breath of leaves

How To Make And Prepare Herbs

Since the effectiveness and the value of most herbs are greatest when the plants are fresh, the best preparations are usually those that you make yourself from freshly gather herbs. And what a satisfying feeling to be able to identify your remedy in the field and to extract natures healing elements and put them to use, all through your own efforts! (Some plants, however, should be used only dried or in professional preparations to avoid or minimize the detrimental effects.)

But even the best plant materials can be ruined if you use the wrong kind of process in preparing your remedies. The choice depends primarily on the identity of the plant, the plant parts being used, the elements to be extracted, the form in which the remedy will be taken or applied, and the effect to be achieved. A little experimentation will soon indicate the adjustments that need to be made to suit you or someone else’s needs.

Don’t be impatient, though, if you don’t get immediate results from the preparations. Herbs are not one-shot wonder drugs in the modern sense; rather, their effectiveness is based on gradual action to restore the natural balance of bodily functions that constitutes health. Very few plant remedies produce lasting beneficial effects after only one or two doses; most treatments involve taking the remedy daily for at least several weeks of this is also greatly helped or hindered by your overall lifestyle, especially your diet. A healthful  diet and sufficient exercise to keep your body in good condition are valuable for both preventing much illness and for helping to overcome it when it does strike.

The only prepared remedies that can be kept for any length of time are ointments and those made with alcohol. The alcohol will preserve the latter, and a little gum benzoin or tincture or benzoin(a drop per ounce of fat) will preserve selves or ornaments made with a perishable base. Make infusions, decoctions, cold extracts, juice, poultices, and fomentations fresh each time. Whenever you do store any plant preparations, sterilize the containers before putting the preparations in them.

The following types of preparations are those most commonly and conveniently used in herbal medicine. The doses given our four average adult use and must be adjusted for age and condition for children and weak or elderly people, or when using very potent plants, use 130 to 2/3 the adult dose.

INFUSION

An infusion is a beverage made like tea, by combining boiling water with plants, usually the green parts or the flowers, and steeping to extract their active ingredients. The relatively short exposure to heat in this method of preparation minimizes the loss of volatile elements. The usual amount is about 1/2oz to 1oz to a pint of water. Most often the water is poured over the plants, but some recipes require that the plants be added to boiling water, the pot then being immediately removed from the heat. Use an enamel, porcelain, or glass pot to steep the plants for about 10 minutes; then cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid to minimize evaporation. For drinking, strain the infusion into a cup or glass. Sometimes sugar or honey is added to improve the taste. For most purposes, take the infusion luke warm or cool; but to induce sweating and to break up a cold or a cough, take it hot. Most herbal teas are taking over a period of time in small, regular doses ranging from a teaspoon to a mouthful. The cumulative daily dose usually ranges from 1 to 4 cups, depending on the severity of the problem and the potency of the plant.

DECOCTION

When you want to extract primarily the mineral salts and the bitter principles of plans, rather than the vitamins on volatile ingredients, decoction is your method of preparation. Hard materials such as wood, roots, bark, and seeds, also generally require boiling to extract their active ingredients. Boil about a half ounce plant parts per cup of water in it and I’m old or nonmetallic pot. Green plant parts can be added to cold water, brought to a boil,and boiled for 3 to 4 minutes; or they can be added to boiling water and then boiled for the same time. The mixture then steeps with a cover on the pot for 2 to 3 minutes. Hard materials need boiling for about 10 minutes the longer steeping to extract their ingredients. Strain of the plant parts before drinking or using the decoction. Directions for taking decoctions are the same as for infusions.

