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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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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.

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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!

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SUNDAY ORACLE: Winter Solstice

During the time of the Winter Solstice (December 21 or 22 depending on where you are) there are many celebrations, in various cultures, that depict the birth of the sun. Not all cultures or religions have their particular ‘festival of lights’ day on the actual first day of Winter. However, they are all within a few days of the solstice.

It is a day to celebrate renewal and hope. This is a quiet season and a period of the longest night that calls us to go inside. We go inside our homes physically and we go inside our hearts and souls to reflect on the seasons just past.

Take some time this Winter Solstice to review the past year. Think of the lessons you have learned, both good and not so good. Bask in your shining accomplishments. Be thankful for everything, forgive what needs forgiveness, and let it all go to rest in the past. What do you want to accomplish in the coming year? What dreams and desires do you have and what steps can you take to make them come to fruition?

The season also seems to be a time of hustle and bustle for many people. Remember to carve out a space for quiet for yourself and allow time for your imagination to run wild. See all the possibilities that your future holds without limits. Be joyful for what life has in store for you this coming year. As the sun grows stronger from this day, may your dreams grow more vivid.

Just as the Winter Solstice is a time of renewal throughout the Earth, let it be a time of renewal for your own hopes and dreams!

Wishing everyone a joyous and happy holiday season!

Bright Blessings, Dear Ones.

*from Earth Magic Oracle Cards by Steven D Farmer, Ph.D.Winter Soltice

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SUNDAY ORACLE: Love (Compassion)

What the world needs now is love, sweet love.  That’s the only thing that there’s just too little of.

Although this song was recorded by Jackie DeShannon in 1965, how true those words ring today! Love and compassion between fellow members of the human race seems to have gone extinct.

What is amazing is the feeling of love we have when we show love to others.  It is a most powerful energy.  Given out among other humans, animals, and all living things, love vibrates right back to the giver.

This week, make love a priority.  Give your energy to allowing love to take over your own heart. Send loving vibrations out into the Universe and experience the outpouring back in your own life.  Love is karma at its best.

Bright Blessings, Dear Ones

 

Earth Magic Oracle Cards, by Steven D Farmer, Ph.D

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Rose Elixir

As promised, here is the rose elixir recipe.  This is the simplest one I have.  It is also the one I use the most.  You can make it with fresh rose petals or dried.

Rose elixir is a great addition to your herbal medicinal arsenal; however, you may want it just for the exquisite tasty treat that it is.  Without further ado, here is the recipe:

A pint jar (A canning jar or other jar that you have with a tight fitting lid)

Rose petals (If using fresh rose petals, pack them in the jar all the way to the top, don’t be stingy. If using dried rose petals, fill the jar to about half.)

A pint of brandy. (Fill the jar to about two thirds with the brandy, stirring to make sure all the air bubbles are out.)

Honey (About one third pint or to taste. Preferably local raw honey. Light colored honeys are usually the best as they don’t muffle the taste of the rose. Pour into the jar and stir.)

Seal the jar and give it a good shake.  Put it in a cool dry place.  Allow it to macerate for 4 to 6 weeks.  Once you strain the liquid, save those honey and brandy infused rose petals to toss into a fruit salad, spread on toast, mix in with yogurt for another tasty treat.  You could even use them to top a cake for decoration.  Just don’t throw them out!

As for dosage, use the rose elixir daily, if you like, for a mood booster and cardiac tonic.  One or two tablespoons, two or three times a day will do.

You can also use the rose elixir topically for burns or minor skin wounds. Do not use it on deep wounds.

I hope you enjoy your rose elixir!

Bright Blessings, as always.

 

 

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HERB OF THE WEEK: Rose

Roses…what can be said about roses?  Well, a whole lot! They are one of Mother Nature’s finest creations. A beautiful flower that has been used as a symbol of love and romance for, oh, FOREVER!  Did you know that a rose is not just a pretty face?  A rose is quite the workhorse in the world of herbs. AND it tastes like heaven! Yes, a rose is definitely one of the more pleasant tasting herbs around.

One of the most beautiful sights along the edges of the roadways in summer are the delicate pink flowers that seem to explode overnight and keep blooming for quite some time. These are the very wild Sweetbriar roses.  They are lovely and fragrant and extremely thorny.  However, if you have the desire for a wonderful healing plant and a little bit of tenacity, the wild rose can be yours.  Oh, and, remember to bring gloves.

When I talk about the rose as a healing herb, I’m not just talking about the petals of the flower.  No, ma’am (or sir), I’m talking about the whole plant.  Now, honestly, the petals and hips are the best tasting; however, the leaves also have excellent anti-oxidant properties.

Of course, rose hips can be used as a tea or made into a jelly, just like any berry or fruit and they are loaded with Vitamin C.  There is also Vitamin A, many Vitamin Bs, Vitamins K and E.  Yep, it’s a healthy little fruit, for sure.

The entire rose plant can be used daily as a blood tonic.  Just brew up a cup of tea, or you can use it as a nourishing infusion and drink a whole jar each day!  Rose will loosen up sludge in your vital organs, especially the liver, and move all the toxins out.  There is also this wonderful little drink called Rose Elixir that you can make yourself.  It is made with roses, brandy, and honey.   Now that is some nice herbal remedy right there!  (I will locate my recipe and post it tomorrow for you) Rose Elixir relieves menstrual cramps like a dream.

The rose can relax you and lift your mood. It is used to help circulation and other heart issues, such as, palpitations, and high blood pressure.  For digestive issues like, diarrhea, nausea, IBS, constipation, etc., rose is a go to herb. This romantic flower is also used for many female issues and to increase libido. Rose can be used externally for muscle pain, sunburn, skin irritations, etc. You may simply want to sprinkle some rose petals on your salad for a tasty treat! Just remember to remove the white part at the very bottom of the petal, it is just a bit bitter.

That sweet,delicate rose is a fierce warrior when it comes to your overall health and healing.  This is a must have for any herb cabinet.

The metaphysical aspects of the rose include, of course, love potions! It can also be used in healing spells, sachets, and incense.

So, this spring, when you see the wild roses flourishing on the sides of creeks and rivers, help yourself to some healing.  Make sure you have permission when you are on someone else’s property. Remember do not harvest everything…leave some for next year!  Of course, you can always get your roses at your local health food store or from a few reputable online suppliers like Mountain Rose Herbs or Bulk Herb Store.

Bright Blessings, Dear Ones