Herb Spotlight: Orange the Not So Herby Herb

Herb Spotlight

I got some orange essential oil to start using in a moisturizer since it is a good choice for oily skin, now I’m also making an awesome DIY beauty recipe for chamomile face wash with the oil. As I make more recipes with the extract from the citrus fruit I’m curious, what are the medicinal benefits? We all grew up with the big vibrant fruits in our fruit bowl or on the counter, it’s such a familiar plant yet I know so little about it aside from it’s Vitamin C content. There are tons of things that oranges can help and it isn’t just the fruit that’s beneficial.

Breakdown of Sweet Orange

Scientific Name: Citrus sinesis

Magickal Stats: Elementally Air, Ruled by the Sun

Improves Function Of: 

  • Digestive system
  • Respiratory system
  • Immune system

Aides in Relieving Symptoms Of:

  • Cold & Flu
  • Wrinkles & Poor Skin Texture

Assists Spiritually With:

  • Bring well being, confidence and happiness
  • Harness focus on vitality & success
  • Add the energy & vitality of the Sun

How Does it Work? The real nutrition in this fruit comes out through the peel. The fruit and peel are rich in Vitamin A and C as well as pectin, fiber and enzymes. The vitamins are what give the boost to the immune system and the fiber helps the stomach release gasses. Each orange is jam packed with different vitamins and benefits and almost all of the parts are useable.

What Do I Do With It? The leaves, essential oils, skin and fruit are all beneficial to our system separately and together. I think that we’re all pretty aware of how to use the fruits of oranges, but I’d like to say that you shouldn’t be scared to incorporate it in savory dishes as well as sweet! Make beauty products, use for aromatherapy or make cleaning supplies with the essential oil. Sachets can be made for potpourri, drinks or spiritual effects and work even more complexly combined with other herbs and flowers.

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Herb Spotlight: Lemon Grass for Digestive Health

Herb Spotlight

There are some delicious Thai dishes that feature lemon grass and I’m pretty sure that I’ve had tea that starred the herb as well. But I’ll be frank, I hadn’t worked much with the herb before researching this post. Turns out that this herb is almost as beneficial for the human body as turmeric is! There are countless vitamins, minerals and antioxidants packed into this little plant to make it more than worthwhile to add into the weekly or even monthly regimen.

Breakdown of Lemon Grass:

Scientific Name: Cymbopogon citratus [aka: sweet root]

Magickal Stats: Elementally air, ruled by Mercury

Improves Function Of: 

  • Digestive System
  • Sebaceous Glands
  • Detoxification
  • Immune System
  • Nervous System

Aides in Relieving Symptoms of:

  • Headache & Muscle Pain
  • Stomachache, digestive spasms & abdominal pain
  • High cholesterol
  • Nervousness, vertigo & convulsions

Assists Spiritually With:

  • Purify energy & thoughts
  • Discovering the truth
  • Aides the memory
  • Access creativity & study habits

How Does It Work? There are countless healing properties in the makeup of Lemon Grass. First off it contains terpenes nerol, citronellol, myrcene, dipentene, geraniol and methyl heptenone which make it anti fungal, anti septic and an insecticide. It also contains valuable antioxidants, phenolic compounds and flavonoids that donate the countless benefits of lemon grass. Also, this herb contains Vitamin A-C along with folates for added health benefits. Lastly there are a lot of minerals in the herb including but not limited to magnesium, calcium, potassium, copper, zinc and iron. With all of these beneficial ingredients in the makeup, lemon grass is surely worth a second look for a cup of tea or an aromatherapy tool.

What Do I Do With It? Many beauty products are made with lemon grass because it can regulate the sebaceous glands to make hair and skin lustrous. Manufacture a water or vinegar wash for the body, face or hair to balance oils and wash away free radicals. Inhale the essential oil for muscle relieving and uplifting effects. Make a tea or add lemon grass to a rice or noodle dish to truly eat your medicine. Similarly, you can make an oil or alcohol decoction to use as a daily dropper supplement.