COLD EXTRACT

Preparation with cold water effectively preserve the most volatile ingredients and extract only minor amounts of mineral salts and bitter principles. Add about double the amount of plant material used for an infusion to cold water in and enamelled or nonmetallic pot. Let the mixture stand for 8 to 12 hours, strain, and the drink is ready. Directions for taking are the same as for infusions.  (Korach: I’ve had luck using oil and alcohol for Cold Extracts. My favorite being minced garlic in olive oil, I use it primarily for cooking)

JUICE

Chop fresh plants or plant parts up into small pieces and press to squeeze out the juice. Add a  little water to the pressed material and press again to get the rest. This is a good method for extracting water-soluble constituents, especially those sensitive to heat. It is excellent for getting vitamins and miinerals from the plant; but the juice must be taken within a short time after pressing, since a vitamin content declines rapidly after fermentation sets in.(Korach: Of course we also have Juicers & Cold Presses to do this)

POWDER

Grind dried plant parts with the mortar and pestle and or other implements until you have a powder. Powder can be taken with water, milk, or soup; sprinkled on food; or swallowed in gelatin capsules. A number 0 capsule holds about 10 grains; number 00 holds about 15 grains. The most common dose for powders is the amount that you can pick up on the tip of a dinner knife.

SYRUP

A basic syrup to which you can add medicine ingredients can be made by simply boiling 3lbs  of raw or brown sugar in a pint of water until it reaches the right consistency. Or you can boil the plant materials in honey or store-bought syrup and then strain through cheesecloth. Syrup is especially useful for administering medicines to children.

TINCTURE

Combine 1oz to 4oz powdered herb(the amount depends on the plant’s potency) with 8 to 12 ounces of alcohol. Add water to make a 50% alcohol solution(you have to know what percent alcohol you started). Let stand for two weeks, shaking once or twice a day; then strain and pour the liquid into a bottle suitable for storage. Like other alcoholic extracts tinctures will keep for a long time. Homeopaths use very dilute tinctures as their basic medicinal preparations.

ESSENCE

Dissolve an ounce of the herb’s essential oil in a pint of alcohol. This is a good way to preserve the volatile essential oils of many plants, which are generally not suitable in water.

OINTMENT

Mix well one part of the remedy in powdered form with four parts hot petroleum jelly, lard, or similar substance. For purists, an old method is to boil the ingredients in water until the desired properties are extracted. Strain the liquid add the decoction to olive or other vegetable oil, and simmer until the water has completely evaporated. Add beeswax as needed to get a firm consistency. Melt the mixture by heating slowly, and stir until completely blended. I was pointed out above, a little gum benzoin or a drop of tincture of benzoin per ounce of fat(when a Percival fat is used as a base) will help to preserve the ointment.

POULTICE

The poultice, or cataplasm, is used to apply a remedy to a skin area with moist heat. To prepair, bruise or crush the medicinal parts of the plant to a pulp mass and heat. If using dried plants(or if needed even with fresh plants), moisten the materials by mixing with a hot, soft, adhesive substance, such as moist flour or corn meal, or a mixture of bread and milk. Apply directly to the skin. A good way is to spread the pace or pulp on a wet, hot cloth, apply, and wrap the cloth around to help retain moisture and heat. Moisten the cloth with hot water periodically as necessary. Where the irritant plants are involved(as in a Mustard “plaster”), keep the pace between the two pieces of cloth to prevent direct contact with the skin; after removing the poultice, wash the area well with water or herb tea(especially camomile or mugwort) to remove any residue that may have gotten on the skin. You can use the poultice to soothe, to irritate, or to draw impurities from the body depending on which plant or plants you use.

FOMENTATION

Sook cloth or towel in an infusion or decoction, ring out the excess, and apply as hot as possible to the affected area. A fomentation has about the same applications as a poultice but is generally less active and its effect.

COLD COMPRESS

Soak cloth or towel in an infusion or decoction that has been cooled, wring out the excess, and apply to the affected area. Leave on until it is warmed by body heat, usually 15 to 20 minutes. Repeat application with a fresh cool compress. Continue until relieved.

HYDROTHERAPY: The Herb Bath

Hydrotherapy – the use of water for treatment of illness – is particularly popular in Europe, where health spas have elaborate facilities for all types of “water cures.” Often these include the use of mineral water or of mineral and herbal bath additives to enhance the natural healing power of the water or to produce particular effects on the body. But you don’t have to go to a European health resort to take healing baths: with a few simple supplies, you can enjoy the benefits right at home.

