Day 11 Herb of the Milk Thistle! Magic and Medicinals. What our Ancestors Knew, by The Magic Apothecary, Mary Elizabeth Micari

milkthistle

Day 11 Herb of the Milk Thistle!
Magic and Medicinals. What our Ancestors Knew, by The Magic Apothecary, Mary Elizabeth Micari

Disclaimer: The following information is of an educational and general nature and should not be construed as legal advice. You should consult appropriate written and professional sources to answer questions related to your individual situation. Exercising one’s rights often entails some element of risk, and you should verify all information relevant to your situation before acting; the author and publisher disclaim any responsibility or liability for any loss incurred as a consequence of the use of any information herein

 

This herb has been a curiosity for me for a long time.  I have a cat with end stage IBD and Pancreatitis.  His liver is shutting down, but we fight that with Milk Thistle.  Seems to have worked some.

Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum)

has been known to Detox the Liver and Boost Glutathione! Much more below and the magical properties of this herb.

Milk thistle has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties it is used to detoxify the body, especially the liver. Milk thistle mostly in California in the USA and throughout the world in warm climates. It can be found easily as a dried herb, supplement or tincture or extract.

It is considered a hepatic (works on the liver), galactogogue (promotes lactation),  demulcent (relieves inflammation) and cholagogue (promotes removal of bile from the system).

Milk thistle can promote healthy digestive function by helping with enzyme formation, increasing bile production, decreasing inflammation and soothing the mucous membranes throughout the body.

Milk thistle has been used for over 2,000 years. The plant is native to the Mediterranean region and a member of the Asteraceae plant family, which also includes other plants like sunflowers and daisies. The Greek physician and botanist Dioscorides was the first to describe milk thistle’s healing properties in the year 40 A.D.

Milk thistle helps to draw toxins out of the body that can cause a range of symptoms and diseases including cancer development, high cholesterol, diabetes, kidney stones, gall bladder disorders, negative effects of chemotherapy, alcohol use, skin damage and many more.

It is also an antioxidant!  Milk thistle is as powerful as other important nutrients such as vitamin E or C.  These helps fight free radical damage and slow the aging process.

While it has many different benefits, milk thistle is most well-known for being a natural liver supporter and detoxifier. The liver constantly works hard to help defend us from toxins that are common in our everyday life, acting like a filter and removing harmful substances from the body.

Milk thistle is shown to decrease, or even reverse, damage to the liver that’s been caused by prescription medications, antibiotics, pollution, heavy metals and more.

There are a variety of milk thistle products available. The seeds and leaves of the milk thistle plant can be taken either in pill, powder, tincture, extract or tea form. The seeds can be eaten completely raw, too, but usually people prefer to take a milk thistle extract or supplement to consume a higher dose and see bigger results.

Milk thistle gets its name from the milky-white liquid that runs off the plant’s leaves when they’re crushed. The actual leaves of the plant also have a spotted white pattern that makes them look as if they’ve been dunked in milk. Thus, the name!

As a liver support and aid, milk thistle is a powerful detoxifier. It helps rebuild liver cells while removing toxins from the body that are processed through the liver.

The liver is our largest internal organ and is responsible for performing many essential detoxifying functions. The condition of our blood relies on the health of our liver. As a “blood purifier,” the liver needs to actively clean the blood each day to support nearly every system within our body.

The liver helps remove harmful substances from our blood, aids in hormone production, detoxifies the body, releases glucose into the bloodstream to give our body steady energy and releases bile into our small intestine so fat can be absorbed from foods

Milk thistle has been approved as a therapeutic treatment for various liver diseases, including:

fatty liver syndrome, damage from alcoholism called Cirrhosis, jaundice, psoriasis and hepatitis.

Cancer?

Milk thistle seeds are a high source of the antioxidant flavonoid called silymarin, which is composed of several other active compounds known as flavolignans. Silymarin is associated with decreasing the risk for cancer development by boosting the immune system, fighting DNA damage and reversing cancerous tumor growth.

In 2007, after reviewing numerous studies involving milk thistle therapeutic treatments, researchers at the University of Minnesota found that:

There is strong preclinical evidence for silymarin’s hepatoprotective and anticarcinogenic effects, including inhibition of cancer cell growth in human prostate, skin, breast, and cervical cells.

About 50 percent to 70 percent of the silymarin molecules present within milk thistle are the type called silybin, also known as silibinin. This antioxidant stimulates protein synthesis and changes the outside layer of healthy cells, keeping them protected from damage and mutation. It inhibits toxins from dwelling in the body; helps with cell renewal; and counteracts the harmful effects of pollutants, chemicals and heavy metals that can cause “free radical damage.”

Silymarin acts as a cancer protector because it’s “a toxin blockade agent” and inhibits binding of toxins to the cell membrane receptors, according to researchers at the University Magna Graecia Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine.

These and more studies can be found on line easily.

 

Cholesterol

Since milk thistle is a powerful anti-inflammatory it makes sense that there is research being done and the on its benefits to heart health.  It cleans the blood, lowers the  inflammation and help prevent stress damage within the arteries.

Although more formal research is still needed, preliminary studies show that when silymarin (milk thistle extract) is used in combination with other traditional treatment methods, total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL or “bad”) cholesterol and triglycerides levels all improve compared to levels before taking milk thistle.

Something important to keep in mind, however, is that existing studies on possible heart benefits of milk thistle have only been done involving people with diabetes, who tend to have high cholesterol levels. So, at this time it’s unclear if milk thistle has the same effects in other people and if it will be used to naturally lower cholesterol levels in the future.

Control or Prevent Diabetes

According to National Institute of Health, there’s research showing that taking silymarin, the main chemical found in milk thistle, along with conventional treatments, can help to control many symptoms of diabetes and help with controlling sugar.  It has been shown to help lower blood sugar levels in insulin-resistant patients.

This is likely true because the liver is partly responsible for regulating hormones, including the release of insulin into the bloodstream. Insulin is responsible for managing blood glucose (sugar) levels in the blood, which is especially important for those with diabetes.

