stinging insect


Timelapse view of hornets constructing a nest. At one point during a camping trip when I was young one of my fellow hikers stepped on one of these. It did not go well for the humans.




Druid Week: Druids in the Game

As a DM:


Druids already have a huge part in most roles, so they don’t need much in terms of catering. A bard might need to feel more involved in a campaign, but a support druid can also provide utility, tankiness, damage… they can Wild Shape or cast a spell whenever they need anything! They are one of the most versatile classes in the entire game. If they need encouragement, give them a variety of challenges (as you should always be doing, really) to force them to take more creative problem-solving measures.


Make unique landscapes and environments for the druid. You don’t have to do it every time, but every once in a while feel free to go overboard. Floating midair land masses, waterfalls that flow upward, geysers of acid, an insect hive the size of a city… just describe some beauty shot that can really tug at the druid’s magic-strings. They will be interested in the unique plants and animals and magic there, which can influence how you populate such a land. Not to mention the other players will love such a wondrous place, too.


One thing a lot of DMs forget is to give druids a place to excel. Druids fall flat inside an enclosed dungeon. Give them space out in the open; in the wild. Give the druid some non-magical beasts to interact with. DMs always forget that regular threats like lions, tigers, and bears exist and with a druid, these often turn into roleplaying encounters rather than combat ones. Speak with Animals, Animal Friendship, Beast Bond, Beast Sense, Animal Messenger, Dominate Beast, Locate Creature, and Commune with Nature can all interact with beasts in some way. Beasts are everywhere if the druid is looking for them.


Another thing to keep in mind is plant life. I just did a whole two-part post about Herbalism as a more fleshed-out system for 5e. Part 1 is just a pipeline of dice tables to make up new herbs. The herb could play a minor role in a story or adventure, or it could simply be a useful tool that exists in your world. For instance, I once had some herbs with yellow flowers that would act as healing potions, but you could only eat them twice within 24 hours or you would get sick. Ever since then, the players could find those herbs elsewhere and have a unique source of HP instead of a boring old potion. Plus they have the a-ha moment of realizing they found something useful on their own instead of opening a chest and finding it there. Part 2 of the Herbalism Guide was more about how to use the herbs as potion ingredients, as medicine, and as spell components. If you want to go the extra mile or want ideas for what herbs could do, use it!


Just like clerics, druids can have supernatural senses that can add to the mood of an adventure. Imagine if you were a druid PC and the DM says “The druid senses something off about this forest. It makes you feel sick.” or “This jungle is in agony. You empathize with its pain, which feels like insects stinging you all over your body, and you can almost hear the wails of the trees.” Druids could make an Insight check to try and feel how a beast is feeling in the same way. It singles out the druid, identifies the problem as environmental corruption, and enhances the mood. What more could a DM want.

As a Player:

Get the Most Out of the Game:

Ask your DM questions about the flora and fauna and traits of the setting. When you travel to a new area in-game, be sure to cast Commune with Nature and get a lay of the land. This can add to the experience and provide vital information on targets for Locate spells, herbalism, and beast-influencing spells. Don’t be afraid to ask your DM for strange things that might not exist in the standard rules like “Can my druid think of any herbs that could cure paralysis in this environment?” The DM might find that intriguing and make it a plot point (making things a bit easier on the DM and giving you a potential solution to your problems to boot).

Don’t be afraid to request unique creatures to Wild Shape into, even if they aren’t in the book! I don’t see jellyfish in the Monster Manual but if a player asked me for it, I would just turn them into a Poisonous Snake with no land speed and 10 ft. swim speed, but maybe increase the poison damage a tad. And heck, who says there aren’t Giant Jellyfish in the realm of D&D? Use a Giant Poisonous Snake for that! You could easily reskin monsters like that, especially for cosmetic reasons. In the tropics? Turn into a Giant Parrot instead of a Giant Eagle. In the tundra? Turn into a Snow Hare instead of a Badger to better hide in the snow. In the desert? Turn into a Coyote instead of a Wolf. There are so many animals in the world, there is no excuse for creativity on your end as a druid!

Wild Shape:

Optimize the usage of your Wild Shape. Pick the right animals for the right jobs!

  • Mobility/Scout: Giant Elk, Deer, Hyena, Horses, Flying Snake, Giant Owl, Giant Eagle, Giant Badger, Ape, Panther, Giant Toad, and Giant Crab all have either fast movement or unique movement (fly, swim, climb, burrow).
  • Tackle: Lion, Panther, Allosaurus, Giant Octopus, Crocodile, Giant Constrictor, Giant Toad, and Giant Crab can all knock enemies prone or restrain them.
  • Poison Damage: Poisonous Snake, Giant Scorpion, Giant Spider, and Female Steeder (OotA) all have poison that can deal damage to those not resistant.
  • Sustained Damage: Wolf, Giant Crocodile, Tiger, Giant Boar, Ape, and Dire Wolf all deal reliable damage and have adequate tank.
  • Tank: Warhorse, Black Bear, Giant Constrictor, Rhino, Ankylosaurus, Whale, Elephant, Hulking Crab, Triceratops, and Mammoth all have a bunch of HP and AC.
  • Spy: Mule, Horses, Cat, Frog, Crab, Snakes, and Spiders are great at hiding and some have blindsight! Crag Cat (SKT) has Nondetection as well!
  • Thumbs: APES HAVE THUMBS. Which means that they can manipulate things other animals can’t. Also: You can wield your weapons while in Wild Shape!

