Red Clover

Naturalized in America and Australia, this plant was native to Europe. The plant was known as “honey stalk” for it’s sweet sap that children like to chew on. In the 1930s, red clover became popular for treating breast cancer. Today, it’s been used for coughs, skin problems and menopausal symptoms. Red clover is best harvested while dry – with no dew or droplets, as it tends to hold onto moisture even after harvest, and can become moldy while drying.

Parts Used: Flower Heads

Main Constituents: Flavanoids, salicytes, coumarins, phenolic glycosides, cyanogenic glycosides, volatile oile, sitosterol

Actions/Medicinal Properties: Alterative, Anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antispasmodic, demulcent, estrogenic, expectorant, nutritive, secretory

Dosage: For tinctures, take 3 times daily for skin conditions and sores or minor skin wounds that are slow to heal. For infusions/tea, take 1 cup 3 times daily for coughs, menopausal problems or skin issues. As a gargle/mouthwash, use 1 cup of infusion for coughs, mouth ulcers, or sore throats. For fresh flowers, crush and place directly on insect bites and stings.

Magickal Properties: Abundance, Grounding, Luck, Success, Protection

Planet: Mercury

Element: Air

Red Clover is an alterative, meaning it improves chronic conditions throughout the body over time by helping the body to assimilate nutrients to remove metabolic waste products. it’s often referred to as a blood cleanser due to its affinity for the lymphatic system and liver. As a diuretic, red clover keeps fluids moving through the lymphatic system and supports elimination of wastes via the urinary system. It also stimulates and nourishes the liver to keep blood well-filtered. Red clover is indicated for conditions that the result from buildup of metabolic waste in the body, such as cystic lumps, lymphatic swelling, infections, acne, eczema, and psoriasis. Because of red clover ‘s gentle alterative nature, it is a premier herb for many skin conditions as well as chronic inflammatory conditions and degenerative diseases, including as a support in cancer, alongside conventional treatment.

Red clover is rich in phytoestrogen isoflavones, which may be helpful for normalizing hormone levels during the fertile years and in menopause. Some clinical trial shave shown positive effects on hot flashes, bone density, mood, and cardiovascular health in menopausal women.

Grounding Ritual

Burn fresh or dried Red Clover, or light Red Clover incense. Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, your arms held loosely at your ides and your gaze focused gently forward.

Imagine a sting lifting you from the top of your head and two more pulling your feet toward the center of the Earth. This is yoga’s Mountain Pose, which teaches you the vitality of stillness.

Now, add breath, inhaling all the way down to your belly and exhaling fully. This is flow.

Finally, picture Red Clover, calling into your heart as you expand your energy

Abundance Water Meditation

This mediation can be done in the shower or in a bath. The point is to use water to help the body relax.

For a Bath, add red clover flowers into the water to float on the surface.

For a Shower, create a ‘tea bag’ of red clover flowers fresh or dry in a cloth bag that can be hung by a string directly under the shower head so that this ‘tea’ falls directly on your body.

Alternatively, light red clover incense or burn the herb in your bathroom while you bathe.

Relax the body, and close your eyes. Scan your body for any tension and release as you scan up and down your body.

Imagine a red glowing ball of light hovering just above your head. This light represents abundance. It gently lowers itself into your body and begins to enter your core and moves into your heart. This light, is now growing and shrinking in your chest to match your heartbeat.

Imagine that the light grows larger as you inhale, and shrinks as you exhale. Complete this breathing exercise until full relaxation is reached or until you feel ready to end meditation.

To end meditation, slowly bring your presence back to the calmness of the water. Normalize your breath and bring your attention back to the present. Remember that the light of abundance is always within you. You have the power to reach all of your goals and everything you need is within reach.

Plantain Leaf

If you are looking for an all cure plant for cuts, scratches, bites, and small wounds on the skin, look no further! Known as the Fist Aid Plant for hikers, this wild plant is a life saver to many who are lacking band-aids or any wound care supplies.

Plantain was brought to the Americas by colonial travelers from Europe. There are more than 250 species of Plantain around the world and they are all said to be edible or safe for consumption. However, it may not be the most favorable flavor to many.

Parts Used: Leaves

Main Constituents: Flavanoids, iridoids, mucilage, tannins, minerals.

Actions/Medicinal Properties: Antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, astringent, demulcent, vulnerary

Dosage: For tinctures, take 3x per day for catarrhal conditions or digestive problems, including gastritis, and IBS symptoms; For infusions, drink 1 Cup 3x per day for digestion, and as a gargle for sore throats; As a poultice, mash the leaf with a bit of water into a pulp for slow-healing wounds. Alternatively, if you are in an emergency situation, and have no water, you can chew on the leaf and place that on your skin wounds for healing; For the juice, leaves can be juiced and taken in 2tsp doses 3x per day to soothe cystitis, diarrhea, and lung infections. The juice can also be applied to wounds and sores.

