Medicinal and Magickal Herbalism 101 (Beginner Course)

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Ravencry
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Medicinal and Magickal Herbalism 101 (Beginner Course)

Post by Ravencry »

This is going to be a long post! I am going to start with medicinal herbs, but first I suggest you reading JBRaven's Herbal Vocab post. This will help with any terms that you don't understand. Mind you, these are all going to be basic herbs, then we'll move on to intermediate herbalism. Unfortunately I can't teach expert herbalism as I am not an expert nor do I have a degree. I am just a Green Witch that has been working with herbs for as long as I can remember. This post will include pictures and ways to prepare the herbs to be used as medicine and to be used in witchcraft. Let us begin with basic herbs. I will alert you guys when I switch to magickal herbalism.

Agrimony-Agrimonia parviflora, Agrimonia Striata
Other Names: Church steeples, Cocklebur, Sticklewort, Philanthropos
Actions: (This is where reading the Herbal Vocab plays a part!) Astringent, tonic, diuretic, vulnery, cholagogue.
Agrimony is not commonly used today, but has its place in traditional herbal medicine. This herb is safe for use for minor ailments in most healthy people. Like most herb simples, the uses to which it is put are remarkably varied. The English use it to make a delicious "spring" or "diet" drink for purifying the blood. It is considered especially useful as a tonic for aiding recovery from winter colds, fevers, and diarrhea. Agrimony contains tannin and a volatile essential oil.

As Agrimony also possesses an astringent action, it is frequently used in alternative medicine as an herbal mouthwash and gargle ingredient, and is applied externally in the form of a lotion to minor sores and ulcers. Agrimony has also been recommended, as a strong decoction, to cure sores, blemishes, and pimples.

Agrimony is called XIAN HE CAO in Chinese herbal medicine and is used to stop bleeding.

Caution: This is an astringent herb, do not use if constipated. Do not use internally during pregnancy without discussing with your obstetrician.
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Re: Medicinal and Magickal Herbalism 101 (Beginner Course)

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Aletris Farinosa
Other Names:
Star grass, Colic root, True Unicorn Root, Ague Root
Actions: Bitter, anti-spasmodic, sedative, emmenagogue
This herb should not be confused with False Unicorn Root (Chamaelirium luteum). It is an excellent remedy for sluggish digestion, which may give rise to dyspepsia, flatulence and debility. Its bitter nature will stimulate the digestive process and so it often relieves anorexia (appetite loss). Another name for True Unicorn Root is Colic Root, which shows its value in the treatment of digestive colic. As all these conditions often have a nervous involvement, this herb has been called a nervine. However, its benefit in anxiety is based on an easing of the physical aspects rather than on a direct relaxation of the nerves. It is reported to be of value in threatened miscarriage, but most herbalists prefer to use False Unicorn Root.
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Re: Medicinal and Magickal Herbalism 101 (Beginner Course)

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American Mandrake
Other names: May apple, Devil's Apple, Hog-apple, Indian Apple, American May Apple, Racoonberry, Wild Lemon
Actions:
*Antibilious, Anti-Cancer, Cathartic, **Cytostatic, ***Hydrogogue, Purgative, Warts.
American Mandrake, or May Apple, is medicinal and edible (fruit), used extensively by Native Americans. The fully ripe fruit is eaten raw, cooked or made into jams, jellies, marmalades, and pies. It is very aromatic, and has a sweet peculiar but agreeable flavor. May Apple seeds and rind are not edible, said to be poisonous. The root and plant contain valuable constituents Quercetin, Kaempferol, Podophyllin, Isorhamnetin, Gallic-acid, Berberine, Alpha-peltatin, that are being studied for their healing, anticancer and other properties. The root is used as a medicinal herb, it is antibilious, cathartic, cytostatic, hydrogogue and purgative, it should only be used by professional Herbalists. It is a most powerful and useful alternative medicine. A possible treatment for cancer is being tested as it contains podophyllin, which has an antimiotic effect (it interferes with cell division and can thus prevent the growth of cells).

The resin of May Apple, which is obtained from the root, is used in the treatment of warts.
Caution: American Mandrake herb produces nausea and vomiting, and even inflammation of the stomach and intestines, which has been known to prove fatal. In moderate doses, it is a drastic purgative with some cholagogue action. Do not use wile pregnant, nursing or trying to conceive.
*Antibilious-corrects secretions of bile **Cytostatic- slows growth of tumors ***Hydrogogue- Causes abundant watery discharge
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Re: Medicinal and Magickal Herbalism 101 (Beginner Course)