Prevent Gallstones

The liver is a major organ which helps process nutrients and toxins that are in our bodies through food, water and air.  Other digestive organs like the gallbladder, pancreas, intestines and kidneys work closely together to help the liver.  Milk thistle can help prevent gall and kidney stones too! It does this by supporting the gastrointestinal and endocrine systems and by aiding in the production of bile and healthy enzymes.  Add that to cleaning the blood it can help purify the body of waste and regulate the function of the gallbladder, kidneys and spleen.

Anti-Aging Effects

Because milk thistle’s antioxidants help to prevent free radical damage and remove pollutants and waste it can help slow the aging process.  The skin, being our largest organ will benefit as well

Milk thistle benefits may also reduce your risk for some of the most common and serious disorders that develop in adults as they age, including heart disease, cancer, diabetes, kidney and liver damage, and vision-related problems.

Milk thistle’s protective qualities of the skin may make it work well and help in reducing lines and winkles as well as dark spots and discoloration. It is useful for maintaining health of eyes, joints and muscles!

 

Glutathione

Silymarin, the active ingredient in milk thistle, is an antioxidant that can protect against depletion of glutathione, which is a “master antioxidant” that’s extremely useful at helping prevent disease formation. Glutathione is found naturally in the human body, as well as in some plants, such as mushrooms, fungi and algae.

Glutathione’s biggest role is to help fight oxidative stress that leads to such diseases as cancer, diabetes, heart disease and neurodegenerative diseases.  It can help prevent damage to important cellular components caused by reactive oxygen species, such as free radicals.

One of the biggest milk thistle benefits is that it preserves glutathione. The modern American diet, pollution, toxins, medications, stress, trauma, aging, infections and radiation all work to deplete liver capabilities and glutathione in the body. Milk thistle helps increase glutathione levels by improving liver functions. Milk thistle strengthens the liver cell walls, buffering them from invading toxins, and supports liver regeneration and glutathione formation.

Dosage of Milk Thistle

Because milk thistle is categorized as a supplement, rather than a drug, it’s not subject to the same oversight and quality control from the FDA that standard drugs are. The amount of active ingredients can vary widely depending on the different preparation methods used and the brand. Currently, there are several different milk thistle products available on the market, all recommending different doses.

There is no nationally standardized milk thistle dosing yet currently, but most people do best consuming between 20–300 milligrams daily.

Supplement Form

To detoxify the body temporarily, the recommended daily intake of milk thistle is 150 milligrams, taken one to three times daily. This is a somewhat high dose that can act as a natural liver “detox.”

For ongoing use and liver support, take 50 to 150 milligrams daily.

Tea Form

You can also try benefiting from milk thistle by consuming it in tea form. Many companies make milk thistle tea by steeping the leaves and seeds from the plant.

You can also grow your own milk thistle and make homemade tea if you’re up for harvesting the plants. Each small plant head contains about 190 seeds that can be used in various ways. If you purchase or grow a milk thistle plant, cut off the entire head and hang the plant upside down for about one week to draw out the seeds.

You can then crush the seeds and steep them, along with the leaves, to make tea; eat them raw; or dry them into powder form. Keep the seeds and leaves in the freezer to make them last longer and retain their powerful nutrients.

Milk Thistle Side Effects

Milk thistle is generally considered safe and well-tolerated, with very few cases of side effects ever reported. The most common side effects aren’t serious and include gastrointestinal upset, such as a mild laxative effect. When taken within the recommended dose range, milk thistle is thought to be effective and mostly free of allergic reactions.

Milk thistle may interact with some medications, including allergy medicines, anti-anxiety drugs, and blood thinners, among others. If you are taking any medications, speak with your health care provider before taking milk thistle.

Also note that antioxidants like those found in milk thistle have been shown to possibly interfere with the efficacy of some cancer chemotherapy drugs by protecting cancer cells from cell death.

MAGICAL USES OF MILK THISTLE

Now, you’d imagine there are lots to do with this herb magically as well. You would be correct!

Milk thistle is considered Masculine in nature, its ruling planet is Mars, sacred to Thor and Minera.

It is used for Protection, Healing, Exorcism and Hex Breaking…. of course.  It cleanses internal organs, causes them to function better.  In our ancestor’s time illness was considered the work of the devil or an evil person giving the evil eye!

The name ‘Milk-thistle’ refers to a legend according to which 3 drops of holy milk from the Virgin’s breast is said to have dropped on to the leaf, forever marking it as an herb of our Lady (formerly known as the Great Goddess).

In ancient times the thistles were used as a vegetable and are still.  The artichoke is the most famous member of the thistle family, but milk thistle can also be eaten as a vegetable.

To Use Magically.

You can carry this herb with you or leave it in a bowl in a room.  It will renew vitality.  It is used as a protective amulet in mojo bags along with other anti-hexing and cleansing herbs.

If you throw milk thistles into fire it will keep lightning away from your home.  If you wear a garment made from the thistle it will break any spell.  Poppets can be stuffed with it to break spells or aid in protection.

Use in healing spells and for depression. It is said that when a man carries one he becomes a better lover. A method of calling spirits is to boil some thistle. After removing it from the heat, be seated next to the bowl and begin meditating. As the steam rises, so will your questions and their answers will be heard.

A bowl of thistle in a room strengthens the spirits and renews vitalizes within. Carry it for strength and energy. Grown in a garden it wards off thieves. Grow in a pot by your doorstep to protect against evil. Keep in your pocket it guards you. Throw it in the fire to ward off lighting.

Thistles are used in healing spells, and when men wear it they become better lovers. Thistles also drive out melancholy when worn or carried.

In England it is said they used the tallest thistle as a magical wand or walking stick walking with magic and protection.

You may use it to call on spirits. Just place some thistle in boiling water. Remove from heat and lie or sit beside it. As the steam rises call the spirits and listen carefully; they may answer your question.

Milk-thistle can be used for protection and to rid yourself or your home of negative demons. It attracts good spirits and helps to clear all evil.

Creating baths, incense, oils, perfumes and more with this herb can give you multiple ways to use it as a protective fighter against ill health, ill will thrown at you, jealousy, evil eye and negative energy of all kinds.

 

Forget the cat I am taking some right now!!!!