Herb Spotlight: Mullein for Respiratory Health

Herb Spotlight

The reason that I made a point to study Mullein this month is because I see it at every apothecary that I’ve been to but for some reason I have no idea what to do with it or why I would want to. When I came to find that they were beautiful little droplets of yellow I became extra excited. The distinctive plant grows a tiny yellow flower atop a large spoke leave. The leaves can be used as diapers, food wrappers, insoles for shoes and even toilet paper. When dried, the leaves become harsh to the touch which is why it’s referred to as Quaker rouge. Quaker girls would rub it on their cheeks to give them a nice blushed rouge with out any makeup. The plant is often found on the roadside and grows well in poor soil and weather circumstances.

Breakdown of Mullein

Scientific Name: Verbasum thapus [aka: Aaron’s Rod, Velvet Back, Quaker Rouge]HBC-AS09-mullein5-DC.jpg

Magickal Stats: Elementally Water, Ruled by Saturn and Pluto

Improves Function Of:  

  • Respiratory System
  • Urinary Tract
  • Lymphatic System

Aides in Relieving Symptoms Of:

  • Cystitis & burning urine
  • Dry throat, cough, hoarseness
  • Mumps and lymphatic swelling
  • Ear ache and nerve pain

Assists Spiritually With:

  • Protect from nightmares
  • Safety while traveling
  • Protect the home
  • Instilling courage

How Does It Work? There have been studies showing mullein to help with healing symptoms of herpes & influenza, which donates to both the anti-inflammation and antiseptic qualities of the plant. Other studies are lacking on the plant but since ancient times this herb has been used for both trivial and healing aspects of daily life. The astringent qualities help to relieve common and more troubling skin ailments through the use of a poultice. Being an herb of the sun, Mullein is known to promote confidence, courage and positivity while casting out the negative.

What Do I Do With It? Using mullein can be split into 3 categories. The leaves, oil in the flower and both together can be made into different healing decoctions and poultices. Oil that makes up the flower can aide with ear aches and infections. It will also help with nerve pain and skin issues like hemorrhoids, herpes and gout. Creating a tea or decoction will relieve symptoms of lymphatic and respiratory issues. Lastly, creating poultices from the herb will help with cramps, back aches, mumps, swollen glands and bronchitis. Amulets made with the herb can promote protection and courage throughout daily life. An amulet made with Mullein can also help to protect from nightmares and those who may visit in one’s sleep. Put the herb above the door to your home to protect the space from all negative energy.

As always, please ask your doctor before using this herb if you are on any other medications, pregnant or breastfeeding.

Herb Spotlight: Coriander for Lower Cholesterol

Herb Spotlight

I became immediately intrigued by this spice when I realized that it is just cilantro masquerading with a different name; they are one in the same. After watching the Great British Baking Challenge I noticed that quite a few bakers messed around with coriander in biscuits or buns. I was really curious what else there was to this little herb that I hadn’t found out yet. In reading my books that I generally turn to for herbal work, all that came up was that coriander helps with mercury poisoning. This is when I turned to the internet. I found out that coriander has massive benefits including lowering cholesterol, relieving inflammation and even helping aide the symptoms of anemia. Making your food your medicine seems to start with coriander.

Breakdown of Coriander

Scientific Name: Coriandrum sativum [aka: cilantro, chinese parsley, dhania]

Magickal Stats: Elementally Fire, Ruled by Mars

Improves Function Of:

  • Removing heavy metals from the bodyCoriandrum_sativum_-_Köhler–s_Medizinal-Pflanzen-193
  • Digestive System
  • Anti-Inflammatory
  • Immune System

Aides in Relieving Symptoms Of:

  • Mercury poisoning
  • Inflammation
  • Abdominal Cramps
  • High Cholesterol & Diabetes
  • Anaemia

Assists Spiritually With:

  • Fine Tune Focus
  • Fertility, Virility & Sexuality

How Does It Work? 

