may-cause-drowsiness

DIY: Brews and Potions

Witches standing over an open fire while stirring up potions in a cauldron is one of the many romanticized views of witchcraft. Today, witches brew many things for love, luck, health, wealth, and etc. Potions are a widely regarded instrument for witches. Potions are simply liquid spells that can be taken internally or applied externally to the body. Teas, enchanted perfumes, tinctures, and washes are the many forms these spells can come in. Some are used for healing, others are used in ritual or magickal work. 


Kitchen Herbs and Common plants for Brews

Back in the day, homemade teas and salves were the only medicine available. Using these things today is still very popular and a holistic approach to health that treats the mind, body, and soul together. What you use does not have to be expensive, it can come from your back yard or your home. Many of what you already have you can use to make tinctures, teas, and decoctions. Also, syrups, tonics, waters, and vinegars. If you work with the herbs you have at home already on hand, you will be able to create your own remedy with a distinct local flavor. 


The Power Behind the Plants

It is believed that many spiritual forces animate the world; called animism. When working with a plant or crystal, or performing a spell or ritual at a specific place, witches work with the spirits behind those plants or crystals, and call upon the spirit of that location to help them in their work. There is a special partnership and alliance between the witch and spirit, manifesting in forms of animals (familiars) or in the form of other plants, crystals, and locations. Over time, working with these spirits on various projects will deepen the relationship and the witch will gain information on magical associations, properties, and lore. These things often come through dreams, inspirations, or visions. The spirit will gain energy, attention, and physical shelter as animals or plants or crystals carried as a talisman. 


Teas and Decoctions for Health

Using teas and decoctions (herb-and-water remedies in the form of conceited potions that your drink) is a very easy homeopathic way to get started. They are made with dried or fresh herbs, roots, or flowers infused in hot water. Cold infusions is used for tinctures, where the herbal properties are absorbed and released into liquids over time. 

Decoction Method

  • For plants woody and seedy such as root and bark, use this method
  • Once the plant parts are boiled, place on a low heat and set to simmer for 15-20 minutes
  • After simmered, cool them and strain them, pressing the herbs through a cheesecloth or strainer
  • Ready to drink

Tea Method

  • For flowers, leaves, fruits, and/or stems of plans, use this method
  • Start steeping the herbs in the water before it reaches full boil 
  • Once the water begins to steam or boil, remove it from heat
  • Steam for no more than 5-10 minutes
  • While hot, strain into a container
  • Drink right away or follow the cold tea method

Cold Tea Method

  • Following all the preparations of the tea method, after straining, pour into a container and place in the fridge for 30 minutes to 1 hour. 

Herbs for Teas and Decoctions

If using a tea ball, only use a pinch of each plant or spice. If using an infusion pot, or something similar, use approximately ¼ teaspoon of each ingredient. If you use root, seeds, or bark, use the decoction method. If you use flowers, leaves, fruits, or stems, use the tea method. If you use a combination of plant matter, use the decoction methods but then drink it iced following the cold tea method. 

  • Angelica Root: Soothes colds and flu, reduces phlegm and fever; expectorant (do NOT use if you are diabetic) 
  • Basil: Eases headaches, indigestion, muscle spasms, insomnia, earaches; reduces stress and tension, improves skin 
  • Blackberry (leaves or roots): Reduces diarrhea (note: blackberry roots are used as decoction, while blackberry leaves are used for tea)
  • Catnip: Soothes teething pain, colic, diarrhea, indigestion, anxiety, insomnia (may cause drowsiness, avoid if on lithium or sedatives) 
  • Calendula (marigold): Reduces fevers and diarrhea; soothes indigestion, gastrointestinal gramps, flu; antiseptic (may cause drowsiness, avoid if on sedatives) 
  • Cayenne Pepper: Soothes coughs, colds, arthritis, nerve pain, fever, flu; expectorant (avoid taking with medications that slow blood clotting and with theophylline) 
  • Camomile: Reduces insomnia, anxiety, stress, fever, arthritis, indigestion; aids with sleep and pain relief (may decrease effectiveness of birth-control pills and some cancer medications, and may increase the effects of warfarin; discuss usage with your doctor if you are taking medications for your liver) 
  • Cinnamon Bark: Soothes sore throats and coughs, anti-inflammatory (avoid taking with diabetes medications) 
  • Dandelion Root: Detoxifying, aids digestion, relieves constipation, laxative (avoid if on antibiotics, lithium, or water pills) 
  • Dandelion Leaf: Mild diuretic, potassium rich (discuss usage with your doctor if you are taking medications for your liver) 
  • Elderberry Berry: Wards off colds and flu
  • Elderberry Flower: Reduces fever (avoid taking with medications that decrease the immune system) 
  • Garlic (for syrups): Antiseptic, eases atherosclerosis, rheumatism, ear infections, urinary tract infections; supports healthy cholesterol; helps lower blood pressure; boosts immune system; expectorant; reduces risks of colon, rectal, and prostate cancers (do NOT take with isoniazid or medications used for HIV/AIDS, or with medications used to slow blood-clotting) 
  • Ginger: Eases morning sickness, nausea, colic, indigestion, diarrhea, fever, sore throats (avoid taking with medications that slow blood-clotting) 
  • Ginkgo: Relieves anxiety, vertigo, tinnitus; improves circulation, helps concentration; helps vision and premenstrual syndrome (avoid taking with ibuprofen or with medications that slow blood clotting; numerous medications have interactions with ginkgo; discuss usage with your health care practitioner before taking) 
  • Ginseng: Aphrodisiac, mild stimulant, boosts the immune system (do not take with medications that slow blood-clotting, and avoid taking with diabetes medications or with MAO inhibitors) 
  • Goldenrod: Relieves gout and cramps
  • Lavender: Relieves anxiety, headaches, tension, stress, indigestion, irritable bowl syndrome; antibacterial; antiseptic; disinfectant (may cause drowsiness, avoid if on sedatives) 
  • Lemon Balm: Relieves anxiety, cold sores, colic, insomnia restlessness, indigestion; boosts memory (may cause drowsiness, avoid taking with sedatives) 
  • Nettle: Relieves hay fever and arthritis; diuretic (avoid taking with diabetes medications, medications for high blood pressure, sedatives, medications that slow blood clotting, and lithium) 
  • Onion (for syrups): Helps lower systolic blood pressure, relieves colds, antiseptic (avoid taking with medications that slow blood clotting) 
  • Parsley: Helps with iron deficiency, anemia, fatigue; diuretic (do NOT take with medications that slow blood clotting or with diuretics) 
  • Peppermint: Relieves nausea, anxiety, indigestion, irritable bowel syndrome, colic, diarrhea, fever, coughs, colds; anesthetic (avoid if you have acid-reflux disease; avoid taking with cyclosporine; discuss usage with your doctor if you are taking any medications that are changed by the liver) 
  • Pine Needles: Expectorant; antiseptic; relieves coughs, colds, fever, congestion
  • Rosemary: Improves focus, memory, concentration, blood pressure, circulation; antiseptic, antidepressant; eases indigestion
  • Thyme: Antibacterial, antiseptic, eases coughs and colds, expectorant (do NOT take with medications that slow blood-clotting) 

Tea and Decoction Health Blends 

The amounts listed here are for dried herbs, flowers, and spices. Dried ingredients are preferred for teas. If you wish to use fresh ingredients for decoctions, and they are available, double the amount. 