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Angelica
Angelica atropurpurea, Angelica archangelica
Other Names: Alexanders, American Dong Qui, Archangel, Purple-stem Angelica, American Angelica, High Angelica, Wild Archangel, Wild Angelica, Masterwort
Actions: Antispasmodic, Carminative, Diaphoretic, Diuretic, Expectorant, Emmenagogue, Sedative, Stimulant, Stomachic, Tonic.
Angelica is used extensively in herbal medicine. The main constituents of Angelica are volatile oils, valeric acid, angelic acid, angelicin, safrole, scopoletin, and linoleic acid, making it useful in the treatment of fevers, colds, coughs, flatulent colic and other stomach disorders. A medicinal infusion made from stems, seeds, and root is carminative, diaphoretic, emmenagogue, sedative, stomachic and tonic. Angelica is used for obstructed menses and should not be taken in large quantities by pregnant women. Angelica is a very good tonic herb for women and children, the elderly or general debility, it is said to strengthen the heart. Powdered root is said to cause disgust for liquor. It has an antibacterial action, preventing the growth of various bacteria. Externally it is used as a medicinal gargle for sore throats and mouths and as a medicinal poultice for broken bones, swellings, itching and rheumatism. An infusion of Angelica root, used as a wash for the face, is said to prevent acme. A powder made from the dried root is used for athlete’s foot, as well as an insecticide and pesticide.
Caution: The fresh root of Angelica is not edible, said to be poisonous. Do not use while pregnant or breastfeeding without consulting your doctor.
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Re: Medicinal and Magickal Herbalism 101 (Beginner Course)

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Beth Root
Trillium recurvatum (Prairie), Trillium Grandiflorum (White), Sessile Trillium (Toad)
Other names: Birth Root, Prairie Trillium, White Trillium, Toad Shade
Actions:Antiseptic, Antispasmodic, Aphrodisiac, Astringent, Birthing aid, Diuretic, Emmenagogue, Expectorant, Tonic, Uterine tonic.
Trillium is edible and medicinal, it has a long history of use by Native Americans. The young edible unfolding leaves are an excellent addition to salad tasting somewhat like sunflower seeds. The leaves can also be cooked as a pot herb. The root is used as an alternative medicine and is antiseptic, antispasmodic, diuretic, emmenagogue, and *ophthalmic. The roots, fresh or dry, may be boiled in milk and used for diarrhea and dysentery. The raw root is grated and applied as a poultice to the eye in order to reduce swelling, or on aching rheumatic joints. The leaves were boiled in lard and applied to ulcers as a poultice, and to prevent gangrene. An infusion of the root is used in the treatment of cramps and a common name for the plant, ‘birthroot', originated from its use to promote menstruation. A decoction of the root bark can be used as drops in treating earache.
Folklore: Used to facilitate childbirth, and to treat other female problems by the women of many Native American tribes. Trillium root was considered to be a sacred female herb and they only spoke of it to their medicine women.
Caution: Should be avoided during pregnancy until the last month of the third trimester.
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Re: Medicinal and Magickal Herbalism 101 (Beginner Course)

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Bee Balm
Monarda didyma (red), Monarda fistulosa (pink)
Other Names: Wild bergamot, Eastern Beebalm, Bergamot, Wild Oswego Tea, Horsemint, Monarda
Actions: Antiseptic, Carminative, Diaphoretic, Diuretic, Pectoral, Stimulant.
Bee Balm leaves and flowers and stems are used in alternative medicine as an antiseptic, carminative, diaphoretic, diuretic and stimulant. An infusion is medicinal used internally in the treatment of colds, catarrh, headaches, and gastric disorders, to reduce low fevers and soothe sore throat, to relieve flatulence, nausea, menstrual pain, and insomnia. Steam inhalation of the plant can be used for sore throats, and bronchial catarrh (inflammation of the mucus membrane, causing an increased flow of mucus). Externally, it is a medicinal application for skin eruptions and infections.
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Re: Medicinal and Magickal Herbalism 101 (Beginner Course)

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Blackberry
Rubus allegheniensis
Other names: Allegheny Blackberry, American Blackberry, Bly, Bramble, Bramble-Kite, Brambleberry, Brameberry, Brummel
Actions: Antihaemorrhoidal, Antirheumatic, Astringent, Diuretic, Ophthalmic (treats eye complaints), Stimulant, Tonic, Vulnerary
Blackberry is edible and medicinal. Used extensively by the Native American tribes, it had many other surprising uses. The leaf is more commonly used as a medicinal herb, but the root also has medicinal value. The root-bark and the leaves are astringent, diuretic, tonic and vulnerary. They make an excellent alternative medicine for dysentery, diarrhea, hemorrhoids, and cystitis. The most astringent part is the root. Orally, they are used to treat sore throats, mouth ulcers and gum inflammations. A decoction of the leaves is useful as a gargle in treating thrush and also makes a good general mouthwash. The presence of large amounts of tannins that give blackberry roots and leaves an astringent effect useful for treating diarrhea are also helpful for soothing sore throats. A medicinal syrup is also made from Blackberry, using the fruit and root bark in honey for a cough remedy.
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Re: Medicinal and Magickal Herbalism 101 (Beginner Course)