This herb contains so many valuable benefits just from using it in dinner, it contains vitamins, minerals and dietary fiber just to name a few. Coriander also has a high level of beta-carotene and beta-cryptoxanthin along with some other anti-oxidant rich dietary carotenoids. This creates the anti-oxidant, anti-septic and anti-inflammation relief that comes from regularly eating coriander. There has also been research that cooking meat with coriander can help reduce the cancer causing side-effects of eating cooked animals. There are also good acids in the herb that help lower bad cholesterol levels and give your body good cholesterol. Large levels of Vitamin C and Iron can strengthen immune levels while also relieving pain. The plant is amazing for you and is also quite delicious, find the herb in countless Indian dishes and find it under it’s other name (Cilantro) so many delicious Mexican dishes.

What Do I Do With It? 

Mostly you would cook with it. The herb isn’t the best in teas but it really spices up any stew, meat dish or truly just anything. It is yummy. You can also take supplements or capsules but test them out when you can spend time at home if you’re worried about body odor related to the supplement.

My favorite dish that uses a good bit of coriander is kitchari, a traditional Indian stew that helps the guts become happy and regular. If you have a favorite dish that uses coriander leave it in the comments for me!

Herb Spotlight: Lobelia for Cough & Congestion

Herb Spotlight

The only reason that I know about this plant is from my efforts quitting cigarettes years ago, smoking the herb actually pulls gunk out of your lungs while helping stave off the urge for nicotine. It is often used in knicknick blends, Native Americans have been using the herb to treat asthma for years. The vomit sounding nicknames for the plant derive from it’s use in 19th century medicine to remove toxins by way of induce yaking.

WARNING: Lobelia is considered to be a toxic herb because of its lobeline affiliation. It is important to begin with lower dosages and increase the dosage over a period of time.It is also imperative that you never surpass a dosage of 20 mg per day. If you consume a dosage higher than 500 mg, it could be fatal.

Breakdown of Lobelia:

Scientific Name: Lobelia Inflata [aka: Asthma Weed, Pukeweed]

Magical Stats: Elementally Water, Ruled by Saturn

Improves Function of: 

  • Respiratory System

Aides in Relieving Symptoms of:

  • Asthma
  • Congestion & Whooping Cough
  • Bronchitis
  • Tobacco Withdrawal
  • Muscle Tension
  • Skin infections: ringworm, bruises, poison ivy and bites

Assists Spiritually With:

  • Health & Protection
  • Bring prophetic visions
  • Revealing omens
  • Draw & Deflect Storms

How Does It Work? The active ingredient in Lobelia is lobeline, which reacts to the body much like nicotine; hence the help with quitting tobacco. It can be used to clear out the lungs, throat and bronchial tubes. It is possible that lobeline reduces the effects of nicotine in the body in relation to the release of dopamine which can help inhibit the effects of addiction. Not a lot of research has been done on humans or animals, so this herb is best left to the professionals. Many herbalists will use it in combination with other herbs to treat respiratory issues, but if you are on any other medicine please consult your prescribing physician before adding this to your regimen in tincture or topical form.

What Do I Do With It? Lobelia is sold at stores in many forms: tincture, dry herbs, ointments, lotion and liquid extracts. The dried herb form can be made into a cup of tea or rolled into a paper to be smoked; again I’d like to reiterate that you should speak to a doctor before playing with this herb at home.

 

 

Herb Spotlight: Nettle for Allergies & Inflammation

Herb Spotlight

This is a really powerful herb, when used in both herbal medicine and ancient folklore. Did you know that it has been used, when picked in the night, to drive evil spirits from herds of cattle? I mention this because Cowboyfriend didn’t know that either but he chose nettle for me to research this week. After more research I discovered that nettle can relieve common symptoms of allergies, super necessary this windy time of year. Make a soup, have a cup of tea or use it topically; nettle can do it all. Just be aware of the sting.