Magickal Properties: Healing, Cleansing, Protection, Strength, Power, Repel Evil Spirits, Repel Snakes, Wishes

Planet: Venus

Element: Earth

Healing Powers

Plantain is a must-have for any herbal first aid kit for its use in bites, stings, cuts and scrapes, as well as to help to draw out slivers, splinters and stingers.

Plantain has been described by herbalists as a lance that penetrates and opens the wound to draw out the poison. It may also be used to soothe and cool the pain, itching or burning symptoms of poison ivy, nettle stings, and sunburn. In-the-field preparation of a “spit-poultice” for direct topical application for any of the previously mentioned ailments, is a super easy and quick way to begin the healing process, particularly when there are no other first aid supplies at hand.

Plantain leaves can also bne placed in a sock for hotspots, blisters or made into a wash, compress, infused oil, salve, or cream for a variety of skin conditions.

Plantain’s anti-inflammatory and astringent properties applicable to soothe chronic skin conditions while toning skin tissues in the case of eczema, rosacea, shingles, varicose veins, and hemorrhoids.

Plantain also exhibits antibacterial properties that contribute both to its use for wounds and for acne. Its antibacterial properties, however, are destroyed by heat.

Rose

Roses have long been known for love and harmony, but many don’t realize all of the wonderful benefits that lay beneath the sweet scent of the flower. The flowers vary in color; Rose oil is extracted by steam distillation and is said to be good for the skin and soul.

Rose water has been used for centuries to aid in clarifying and toning skin; Essential oil can be used to lift your mood; Teas made from the petals also help in calming you when tense, and can help with high cholesterol.

Parts Used: Flowers, Essential Oil, Hydrosol

Main Constituents: Geraniol, nerol, citronellol, geranic acid

Actions/Medicinal Properties: Mild Sedative, antidepressant, anti-inflammatory, reduces cholesterol levels, astringent.

Dosage: For Tincture; take 1 dose twice per day for nervous disorders, poor digestion, or to help lower cholesterol; For Essential Oil, add a few drops of rose oil to any lotion you use to help with dry or inflamed skin conditions, or add a few drops of Rose oil to a bath to ease depression, sorrows, or insomnia; Brew a tea, let it cool, and spray onto your face for a light skin toner; Drink the tea to help lower cholesterol when you can’t take the tincture, the tea also helps clarify your skin and aids in digestion.

Magickal Properties: Love, Clairvoyance, Fertility

Planet: Venus

Element: Water

Folk Tales & Mythology

According to myth, the first roses did not have thorns. While Venus’ son Cupid smelled a rose, a bee came out and stung him on the lip. Venus then strung his bow with bees. She removed their stingers and placed them on the stems of the roses.

Myth also says that every rose was white until Venus punctured her foot on a thorny briar and some of the white petals were dyed red with her blood. Roses are also said to attract fairies to the garden.

In ancient Greece, the Rose was affiliated with the goddess Aphrodite. It is said that Rose bushes grew from the ground through Aphrodite’s tears and the blood of her dead lover, Adonis.

Meditation Ritual for a Sad Heart

This Meditation Ritual is something to do when your heart is aching. I did this one while I was grieving for my mother, and have used it often when I have lost a loved one; can be done when simply missing someone you haven’t seen in a while. I noticed when I did this, I saw my mother in dreams more often.

This meditation is best in a bath with rose petals and essential oil added; if you do not have a bath (like me) you can place in front of you, fresh rose petals in a bowl of water with a few drops of essential oil.

Light Rose incense; or, in a fire-proof bowl, burn a dried rose flower or petals.

Close your eyes and envision yourself sitting in a field of roses. Breathe in and out steadily, each time taking in the scent.

Imagine your loved one sitting in front of you. Their entire body glowing with a bright pink light. With each deep breath imagine that you are inhaling their light and as you exhale, you are returning it to them. Picture them smiling at you as you complete your breaths. They are happy, and here for you in every breath you take.

Be here with your loved one, as long as you deem necessary.

Slowly start to bring your awareness back and open your eyes.

You can collect any Rose petals you used, and bury them as an offering to your lost loved one.

Chamomile

Chamomile is one of the most well-known herbs to tea drinkers. There are two types of Chamomile; German Chamomile and Roman Chamomile. As far as my studies have shown, both types of chamomiles have very similar properties and can be interchanged. It is known in Spain for having a ‘fruity, apple-like’ scent. Therefore, in Spanish, it is called, Manzanilla, meaning ‘little apple’.

Chamomile is an annual plant, which means it typically dies after one season, and won’t re-emerge the next season like a perennial would. They naturally re-seed themselves so it may appear to re-emerge every season like a perennial.