Full or partial herb baths come in all shapes and sizes, from the bathtub to the eyecup. Basically they are baths to which plant decoctions or infusions have been added. Depending on the plants used and the temperature, such baths can calm or stimulate the mind and body; open or close pores; relieve inflammation, itching, or pain; and exert various other beneficial effects.

Don’t leave,
Shut your mind off and let your heart breath.
You don’t need to be worried.
I may not ever get my shit togheter,
But ain’t nobody gonna love you better.
The Signs As Types of Kisses

passionate, it’s like the other person’s lip’s air and they can’t breathe, leave you wanting more: Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Aquarius

lazy, morning kisses, full of love, they make you feel cozy and safe: Taurus, Cancer, Capricorn, Pisces

butterfly kisses, especially the forehead and nose ones, they kiss unexpectedly: Aries, Gemini, Leo, Sagittarius

the Positive and Negative Qualities of the Four Elements

Originally posted by indiest

The Element of Fire (Choleric)

  • Positive qualities: vigorousness, zeal, enthusiasm, courage, decisiveness, power of creativity, daring, sedulity…
  • Negative qualities: quarrelsomeness, irritability, urge to destroy everything, passion, immoderacy, jealousy, voraciousness, vindictiveness, violence, hate, anger, sudden ebullition…

The Element of Air (Sanguine)

  • Positive qualities: vigilance, care-freedom, kind-heartedness, trusting nature, clarity, lightness, independency, dexterity, optimism, diligence, acuity, joy, smiling…
  • Negative qualities: lack of perseverance, dishonesty, gossipy, cunningness, backbiting, garrulousness, inconstancy, touchiness, prodigality…

The Element of Water (Phlegmatic)

  • Positive qualities: understanding, placidity, mildness, trusting nature, devotion, mercy, forgiveness, modesty, compassion, fervour, pliancy, meditativeness, internalization…
  • Negative qualities: indifference, heartlessness, laziness, indolence, rigidity, lack of daring, lack of concern, unstableness, dejection…

The Element of Earth (Melancholic)

  • Positive qualities: consistency, conscientiousness, perseverance, punctuality, caution, resistance, responsibility, carefulness, firmness, reliability, sobriety, ambition, respectfulness, matter-of-factness…
  • Negative qualities: stuffiness, superficiality, laziness, indifference, cumbersomeness, touchiness, lack of conscientiousness, irregularity, timidity, scornfulness…

Read on for more information about these correspondences and how they can impact your life and witchcraft practices

Keep reading

Detention

Peter Parker x Reader

Words: 892
Plot: Peter gets put in detention with the reader. Cute note passing ensues.
A/N: I know I said I’d write more Alex Summers but GUYS! SPIDERMAN! I saw it at the movies and it was so good, so pure. I know most of you are out of high school now so this is a #throwback. I tried to make it totally cute.

Originally posted by vintagejosh

Peter slumped against the desk; pushing his forehead against the cool plastic of the table. Detention again; somehow, he always managed to end up back in detention. It wasn’t like he was trying to be here: he just couldn’t catch a break. Turns out fighting crime and writing his biology paper were incompatible things.

The clicking of a pen made him grogilly open his eyes.
A few desks away from him; a girl perched awkwardly on her chair, scribbling doodles onto her notepad. Peter wasn’t sure he’d ever seen her before; he wondered if she was new or just way above his social radar.
Who wasn’t?
But something about the way her mouth pressed together made his head spin. She was unconventionally beautiful; lush hair and kind eyes that tugged his gaze, made his blood prick in his skin. And he thought-
She raised her brow, curiously returning his gaze. Ah, shit. He’d been staring at her like a creepy stalker. How’d he always manage to screw up this bad?
He shifted his gaze immediately to the ceiling; pretending he was checking out the old pieces of tissue that had been lodged into the gaps in the paneling until he thought it was safe.

Something tapped his shoulder; a crumpled piece of paper bouncing across the carpet at his feet. The girl was hastily writing in her notepad again; attempting to look nonchalant, no doubt.
Peter bent down, unfolding the little scrap at his feet.

What are you in for?

