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

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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 4 Magic and Medicinals Garlic – What our Ancestors Knew by The Magic Apothecary

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Day 4 Herb of the Day! GARLIC!

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

Garlic (Allium sativum)
Garlic, some of us love it, some not but Garlic, especially in its raw form, has been used for healing since ancient times. It was used for its powerful healing forces by the ancient Greeks, Egyptians, Babylonians, Assyrians, Romans who always planted garlic on the battlefield and any new conquests they had and the Chinese.

The healing properties of garlic are wide and varied, ranging from antioxidant, antifungal, antiviral and antibacterial properties to cancer-fighting and immune-boosting activity. Raw garlic has been used as a medicinal plant to prevent — and in some cases, treat or even heal — various health complaints for centuries.

Many people look for a natural way to reduce their risk of cardiovascular diseases, cancer, asthma attacks, bouts of cold or flu, abnormal hair loss, or some skin conditions are likely to reap the most health benefits by regularly eating garlic.

Note: Check with your physician before using garlic for any medicinal purposes.

Garlic as an Antifungal Agent

The medicinal use of garlic as an antifungal has been validated by numerous research papers and publications. Most of the antifungal properties of garlic have been attributed to allicin. Allicin is called a phytochemical and is produced when raw garlic cloves are crushed or chopped. By chopping or crushing you can maximize the allicin-content and you should let the chopped or crushed garlic sit several minutes before using it. Allowing chopped or crushed garlic to sit for 10 to 15 minutes before using it can significantly increase the amount of allicin it produces.

Garlic has been used to treat acne and conditions linked to the overgrowth of Candida yeast in the body and works well to rid women of yeast infections (chop up finely, add to some yogurt and put into a gauze. Insert and watch it work!) Some herbalists also suggest that garlic may have dandruff healing properties due to its ability to fight Pityrosporum ovale (P. ovale), a small fungus that lives on the scalp and that may play a role in the development of dandruff.

Antioxidant
Properties of raw garlic are linked to its antioxidant qualities. These antioxidant properties are largely attributable to allicin, the same compound that is responsible for the antifungal properties of crushed raw garlic!! Allicin has shown to be one of the most potent antioxidants found in foods. In addition to allicin, garlic has large amounts of antioxidant vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, zinc and selenium.
Antioxidants in garlic help protect the body from free radicals, which are destructive oxygen molecules that attack healthy cells and can cause cellular damage. Due to their destructive effects on cells, free radicals are heavily implicated in several diseases including eye disorders, dementia, rheumatoid arthritis, cardiovascular problems, diabetes, atherosclerosis, an impaired immune system, certain types of cancer, and even Alzheimer’s disease.

In addition to helping with common diseases and conditions, the free radical neutralizing properties of garlic can help keep your skin looking young by fighting premature aging of the skin provoked by excessive exposure to sunlight.

When your skin is exposed to sunlight, it creates powerful enzymes called metalloproteinases which help repair sun-damaged connective tissue. However, not all metalloproteinases are good for us: some metalloproteinases destroy collagen fibers, which can lead to wrinkles and fine lines. Free radicals appear to activate these destructive metalloproteinases.

Natural Antibiotic
During the nineteenth century, the French chemist and microbiologist Louis Pasteur examined the use of raw garlic juice as a potential antibacterial agent and found garlic to be capable of killing bacteria much in the same way as penicillin does. Garlic was used widely as an antibacterial agent to disinfect and heal wounds during World War II. Since then, several research studies published in medical journals have confirmed the antibacterial and antiviral properties of garlic. In addition to its ability to control bacterial and viral infections, garlic has been shown to fight and heal infections caused by other microbes and worms.

Due to the healing properties of garlic this medicinal herb has also used in the treatment of some infections that are difficult to treat due to the presence of bacteria that have become resistant to prescription drugs such as antibiotics. However, more research is needed in this area before definite conclusions about the efficacy of garlic as an antibiotic can be made.

Anti-Cancer
Many laboratory tests have also found garlic and garlic extracts to exert strong anti-cancer effects. Also, several epidemiologic studies support the idea that garlic — especially raw garlic — can help prevent certain types of cancer. According to a large-scale review of epidemiologic studies, the strongest evidence for anti-cancer effects of raw garlic pertains to stomach and colorectal cancers. This review, which appeared in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in 2000, analyzed epidemiological studies published on stomach, colon, head and neck, lung, breast and prostate cancers since 1966.

Raw garlic appears to exert its anti-cancer effects through multiple mechanisms, including inhibition of free radical production, activation of enzymes that detoxify carcinogens, and regulation of cell-cycle arrest. Garlic has been shown to induce apoptosis. Apoptosis, also known as programmed cell death, is the body’s normal way of getting rid of unneeded or abnormal cells, but cancer cells employ mechanisms that allow them to evade apoptosis, so they can grow uncontrollably at the expense of healthy cells and tissues.

