng tincture 2-4 times a day.

v  During menopause it aids in rejuvenating the system and balances hormones, as well as aids in regulating hot flashes.

 CAUTION:

* Ginseng should not be taken continuously.

Ginseng medicine

Ginseng tea can be made from the dried leaves or blossoms of the herb. After the berries are gathered select the brightest, cleanest leaves from a mature plant. Place them above the kitchen stove in thick bunches turning and mixing well until they are very dry. Store away in paper sacks. When the leaves are steeped in boiling water, just like ordinary tea, the liquid may be drunk with cream and sugar if preferred.

v  Another recipe for general use in the home is the following: Take a piece of the root when it is very hard and dry.  Break it up with a hammer and grind it through a coffee mill several times until it is reduced to a fine powder. To three ounces of the powder add one ounce of milk, sugar and sixty drops of oil of wintergreen. Mix all the ingredients well and store in a glass jar. The correct dosage in one teaspoonful to a small teacup of boiling water. When the drink is cooled it should be taken before each meal. It may also be filtered served with cream and sugar, and consumed with the meal. Made as directed this is a most pleasant aromatic tea and has a good effect on the stomach, brain and the nervous system. If the evening cup of ginseng is much larger, it is a good and safe hypnotic, producing a deep restful, natural sleep.

Ginseng tincture

 

The tincture is ready in six weeks, but gets stronger the longer it sits. I like to wait about six months before using my ginseng tincture.

To make a tincture from dried roots:

o Buy an ounce of dried Echinacea augustifolia or Panax ginseng root.

o Put the whole ounce in a pint jar.

o The dried root should fill the jar about a third full. If not, use a smaller jar.

o Fill the jar to the top with the alcohol. Cap tightly and label.

 

Energy Restoration Potion

 

by Tammy Sullivan

Searing hot temperatures have a way of sapping the energy right out from one’s body. The following energy potion can help replace this lost energy.

Brew pinches of mint and ginseng herbs along with a green tea bag. Steep for three minutes. Strain and serve over ice with lemon slices for a refreshing tonic. In addition, you may wish to take Solomon’s seal, Gotu Kola and myrrh herbal supplement tablets to rev up flagging energy levels.

Once restored, seal the energy inside the body by taking a cool shower and rubbing a rosewater and glycerin solution into wet skin. As you do so, visualize the energy vibrating just below the skin’s surface. Carry this vision with you throughout the day. Most importantly, make sure to drink plenty of water to keep the body hydrated and functioning at its highest level.

Energy Booster Tea For Men

Wysti’s Notes

2 parts ginseng root

1 part dandelion root

1 part hawthorn berries

1 part sarsaparilla root

1/8 part cinnamon chips

1/10 part licorice root

1/10 part orange peel

Make a decoction of the above.

To use: Drink 1/2 cup to 1 cup per day, about 3 days a week to increase energy, stamina and mental clarity.

Ginseng Tonic

Blend together:

2 tsp. American Ginseng Root

4 tsp. Licorice

1 tsp. Korean Ginseng

1 tsp. Astragalus

2 tsp. Nettles

1 tbls. Siberian Ginseng

1 tbls. Alfalfa Leaf

1 tsp. Ginger

Brain Tea

 

Wysti’s Notes

This tea is wonderful if you are going to have to use your brain for creative thoughts and mental clarity.

2 parts Siberian ginseng root

1 part Gotu Kola leaves

1 part Ginkgo leaves

1 part Peppermint leaves

Place the ginseng in 1 quart of boiling water.  Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for approximately 20 minutes.

Remove from heat and add the remaining ingredients and steep for about 20 minutes.

To use:  Drink 2-3 cups per day.

Sources:

 

Essential oil uses

Elderberry – A Natural Immune-Booster by Cathy Wong, About.com Guide

Herbs for every Sign! by Kim Rogers-Gallagher

Be Your Own Herbal Expert – Part 1 : an article by Susun S. Weed

The 55 Best Herbal Remedies by Michael Castleman, Natural Health

What is herbal medicine?

http://www.umm. edu/altmed/ articles/ herbal-medicine- 000351.htm

http://en.wikipedia .org/wiki/ Herbalism

Herbs and their Magickal Properties-Very Long & Detailed List

Bewitched | July 6, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Tags: herbs, magickal, properties, roots, wild | Categories: Herbs | URL: http://wp.me/pYkp9-4F

The Magick Pantry – Ginseng

Natural Herbs for Depression

http://www.ehow. com/how_2088648_ treat-depression -herbs.html

http://www.herbal- supplement- resource. com/herbs- for-depression. html

http://healing- mind-and- body.com/ Remedies- Herbs-Depression .html

Herbs and planets

Ailments and their Herbal Remedies

>http://www.ageless. co.za/herbal_ remedies. Htm

http://www.holistic online.com/ Remedies/ Depression/ dep_herbs_ 1.htm

Herbal Medicine

Herbal cures by Lady Edenbolake

Brain Tea – Wysti’s Notes

Ginseng spell by S. Y. Zenith

http://www.llewelly n.com/spell. php?spell_

Source: http://hedgewitchery.advancedcompservices.com/index.html

~Teas That Please~

Ginseng and Anxiety

http://www.iampanic ked.com/anxiety- articles/ herbs-for- anxiety.htm

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Week 5 – Calendula

Calendula  (Calendula officinalis)

 by Morgana Moonfire

Also known as Calendula, Holigold, Pot Marigold, Garden Marigold and Bride of the Sun, “mother of skin” among herbalists. Its scientific name, Calendula officinalis, gives us a hint of what ancient physicians felt about its powers to heal and maintain skin in perfect health. Calendula refers to the calendar, as the plant blooms every month of the year. The second word, officinalis, refers to the workshop of an alchemist, a place where lead was said to be converted into gold. Turning lead into gold is no small feat, but the ancients felt that calendula could perform an equally amazing transformation on the skin, hence the name.

Associations: Mabon, the zodiac signs Leo, Aries and Sagittarius, the sun, the element of fire, business and legal matters, the goddess Xochiquetzal, symbolic qualities: fidelity, longevity, loving sacrifice.

CAUTION:

***’Marigold’ can be Calendula officinalis, a medicinal herb; or Tagetes erecta, an annual used as a bedding plant. For this reason, particularly when we are talking about medicinal herbs, we must use the scientific name when discussing and, most important, when purchasing our plants.

  • One of the oldest wound healers known: used since Roman times, calendula has a centuries-old reputation as a wound healer.
  • It is a Druid sacred herb.
  • Known as “summer’s bride”, the yellow calendula embodies the Sun’s fire and life sustaining virtue. The ancients believed that the marigold’s power to turn with the sun was a highly magickal property.
  • The Maya would decorate the graves of their loved ones and line the paths for the grave to their homes with the petals of marigolds so that the dead may be guided.
  • During the 17th century, calendula petals were used in the treatment of small pox and measles, as well as animal and insect bites.
  • Pick in full sun.
  • Always gather this flower in August when the sun is in Leo.
  • If a marigold is left in your circle, or church, it is said that no woman that has committed adultery against a wronged and faithful husband will be able to leave the spot where they stand or sit.
  • Calendula is an annual or perennial depending on the severity of the winter it must endure. People living in climates with temperatures well below freezing for months on end will have to plant calendula as an annual, but in more moderate climes, calendula will keep on going year after year.
  • Calendula is a member of the daisy family, along with chrysanthemums, sunflowers, Jerusalem artichokes, elecampane, asters, thistles, chamomile, dandelion, burdock, and globe artichokes. A number of members of this family, most notably chamomile, elecampane, dandelion and burdock, are used to treat skin problems.
  • The Romans, who called calendula verrucaria, the wart-curing plant, noticed that skin eruptions of a periodic nature, like herpes and warts, were effectively eradicated by the plant.
  • Calendula is above all a remedy for the skin, providing effective treatment for most skin problems. In fact, it is an all-purpose skin-healing agent. Look for it in a spray or salve formula that adds the soothing qualities of olive oil, aloe or Vitamin E. calendula really is the all-around best skin treatment because it addresses the symptoms as well as their causes.
  • The biggest drawback to calendula is that insects like them and they are subject to plant disease.
  • Aphids are the most common insect problem. They are readily treated with an insecticidal soap or repellent. Sevin should also work well.

 

Planting

 

Calendula is a very common, annual garden plant that is prolific and easy to grow.

–> Calendula can be direct seeded in the spring or even summer. Sow calendula seeds early in the season and cover lightly with 1/4″ of garden soil. They germinate easily and will grow quickly, producing their first of a continual display of blooms by mid-summer. Most plants begin blooming within 2 months of seeding.

