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Category: Healing plants

Home Grown Medicine Cabinet

Home Grown Medicine Cabinet

If you make the decision to activate your innate self-healing mechanisms, stay away from the medical system, eat healthily and live as naturally as you can, without doubt your health and vitality will improve. Nonetheless, even if you enjoy excellent health (as we do) you might find you need a little extra support every now and then. We avoid the medical system (it is the plague) and pharmaceuticals by choice and this post is about the home grown and natural…

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Yarrow: Chiron’s Arrow

Yarrow: Chiron’s Arrow

Yarrow, Achillea millefolium is another one of my favourite helper plants (along with St John’s Wort, Melissa and Plantain). It grows wild here through spring and the long summer and I harvest the flowers and leaves and dry and store them for tea and wound healing powder, as well as making tinctures and sun oils for use throughout the year. When I picked it, smelled it and crushed it in my fingers for the first time, it felt like a…

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Broccoli Medicine

Broccoli Medicine

Growing broccoli Broccoli is one of our garden successes. I sowed seeds of several different types, purple sprouting, green sprouting and the large headed variety – the purple sprouting is the most prolific and easy going by far. It’s been tough love for the garden. The soil got compacted when we cut down the pine trees to make the garden, in the early days of the garden we had two years of summer drought with no irrigation. (See: Six years…

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Melissa: Queen of the Bee Haven

Melissa: Queen of the Bee Haven

It’s just before Imbolc and in the garden, Melissa is thrusting her crinkled, heart-shaped leaves through the cold wet clay with wild abandon. I picked some leaves and made a strong infusion and let it cool, so I can sip on it everyday as I make her acquaintance. Melissa officinalis, aka Lemon Balm, is a member of the mint family, the Lamiaceae. This is a huge and aromatic family of over 6,000 species, including pennyroyal, peppermint and spearmint, basil, rosemary,…

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Yellow dock root: badger medicine for a new story

Yellow dock root: badger medicine for a new story

Five years ago, I made a batch of yellow dock root tincture, for no reason at all at the time. It sat stewing silently in the back of my medicine cabinet, waiting for the moment to make its debut. That came in early spring this year, when Freya had a digging frenzy in the garden. She’s not much of a digger usually, so after one especially strenuous effort, I went out to inspect her work. You guessed right! She had…

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Pennyroyal: Sekhmet’s Gift

Pennyroyal: Sekhmet’s Gift

Pennyroyal: facts and folklore Pennyroyal, Mentha Pulegium, has a killer reputation. In relatively recent times, several women have died using pennyroyal to end unwanted pregnancies. One was a 23 year old English woman in 1897, who drank a tablespoon of pennyroyal essential oil to bring on menstruation and died four days later of multiple organ failure. In 1912, a 16 year-old girl from Maryland died after consuming 36 pennyroyal pills to induce abortion. In November of 1978, there were two…

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Usnea Barbata, Old Man’s Beard

Usnea Barbata, Old Man’s Beard

Usnea, Old Man’s Beard Lichens are composite life-forms, the product of a symbiotic relationship between algae, funghi and yeast. Many of them look like plants, but they are not plants at all. Lichens can grow in almost any environment, from bare rock to arctic tundra, deserts and even toxic slag heaps. Some even grow inside rock and others spend their entire lives blowing in the wind. They survive because the algae provide food for the funghi through photosynthesis and the…

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Thuja Occidentalis

Thuja Occidentalis

Thuja Occidentalis, Arborvitae – release from self-sabotage “The complicity [between victim and perpetrator] implies a kind of contact of sin, with both parties falling short of God’s command. Perpetrators who harm others are obviously sinners, but so are the people they harm, who may well believe they are being justly punished by a higher power. The wrong done to victims is due to the wrong they have done in the eyes of God. To make matters worse, the twisted syntax…

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Pine Pollen Boost

Pine Pollen Boost

Pine pollen is nature’s perfect boost for good health and the immune system. Pine pollen is ‘the sperm’ of the pine tree and almost  the same structure as human testosterone. It is the most abundant source of testosterone in the plant kingdom.  Isn’t that interesting?  What reason could our Great Mother have for making this source of human testosterone in vastly more quantities than is needed for the trees alone.  A single mature pine tree can produce 1-3kg of pine…

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Cleavers (Galium aparine)

Cleavers (Galium aparine)

Galium aparine has many common names including cleavers, clivers, goosegrass, catchweed, stickyweed, robin-run-the-hedge, sticky willy, sticky willow, velcro weed and it is an excellent spring tonic.  It grabs your attention and hangs on, quite literally, when you first venture into the garden after a winter absence.  Its fresh, clean, greenness oozes such vitality that when I first noticed it here I knew it must be good for something.  It appears here after the winter rain and seems to love growing…

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