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.

 

 

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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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ANNOUNCEMENT: Store Opening on Etsy!

I must say that I am very excited to announce that I have opened an herbal shop on Etsy.  Well, really, it is a re-opening.  I do hope that you will all stop by and see what is offered there. And remember, new items will be added regularly. The Grand Opening is planned for November 21 with discounts and product giveaways at that time.  See you there!  https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheEnchantedLeaf

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EVERYDAY HERBAL: Intentional Herbs

Not only do I love to heal with herbs, I love to cook with herbs. I love to use herbs intentionally! Each and every herb has its own healing properties, flavor, and metaphysical properties.  For example, black pepper.  Almost everyone I know uses black pepper in cooking.  I mean, it is a given, we put salt and pepper on almost everything we eat.  Did you know that black pepper stimulates digestion?  Could this be the reason that, since the dawn of time, people have been adding black pepper to their food?  Well, that and because it tastes good.  Did you know that black pepper can also be used to ward off negativity?  That’s right!  So, maybe add a little extra black pepper to your meals for more positive dinnertime conversation.

But, I’m not here to talk about black pepper.  This is just one illustration of how to use herbs in your every day life.  Yes, we follow recipes with various herbs and spices, and we think of them just in terms of flavor.  They are so much more!  When you cook, think about the herbs you are using.  As you add each one, note what the healing properties are. Think about how this will positively influence your family’s health. Note what the metaphysical properties are, also. Think about how this will positively influence attitudes and help balance the qi in your home. Let your intuition and intention guide you into making more meaningful dishes.

We have already discussed black pepper, here are a few more widely used herbs/spices along with the healing and metaphysical properties:

Garlic-lowers blood pressure, reduces cholesterol, a great heart health herb, combats allergies and food poisoning

metaphysically, garlic protects against evil and jealousy

Parsley-gets rid of bad breath, promotes healthy kidney and bladder function, due to its anti-inflammatory properties it may help reduce joint pain

metaphysical properties of parsley include purification and can halt misfortune

Basil-enhances circulation, contains anti-oxidants, useful in relieving cold and flu symptoms

basil’s metaphysical properties are mostly in the realm of protection: protection of the home and  the health of the body.

Cinnamon-wonderfully warming, boosts metabolism, also helps combat colds and flu,helps control blood sugar levels

metaphysically cinnamon is used to increase creativity, boosts success in personal endeavors, increases lust and passion

This is certainly just a few of the herbs you may use everyday. Not an extensive list at all. I do hope this can get you started on the road to using herbs/spices with intention.  Find out what healing and metaphysical properties the herbs you want to use have and go with it!!!!

Bright Blessings to you, your family, and your meals!

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NATURAL HEALTH AND HEALING: Herbalism

In this first discourse on the various modalities of Natural Medicine we will look at my favorite, herbalism.  Herbalism is also called botanical medicine or phytotherapy.  Using plants to treat illness and maintain good health is the most ancient form of healing known to mankind.  

Because of the years of conditioning that we, especially in the USA, have gotten from conventional medicine, natural healing methods are seen to be outdated.  However, in my humble opinion, natural healing should be the first thing we turn to!  Most of the time people who know that I am an herbalist will ask me, ‘What herb do I take for this or that?’.  Herbalist, as with any of the practitioners of natural health, strive to treat the whole person. Our goal is not to just treat a symptom, we want to bring balance to each individual’s health and well-being.  

Yes, each herb or herbal remedy has specific properties.  Each one targets or achieves a specific purpose.  This is the thing that most people seek, that one herb that cures what ails them, from headaches to cancer.  Maybe they are looking for a quick fix.  That is not what herbs can do for you. Herbs act much more slowly and gently to the body than does synthetic drugs, so it takes longer for the effects to be realized.  Herbs also have fewer and less harmful side effects, which makes it worth the wait.

When you visit an herbalist for the first time, they will likely take down a great deal of health history.   Maybe even more than your medical doctor does.  They will also inquire into other areas of your life, such as, home situation, emotional situation, and your spiritual preferences.  The more you honestly reveal to your herbalist, the better able they will be to tailor an herbal regimen for the individual that you are.  

I wish you great health!  Blessings!