Other tips: use summoned minions or your allies to help flank enemies while in Wild Shape. Cast buffs before you Wild Shape, make sue they don’t require concentration if you want them to stack, otherwise you can at least concentrate on one thing while in Wild Shape. If you are in a long dungeon with little to no rest,  save Wild Shape for big fights when the tank is worn down or save it for utility when the other casters are low on spells. Also for grappler beasts knock the enemies down before you grapple. Then they can’t move and when they break grapple they can’t get back up as easily!


Buffs: Druids are great for buff spells. Be sure to buff yourself before entering Wild Shape! ex: Enhance Ability, Faerie Fire, Longstrider, Barkskin, Stoneskin, Protection from Energy, Antilife Shell

Zoning: Druids have crowd control spells, but many of them control crowds through zoning. Take advantage of the fact that you are the largest influence on the surrounding environment. You get to change the battlefield to your advantage! These are big, flashy spells that make the druid fun. Use them to put obstacles in front of creatures to slow their advances, make it harder for creatures to dodge, provide cover for your party, or force enemies into a trap. “Oh there’s a Wall of Fire there I better go around it” [gets bottlenecked by ranged PCs instead of taking fire damage] ex: Wind Wall, Wall of Fire, Entangle, Plant Growth, Spike Growth, Flame Sphere, Sleet Storm, Insect Plague, Wall of Stone, Wall of Thorns, Bones of the Earth (such a cool spell)

Minions: In D&D 5e, most ACs are nearly the same thanks to Bounded Accuracy. So more attack rolls equals more damage. Minions help with this, and druids can get plenty using Conjure Elementals, Conjure Fey, Conjure Woodland Beings, and Conjure Animals! Not to mention spells like Awaken and Dominate Beast to get more allies.

Healing: Druids are good at healing. Note that Healing Word is a bonus action and has range, unlike Cure Wounds. Druids also get the Restoration spells and Reincarnate, which is less powerful than Resurrection and such, but hey it’s something!

Damage: Druids can output damage, mostly through their zoning spells, but also with some neat single-target spells. Note that Moonbeam and Blight are rare sources of Radiant and Necrotic damage, respectively.

Utility: Druids have utility. Various divination spells can break the game if you are clever. Several spells help you get where you want to go or get rid of enemy spells. Use them liberally unless you have a Wizard to lighten the necessity for utility spells. ex: Speak with Plants/Animals, Water Breathing, Animal Messenger, Pass Without Trace, Find Traps, Locate Object/Animals/Plants, Gust of Wind, Detect Poison/Disease, Detect Magic, Dispel Magic, Meld into Stone, Scrying, Tree Stride, Commune with Nature

The sad Notoxaea ferruginae of Paraguay…the only member in its genus.  It lacks a sting and perhaps is a mimic of the many potent Centris bee species that are south of the Amazon. Collected by Laurence Packer’s York University adventurers.  Below the Amazon….so many new and wonderful plant and animals.

Note that as part of an experiment in cleaning up old bee specimens I blasted the end of this specimens wings right off…whoops!, but I learned something by doing it.


Under all this mud is a #capybara, the worlds largest species of #rodent. On a particularly hot day in the flooded forests of the Amazon we found this group taking a refreshing mud bath to battle heat and stinging insects.

(via Fabian Mühlberger on Instagram)


Jenn came home from work yesterday to find one of our hives (likely Queen Latifah’s) had swarmed to the fence across the yard. Latifah’s hive tried to swarm multiple times last year and we were able to prevent it by scraping out the queen cells and once splitting the hive. A combination of bad weekend weather and travel has kept us from inspecting our hives since late January, so unfortunately we didn’t stop this one!

Swarms generally happen when the bees feel that they are running out of space in their current hive. The queen lays several eggs in queen cups (big combs) and then flies off with half of the worker bees to start a new hive somewhere else. To raise a new queen, worker bees feed only royal jelly to the eggs in the queen cups.The first princess hatches from her throne and then goes “battle royale” and kills all the other princesses still in their cells. She then goes on a mating flight and, if she survives, begins laying. 

