Herb Spotlight: Hops for Insomnia

Herb Spotlight

The most common use of hops is in beer but it also has healing properties due to it’s relationship to cannabis and the terpenes it gives off. Hops are valuable and that is probably how beer became so coveted in modern society. Like cannabis we use the flower for healing.

Scientific Name: Humulus lupulus [aka: beer bud]

Magickal Stats: Elementally air, ruled by the moon

Parts Used: flowerhops--32-l.jpg

Improves Function Of:

  • Appetite & Digestion

Aides In Relieving Symptoms Of:

  • Nervous agitation, restlessness, anxiety & hysteria
  • Sleeplessness
  • Nervous stomach & irritable bladder
  • Wet Dreams, premature ejaculation
  • Decreases abnormally high male libido, priapism

Assists Spiritually With:

  • prophetic dreaming
  • ease the ill into tranquil sleep

How Does It Work?

One of the four oils found in hops is myrcene, a terpene that can help calm nervous anxiety and also relieve sleepless nights. It also has antibacterial properties that can be very effective when used topically.

What Do I Do With It?

The first thing that we can do is drink a beer. If you’re allergic to alcohol like I am you might prefer cannabis or a tincture. Find or make a topical balm or lotion for antibacterial healing. Put in an the sickroom  under a pillow to deliver ease in sleep for the ill. Also put in a satchet under the pillow to induce prophetic dreaming.

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Herb Spotlight: Cardamom for a Happy Belly

ayurveda, Herb Spotlight

Cardomom seeds add such a vibrant, deeply wooded flavor to stews and other dishes. It’s always a surprise when I’m struck with a big seed in my spoonful of kitchari but the flavor is kind of refreshing. Which is why I’m not surprised that in some Asian cultures chewing a cardamom seed is a remedy for bad breath. It also helps the gassy people get it all out, which is beneficial for everyone!

Scientific Name: Elettaria cardamomum Cardamom Illustration[aka: brown cardamom, Java cardamom, Bengal cardamom, Kravan, white cardamom, Siamese cardamom, and red cardamom]

Magickal Stats: Elementally air, ruled by Mars, Mercury & Uranus

Parts Used: Seeds, essential oil

Improves Function of:

  • Liver & Gallbladder
  • Digestive System

Aides in Relieving Symptoms of:

  • Flatulence & Colic
  • Nausea & Stomach Issues
  • Bad breath, tooth & mouth issues

Assists Spiritually With:

  • Promoting the combination of love, attraction and a union of equals
  • Enhance inspiration in a project

How Does It Work? 

Cardamom has a lot of antioxidants which makes it great for healing skin and bulking up the immune system. It also contains a volatile oil that aides in digestion and treats intestinal spasms and other stomach issues. This oil also helps to move blocked food through the intestines and digestive tract. I commonly use these seeds in kitchari, an Ayurvedic and Indian stew that helps regulate the digestive system.

What Do I Do With It? The seeds can be cooked or made into a tea just as long as the oil is extracted from them before taking orally. Essential oils can also be put into a bath for stress and depression relieving aromatherapy. Also simply chewing the seeds can remove bad odors from the mouth.

What’s In My Cup? Ultimate Sleepy Time Tea

Lifestyle, What's In My Cup?

While I use cannabis medicinally I don’t want to ever have a dependence on it, which is why tolerance breaks are important. When I’m beginning a tolerance break I have A LOT of trouble sleeping and it makes the whole experience a bit more unbearable. When this is the case I supplement the cannabis for some lightly medicated stem tea to give my mind and body that little kick it needs to get to sleep.  I tend to have just enough cannabis flavor and mellowing effects with out milk but those with a higher tolerance or more intense insomnia will want to add just a bit of fat to their cup to ensure that the body can soak up the THC.