*Calendula plants like a full sun location and rich, well drained soil, but they will adapt to most any soil conditions and they are very tolerant of average to slightly poor soils. Improving your soil quality will produce much healthier plants and flowers, so add plenty of compost. Add a general purpose fertilizer once a month.

*Once your calendula is established in your garden, they will grow well (even if left unattended) and self-seed, but they don’t generally become a nuisance. Water them during dry periods, once or twice per week.

*Add mulch around the plants to keep weeds down.

*Pick dead blooms to encourage new blooms.

 

Outside

*Select a location in your garden where they can grow undisturbed for years, as these flowers will drop their seeds and reseed your flowerbed each year.

*Space plants 15″ apart.

 

Indoors

*They make great indoor arrangements, but need to be checked for aphids before bringing them in. They would be more popular, but they give off an unpleasant odour that is sometimes too strong indoors.

Harvesting

–> Harvest while flowering.

–> Collect calendula flowers in late morning, after the dew has dried. Pick flowers when they are fully open and check often, because they come and go quickly.

*Calendula blooms for a very long time: from mid-summer all the way until frost.

*Calendula is a somewhat hardy annual. It will not be harmed by a light frost either in the spring or fall and it will continually produce flowers even after the first light frost. It will succumb to heavy frosts or freezes.

* Do not be afraid to cut blooms from your calendula. It will only encourage more budding.

Storing

You can use fresh flowers or you can dry and store the blossoms for later use. Cut the flower heads off and spread them out on a screen, in a shady, dry spot. Turn them occasionally until they are papery dry and store in canning jars until ready to use.

 

Parts used: flower (petals), leaves

Magickal uses

* If any spell demands that the marigold is eaten, make sure that this is done at breakfast time ONLY!

v  Calendula is carried into court for a favorable verdict.

v  Divination, enhanced psychic powers, prophetic dreams

  • In the mattress it encourages prophetic dreams.
  • Smudge for prophecy of legal matters.

v  Marriage and love spells

  • Used with love sachets to attract, bathe in tea for 5 days to find “Mr. Right”

v  Added to bathwater it helps gain you the respect and admiration of everyone you meet.

v  Rightly used it would ensure perfect peace and prosperity to the bearer.

v  Protection; will also guard against nightmares, psychic attacks, and baleful phantoms of the night.

  • Garlands of marigolds strung on the doorposts stop evil from entering the house.
  • Marigold is a powerful oil used for protection.
  • Wrap the head from one of the flowers in a Laurel leaf or in the leaves of the May tree or Hawthorn.  Add a wolf’s tooth. No one will say a bad word against the wearer of this charm. Let him sleep with this small parcel under the pillow and if any man secretly wrongs him the enemy’s identity will be made known.
  • Spiritual protection: sleep with marigold flowers underneath your pillow.

 

Medicinal uses

The bright yellow and orange blossoms contain volatile oils, tannins and resins that calm inflammation; speed healing and have antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties. Calendula is an immune-activating herb and an astringent; it is antiseptic, detoxifying and lymphatic and it contains hormone and vitamin A precursors.

*Calendula is perfectly safe.

v  Skin: calendula is a gentle, soothing herb used for lumps and bumps, mosquito bites, cuts, scrapes, scratches and wounds; for red and inflamed skin, including minor burns and sunburns; for acne, eczema, chapped lips, many rashes (including rashes in small children) and for fungal conditions such as ringworm, athlete’s foot and thrush. It is very helpful for diaper rash and cradle cap and soothes nipples that are sore from breastfeeding. Calendula is also useful to treat skin eruptions or lesions caused by viruses, e.g. herpes sores, skin ulcers, warts, chicken pox and shingles.

  • A healing herb for rough or problem skin.
  • Generous application of the cream will greatly diminish the discomfort of itchy skin. This is probably due to the plant’s anti-inflammatory properties.
  • Use to soothe irritated, chapped skin on the hands.
  • *Will help skin heal faster and hurt less (whether applied in tincture or cream form). Calendula has antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal actions, which will eliminate infection on the wound site, as well as an anti-inflammatory action, which will reduce pain.
  • Increases epithelialization (the skin’s ability to knit itself back together): a chemical in the plant stimulates the rejoining of broken skin, so it is wonderful for abrasions.
  • As an injury remedy, calendula helps the body clean up the debris that results from trauma to a joint.  It helps to resolve the swelling of injuries by facilitating lymphatic cleanup. 
  • Formerly just the flowers of calendula were used in skin ointments, but recent discoveries hint that some of the best parts of the plant can be found in the stem!
  • Where the skin is scarred (like from chicken pox, acne, cuts or more severe wounds) try and use calendula oil as a carrier. In many cases, it has significantly reduced the appearance of scar tissue. (aromatherapy)
  • It is softening and encouraging for the skin’s normal growth. (aromatherapy)
  • Calendula, comfrey and chamomile can be used separately or together for an astringent bath that is especially helpful for those with oily or blemished skin.
  • Calendula, comfrey and chamomile can also be infused and mixed with a decoction of distilled water and witch hazel to make a facial cleanser.
  • Calendula and chamomile are particularly useful for young children and babies (a couple drops in the bath of chamomile can soothe and help sleep, as with lavender.)
  • In recent studies, calendula has been proven to help heal venous leg ulcers, which are notoriously slow-healing wounds caused by poor circulation.
  • Eczema: calendula cream works to keep the condition under control. Part of the syndrome is terrible itching which leads to scratching which leads to scabs which leads to scratching, and so on. Calendula cream both soothes the itching and speeds the healing of the broken tissue, thus ending the itch cycle.
  • Gum disease: start gargling with a light tea made with calendula flowers.
  • Calendula is also wonderful for healing any sort of ulcer in the mouth, be it from the herpes virus or another source.
  • Warts: break open marigold leaves and apply the plant juice directly to wart. Do this daily until wart is gone.
  • Sunburn: bathe the sunburn with an infusion of calendula. It repairs damaged skin cells.
  • An infusion of calendula can be used as an effective douche or wash to remedy vaginal thrush.
  • Herpes: sensing an outbreak before it happens is critical when planning to use calendula to avert an actual breakout. Herbalists have found that if herpes sufferers apply calendula cream at the first warning signs, they can avoid a full-blown case of ulcers. Some herbalists feel that it is best to take calendula internally as well as externally, and they recommend a tea of the flowers as well as generous applications of the cream on the areas usually affected.
  • Herpes: due to its combination of anti-inflammatory, antiulcerous and antiviral capacities.

v  Stimulates the liver: the daisy family is famous for containing a number of bitter elements that stimulate the liver. The liver’s function is to remove toxins from the body. When it cannot do its job (for instance due to alcoholism), toxins that would otherwise be flushed from the system just sit around, making the skin look bad. I.e. a poorly functioning liver is at the root of many skin conditions. Thus using dandelion, burdock, and globe artichoke to successfully treat liver also helps to improve skin conditions.

v  Toothaches

  • Taken as a mouthwash, this is an ancient remedy for a toothache.

v  Colitis, intestinal problems

v  Gastric ulcers

v  Speed the healing of nerve damage

v  Neuritis, pink eye

  • Antiseptic agents are great for eye irritation and helps with inflammation and itching. Calundula possesses antiseptic properties and works well as an eye wash or a warm compress over the eye.

v  Hair

  • Redheads and blonds: to enrich the natural colours of your hair try a hair oil or try using a calendula infusions as a final rinse after washing your hair. Calendula combines well with chamomile – another skin-caring herb.

v  Muscle spasms

v  Abdominal cramps, helps to regulate the menstrual cycle

v  Constipation, aids digestion

v  Cleans lymph and blood

  • Lymphatic herbs are used to decongest or otherwise improve the flow of the lymph within the body.  Lymphatic fluid is responsible for supplying the cells with nutrition, cleaning up metabolic wastes, acting as the environment in which immune activity takes place and pretty much makes up most of the interstitial fluid of the body. Lymphatic fluid is not circulated by a pump as is the blood (though it does travel with the blood on its way to the cells), but rather relies on movement of the body to circulate.  Inactivity – which more or less comes along with most injuries – impairs lymphatic flow, and thus an herb like Calendula can be useful to prevent stagnation.  Dose of tincture would be 5-30 drops. 

v  Lessens fever

  • The herb can be used fresh, dry, or in tincture.

v  Cancer

  • From the Romans forward, calendula has been used to treat carcinoma, and recent evidence indicates that it may in fact contain chemicals that are both antitumor and anticancer. With the plant’s anticancer and immunostimulating powers, a daily once-over with calendula cream may be the answer to protect the skin from the sun. This is particularly true for people who work outdoors.

v  Pets

  • Use a calendula infusion for dogs and cats as a natural way to remedy a flea or mite infestation or skin irritation.
  • If your pet is suffering from ulcers, give him two drops each of calendula, comfrey, knotgrass and nettle twice per day. Couple this with a bland, easy to digest diet until the ulcer has healed.
  • Cuts can be simply disinfected and healing promoted by spraying a tea made from calendula flowers onto the injured area or alternatively you can have a salve made with calendula flowers. When using a salve you will need to cover the area with a bandage as pets are likely to lick it off.