The old queen flies off with the swarm, which is the issue we have here. Queen Latifah is somewhere in that cluster of bees in the picture while scout bees look for a suitable home for her to setup a new hive. The swarm is SUPER calm. This is because the bees have no hive, honey, or brood to protect. All they’re doing is keeping the queen fed and warm while looking for a new home. 

This morning Cale went out and brushed the bees off the fence into a Nuc box (small hive with 5 frames in it). The bees really were calm, falling in clumps into the box. Obviously quite a few bees flew off when this happened but most of them just fell down and kept in the cluster. The bees that were flying around were mostly just circling. For those who have never been in a swarm of bees, the sound and feeling is intense. There’s a low hum and you can actually feel the wind coming off the wings of 10k bees. One surprising thing is the smell, a mix of pheromones and pollen. It’s almost a sweet aroma in the air and would be relaxing if it weren’t for the low hum of thousands of airborn stinging insects. 

The bees are currently in the Nuc box in the back yard. Hopefully Cale was able to get the queen into the box. If not the bees will return to their spot on the fence and continue looking for a suitable home. One problem is since the bees have already made this leap to swarm, odds are they’ll continue doing it until 1) we replace the queen, or 2) they find a suitable home likely a couple miles away from the current hive. We’ll check back into the box tonight and see if they have accepted the Nuc box as their hive.

ratpile  asked:

Dear Dr Ferox, Yesterday at Crufts I spoke to many dog owners, one of whom was vehemently against vaccinations. Obviously we had significantly different views, but it has made me consider a point; vets get patients to sign consent forms for even the shortest of anaesthesias and most most basic surgical procedures. The same forms are not used for things like vaccinations, which are safe the vast, vast majority of the time but still carry slight risk. Do you have any comments on this?

It’s ‘trendy’ for people to be anti-vaccination. It’s also ‘trendy’ to outright ignore what vets are currently advising re: 3 year vaccines and current protocols and quoting advice from 10 or 20 years ago, but that’s aside from the point.

Every single drug of the shelf in my pharmacy has the potential to cause harm. Every single procedure I do has the potential to cause harm. This is a fact of veterinary medicine. I could do a lot of damage if I set out to do it, or if I was just careless. I do these procedures and administer these drugs anyway because I believe with relative certainty that it is in the best interest of the patient for me to do so.

  • NSAIDS like rimadyl and metacam can cause anything from a single vomit through to acute kidney failure.
  • Antibiotics can cause anything from diarrhea to keratoconjunctivitis sicca, crystaluria and anaphylaxis
  • Putting a steel screw into a leg can cause osteosarcoma (malignant bone cancer)

Every single thing I can prescribe or do in a veterinary setting has a risk of harm. I would have to talk all week to explain every single one of them.

Anaesthesia and surgery are bigger risk factors than most. That’s why they routinely have consent forms, and those forms often come after a decent chat about relative pros, cons and other options.

I don’t get an owner to sign a consent form for every single drug I prescribe their dog. My doctor certainly doesn’t do it for me. There’s a discussion, and usually a pamphlet or information sheet. The risks of these treatments are so small, especially compared to anesthesia, that it is not widely considered necessary for them to have a consent form.

Let’s take a skin case as a hypothetical example. It’s not realistic for me to get a consent form signed for the skin tape test, the skin scrape test, the paraciticide, the antibiotic, the steroid and the topical treatment I might use. Oh, and a consent form for a nail trim, just in case a quick is made to bleed. I then have to print and store half a dozen consent forms, for seven years. This extra work and paperwork would paralyze me, and would only result in increased stress levels for vets and increased fees for the public.

If anyone has concerns about a treatment, it should be discussed directly with their vet at the time.

The risks of vaccines are largely overblown by breeders and anti-vaxxers. The likely side effects of vaccinating a dog or cat are:

  • Temporary itch at vaccine site (1-3 minutes)
  • Possible mild lethargy +/- fever within 24 hours
  • Anaphylaxis (swollen face/feet, like a insect sting, within 3 hours of vaccine and generally resolved with single dose of anti-histamine +/- corticosteroid)

And realistically even anaphylaxis from a vaccine (generally called a vaccine reaction) is so rare that I only see 1-3 per year. Some brands of vaccine seem to be worse than others, and bordatella seems to be the most common culprit.

But sure, there are other things a vaccine can cause, they’re just way rarer that vaccine opponents make them out to be. They’re also not exclusively caused by vaccines. 

  • Injection site sarcoma (not a vaccine site sarcoma as literally any injection can cause these), has a chance of less than 1 in 10,000 and that’s being pesimistic. It also seems to be associated with retroviral vaccines, not core vaccines.
  • Immune mediated haemolytic anaemia (IMHA). This is an odd one because about half of dogs that develop this condition also have a malignant tumor, and our understanding is that anything that stimulates the immune system in a certain way has a risk of causing this condition. Tumors can do it, antibiotics can do it, viral infections can do it and vaccines can do it. It’s just that in certain areas vaccines are the antigenic stimulation most likely to be encountered by the pet. I could talk for about 2 hours on this topic alone, but I’ll stop here for your sanity.

