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Arnica: The Homeopathic First Aid

By Tammye McDuff

[Snip] Ask any homeopath what to do for traumatic injuries – sprains, muscle strains, bruises, fractures, surgical incision and you are likely to hear Arnica ointments extolled. The active chemicals in this plant reduce swelling, decrease pain, and act as antibiotics. It’s believed that the plant contains derivatives of thymol, which . . . → Read More: Arnica: The Homeopathic First Aid

Feverfew and the Fine Art of Tincting

By Louise Harmon

It was during an herbal studies class I was taking that another student suggested that the word, “tincting” well described the process of making tinctures. After considerable discussion, none of us were certain if tincting was truly a word. Somewhere in all the clutter filling my brain these days, “tincting” came flitting . . . → Read More: Feverfew and the Fine Art of Tincting

On Wildharvesting

By Carolina Gonzalez

[Snip] Wildharvesting is a harder job than people imagine. First, we need to locate the herbs/plants/trees in areas that are not too close to roads, and cars emit heavy metals that plants absorb, and obviously you don’t want heavy metals in your herbal tea. Then, we must locate a place that has . . . → Read More: On Wildharvesting

Herbal Smoking Mixtures – Part 2

By OSusun S. Weed

Let’s expand our range of plants activated by fire. Some sources say that more than a hundred different herbs were utilized in Native American smoking mixes. What would your smoking mix be? Would you have several, for different tasks?

Let your imagination play with the plants you most often use. What . . . → Read More: Herbal Smoking Mixtures – Part 2

The Magic of Mugwort

By Patti Wigington

Mugwort is an herb that is found fairly regularly in many modern Pagan magical practices. From its use as an incense, for smudging, or in spellwork, mugwort is a highly versatile – and easy to grow – herb.

Part of the artemisia family, mugwort was used in Anglo-Saxon Britain to cure people . . . → Read More: The Magic of Mugwort

Herbal Smoking Mixtures

By OSusun S. Weed

Let’s work with the mint family, by making an herbal smoking mix. Any dried mint-family plants you have on hand can be used make a great healing smoke, especially if mixed with some mullein, and perhaps a few other herbs. Smoking can be good for the health of your lungs and . . . → Read More: Herbal Smoking Mixtures

Healing, Health, and Horticulture

Papers from a conference on “Horticulture and Health: Historical Resources”

Introduction (by Jules Janick and Kim Hummer)

The present-day emphasis of horticulture and health is an extension of ancient and medieval traditions. The relationship of healing and the horticultural arts predates written history and relates to ancient wisdom, custom, and folklore. The use of herbs . . . → Read More: Healing, Health, and Horticulture

Herbs and Healers from the Ancient Mediterranean through the Medieval West

Reviewed by Courtney Roby

[Snip] A resurgence of interest in medieval medicine has made many primary texts readily available for the first time (including critical editions, translations of individual texts, and translated collections like Wallis’s 2010 sourcebook), as well as yielding a rich secondary literature on both the textual and material evidence for medieval medical . . . → Read More: Herbs and Healers from the Ancient Mediterranean through the Medieval West

Herbal Pharmacy--Picking and Drying Herbs

By OSusun S. Weed

In your herbal pharmacy you transform fresh and dried plants into herbal medicines. Learning to identify and use the common plants around you is easy and exciting, beneficial and safe. Making your own medicines saves you money if you follow the Wise Woman tradition of using local herbs, free for the . . . → Read More: Herbal Pharmacy–Picking and Drying Herbs

Dry, Draw and Shrink-The Magic of Astringents

By Louise Harmon

Recently during a hike to check out the awakening green of Oak Bottom Wildlife Refuge with a few like-minded plant-lovers, our discussion turned to the subject of astringents. Stopping at a young Oak (Quercus garryana), our leader shared how a decoction of Oak bark could be used as an oral rinse for . . . → Read More: Dry, Draw and Shrink-The Magic of Astringents