CAUTION:

*Our skin is a barometer of our overall health. Using calendula or any other cream on skin that is indicating bad health is a complete waste of time. You need to determine whether or not your skin troubles are rooted in poor general health or some other underlying condition. If your skin is bad because you do not take care of yourself, using calendula in combination with improving your overall health routine will truly make a difference.

*Skin is permeable. What you put on your skin can and will make its way into your body. For this reason, calendula cream is much healthier than steroid cream.

*Doctors used to wonder why at times it seemed that calendula cream worked and at other times it did not. The solution to the query lies in the manner in which the calendula cream was prepared. Calendula cream is prepared from either a water extract or an alcohol extract. Recently, it has been discovered that calendula has two kinds of components: some of which are water-soluble and others which are alcohol-soluble. Modern research has discovered that the water-soluble ingredients are the elements that treat viral infections and the alcohol-soluble ingredients are those that treat bacterial infection. This is why sometimes calendula creams worked on for instance herpes sores and other times it did not: if the cream was not made with a water extract, the viral-suppressing chemicals would not be present.

Marigold medicine

 

* A tea can be used as a compress for external application, as can an oil, tincture or salve.

*Tincture: There are four types of poisons in plants: alkaloids, glycosides, essential oils and resins. The first three are fairly easy to move from plants to a tincture. Resins, because they “fear” water (hydrophobic) are difficult to tincture. Use high proof alcohol in order to tincture a resin, for example in order to obtain calendula flower tincture.

  • Astringent for Acne (Wysti’s Notes) 

 

This works best for oily skin types.

6 drops peppermint e.o.

15 drops benzoin tincture

1 T. yarrow

1 T. calendula (or chamomile)

2 c. distilled water

Bring the water to a boil.  Remove from heat and add the herbs.  Cover & steep for about 30 minutes.  Now add the benzoin tincture and peppermint e.o.  Store in the refrigerator.

To use:  Shake well before each use.  Use 1 t. for each application.  Always use a good moisturizer afterwards.

Makes about 96 treatments.

  • Marigold balm (author unknown) 

 

This is a recipe for a simple Marigold ointment, which is excellent for cuts, sores or minor burns.

Take 60g/2oz (about a handful) of freshly picked Marigold flowers, add to 200g/7oz melted petroleum jelly and bring the mixture to the boil. Simmer it very gently for about 10 minutes, stirring well. Then sift it through fine gauze and press out all the liquid from the flowers. Pour the liquid into a container and seal it after it has cooled.

  • Calendula salves: The healing properties of calendula are a good addition to any salve. It is particularly appropriate for salves designed to treat sores or ulcers that have not responded very well to other methods or that have shown a resistance to healing.

 

  • Formula No. 135: Calendula Compound Salve for Eyes

Grains

Calendula Flowers 5

Spanish Saffron 1/2

Yellow Precipitate 8

Camphor 10

White Petrolatum 1 ounce

Melt No. 5, then add Nos. I and 2 and heat for about 5 minutes, then strain and add Nos. 3 and 4, rubbing well until a smooth salve is obtained.

Directions: Apply to eye lids morning and night.

This salve is also good for cloudy eyes and may be applied to the eye itself, as it has the tendency of removing film. This formula is very effective for sore, inflamed, granulated eyelids and also for the small furuncular abscesses on the eyelids, called styes.

  • All purpose salve:

 

Mix together 1 ounce comfrey (aids in cell production, relieves pain), 1 ounce plantain leaves (also promotes healing), and 1 ounce calendula leaves (another great aid in preventing bacteria, healing.)

  • (strong) Calendula tea: Herbs rich in colouring compounds – such as calendula- make enticing and tasty teas.

 

v  Remedies

  • Nettle rash, skin problems
  • Digestive infections
  • Fungal problems. E.g thrush
  • An excellent footbath for athlete’s foot
  • A facial wash for acne
  • An eyewash for conjunctivitis
  • A mouth rinse for aphthous ulcers (canker sores)
  • A vaginal wash for yeast infections

 

v  Recipe: steep two teaspoons of flowers per cup of water for twenty minutes, take one teaspoon per hour.

 

Dosages

Tincture (1:5, 25% alcohol): 2.5ml 3 times daily

Spray (1:5, 25% alcohol): Apply to affected area 3 times daily

Faeries

  • To help gain faerie sight:

Rub a wash of marigold water rubbed on the eyelids.

  • The faeries and nature spirits associated with this flower can help you develop clairaudience. You will find that as begin to attune to them, you will actually start hearing them.
    • They hold the mysteries and magic of thunderstorms.
    • They also hold great knowledge of the power of words – especially those used in the healing process.
    • They have knowledge of the mysteries of love and sacrifice.

 

Sources:

Homemade Herbal Oils by Gillie Whitewolf

Herbal Remedies Solutions – Herbal Tea Remedies

Niche Website

Aromatherapy Massage Oils

Be Your Own Herbal Expert – Part 1: an article by Susun S. Weed

Healing Flowers by Laurel Vukovic (The Herb Companion)

May/June 2008

Herbal Preparations by Gillie Whitewolf

Herbal Teas by Gillie Whitewolf

Using Herbs Simply and Safely: an article by Susun S. Weed

How to Harvest, Dry, and Store Herbs

http://www.herbalre mediesinfo. com/pet-herbs. html

http://www.naturala rk.com/herbpet. Html

http://www.magdalin .com/herbs/

Actions of herbs

Smudging Herbs

HERBOLOGY by Bruce Burnett, Chartered Herbalist

What is herbal medicine?

http://www.umm. edu/altmed/ articles/ herbal-medicine- 000351.htm

http://en.wikipedia .org/wiki/ Herbalism

HERBAL REALM OF HEALING

Skye’s Realm 1999-2007

http://pages. prodigy.net/ groovyskye/ 2.html

http://EzineArticle s.com/?expert= Khal_Nuwar

http://www.herbcraft. org

http://www.cure- back-pain. org/herbs- for-back- pain.html

Astringent for Acne – Wysti’s Notes

Sunburn Help – Farmer’s Almanac

For Natural Hair Color, Color Your Hair with Natural Dyes by DON SCHMIDT

Book; Jude’s Herbal Home Remedies by Jude C. Williams, MH

Herbs for ridding of evil, hexes & curses

http://www.freewebs .com/magicalpath /herbalteaplants .htm

Herbs of Divination

http://botanical. com/site/ column_rita/ hexing.html

Sacred Herbs Of The Goddess

Herbs and their Magickal Properties-Very Long & Detailed List

Bewitched | July 6, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Tags: herbs, magickal, properties, roots, wild | Categories: Herbs | URL: http://wp.me/pYkp9-4F

The Magick Pantry – Marigold

Symbolic Qualities of Flowers & Trees

50 Wart Home Remedies & Treatments

http://www.beyondwe ird.com/occult/ larder.html

Herbal Dreamcraft

Lucky Flowers For Your Zodiac Sign

http://www.spiritno w.com/article/ horoscopes/ lucky_flowers_ for_your_ zodiac_sign_ 501

FAERIE FLORA

http://www.llewelly n.com/free/ spell.php? spellid=1617

Herbal Sleep Recipes – These are all From The Farmer’s Almanac Book of Traditional Home

Home Remedies To Treat Pink Eye

AUGUST 26, 2010

http://naturalhealt hezine.com/ home-remedies- to-treat- pink-eye/

Natural Sun Protection

Kathi Keville

http://www.ageless. co.za/herbal_ remedies. Htm

Ailments and their Herbal Remedies

Plant Poisons

Aromatherapy Massage Oils

http://www.gardenersnet.com/flower/calendula.htm

http://gardening.about.com/od/herbsspecificplants1/p/Calendula.htm

 

 

 

 

 

 

For all green-witches-to-be

For those of you, like me, who are new to herbology and who would like to get some hands-on experience, you might want to check this out:

Thanks to some great tips, I have come across some free online gardening and herbology courses. They could of course never replace real-life botany or herbology classes but if you don’t have access to such classes, at least the online courses will provide you with a really good starting point.

Often it is not necessary to go on a raid to Asian shops to find rare herbs or to go hiking in order to locate a special plant. Most common ailments can be treated with herbs that we already keep in our kitchen. In fact, we are often not aware of the herbal treasures we house in our cupboards. So much money can be saved by using what we already have, instead of spending it on medicine. What is more: you are not even required to have an enormous garden to grow your own herbal apothecary.