‘Cancer’ as a big nebulous bad thing, is not associated with vaccination. It’s probably associated with reduced genetic diversity in a breed, but that’s the last thing a bunch of dog breeders are going to want to address, because that means outcrossing and the lines not being ‘pure’ anymore.

TLDR: Everything has a risk. Every single thing. Some of those risks are greater than others and it’s not feasible or realistic to have a form signed for every single thing when a discussion would do.

Medicinal uses for common culinary herbs

(Found this useful and figured I’d share it)

 Category: Herbology Published: Wednesday, 19 September 2012 Written by Super User

Medicinal Uses For Common Culinary Spices

ALLSPICE - Active ingredient is eugenol, same as cloves. Topical pain relief, tea and mouthwash.

ANISE - Seven tsp. of seed to one quart water, boil down by half, add 4 tbsp. of honey, take two tsp to calm a cough. Drink tea for memory, aid digestion, and a wash for oily skin.

ANNATO - (Lipstick tree)- Lightly crushed seeds added to food is like natural gas-x.

ARROW ROOT POWDER - One tbsp in a cup of juice every few hours to relieve diarrhea. Poultice to soothe skin inflammations.

ASAFOETIDA - Buy the tincture in Indian shops. They add a drop to many dishes to relieve stomach pains (gas). Insect repellent. Topical use to heal ulcerated sores.

ASPARAGUS - Boil in water and drink the water for kidney problems. Dissolves uric acid deposits and promotes urination.

BASIL - Add fresh herb or seeds to boiled water to make tea for migraines and bed time restlessness. Douche for yeast infections, eliminates candida, gargle and mouthwash. Pregnant women should avoid medicinal use of basil.

BAY LAUREL - Heat leaves in a little olive oil to make a bay oil salve for arthritis and aches.

CARAWAY - Bring 2 cups of water to a boil and add 4 tsp lightly crushed seeds. Simmer for 5 minutes, then steep 15 min. Drink with meals to prevent gas, even for infant colic. Promotes menstruation and relieves uterine cramping.

CARDAMON - Digestive aid, eases gluten intolerance (celiac disease). Sprinkle powder on cereal.

CAYENNE PEPPER - Capsicum speeds metabolism. Capsicum cream and oils relieve arthritis and aches, not just by warming and stimulating blood flow, but also by blocking pain transmission by nerves. (blocks substance P) Prevents blood clots, heals ulcers. Cayenne and garlic in chicken soup really IS as effective as antibiotics after the onset of cold or flu. Cayenne dramatically drops blood sugar levels and should by avoided by hypoglycemics. Cayenne promotes excretion of cholesterol through the intestines. It increases energy levels and aura brilliance.

CELERY - Sedative. Active ingredient thalide. Seed and stalk, reduces hypertension. Celery seed tea for the kidneys as a cleanser.

CHERVIL - Steep in boiled water and apply with an eye cup for a wide range of eye complaints.

CHICORY - Liver cleanser, fat cleanser, dissolves gallstones. Prepare like coffee.

CILANTRO - Leafy part of coriander plant. Food poisoning preventative.

CINNAMON - Mouthwash, good for upset stomach. Simmer sticks with cloves for 3 min, add 2 tsp lemon juice, 2 tsp honey, 2 tbsp whiskey - as cold medication. Cinnamon is good for yeast infection and athlete’s foot. A 2% solution will kill both of these conditions. Boil 8-10 sticks in 4 cups water, simmer 5 min, steep 45 min, then douche or apply to athlete’s foot. Cinnamon reduces cancer causing tendencies of many food additives.

CLOVE - Use oil for pain relief for sore gums and toothache. Add clove oil to neutral oils for topical pain relief of arthritis. Small amounts of clove in a tea for nausea. 3 cloves in two cups of boiled water, steeped for 20 minutes, as an antiseptic and mouthwash. Former alcoholics can suck on one or two cloves when the craving strikes to curb the desire.

COFFEE - Although not a spice, it is commonly available in the kitchen. The caffeine in coffee can be used to alleviate headaches (particularly those caused by caffeine withdrawal.) Coffee enemas with olive oil are used to cleanse the bowels and are one of the safest and most thoroughly cleansing enemas available. Caution and common sense must be used to avoid dependency. Hot black coffee sipped through a straw helps break up mucus congestion in the lungs.

CORIANDER - Coriander tea can be used topically to remove unpleasant odors in the genital area for men and women. The tea can be held in the mouth to relieve the pain of a toothache. Can also be drank to relieve flatulence and indigestion.