 

 

Spellcraft for Fame and Fortune

Day 10 Herb of the Day Elder! Magic and Medicinals. What our Ancestors Knew, by The Magic Apothecary, Mary Elizabeth Micari

 

Day 10 Herb of the Day Elder! Magic and Medicinals. What our Ancestors Knew, by The Magic Apothecary, Mary Elizabeth Micari

Disclaimer: The following information is of an educational and general nature and should not be construed as legal advice. You should consult appropriate written and professional sources to answer questions related to your individual situation. Exercising one’s rights often entails some element of risk, and you should verify all information relevant to your situation before acting; the author and publisher disclaim any responsibility or liability for any loss incurred as a consequence of the use of any information herein.

Elder (Sambucus nigra)

Black Elder. Common Elder. Pipe Tree. Bore Tree. Bour Tree. (Fourteenth Century) Hylder, Hylantree. (Anglo-Saxon) Eldrum. (Low Saxon). Ellhorn. (German) Hollunder. (French) Sureau.
Parts Used—Bark, leaves, flowers, berries.

The Elder, with its flat-topped masses of creamy-white, fragrant blossoms, followed by large drooping bunches of purplish-black, juicy berries, is a familiar part of any countryside and in many gardens.  The summer begins with sweet white elder flowers and ends with the berries!

Some History:

The word ‘Elder’ comes from the Anglo-Saxon word aeld. In Anglo-Saxon days we find the tree called Eldrun, which becomes Hyldor and Hyllantree in the fourteenth century. One of its names in modern

The generic name Sambucus occurs in the writings of Pliny (doctor and herbalist) and other ancient

Uses as a wood:

The wood of old trees is white and easily cut. It polishes well too and has been used for making skewers for butchers, shoemakers’ pegs, and various turned articles, such as tops for angling rods and needles for weaving nets, also for making combs, mathematical instruments and several different musical instruments.

Medicine:

Cautions for Elderberry

Too much raw elderberry can upset your stomach and cause diarrhea. Pregnant or nursing women are advised to use caution when consuming this herb.

The leaves have an unpleasant smell when crushed and they have been used to ward off most insects.  As a natural organic deterrent, you can boil these leaves and then sprinkle on plants, flowers and trees.  It will keep aphids and caterpillars off.  You can use this on yourself as well. You can also just crush the leaves and put on your face and exposed skin to keep off biting insects.

The bark has been used as a clothing dye for centuries. It is a dark, green black color.

Elder Flowers and Elder Berries have been used for making many home-made drinks and preserves that are truly delicious! These berries are (yes, I have harvested and eaten them right off the tree) sweet and almost like raisins.  They make a great home-made brandy.  ¼ berries, ¾ brandy or vodka. Let it sit for 6 weeks and voila! Always water it down and add sugar! It is a great way to prevent colds and flu!  You can also add to mulled wine, cider or red or white wine of your choice. There are multiple recipes for this on line as there are for Elder jellies and jams too! You can use them the way you would any berry.

Many use the flowers too as an addition to these wines and brandies and a nice tea can be brewed of either or both. The berries the stronger cold and flu preventative but the flowers are useful for this too.  The flowers do better as an ointment which can be made at home! Just add the flowers to oil in a double boiler. Wait for them to wilt and cool. Strain off flowers, place back into the double boiler and add a small bit of wax from soy or bees wax. Put in a container and let cool.

If you boil the flowers and make a gruel of them it is said that they will reduce a fever

Many people put the flowers in a vinegar and use on salads. You can use the berries this way too!

Parts Used Medicinally—The bark, leaves, flowers and berries.

You might have to find and dry the bark. This must be used with extreme caution if you do.  It can be made into an infusion (strong tea) and used and an emetic (making one vomit) It can be used as a diuretic as well.

Elder Leaves

Used in the preparation of an ointment historically called Unguentum Sambuci Viride, Green Elder Ointment, which is a remedy for bruises, sprains, chilblains, for use as an emollient, and for applying to wounds.

Here’s an OLD compound recipe:

“It can be compounded as follows: Take 3 parts of fresh Elder leaves, 4 parts of lard and 2 of prepared suet, heat the Elder leaves with the melted lard and suet until the colour is extracted, then strain

The Flowers

Elder Flowers are chiefly used in pharmacy in their fresh state for the distillation of Elder Flower Water!

The flowering season only lasts for about three weeks in June, the flowers are often dried and can be purchased.  They can also be used dry for teas and infusions

Elder Flower Water is an old pharmaceutical mixture.  Flowers are made into a tea or infusion and then used for mixing medicines used for eye and for skin lotions.  You can find it in may French beauty concoctions under the name or  Eau de Sureau. Sureau is the French name for Elder. It can be used and often is as a very light form of astringent.

Here is an OLD recipe that can be made at home:

Fill a large jar with Elder blossoms, press them down.  Make sure all stalks are removed.  Pour 2 quarts of boiling water on them.  When they are cooled add alcohol (vodka is fine 80 proof and higher) let them stand overnight covered then strain and put into bottles.

“Fill a large jar with Elder blossoms, pressing them down, the stalks of course having been removed previously. Pour on them 2 quarts of boiling water and when slightly cooled, add 1 1/2 OZ. of rectified spirits. Cover with a folded cloth and stand the jar in a warm place for some hours. Then allow it to get quite cold and strain through muslin. Put into bottles and cork securely.”

Elderflower Water in our great-grandmothers’ days was a household word for clearing the complexion of freckles and sunburn and keeping it in a good condition. Every lady’s toilet table possessed a bottle of the liquid, and she relied on this to keep her skin fair and white and free from blemishes, and it has not lost its reputation! You can use it after swimming to help the skin stay soft and free of pollutants and salt. If you have blemishes you can add the elder flower water to glycerin and use it twice a day.

Elder Flowers, if placed in the water used for washing the hands and face, will soften the skin. To use often place them in a small muslin bag kept by the sink or use this bag in the bathwater! It has been said it will not only help the skin but calm nerves and irritability too!

