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SUNDAY ORACLE: Fairies; Earth Magic

 

As we enter the fall season, it is a lovely time to practice a little earth magic! Early fall is the perfect time to plant trees and shrubs. Later on, when the last of vegetables and fruits have been harvested, it is a time of putting your planting space to bed. There can be a lot going on in the world of gardening this time of year. Fairies are just the ones that can help you tend to your garden no matter what season of the year.

Fairies are nature spirits and are never more pleased with humankind as when humankind is being kind to the Earth. As you are lovingly tending your plants, trees, or lawn, the fairies can help you reconnect with the healing energies of the Earth. Take some time, as the temperatures cool, to breathe in some of those soothing energies. Get your hands dirty. Walk barefoot. Lie on the grass and dream with the clouds. The more time you spend caring for nature, the more the fairies will bless you with the magick of beautiful and bountiful plants.

“Fairies are Nature spirits thought to be descended from the early tribes—particularly the Tuatha de Danann, those associated with the Goddess Dana who once ruled Ireland.” Steven D Farmer, Earth Magic Oracle Cards

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tea

Linden

There is no better herbal tea to relax and calm you!  Yes, there are the two common go-to herbs, St. John’s Wort and Valerian.  I do not want to detract from these two wonderful herbal remedies at all. However, at the end of a long, stress filled day, my number one choice to relax and help me let go of the yuck is Linden.  I have some tea bags already prepared so it is just a matter of heating the water and I am on my way to a beautiful night’s sleep.

Linden is a tree herb. It is made from the dried leaves and flowers.  It is also called Lime tree, which has nothing to do with the lime fruit.  Mainly, they are found in the British Isles and Asia.  However, they do grow in North America and are commonly referred to as basswood.

This beautiful tea tastes very much like jasmine tea.  It is a mild, sweet flavor.  There are many benefits to enjoying a cup of linden tea at the end of the day.  I stress end of the day because linden has such a relaxing effect on me, that I normally go right to sleep a half hour after drinking a cup.  So, the appropriate disclaimer here would be ‘do not drive or operate heavy machinery after drinking linden tea.’

Originally, I began using linden tea because it eased my nighttime leg cramps and restless legs.  Other benefits and uses for linden tea are:

  • calms anxiety
  • lowers blood pressure
  • helps break fever
  • relieves respiratory ailments
  • reduces the pain of tension headaches.

 

 

tea

Hawthorn

Hawthorn for your heart!  If you have high blood pressure, this is the herb for you. Actually, hawthorn is the best thing ever for your heart.  Some years ago I was having some symptoms of heart attack.  So, as we should do, I went to the local ER.  They eased my symptoms, thankfully it was not a heart attack.  Then they referred me to a cardiologist just as a precaution.

I did the follow-up visits with the cardiologist.  Had stress tests and echocardiograms and was, at one point, put on three different blood pressure medicines.  At this point, I knew I had to do something besides go along with the status quo.  Through all the testing, they decided that there really wasn’t anything so wrong with my heart.  Except for a slow heartbeat and could possibly one day have to have a pacemaker.  Not looking forward to that at all.

I began to research natural methods of bringing blood pressure under control.  I thought that was a good place to start.

This herb is completely safe.  So, if you love the taste, rest assured you cannot overdose on it.  Hawthorn is especially good for aging hearts, hearts with an irregular heartbeat, hypertension, those who are recovering from heart surgery, and well, any type of heart issue.

INFUSION:  I prefer to take hawthorn as an infusion. (To find out how to make an infusion, click here ) You may try the powdered form or a tincture.

COLOR:  Once the infusion is complete, hawthorn has a medium golden color.  Much like a weak black tea.

TASTE: The taste is mild, again, much like a weak black tea.  If you would like to sweeten it, use honey or stevia.

DOSAGE:  4 ounces of hawthorn infusion 2 times per day.  In the morning and in the evening.

If you prefer to use a tincture and want to make your own, consider using the haws or berries. You can find instructions on making tinctures here .

Hawthorn takes some time to work its magic.  If you are primarily using it to regulate your blood pressure, expect it to show lasting results in about 3 months.  Hawthorn is not fast but it is enduring. The is undoubtedly the very best herb for heart health.