Insulin Resistant People
Research suggests that a healthy diet rich in garlic may be used successfully as a complementary treatment for insulin resistance, a physiological condition that remains a major medical challenge of the twenty-first century. Insulin resistance has been linked to many diseases and conditions including pre-diabetes and type 2 diabetes, excess body weight (especially around the waistline), adult acne and heart disease. In insulin resistant people, the body’s cells are no longer able to effectively respond to the actions of the hormone insulin.

According to a study published in the European Journal of Pharmacology in 2005, the health benefits of garlic for insulin resistant people may be linked to the presence of garlic oil and diallyl trisulfide in garlic. In addition to having wide-ranging healing properties documented in previous studies, these two compounds appear to improve the body’s ability to effectively respond to the actions of insulin and thus fight insulin resistance.

Magic and Garlic
Garlic is masculine in nature and associated with the planet Mars, the element fire and the sign Aries. It is sacred to Hecate and is a suitable offering to her left at a crossroads.
A spell to rid oneself of an unwanted lover: Place a clove of garlic intersected with two crossed pins where he is sure to walk. When he walks over it, he will lose interest.
A potion to draw a lover made of a strand of the target’s hair, threads from his or her clothing, alcohol and garlic. You would have to make the target ingest this, and then he or she would fall madly in love with you.
Garlic cloves can also be used, with other things, to stuff poppets intended for banishing, hexing and removing curses or people from one’s life.
Garlic braids hung over the door repel thieves and envious people as well as bring good look. Change the braid every year. Hanging garlic over a bedroom door will draw lovers into it.

Garlic is said to have aphrodisiac powers when eaten.
Wiping a knife with garlic juice empowers it against negative energies.
A clove of garlic can be added to any mojo bag or spell to strengthen its energy.
Garlic is used for exorcism, spell-breaking, invoking passion, protection and strength.
Also used to protect against psychic and physical vampirism.
Interesting! You mean Garlic protects, heals, removes and saves us from death as well as making us strong and more attractive. Seems like the medicinal uses and magic are the same…once again!
Modern information: WebMD:https://www.webmd.com/vitam…/ingredientmono-300-garlic.aspx…

Day Two Magic and Medicinals What our Ancestors Knew. Focus on Goldenseal

 

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Day 2.  Herb or the day Goldenseal (Hydratis Canadensis) Music above for some fun!

Disclamer: 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.

Goldenseal is an herb that used to cover forest floors in abundance but today it has become over harvested and in danger of disappearing.  The reason for this is misuse and overuse by people who believe it is a substitute for pharmaceutical antibiotics (it’s not) and those who believe it will help them pass drug tests (it won’t).

What Goldenseal does do is work very effectively on boggy, swollen mucus membranes.  It can help the body fight infection in these areas but is not an antibiotic.  This herb is used a lot in conjunction with Echinacea for the early stages of a cold or just as a preventative. THIS IS NOT the right way to take this herb it should be used in the later stages of a cold or flu.  It is also anti-fungal and good for long term sinus infections which are mostly not bacterial but are indeed fungal infections.

Goldenseal is an astringent herb.  It fortifies mucus membranes which allows them to remain a strong barrier to the outside world and illnesses that might infect and pass through the membranes. People use both the herb and leaf with good results.  Goldenseal balances the mucus membranes. What is dry it moistens and what is wet it helps to dry.  It is high in berberine as well as other chemicals.  If you are interested in that information, please ask and I will send it to you.

It can be used in digestive disorders like ulcers and IBD.  May help with H. Pylori and has been used in Chinese medicine to balance a sour stomach.  Was used with good success in the past in dysentery outbreaks.

If you use the herb, please look for cultivated forms and not wild gathered.  It needs to replenish itself in the wild.  It is best used in a tincture or powdered form in capsule.  The tea of Goldenseal is so bitter it is hard to take in.

Might be dangerous when pregnant or breast feeding. Check with your doctor or herbalist first.

Dosage varies.  Please use with caution or consult an herbalist (like me!) for dosage based on your condition and health.

MAGICAL use:

As you’d imagine based on what it does in the body this herb is used in magical workings for PROTECTION! Protection from evil and curses.  Also protection from demonic or evil invaders (you know…like viruses and bacteria and fungus).  It is known to bring good luck in health matters and can be ground up with Angelica Root (for another day) for ultimate protection from the earth and the heavens.  It is used in the beds in white cloth of those who are chronically ill or in pain and of course always used in spells for health and to increase power!

Interesting!! So we can use this herb to help our bodies fight off invaders, make our mucus membranes strong and balanced in our sinuses and stomach lining and we can also use it to fight off invaders of the spiritual kind and bring ourselves power!  I love the way magic is medicine and visa versa!

Modern Source WebMD: https://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-943-goldenseal.aspx?activeingredientid=943