  • Anxiety Relief
    • ¼ teaspoon chamomile
    • ¼ teaspoon lemon balm
  • Cold Relief
    • ¼ teaspoon elderberry flower
    • ¼ teaspoon thyme 
  • Mood Booster
    • ¼ teaspoon lavender 
    • ¼ teaspoon catnip
    • ¼ teaspoon rosemary
  • Gastrointestinal Cramp Relief
    • ¼ teaspoon basil
    • ¼ teaspoon calendula (marigold)
    • ¼ teaspoon goldenrod 
  • Arthritis/Joint Pain
    • ¼ teaspoon goldenrod
    • ¼ teaspoon ground cayenne pepper
    • (Note: after the tea cools, apply it by rubbing the liquid into the affected area)
  • Diarrhea Relief
    • ¼ teaspoon blackberry root
    • ¼ teaspoon catnip
  • Circulation
    • ¼ teaspoon ginkgo leaf
    • ¼ teaspoon ginger
    • ¼ teaspoon rosemary 
  • Energizing Tea
    • ¼ teaspoon ginseng
    • ¼ teaspoon peppermint 
  • Indigestion Relief
    • ½ teaspoon ginger
    • ¼ teaspoon lemon balm
    • ¼ teaspoon peppermint 
  • Expectorant
    • ¼ teaspoon pine needles
    • ¼ teaspoon nettle leaf
    • ¼ teaspoon angelica root
  • Sleepy Time
    • ½ teaspoon chamomile
    • ¼ teaspoon catnip
    • ¼ teaspoon lavender 
  • Fatigue Relief
    • ¼ teaspoon ginseng 
    • ¼ teaspoon lemon balm
  • Fever Break
    • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper 
    • ¼ teaspoon angelica root 
  • Flu Relief
    • ¼ teaspoon calendula (marigold)
    • ¼ teaspoon lemon balm
  • Headache Relief
    • ¼ teaspoon basil
    • ¼ teaspoon thyme
    • ¼ teaspoon lavender 
  • Immune-System Booster 
    • ½ teaspoon dried elderberries 
    • ¼ teaspoon nettle 
    • ¼ teaspoon calendula (marigold) 
  • Sore Throat Relief
    • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
    • 1/8 teaspoon ginger
    • (Note: add honey after steeped) 
  • Stress Relief
    • ¼ teaspoon basil
    • ¼ teaspoon chamomile
    • ¼  teaspoon lavender 
    • ¼ teaspoon peppermint 
  • Cleansing 
    • ¼ teaspoon dandelion leaf
    • 1/8 teaspoon goldenrod 
    • 1/8 teaspoon parsley 

Herbs for Magickal Teas

Follow these steps to empower your tea:

  1. As you steep the potion, envision yourself covered in either a blue or green light (whichever color represents healing to you)
  2. As you drink the potion, visualize a blue or green light coming from the liquid. 
  3. Once you drink , the light will start radiating from within throughout your whole body and then out into the world around you
  4. See it reach heaven (as above) and into the earth (so below), extending your will and desire into the universe
  5. if you are the kind of person who likes affirmations and chants, try saying: “Herbs grown naturally, health and wellness come to me” (Robbins & Bedell, 2017) 
  • Angelica Root: Angel work, protection, hex removal, exorcisms, health, meditation, divination (do NOT use if you are diabetic) 
  • Basil: Loves exorcisms, wealth, astral travel, rituals for the dead, house blessings, ancestral work, calling on and working with dragon spirits, calling draconic or dragon spirit–based energy into your spell, protection, attracting money
  • Blackberry: Healing, money, protection, exorcism
  • Catnip: Love, beauty, happiness, calling on the energy of cats, working with cat spirits, used as an offering for cat spirits, breaking spells, fertility, psychic powers (may cause drowsiness, avoid if on lithium or sedatives) 
  • Calendula (marigold): Money, prosperity, health, psychic development, protection, prophetic dreams, legal matters, psychic powers, healing (may cause drowsiness, avoid if on sedatives)
  • Cayenne Pepper: Fidelity, hex breaking, protection, removal of blocks and negative energy, overcoming obstacles, fire, strength, passion (avoid taking with medications that slow blood clotting an with theophylline) 
  • Camomile: Protection, luck, money, sleep, peace, purification (may decrease effectiveness of birth-control pills and some cancer medications, and may increase the effects of warfarin; discuss usage with your doctor if you are taking medications for your liver) 
  • Cinnamon: Sexuality, lust, wealth, money, consecration, purification, love (avoid taking with diabetes medications)
  • Dandelion (both root and leaf): Purification, manifestation of wishes, enrichment, money (avoid if on antibiotics, lithium, or water pills; discuss usage with your doctor if you are taking medications for your liver)
  • Elderberry: Exorcism, protection, healing, prosperity, sleep, protection against witchcraft (avoid taking with medications that decrease immune system) 
  • Ginger: Love, money, success, power, protection (avoid taking with medications that slow blood clotting)
  • Ginkgo: Healing, mental clarity, fertility; avoid taking with ibuprofen or with medications that slow blood clotting; numerous medications have interactions with ginkgo, discuss usage with your health care practitioner before taking)
  • Ginseng: Fertility, sexuality, lust, manifestation of wishes, healing, beauty, protection (do NOT take with medications that slow blood clotting; avoid taking with diabetes medications or with MAO inhibitors) 
  • Goldenrod: Money, divination (may cause drowsiness, avoid taking with sedatives)
  • Lavender: Love, protection, purification, happiness, peace, healing, meditation, psychic abilities (may cause drowsiness, avoid taking with sedatives)
  • Lemon Balm: Love, success, healing, cleansing (may cause drowsiness, avoid taking with sedatives)
  • Nettle Leaf: Protection, exorcism, healing, jinx-breaking, lust (avoid taking with sedatives, lithium, or medications for diabetes, for high blood pressure, or that slow blood clotting)
  • Parsley: Healing, fortune, success, lust, protection, purification, ancestor veneration, working with the dead, traveling to the land of the dead, calling upon the energy of death and decay (do NOT take with medications that slow blood clotting or with diuretics)
  • Peppermint: Purification, love, healing, psychic powers, (avoid if you have acid-reflux disease; avoid taking with cyclosporine; discuss usage with your doctor if you are taking any medications that are changed by the liver)
  • Pine Needles: Cleansing, drawing the aid of spirits, love, mental focus, protection, lust, exorcism, healing
  • Thyme: Health, healing, sleep, psychic powers, love, purification, courage, good luck (do NOT take with medications that slow blood clotting) 

Magickal Tea Recipes

  • Attract and Protect Money
    • ¼ tsp goldenrod
    • ¼ tsp chamomile
    • ¼ tsp basil
  • Exorcism
    • ¼ tsp angelica root
    • ¼ tsp nettle leaf
    • ¼ tsp elder flower
  • Spirit Aid
    • ¼ tsp parsley
    • ¼ tsp rosemary 
  • Love and Lust
    • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
    • ¼ tsp catnip
    • ¼ tsp ginseng 
  • Cleansing
    • ¼ tsp dandelion
    • ¼ tsp lemon balm
    • ¼ tsp thyme
  • Protection
    • ¼ tsp pine needles
    • ¼ tsp elderberries
    • ¼ tsp blackberry leaf
  • Divination
    • ¼ tsp goldenrod
    • ¼ tsp peppermint
  • Psychic Development
    • ¼ tsp calendula (marigold) 
    • ¼ tsp ginkgo leaf
    • ¼ tsp lavender 

Tinctures and Tonics for Health 

A tincture is a traditional herb infusion made with an alcohol base. A tonic usually uses either vegetable glycerin or apple cider vinegar as the base. The alcohol used in tinctures must be at least 100 proof, or 50%, alcohol, which is why most vodkas and gins are used. Tinctures can also be made with vegetable glycerin or apple cider vinegar for those with alcohol issues, although less potent and yet still effective. 

Crafting Tinctures and Tonics

Tools needed:

  1. Two mason jars
  2. Cheesecloth
  3. The herbs/plants/spices
  4. Measuring cups
  5. An herb grinder
  6. Alcohol/vegetable glycerin/apple cider vinegar 
  7. Tool to measure the dosage such as droppers for infant medication

Steps for recipe creation:

When preparing a tincture, the rule of thumb is you want a 1:4 ratio of herb to alcohol. If your herbs start to float, your ratio is good. Allow them to settle, and add a little more alcohol until the mixture is fully saturated. 