The German Commission E, a group of scientists that determines the effectiveness of herbal medicines, recommends hawthorn for:

  • Cardiac insufficiency (weak heart)
  • Pressure and tightness in the chest
  • Aging hearts
  • To increase circulation
  • Arrhythmia

SIDE EFFECTS AND CONTRAINDICATIONS

Well, there aren’t any.  If you are currently taking medication for hypertension, you can still use Hawthorn.  It will not cause your blood pressure to drop too low.  After a few months, you will probably be able to wean off of the blood pressure medicine.  There is no danger of overdose on Hawthorn. Since it is not a diuretic nor does it block calcium channels, Hawthorn is a safe way to lower blood pressure in those who have kidney disease or are diabetic.

DISCLAIMER: I am not a medical doctor nor do I diagnose disease.  Please contact your personal healthcare practitioner before trying any herbal remedy.

 

 

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8 Natural Arthritis Pain Relieving Strategies

  1. Magnesium. Before you do anything else to relieve arthritis pain, make sure you are getting enough magnesium. The body does not make this important mineral on its own.  It must come from outside sources. Magnesium helps the body to absorb the nutrients it takes in.  Adding magnesium-rich foods to your diet is a great way to start.  Those foods include dark leafy green vegetables, all kinds of nuts, and beans.  Another wonderful day to end the day and add magnesium to your body is to take an Epsom salt soak.  A 15 – 20 minute soak in a warm bath laced with about a cup of Epsom salt will ease pain and stiffness.  The magnesium sulfate is absorbed through your skin.
  2. Dandelion.  If the season happens to be Spring, you can gather this remedy for free!  Even your neighbors may allow you to wild harvest dandelions from their lawns.  The tender leaves in the Springtime can be added to salads or you could just let dandelions be your salad.  You can also make a cup of warm dandelion tea.  Use 3 tablespoons chopped fresh leaves or 1 tablespoon dried leaves.  Steep the leaves in 6 ounces of boiling water for 5-8 minutes.  Add honey, if you want your tea sweet.
  3. White Willow Bark.  White willow is considered nature’s aspirin!  If you don’t have a white willow or care to wild harvest it, you can certainly purchase shredded or powdered willow bark from your favorite herb supplier.  The powder can be taken with the liquid of your choice.  If you use the chipped or shredded bark, you will need to make a decoction.  Using 2 teaspoons bark to every 8 ounces of water, place both in a pan and bring to a boil.  Lower the heat and allow it to simmer 20 minutes.  Strain.  Again, you can sweeten the infusion with honey or stevia if you like.  You can also drink it warm or cool. Drink 2 – 4 ounces twice daily to relieve pain.  Native Americans would chew the inner bark of the White Willow to relieve pain.
  4. Gentle exercise.  Yes, the dreaded ‘E’ word.  The fact is the more you move the more your joints and muscles will want to move.  Walking, of course, is a great and gentle exercise.  Have you considered tai chi?  Tai chi utilizes slow, graceful movements to strengthen muscles and joints and bring your body and mind back into balance.  It is an ultra-gentle way to keep your body moving.  If you are fortunate enough to have an instructor in your area, awesome!  If not, there are many videos on You Tube, or you can purchase a DVD.
  5. Liniment. You could make your own liniment oil using a carrier oil such as olive, coconut, grapeseed, or almond.  Mix in 20 drops of essential oils, eucalyptus or peppermint or a blend of both.  Rub the mixture into your achy joints to massage the pain away. Here again, if you don’t have those items on hand you can purchase pre-made liniment from your trusted health food store.
  6. Cayenne. Cayenne oil will warm up those stiff, achy joints in no time.  To make your own cayenne oil infuse 1 tablespoon of the crushed, dried cayenne pepper in 1/4 cup olive oil.  To infuse, mix the oil and pepper in a heat proof container and set it in a slow cooker on low for at least 3 hours.  After it is infused, strain the oil into a dark glass jar or bottle.  Cayenne oil is especially wonderful in cold winter months. Take care not to get the cayenne in your eyes!
  7. TENS Unit.  I don’t know that a TENS unit is a totally natural, but I do know that it is non-invasive and it works for many people.  A TENS unit is a small device that sends electrical pulses through the skin into the achy joints.  It can relieve pain and swelling when used on the affected joints.  These can be purchased at any drug store, many units are under $35.  Make sure you follow the device’s instructions carefully to insure safety.
  8. Glucosamine and Chondroitin. These supplements, often combined in one pill, will not deliver instant results.  They will offer lasting relief when taken regularly.  It normally takes 7 – 10 days for you to begin to see the effects.  Once you do, you will probably never want to stop taking them.