Peter bit his lip, rustling into his backpack for his science book. It wasn’t hard to tear out a spare page in a vaguely square shape. He clicked his pen awkwardly, nerves building in his chest.

Busted for no biology homework. You?

He crumpled it, his eyes darting around the room to see if the supervisor was watching. He wasn’t, as usual; he looked about as bored as Peter felt, and seemed to be watching Netflix on his laptop or something of the like. With minimal effort, Peter threw the little piece of paper and managed to get it to roll onto her desk.
She smiled to herself, looking up at him for a brief moment.
Wow. 

Made a model of a volcano. It may have exploded.

Peter looked over, laughter playing on his lips
“Seriously?” he mouthed.
She nodded, a look of disbelief on her face as she thought about the incident.

“(y/n)” the supervisor called, looking up with absolute neutrality plastered across his features “you can go whenever.”
She tapped her fingers on her desk awkwardly.
“I might stay here to study for a bit” she breathed. Peter detected a hint of an accent; her voice was every bit as lovely as he expected “it’s…quieter here than the cafeteria”.
The supervisor shrugged. “Suit yourself”.

(y/n) smiled to herself, wrinkling her nose as she tore off another note and tossed it to Peter.

So, who are you, other than the guy who doesn’t do his homework?

Peter swallowed.

Other than the guy who doesn’t do his homework, I’m Peter Parker. But I prefer the first one.

She laughed, and he felt his heart sing.

“Alright Peter, you’re good to go” the supervisor called out, yawning quietly. Peter stood up slowly, his chair sliding across the floor as he slung his backpack over his shoulder.
(y/n) stared at him, her notepad pressed to her chest.
Peter motioned towards the door, raising his brows nervously.
She nodded, swinging her hair back and throwing her bag on.
Peter felt his heart stutter awkwardly as he made it into the hallway, her footsteps directly behind him.

“I think that guy might have been the most chilled out detention supervisor I’ve ever seen” she laughed, stumbling awkwardly as she tripped over her laces slightly. Peter held out his hand to catch her elbow; the places where his fingers met her skin felt awkward and clammy. 
“Sorry. Clumsy” she breathed, grabbing at the straps of her backpack as they walked in tandem through the corridor.
“Oh, yeah, me too. I’m always…tripping over things. Y’know?” he stuttered, words leaving his mouth in a slush of anxiousness.
Oh my god.
“You’re good at the words thing” she teased, a half-smile tugging at her lips as her eyes lingered on his. Oh man.
“That’s what they say” Peter grinned, slowing his pace so that he didn’t get to his locker in a hurry. He wanted to spend longer just talking; he didn’t want it to end here.
“Well, this is me” she added, scratching the back of her head as she stopped by the doors to the chemistry labs “but it was great to meet you, Peter. I get the feeling it won’t be the last time”.
Peter felt the breath leave his lungs for a second, his face growing hot.
“Yeah, it was nice. I hope you…explode more volcanoes. So we can hang out.”
She grinned, awkwardly spinning on her heels “okay, great”.
“Great”.
And with that, she strode into class, glancing back just once as he waved slightly like an absolute moron.

“Tell me you got her number” Ned gasped, appearing behind Peter and breaking his trance “she’s amazing”.
Peter shoved Ned’s shoulder slightly, turning him to face the other way as they both walked down the hall.
“I’m working on it” he muttered.

Popping in to bring you some Scarebeast and Riddler.

I like the idea of Scarebeast being a monster to everyone, but to Eddie he’s a total dear and it makes Eddie feel extra special. Look how smug Eddie looks.

He also likes bringing Scarebeast along to negotiations that don’t lean in his favor haha.

Confessing
  • <p> <b>Harry:</b> I love you.<p/><b>Draco:</b> *scoffs* Are you mad, Potter? Don't you realize that's the same as saying you can't breathe?<p/><b>Harry:</b> *leaves table clearly disappointed* never mind what I said.<p/><b>Draco:</b> *whilst grabbing Harry's hand, flustered* Potter?<p/><b>Harry:</b> What is it Malfoy?<p/><b>Draco:</b> I... I can't breathe.<p/></p>