  1. Prepare the ingredients
  2. Fill the mason jar with the herbs/plants/spices
  3. Add the alcohol or alcohol substitute  (If using apple cider vinegar as your base, you will need to take the additional step of laying wax paper on top of the jar lid)
  4. Keep in a cool, dark place for a month (some may require refrigeration, and that will be noted) 
  5. Shake twice daily 
  6. After 1 month, strain the herbal matter from the liquid into the second jar using a cheesecloth (squeeze the cheesecloth to get out as much of the liquid as you can)
  7. After straining, fill the remainder of the jar with distilled water–this dilutes the alcohol, allowing you to ingest it directly
  8. Ready for use 

Herbs and Plants for Health Tinctures and Tonics 

Many of these will not taste good, but will work:

  • Alfalfa: Energy booster, laxative, cleanser (avoid taking with medications that slow blood clotting or suppress the immune system and with birth-control pills) 
  • Allspice: Stimulant; eases indigestion, colds, coughs; reduces hives and swelling (avoid taking with medications that slow blood clotting)
  • Aloe Vera Juice (liquid): Soothes the skin, antiseptic (external use only)
  • Angelica (fruit or seeds): Eases indigestion, gas, gout; balances nervous system (do NOT use if you are diabetic)
  • Bay Leaf: Eases indigestion, coughs, colds, fevers (do NOT take with any narcotics or sedatives) 
  • Bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi): Antiseptic, eases symptoms of urinary tract infections (do NOT use if you are pregnant or breastfeeding or if you have stomach irritation or kidney disease; avoid taking with lithium) 
  • Bergamot: Soothes colds, fevers, coughs, nausea, indigestion, menstrual cramps (avoid taking with photosensitizing medications) 
  • Black-Eyed Susan: Soothes swelling, back pain, earaches; immune booster
  • Black Peppercorn: Anti-fungal, heals ulcers, relieves arthritis
  • Burdock Root: Detoxifying, soothes colds and skin issues (avoid taking with medications that slow blood clotting)
  • Cedar (freshly dried leafy twigs): Soothes gout, naturally antiviral, boosts immune system (may cause drowsiness, avoid if on sedatives)
  • Clover (red): Soothes coughs, colds, bronchitis (avoid taking with medications that slow blood clotting and with tamoxifen; may decrease effectiveness of birth control pulls and medications that are changed by the liver)
  • Cloves: Soothes nausea and indigestion; antiseptic, expectorant (avoid taking with medications that slow blood clotting)
  • Comfrey Leaf: Ease arthritis, rheumatism, coughs, colds, diarrhea, asthma; antibacterial (do NOT take with medications that can harm the liver)
  • Coriander Seeds: Aids in digestion; aphrodisiac; boosts immune system
  • Cramp Bark: Eases arthritis, rheumatism, menstrual cramps
  • Echinacea: Eases colds, antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, boosts immune system (interacts with various medications, discuss usage with your health care practitioner before taking)
  • Garlic: Antiseptic; eases atherosclerosis, rheumatism, ear infections, symptoms of urinary tract infections; supports healthy cholesterol; helps lower blood pressure; boosts immune system; expectorant; reduces risks of colon, rectal, and prostate cancers (do NOT take with isoniazid, medication used for HIV/AIDS, or medications used to slow blood-clotting) 
  • Goldenseal (roots and leaves): Aids digestion; eases colds, hay fever, menstrual cramps (avoid taking with medications that are changed by the liver)
  • Horseradish: Antiseptic; antibacterial; expectorant; soothes flu, colds, coughs, symptoms of urinary tract infections; diuretic; appetite stimulant (avoid taking with thyroid medications)
  • Hyssop: Soothes colds, fevers, sore throats, asthma, rheumatism, indigestion; expectorant
  • Lemon: Boosts immune system, helps prevent kidney stones, eases indigestion and constipation, relieves toothaches
  • Lemongrass: Supports healthy cholesterol; antibacterial; detoxifies; relieves constipation, nausea, diarrhea, insomnia, coughs, colds, fevers, anxiety, stress, fatigue; boosts immune system
  • Mugwort: Eases menstrual cramps, stomach cramps, fevers, colds (do NOT take if pregnant) 
  • Mullein: Relieves asthma, coughs, colds, diarrhea, hemorrhoids; expectorant; diuretic
  • Nutmeg: Stimulates digestive system; relieves diarrhea, nausea, anxiety (avoid taking with medications that are changed by the liver) 
  • Orange: Lowers blood pressure, reduces cholesterol, relieves arthritis and anxiety, stabilizes mood, boosts immune system; laxative (do NOT take with celiprolol, ivermectin, or pravastatin) 
  • Onion: Helps lower systolic blood pressure, eases colds; antiseptic (avoid taking with medications that slow blood clotting)
  • Skullcap: Eases headaches, stress, menstrual tension, insomnia, anxiety, sedative
  • Turmeric: Anti-inflammatory, reduces cholesterol (avoid taking with medications that slow blood clotting)
  • Valerian Root: Eases insomnia (do NOT take with alcohol, sedatives, or anti anxiety medications) 
  • Witch Hazel Bark: Relieves pain, diarrhea, colds, fevers, ulcers, colitis; antiseptic
  • Wormwood: Eases indigestion and stomach disorders; aphrodisiac (avoid taking with anticonvulsant medications)
  • Yarrow: Antiseptic, relieves pain, hay fever, colds, fevers, menstrual cramps (do NOT take with medications that slow blood clotting, avoid taking with lithium or sedatives)
  • Yellow Dock: Laxative; reduces anemia, relieves fatigue, aids digestive system (do NOT take with digoxin, diuretic medications, or medications that slow blood clotting)

For tincture recipes, there are many books and sites that can be used for reference. 


Magickal Tinctures

When making a tincture for use magickally and spiritually, shake the tincture two times a day to direct your energy into the jar and activate the magick within the herbs. 

Tincture-Charging Spell

Materials: 

  1. 1 green candle (herb spirits) 
  2. 1 white candle (spirit and magick)
  3. 1 candle to charge the tincture (color depends on spell)
  4. 1 mixing bowl 
  5. Herbs and alcohol for the tincture (or alcohol substitute) 
  6. 2 Mason jars
  7. Cheese cloth 

Ritual:

  1. Place the three candles in a triangle on your altar or workspace. The white candle should be the top of the triangle (facing away from you to direct the energy out into the universe). The green and other candle form the base
  2. Place the bowl at the center of the altar, and place your containers of herbs and alcohol on the floor
  3. Light the white candle while stating: “For the power of spirit”
  4. Light the green candle while stating: “For the herbal spirits”
  5. Light the colored candle for your need, and state your need 
  6. Place an herb in the bowl, state a thank-you blessing to the herb, and explain why you are using that herb. Repeat for each herb, and as you add each herb, stir the mixture of herbs clockwise for increasing or bringing something to you and counterclockwise if you are trying to remove or decrease something in your life
  7. Once you have mixed all the herbs in the bowl, hold your hands over the mixture and state your intent
  8. Visualize a light coming out of your hands for that need (red for love and passion or power; green for money, success, growth and fertility; blue for healing; yellow for success; etc)
  9. Pour the mixture into one of the mason jars and add the alcohol (do this at a safe distance form the lit candles)
  10. Place the lid on the jar
  11. Remove the mixing bowl from the alter and put the mason jar with the tincture blend in its place, in the center of your candles. Keep the mason jar there until the candles have finished burning
  12. Shake the tincture, focusing your mental, emotional, and physical energy into the jar. As you shake, chant: “I can upon the powers green, Release the powers unseen. Herbs awakened on this day, Blessings in this tincture stay.” 
  13. Shake the jar twice daily for one month, each time visualizing the need behind the tincture
  14. Once the month has passed, strain the mixture into the second jar using the cheesecloth. 
  15. Now the tincture is ready to be used in magickal work

