herbal medicine

A note.

I see a lot of people posting herbal remedies.

Please, please include the cautions and contradictions with an herb when you recommend it.

Herbs are drugs. Some of them should not be used by pregnant or nursing women (kava kava comes to mind).

Valerian is not a substitute for narcotic sleep aids. Valerian is a narcotic sleep aid.

St. John’s wort messes up the action of oral contraceptives.

Marshmallow root should not be mixed with other medicines or taken at the same time as it can interfere with their action.

Catnip (used for sleep problems) can make already heavy menstrual periods worse.

Etc, etc, etc. Please remember you are recommending medicines and medicines can have effects other than the ones you want.

Anyhoo, this is about as simple as it gets. An echinacea tincture is the perfect first tincture to make. If you’re using fresh herbs you’d fill the jar ¾ with chopped herbs, and use 100 proof alcohol. You can use vinegar or glycerine to make tinctures, but that’s another comic.  

I’m doing that Center for Cartoon Studies one week workout to stretch some atrophied comics muscles. Bro, I need a month long remedial lettering course.

Witchcraft on a budget #3

Ok so I make salves and balms and I never have enough time to make herb infused oils. I just don’t have the time to wait 6 weeks to make salves. But thanks to my laziness, making infused oils just got a hell of a lot easier.

Herb infused oils: the easy way

If using fresh herbs, chop or crush them up. You can use a food processor or blender to break them down into a paste, if using a blender add a small amount of oil in with the herbs so you don’t break your blender.

If using dry herbs, grind them up with a mortar and pestle or a sealed bag and a hammer will work too.

After crushing your herbs, heat up some oil (careful not to burn the oil or yourself) if you are heating it up on the stove, a medium heat will work, you can also heat up the oil in the microwave (I don’t recommend it but you do you) just be safe.

Add crushed herbs to the oil and mix well.

Place in a jar with lid off or slightly open, if you place hot liquid in a sealed jar it can blow up so don’t do that.

Let sit overnight as it cools and infuses.

Strain next day and use as desired.

Have fun and stay safe xx

Flower Ingredients for Emotional Healing

While researching alternative healing methods I came across the flower healing extracts. The idea being that certain flowers would help with different emotional and mental states. While this is actually a still existing alternative medicine and not actual witchcraft ingredients, there is some overlap and some plants and flowers I don’t normally see on ingredients posts

I found the list interesting, and even though some of these flowers may be harder to come by than many kitchen witch ingredients, I thought those on the tumblr witchcraft community who are looking to experiment with different ingredients to refine their potions, spells, and charms might benefit from trying some of these flowers. If you find any of this list helps in your craft I would love to hear about it

Fear

Rock Rose (Helianthemum nummalarium) – Extreme fear, terror, panic

Mimulus (Mimulus guttatus) – shyness, timidity, known fears

Cherry Plum (prunus cerasifera) – collapse of mental control, vicious temper, fear of doing harm or self-harm

Aspen (populous tremula) – apprehension, foreboding, unknown and vague fears

Red chestnut (aesculus carnea) – exaggerated fear of others (especially loved ones), anxiety of “the worst”

Overcare for others’ welfare

Chicory (cichorium intybus) – possessiveness, demanding respect and obedience, selfishness

Vervain (verbena officinalis) – overenthusiasm, fanaticism, nervousness, rage at injustice

Vine (vitis vinifera) – domination, inflexibility, ambition, strength, tyranny, autocracy

Beech (fagus sylvatica) – intolerance, criticism, arrogance, judgmental tendencies

Rock Water (water from well or spring) – self-denial, rigidity, tightness, self-repression, example setting, self-righteousness

Lack of Interest

Clematis (clematis vitalba) – daydreaming, indifference, inattention, escapism

Honeysuckle (lonicera caprifolium) – nostalgia, living in the past, homesickness

Wild rose (rosa canina) – resignation, apathy, no ambition

Olive (olea europaea) – complete exhaustion, loss of energy, overwhelmed by daily tasks

White chestnut (aesculus hippocastanum) – persistent unwanted worries, mental arguments