Mother Nature has so many wonderful ways to reduce the pain and suffering from arthritis. So try any or all of them and live a natural pain-free life.

Bright Blessings

Disclaimer:  Always consult with your personal medical practitioner before trying any natural treatment.  This article is not meant to diagnose symptoms or take the place of your prescribed treatments.

beauty

Natural Hair Product Review

I love using natural products in hair and body care.  For me, my skin care is very simple and I can use products that I already have on hand, usually.  Hair care is a little more difficult to do.  So, when I come across natural products for hair care, I’m willing to give them a try.

A friend gave me some products from a company called Honey House Naturals.  There is shampoo, conditioner, and soap.  I have to say that I love each of these products.  The shampoo and conditioner make my hair feel so soft and weightless.  They seem to put bounce and life into my hair.  The bar soap is a hit, also.  It goes on creamy and makes my skin feel hydrated and moisturized.

I quickly fell in love with the products.  But, just because something says ‘natural’ doesn’t mean it is natural.  So, I set out to find the truth about Honey House Naturals. I first went to their website, http://www.honeyhousenaturals.com.  I was smitten, once again, by the story of the company found on the ‘About Us’ page on the website.  Their mission to ‘Create pure, all-natural healing products in packaging that is both attractive and ecologically viable, while simultaneously providing prompt and caring customer service’ says it all.  I do love using products from this type of company.  One that cares about the planet and their customers.

The proper names for the products I used are:

Honey House Fresh Shampoo, Citrus scent

Honey House Fresh Conditioner, Citrus scent

Honey Blossom Soap

The shampoo and conditioner are very lightly scented.  Just enough citrus to make your hair smell as good as it feels.  The Honey Blossom Soap smelled like honey and feels so good on your face and body.

I’m giving Honey House Naturals a big ole thumbs up for their hair care products.  And I will certainly be trying out their other products in the near future.

Bright Blessings

 

Cooking With Intention

Celebration Relief

Ahhhh, the holidays are officially behind us.  So much revelry and food and fun and drinks.  Yes, it has been a blast.  Now, perhaps your body needs a quick detox.  Maybe your head could use one, too.  Well, it just so happens, I have a solution to your troubles. This beautiful and simple to make soup is light and earthy.

Each individual ingredient packs a healthful punch on its own, put them together and you have a big ole bowlful of your internal organs, your bones, and every other body part thanking you. This soup is packed with the following benefits:

  • Reduces cholesterol formation
  • Reduces blood vessel stiffness (lowers blood pressure)
  • Clot-busting (lowering the risk of stroke and heart attacks)
  • Antioxidant
  • Antibiotic
  • Immune boosting
  • Anti-carcinogenic
  • Bone strengthening

Now, of course, the benefits will depend on the quality of the ingredients.  So, please use organic, locally grown or made products when possible.

1 lb mushrooms, (chopped as small or large as you like)

2 leeks, halved, sliced about 1/4 inch thick, soaked in cold water then drained

1/2 cup fresh parsley, chopped fine

3 T. soy sauce

2 T. olive oil

1 t. turmeric

1/2 t. dried thyme

salt and pepper to taste

6 cups broth (any bone broth is the best, otherwise organic chicken broth will suffice)

2 T chopped fresh chives

Trim the green part of the leek, you can use as much or as little as you like. I like to use about 2 inches of the green portion. There are loads of vitamins and minerals in them as well as the white part. Split each leek in half, then slice the halves to about 1/4 inch thick. Allow them to soak in a bowl of salted water about 30 minutes. Rinse and drain.
Heat the oil in the soup pot, add turmeric, thyme, salt, and pepper. Give them a quick stir, then add the leeks. Cook until they begin to soften then add the mushrooms. Allow the mushrooms to cook until they begin to brown. Add broth and soy sauce. Simmer for at least 10 minutes. Add the parsley and chives. Simmer 5 more minutes. Serve with a sprinkle of grated Parmesan cheese, if desired.

This soup is so very good for you!  At least one bowl a day for a few days and you will feel yourself strengthening and your energy will increase.  So, go ahead and make those New Years Resolutions, you can achieve anything!

Bright Blessings and Beautiful Health to you.