SleepyStemTea

Simply Mix Together

10 cannabis stems [fresh or preserved in an airtight jar]

1 tsp dried chamomile flowers

1/2 tsp dried valerian

1/2 tsp dried skullcap

1 tsp dried kava root

Mix these herbs in a tea ball and place the ball into your most large, comforting mug. Pour 6-8 ounces of boiling water over the ball and let the herbs steep as long as you’d like, at the least 15 minutes. If you add milk to your tea add it after about 15 minutes so that it doesn’t curdle. As the tea steeps evoking aromas will wash over you. If troublesome thoughts arise spend a moment with them and then let them go. Snuggle up in bed with your mug and a novel, don’t choose a bedtime book that is an adventure or thriller to ensure relaxation in the mind.While sitting with your cup meditate on the mantra: Be Here Now. Shout out to Ram Dass ❤

As you lay down to sleep lay on your back with arms spread lightly to your sides. With each breath imagine a pocket of energy, first in your right shoulder, to your throat, to your left shoulder, to your upper left leg, to your upper right leg. Continue focusing on this little energy ball in a circle through these 5 points, this will bring wandering energy to your heart and relax the body in the process.

 

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.

Edification of My Divide Between Religion & Spirituality

Existentialism, Religion

Religion is weird, but spirituality is important. At least to me. My journey to religion has been a long one that started with defiance for the sake of fitting in with other rebellious teens. After life threw me through the ringer a bit and I ended up living with my parents after college, after being on my own for 7 years. I was disheartened to say the least and the last year or so before that time had sort of turned my soul into a battered piece of garbage. This is when I walked into a Christian church and started my investigation of Christianity, faith and God as he appears in the chapel. Those first months that fellowship with happy people delighted in their Lord rebuilt my spirit from the ground up. I am positive that if I never went to church and met those women, that my life would not be the way that it is today.

I’m writing this because at the moment I’m having a bit of a spiritual existential crisis.
And yes, all existential crises get a bit spiritual, but this one is based on the foundations of my religious life so I have deemed it as such. You see, I go to Christian church and I absolutely love the ability to share with others my faith in God; but I’m pretty sure I’m not a Christian and that has been making me realize that I don’t belong in the chapel even if it feels comfy sometimes. You see, I believe in all religion. I’m sure some of the crazy ones might all on the very outskirts of my theorizing but I’m pretty positive that all religions started as a divine thought from the true God & Goddess. In this thought a person was given a grand idea: GOD IS LOVE. After that, I believe that religions were shaped in relation to social, ecological, economical, etc. circumstances of the time period and region in which they were created. With this  and my deep studies of philosophy combined I have decided that I need to take hold of my worship for the good of my own faith and stop falling into something that has been created by another.

I spend most of my religious studies in Buddhism, Wicca & Pagan tradition and Christianity. The latter two generally combat each other, mostly Christian faith telling me not to practice my earth spirit studies and generally not the other way around. As I dive into studying the bible and what it means to me, I just don’t think it’s fair of me to go to church anymore. Nature is my church and since we live on 80 acres adjacent to a national forest I am always praising God(des). I will still read the bible, I will still pray and I will never stop believing in a divine spirit. But I don’t think that one omnipresent man created the Earth, that was definitely science. I’m also pretty positive that astrology, diviScreen Shot 2016-05-26 at 12.57.53 PM.pngnation and herbal work have some sort of meaning to humanity and aren’t the work of the devil. Also I certainly don’t think that yoga was started to “worship a penis god”. So I will keep on being my own weird self and talking to God about it until I reach some sort of understanding with that great big spirit in the sky.

Anyways, I had to get that off of my heart, my chest has been heavy these past weeks. Do you ponder deeply on the existence of man and the metaphysics behind creation?

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.

What’s In My Cup? Post Vacation Detox Tea

What's In My Cup?

We spent the weekend on the road to San Diego and back this weekend which totaled about 18 hours of driving in 3 days. Well we aren’t only tired of being in the car we’re also bogged down from the restaurant food that we’ve eaten these past days. But it’s nothing that a couple of days of salad and some nice, detoxifying herbs in a tea time potion can’t fix. This blend was designed to ramp up the immune system while simultaneously cleansing the lymphatic system.