DILL - Bring one pint of white wine almost to a boil, remove from heat and add 4 tsp of dill seeds, let steep 30 minutes and strain. Drink 1 ½ cups a half hour before retiring to sleep well. To the same directions, but substitute for the 4 tsp of dill, instead add 1 tsp each of anise, caraway, coriander and dill to stimulate the flow of breast milk in nursing
mothers. Chewing dill seeds removes bad breath.

FENNEL - Chewing fennel seeds relieves bad breath. Fennel seed tea sweetens breastmilk. Fennel tea relieves colic in infants.

FENUGREEK - Use as a tea as an excellent relief for colic and fever in children. 1 tbsp ground fenugreek seed taken in the diet daily can reduce cholesterol. 8 tsps of seed presoaked in 4 cups cold water for 4 hours, then boil for 2 minutes, strain and drink 1 cup a day to ease hay fever attacks.

GARLIC - Ultimate antibiotic. Useful even for sexually transmitted diseases. Strongly recommended for hypoglycemia, and diabetes. Destroys intestinal parasites. Reduces cholesterol. Repels insects, and reduces sting effects of insects and red ants.

GINGER - Anti-nausea tea, blood thinner, substitute for coumadin. Boil 2/3 cup of freshly chopped root in 1 gallon water, wrapped in cheesecloth (or old nylon stocking) until the water is yellow. Then soak towel and lay on bruises and sprains while still hot, to ease them. Stimulates a delayed period. Warm ginger tea is good to break up congestion and fever. Ginger is one of the few herbs that easily passes the blood/brain membrane and is used in conjunction with other herbs that are meant to have an effect on the mind. Pregnant women should avoid medicinal concentrations of ginger.

HORSERADISH - Freshly dug root is added to a cold-pressed oil of choice (such as safflower or olive) to make a massage oil for muscle aches and to break up chest congestion. Grate fresh ginger and horseradish together and make a tea to stop post nasal drip.

LEMONGRASS - ½ cup dried leaves to 2 pints of water, simmer for 10 minutes, and sip to bring down fevers.

LICORICE - Tranquilizer. Balances nervous system, stimulates liver functions. Long term usage (over 3 months) could cause liver damage.

LOVAGE - Steep root for 15 min in a cup of boiled water, drink after every meal to prevent flatulence.

MARJORAM AND OREGANO - Over 2 dozen related species. Use as a tea to help reduce fevers and break up bronchitis. Drink tea to relieve cramps and irregular menstruation. Eases suffering of childhood diseases like mumps and measles.

MINT - (Peppermint and spearmint)- Peppermint tea for migraines, nervousness, stomach disorders, heartburn, and abdominal cramps. Herpes sufferers can take 2 cups of tea a day to ease the symptoms when the virus is active. Mints are used to buffer the action of other herbs that have uncomfortable effects on the stomach and intestines. Can be used in any combination for flavor.

MUSTARD - 1 ½ cups of dry yellow mustard in a bathtub of water for sprained backs. Make a paste with water and apply to knee and elbow sprains till blisters appear! Mustard and ginger plaster for deep rattling coughs - 1 tsp each mustard and ginger powder mixed with 2 ½ tbsp of olive oil. Rub over chest and back and put on an old T-shirt (or cover with cloth diaper).

NUTMEG AND MACE - Gas, indigestion, nausea, vomiting, and kidney problems - make a paste of powder with cold water and then add to boiled water. 1 tbsp of powdered nutmeg produces a floating euphoria for between 6 and 24 hours. Can cause near constant erections for men during that time. Side effects are bone and muscle aches, burning eyes, sinus drainage, and limited diarrhea.

ONION - Egyptians swore their oaths on onions; Grant refused to move his army until he got 3 railroad cars full of onions; interviews with hundreds of people who lived to 100 plus all indicated a heavy intake of onions in the diet. Onion is an excellent dressing for burns. Crush sliced onions with a little bit of salt and apply to burns. Apply sliced onion to bee and wasp stings. For asthma: puree an onion, cover it with brandy and let sit overnight, strain it, filter it through a coffee filter, and refrigerate. Take 2 tbsp 20 minutes before expected onset or before going to bed.

PARSLEY - The purifier. Chew for halitosis. A few sprigs provide 2/3 the vitamin C of an orange, lots of vitamin A, and the important amino acid histidine, which is a tumor inhibitor. Parsley tea is good for kidney problems, painful urination, and kidney stones. One cup of parsley to 1 quart of water makes a strong tea. Two cups of parsley to 1 quart of water, steep an hour and drink warm, as an aphrodisiac. In Spain they have found that feeding parsley to sheep will bring them into heat at any time of year!

PEPPER (black)- Pain relief from toothache, brings down a fever.

ROSEMARY - Flower tea for the breath. Boil water with rosemary in it to make it safe to drink. Diuretic and liver aid, increases bile flow. Two handfuls of flowering tips into 2 cups of good brandy, soak 10 days, strain and seal. Mouthful twice daily. Oil of rosemary is a natural anti-oxidant, and stress reliever; sniff for headaches. Chop a double handful of twigs and put in a pint of olive oil for one week, and use as a muscle liniment.