Free online courses:

Supermarket Herbalism: for when you don’t know where to start because all that herbal information can be overwhelming!

http://www.learningherbs.com/herbal_course.html

Free online gardening courses:

http://www.gardening123.com/courses/default.asp?MS=10

If you are interested in learning more about herbs, make sure to check out some of the articles by Susun S. Weed as well, such as: Using Herbs Simply and Safely.

A word of caution: There are actually many things you should keep in mind when getting started with herbs. People tend to forget that plants can be quite dangerous and there’s always the possibility that you have allergies you were not aware of. Finally, when you’ve made sure you’re using the correct herb in the correct way, remember that for some ailments you will still be required to see a doctor.

To all those magnificent individuals out there…

I just have to say how grateful I am to the wonderful people who teach any paganism-related course free of charge! It is actually amazing and most admirable that so many people are doing this; they willingly lend their time and energy to share and teach the things they’ve learned without expecting anything in return! Big thumbs-up for all of you! I deeply appreciate these efforts and I hope to give something back by sharing my own journey through this blog and through my new podcast.

Brightest of blessings to you all

Morgana Moonfire

Week 4 – Ginger root

Ginger   (Zingiber officionale)

by Morgana Moonfire

 

Associations: Aries, Midsummer, Mars and sometimes the sun, the element of fire

  • In the Pacific the Dobu islanders make much use of ginger in their magic. They chew it and spit it at the “seat” of an illness to cure it, and also spit chewed ginger at an oncoming storm, while at sea, to halt it.
  • Ginger has been used as culinary cooking spice for nearly 4500 years.
  • Highly valued as a spice, ginger has been used medicinally for thousands of years by Chinese physicians.
  • In ancient China, sailors chewed ginger root to prevent motion sickness.
  • For centuries, ginger has been prescribed by Ayurvedic and Indian healers to treat the pain and stiffness associated with arthritis.
  • In Japan, ginger’s anti-parasitic effect is put to use in the preparation of sushi, which is traditionally eaten with pickled ginger. In the laboratory, ginger extracts have been shown to kill the anisakid worm (a parasite sometimes carried in raw fish) within sixteen hours. This covers the length of time the parasite would have to establish itself in the digestive tract after consumption of the contaminated fish.
  • Ginger is essential to Asian dishes.

 

Planting

*Growing ginger root is not difficult. If you can resist harvesting for the first two years, you will be able to get a year’s supply and plenty left over: edible ginger root and ginger root planting material.

* Ginger is a slow growing plant and is easily overgrown by others.

*The plant only grows to 2-3 feet in height and does not take up much space.

*Ginger is a tropical plant and loves a sheltered spot, filtered sunlight, warm weather, humidity and rich, moist soil.

* What ginger cannot stand is frost, direct sun, strong winds and soggy, waterlogged soil.

* Ginger needs a lot of moisture while actively growing. The soil should never dry out. Don’t overwater, though, because the water that drains away will take nutrients with it.

Ginger loves humidity. If you have problems with dry air then regular spraying and misting might help. A sheltered, moist spot in a warm climate will provide enough humidity.

–>  The easiest way to get started growing ginger root is to get a few fresh rhizomes. Make sure you select fresh, plump rhizomes. Look for pieces with well developed “eyes” or growth buds. (The buds look like little horns at the end of a piece or “finger”). Some people recommend soaking the rhizomes in water over night. That is not a bad idea, since shop bought ginger might have been treated with a growth retardant. However, do NOT sit rhizomes in water until they sprout roots. It is much better if the roots are in the ground and can breathe right from the start, rather than having to deal with the transplanting shock and the change in conditions. If the ground is moist and warm they will root very easily.

–> Whether you grow your ginger root in a pot or in the ground, you do need really good soil to start with. It needs to be rich enough to feed your ginger (you can always add some fertilizer), it needs to hold enough moisture so it doesn’t dry out, but it needs to be free draining so the ginger roots don’t become water logged.

–> The best planting time is late winter/early spring (late dry season/early wet season in the true tropics). Make sure you select a spot where the plants get plenty of light but no direct sun and where they are protected from the wind.

–>You can cut or break up the ginger rhizomes in little pieces with a couple of growing buds each or you can just plant the whole thing. Plant your ginger root 5-10 cm deep, with the growing buds facing up.

–> Towards the end of summer, as the weather starts cooling down, your ginger will start to die back. Reduce the water; even let the ground dry out. This encourages the ginger to form rhizomes. Once all the leaves have died down your ginger is ready for harvest.

Outside

*Plant them about 6-8 inches apart.

*Mulch it thickly. It helps to keep the ground moist, it helps feed the ginger as the mulch breaks down and it also keeps down weeds.

Indoors

–> Grow indoors when living in a colder climate. It will be too cold outside in spring.

*Your ginger will need all the sunlight it can get.

*Definitely move it inside at the first signs of cold weather.

Harvesting

* A clump needs to be about two years old to flower. So if you want to see your ginger flower leave it in the ground and just dig very carefully at the edges of it to harvest bits here and there.

–> The best time to harvest ginger is any time after the leaves have died down. Usually it takes 8-10 months to get to that point.

–> Break up the rhizomes, select a few nice ones with good growing buds for replanting (you can replant them straight away) and keep the rest for the kitchen.

–> The rhizomes that have been replanted or left in the ground do not need any water or attention until the weather warms up again. Watering them doesn’t seem to hurt them either.

** The other way to grow and harvest ginger is to have many clumps growing around your place and to just dig up what you need, when you need it. The plants grow outwards from the mature rhizomes. Once a clump is big enough you can harvest the mature tubers without damaging new shoots.

Outdoors

If you are growing ginger root in the garden you can start stealing little bits of it once it is about four months old. Just dig carefully at the side of a clump. (This “green ginger” does have a lot less flavour than the mature stuff).

Storing

  • Simply peel, chop and freeze the harvest.

 

Parts used: root (actually they are the rhizomes: the edible part of the plant)

Magickal uses (essential oil à powerfully spicy)

* Eating ginger before performing spells will lend them power, since you have been “heated up” by the ginger, this is especially true of love spells.

v  Sexuality and love

  • Love: use the essential oil
  • Adds spice to one’s relationship when applied behind the ears & knees

v  Courage (essential oil)

v  Power (essential oil)

v  To attract money

v  Success spells

  • Also ensures the success of a magickal operation.
  • Use the essential oil.

v  Good luck

  • Carry for gambling luck, bathe in this before going to Vegas etc…

 

Medicinal uses

Ginger has been used as a medicine for thousands of years to treat a wide range of ailments from diarrhea to arthritis. It is rich in volatile oils, it is both a nourishing/tonifying and sedating herb and it is a strong antioxidant, expectorant and carminative. Ginger has antibacterial, antiseptic, anti-inflammatory (ginger contains natural anti-inflammatory agents called gingeroles), anti-clotting and

pain-killing properties.

v  Stimulates blood circulation, useful for circulatory problems, arthritis

  • These effects make it useful in treating a number of disorders marked by swelling and pain, such as arthritis.
  • Arthritis: Make a paste of 1 teaspoon red chilies and fresh ginger in half a cup of sesame oil and strain. Gently rub this oil on the painful joints.

v  Ginger is an even more effective anticoagulant (stops blood from clotting) than garlic or onions; gin-gerol, one of its compounds, has a structure very much like that of aspirin, which also thins the blood.

v  Pain reliever: reduces spasms and cramps, headaches, muscular aches and pains, rheumatism (***see more below under gastrointernal distress)

  • Ginger is an inexpensive, effective and nearly universally available remedy for inflammation and pain!
  • Ginger is a folk remedy for menstrual cramps.
  • Relieves pain by producing heat.

v  Cleanses the colon, ginger has been shown to inhibit the growth of tumours in the colon in animal studies.

v  Promotes internal secretions

Anti-nausea remedy, relieves vomiting, motion sickness (dried ginger), morning sickness, also relieves vomiting and nausea typical in pregnancy (BUT it is still not advised to take ginger during pregnancy!!!)