 

 

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Happy New Year! Welcome 2017

Happy New Year!  I hope that you have high hopes for the coming year.  Welcome to my new and improved blog.  It is my intention to keep on improving and bringing you the very latest information in the world of herbs.

The Enchanted Leaf blog is now broken down into categories so it will be easier for you to find the articles and information that you need quickly and efficiently.

  • Cooking With Intention – covers the benefits of the herbs and spices we use every day in preparing dishes. There will also be some delicious recipes from time to time.
  • Herb Garden – planting, caring for, harvesting, and preserving all sorts of beautiful herbs
  • Magickal Herbs – exploring the folklore and metaphysical energies of plants, along with a few spells and potions
  • Natural Beauty – tips and skin care recipes, product reviews for natural beauty products
  • Natural Life – information on the natural health and healing modalities, meditation, food and exercise
  • The Tea Room – the bare bones of the herbal life.  We will explore simple herbal teas and infusions along with their health benefits.

I look forward to interacting with you during the coming year.  I hope you enjoy the information and blog posts that I send your way.

Bright Blessings and Happy New Year!

 

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Perfect Parsley

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Parsley is widely known as a decorative herb. At the most, many people know that parsley can be used to freshen your breath. Maybe that is why it is so often used as a garnish. While I do not want to take anything away from the beauty and the fact that it enhances the look of any dish, I just want you to know that there is so much more to parsley than meets the eye!

Parsley is such an easy herb to grow. A little dirt, water, and sunshine…there you have it! Fresh parsley until the wee chill of the fall. This is an annual herb/plant, so you have to plant every year. If you sow seeds, expect them to take up to 6 weeks to germinate. Be patient, it is well worth it. Buying the plant is much easier and you can wait until after any danger of frost and plant it outside.

The health benefits of this plant are quite astonishing. This little herb is packed with:

Potassium

Calcium

Iron (2x the amount in spinach)

Vitamin K (over 500% of the DRV)

Vitamin A

Vitamin C

B Vitamins

Fiber

Parsley is a wonderful digestive aid when added to foods. But, if you still have a little digestive upset, brew a cup of parsley tea to settle things down.

Parsley also detoxifies your body and purifies the blood.

Taken (or rather, eaten) daily can alleviate joint pain due to the fantastic anti-inflammatory properties of parsley.

Some studies suggest that there are cancer-fighting compounds found in parsley and that it inhibits tumor growth.

I believe it is to our benefit to incorporate a generous serving of parsley in one or more of our meals EVERY DAY!

As for the magickal assignments to parsley; well, let’s just say that in times past, parsley as a garnish was there because it was said that parsley could protect from food contamination. Parsley is a herb that is held sacred to Persephone and is used in funeral wreaths. It is also used as a protection herb in your home, just add a few sprigs to any floral arrangement.

Used as an aromatherapy ingredient, parsley is refreshing, stimulating and warming.

I don’t know about anyone else, but after learning so much about parsley, I use it daily in so many dishes. I would encourage you to also add parsley to your salads, soups, egg dishes, or potato dishes or anything else you plan on having for dinner.

I will provide recipes and tips on how you can get the most from your parsley, fresh or dried, in the next Enchanted Leaf post.  Until then…

Bright blessings, dear ones!

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HERB OF THE WEEK: Dill

Bunch of dill on white background. Isolated
Bunch of dill on white background. Isolated over white

Cucumbers are blooming in my garden and there are even a couple of tiny fruits forming on the vines. The anticipation that blooming garden crops bring is indescribable. I love watching everything grow, but I can’t wait until we begin harvesting all these tasty bits! The cucumbers were the inspiration for this post. Well, those and the fact that I have fresh dill growing in the herb garden.

Dill, a very unassuming herb, we never think of dill until we are chowing down on a crisp dill pickle, right? Well, let me tell you dill has so much more depth than we might have imagined. I do love dill pickles and I have found the juice to be very beneficial for easing leg cramps. But let’s take a closer look at the beautiful, delicate plant. I’ll wager you will come away with a new appreciation for dill.

This little herb lends a freshness to any dish you may want to add it to. It is great on fish, especially salmon. Add it to any fresh or cooked vegetable to brighten it right up. The uses for dill range far beyond the culinary, so hold on to your hat! Did you know that dill is used, either fresh or dried, in floral arrangements? Yes, indeed! This pretty plant provides an airiness to any bouquet.