SAGE - Chew a fresh leaf and put on insect bite to reduce sting and swelling. Sage tea for the throat. Two cups of sage tea a day for a week will dry up mother’s milk. For the itching of skin problems, steep a handful of freshly crushed leaves in a pint of boiled water for one hour, and bathe the area, then sprinkle with whole wheat flour. Sage tea
prevents blood clots.

SAVORY - (the herb of love) One quart boiled water, 3 ½ tbsp fenugreek seed, and steep for 5 minutes. Remove fenugreek and add 2 handfuls of savory leaves, steep 50 minutes and drink 2 cups, as an aphrodisiac.

TARRAGON - 1 ½ tsp cut dried herb in 1 ¾ cups boiled water, steep 40 minutes, drink warm for insomnia, hyperactivity, depression, or nervous exhaustion. (or anything “jittery”) For digestion steep a handful of dried leaves in a jar with apple cider vinegar, stand 7 hours, strain and seal. Take 1 tbsp before each meal.

TEA - Caffeine relieves migraines. Tea drinkers suffer less hardening of the arteries than coffee drinkers. Black tea kills dental plaque.

THYME - Antibiotic. A tsp in ½ cup boiled water to make a gargle or mouthwash, to prevent bad breath, tooth decay, and cold sores. Drink for cold, flu, fever, and allergy symptoms. As a bath for nail fungus and athlete’s foot, and also as a douche. Compress for bumps and bruises. Health liqueur - 6 sprigs of thyme in 1 ½ cups of brandy for 5 days, shaking daily. Take several times daily when you feel a cold coming on. Thyme is good for killing bacteria and for relaxing tense muscles. Relieves migraine headaches and stomach cramps.

TUMERIC - Anti-oxidant. Powdered turmeric on any ulcerated skin condition or mix with enough lime juice to make a paste and put on herpes sores, mumps, chicken pox, etc. Dip a cloth in turmeric solution to wash away discharges from conjunctivitis and opthamalia. As an anti-inflammatory, turmeric’s properties are as good as 1 % hydrocortisone and phenylobutazone. Take ½ tsp in juice in the morning and evening to aid in removing fat around the liver. Turmeric, bay leaf, clove, and cinnamon all tripled insulin performance in metabolizing blood glucose in a test tube! Field tests proved to greatly enhance production of insulin by the pancreas. “Spicecaps” from Great American Natural Products have a pinch of cinnamon, 2 cloves, ½ bay leaf, and 1 tsp of turmeric per capsule.

VANILLA - Sexual stimulant. Soak a cotton ball with vanilla extract, squeeze it out, put it under the tongue and it will quickly calm hysteria.

VINEGAR - Naturally brewed apple cider vinegar deserves a course all on its own. It is one of the finest blood cleansers and arthritis cures known. Take 1 tbsp per day of equal parts vinegar and honey in water to taste to cleanse the blood and reduce inflammation from arthritis. Be sure to use naturally brewed vinegar, as the white cheap stuff in the grocery store is actually acetic acid, a petroleum by-product, and pretty well useless. (except as a window cleaner!)

BAKING SODA - Although not an herb or a spice, this is especially recommended for people who are allergic to MSG. Many people will use a meat tenderizer for bee stings,
but it contains MSG which can cause some people to swell. Instead, make a paste and apply directly to the insect bite to reduce swelling. You can also mix 1 tsp with water and take for relief of indigestion.

The above information was obtained from the following sources: 
The Herb Book, by John Lust.
“Heinerman’s Encyclopedia of Healing Herbs and Spices”, by John Heinerman.
“The Healing Herbs: The Ultimate Guide to the Curative Power of Nature’s Medicines”, by Micheal Castleman
“The Vinegar Book”, by Emily Thacker

As a reminder, the above listed information should not replace the advice given to you by your health care professional. 

Rowan Morgaine

A quick guide to treating shock

This is a simple quick overview. A much detailed will be done later.

Causes & Effects

Shock may be caused by severe or minor trauma to the body, and is usually the result of :

  • Significant loss of blood.
  • Heart failure.
  • Dehydration.
  • Severe and/or painful blows to the body.
  • Severe burns.
  • Severe wound infections.
  • Severe allergic reactions to drugs, foods, insect stings, and snakebites.

What shock does is stun and weaken the body. Shock is critical, as once the normal blood flow in the body becomes upset this can result in the casualty’s death. The early identification and proper treatment of shock may save a life!


  • Sweaty but cool skin (clammy skin).
  • Paleness of skin.
  • Restlessness / nervousness.
  • Thirst.
  • Loss of blood (bleeding).
  • Confusion (or loss of awareness).
  • Breathing rate that is faster than normal.
  • Blotchy or bluish skin (especially around the mouth and lips).
  • Nausea and/or vomiting.