1 tsp dried echinacea

1 tsp dried dandelion root

1/2 tsp dried burdock root

1/4 tsp dried st. johns wort

1/2 tsp dried angelica root

Mix all of these dried herbs into a tea ball or muslin bag and put into a mug. Pour 6-8 ounces of boiling water over the bag and let steep for 10-15 minutes before removing completely. While the tea is steeping and the steam rises from the mug, think about negative ions leaving the body. Let the mind wander and recognize each thought that pops up. Acknowledge these thoughts, recognize them and then let them go. Sit with your cup of tea in your favorite seat in your house and meditate on the mantra: I change my thoughts, I change my world.

 

 

 

What’s In My Cup? Cough, Cold & Fever Relief

What's In My Cup?

Generally the waves of the universe call me to write a cup of tea that pairs with the herb that I’ve chosen to spotlight that week. This week I decided that it’d be nice to have a nice cup of cold relief tea. This blend was designed to soothe a sore throat, eliminate congestion, sweat out a fever and reduce the symptoms of a cough all while boosting the immune system to help your body heal faster.

Mix the following ingredients into a tea ball:

1 tsp dried spearmint

1/2 tsp dried elder leaf/flower

1/2 tsp dried licorice

1/2 tsp dried angelica root

Pour 6-8 ounces of boiling water over the tea ball in your favorite, easy to hold mug. Let the wafting scents wash over and through you, let whatever thought nags you to take center stage. Look at that thought, understand it, and release it from yourself. Take the tea ball out after anywhere from 10-15 minutes, licorice can taste very strong so adjust the amount as necessary. While sitting with your cup get as comfortable as possible and focus on the mantra: I am vibrant.

Herb Spotlight: Elderberry for Natural Cold & Flu Remedy

Herb Spotlight

Back in San Francisco there was a woman who made cannabis edibles that were just out of this world. One time with our regular order of delectable truffles there was also a medicated elderberry syrup. It was Winter so obviously that hippy from Mendo knew that Elderberry syrup will coat the throat and relieve symptoms of a cold, the added cannabis was to help with flu body aches, lift the spirits and help the body to heal itself.

I was at the apothecary in Flagstaff and they had some fresh elderberries amongst the bulk herbs. Obviously I remembered that delicious healing syrup and decided I wanted to go more in-depth on my knowledge of the Elder plant, and I’m bringing you along! I think that I should split the plant up between berries and flowers, so this post is dedicated to the Elderberry.

Breakdown of Elderberry

Scientific Name: Sambucus Nigra [aka: rob elder, ellhorn]

Magickal Stats: Elementally water, ruled by Venus

Improves Function of: 

  • Bronchial System
  • Immune System
  • Digestive System

Aides in Relieving Symptoms Of:

  • Cold & Flu
  • Cough, bronchitis, laryngitis, hay fever and sinus congestion
  • Inflammation
  • AIDS/HIV

Assists Spiritually With:

  • Honor the dead
  • Protection Blessings
  • Inspire prosperity

How Does It Work?

It seems that Elderberry helps to reduce congestion and induce sweating to help expel the cold and flu from the body more expediently. Elderberry contains flavonoids and antioxidants to help boost the immune system and prevent damage to the body’s cells.

What Do I Do With It?

Generally a liquid extract or syrup is extracted from the berries. Take 30-40 drops 2-4 times a day to relieve symptoms of cold & flu. Double the dosage if you’re looking for laxative action. If the effects don’t take hold slowly take more every hour until you’ve achieved the desired results. The sweet, delicious flavor makes this an ideal natural remedy for cough & cold in children.

WARNING: There are several species of elder, but Sambucus nigra, or European elder (also called black elder), is the one used most often for medicinal purposes. Avoid dwarf elder (Sambucus ebulus), which can be toxic. Use a trusted preparation of elder because raw or unripe fruit — as well as the leaves, seeds, and bark — contain a chemical related to cyanide, which is poisonous.