Herbs for Magickal Tinctures

For magickal uses, the following herbs, spices, and plants are only for external use in tincture blends:

  • Angelica Leaf: Angel work, protection, removing hexes, exorcism, health, meditation, divination 
  • Alfalfa: Money attraction (drawing money to you), prosperity, protection
  • Allspice: Money, luck, healing
  • Aloe Vera: Protection, peace in the afterlife, prosperity, success, love
  • Bay Leaf: Protection, purification, enhancing psychic powers, strength
  • Bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi): Victory, protection, money, power, strength
  • Bergamot: Money, clarity
  • Black-Eyed Susan: Cleansing, releasing, grounding, integration, mediumship, connecting with the dead
  • Black Peppercorn: Protection, exorcism 
  • Burdock Root: Protection, uncrossing (removing hexes or curses)
  • Cedar: Healing, purification, money, protection
  • Clover: Protection, money, fidelity, love, exorcism, success
  • Cloves: Enhancing psychic powers, astral travel, protection, exorcism, love
  • Comfrey Leaf: Money, safe travel, protection
  • Coriander Seeds: Love, health, healing, lust, fidelity
  • Cramp Bark: Protection, luck
  • Echinacea: Strengthening spells, offerings to spirits
  • Garlic: Protection, exorcism, lust, antitheft
  • Goldenseal: Healing, money
  • Horseradish: Purification, exorcism
  • Hyssop: Purification, protection, cleansing
  • Lemon: Purification, love, friendship, justice
  • Lemongrass: Repelling snakes, lust, enhancing psychic powers
  • Mugwort: Strength, psychic powers, protection, prophetic dreams, astral projection
  • Mullein: Courage, protection, love, divination, exorcism
  • Nutmeg: Gambling luck, money, fidelity, prosperity, luck
  • Orange: Love, divination, luck, money
  • Saint John’s Wort: Health, protection, strength, love, divination, happiness
  • Skullcap: Love, fidelity, peace
  • Turmeric: Purification
  • Valerian Root: Purification, cleansing, peace, love, protection, breaking hexes and curses 
  • Wormwood: Summoning spirits, working with the dead, enhancing psychic power, protection, love, prophesizing, breaking hexes and curses
  • Witch Hazel: Protection, chasteness (less likely to give into temptation and sexual desire)
  • Yarrow: Psychic development, courage, love, exorcism, protection
  • Yellow Dock: Money attraction, customer attraction, love attraction 

Source

Robbins, Shawn, and Bedell, Charity. The Good Witch’s Guide. New York: Sterling Ethos, 2017. Print.

Day 215: Tincturing Workshop

I’m leading a tincturing workshop this Sunday, so I thought it might be nice to share the packet I’m going to be handing out. It includes some tips on alcohol and vinegar tincturing, as well as recipes and some local Ozark yarbs to work into your herbal preparations. Enjoy!


Recipe Sheet – Tincturing Workshop

Brandon Weston
ozarkhealing.com
facebook.com/MountainManHealing
mountainmanhealing@gmail.com


Alcohol Tinctures

Fresh Herb:

  • Finely chop or grind clean herb to release juice and expose surface area.
  • Fill jar 2/3 to ¾ with herb. ~ OR ~ Fill jar ¼ to ½ with roots.
  • Pour alcohol over the herbs.
  • Jar should appear full of herb, but herb should move freely when shaken.

Dried Herb:

  • Use finely cut herbal material.
  • Fill jar ½ to ¾ with herb ~ OR ~ Fill jar ¼ to 1/3 with roots.
  • Pour alcohol over the herbs.
  • Roots will expand by ½ their size when reconstituted!

Alcohol Percentages*

40% – 50% (80-90 proof vodka)

  • “Standard” percentage range for tinctures.
  • Good for most dried herbs and fresh herbs that are not juicy.
  • Good for extraction of water soluble properties.

67.5% – 70% (½ 80 proof vodka + ½ 190 proof grain alcohol)

  • Extracts most volatile aromatic properties.
  • Good for fresh high-moisture herbs like lemon balm, berries, and aromatic roots.
  • The higher alcohol percentage will draw out more of the plant juices.

85% – 95% (190 proof grain alcohol)

  • Good for gums and resins.
  • Extracts aromatics and essential oils that are bound in the plant and do not dissipate easily.
  • The alcohol strength can produce a tincture that is not quite pleasant to take.
  • Often used for drop dosage medicines.
  • Will totally dehydrate herbs.

*information comes from the Mountain Rose Herbs blog

Macerating

  • Maceration is the process by which the active chemical compounds are leached into the solvent solution. This is usually done by shaking the jar that contains the alcohol or vinegar and the herbal plant matter. 
  • Alcohol tinctures need to be left to macerate for at least 2-3 weeks depending upon the ABV. The higher the ABV the less maceration time is needed.
  • Vinegar tinctures need to be left to macerate for at least a month before straining and bottling.

Easy Alcohol Tincture Recipes

Sarsaparilla Tincture: Anti-Inflammatory, Tonic (do not take if you have kidney problems)

  • Sarsaparilla root
  • Vodka

Wild Cherry Tincture: Antispasmodic, expectorant, sedative

  • Wild cherry bark
  • Vodka

Herbal Bitters (simplified): Tonic, diaphoretic, colds, flu, febrifuge, chills (contains thujone, may cause drowsiness)

  • 1 quart jar
  • ¼ c. thyme
  • ¼ c. oregano (or dittany)
  • ¼ c. chopped fresh ginger
  • ¼ c. hyssop
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tbsp. cloves
  • Vodka

Stomach Bitters (simplified): Stomach issues, cramps, urinary issues, digestive issues

  • 1 quart jar
  • 4 tbsp dried dandelion root
  • 2 tbsp fennel seed
  • 2 tbsp fresh ginger
  • 2 tbsp dried peppermint leaves (or mountain mint)
  • Vodka

Vinegar Tinctures

  • Measurements and instructions are the same as with the alcohol tinctures at the beginning of the packet. Remember: vinegar tinctures need to be left longer to macerate, at least a month.

Easy Vinegar Tincture Recipes

Fire Tonic: Colds, flu, chills, general tonic

  • 1 32 oz. bottle apple cider vinegar. I like to use unfiltered, it seems to taste better and it’s easier on the stomach.
  • 5-10 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 3-5 hot peppers, as hot as you can stand
  • 1 3 inch knob of ginger, crushed
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and diced
  • ¼ c. chopped mullein
  • ¼ c. chopped rosemary
  • ¼ c. chopped thyme
  • ¼ c. crushed star anise or green sweetgum balls (sources for shikimic acid which helps fight the flu virus)
  • Take all of this and combine it in large mason jar, all the herbs and vegetables are going to take up a lot of room. Let this stand in a dark place for about two months. Shake everyday. After it’s finished macerating strain off the liquid, add about a half cup honey, bottle.
  • Alternate Ozark yarbs to use: Dittany, Self-heal, Plantain, Horsemint

Vinegar Oxymels

  • Also called “sipping vinegars” these mixtures are basic vinegar tinctures sweetened and thickened with honey to make them more palatable.

Basic Oxymel:

  • 1 part herb : 3 parts honey and apple cider vinegar  
  • Quart mason jars: fill up ¼ jar with herb, ¼ with honey, then the rest with vinegar. Macerate for a few weeks.