When treating a casualty always assume that shock is present or will occur shortly. By waiting until the actual symptoms of shock become noticeably present may jeopardize the casualty’s life.

*Preventing and treating shock in the field follow about the same procedures!

a. Position the Casualty. DO NOT move the casualty or his/her limbs if suspected fractures have not been splinted.

(1) Move the casualty to cover, if cover is available and the situation permits.

(2) Lay the casualty on his/her back.

A casualty in shock after suffering a heart attack, chest wound, or breathing difficulty, may breathe easier in a sitting position. If this is the case, allow him/her to sit upright, keeping a careful monitoring over them in case their condition worsens.

(3) Elevate the casualty’s feet higher than the level of his/her heart. Use a stable object (field pack, rolled up clothing etc) so that the feet don’t slip off.

Check casualty for leg fracture(s) and splint if necessary before elevating the feet. DO NOT elevate the legs if there is an unsplinted broken leg, head injury, or abdominal injury!

For a casualty with an abdominal wound, place the knees in an upright (flexed) position.

(4) Loosen the clothing at the neck, waist, or wherever it may be binding. DO NOT LOOSEN OR REMOVE protective clothing in a chemical environment.

(5) Prevent chilling or overheating. The key is to maintain the body temperature. In cold weather, place a blanket or other like item over the casualty to keep them warm and prevent chilling. However, if a tourniquet has been applied, leave it exposed if it is possible. In hot weather, place the casualty in the shade and avoid excessive covering.

(6) Calm the casualty. Throughout the entire procedure of treating and caring for a casualty, the rescuer should reassure the casualty and keep them calm. This can be done by being authoritative and by showing self-confidence. Assure the casualty that you are there to help.

(7) Seek medical aid.

b. Food and/or Drink. During the treatment/prevention of shock, DO NOT give the casualty any food or drink.

If you must leave the casualty or if they are unconscious, turn the head to the side to prevent him choking should vomiting occur.

c. Evaluate Casualty. If necessary, continue with the evaluation.

Zodiac Advent Calendar Day 5

The Signs as Fantastic Beasts mostly classified as harmless

XX -  Harmless / may be domesticated                                                             XXX -  Competent wizards should cope

Aries - Hippogriff XXX                                                                                       front legs, wings and head of an eagle and body, hind legs and tail of a horse; loyal and proud 

Taurus - Niffler XXX                                                                                             have a long snout and a coat of black fur; are attracted to shiny things

Gemini - Streeler XXX                                                                                         snail who changes colour hourly; have sharp spikes on their sheels, which inject poison

Cancer - Billywig XXX                                                                                         sapphire blue colored insect; sting causes giddiness and levitation

Leo - Fwooper XXX                                                                                             brightly-coloured bird; their song will drive listeners insane

Virgo - Augurey XX                                                                                             thin and mournful looking bird; sings when it is about to rain

Libra - Clabbert XX                                                                                             resembles a cross between a monkey and a frog; has a large pustule on the forehead, which flashes red (great christmas light)

Scorpio - Kneazle XXX                                                                                       related to a cat; have a high level of intelligence and independence; aggressive towards people they consider unlikeable

Sagittarius - Cornished Pixie XXX                                                                     small, bright blue mischief-maker; loves tricks and practical jokes

Capricorn - Bowtruckle XX                                                                                 little tree guardians; generally peaceful; will give you wood for wands in exchange for wood lice

Aquarius - Jarvey XXX                                                                                       looks like an overgrown ferret; capable of Human speech, but usually uses rude and short statements

Pisces - Puffskein XX                                                                                       covored in fur and spherical in shape; does not object being cuddled or thrown away

Muggo’s what’s up?

Introducing my very very rough OC, Matilda/Tillie. Australian witch! 

((OOC: I’m still trying to work out a lot of the information for her, as there is little to no information on Aussie wizards besides sports teams and recreational insect stings (SERIOUSLY, LOOK UP BILLYWIGS) but say hi and maybe I can figure some stuff out on the way ^_^))

((You can all blame @femme-fatality for this)) 


Featured Herb

Lavender                                                                                  Lavandula angustifolia

Also Called: Spike, Nardus, Elf Leaf, Nard

Gender: Masculine

Planet: Mercury

Element: Air

Powers: clairvoyance, clarity of thought, cleansing, consecration, happiness, healing, love, long life, Midsummer, money, passion, peace, peace of mind, protection, psychic protection, purification, tranquility, blessings, chastity, divination, dreams, energy, gentleness, good luck, grieving, harmony, keeping secrets, magic (esp. to increase the duration of a spell), meditation, memory, Passion, psychic development, retention, ritual, sleep, stability, virility, weddings, wishes,

Lore: Attributed by some to Hecate, Saturn, and snake goddesses. It is also attractive to elves

Magical Uses: Magickal uses include love, protection, healing, sleep, purification, and peace. Promotes healing from depression. Great in sleep pillows and bath spells. Believed to preserve chastity when mixed with rosemary. Burn the flowers to induce sleep and rest, then scatter the ashes around the home to bring peace and harmony. Use in love spells and sachets, especially those to attract men.