 

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Passionate About Passion Flowers

Passion flowers are blooming!!  These gorgeous little flowers look as if they came from a planet far, far away.  The scent of the passion flower is also otherworldly.  Here in Western Kentucky, passion flowers grow wild and free.  The species here are also known as Maypops. The best part is, I have a few vines at the side of my front yard.  This is better than a gold mine for me!

 

As I have recently become aware of being hypertensive. Passion flower has a wonderful  propensity to lower blood pressure.  This is a major issue for many Americans.  Other medicinal uses of passion flower are:

 

Antispasmodic.  This helps relieve the tremors of Parkinson’s Disease, and eases the breathing for asthma sufferers.

 

Antianxiety.  Just the scent of a passion flower blossom can give you a sense of peace.  The tea or tincture calms even the most anxious and hysterical.

 

Heart palpitations, insomnia, and even nerve pain can be relieved with passion flower.

 

 

You may use the whole above ground part of the plant if you like.  The leaves are especially good for infusions. The flowers make an delicate, calming tea. Since the leaves are more plentiful than the flowers or fruit, it is advisable to make your infusion from the leaves.  The fruit ripens to a pale greenish yellow from mid-July to mid-August.  This is the variety that is native to the Southeastern region of the US.

The more exotic passion fruit will be a dark purple color.

 

 

I have gotten myself so hyped up over my passion flowers blooming and the many benefits that they house, I decided to try an experiment.

 

I made a passion flower tea to see if it did have an effect on my blood pressure.  I took my blood pressure reading, drank the tea, 20 minutes later took a second reading.  The results:  WOW! Even I didn’t expect this.  My systolic pressure dropped from 144 to 115, the diastolic pressure dropped from 85 to 78.  That my friends, is impressive.  Now, to see the duration of the lowered blood pressure.  I will keep you informed! Please do not try this experiment for yourself if you are taking medications for blood pressure.  Always consult your personal healthcare practitioner first.

 

Passion Flower Tea

 

4 passion flower blossoms (I chopped mine, you may get the same or better results using whole flowers)

6 oz. hot water  (Make this tea as you would any green or white tea.  The water does not need to be boiling.  The delicate flowers do not require intense heat.  If you are in doubt about how hot the water should be, allow it to just come to a boil, take it off the heat and let it sit one minute before pouring onto the blossoms.)

Allow the tea to steep for 5 to 7 minutes.  Sweeten with honey or stevia, if you prefer sweet.  I do.

 

You can drink this warm or cold.

 

 

Warnings:  Not recommended for children under 4 years of age, may cause stomach upset or overexcitability.

Do not use with any sedative or blood pressure lowering medications.

 

Since these beautiful vines have such an enchanting look and scent, it only stands to reason that this particular lovely would have some very special magickal properties also.    True  to its nature, passion flowers and passion fruit are used in rituals that promote peace, friendship, and well, of course, to enhance libido it is a passion fruit after all.

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Still Looking For Spring

April 2, 2013

Where is spring?

 

Normally, by this time of year, the weather is warm and mostly sunny.  T shirts, shorts, sundresses, and flip flops are the normal casual dress.  However, this April is not the norm.  The temperatures are way too cool and it seems to be ever cloudy and damp; sunshine is a rare commodity.  Spring’s official arrival on March 21 seems to have been totally ignored by Mother Nature.

 

It times before we had such amazing weather prognosticating technology, people knew that this year would be the year for the late arrival of spring.  How did they know?  Well, the saying, “Early Easter, Late Spring; Late Easter, Early Spring” comes to mind.  This year Easter came at the end of March, which is a little early, and well, Spring has yet to arrive.  I suspect, those ‘old ways’ are spot on.

 

I love to explore the wit and wisdom of old country folk.  To the modern world, they seem outdated and uneducated.  That may apply, but, their wisdom reaches down into the soul of nature.  They take notice of the workings of the natural world; seasons, elements, and even the moon and stars.  Some are so attuned nature that they have no need of the Weather Channel. Or could it be, their lives are so uncomplicated that the weather is a minor issue most of the time?

 

Either way, I feel myself yearning to be a part of those rare group that are so very much in harmony with nature.  To hone this skill, I imagine, takes some getting out of doors and spending time with nature; which is exactly what I intend to do…..just as soon as it warms up a bit.


Spring, I believe, will come in its own good time.  I cannot say that I will enjoy the cooler weather, I am a warm weather person; however, I will stay calm and enjoy a cup (or two) of linden tea while waiting for the temperatures to catch up to the season.