Easy Oxymel Recipes

Colds and Immune System Oxymel:

  • 1 part elderberries
  • 1 part ginger root (dried)

Another for Colds with Cough Oxymel:

  • 1 part Mullein
  • 1 part Horehound

Stomach Complaints Oxymel:

  • 2 parts ginger
  • 1 part peppermint
  • 1 part fennel seed

Sinus Congestion Oxymel:

  • 2 parts garlic
  • 1 part cayenne pepper
  • 1 part thyme
  • 1 part rosemary

Beginners Ozark Medicinal Plants

Caution should always be taken when looking for medicinal plants out in the wild. Do not consume or use any plant that you are unsure about. The internet is a wonderful resource for plant identification. Look up photos and identification information for plants from reputable sources before collecting any plant out in the wild. NOTE also that many Ozark medicinal plants are endangered and should not be harvested out in the wild.

When wild-harvesting take only what you need at that time. DO NOT STOCKPILE! Chances are the plants will go bad before you can use them. A good rule of thumb for any plant is to count three plants then take one, that way there are plants left behind to go to seed. Leave the roots intact unless the root is being harvested, then try and leave a piece of the root or any seeds/berries behind in the soil.

Responsible harvesting means these medicinal plants will be around for many more generations.  

I’m not including photos of plants on purpose! I want folks to go look up the plants and find as many identifying photos and identifying information as they can. Do the work! Google is an amazing resource for plant identification.

+ means the plant is not native but is common in the Ozarks


Black-Eyed Susan, Rudbeckia hirta: Flowers, roots:

Root infusion used for dermatological needs. Used to wash snakebites. Decoction of whole plant taken to aid with heart disease. Decoction of root taken for colds and chills. Cold infusion of flowers taken for headache and as a febrifuge. Similar properties to other coneflowers (Purple coneflower, Missouri coneflower, etc.) Some say the active compounds are not water soluble. Better used as a tincture or extract.

*** Cautions: Asteraceae family ***


Cinquefoil, Five Finger Grass, Potentilla simplex: Leaves, root:

Leaves taken for colds and as a febrifuge. Root astringent, infusion taken for dysentery, diarrhea, and as a mouthwash for sores and thrush.


+Cleavers, Galium aparine: Leaves:

Strong infusion as laxative. Externally as a dermatological aid. Has been linked to aiding with lowering blood pressure.

*** Cautions: Laxative ***


Common Dittany, Cunila origanoides: Leaves, stems, flowers:

Related to Oregano and Marjoram and can be used in similar ways. As an infusion it’s good for colds and to help open up the sinuses. Boiled strong it helps the body sweat and can aid in lowering fevers. Infusion used to help aid a painful birth. Used as a stimulant and tonic. Contains trace amounts of thujone, an active chemical also found in wormwood, mugwort, and yarrow, and may cause drowsiness or headaches. Use only in small amounts and with caution.

*** Cautions: Contains trace amounts of thujone ***


Elderberry, Sambucus nigra or Sambucus canadensis: Berries, flowers, leaves, bark:

Berries used in formulas against chills and cold. Helps support the immune system. Infusion of berry used internally for rheumatism. Flower infusion used as a febrifuge and to sweat out a cold. Leaf infusion used to wash sores and prevent infection. Bark poultice used on sores, wounds, rashes, and other dermatological needs.

*** Cautions: Berries mildly toxic when unripe, foliage toxic in large quantities ***


Goldenrod, Solidago: Leaves, Flowers:

There are many different varieties of goldenrods, all of which have very similar medicinal uses. Topically the plant has traditionally been used in salves to help with sore muscles and arthritis. Internally it has traditionally been used as a diuretic to help bladder and kidney issues and to help break up “stones”. It is also a good diaphoretic that can help reduce a fever, and an astringent that can aid in remedying diarrhea. The flowers also make a wonderful yellow dye.

*** Cautions: Asteraceae family, may cause skin irritation ***


Horsemint, Monarda bradburiana: Leaves, flowers:

Infusion used for colds, chills, as a febrifuge, and for bowel complaints. Can be used externally in oils and salves for dermatological needs. Used in many of the same ways as Monarda fistulosa.


Jewelweed, Impatiens capensis: Leaves, stems, flowers:

Sap produced by the leaves and stems used for poison ivy, rashes, burns, and other dermatological needs. Cold infusion of leaves as a febrifuge. Infusion whole plant taken internally for stomach cramps.

*** Cautions: Seeds toxic ***


+Mullein, Verbascum thapsus: Leaves, flowers, root:

Leaves and flowers can be used to clear chest congestion (smoked or as an infusion), as an analgesic for rashes, aches and pains. Leaves can be wilted and used in poultices for swollen glands. Roots can be used in decoctions for gynecological issues.


+Plantain, Plantago major “Broadleaf Plantain” or Plantago lanceolata “Ribwort Plantain”: Leaves, roots, flowers:

Leaves used in poultices for bug bites, inflammations, rashes, cuts, bruises, stings, and other skin complaints. Whole plant infusions for colds, fever, upper respiratory complaints, rheumatism, hypertension, regulating blood sugar, bladder problems, kidney problems. Root used as a gentle expectorant and in helping sinus issues. “Snake Weed” because of the belief that the plant can help draw venom out of a snakebite. It was also thought that a person could carry the plant to help ward off snakes.


Self-Heal, All Heal, Prunella vulgaris: Leaves, flowers:

Infusion is an analgesic used to wash sores, wounds, and used in salves for many dermatological needs. Used to flavor other medicines. Infusion used as a febrifuge and against colds. Used for sore throats. Mild sedative. Helps with stomach and bowel complaints. Antidiarrheal. Respiratory aid.


Spicebush, Lindera benzoin: Leaves, Bark:

The red berries of the spicebush have long been used as a substitute for cinnamon or allspice in mountain recipes. The leaves can be made into a pleasant infusion for colds and headaches while the bark can be brewed strong for fevers and chills. The leaves can also be used topically for skin irritations, rashes, and bites. 


Sumac, Rhus glabra “Smooth Sumac” or Rhus typhina “Staghorn Sumac”: Berries, Leaves, Bark:

The berries are used in a tasty beverage I’ve heard called “sumacade”. It’s lemony taste is quite pleasant, and the drink is high in vitamin C. The berries and bark are astringent and can be used as an effective gargle for a cough or mouth sores. A decoction of the bark can also be taken internally for diarrhea. In the Fall the red leaves can be dried and smoked to induce dreaming.


Sweet Everlasting, Rabbit Tobacco, Pseudognaphalium obtusifolium/Gnaphalium obtusifolium: Leaves, flowers:

Decoction whole plant used as a sedative and to aid sleeping. Analgesic for sores, pains, aches, wounds, and many other dermatological needs. Antirheumatic (internal). Decoction for colds and chills. Smoked and used in infusions to clear chest congestion. Chewed for sore mouth and throat. Used in sweat baths against many illnesses. NOTE harvest leaves in the Fall when they start to turn brown.

*** Cautions: Asteraceae family ***


Sweetgum tree, Liquidambar styraciflua: Leaves, bark, gum, balls:

Leaves can be used in poultices for several dermatological issues, cuts, and bruises. Gum and inner bark used for diarrhea and flux. Infusion of bark taken for “flooding” (gynecological). Infusion of bark given as a sedative. Sweetgum balls, when green in the Spring before seeds have formed can be soaked in alcohol then given for colds and the flu (antiviral, antibacterial due to contained shikimic acid).


White-Leafed Mountain Mint, Pycnanthemum albescens: Leaves, Flowers, Stems:

As an infusion, can be used to help treat headaches, stomach complaints, and colds. Brewed strong it can help to reduce fevers.


Wild Bergamot, Beebalm, Monarda fistulosa: Leaves, flowers:

Infusion used for coughs, colds, and sore throats. Carminative for stomach complaints. Diaphoretic, febrifuge, and diuretic. Mild sedative. Abortifacient, so caution should be taken. Externally an analgesic used in poultices for pains, aches, cuts, and rashes.


Witch Hazel, Hamamelis vernalis (Ozark Witch Hazel) and American Witch Hazel, Hamamelis virginiana: Leaves, bark:

Leaves and bark astringent used externally as a skin toner and for many dermatological issues. Infusion taken for colds and as a febrifuge. Antirheumatic. Decoction of bark taken as an emetic.