Breakdown of Nettle

Scientific Name: Urtica dioica [aka: Stinging Nettle, Stingweed]Nettle

Magickal Stats: Elementally Fire, Ruled by Mars

Improves Function Of:

  • Circulatory System
  • Immune System
  • Sinuses
  • Urinary System

Aides in Relieving Symptoms of:

  • Inflammation & Ulcerations of the mucous membrane
  • Allergies; stinging, runny nose & eyes
  • Inflammation, eruptions & rashes of the skin; hives, eczema, psoriasis, chicken pox
  • Arthritis & gout
  • Profuse menstruation

Assists Spiritually With:

  • Protection from the negative
  • Confound enemies
  • Help the sick recover
  • Burn away vampiric & negative energies

How Does It Work? There are many healing aspects of nettle, it’s another cure all sort of herb that every herbie should have on their shelves. The high Vitamin C content makes it a valuable tonic to regeneration the nutrients in the body. A lot of chronic health problems are due to the constantly shrinking mineral content in the food found at the grocery store. This means that even those who are eating healthily will find they are still deficient in some minerals, nettle can help to balance those missing minerals and nutrients. The herb is also found to be heavy in iron and chlorophyll and the iron found in nettles is easier for the body to absorb than other forms.  This is what makes it an ideal blood tonic for those dealing with anemia. Nettles will stimulate the kidneys which also works to purify the blood of toxins and urates.

What Do I Do With It? First off, if you plan to drink or eat nettles know that they are called stinging nettles for a reason. When chewed or applied topically they will produce a stinging feeling that has been referred to as ‘syringes’. Just boil the herbs in hot water for at least 2 minutes to put the kabash on the stinging of the nettles. Make a topical solution to help with arthritis and painful joints, it will give you a rash for a minute but the benefits are worth it. Also, during Springtime, making nettle soup or tonic that can have an antihistamine effect that will help with allergies.

Herb Spotlight: Saint John’s Wort for Depression & More

Herb Spotlight

As a Sun child born of fire I’m not surprised how drawn to St. John’s wort that I was. From day 1 of my herbal studies I’ve known that this herb was important, after researching this post I know that is true. Extractions and oils have been made with these herbs have been used to balance the Solar Plexus chakra which is directly connected to the digestive and nervous systems. One of my most favorite things about this herbal anti-depressant is that it turns red when extracted. If you make an oil extraction the oil actually turns red as the plants finish their work. I’d recommend only working with this herb during the day, it’s truly a Sun plant and does it’s best work when treated as such.

Breakdown of Saint John’s Wort

Scientific Name: Hypericum Perforatum [aka: Goatweed, Tipton weed]

Magickal Stats: Elementally Fire, Ruled by the Sun

Improves Function Of: 

  • Neurotransmitters
  • Immune System
  • Digestive System

Aides In Relieving Symptoms of:

  • Anxiety, Depression & Nervous debility
  • Anorexia
  • Nerve pain & Inflammation
  • Injury or shock in spinal area; sciatica, multiple sclerosis & shingles

Assists Spiritually With:

  • Dispel and disperse negative energy of vampiric ghosts or spirits
  • Protect and Purify the home
  • Ward off illness

StJohnsWort_botanical-illustrationHow Does It Work? A perforation in the leaves of St. John’s Wort contain hypericum and other active compounds. Hypericum has been shown to work to inhibit monoamine oxidase (MNO) which contributes to depression. There are also some studies that show St. Johns Wort can help detoxify the liver and harmonize the relationship between the liver and the digestive system. The herb may also improve absorption of nutrients which will relieve issues with digestion by balancing levels of acid in the stomach. Lastly, it is antiviral and can be used both topically and internally for treating shingles as well as relieving pain and helping speed up the repair of tissues.