The flowers were used by our ancestors bronchial and pulmonary disease, and in scarlet fever, measles and other diseases like Chicken pox. An infusion (strong tea) of the dried flowers, Elder Flower Tea, is said to promote expectoration! It is gently laxative and can induce perspiration. It is a good old-fashioned remedy for colds and throat trouble, taken hot before going to bed. An almost perfect cure for the flu in its first stage is a strong infusion of dried Elder Blossoms and Peppermint. Put a handful of each herb in a bowl and two pints of boiling water on them.  Let them steep for about a half an hour and then strain. Sweeten and drink in a warm bed as hot as you can stand it.  You will begin to perspire and have a good sleep! You might be on a very fast recovery track if you do this as soon as you feel a flu or cold coming on.  It is recommended you stay in bed at least 36 hours

Elder Flower Tea, cold, was also considered almost as good for inflammation of the eyes as the distilled Elder Flower Water.

Tea made from Elder Flowers has also been recommended as a splendid spring medicine, to be taken every morning before breakfast for some weeks, being considered an excellent blood purifier.

Externally, Elder Flowers are used in fomentations (poultice) to ease pain and take down inflammation.

A lotion can be made by pouring boiling water on the dried blossoms. This is a healing, cooling and soothing lotion. To make Add 2 ½ ounces of Elder Flowers to 1 quart of boiling water, infuse for an hour and then strain. The liquid can be applied as a lotion on a cloth for boils and skin eruptions. You might also want to try this for a headache, putting the cloth with Elder water on the temples.

People have even eaten the buds with a little oil and vinegar to help with skin eruptions!

Elder Vinegar made from the flowers is an old remedy for sore throats.

Elder Flowers, with their subtle sweet scent are used all the time is cooking in batters for funnel cakes and muffins and in much other baking

Elder Berries

The Romans made use of Elderberry juice as a hair-dye!  It makes the hair black.

The berries are extensively used for the preparation of Elder Wine.

They can be used for rheumatism and again, like the flowers can be diuretic and emetic.  Can also be sued as a laxative.

Elderberry Wine has a reputation like the flower in tea of taken hot, at night, for promoting perspiration in the early stages of severe flue and colds. If the cold has shivering and cold throat.  Like Elderflower Tea, it is one of the best preventives known against the advance of the flu and chill.  It can aid in asthma.

Since ancient times, something called a ‘Rob’ (a vegetable juice thickened by heat) has been made from the juice of Elderberries simmered and thickened with sugar, forming an invaluable cordial for colds and coughs!

To make Elderberry Rob:

Take 5 lb. of fresh ripe, crushed berries are simmered with 1 lb. of sugar and the simmer until the juice is the thickness of honey.  The Rob can be bottled and stored for the winter.  You can make this yourself or contact an herbalist (like me) to make it for you in the fall.

A Syrup of Elderberries can be made by picking or using dried berries.  No stalks.  Stew them in a little water in a pan.  After straining them when soft, add ½ oz of ginger.  Boil the ingredients for an hour, strain and bottle.  It is an excellent cure for a cold.  You can also add more anti flu ingredients like plantain, red cherry for coughs, echinacea, garlic and more.  Add sugar.

SOME OLD ELDER WINE RECIPES

From a Modern Herbal by Mrs. Grieve

“’To every quart of berries put 2 quarts of water; boil half an hour, run the liquor and break the fruit through a hair sieve; then to every quart of juice, put 3/4 of a pound of Lisbon sugar, coarse, but not the very coarsest. Boil the whole a quarter of an hour with some Jamaica peppers, ginger, and a few cloves. Pour it into a tub, and when of a proper warmth, into the barrel, with toast and yeast to work, which there is more difficulty to make it do than most other liquors. When it ceases to hiss, put a quart of brandy to eight gallons and stop up. Bottle in the spring, or at Christmas. The liquor must be in a warm place to make it work.’

Magical Uses of Elder

Through time The Elder became the emblem of sorrow and death. There are many superstitions that surround it and legends which group up over time.  Some won’t cut it because they fear bad luck. Gypsies never use the wood in camp fires and fear it being in their woods. Supposedly the cross of Jesus was made from Elder and because of that people were afraid to harm it.  Most northern countries of Europe see Elder as the Mother tree and deeply associated with Magic. In its branches was a dryad the Hylde-Moer, the Elder Tree Mother, who lived in the tree.  If the tree was cut and made into furniture it was believed that the Hylde-Moer was in it still and would haunt the owners.   People feared ever putting a child in an Elder wood cradle because of the Hylde-Moer being in the wood and haunting the child. It was said that to chop down the tree one would ask the Hylde-Moer and if no answer came to stop you then it was ok to proceed.

The Russians believed that Elder-trees drive away evil spirits, and others in the European north thought of it as a spell to take away fever. In Southern Italy people thought that sticks of its wood would kill serpents and drive away robbers.  Some people added a stick of Elder into their wedding bouquets for good luck. In old England it was believed that the Elder was never struck by lightning and a twig of it tied into three or four knots and placed and carried in the pocket was a charm against rheumatism. It was also used on doors of barns to protect animals.

An Elder bush, trimmed into the form of a cross, was planted on a new-made grave, and if it blossoms, the soul of the person lying beneath it is happy was a common thought too Green Elder branch were also buried in a grave to protect the dead from evil spirits. In some places the driver of the hearse would carry a whip make of Elder wood.

In Denmark there was an old belief that anyone standing under an Elder tree on Midsummer Eve would see the King of Fairyland ride by, attended by all his retinue.

Apart from all these traditions, the Elder has had from the earliest days a firm claim on the popular affection for its many sterling virtues.

Woodwind instruments made from Elder are said to produce music most beloved of the Spirit world, hinting at Elder’s power to connect energies.

In astrology, Elder is considered a feminine tree and is governed by Venus. Its element is water.

Modern Information: Web Md: https://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-434-elderberry.aspx?activeingredientid=434&activeingredientname=elderberry

Day 9 Herb of the Day Comfrey! Magic and Medicinals. What our Ancestors Knew  by The Magic Apothecary, Mary Elizabeth Micari

comfrey

Day 9 Herb of the Day Comfrey!