*** Cautions: Bark emetic***


+Yarrow, Achillea millefolium: Flowers, leaves:

Leaves astringent, used in bowel complaints and with dermatological needs. Foliage infusion used for colds, as a febrifuge, upset stomach, and as a mild sedative. Leaves can be smoked to loosen phlegm and clear chest congestion.

*** Cautions: Asteraceae family ***

Sleep

Human!Castiel x Dean Winchester

Warnings: fluffy smut.

Also on AO3

Originally posted by sevastisaurus

Sleep was a concept that Castiel had a very hard time getting used to. For years, he would sit in Dean’s room and protect him as he slumbered. Then, just over two years ago, he joined the hunter in his bed, cradling Dean in his arms as he watched him sleep.

But for the last two months, things had been very different. Castiel was human. Some of the customary human needs came easily to him. He enjoyed food, most specifically PB&J sandwiches and fresh backed chocolate chip cookies. Showering was also a delightful daily occurrence, especially when Dean was involved. He looked forward to movie nights and real dates, on occasion. But sleep, that was something the former angel had yet to master.

So, there he was lying in bed, eyes wide open for what felt like the one hundredth night in a row. He stared up at the blank ceiling. The only light in the room came from a small night light that he had insisted on putting near his side of the wall, just to make the restless nights a little brighter. Dean hated the thing at first, but he was willing to do anything to make Castiel more comfortable.

“Can’t sleep?” Dean murmured as he turned towards Cas, a sleepish grin on his face. “You know, I’ve heard of something that can help with that.” He nestled his face into Cas’ neck.

Keep reading

She’s No Angel (Part 4)

Originally posted by trashwilldo

Part 1  Part 2  Part 3 Part 5


MISS Y/N L/N. TAKE THREE PILLS A DAY. MAY CAUSE DROWSINESS OR DIZZINESS. ALCOHOL COULD INTENSIFY THIS EFFECT. USE CAUTION WHEN PILOTING OR OPERATING HEAVY MACHINERY. DO NOT TAKE IF PREGNANT.


The humming of the machinery calmed you, as you and Lucky walked back to your quarters. “Thank you again, Lucky.” You smiled reaching the door. The doors opened up and Lucky waited for his invitation. Others found it strange, how the flirtatious bad boy of troopers could be a gentleman, “But, only for you Angel.” He said strolling in. Lucky removed and placed his helmet on your kitchen island. Picking up the bottle, he examined the words. “Take three a day. Angel?” His blue eyes looked up at you. You turned to look at him. “Is this because of yesterday or-” You cut him off before he could continue. You knew where this was headed. “Luck, you don’t have to worry. I’m fine.” You grabbed the pill bottle and placed it in the cabinet. “But, I do.” Lucky whispered. You turned to look at him, only you got to see Lucky like this and you felt honored enough that he wanted to show you this side. Making your way around the island and engulfed him in a hug. “You shouldn’t, but thank you.” You squeezed him. Wrapping is his arms tightly around you, he spoke up. “Y/N,” he began, knowing this was a serious conversation. “I know how amazing and respectful you are and everyone told me not to worry. And then you didn’t show up to lunch and that stupid Matt guy wasn’t there and I was getting very suspicious.” You chuckled. “You thought I was hanging with Matt? ” “No. I thought Matt got you or something, but he came later. And don’t say it like that, I’m not jealous.” Shaking your head he continued. “Then, when I heard what happened, I just … when I heard” he squeezed you tighter. “I wanted to look for you, but everyone stopped me. I’m sorry.” You squeezed back. “It’s not your fault and thank you for caring so much.” You let go and still saw Lucky’s blue eyes still gazing down at you.

Keep reading

Ozark Encyclopedia – D – Dittany

Dittany, Stone Mint - Cunila origanoides

Parts used: leaf, flower

Traditional uses: Related to Oregano and Marjoram and can be used in similar ways. As an infusion it’s good for colds and to help open up the sinuses. Boiled strong it helps the body sweat and can aid in lowering fevers. Infusion used to help aid a painful birth. Used as a stimulant and tonic. Contains trace amounts of thujone, an active chemical also found in wormwood, mugwort, and yarrow, and may cause drowsiness or headaches. Use only in small amounts and with caution.

*** Cautions: Contains trace amounts of thujone ***

For chills – “Mountain Diteny (Cunila) is good to use to stop chills.” ~Parler FBA II 1756

For colds – “For a severe cold, make a tea of Mountain ditney…sweeten with molasses and drink one-half teacup full before going to bed.” ~Parler FBA II 1830

For fevers – “Tea made out of Ditney weed…will cure a fever.” ~Parler FBA II 2202


Moerman, Daniel E. Native American Ethnobotany (NAE)

Parler, Mary Celestia Folk Beliefs from Arkansas (FBA)

iKON B.i - Unwell Boyfriend

The sound of your boyfriend’s song from Show Me The Money sounded loudly, slowly dragging you from your sleep. You forced open your eyes and the first thing you saw was the time.

“Why is he calling me at 7…” You whined, reaching your arm out lazily in search of your phone. Your hand finally landed upon it and you dragged your finger across the screen to answer the call. 

“Hey, _____!” That voice didn’t sound like your boyfriends…

“Hello?” You answered groggily.

“Hanbin isn’t feeling too well. He came down with the flu or something last night.” You now recognised the voice as Jinhwan.

“He’s ill?” You became alert a propped yourself up on your elbow, as if that would help you wake up.

“We have no choice but to go practice today but we can’t leave him here alone. He can barely move.” Jinhwan’s voice sounded strained. He was obviously worried sick about his younger friend.

“Of course I’ll be there. Don’t worry. I’ll see you in ten, alright?” You hung up the phone and swung your legs off the bed. You couldn’t believe that Hanbin was so sick when he had barely even caught a cold before. He was probably so stressed over everything happening with iKON and he finally collapsed.

You quickly changed into jeans and a plain t-shirt, not bothering to wash up or do anything to fancy. You didn’t even brush your hair since it was usually neat in the morning anyway. You finished getting ready and ran to your car before making your way to the boys dorm. When you arrived on the driveway, Jinhwan and the others were just getting into a YG car. 

“____ Noona!” Donghyuk called, a cheerful smile on his face. You waved in reply and immediately made your way into the dorm. 

You didn’t need to be let in or be led to Hanbin because you had visited this place often enough that you had received your own key. You entered the small house and shut the door behind you quietly, not wanting to awake the probably sleeping Hanbin.

“Jagi~” A sweet voice cooed from one of the rooms.

“Binnie~” You called back, a smile forming on your lips at the sound of his voice.

You made your way to where he was and when you laid your eyes on him you couldn’t keep your mouth from dropping open. He was laying on the floor his body stretched out in an awkward position. His white t-shirt was soaked in sweat and it was exposing his toned stomach, which also was covered in sweat. He had no pants on, just his boxers, and you suddenly felt the need to cover your eyes.

“Hanbin…” You trailed off feeling sympathetic for your poor boyfriend. 

“____, please save me.” His words came out slurred and you could barely understand him. The snot that was dribbling out of his nose definitely did not help.

“Poor baby, you look terrible.” You murmured and knelt down beside him. You brushed your hand through his hair and watched as he closed his eyes and took deep breaths.

“I… tried to make an effort… for you.” He whispered and you couldn’t stop the giggle from escaping your mouth. He always had to be silly even in situations like these.

“Come on, let’s get you to the bed.” You pulled him up and slung his arm over your shoulder before quickly dumping him onto Yunhyeong’s bed. For some reason, he wasn’t even in his own room but you weren’t going to question that right now.

After laying him flat on his back you pulled a pack of tissues out of your pocket (you had come prepared) and wiped the snot that was still dripping from his nose.

“Blow.” You ordered and he obeyed. You removed the tissue and threw it in the bin by the door. 