  • When it comes to quelling the queasiness of motion sickness, ginger has no equal say herbalists. In fact, researchers have demonstrated that ginger beats dimenhydrate, the main ingredient in motion sickness drugs such as Dramamine, for controlling symptoms of seasickness and motion sickness. In addition, ginger has none of the side effects, such as drowsiness, of the commercial drug.
  • Take a 1-gram capsule of powdered ginger root about an hour before you embark and another every two hours or as needed (without exceeding 10 grams a day) during a journey.
  • You can also buy crystallized or candied ginger to take traveling with you.
  • Use ginger teas or capsules to prevent nausea or motion sickness.
  • Ginger juice produces better recovery from symptoms of nausea than ondansetron, a commonly prescribed drug during chemotherapy.
  • Nausea: Slice fresh ginger root into a mug, use 1 table spoon of grated ginger root per cup, and fill mug with boiling water. Cover the mug and allow to steep for 20 minutes and drink when cool enough to do so.
  • Ginger is a carminative (prevents or reduces flatulence)
  • NASA found it would counter the nausea of space-sickness.
  • Pets: For carsickness: Try giving a few drops of ginger root extract prior to the trip to settle his tummy. If it is a long trip, you may want to administer the ginger again halfway through the trip.

v  Alleviates symptoms of gastrointestinal distress: bowl disorders, indigestion, stimulates digestive activity, eases pain from gas and diarrhea, settles the stomach, stomach aches, treats cramping that accompanies constipation, improves the function of the muscles in the gut, ginger root extract (gingerol) inhibits the growth of Helicobacter pylori in the digestive tract, which is a bacterium linked to stomach cancer.

  • Digestion: Fresh ginger is used to help break down high-protein foods such as meats and beans and lessen the effect of uric acids in the body from eating these foods. Dried ginger feeds the properties of foods and herbs to the lower extremities such as the colon, kidneys, ovaries, sexual organs, and legs.
  • Ginger also can settle stomach upset caused by food allergies. Ginger inhibits the production of immune-system components called cytokines, chemicals that create a long-term tendency toward inflammation.
  • Try some ginger ale to sooth the stomach. It’s best to drink flat ginger ale at room temperature (cold beverages will irritate an upset stomach). Take tiny sips, especially if you have already vomited. If you can keep that down, sip a bit more. If you’re out of ginger ale, you can try making a cup of ginger tea (with grated gingerroot). Some people even find relief by nibbling on a gingersnap.

v  Ginger tea is useful as a supplement in treating schistosomiasis, a parasitic disease increasingly prevalent among tourists returning to the United States

v  Ginger helps the body to sweat, so toxins are drawn to the skin’s surface.

  • To prepare the ginger bath, place half-inch slices of fresh ginger in boiling water over a stove; turn off the heat, and steep for thirty minutes. Remove the ginger, and add that water into a tub already filled with hot water.

v  Fever

v  Stimulates saliva flow

v  Hot flashes

v  Helps lower cholesterol

v  Depression treatment

v  Helpful for a pale complexion

v  Weak pulse

v  Warms the body: useful for cold hands, chills; especially warming for the guts

v  Bronchial infections: bronchitis, colds (cayenne is also a useful remedy), coughs, congestion, pleurisy, flu

  • Ginger tea is a good herbal tonic for influenza because of its soothing qualities and its antiviral abilities. To make fresh ginger tea, cut a one-inch slice of fresh ginger root into small slivers. Place the ginger in a pot and simmer at a near boil for about 15 minutes, then strain into a cup. Add a little honey to taste.

v  Laryngitis and sore throats

v  Chilblains, anti-ulcer activity, relieves peptic ulcers

v  Improves the liver function

v  Has beneficial effects on the heart

v  In China, ginger has been put to the novel use of helping to turn breech babies by giving the mother ginger teas before delivery.

v  Ginger supplementation helped to modulate immune activity in a beneficial direction, suggesting usefulness in control of chronic inflammation and autoimmune diseases.

CAUTION:

* Can cause stomach distress if taken in large quantities: Fresh ginger contains compounds called shogaoles, which can cause stomach irritation in some people.

* Ginger’s only side effect is occasional minor heartburn.

* Avoid if you are pregnant! Ginger is said to be safe but may not be.

* It works well for pets and children.

* It is possible that too much ginger can give you acne. It is a warming food and with too much heat, it may produce heat on the face, which would give acne. But you would have to eat a lot of it.

Ginger medicine

The rhizome is used fresh, dried, pickled and preserved.

*Chewing fresh ginger is more effective than ginger tea.

  • If you take ginger for medicinal purposes, the powder form is the best because of its high concentration of nutrients. Take 4 grams (about 1 teaspoon) of powder divided in two to four doses over the course of the day.
  • Ginger oil can be used in a vapouriser to stimulate the senses or infused with a carrier oil and used as a rub.
    • For an Upset Stomach

The oils to use are peppermint, ginger or cardamom.

Mix 10 drops of essential oil in 1 tablespoon carrier oil.

Massage stomach area.

  • Ginger can be grated into foods to add flavour as well as being beneficial to the body.
  • Ginger ale: 1/2 tsp Ginger powder mixed in glass of water, sip
  • Dried ginger in capsules or in juice is taken to avoid carsickness and seasickness. Use about one half teaspoon of the powder.
  • A ginger compress can soothe carpel tunnel syndrome.
  • For headache relief: make a paste of ground ginger and water, apply to temple area.
  • For cough relief: mix 1/2 teaspoon of ground ginger with 1 teaspoon of honey.
  • Fresh ginger root relieves the sting of minor burns and can prevent and fight heartburn by absorbing stomach acid.
  • Ginger tea (especially good when sweetened with honey)

You can make a tea with powdered ginger, or use up to a tablespoon of fresh ginger per cup of water for a strong brew.

Volatile herbs such as ginger are easily extracted into water and therefore prepared as teas.

 

v  Remedies

  • Sore throat
  • Aids digestion
  • Sooths heartburn
  • Eases flatulence
  • Reduces fever
  • Helps colic, diarrhea and alcoholic gastritis
  • Fight motion sickness (or chew on a fresh piece), nausea

 

v  Recipe:

  • Cold & Flu Fighter : This spicy tea relieves swollen nasal passages and calms an upset stomach. Place an inch of the herbs in a quart jar. Fill with hot water and steep for two hours. Strain and refrigerate. Reheat whenever you need relief.

2         parts peppermint leaf

1         parts elder flower

1 part elder berry

1         part ginger root

  • For a sore throat:

Make a strong tea with freshly grated ginger (about 3 teaspoons per cup of boiling water), steep for about 5 minutes then stir in a spoonful of honey and sip.

  • Chest colds, flu, fever: (A bath or a foot-soak in hot ginger tea is also beneficial.)

Chop about two inches of the fresh root, cover with one cup of water, and simmer for about twenty minute, 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 and even more effective remedy for colds.

  • Nausea:

Brew a tea with 1/2 teaspoon ginger per cup of boiling water. Strain before drinking.

  • Cough Syrup

You will need:

large red onion – sliced

1/2 cup sliced fresh ginger root

8         ounces honey

4         cloves of garlic sliced

Layer in order given in glass baking dish – bake in the lowest oven temperature until done (mushy). Strain and bottle.

In a hurry? You can microwave it and use a simple white onion, but the above slow-cooking recipe is preferred to get all the goodies cooked through each other.

Makes 32 twelve-ounce glasses

(1 gallon concentrate)

Aromatherapy

  • Arthritis, muscular aches and pains, rheumatism, cramp
  • Fatigue, nervous exhaustion
  • Nausea, travel sickness, loss of appetite
  • Catarrh, sinusitis
  • Sprains, strains
  • Colic, flatulence, indigestion, diarrhea
  • Poor circulation
  • Infectious disease, debility
  • Congestion, coughs, colds, flu, fever, chills
  • Sore throat

 

–> Aphrodisiac, stimulating, warming, comforting, cephalic

Dragons

  • Dragons: Guardian, Fire, Earth, Mountains, Desert
  • Type of ritual: offertory, success, power.
    • The root can be placed on the altar and around the circle as an offering to the Earth Dragons.
    • Grow ginger roots to attract success; sprinkle the powder in your purse or wallet.
    • Burn to draw power.

 

Sources:

http://www.womansda y.com/Articles/ Health/11- Medicinal- Uses-for- Food.html? cid=yho

11 Medicinal Uses for Food by Annemarie Conte Posted August 21, 2009 from WomansDay.com

12 Simple Sore Throat Remedies

Magickal oil uses

Essential Oils Contain Healing Properties by Todd Mumford, citizen journalist

Herbs for every Sign! by Kim Rogers-Gallagher

Herbs for ridding of evil, hexes & curses

Herbs and their Magickal Properties-Very Long & Detailed List

Bewitched | July 6, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Tags: herbs, magickal, properties, roots, wild | Categories: Herbs | URL: http://wp.me/pYkp9-4F

Smudging Herbs

Herbs for Those with Stomach Aches, Ulcers, and Heartburn c. 2002 Susun S Weed

Be Your Own Herbal Expert – Part 1: an article by Susun S. Weed

23 Home Remedies From The Spice Rack…

Herbal Remedies for Memory Improvement by Pete Sharpe

Healing Herbs: The 15 Most Powerful Healing Herbs in Your Kitchen by John Elliott aka Oaky Wood

The 55 Best Herbal Remedies by Michael Castleman, Natural Health

Using Herbs Simply and Safely: an article by Susun S. Weed

http://www.herbalre mediesinfo. com/pet-herbs. html

http://www.naturala rk.com/herbpet. Html

HERBAL REALM OF HEALING

Skye’s Realm 1999-2007

http://pages. prodigy.net/ groovyskye/ 2.html

(Dancing with Dragons, pgs.238-256 by D.J. Conway)

Ailments and their Herbal Remedies

Brenda Watson and Leonard Smith, The Detox Strategy: Vibrant Health in 5 Easy Steps

Nicola Reavley, The New Encyclopedia of Vitamins, Minerals, Supplements and Herbs

Andreas Moritz, Cancer Is Not A Disease – It’s A Survival Mechanism

Carol Turkington, The Hypericum Handbook: Nature’s Antidepressant

Phyllis A. Balch, CNC, Prescription for Herbal Healing: An Easy-to-Use A-Z Reference to Hundreds of Common Disorders and Their Herbal Remedies

Bradley J. Willcox, D. Craig Willcox, and Makoto Suzuki, The Okinawa Program: How the World’s Longest-Lived People Achieve Everlasting Health

Earl Mindell, R.Ph., Ph.D., Earl Mindell’s Supplement Bible: A Comprehensive Guide to Hundreds of NEW Natural Products that Will Help You Live Longer, Look Better, Stay Heathier, … and Much More!