What Do I Do With It? Use the dried leaves to make an oil extraction. Leave the jar in the sunlight to extract, no need for putting it in the dark until after it’s been extracted. Taking the herb orally is the most recommended. There are also capsules and tinctures sold at stores with ground or otherwise manipulated St. John’s Wort. Applied topically the herb can help stimulate the regeneration of tissues on wounds or cuts as well as help to fight inflammation and nerve pain. For the former two instances it is recommended to combine both topical application and oral ingestion.

WARNING: IF YOU ARE TAKING ANTI-DEPRESSANTS PLEASE CONSULT WITH YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE TRYING ANY ST. JOHN’S WORT. Also if you are on any other medications it is always recommended that you speak with your doctor before taking herbal medicines.

Herb Spotlight: Mugwort

Herb Spotlight

I always thought mugwort to be one of the cooler sounding herb names, like something JK Rowling thought up. The name made me wonder what it could do, because I’m semi-obsessed with origins and how things get their names. After some research I’ve found that no one knows the exact derivation of the sweet name, but since it was used to make beer before Hops were discovered so perhaps it is in reference to the mugs that the libations were enjoyed from. It was also commonly used in cooking although nowadays it isn’t often found in the common American kitchen.

WARNING: If you are pregnant or breast feeding you must not come into contact with mugwort as it is used for inducing periods and stimulating the uterus.

Breakdown of Mugwort:

Scientific Name: Artemisia vulgaris [aka: artemisia, Saint Johns Plant]

Magickal Stats: Elementally water, ruled by the Moon and NeptuneArtemisia_vulgaris_-_Köhler–s_Medizinal-Pflanzen-016

Improves Function of: 

  • Digestive System; increases bile secretion and gastric juices

Aides in Relieving Symptoms of:

  • Depression: Low energy
  • Intestinal Issues: vomiting, cramps, diarrhea, weak digestion, colic
  • Insomnia
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Anxiety
  • Restlessness
  • Hypochondria

Assists Spiritually With:

  • Promote psychic energy
  • Aides in astral travel & lucid dreaming
  • Receive and Interpret psychic information
  • Cleansing and Charging divining tools

How Does It Work? In the stomach Mugwort can help to balance the acidity, fight travel sickness and even fight parasites in the guts. Evidence has suggested that topically mugwort can stimulate look circulation which helps to promote healing of skin ailments like bruises and even ringworm. It can also help to calm the nerves when ingested.

What Do I Do With It? Many people use mugwort in sweet smoke and knicknick, it can be rolled up with other herbs including cannabis to stimulate astral travel and lucid dreaming, relieve anxiety and calm restlessness to relieve insomnia. If you don’t smoke the same results can be achieved by simply chewing the root or putting a bunch underneath your pillow. Applying the lotion directly to the skin to relieve itchiness and burn scars. Lastly, the root is made into a drinkable tonic to boost energy and help lift the burden of chronic depression and the low energy that goes along with it.

Most commonly, Mugwort is used to enhance & promote lucid dreams. Before using the herbs as such please be sure to take a couple of steps. First, really ask yourself if you need sight into these dreams that your conscious mind is blocking. Our mind does this for a reason so be sure to pack your mental baggage and take a good look at yourself, maybe you’re not ready for truth and that’s OK. Next, ask the plant the question on your mind. It may sound silly but it really helps even if it is just a way for your own mind to comprehend the intention behind the action. Lastly, keep a journal next to your bed to record the dreams that may flow. In the next 3-7 days after using Mugwort for astral travel pay a lot of attention to everything that is going on around you, there may be messages that you’re missing.

WARNING: Mugwort may cause an allergic reaction in individuals who are allergicto the Asteraceae/Compositae plant family. Members of this family include ragweed, chrysanthemums, marigolds, daisies, and many other herbs.