Chamomile can be taken internally or applied topically, to help with acne and eczema. It has also been known to help with sunburns and other skin conditions, such as poison ivy rashes.

Parts Used:  Flowers, Essential Oil

Main Constituents: Volatile oil, flavonoids, valeric acid, coumarins, tannins, salicylates, cyanogenic glycosides.

Actions/Medicinal Properties: Anti-Inflammatory, nervine antispasmodic, bitter, sedative, tonic, anti-emetic, carminative, anti-allergenic, cooling and drying

Dosage: For Infusions, add 1 cup boiling water over 2 tsps of dried flowers and leaves for mild digestive problems or insomnia. Teas could be used as a face wash for inflammation of the skin, and other skin conditions. For tinctures, take 2tsps 3 times per day to ease irritable bowel syndrome symptoms or for nervous tension.

Magickal Properties: Purification, Love, Sleep, Money, Cleansing.

Planet:  Sun (technically a star)

Element:  Water

Deities: Ra, Cerunnos, Lugh

Safety: Those who typically suffer from allergies from plants in the daisy family may be sensitive to chamomile.

Chamomile Through History

In 2012, chamomile and yarrow scrapings were found on the teeth of a 50,000 year old Neanderthal! We have been using this herb for a very, very long time!

een associated with deities of the sun in many ancient religions. In ancient Egypt, chamomile was sacred to the sun god Ra and was highly revered over all other herbs. Chamomile flowers are found depicted in many ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics dating back to over 2,000 years. Chamomile was valued not only as an herb that could heal any ailments, but Egyptian nobility also used it in their beauty regiments.

Ancient Greek physicians, like Dioscorides, made frequent mention of prescribing the herb chamomile for a variety of ailments. Medieval herbalists bred double-flowering varieties of chamomile to increase the plant’s healing parts, as it is the plant’s flowers that are used for herbal remedies. 

Chamomile Magick

Chamomile is used to attract money and a hand wash of the infusion is sometimes used by gamblers to ensure winnings. It is used in sleep and meditation incenses, and the infusion is also added to the bath to attract love.

f you’re getting ready to do a banishing ritual (banishing negativity or smudging), some recommend you steep chamomile flowers in hot water, and then use it to sprinkle around the house. You can also wash up with it, after the water has cooled, and this is believed to keep negative energies away from you.

Also, plant chamomile near doors and windows, to prevent negativity from entering your home, or blend it into a sachet to carry with you when you think you might be in physical or magical danger. 

Burn dry chamomile in a fireproof bowl or use chamomile incense to bring about relaxation and meditation. Chamomile is useful when trying to get centered and calm. It can be blended with lavender and burned for restful sleep and calming dreams.

Dandelion

Known to many as a pesky unwanted weed, the Dandelion actually has so many benefits, you’ll wish your yard was full of them! Nature has an amazing way of providing for us. This little plant is so vigorous, it can often be found in the crack of concrete, near busy roads… it’ll get stepped on and still, it will thrive and seem almost un-killable. Rather than an unwanted weed, it really should be seen as a superfood! In fact, many fine dining restaurants will include dandelion leaves in their salads. You may have already eaten some without realizing it!

Parts Used:  Leaf, Flower; Root

Main Constituents: Sesquiterpene lactones, Vitamins A, B, C, D; choline, minerals including potassium.

Leaf/Flowers: Coumarins , carotenoids, Potassium

Root: taraxocoside, phenolic acids, iron

Actions/Medicinal Properties: Root: Alterative, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, aperient, bitter, cholagogue, hepatic, hypoglycemic, prebiotic. Leaf: Astringent, bitter, diuretic, nutritive

Dosage: For a decoction, put 3tps of Dandelion Root into 1 Cup of water and boil, simmer for 15 minutes; Drink 1 Cup 3 times daily for any condition where liver stimulation and detoxification may help, such as osteoarthritis, rheumatism, acne, and psoriasis. * For infusion, make a tea with 2tsps dry leaves over 1 cup boiling water. Drink 1 cup 3 times per day to encourage urination in conditions such as cystitis, fluid retention, or high blood pressure. * For Tinctures, take 1 tsp. of combined root and leaf tincture 3 times daily to stimulate bile flow, act as a very mild laxative, or help dissolve small gallstones.

Magickal Properties: Divination, Wishes, Calling spirits, Sending Messages, Enhancing psychic energies, Dandelions are associated with Aphrodite because of her connection with bees

Planet: Jupiter

Element:  Air

Dandelion Through History

Dandelion has been used for thousands of years, by ancient Greeks, Romans and Egyptians. The root and leaves were used as a tonic to remove toxins from the bloodstream, acting as a gentle diuretic to improve the function of the digestive system. Ancient physicians realized dandelion helped with a host of health issues including kidney, stomach, and liver disorders, skin irritations gall bladder problems, heartburn, fevers, toothaches, constipation, anemia, arthritis, diabetes, and even helps with dandruff!

