A Window to Magickal HerbalismAuthor: Lisa Beth Darling
Categories: Herbs, Wiccan, Pagan
A Sampling from this Book
One of the most common places to begin your journey as an herbalist is right inside your own kitchen. You'd be amazed at the medicines you have stored right now in your spice cabinet. This page will help to familiarize you with the more common ones. It is useful to note that, for medicinal purposes, dried herbs are good to keep for a year or so, those that have been purchased in the Spice Aisle of the local grocery store are probably not the best to rely upon for medicinal uses but for now feel free to try a few experiments with what you already have. Later on, you will want to purchase fresher herbs or begin growing you own!
ANISE --(pimpinella anisum)
This licorice like herb is very useful for breaking up mucus such as chest congestion and is very useful for hard dry hacking coughs where there is congestion in the lungs. Make an infusion by adding three teaspoons of the crushed seed to a cup of boiled water. Cover and allow to steep fifteen minutes. You may wish to sweeten this with a little honey before drinking. The same tea may also be used to stimulate mother's milk and to treat flatulence. Some added to an herbal mixture for the treatment of diarrhea will help prevent cramping.
BASIL --(Ocimum basilicum)
Sweet basil is useful as a tea for the treatment of indigestion, fever, cold, flu, kidney and bladder, headache, cramp, nausea, vomiting, constipation and nervous conditions. For the above purposes an infusion is made using one ounce slightly crushed leaves to a pint of boiling water, cover and steep twenty minutes. Drink 1/2 cup every three hours as needed. For the treatment of fevers add three powdered black peppercorns per cup.
BAY --(Laurus nobilis)
This tree was dedicated to Apollo and Aseculapium (Greek God of medicine) and is considered capable of increasing and maintaining great health and happiness. One or two leaves added to homemade soups and stews, not only improves the flavor, but helps prevent gas and indigestion. Do not use this herb in large amounts internally. Externally they may be applied liberally as a poultice on the chest area with a cloth covering to aid in bronchitis and coughs. A little Oil of Bay (essential oil not infused) is of great benefit when applied to areas afflicted with rheumatism and arthritis as well as other swellings and sprains.
BLACK PEPPER (Piper nigrum)
Yogis consider this one nature's most perfect foods, useful not only as a cure for ailments but also as a preventative measure for general daily health. In this manner it is taken in the dose of seven ground peppercorns mixed with honey each morning. This mixture is also quite useful to help overcome colds and sore throats.
CARAWAY (Carum carvi)
Is good to aid in the digestive process, for indigestion, gas, colic and mild nervous conditions. For these purpose an infusion is made using once ounce of the crushed seeds to a pint of boiling water, cover and allow to stand twenty minutes or you may allow the mixture to stand in cold water overnight. Drink the infusion in frequent doses of two to three tablespoons until relief is obtained. It is also a mild stimulant and may be added to herbal mixtures for digestion and laxatives to prevent griping.
CARDAMON (Elettaria cardamomum)
Is a carminative and stimulant and is normally mixed with other herbs to treat indigestion and gas. It warms the body and is good for diarrhea, colic and headaches
CAYENNE (Capsicum anuum)
For those of you who like it it's a good stimulant, astringent, carminative and antispasmodic. It is considered to be a superior herb to use in a crisis situation, keeping a little on hand is probably a good idea. For the purposes of general health and in the prevention of heart attack, strokes, colds, flu, diminish vitality, headaches, indigestion, depression and arthritis and for the benefit of the heart and circulation system, one may take a daily tonic of one quarter teaspoon mixed with water three times daily. A powder of tincture of cayenne may be rubbed on toothaches, swelling and inflammations. A useful remedy for arthritis is to rub some cayenne tincture into the inflamed join and wrap a flannel around it for the night. For hemorrhage, internally and externally, it is useful to stop and control the bleeding because it normalizes the circulation. In this manner, it is also suited to those who have high and/or low blood pressure.
CINNAMON (Cinnamomum zeylanicum)
Is stimulating, astringent, demulcent and carminative. It warms the entire system and medicinally is used to warm the organs in specific for the treatment of chronic diarrhea, cramps, heart and abdominal pain, coughing, wheezing, lower back pain. For these purposes, one teaspoon is gently warmed with a cup of milk and a little honey. It is most effective when given as tincture every fifteen minutes or so to stop bleeding from the uterus.