Home Remedies for Arthritis

Home Remedies for Nausea

Book; Jude’s Herbal Home Remedies by Jude C. Williams, MH

Paul Pitchford, Healing with Whole Foods: Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition

Michael T. Murray, N.D., Joseph E. Pizzorno, N.D., Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine, Revised Second Edition

Gary Null, Get Healthy Now with Gary Null: A Complete Guide to Prevention,Treatment and Healthy Living

Barrie R Cassileth, Ph.D., The Alternative Medicine Handbook: The Complete Reference Guide to Alternative and Complementary Therapies

Freedom Press, Natural Cancer Cures: The Definitive Guide to Using Dietary Supplements to Fight and Prevent Cancer

http://www.care2. com/greenliving/ healing-herbs- medicinal- teas-for- colds-and- flu.html

Do-It-Yourself TEA Blends

http://www.tropicalpermaculture.com/growing-ginger.html

 

 

 

 

 

Week 3 – Nettle

(Stinging) nettle Urtica dioica

By Morgana Moonfire

 

The generic name comes from the Latin word “uro,” which means “I burn.” This is a dioecious plant, with male and female flowers growing on separate plants. The species name “dioica”, means “two households” in Greek: By late spring, some plants have clusters of tiny, green female flowers, hanging from the leaf axils in paired strands.

Associations: the element of fire, midsummer.

  • People have been using nettles for food, medicine, fiber and dyes since the Bronze Age.
  • Nettle, like mustard and holy thistle, is a sure indicator of a relatively rich soil.
  • Nettle is one of the nine sacred herbs of the Anglo Saxons.
  • The nettle in England was traditionally supposed to have been planted by the Roman legions of Julius Caesar. Unused to England’s miserable and freezing climate, they frequently found their limbs chilled or even numbed by the frost or sleet. As a remedy they plucked the nettles and then scourged their legs and arms with them.  After this they enjoyed the warmth of the inflammation.
    • Nettles’ long, fibrous stems were important in Europe for weaving, cloth-making, cordage, and even paper.
    • Native Americans used them for embroidery, fish nets and other crafts.
    • You can extract a yellow die from the roots.
    • Nettles have a bad reputation as an unpleasant-tasting survival food in some circles. That’s because people don’t know how to prepare them. They often boil them, which is awful. Nettle leaves are good simmered in soups 5-10 minutes.
      • Nettle tea is given to house plants to help them grow.
      • Legend has it that to hold nettle in one’s hand insures one against any fears of hallucinations.
      • Nettle is an annual or perennial herb.

 

Nettles usually appear in the same places year after year. Sometimes nettles grow near catnip, another similar-looking plant. Catnip and nettles are an excellent combination for herb tea.

Harvesting

  • Harvest before flowering. They may be bad for the kidneys after they flower. New nettles come up in the fall, and you can pick them before they’re killed by frost.
  • Collect them using work gloves, and wear a long-sleeved shirt. If you happen upon nettles when you have no gloves, put your hand inside a bag. The young leaves are the best part of the plant. They come off most easily if you strip them counter-intuitively, from the top down.

Storing

  • Clean and chop nettles wearing rubber gloves.
  • Steam them, freeze them, dry them, tincture them in alcohol.

* Once you’ve cooked them a little, the stingers are deactivated, and the plant becomes wonderfully edible.

Parts used: flowers, leaves, roots, seeds

Magickal uses

v  Exorcism, protection

  • Provides protections against demons and evil spells.
  • Nettle leaves provide good protection against psychic attacks and help remove negative energies.
  • For removing curses and hexes, mix with Jinx removing powder and sprinkle in each room and doorway.

v  Healing

v  Lust

Medicinal uses

 

Nettle is an aggressive plant with many properties and vital minerals that are essential in many disorders. It is a cleansing, detoxifying, astringent, diuretic, anti-inflammatory, nourishing and anti-allergenic herb. It is rich in sulfur and it contains manganese, silicon, iodine, potassium, sodium, calcium, magnesium and iron. It is a good source of vitamin C, B complex vitamins and it provides chlorophyll and easily absorbable amino acids. They’re ten percent protein, more than any other vegetable.

* Nettles are usually used along with other herbs that target the affected organs.

v  Anti-allergenic : hay fever and other allergic disorders

  • Use capsules of freeze-dried extract of stinging nettle instead of antihistamines to alleviate minor hay fever symptoms.
  • Make a tea out of nettles and chamomile for a hay fever remedy.

v  Sunburn

  • Bathe the sunburn with an infusion of stinging nettles, chamomile or calendula.

v  Pain reliever: good for back pain

v  As food, this tonic is good for rebuilding the system of chronically ill people.

v  Malabsorption syndrome

v  Nettle infusion is also recommended for weight loss, but you may shed more pounds of water than fat.

v  Nettle infusion is a safe, gentle diuretic, considered a restorative for the kidneys and bladder, and used for cystitis and nephritis.

v  As an expectorant, it’s recommended for asthma, mucus conditions of the lungs and chronic coughs.

v  Nettle tincture is also used for flu, colds, bronchitis and pneumonia.

v  Gout, arthritis

v  Prostate problems

  • German researchers are using nettle root extracts for prostate cancer.

v  Blood purifier, treats poor circulation

v  Good for anaemia

v  Diarrhea and dysentery, worms, intestinal disorders

v  Russian scientists are experimenting with nettle leaf tincture for hepatitis and gall bladder inflammation.

v  Joint injuries: Use the fresh plant to sting the area over the injury.  This use, called urtication, was once traditionally used to address injuries resulting in impaired nerve function, loss of sensation and paralysis.  It may also be used to address inflammation in joints; it is specifically useful in tendonitis and other repetitive stress injuries (and has been used effectively in various forms of arthritis as well). Probably, it works by calling blood to the area affected.  Because the sting can be uncomfortable, people have shunned this use, but the long term benefits greatly outweigh the short term discomfort.

v  Nettle can be used as a general hair tonic/oil for all colours

v  Benefits after a caesarean: helps replace blood loss

v  Stimulates breast milk production

v  Glandular diseases

v  Enlarged spleen

v  Hemorrhoids

v  Nettle tea compress or finely powdered dried nettles are also good for wounds, cuts, stings, and burns. The infusion was also used internally to stop excessive menstruation, bleeding from hemorrhages, bloody coughs, nose bleeds and bloody urine. It helps blood clot, but major bleeding is dangerous and indicative of a serious underlying condition.

***Consult a competent practitioner in such cases. Use for minor cuts.

v  Colon disorders

v  Skin problems: itchy skin, scalp problems, eczema, boils and carbuncles (poultice)

  • Herbalists have long prescribed it as a specific for both childhood eczema and nervous eczema.
  • A deep cleanser, nettle is very good for oily skin
  • Soothing and healing for irritated or inflamed skin, good for treating inflamed skin rashes

Pets: ulcers

  • If your pet is suffering from ulcers, give him two drops each of calendula, comfrey, knotgrass and nettle twice per day. Couple this with a bland, easy to digest diet until the ulcer has healed.

 

Nettle medicine

*** Nettles sting you because the hairs are filled with formic acid, histamine, acetylcholine, serotonin (5-hydroxytryptamine) plus unknown compounds. Some of these substances are destroyed by cooking, steeping or drying, but not by freeze-drying or juicing. However, you can purchase freeze-dried nettles in capsules for hay-fever.