Magic and Medicinals. What our Ancestors Knew  by The Magic Apothecary, Mary Elizabeth Micari

Disclaimer: The following information is of an educational and general nature and should not be construed as legal advice. You should consult appropriate written and professional sources to answer questions related to your individual situation. Exercising one’s rights often entails some element of risk, and you should verify all information relevant to your situation before acting; the author and publisher disclaim any responsibility or liability for any loss incurred as a consequence of the use of any information herein.

Comfrey (Symphytum officinale)

Other Names: Common Comfrey. Knitbone. Knitback. Consound. Blackwort. Bruisewort. Slippery Root. Boneset. Ass Ear.

This well-known showy plant is a member of the Borage and Forget-me-not tribe, Boraginaceae!! Or Borage.

Description

The leafy stem, 2 to 3 feet high, is thick and hollow.  It is a broad leaf.  Some leaves are up to 10 inches long. They are oval shaped and covered with rough hairs which can cause itching, so be careful when collecting.  The flowers are purple and/or white and droop.  Comfrey is in bloom throughout the greater part of the summer, the first flowers opening at the end of April or early May.

I grow this on my stoop. It is a hardy plant and comes back now four years in a row very hearty!

It is common in England and in Ireland as well as the United States.

Cultivation—Comfrey thrives in almost any soil.

Parts Used Medicinally—The root and leaves, generally collected from wild plants.

Medicinal Uses

Comfrey is a Demulcent (a substance that relieves irritation of the mucous membranes) by forming a protective film), mildly astringent and expectorant. As the plant is very rich in mucilage, it is frequently given like Marshmallow (more on that another time) for intestinal troubles. It is a gentle remedy in cases of diarrhea and dysentery. A decoction is made by boiling 1/2 to 1 OZ. of crushed root in 1 quart of water or milk, which is taken in wineglassful doses, frequently.

DO NOT INGEST COMFREY WITHOUT CONSULTING A PHYSICIAN FOR SOME IT CAN BE DANGEROUS AND IS A KNOWN POISION IN LARGE DOSES. DO NOT USE while pregnant or Breastfeeding.

It’s demulcent action it has been used for centuries for lung troubles and for whooping-cough.  In this case the root is more effective than the leaves.  It has been used for tuberculosis and bleeding of the lungs in the past.  Many used it for internal bleeding in centuries past and for bleeding hemorrhoids mixed in with witch-hazel for cleansing and pain relief.

Comfrey leaves can be used for sprains, swelling, bug bites and bruises.  It can be ground and used as a poultice for cuts and to aid in opening of boils and abscesses.  The leaves and plant itself ground well and made into a poultice is a great aid in any inflammatory swelling It can be used on joints in the case of inflammatory arthritis.  I use a salve of this on joints and have used it on a bone spur. Works very well.

A salve made from the fresh herb will promote the healing of bruised and broken parts, including bones.

From a Pharmacist in 1921:

‘Allantoin is a fresh instance of the good judgment of our rustics, especially of old times, with regard to the virtues of plants. The great Comfrey or consound, though it was official with us down to the middle of the eighteenth century, never had a very prominent place in professional practice; but our herbalists were loud in its praise and the country culler of simples held it almost infallible as a remedy for both external and internal wounds bruises, and ulcers, for phlegm, for spitting of blood, ruptures, haemorrhoids, etc. For ulcers of the stomach and liver especially, the root (the part used) was regarded as of sovereign virtue. It is precisely for such complaints as these that Allantoin, obtained from the rhizome of the plant, is now prescribed. One old Syrupus de Symphyto was a rather complicated preparation. Gerard has a better formula, also a compound, which he highly recommends for ulcers of the lungs. The old Edinburgh formula is the simplest and probably the best: Fresh Comfrey leaves and fresh plantain leaves, of each lb.ss.; bruise them and well squeeze out the juice, add to the dregs spring water lb.ij.; boil to half, and mix the strained liquor with the expressed juice; add an equal quantity of white sugar and boil to a syrup.’

Comfrey roots, together with Chichory and Dandelion roots, are used to make a well-known vegetation ‘Coffee,’ that tastes practically the same as ordinary coffee, with none of its effects.

From a book written in 1688 on herbs: ‘From the French conserve, Latin conserva – healing: conserves – to boil together; to heal. A Wound Herb.’ ‘The roots,’ says a sixteenthcentury writer, ‘heal all inwarde woundes and burstings,’ and Baker (Jewell of Health, 1567) says: ‘The water of the Greater Comferie druncke helpeth such as are bursten, and that have broken the bone of the legge.’ In cookery, the leaves gathered young may be used as a substitute for Spinach; the young shoots have been eaten after blanching by forcing them to grow through heaps of earth.

Magical Uses:

Comfrey is associated with Saturn and the Element of Water and is sacred to Hecate.

Comfrey is used in protective magic for the traveler and to protect against theft. Try placing a comfrey leaf in your luggage to make sure it isn’t lost or stolen. Use comfrey root in sachets s for protection while traveling, and to keep your lover faithful while you are gone. Also use it in sachets to protect vehicles. Hang from your rear-view mirror or hide it under a seat.

Wrap your money in a comfrey leaf for several days before going to a casino or poker game. It will help keep your bets coming back to you.

Comfrey flowers, especially blue ones, can be substituted in any spell calling for borage. They are of the same family.

Use comfrey in a bath after ritual to relax and cleanse you, especially for healing or love spells.

It can be burned in combination with mugwort to aid in divination and concentration.

You can use it alone or add it to spells for letting go of unhealthy relationships.

I find that interesting! It is used to heal bones, knit them together, like knitting a broken heart together! It removes inflammation and aids in pain.  Removes passion and aids in healing.

Our ancestors approached both the same way. What could heal the body most certainly can heal the spirit, the emotions, the mind.

Cool.

Modern Information:

https://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-295-comfrey.aspx?activeingredientid=295&activeingredientname=comfrey

 

 

Day 9 Herb of the Day Slippery Elm! Magic and Medicinals. What our ancestors knew by The Magic Apothecary, Mary Elizabeth Micari

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Day 9 Herb of the Day Slippery Elm!

Magic and Medicinals. What our ancestors knew by The Magic Apothecary, Mary Elizabeth Micari

Disclaimer: The following information is of an educational and general nature and should not be construed as legal advice. You should consult appropriate written and professional sources to answer questions related to your individual situation. Exercising one’s rights often entails some element of risk, and you should verify all information relevant to your situation before acting; the author and publisher disclaim any responsibility or liability for any loss incurred as a consequence of the use of any information herein.