Although dill makes for tasty dishes and lovely arrangements, it reaches beyond those categories, also. The healing properties of dill may make you seek to add a little more of this herb to your cooking and your herbal medicine cabinet. The word ‘dill’ comes from an old Norse word meaning ‘to lull’. Dill is soothing to the tummy and relaxing to the body. Maybe that is why the dill pickle juice eases the leg cramps.

Other health benefits of dill:

Dill activates the digestive juices and stimulates the peristaltic motion in the intestine. This moves everything along so that elimination is easy and constipation will not be an issue. Since it is carminative, it also reduces the formation of gas in the intestine.
Dill contains calcium making it a wonderful herb for helping to build bones and prevent bone loss.
Prevents insomnia
Balances insulin levels
Eases respiratory illnesses, such as congestion, allergies, and cough.
Anti-inflammatory properties reduce arthritis pain.
Eases menstrual cramps.

As with any herb, dill can be a healthy addition to your diet. Check out more recipes that incorporate this herb. Dill can be added to any vegetable dish giving it a light dill-y flavor. It is good with meat dishes, such as fish, chicken, and pork. Also, try adding a small amount of dill to your salad. You can use the feathery leaves or the seeds in any of your dishes.

Metaphysically speaking, dill is a great protection herb, especially for children. Hanging a bunch of dried dill in a child’s room or on the crib protects them from negative energies and bad dreams. It can also be hung by the door of your home to deter those who would mean you harm or affect your home life in a negative way. You may also use dill in your bath to make you simply irresistible. It is a great addition to love spells and in spells to keep your partner interested!

Dill is used in luck and money spells. Carrying a small muslin bag with dill is said to attract money to the carrier.

In dream work or vision quests, dill can bring up and help you face painful memories. It can aid in giving you a deeper understanding of your inner emotions.

Whatever you choose to use dill for, we can probably agree that dill is an all around great herb to keep on hand! I wish you great health and happiness.

Bright Blessings, Dear Ones.

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Featured Herb: Mistletoe

Mistletoe may conjure up for you visions of smooching couples, Yuletide decorations, celebration and feasting. Or you may not give mistletoe much thought at all. I do hope you find a new appreciation for mistletoe after this post.

Mistletoe is a parasite plant that attaches itself to the bark of hosts trees. In my area of the world, they are most commonly found in hickory trees. It may also be found in apple, pine, oak, etc. It is a winter time plant. If you go out foraging for mistletoe, you will see it growing very near the tops of trees in bundles. Getting it down from the tree is a breeze! Well, it is a breeze if you have a gun, or in my case, a husband with a gun.

My husband and I have made it an annual event each December, just before the solstice to traipse through the woods hunting mistletoe. After he blasts it out of the tree, we run around like kids gathering it up. Now, some say that mistletoe should never touch the ground. However, I can never remember to bring and old sheet to lay under the tree…so, my mistletoe does touch the ground. YIKES!!

There are some precautions to using mistletoe as a medicinal herb. Many people claim that the plant is poisonous and we should all just leave it alone. Others say the berries are poisonous. I don’t know if the berries are truly poison, but they can certainly make you very sick. I would just leave those alone.

For those who are brave, this herb can be used safely. Just remember: NEVER ingest any herb without first consulting your healthcare practitioner! Also, if you are pregnant or nursing, do not use mistletoe.

What can we use mistletoe for besides kissing? Epilepsy, hypertension, internal hemorrhage, infertility, arthritis, and some cancers. It is being used as an injectable drug in Europe to treat certain kinds of cancers, however, it is not available in the USA. The leaves are ground into powder and used as a tea or it can be tinctured to be used as drops for any of its other uses.

When I use mistletoe, I only use the leaves and young twigs dehydrated and ground as finely as I can. I make sure that I don’t use any of the berries. Better safe than sorry, right?

Since mistletoe is not quite an herb and not quite a tree, it has an otherworldly essence. It speaks of the in-between. It is dawn. It is dusk. It is that period of time between seasons. It is balance. Metaphysically, mistletoe is used in protection, healing, love, fertility, and exorcism spells. When it is burned as incense evil is banished. Place a sprig under your pillow to have beautiful dreams.

Mistletoe seems to be often overlooked except at Yuletide; however, it is a powerhouse herb. I believe that more research should be done in the area of mistletoe’s effect on cancer cells. I also hope that you are able to find a bundle of mistletoe and give/receive loads of kisses this holiday season.

Bright blessings, dear ones!