Nettle tea: Nettle tea is a superb detoxifying, cleansing tonic for the whole body, and is particularly beneficial to the liver and kidneys. It can help sooth eczema and irritated or inflamed rashes and skin conditions. Nettle tea is also a valuable remedy for anaemia caused by heavy menstrual bleeding. It is one of the most nourishing drinks. Eating nettles or drinking the tea makes your hair brighter, thicker and shinier and it makes your skin clearer and healthier, it is good in facial steams and rinses.

  • *Some people find nettle tea rather bland in flavour, but nothing a dash of honey or lemon cannot solve, or try blending it with a more aromatic herb such as Lemon Balm.

 

Allergy Season Blend:

Cool minty, citrus flavour to assist you with the discomfort associated with the allergy season.

1 part nettle

1 part peppermint

1 part spearmint

1 part yerba santa

1 part eyebright

1 part lemongrass leaves

1 part calendula

1 part red clover

1 part lavender flowers

1 part fennel seeds

A  pinch of stevia

Place all herbs in a tea ball or bag, put in a cup and cover with boiling water. Steep for 10 minutes.

Remove the tea ball or bag and add sugar, honey, sweetener, milk or cream to taste.

Nettle Leaf Tea For Allergies (Wysti’s notes)

1 Teaspoon Dried Nettle Leaf

8 ounces boiling water

Steep the nettles for 2-5 minutes. You can also use fresh nettles to make this

herbal tea.

Or

If you are using fresh nettle, here is an alternative recipe:

4 oz fresh nettle leaves

 12 oz of boiling water

Steep the stinging nettle for about 3-5 minutes.

You can sweeten the nettle leaf tea if you have a sweet tooth.

  • Use nettle to make an herbal vinegar that can reverse and counter osteoporosis. Dose is 2-4 tablespoons daily.
    • Nettle & Lemon Balm: A detoxifying, cleansing, tonic brew, the Lemon Balm is soothing on the stomach and uplifting for your emotions. I.e ideal to throw off winter’s shadow.

 

Sources:

Be Your Own Herbal Expert – Part 1 – an article by Susun S. Weed

Some Herbal Correspondences – Wysti’s Notes

The Healing Power Of Herbs by May Bethel.

Herbs and their Magickal Properties-Very Long & Detailed List

Bewitched | July 6, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Tags: herbs, magickal, properties, roots, wild | Categories: Herbs | URL: http://wp.me/pYkp9-4F

The Magick Pantry – Nettle

Midsummer Correspondences from ‘The Sabbats” by Edain McCoy

ELEMENTAL CORRESPONDENCES – Wysti’s Notes

Homemade Herbal Oils by Gillie Whitewolf

Some Herbal Correspondences – Wysti’s Notes

Herbal Preparations by Gillie Whitewolf

Herbal Teas by Gillie Whitewolf

Herbal Remedies Solutions – Herbal Tea Remedies

Niche Website

The Healing Power Of Herbs by May Bethel.

http://www.herbalre mediesinfo. com/pet-herbs. html

http://www.naturala rk.com/herbpet. Html

How to Harvest, Dry, and Store Herbs

HERBOLOGY by Bruce Burnett, Chartered Herbalist.

http://EzineArticle s.com/?expert= Khal_Nuwar

http://www.herbcraft. org

http://www.cure- back-pain. org/herbs- for-back- pain.html

Homemade Herbal Oils by Deborah Dragon

Sunburn Help – Farmer’s Almanac

Nettle Leaf Tea For Allergies – Wysti’s Notes

HERBAL REALM OF HEALING

Skye’s Realm 1999-2007

http://pages. prodigy.net/ groovyskye/ 2.html

Ailments and their Herbal Remedies

http://www.wildmanstevebrill.com/Plants.Folder/Nettle.html

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Week 2 – Valerian (root)

Valerian (Root) (Valeriana officinalis)

 

Associations: Virgo, Aquarius, Saturn, Mercury, the element of water and the symbolic meaning is readiness.

  • Valerian root is possibly one of the most pungent herbs in use as it contains valeric acid, which is present in human perspiration
  • It is famous for being the plant that Valium was derived from.
  • Some cats love it more than catnip: they are attracted to a chemical in valerian which has an effect on their nervous system. They find valerian irresistible and will roll in the plant if the leaves have been disturbed or bruised, releasing the scent.
  • Rats are attracted to valerian in the same way, so much so, that valerian is used by rat catchers to lure their prey into the rat trap!!
  • Valerian has had a long tradition as a sleep-inducing agent, with the added benefit of producing no hangover feeling the next day and of not being addictive.
  • Composted leaves are rich in minerals.
  • Valerian is an easy to grow plant but requires fertile, weed-free soil. It can grow almost anywhere from damp areas to rocky high ground.
  • Valerian is a perennial herb and is native to North America, Europe and Asia.

 

Planting

It is difficult to germinate valerian from seed but you can divide the roots and successfully plant.

*The herb will self-sow with little attention: the flowers will shoot aerial roots that will create new plants when rooted in soil.

* When growing valerian for the use of its roots and rhizome (the section of the stem just above the surface of the ground), you should remove the flowering stems as soon as they appear. This will encourage the roots of the valerian to grow and thicken.

* Young valerian plants will probably not flower for the first couple of years but they will still produce dense foliage and give a good sized rhizome and root in the autumn.

* Cut flower stalks as soon as they appear to direct more energy to the root.

Outdoors

Sow at the start of spring and lightly cover the seeds.

*The spacing that you sow at depends on the species of Valeriana, sow small ones from 15cm to 30cm apart and larger species from 45cm to 60cm apart.

Ideally valerian should grow in a sunny or partially shaded part of the garden that has a moist rich soil. Keep the herb well-watered.

Propagating valerian: divide in spring or autumn.

Indoors

Start about three months in advance.

The germination time of valerian is about 3 weeks when done at a germination temperature of 20 to 23 degrees centigrade. Transplant the young valerian seedlings into the garden following the last frost.

Harvesting

  • Harvest in the spring or fall.

 

Storing

Wash the roots, and then quickly dry at 120 degrees in the oven until brittle.  Watch this closely so you don’t burn the roots.  When stored in an airtight container, the roots will keep indefinitely.

Parts used: root

Magickal uses

v  Purification

  • Use in spells for purification.

v  Protection

  • Use in protection spells.

v  Prosperity

  • Use in spells for money and riches and creative work.

v  Love

  • A sprig of the plant pinned to a woman’s clothing will cause men to ‘follow her like children’.
  • Use in love spells.
  • Valerian Root is added to love sachets. E.g To attract a man: Blend equal parts of dried lavender, bachelor’s-buttons and clary sage, then add a pinch of valerian and a sassafras leaf. Put it into a sachet and carry it with you wherever you go.

v  Harmony

  • Use in spells for harmony, peace and happiness
  • Sprinkle about to bring peace and end strife

v  Sleep

  • Put in pillows to promote deep rest.

 

Medicinal uses

* Valerian is a stimulating/sedative and volatile herb.

v  Valerian is a digestive and intestinal relaxant, along with chamomile.

v  Epilepsy

v  Improves circulation

v  Reduces mucus from colds

v  Asthma

v  To soothe nerves

v  Weeks of insomnia associated with anxiety, deep rest, fatigue

v  Tranquilizer (unskinned root): good for anxiety, nervousness, stress

v  Pain, menstrual cramps, spasms, headaches

v  Ulcers, wounds, eczema

v  Irritable bowel syndrome

v  High blood pressure

v  Anti-inflammatory: good for back pain

v  Laboratory tests show anti-tumor activity.

CAUTION:

* Do not take large doses or continuously.

* Valerian may cause over-sedation: it can cause drowsiness and prolonged use may disrupt deep sleep which can lead to tiredness, even after a full night’s sleep.

*In some people it may even have the unexpected effect of over-stimulating instead of sedating.

* Valerian root should not be combined with sleep-inducing medicines.

Valerian tea

Volatile herbs such as valerian are easily extracted into water and therefore prepared as teas.

v  Drink to sooth nerves

v  An excellent remedy for insomnia

v  To relieve nervous irritability

v  For tension headaches

v  Menopausal problems

v  To relieve bronchial spasms and smoker’s cough.

  • Anti-anxiety tea:

Add two teaspoons of valerian root to one cup of boiling water. As it steeps, chant:

Nervous anxiety, you are dead.

Roots and water, soothe my head.

Bring to me your calming peace

As I will so mote it be!

  • Headaches Tea

1 2/3 oz dried St John’s Wort

1 oz Valerian

1 oz Linden flowers

1/4 oz Juniper berries

Use 1 tsp of mixture per 1 cup boiling water. Steep 10 minutes & strain.

  • Sleep Tea Recipe

2 tbls. Hops

1 tsp. Lavender

1 tsp. Rosemary

1 tsp. Thyme

1 tsp. Mugwort

1 tsp. Sage

1 Pinch of Valerian Root

Take a teaspoon of the mixture and pour into 1 cup of hot water. Let sit

for 3 minutes then strain. Store the unused portion.