Slippery Elm (Ulmus rubra)

Slippery elm as a healing herb has a great ability to reduce inflammation, soothe indigestion, heal the skin, eliminate infections, reduce blood pressure, increase blood flow, boost eye health, protect from ulcers, detoxify the body, aid in oral health, and improve respiratory health.

The slippery elm is known as Ulmus rubra and it is native to eastern North America. It belongs to the Ulmus family and is also known by other names, including red elm, gray elm, and Indian elm. In the United States, it is widely cultivated to harvest its bark, which can be ground into a pulp or dried and used as a powder. This tree was used for many medicinal purposes by Native Americans, and some traditional herbalists and alternative practitioners still rely on slippery elm for a wide range of health problems today.  Scientific research is limited on this, but records kept have shown that it may be very helpful overall.

One of the most active ingredients in slippery elm is mucilage.  Mucilage is what creates the pulp or what some call “gruel” used in traditional medicine systems.  The bark can also be dried and added to liquids as a powder. Some people take it as a supplement in capsule form.

One of the primary uses for slippery elm is as a digestive aid. The mucilage found in its bark is perfect for soothing the digestive tract and eliminating inflammation, primarily the type that causes Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). There is also a very large amount of fibrous tissue found in the bark, which can help to bulk up the stool and eliminate issues like diarrhea. It can be sued as a gastrointestinal aid for many illnesses. It has been used this way for thousands of years.

Slippery elm has traditionally been used to calm sore throats.  The anti-inflammatory compounds of the in it can reduce irritation. Creating a pulp of the mucilage is the best approach for this remedy, but drinking a powdered mixture will also work well! This is a very fast acting treatment and as a singer and voice teacher I can attest to the fact that it works in tea or in lozenges.

There are many other nutrients found in slippery elm beside mucilage. Iron which is crucial for the production of red blood cells is found in the bark.  This can increase circulation, and boost oxygenation of important parts of the body. When combined with potassium, which is also in the bark you may be able to help the cardiovascular system.

Slippery Elm bark can aid injuries such as burns and abrasion.  For centuries Native Americans made salves and balms to help speed the healing process.  It has minerals as well as antioxidant compounds.

If you have suffered from burns, have noticeable scars, or generally poor skin health, slippery elm can be a wonderful remedy. The antioxidants and unique vitamins of this herbal salve can reduce the appearance of wrinkles, eliminate free radicals from the upper skin layers, and even heal age spots. Furthermore, just as it does for wounds, it can help protect the skin from infections of various types, acting as the first line of defense for the body.

Slippery elm is that it is high in certain acids and coats the lining of the intestines; this means that for gastrointestinal problems like ulcers it is a great aid.

There is some evidence suggesting that slippery elm can be used as a diuretic. It might be able to aid in removal of toxins and excess salts and water from the body boosting kidney healthy and helping the function of the metabolism.

One of the most valuable effects of slippery elm are its anti-inflammatory talents. Works well well for heartburn and hemorrhoids. The strong effect of slippery elm in treating or lessening the severity of these conditions is well documented and widely relied on in alternative medicine circles.

When the balm or salve of slippery elm is applied to a pulled muscle, bruise, or other painful areas of the body, relief is rapid and effective. The antioxidant and analgesic components of slippery elm can quickly soothe the pain.

Although this is obviously a highly controversial, slippery elm is a key component in Essiac, a common herbal treatment for various types of cancers.  Research into the antioxidant effects of slippery elm has been widely conducted and the conclusions are still uncertain, so this possible health benefit should never be used alone and must still be used in conjunction with medical treatment for these illnesses.

One of the most popular uses of slippery elm has been as a salve for oral  health. If you feel a tooth infection coming on, or have pain in your gums, you can apply some slippery elm to the cap of the tooth and the surrounding gums to prevent infection and relieve pain through the anti-inflammatory properties!

WORDS OF CAUTION

Slippery elm can be too intense for people with sensitive skin, so when first applying a salve or balm, check what your skin’s reaction is before adding more. The skin’s reactions, however, are typically mild, but you should discontinue use if you experience irritation, itchiness, or redness.

NOT FOR USE FOR PREGNANT WOMEN.  IT HAS BEEN KNOWN TO CAUSE PREMATURE LABOR. SLIPPERY ELM IS BANNED IN THE UK. PLEASE ALWAYS CONSULT YOUR DOCTOR BEFORE USING ANY HERB OR SUPPLEMENT.

MAGICAL USES:

Saturn, Feminine Energy, Element of Air

Slipper Elm halts Gossip. It can be used to stop gossip and slander and supposedly can make one impervious to it.  It will stop back biting family members, jealous co-workers and false frinds who might want to make trouble in your love life. Some people will use some in the corners of their homes to rid the premises of evil.   If you like you can make a charm to be worn about the neck of a child to help with learning speech and to be a persuasive speaker later in life. If you like you can tie a knotted yellow thread around slippery elm and throw it into a fire to cease all gossip about you. The herb can be useful in exorcism, protection, spell breaking and more. It may be of great service when attending ceremonies that demand long hours of chanting and praying.

Here’s an interesting spell!

Invisibility Spell Powder

You’ll need:
– mortar and pestle
– cauldron or potion pot
– almond tincture
– 1 part Fern leaf, dried
– 1 part Poppy seeds
– 2 parts Slippery Elm powder
– 1 part Myrrh
– 1 part Marjoram, dried
– 3 parts Dillweed, fresh if possible

Below is a tried and true recipe for an invisibility manifesting preparation. Although it is presented as a powder, to be strewn, burned, or carried, the herbs given could just as well be concocted into a potion, oil, or tincture

At Dark Moon, in a mortar and pestle, grind together:

1 part Fern leaf, dried 1 part Poppy seeds

Add

2 parts Slippery Elm powder 1 part Myrrh 1 part Marjoram, dried 3 parts Dillweed, fresh if possible

Grind all together, mixing well.