Mustard (sinapis arvensis) – deep gloom, melancholia

Chestnut bud (aesculus hippocastanum) – slowness in learning life lessons, repetition of mistakes

Despondency and despair

Larch (larix decidua) – lack of confidence, fear of failure, unwillingness to try, feelings of inferiority

Pine (pinus sylvestris) – guilt, self-reproach, feeling unworthy, taking blame for others

Elm (ulmus procera) – overwhelmed by responsibility though normally capable

Sweet chestnut (castanea sativa) – extreme anguish, desolation, at limit of endurance (nonsuicidal)

Star of Bethlehem (Ornithogalum umbellatum) – reactions to fright, serious news, great sorrow, trauma

Willow (salix vitellina) – Resentment, bitterness, self-pity

Oak (quercus robur) – struggling against illness (mental or physical)

Crab apple (malus pumilia) – feeling unclean in mind or body, self-image issues

Loneliness

Water violet (hottonia palustris) – pride, reserved, aloof, overly independent

Impatiens (impatiens glandulifera) – impatience with others, hastiness, jumping to conclusions or actions

Heather (calluna vulgaris) – over-concern with self, overtalkative, poor listening, hatred of being alone

Oversensitivity

Agrimony (agrimonia eupatoria) – inner torture, hiding worries

Centaury (centaurium umbellatum) – weak will, anxiety to please, inability to say “no”

Walnut (juglans regia) – difficulty in transition or change, wavering before powerful influences

Holly (ilex aquifolium) – lack of love for others, envy, jealousy, hatred, suspicion

Uncertainty

Cerato (ceratostigma willmottiana) – doubting own judgment, seeking approval of others before acting

Scleranthus (scleranthus annuus) – uncertainty, indecision, fluctuating moods

Gentian (gentiana amarella) – despondence, easily discouraged, dejected

Gorse (ulex europaeus) – extreme hopelessness, despair, pessimism, negativity

Hornbeam (carpinus betulus) – procrastination, lack of energy for tasks

Wild oat (bromus ramosus) – lack of fulfillment, aimless ambition, feeling out of place

Despite being commonly known, Chamomile is not just a benign little flower that tastes sweet in your cup, it packs a powerful medicinal punch. Chamomile should not be thought of in terms of what specific diseases it can be used for, because there are too many uses to list, nor is is helpful to only think of what herbs can ‘do’. After reading though my favorite herb books, I summarize the actions of chamomile as being:

  • Relaxing nervine for states of tension
  • Aromatic and bitter for regulating digestion
  • Anti-inflammatory and anti-allergy
  • Anti-microbial
  • Safe, tasty and suitable for everyone, including babies, children, pregnant women and the elderly
  • Matthew Wood says that “The fresh preparations preserve the oils, so they are more relaxing, the dried preparations are bitter and promote secretions to the stomach, G.I. and liver.”

Here are some of the chemical constituents present in chamomile and their generalized actions (mostly from Wood, but also from Simon Mills, David Hoffmann and Chanchal Cabrerra)

  • Flavanoids –  cooling and relaxing
  • Bitter sesquiterpene lactones – stimulate digestive juices
  • Volatile oils –  antipyretic, anti-spasmodic, can reduce histamine-induced inflammation
  • Mucilage – soothing, nutritious and immuno-stimulating
  • Amino acids, fatty acids and many more
Teas to help you sleep

To calm you down-

  • Linden flowers (1 part)
  • Hawthorn flowers & leaves (1 part)
  • Chamomile (2 parts)
  • Catnip (1 part)
  • Lemon balm (1 part)
  • Wintergreen (1 part),
  • Stevia herb (1/8 part)

Before bed-

  • Valerian (30%)
  • Linden (20%)
  • Kava kava (20%)
  • Chamomile (20%)
  • Catnip (10%

The following are great additions to any of your own blends, and all give off a calming effect-

  • Chamomile
  • Spearmint
  • Lemon Grass
  • Tilia Flowers
  • Blackberry Leaves
  • Orange Blossoms
  • Hawthorn Berries
  • Rosebuds

Make sure you store all leftover plants/herbs in mason jars away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures~

Science-backed Herbal Medicine

For any medical remedy, scientific evidence to support medical benefit is invaluable and makes for a very reliable resource when treating an ailment. The herbs listed have significant scientific research backing their efficacy. However, please note that this list is neither exhaustive nor exclusive, which is to say there are probably plenty of other herbs that have significant scientific support.