Herb Spotlight: Turmeric as a Cure-All

Herb Spotlight

This is one of those magical roots that can literally do anything. I like to drink it before bed in a cup of golden milk tea to induce a heavy slumber. It also does great things for almost every other aspect of the body. It is often used in asian foods and is one of the main elements in giving curry it’s vibrant color. Fun facts, it’s super orange color will dye your cutting board and tupperware which is why it is actually used as a dye in India and Thailand. Buddhist monks traditionally dye their robes with a ground up powder from the bright, beautiful root plant.

Breakdown of Turmeric

Scientific Name: Curcuma longa

Magickal Stats: Elementally Water, Ruled by the Moon

Improves Function Of:

  • Menstrual Cycle Regularity
  • Platelet Aggregation Inhibitors
  • Cancer and Tumor Inhibitors
  • Cholesterol Reduction in liver and blood
  • Digestive System
  • Immune System
  • Liver Protectant & Kidney Cleansing

Aides in Relieving Symptoms of:

  • Arthritis
  • Cataracts
  • Slows the progression of neuro-degenerative diseases
  • Angina Pectoris
  • Muscle Pain, Headaches and Strain

Assists Spiritually With:

  • Increase fertility in humans and animals
  • Protection & Good Health

How Does It Work? The chemical that gives turmeric it’s color and healing properties is called curcumin. Curcumin has been shown to relieve inflammation in all areas of the body, which is why is helps to relieve pain and any other disease effected by inflammation. This antioxidant is joined by other powerful antioxidants to neutralize free radicals in the system for the other powerfully healthy effects that it may be capable of. When ingesting turmeric, black pepper should be included in the recipe to help your body absorb the Curcumin.

What Do I Do With It? The root plant is commonly ground into a fine powder that is then used to make decoctions for drinking, applying to the skin, enemas or mouthwashes. Check out the Golden Milk tea recipe and drink before bed for aiding insomnia, pain, inflammation and even ringworm. Mix turmeric with honey and sugar for a toxin purging exfoliating scrub. Add to toothpaste for a whitening effect and even put on the scalp with olive oil to fight dandruff the natural way.

Use turmeric to make an enema or mouthwash but be sure not to make this a long term plan for health. Try only once before consulting a doctor or dentist about the issue if symptoms persist.

 

Herb Spotlight: Calendula Flowers

Herb Spotlight

Calendula and marigold flowers are one in the same, but don’t confuse them with the ornamental marigolds found in gardens. Double check your herbs by the scientific name before making your healing products or other natural supplies with dried calendula flowers. I found out about this ingredient when I was dealing with bad acne because it helps heal inflamed skin. Now I’m working with it in beauty products mostly and also a massage oil for cowboyfriend’s aching hands. Also whenever I’m feeling like a graying version of myself, as if my inner light is dimming, I draw a bath with some Calendula flowers to charge up my auric field.

Breakdown of Calendula:

Scientific Name: Calendula officinalis [aka: marigold, summer’s bride]

Magickal Stats: Elementally Fire, Ruled by the Suncalendula-1405379

Aides in Relieving Symptoms of:

  • Cuts, Wounds, Burns and Ailments of the Skin
  • Inflammation; eyelid, rectum, varicose veins, nosebleeds & hemorrhoids
  • Menstrual Cramps

Assists Spiritually With:

  • Attract Success
  • Flourish in Optimism and Vitality
  • Protection; draw light and banish negativity

How Does It Work?

Calendula is mostly applied topically to work as an antibacterial and antiviral which is why it works great for supporting tissue growth and healing in cuts, burns, acne and other wounds. It also works as an anti-inflammatory to help with proctitis, conjunctivitis, herpes, insect stings and even black eyes.

What Do I Do With It?

A liquid extract of the dried flowers can be applied topically to the affected area to help with any inflamed or wounded skin. Also take drops of the liquid extract to induce menstruation and relieve menstrual cramps, promote skin healing and inflammation. Add to an incense to attract success specifically in legal matters. Sprinkle the dried flowers into a bath to draw health and vitality into the auric field.