Add 9 drops almond tincture (almond cooking extract is great.) with enough spring water to make everything barely moist, and mix in well. Place in a ceramic bowl, spreading as thinly as possible, and dry the mixture over low heat, stirring it occasionally, until it seems lightly browned. Pour back into mortar, and grind again, enchanting:

Things Seen, and Things Not Seen: Let me walk here in between.

When finely powdered, store in a clear glass container. It will keep its power for years. Sprinkle, just a little bit, on yourself, objects, or in a place to be made invisible.

I find this all very fascinating, don’t you?  I mean…protection of the body, the home, the person! It cleanses, makes one invisible to slanderous people and lies and heals your throat to boot!  I have a lot of it here and plan to use it a whole lot more!

 

Day 8 Herb of the Day Chamomile! Magic and Medicinals. What our ancestors knew by The Magic Apothecary, Mary Elizabeth Micari

Day 8 Herb of the Day Chamomile!
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Magic and Medicinals. What our ancestors knew by The Magic Apothecary, Mary Elizabeth Micari
 
Disclaimer: The following information is of an educational and general nature and should not be construed as legal advice. You should consult appropriate written and professional sources to answer questions related to your individual situation. Exercising one’s rights often entails some element of risk, and you should verify all information relevant to your situation before acting; the author and publisher disclaim any responsibility or liability for any loss incurred as a consequence of the use of any information herein.
 
Chamomile:
German chamomile (Matricaria retutica) and Roman (or English) chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile).
 
Most of the people for centuries have benefited greatly from chamomile tea!
 
I have grown this wonderful little herb and fallen in love withe the sweet flowers and apple like scent. Its a hardy herb and comes back to fight again and again!
 
Did you know you could use this lovely flor for Skin Care?
Chamomile is anti-inflammatory and antioxidant-rich and is not only used as a nice warm tea before bed or for babies with cholic. You can apply warm or cold chamomile tea to the site of an irritation or a condition such as eczema! Modern research shows that this sort of direct application can improve healing significantly! It can lessen the appearance of blemishes and wrinkles as well because it eliminates oxidative stress and boost the immune response in your skin.
It can add a boost to your Immune System
By using Chamomile tea, you can strengthen your immune system and stop infections before they start. There are compounds in chamomile that are called phenolic and are linked to fighting bacterial infections in the body. There have been studies showing that 5-6 glasses of this tea over a two or more-week course can help the body improve its ability to fight infections.
Chamomile also relives Menstrual Discomfort because of its anti-inflammatory nature. Women use it often for bloating, cramping, anxiety, sweating, inability to sleep, and mood swings. Chamomile tea can directly affect many of these symptoms by soothing the mind and body and reducing inflammation that may be causing discomforts.
Chamomile Relieves Stress!
One of the most popular uses for chamomile tea is in the treatment of stress and anxiety. This tea has been shown to increase levels of serotonin and melatonin in the body. These hormones can eliminate stress and relieve anxiety. For chronic stress try 1-2 cups a day.
DO NOT USE DURING PREGNANCY. It has been shown to cause miscarriage!
A great way to start your sleep each night is with a cup of this tea. In a similar way that chamomile tea can ease stress and worry, it can also be an overall sleep aid for those that have restless sleep and even those struggling with sleep apnea.
Some research has shown that chamomile tea can be useful for people suffering from diabetes. Chamomile can lower blood sugar levels and helps in regulating the insulin in the blood, the powerful chemicals in it help to eliminate massive drops and spikes in blood sugar.
Treats Stomach Disorders as well!
If you are suffering from stomach irritation, ranging anywhere from mild bloating to IBS symptoms, chamomile tea can be a major help. It has anti-inflammatory properties that help ease the twisting nature of your gut and allow for the passage of gas and smoother bowel movements. A single cup of chamomile tea can make you feel better, and its continued use can help prevent serious conditions from developing.
Hair Care too? Wow.
Aside from all the other attributes of chamomile tea many people say it improves the appearance and strength of hair. It can also help with scalp irritation and eliminate dandruff. It will give the hair a silky look.
Some people are allergic to chamomile. Especially when applied topically. Please see your doctor regarding Chamomile and if you have Rag Weed allergies you might want to test a skin patch before using or ingesting. However, many find that using Chamomile helps them modulate the immune response to the allergens they encounter! It works as a natural anti-histamine as well.
I know my Grandmother insisted that she have a cup a day…she lived till 94! I use Chamomile oil in my diffuser at night and we all sleep very well! When my son was young I used this tea to aid in his teething as well. It soothed him to sleep and helped him many times with stomach upsets.
I can also recommend you use a few drops of the oil (check for allergies) in a bath before bed as well!
Magical Uses
Chamomile is associated with the Sun/fire and the sign of Leo! It is also associated with the element of water. It helps cleanse and invigorate the throat chakra (5th). It is associated with various Sun Gods like Ra, Cernunnos, Lugh and more.
It is used in spells for money, peace, love, tranquility and purification.
If you like you can use the tea to wash thresholds (doors and windows) will help keep unwanted energies or entities from passing through. Sprinkle powdered chamomile flowers around yourself or home to remove spells cast against you and to prevent fires and lightning strikes. You may also use herbal water made from soaking the herb, if you prefer.
Use it in a ritual bath. before performing spells for any of these purposes. Just a simple chamomile bath while visualizing will increase your attractiveness to the opposite sex. Also, use it in a bath as part of a spell to release a loved one, or to release feelings of pain, loss or anger.
Washing your hands in chamomile water before gambling will increase your luck.
Add to sachets for luck or money. Or place pressed chamomile flowers in your wallet to attract money to it.
Use in meditation incense as well. It aids in relaxation.
If you look you will see that the magic of this herb is just the same as its healing properties!
 
 
 
 

Day 7 Herb of the Day Skullcap! Magic and Medicinals. What our ancestors knew by The Magic Apothecary, Mary Elizabeth Micari

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Day 7 Herb of the Day Skullcap!

Magic and Medicinals. What our ancestors knew by The Magic Apothecary, Mary Elizabeth Micari

Disclaimer: The following information is of an educational and general nature and should not be construed as legal advice. You should consult appropriate written and professional sources to answer questions related to your individual situation. Exercising one’s rights often entails some element of risk, and you should verify all information relevant to your situation before acting; the author and publisher disclaim any responsibility or liability for any loss incurred as a consequence of the use of any information herein.