  • Horse Chestnut (aesculus hippocastanum): anti-inflammatory, astringent, reduces fluid retention
  • Garlic (allium sativum): antibiotic, antifungal, blood-thinning, respiratory health, lowers blood pressure, lowers cholesterol
  • Aloe Vera (aloe vera): anti-inflammatory, skin toning, wound and tissue healing
  • Borage (borage officinalis): anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, emollient
  • Boswellia (boswellia serrata): anti-inflammatory, anti-arthritic, antiseptic, reduces fever
  • Senna (Cassia spp.): stimulant laxative
  • Tea (camellia sinensis): antioxidant, astringent, diuretic, stimulant
  • German Chamomile (chamomilla recutita syn. matricaria recutita): anti-allergenic, anti-inflammatory, relaxant, heals wounds
  • Hawthorn (crataegus spp.): antioxidant, heart tonic, lowers blood pressure, relaxes blood vessels
  • Tumeric (curcuma longa): anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, liver health
  • Clove (eugenia caryophylatta syn. syzygium aromaticum): analgesic, anti-emetic, antioxidant, antiseptic, astringent, stimulant
  • Eucalyptus (eucalyptus globulus): antiseptic, expectorant
  • Gentian (gentiana lutea): bitters, digestive tonic
  • Ginkgo (ginkgo biloba): antioxidant, circulatory stimulant, improves mental performance, protects nerve tissue
  • Licorice (glycyrrhiza glabra): anti-inflammatory, antiviral, demuculent, expectorant, tonic
  • Witch Hazel (hamamelis virginiana): anti-inflammatory, astringent, styptic
  • Devil’s Claw (harpagophytum procumbens): analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-rheumatic, bitter
  • St. John’s Wort (hypericum performatum): antidepressant, antiviral, nerve tonic, heals wounds
  • Flax Linseed (linum usitatissimum): antioxidant, demuculent, estrogenic, laxative, nutritive
  • Tea Tree (melaleuca alternifolia): antifungal, antiseptic
  • Peppermint (mentha x piperita): antiseptic, antispasmodic, diaphoretic, mild analgesic, mild sedative, mild bitter
  • Holy Basil (ocimum sanctum): anti-inflammatory, expectorant, lowers blood sugar, tonic
  • Evening Primrose (oenothera biennis): anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, emollient
  • Ginseng (panax ginseng): adaptogen, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, immune tonic, tonic
  • Butterbur (petasites hybridus): anti-allergenic, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic
  • Rhubarb (rheum officinalis): antibacterial, astringent, bitter, blood cleansing, laxative
  • Golden Root (rhodiola rosea): adaptogen, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, protects heart
  • Butcher’s Broom (ruscus aculeatus): anti-inflammatory, laxative, venous (circulatory) tonic
  • Saw Palmetto (serenoa repens): anti-inflammatory, prostate health
  • Milk Thistle (silybum marianum syn. carduus marianus): antioxidant, liver health, stimulates breast milk
  • Stevia (stevia rebaudiana): antimicrobial, hypoglycemic, lowers blood pressure
  • Cacao (theobroma cacao): antioxidant, diuretic, mild bitter, nutritive, stimulant
  • Cranberry (vaccinium macrocarpon): antioxidant, antiseptic
  • Valerian (valeriana officinalis): antispasmodic, mild analgesic, mild bitter, tranquilizer
  • Chaste Berry (vitex agneus-castus): hormonal balancer, stimulates breast milk
  • Ashwagandha Withania (withania somniferum): adaptogen, sedative, anti-inflammatory, tonic

‘Once the medical supplies had run out, she had to use what was at hand. So she learned all about roots and herbs, and then taught it to me.’ // Star Trek mood boards - Beverly Crusher, botanical edition