Lavender is masculine in action and associated with Mercury, the element of air and the astrological sign Virgo.

It may be used as an asperging herb (to sprinkle water for purification purposes) and dried lavender sticks or wands can be burnt like incense.

It is also useful in spells to sharpen the mind, to encourage or strengthen pure love and to encourage fertility.

Lavender in the home brings peace, joy and healing.

Lavender is an excellent meditation herb. Burning lavender incense during meditation can help you to relax, open your mind, and free yourself.

Dried lavender leaves are great for placing into mojo bags, stuffed animals, or sewn into pillows to aid in sleep. This is a great idea for anyone who perhaps suffers from nightmares, as lavender is a protection herb that helps to ward off negative energies. Lavender can also heighten your psychic senses. Using it in conjunction with an amethyst stone during ritual may help you achieve a higher level of innate psychic ability.

It is thrown onto the Midsummer fires by Witches as a sacrifice to the ancient gods.

Depression Incense Recipe:

2 parts lavender

1 ½ parts St. John’s Wort

1 part Catnip

1 part Vervain

1 part Jasmine

Burn as an incense to rid yourself of depression, burn in a ritual to heal depression, use in a sachet and wear to fight depression. Also can be used in a ritual bath to cleanse self of depression. Has a very calming scent.

Healing Attributes: Lavender has been used for centuries as an herbal remedy, and does indeed appear to have antiseptic, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, anti-convulsive, and last but certainly not least - anti-depressant properties.  Either fresh or dried flowers contain the medicinal properties of Lavender. 

Internally, Lavender is believed to be of benefit for a multitude of problems, including stress, anxiety, exhaustion, irritability, headaches, migraines, insomnia, depression, colds, digestion, flatulence, upset stomach, liver and gallbladder problems, nervousness, loss of appetite, and as a breath freshener and mouthwash.  Inhaling the essential oil in some cases has been reported to work as well as narcotics for inducing relaxation and sleep, easing symptoms of depression, and reducing headache pain.  For inhalation purposes, boil 2 cups of water, add 2 drops of essential oil, and inhale the steam.

The scent of lavender is relaxing and uplifting all at once making it a great aromatherapy for stressed out or depressed individuals. Try adding some lavender oil to your bath or add it to a mild oil for a relaxing massage at the end of a hard day. Lavender is an excellent aromatic, usually mixing well with other floral scents.

Stuffing a pillow with lavender buds may help insomniacs relax and fall asleep and soothes headaches.

Mild infusions (3 tablespoons to 6 cups of water) make a good sedative, headache treatment, and digestive aid. Used in oil or tincture form to heal cuts, burns or scalds, and bites. This also acts as a tonic and may be used for colds, chills, and the flu.

Externally, Lavender oil is one of the safest essential oils and can be used full-strength on the skin.  It works wonderfully and can be applied directly for cuts, scrapes, wounds, burns, bee, wasp, and insect stings, rashes, muscle aches, rheumatism, arthritis, cold sores, canker sores, blisters, bruises, athlete’s foot, and rubbed directly into the temples in case of headache or migraine.

Household Use: Lavender deters fleas and moths. Place sachets of lavender buds or lavender wands in cupboards and closets or stuff them into pet bedding to help deter pests from these areas. Also put sachets of lavender in your dryer to scent your laundry. These can be reused several times

Culinary Use: Lavender is a good addition to wedding cakes because of its delicate flavor and its association with love and fertility.

To make lavender flavored sugar, layer dried lavender buds and sugar in a jar and let it sit in a dark place for about a month. Sift out the lavender buds and enjoy your sugar in delicately flavored cakes, custards and tea.

Lavender is excellent in teas for relaxation, digestion and love.


making-it-work  asked:

Hey! So i know honey bees are generally docile so long as ur not a shit to them, and how wasps can be like satan spawn, but my question is about those huuuuge solid black bees (are they even bees?) Idk if theyre just an Arizona thing but im curious to what degree should i avoid them?

Well, that depends. If it’s an actual bee, I would say give it a respectful distance as if it were a bumblebee, its probably not going to hurt you even if you bug it a little.

If it’s a fly, leave it alone because some flies bite, you may need repellant.

If however, this huge black bee is actually a huge black wasp, and you’re in Arizona, avoid the hell out of it because it could be a tarantula hawk, and they purportedly have one of the most debilitatingly painful stings in the insect world.

I’ve never been stung or chased or even really frightened by any kind of native bee, but if you’re unsure, err on the side of caution.