Botanists say that some species of dandelion are native to North America, but historians believe early European settlers introduced it to natives. However it got here, it spread quickly and was known early on as one of the most powerful plant medicines.

Dandelion Meditation Ritual

Here’s a little something you can try at home! Many children make wishes as they blow seeds off of a dandelion head. This has been associated with dandelions for centuries, making wishes and hoping for positive things to come your way.

This is a tea meditation. I always say, you must make teas with intention. Set time aside and really focus on your tea and charge it with your love, intention, and gratitude. A cup of tea must never be rushed. It must be enjoyed, bringing all of your attention to it. It must slowly be charged with your energy.

For this ritual, we will need dried dandelion root, leaves and flowers. Bring water to a boil on the stove and then lower it to a simmer for 15 minutes. Standing over the simmering tea, breathe in the steam and visualize something positive you need in your life. Not anything material, rather think of courage, strength, becoming more vocal, love, prosperity. Take the time to think about what you could do to achieve those passions and feelings and make a mental note of it as you breathe in the aroma of the tea. Keep these intentions in your mind as you pour yourself a cup of tea; imagine that the tea has the power to make your wish a reality. Enjoy and sip your tea.

Valerian

Valerian plant is known to help those who take it …relax, take a nap, and let loose. This plant focuses on the nervous system and can be used as a mild sedative. Be aware that most people do not like the smell of this flower; some claim it smells like sweaty socks!

Scientific name: Valeriana officinalis: The name is from Latin ‘valere which means to be strong or healthy.

Parts Used: Root, Rhizome, herb

Planet: Mercury

Element: Water

Main Constituents: Volatile oils, valepotriates, akaloids

Actions/Medicinal Properties: Sedative, hypnotic, nervine, antispasmodic, expectorant, diuretic, hypotensive, carminative, milldly analgesic.

Dosage: 

  • Soaked in cold water for up to 10 hours: drink 1 cup strained water/tea up to 3 times daily for anxiety, nervous tension or blood pressure related stress. Take 1 cup before bed for insomnia.
  • Tincture: take 1tsp (1-5ml) up to 3 times daily for nervous problems. Doses can vary between individuals. Sometimes high doses can cause headaches for some; so it’s best to start with small doses. If taking other forms of medication, check with your doctor prior to consuming this tincture. Will not usually cause drowsiness/grogginess unless you are also taking other medications.
  • Compress: soak a pad in a cup with maceration or tincture and apply to muscle cramps or abdomen during period pains and colic.

Magical Properties: Protection; purification; restfulness; calmness; grounding; love and harmony.

Valerian is a well-known relaxant and is useful when muscle tension combines with anxiety or sleep problems. It relaxes smooth muscle spasms and cramping.

Most of the benefits are stored within Valerian’s volatile oils. Many find the tea tastes disgusting and the smell is disgusting (…think gym socks, yuck!) but many will struggle through that smell and taste for it’s amazing benefits!

As Nature it ordain’d its own like hurt to cure,And sportive did herself to niceties inure.Valerian then he crops, and purposely doth stampTo apply unto the place that’s haled with the cramp

Poet Michael Dayton

Although it is a fairly safe species its use is not recommended for extended periods of time and it should be used with caution for those suffering from liver failure. Not recommended for pregnant or nursing women, or children under the age of 12.

Valerian Through History

During medieval times in Sweden, many grooms wore Valerian to ward off the envy of elves on their wedding day, or leading up to their wedding days.

Most of us have heard the tale of the Pied Piper of Hamelin, Germany who played his flute and led the rats out of town forever. Many feel the Pied Piper must have been familiar with valerian and put it in his pockets or rubbed himself with it. Rats love the smell, and it may have been the valerian, not the music, that enticed the rats to follow him!

The Nordic goddess Hertha is said to have used valerian as a whip to encourage the stag she rode to greater speeds.

In magic, it was used in love potions, and in Sleep Pillows.

Some people claimed that if valerian was thrown where people were fighting, they would cease immediately and that it could be used to tame the wildest of beasts.

The ancients Greeks would hang bundles of valerian in their homes, especially in their windows, to keep evil entities from entering. The Celts believed hanging it their homes would keep lightening from striking.

In the wizard world of Harry Potter, valerian was believed to have soporific qualities and was given in teas to encourage sleep.

It was generally regarded as a feminine element. Its powers were believed to be love, sleep, purification, and protection.

In addition to a sleep aid, valerian has been used for anxiety, stress, to treat addictions, convulsions, gas, pain, hyperactivity, intestinal cramping, migraines, aggression, nervous exhaustion, coughs, epilepsy,  and the flu. And the list goes on and on…