Skullcap: (Scutellaria lateriflora)

Other Common Names: Blue, greater, hairy, hooded, American, European western, mad-dog and side-flowering skullcap.

It is also called scullcap, helmet flower, blue pimpernel, quaker bonnet, hooded willow flower, mad-dog weed, mad weed, hoodwort and hoodwart.

This herb can be found in partially shaded, wetland areas. It prefers light shade to full sun, but it grows well on my porch and it comes back stronger every year! It can flourish in moist soil with plenty of organic matter. I leave things on top of it all winter for this purpose.  Leaves, and other garden debris. The plant is native to North America. It grows to about 2 feet tall and has a light green or reddish green stem.  The leaves are coarsely serrated around their edges.  It produces flowers that are blue and lavender. They are tube like shaped.

This plant blooms from May to August. The flowers are replaced by a two-chamber seed pod containing four seeds. The roots system consists of a taproot and rhizomes.

The flowers and the leaves are used for medicinal purposes and are collected during the summer when the plant is in bloom. The herb can be dried for later use.

Skullcap contains substances like flavonoids, iridol, sesquiterpene, tannins, bitter substances, essential oil, resin, iron, silicon, calcium, magnesium, lignin and wogonin.

Some Native American tribes used it as an emmenagogue (brings on menses) to bring young girls into womanhood.

It was also traditionally used to bring on visions (in large doses) during spiritual ceremonies.

It was once used as a treatment for rabies and schizophrenia (hence the names mad-dog skullcap, mad-dog weed and mad weed.) but is no longer.

This plant is also a nervine with sedative qualities and is helpful in the treatment of many nervous conditions such as epilepsy, hysteria, anxiety, delirium tremens and as a remedy for panic attack. I use it for my students in my voice studio and for myself for stage fright or jitters in a mild tea.  Works well.

It has also been found useful in treating symptoms of withdrawal from barbiturates and tranquilizers.

Medicinal infusions of this herb have been used to promote menstruation.

An infusion of skullcap may also be helpful in treating throat infections It is also used for treating headaches from stress, neuralgia, and from incessant coughing.

This herb can also be used to bring on a natural sleep without the negative effects of many prescription and over-the-counter sleep aids.

Skullcap is gaining some recognition as an alternative treatment for but that is a new addition to its effects.

This plant is sometimes used to treat the symptoms associated with anorexia nervosa, fibromyalgia and even mild Tourette’s syndrome.

Skullcap is also used as a treatment for asthma and as a hiccup and hangover remedy.

Skullcap is available in powder or liquid extract form and as a dried herb. It is commonly sold in capsule form as well.

The recommended dosage for adults is 1 to 2 grams of the dried herb, 2 to 3 cups of tea, 2 to 4 mL of the liquid extract three times daily, or 2 to 5 mL of the tincture three times daily.

Please consult your physician before use.

Children may use skullcap but in small doses. The best method of delivery is a mild tea. The child’s physician should be consulted before use.

To make a medicinal tea try adding one pint of boiling water to 1 oz. of the dried herb and steep for 10 minutes. This can be served in half cup servings every few hours.

For children add 1 cup boiling water to 1 tsp. of dried leaves and steep only 2 minutes to yield a milder tea.

Overdose symptoms include giddiness, stupor, confusion, irregular heartbeat and twitching. Pregnant women shouldn’t use this herb since it may cause a miscarriage.

Some supplements have been tainted with plants of the Teucrium species, which have been shown to cause liver damage. It’s important to seek skullcap from reputable sources.

There are no documented cases of negative interactions with other herbs or medications although it does have a sedative effect and should not be combined with prescription sedatives.

Magical Uses!

Its planetary element is Saturn.  Solid and forceful. Its element is water, gender feminine4, and it is associated with the Goddess of the Hearth Hestia.  It brings love, peace and fidelity.

Skullcap can be worn by women to keep their husbands or lovers faithful. It can be used in sleep pillows for relaxation & peace.  It has often been used to bind oaths and consecrate vows & commitments (handfasting, initiations, etc.). Can be used to seal a relationship that will extend beyond this life.  For this purpose Skullcap may be worn, burned as incense, or used as an oil.  Can be used in bath magick as a soak (add some herb to Epsom salts or other bath salts in a mesh bag) to calm the aura and cleanse the away tensions and stress.  You can use it in spells for relief from disharmony and disruptive situations. Place a pinch in a lover’s shoes to keep them from being attracted to others.

A tea made from this herb is excellent for preventing nightmares.  It can also be used as a restorative after spiritual or magical assault or recovery from exorcism or other trials. In some traditional medicines, skullcap is combined with Vervain.

In Hoodoo it is used for attracting gifts of money. It is a very nice herb to grow and grows well in many gardens and spaces, even in a flowerpot on the window.  Keep away from animals and children.

It may be made into a Mojo Bag with two small Lodestones by women who wish to keep their husbands faithful. (Other herbs which may be added to such a nation sack include Periwinkle and Basil. The hand will be stronger if you also add the man’s hair or his “measure.”)

You can keep skullcap in a saucer with some coins and dress it with Attraction Oil to attract Gifts of Money. Women wishing to Attract Money from Men may dress the coins and SKULLCAP with Cleo May Oil.

Used as a tea, drink before meditation or to enhance the development of.  As a bath, used for calming the aura of tensions and stress.  Burned for relief of disharmony and disruptive situations.

Here’s an idea for a Skullcap Money spell:  To inspire others to give you money, place some skullcap in a small saucer and moisten it with money mist, or money drawing oil. Get a ball of green cord or yarn and wind it around your “nest egg” of skullcap and oil, binding until the herb is completely covered and secure.
Tie the cord so that the ball will not unwind and hang above the doorway.  All who enter will become possessed with an unreasoning desire to bring gifts & money to your home.  Anoint the ball every seventh day with a few drops of the oil to preserve its powers.

Modern Information: Web MD

https://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-986-skullcap.aspx?activeingredientid=986&activeingredientname=skullcap