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Black Cohosh
Cimicifuga racemosa
Other Names: American Baneberry, Black snakeroot, Bugbane, Bugwort, Cimicifuga, Rattleroot, Rattleweed, Squawroot
Actions: alterative, antidote, anti-inflammatory, anti-rheumatic, antispasmodic, astringent, birthing aid, cardio-tonic, diaphoretic, diuretic, emmenagogue, expectorant, hypnotic, tonic
Black Cohosh has a long history of use by Native Americans and as an alternative medicine by early settlers. It was used mainly to treat painful periods and problems associated with the menopause, used in conjunction with St. John's Wort it has proven to be effective in treating hot flushes and other menopausal problems. Black Cohosh is believed to be useful for treating a range of other complaints; including tinnitus and high blood pressure. The fresh flowers have a strong odor and are effective insect repellents. It is a powerful cardiac stimulant and has a sedative effect on the nervous system. Research has shown that Black Cohosh root has estrogenic activity and reduces levels of pituitary luteinizing hormone, thereby decreasing the ovaries production of progesterone.
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Re: Medicinal and Magickal Herbalism 101 (Beginner Course)

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Black Walnut
Juglans Nigra
Actions: Alterative, Anodyne, Antiinflammatory, Astringent, Blood purifier, Laxative, Pectoral, Vermifuge.
In herbal medicine, the leaves have been used to make a soothing skin and eye wash, powder from green hulls is anti-parasitic, the bark is astringent and was chewed for toothaches. Use poultice of green hulls for ringworm. Inner bark used as a laxative.
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Caution: Do not use internally during pregnancy.

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Re: Medicinal and Magickal Herbalism 101 (Beginner Course)

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Bloodroot
Sanguinaria canadensis
Other Names: Coon root, Indian paint, Red Puccoon, Red root, Tetterwort
Actions: Cathartic, Diuretic, Emetic, Emmenagogue, Expectorant, Febrifuge, Odontalgic *treats toothache*, Sedative, Stimulant, Tonic.
Bloodroot is used in herbal medicine in very small doses, mainly for bronchial problems and severe throat infections. The root is used in many pharmaceuticals, mixed with other compounds to treat heart problems, dental applications (to inhibit plaque), and to treat migraines. Bloodroot paste is used externally for skin diseases, warts, and tumors. For ringworm apply the fluid extract. Bloodroot is said to repel insects. The root is used in as an anesthetic, cathartic, emetic, emmenagogue, expectorant, diuretic, febrifuge, sedative, stimulant and tonic.
CAUTION Use internally with caution, it contains toxic opium-like alkaloids and can cause mucous membrane irritation, an over dose can be fatal, do not use when pregnant or lactating. Bloodroot is not edible.
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Re: Medicinal and Magickal Herbalism 101 (Beginner Course)

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Blue Cohosh
Caulophyllum thalictroides
Other names: Papoose root
Actions: Anthelmintic, Antispasmodic, Birthing aid, Diaphoretic, Diuretic, Emmenagogue, Oxytoxic (birthing aid), Sedative.
Papoose root is a traditional herb of many North American Indian tribes and was used extensively by them to facilitate child birth. Modern herbalists still consider it to be a woman's herb and it is commonly used to treat various gynaecological conditions. An acrid, bitter, warming herb, it stimulates the uterus, reduces inflammation, expels intestinal worms and has diuretic effects. The root is anthelmintic, antispasmodic, diaphoretic, diuretic, emmenagogue, oxytocic and sedative. An infusion of the root in warm water is taken for about 2 weeks before the expected birth date in order to ease the birth. This infusion can also be used as an emmenagogue and a uterine stimulant. Papoose root should therefore be used with some caution by women who are in an earlier stage of pregnancy since it can induce a miscarriage or early delivery. The plant is also taken internally in the treatment of pelvic inflammatory disease, rheumatism and gout. It should not be prescribed for people with hypertension and heart diseases.
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Re: Medicinal and Magickal Herbalism 101 (Beginner Course)