“You need to put on a lot of clothing to sweat this out, alright?” You rested your hand on his bare stomach and immediately felt the heat radiating off his body.

“No… No! No… Oo.” He whined sleepily, obviously drifting to sleep.

“Don’t move.” You knew he probably wouldn’t move anywhere anyway but you just had to be sure.

You went into his room, which just happened to be right across from this one and you grabbed any jumper and any pants out of the cupboard. You didn’t know which of the clothes were Bobby’s and which were your boyfriend’s but they shared them all the time anyway so it didn’t really matter. You stepped back into Yunhyeong’s room and were surprised to see Hanbin on the floor again, this time face down.

“Jagi…” He sounded miserably and you suddenly felt sad. Seeing him like this made you realise that he had a lot more troubles and problems than he told you about. There was no way he got like this over night so he had to have been sick for at least a few days.

“You need to stay in your bed okay Hanbin. You need to change into these so I’m going to leave you for a few minutes, okay?” You helped him onto the bed once again and placed the clothes on his lap. He looked down at them before looking up at you with puppy eyes.

“I can… hardly move.” He breathed out so quietly you barely heard him.

You realized what he was getting at and sighed.

“I’ll help you change.” You hesitantly agreed, afraid he would try some mischievous.

You took hold of the bottom of his shirt and pulled it up above his head, leaving him shirtless.

“Like what you see?” He winked and blew a lazy kiss towards you. You laughed in reply and immediately put the jumper on him.

“Not today.” You answered quietly after putting the pants on him as well.

“It’s hot.” He moaned and threw himself back on the bed. He stretched himself out a made continuous moaning noises.

A blush rose to your cheeks because well… The moans weren’t so innocent. You didn’t know if he was doing it on purpose or not but either way it made you embarrassed.

“Hanbin, stop complaining. I’m going to get you some medicine alright?” You left him alone in Yunhyeong’s room and made your way to the kitchen where the medicine would be.

After seeing him you had decided he had come down with the flu. You searched through every cupboard in the boys’ small kitchen until you found the flu tablets. You quickly read the lable and saw “Warning: may cause drowsiness." You grabbed a bottle of water from the practically empty fridge and made your way back to your helpless Boyfriend.

"I’m back!” You cheered and noticed Hanbin was on the floor again.

“Binnie you idiot.” You muttered and pulled him up onto the bed again, this time he didn’t whine. "Here, you need to swallow this okay?“ You handed him a single tablet after he moved into a sitting position and he swallowed it without drinking any water. You shrugged and placed the water beside the bed.

"Are you tired?” You asked. 

He shook his head.

“Hungry?”

He shook his head.

“Do you want anything?”

He nodded.

The whole time he didn’t look at you which frustrated you because he never looked away when having a conversation. 

“What is it?” You moved to sit beside him and ran a hand through his sweaty hair.

“Cuddles.” He spoke quietly as if almost embarassed to ask for such a silly thing

You laughed loudly and nodded. “Of course baby!” You cooed and snuggled under the blankets next to him.

“Aren’t you afraid… You will get sick?” Hanbin whispered, his breath hot against your ear.

“I would die for you anyway so I don’t mind.” You smiled and shut your eyes, feeling content in his arms.

“Hey…” Hanbin trailed off causing you to look up at him with questioning eyes.

Suddenly he moved so he was straddling you, his hands either side of your head. You felt your face heat up at his sudden actions. Sure, you had been in similar situations before but whenever he did it out of nowhere it always made you embarrassed.

“H-Hanbin…” You whispered staring into his eyes.

“You are so sweet, so perfect… Too good… For me.” He murmured slowly leaning down. As his lips inched closer to yours you felt your heartbeat increase. How did he still manage to make you feel like this?

“What are you talking about? I-” You were cut off when his lips brushed against yours. You closed your eyes and waited for him to kiss you but that never happened. Instead he collapsed on top of you.

“Hanbin! Hanbin?” You yelled, annoyed and concerned.

At first you thought he had done it on purpose but it must have been the tablets that made him fall asleep. You pushed him off of your body and gently rolled him onto his back. He was breathing gently like he always did in his sleep, even though the other boys say he snore. You smiled at his sleeping features and decided to sleep next to him. You draped your arm over his body and snuggled into his arm.

When you awoke in the afternoon everything was spinning and you felt like you were going to vomit.

“Han… Bin…” You groaned and rolled over to see him missing from next to you. Your eyes widened and you shot up in bed. “Hanbin?” You called louder.

“____! You’re awake, are you okay?” Your boyfriend called out from somewhere other than that room. He rushed in a few seconds after follow closely by Donghyuk and Jinhwan.

“_____ what happened to you? I shouldn’t have told you to look after Hanbin now you’re sick!” Jinhwan looked sad as he sat down on the edge The bed.

“I’m… Fine.” You tried to add something else, but you didn’t know what to say.

“Hyung is fine now,” Donghyuk smirked, “Did you two do something to transfer it?”

You blushed and shook your head furiously at the same time Hanbin winked. Your mouth dropped open and you glared at your lying boyfriend.

“Well,” you started, “Hanbin tried to make a move on me but passed out as we were about to kiss.” You poked your tongue out and watched as his cheeks turned red.

“You’re lying.” He whispered defensively.

“Whatever you say.” You shrugged. You were satisfied knowing the truth for yourself.

“I guess I should make up for it then.” Hanbin grinned before leaning down and kissing you softly on the lips. It lasted for a few seconds and when you pulled apart you heard a chorus of “ew” from all the boys who were now gathered at the door.

You giggled against Hanbin’s mouth and suddenly felt happy that you could be here with your boyfriend and all of your friends.

~

Day 200: Common Dittany

One of my favorite plants to start storing for the winter is Common Dittany or Cunila origanoides. It’s an easy to find plant here in the Ozarks, along roadsides and rocky banks, once you’ve seen one you’ll start seeing them everywhere. 

Dittany is in the same family as oregano, Lamiaceae, and is often called “wild oregano” by hillfolk. It can be used much in the same way as oregano and another of its relatives, marjoram, but tends to have a very strong flavor so I usually will use less dittany in herbal preparations than I would use of oregano. 

As an infusion it’s good for colds and to help open up the sinuses. Boiled strong it is a diaphoretic that helps the body sweat and can aid in lowering fevers. Traditional infusions have been used to help aid a painful birth. It can also be used as a stimulant and general tonic. 

It should be known that dittany does contain trace amounts of the chemical compound thujone, an active chemical also found in wormwood, mugwort, and yarrow, and may cause drowsiness or headaches. Use only in small amounts and with caution. 

Another interesting aspect of the plant is that because of the amount of oils in the sap of the plant, and because it tends to be hearty in the cold weather, it is one of a few plants that produce what are called “frost flowers” which are formed when the sap leaking from the dying plant freezes and forms these beautiful ribbons of ice. Common dittany is one of only a few plants that make these “frost flowers”. Another plant is White Crownbeard or Verbesina virginica, also known as “frostweed” for this reason. 

270: Passion Vine

One of my favorite summertime herbals to collect is the Passion Vine, Passiflora incarnata, also known as maypop, purple passionflower, true passionflower, wild apricot, and wild passion vine. Many people don’t know that this vine, native to much of the American South, is the source for Passionfruit, a tasty treat if you can get to them before the animals do. This fruit is starting to come out now here in the Ozarks, but won’t be ripe until late Fall or early Winter. It seems the first frost does a lot to ripen the fruit. Many people I’ve encountered who know about the plant will say it’s not edible on account of picking them far too early in the season. 

The leaves and flowers of the vine have traditionally been used in sedative formulas, and the active chemical compound passiflorine acts as a mild depressant. If you pick up an herbal sleep aid formula from the store it will probably have Passion Vine in it. 