*Suggestion: to cut the pungent taste that some people find unpleasant, blend this herb with other relaxing herbs such as passion flower, limeflower, chamomile, or lemon balm and a good teaspoon or two of honey.

Aromatherapy (Clary sage: Salvia sclarea)

  • Insomnia, nervous indigestion, restlessness, tension states
  • Migraine

è Sedative, mildly hypnotic, depressant of the central nervous system, grounding, soothing, regulator

Gana Moonfire

Sources:

Herbs for back pain

Natural Herbs for Depression

http://www.ehow. com/how_2088648_ treat-depression -herbs.html

http://www.herbal- supplement- resource. com/herbs- for-depression. html

http://healing- mind-and- body.com/ Remedies- Herbs-Depression .html

Leslie Ravenwing

BellaOnline’s Wicca Editor

Making and Using Dreampillows

Herbal Remedies Solutions – Herbal Tea Remedies

Niche Website

Herbal remedies for migraine

ZODIAC HERBS

Herbal Pharmacy

Water Based Preparations by Susun Weed

Old English names for herbs

http://www.magdalin .com/herbs/

Herbs and their Magickal Properties-Very Long & Detailed List

Bewitched | July 6, 2010 at 2:17 pm | Tags: herbs, magickal, properties, roots, wild | Categories: Herbs | URL: http://wp.me/pYkp9-4F

http://www.assatash akur.org/ forum/showthread .php?t=23376

http://www.fortunecity. com/ skyscraper/tcpip/ 1520/aromatherapy. Htm

The Healing Power Of Herbs by May Bethel.

Herbal Remedies for Sleeping Disorders

Herbs for ridding of evil, hexes & curses

http://www.freewebs .com/magicalpath /herbalteaplants .htm

How to Harvest, Dry, and Store Herbs

SOURCE: “Harvesting and Drying Herbs”

by James C Schmidt and Dianne Noland

Symbolic Meanings of Herbs, Flowers and Trees

http://www.umm. edu/altmed/ articles/ herbal-medicine- 000351.htm

http://en.wikipedia .org/wiki/ Herbalism

The 55 Best Herbal Remedies by Michael Castleman, Natural Health

http://www.essential-herb-garden.com/valerian.htm

http://www.plant-biology.com/Valeriana-Valerian.php

http://www.gardensablaze.com/HerbValerian.htm

 

Week 1 – Basil

This was the first herb I researched and unfortunately forgot to record the sources. I apologize and again – no copyright infringement intended.

I research these herbs for personal use and not for any commercial benefits.

Basil (Oncimum Basilicum)

Basileus: Greek for ‘king’. Therefore basil is sometimes called ‘The king of herbs’.

Associations: Mars (Tuesday), Jupiter, the element of fire

  • Many varieties of basil exist. It is an annual, meaning that it cannot tolerate frost and it doesn’t like windy spots. It should be kept in a sheltered area near a wall or fence and it needs to be planted in well-drained, warm soil. Basil prefers full sun but will grow in light shade. (A layer of mulch helps to reduce the moisture loss of the soil).
  • If providing consistent moisture is a problem, find a spot with afternoon shade. Avoid watering late in the afternoon or evening.
  • Basil is a fast grower.
  • It is vulnerable to slugs, whitefly and red spider mites.

Planting

Outside: Plant the seeds outside 1 to 2 weeks AFTER the last frost of the season, when the soil has warmed up. Plant successively every 2 or 3 weeks and you will have a fresh supply all summer long.

*Plant seedlings 8 inches apart.

*Keep the seedbed moist during germination and well watered throughout the growing season.

*Don’t rush spring planting.

Indoors: Start seeds 6 to 8 weeks before transplanting outside (more or less 6 weeks before the last spring frost date). Once all frost danger has passed, you can transplant into the garden. Starting a fall crop will keep you in fresh basil all year round.

*Provide well-drained soil and afternoon sun.

à Prune often to avoid flower formation or pinch off flowers as they start to bloom. This way the flavour is maintained. To encourage branching on young seedlings: cut back the stems just above the first set of leaves when plants have developed 3 pairs of leaves. When a stem has developed 4 pairs of leaves, cut each stem down to just above the first set.

à Continue cutting plants back throughout the summer.

Harvesting

Begin harvesting when the plants are 8 inches tall, before they bloom. Or: the tops should be harvested before the flowers completely open.

Harvest from the main stems to improve bushiness.

Harvest when the leaves are young and tender.

*Harvest the leaves regularly during the growing season.

Storing

*Basil doesn’t dry well, but don’t use a dehydrator as consequently the colour and flavour may be lost. This also counts for parsley.

  • Dry by hanging them upside down in a dry area. Crumble the leaves and place them in an airtight container to use all year.
  • Freezing (tastes better):
    • Rub olive oil on the leaves and place them in ice cube trays or bags. Or: freeze them raw in oil.
    • Blanch them and freeze them in ice cube trays.

Parts used: leaves, flower tops, stem

Magickal uses

v  Love, handfasting, relationships, good wishes:

  • Use in love spells.
  • Sprinkle over your sleeping lover to assure fidelity.
  • Use in a ritual bath to bring new love in or to free yourself from an old love.
  • Mends lovers’ quarrels: Sprinkle around the bedroom to banish any negative emotions and bad feelings after a lovers’ spat.
  • The scent causes sympathy between 2 people and is worn to avoid major clashes.
  • Sprinkle the powder over the area of your heart to promote fidelity

v  Wealth and success:

  • Use in prosperity spells.
  • Carry to attract wealth.

v  House blessings, protection, purification, exorcism:

  • Burn basil to exorcise negativity from the home. To do a really thorough cleansing and protection of yourself and your home, also sprinkle a little basil in each corner of each room in the house. Work in a clockwise direction. (Basil on the ground offers protection).
  • Brings good luck to a new home.
  • Brings happiness to the home.
  • Will protect you in crowds.
  • Add to your bathwater for a purification or ritual bath.

v  Funerals

v  Clairvoyance, divination, psychic development

v  Commanding, discipline

v  Harmony, honesty, integration

Medicinal uses

v  Herbal carminative: anti-gas, soothes stomach upsets (digestion, stomach cramps, vomiting, constipation) and menstrual cramps due to a compound called eugenol which helps to ease muscle spasms.

v  Reduces fever, colds, the flu: It is a warming herb. Inhaling the essential oil refreshes the mind and stimulates a sense of smell dulled by viral infection.

v  Headaches

v  Anxiety, hair loss

v  Reputedly abortive.

Steep 2 teaspoons per cup of water for 20 minutes. Take up to a cup and a half per day.

*Preliminary research: Components found in basil may disrupt the chain of events that can lead to the development of cancer.

Aromatherapy

  • Bronchitis, colds, coughs
  • Insect bites, insect repellent (or: crush the leaves)
  • Fatigue, insomnia
  • Loss of concentration, anxiety, depression
  • Migraine, aches and pains
  • Infections, disease

è Basil oil is fortifying, uplifting, warming and purifying

Faeries

The faerie spirit of basil takes the form of an elf. It holds knowledge of integrating sexually and spirituality.

It helps to awaken greater discipline and devotion.

Dragons

They usually dwell in the same environment where basil grows.

They serve as protectors.

They are drawn whenever basil is burned as incense.

52 herbs in 52 weeks challenge!

Originally Veganwitch’s idea, I decided to follow her posts and take up the challenge with her. The idea is to study one herb a week and collect information about this herb.

It seems however that Veganwitch wasn’t able to complete the challenge, but I am determined to see it through!

CAUTION! The information I will post here is taken from files that I have stored on my laptop. I will try to post my sources whenever possible and give credit where it is due, although this may not always be possible. In any case, NO copyright infringement is intended! Also take heed that I have not yet experimented myself with the uses of the herbs I’ll be discussing. It is therefore unwise to depend solely on herbs as alternative medicine, especially without medical advice! In addition, keep in mind that you may have allergies you are not aware about.

Any comments concerning false or additional information are appreciated. I’m a novice and this challenge mainly consists in compiling information of which I have no certainty at all that the information is correct!

Having said all that, I hope you will find my posts useful and again: any comments, feedback, suggestions or corrections as well as personal experiences and recipes are more than welcome!

Brightest of blessings!

Gana a.k.a Funky Chicken

Copyright notice

All entered text is ©2010 of the author, unless otherwise stated.

In order to reproduce any material, permission needs to granted by the author, either Morgana Moonfire or Archangel Amitiel.

Dark Moon Circle

As a sister of the DMC, Morgana aka Funky Chicken would like to honour this wonderfully supportive circle of sisters who never hesitate to offer guidance and share their wisdom.