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Blue Lobelia
Lobelia inflata
Other Names: Blue Cardinal Flower, Blue Lobelia, Great Blue Lobelia, Great Lobelia, High-lobelia, Indian Tobacco, Lobelia
Actions: Antiasthmatic, Antispasmodic, Diaphoretic, Diuretic, Emetic, Expectorant, Nervine.
Lobeline stimulates the respiratory center of the brain, producing stronger and deeper breathing, making it very useful in treating many respiratory complaints, such as asthma, chronic bronchitis, whooping cough, spasmodic croup, and pneumonia. While at the same time isolobelanine, relaxes the respiratory and neuro-muscular system and acts as a nervine and antispasmodic. It is a most useful systemic relaxant and a holistic combination of stimulation and relaxation. The seeds contain a much higher percentage of lobeline than the rest of the plant. Used to treat convulsive and inflammatory disorders such as epilepsy, hysterical convulsions, traumatic injuries, tetanus, sores and abscesses, colds and fevers, diphtheria and tonsilitis. When chewed it tastes similar to tobacco and produces effects like those of nicotine. It is used in some antismoking products. Also used for scorpion and snake bites and to induce nausea and vomiting. A poultice of the root has been applied in treating pleurisy, rheumatism, tennis elbow, whiplash injuries, boils, ulcers and hard to heal sores.
Caution is advised as an overdose of lobelia may cause dizziness, nausea, hypotension, vomiting, stupor, tremors, paralysis, convulsions, coma, and death.
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Re: Medicinal and Magickal Herbalism 101 (Beginner Course)

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Blue Vervain
Verbena hastata, Verbena simplex
Other Names: American blue vervain, Blue Vervain, Herb of Grace, Herbe Sacrée, Herba veneris, Simpler's Joy, Swamp Verbena, Vervain, Wild hyssop, Wild Vervain
Actions: Antidiarrheal, Analgesic, Anthelmintic, Antiperiodic (combats recurring illnesses such as malaria), Diaphoretic, Emetic, Expectorant, Tonic, Vermifuge, Vulnerary.
It is useful in intermittent fevers, ulcers, pleurisy, scrofula, gravel, easing pain in the bowels and expelling worms. A very strong infusion is emetic. As a medicinal poultice it is good in headache and rheumatism. An infusion of the plant is a good galactagogue (increases breast milk) and used for female obstructions, afterpains and taken as a female tonic.
The infusion is used to help pass kidney stones and for infections of the bladder. Used as a sudorific and taken for colds and coughs. Also useful for insomnia and other nervous conditions. It may prove to be useful in treating many cancers and other diseases. A snuff made from the dried flowers has been used to treat nose bleeds.
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Re: Medicinal and Magickal Herbalism 101 (Beginner Course)

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Burdock
Arctium lappa, - Great Burdock Arctium Minus - Lesser Burdock
Other Names: Cocklebur, Gobo root, Clot bur, Burr Seed
Actions: Alterative, Antibacterial, Antifungal, Antiphlogistic (reduces inflammation), Aperient, Blood purifier, Carminative, Cholagogue, Depurative (purifies the body, especially the blood), Diaphoretic, Diuretic, Hypoglycaemic (reduces blood sugar levels), Stomachic.
Burdock is one of the foremost detoxifying herbs in both Chinese and Western herbal medicine. The dried root of one year old plants is the official herb, but the leaves and fruits can also be used. It is used to treat conditions caused by an 'overload' of toxins, such as throat and other infections, boils, rashes and other skin problems. The root is thought to be particularly good at helping to eliminate heavy metals from the body. The plant is also part of a North American formula called essiac which is a popular treatment for cancer. The plant is antibacterial, antifungal, carminative. It has soothing, mucilaginous properties and is said to be one of the most certain cures for many types of skin diseases, burns, bruises etc. It is used in the treatment of herpes, eczema, acne, impetigo, ringworm, boils, bites etc. The plant can be taken internally as an infusion, or used externally as a wash.
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Re: Medicinal and Magickal Herbalism 101 (Beginner Course)

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Butterfly Weed
Asclepias tuberosa
Other Names: Butterfly Milkweed, Chiggerflower, Milkweed, Pleurisy Root, Tuberous Swallowwort, Orange Swallow-wort, Yanagi-Towata
Actions: Antispasmodic, Carminative, Cathartic, Diaphoretic, Diuretic, Expectorant, Tonic, Vasodilator.
Butterfly weed is a bitter, nutty-flavoured tonic herb that increases perspiration, relieves spasms and acts as an expectorant. It was much used by the North American Indians and acquired a reputation as a heal-all amongst the earlier white settlers. Its main use in present day herbalism is for relieving the pain and inflammation of pleurisy. The root is antispasmodic, carminative, mildly cathartic, diaphoretic, diuretic, expectorant, tonic and vasodilator. The root was very popular as a medicinal herb for the treatment of a range of lung diseases, it was considered especially useful as an expectorant. It has also been used internally with great advantage in the treatment of diarrhoea, dysentery, rheumatism etc. A poultice of the dried, powdered roots is used in the treatment of swellings, bruises, wounds, ulcers, lameness etc.
Caution: do not use if pregnant or nursing
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