The Modern Herbal has this to say about the Passion Flower:

“The drug is known to be a depressant to the motor side of the spinal cord, slightly reducing arterial pressure, though affecting circulation but little, while increasing the rate of respiration. It is official in homoeopathic medicine and used with bromides, it is said to be of great service in epilepsy. Its narcotic properties cause it to be used in diarrhoea and dysentery, neuralgia, sleeplessness and dysmenorrhoea.”

Here’s a recipe for the sedative tincture I make:

Passion Vine (leaves and flowers, dried and chopped)
Lemon Balm (leaves)
Self Heal, Prunella vulgaris (leaves and flowers)

I make this in a quart mason jar, the plant matter should all be in equal parts and fill about half of the jar. Fill with vodka or whiskey. Macerate the mixture once a day for one month. Strain and bottle. Dosage is 60-90 drops or about half of a shot. 

Contraindications:

While Passion Vine is generally considered safe, please be advised that as it is a sedative it may interact with other prescribed CNS depressants. Passion Vine may also cause dizziness or drowsiness, so be aware of that. Herbal sedatives such as passion flower are also contraindicated in patients with depression and insomnia marked by increasing restlessness during the early hours of the morning.

Day 47: Recipes

In past posts I’ve mentioned some concoctions I make throughout the year, and I thought I might take some time to give recipes. PLEASE NOTE: there are probably a million different ways to make some of these things, but what I’m setting down here is my way, so keep that in mind. 

Cherry Bitters: good for colds, chills, and is a good expectorant for wet coughs and congestion. 

1 L. whiskey (doesn’t matter what kind or the brand)
1 c. dried tart cherries, or 2 c. mashed up fresh cherries. I also use wild cherries, and since they tend to be smaller than store-bought I’ll use 1 ½ c. also mashed up.
¼ c. wild cherry bark

Combine all of this in a large, wide-mouthed jar (because the cherries are going to expand). Let it sit for about a month, longer if you can. Then strain off the pulp and put back into the original whiskey bottle. Take one shot up to three times a day while the cold lasts, or a shot can be mixed with hot water or hot tea to make a toddy. Please note that this is an alcohol base, be responsible people. Also, wild cherry bark should only be used in cases of chest congestion and a wet cough. 

Herbal Bitters: good for colds, fevers, headaches, stomach complaints, and can be used as a general tonic. 

1 half-gallon mason jar (I make a lot at once, so if you can’t find a half-gallon jar just use 2 1-quart jars, or half the recipe)
½ c. dried hyssop
½ c. oregano (I use Common Dittany since it grows wild here, but regular oregano works well too, they are related plants)
½ c. thyme
½ c. fresh ginger
¼ c. dried wormwood
1 tbsp. cloves
1 large cinnamon stick, broken up

Combine all of the ingredients in the mason jar then fill with vodka or if you don’t want an alcohol based bitters you can use apple cider vinegar. Let sit for 1-2 months if you’re using alcohol, or 2-3 months if you’re using vinegar. Strain and bottle. Can be taken by the shot up to 3 times a day or can be added to hot water or other hot herbal tisanes. Please note that although we’re not using a lot of wormwood or oregano for this recipe they both do contain trace amounts of thujone and may cause drowsiness.

Dandelion Root Bitters: good for stomach complaints and as a general tonic.

1 half-gallon mason jar (I make a lot at once, so if you can’t find a half-gallon jar just use 2 1-quart jars, or half the recipe)
½ c. dried dandelion root
¼ c. fennel seed
¼ c. fresh ginger
¼ c. dried peppermint leaves

Combine all of the ingredients in the mason jar then fill with vodka or if you don’t want an alcohol based bitters you can use apple cider vinegar. Let sit for 1-2 months if you’re using alcohol, or 2-3 months if you’re using vinegar. Strain and bottle. Can be taken by the shot up to 3 times a day or can be added to hot water or other hot herbal tisanes. Please note that dandelion root is a diuretic.

Spicebush Tonic: good for stomach complaints, colds, headaches, or as a general tonic.

1 quart water
½ c. spicebush leaves and twigs
½ c. horsemint
½ c. mountain mint
½ c. bee balm or wild bergamot

Bring water to boil on the stove. Once it’s boiling turn off heat and add the plants. DO NOT BOIL. Let the infusion sit for about 15-30 minutes. Strain off plants and bottle liquid. Can be kept in the refrigerator then reheated as needed. Drink 1-3 cups a day. Note that the Spicebush is hard to find outside the Ozarks and Appalachians, but there are a few places online that sell the dried leaves and twigs.

Slippery Elm Lozenges: good for sore throats and when a dry cough expectorant is needed.

1 c. Slippery Elm powder
Spicy honey

To make the spicy honey take and juice fresh ginger root until you get about ½ c. liquid. Then juice two jalapeno peppers. Add the two juices to about 1 c. honey (or more depending on how spicy it is). Mix then store in a mason jar. Good to mix in hot water for colds.

Put the slippery elm powder into a bowl. Slowly add the ginger honey until the mixture can be made into a dough.  Take little pinches of the dough, roll in your hands, and then let dry on a piece of wax paper. When the lozenges are dry they can be rolled in powdered sugar then stored in an airtight container.

Ozark Yarb Broth: this is a savory herbal broth that I use when I get a cold. Some of these yarbs (herbs) might be hard to find outside of the Ozarks.  

2 quarts beef broth
½ c. common dittany (or oregano)
½ c. thyme
¼ c. mullein leaves and flowers
¼ c. rabbit tobacco (can be omitted)
¼ c. plantain leaves (Plantago major, not the banana)
¼ c. carpenter’s weed (bugleweed, Ajuga reptans, can be omitted)
¼ c. chopped fresh ginger
2 tbsp.  wild cherry bark (for wet coughs, omit if no cough or chest congestion is present)
or
2 tbsp. slippery elm bark powder (for dry coughs, omit if no cough or chest congestion is present)
4 tbsp. elderberry tincture
2 tbsp. sweetgum tincture (or star anise tincture)
2 jalapeno or chili peppers, chopped but not seeded
1 medium head of garlic, peeled and crushed
½ white onion, peeled and chopped fine

Bring the beef stock to a boil. Reduce to simmer. Add the ginger, garlic, onion, peppers, and the wild cherry bark or slippery elm powder (depending on what kind of chest congestion or cough you have). Simmer for 15-20 minutes. Turn off heat. Add everything else but the tinctures. Cover. Let sit for another 15-20 minutes. Strain, add tinctures, then bottle or keep in mason jars. Can be kept in the refrigerator then heated as needed. When drinking, mix half of the broth with half hot water, or if you don’t mind it strong take the full amount. Please note that common dittany and oregano both contain trace amounts of thujone which may cause drowsiness.

NyQuil is probably the only medicine you could ever need. Always consistently has tasted like death since as long as I can remember. Not to mention just as you get over the taste, you’re in a coma so you no longer have to care about any suffering you could possibly be in. Look on the back o’ the box and it says ‘May cause drowsiness’ kind of makes me laugh really because it should say ‘don’t make any fucking plans because you’ll be unconscious ‘till a week from now’. Yeah, I may be on a lot o’ NyQuil right now.”

usted es un huevo. in spanish, that means you’re very beautiful… okay, i lied. i just called you a egg. anyways, have you ever tried nyquil ? it’s one of the best medicines out there. it’s never changed, it’s always been that same green death fucking flavour. ‘cause by the time you go “hey this taste like-” bang you’re in the coma already ! on the back of the box it says “may cause drowsiness” what it should say is “don’t make any fucking plans.” yeah, i’m on a lot of nyquil right now.

Okay, but like. NyQuil is one of the best medicines out there. It’s never changed, it’s always been that same green death fucking flavor. Cause by the time you go ‘Hey, this taste like-“ Bang you’re in the coma already! On the back of the box it says ‘May cause drowsiness’ what it should say is 'don’t make any fucking plans.’ Yeah, I’m on a lot of NyQuil right now.