The Enchanted Leaf

The World of Herbs: Medicinal, Magickal, Meliorative


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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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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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Calendula (Marigolds)

I love marigolds!  Everyone appreciates these sunny summertime annuals that repel garden pests.  Who knew they had so much of Mother Nature’s healing powers, also?  Well, probably ancient sages and hedge witches and herbalists down through the ages!

Marigolds, known as calendula to herbalists, can be used to make an excellent skin healing cream.  Calendula infused oil is a main ingredient in my skin healing salve. This is my ‘go to’ for insect bites, stings, rashes, and burns.  Not only does calendula heal, it relieves pain and reduces the risk of scarring.

When using the herb itself, an infusion or tea can be used to heal painful gums, mouth sores and ulcers.  This same infusion can be used as a facial rinse for those with acne.  Again, it reduces scarring…this is good news for teens looking for a less chemically induced healing of acne.

Drink calendula tea for breaking up mucus in upper respiratory infections.

Use calendula tincture, made with alcohol, not glycerin, as ear drops for ear infection.  It will help relieve pain and heal the infection.

This lovely summer flower makes a great addition to any herbal medicine chest!

Click here100_0769 for your quality organic calendula and other herbal teas.


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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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Simple Detox Strategies

In keeping with the call of Coventina, the Goddess of Purification this week, let’s talk about some simple ways to detoxify the body. Today we will discuss a few easy ways to detoxify and purify the body on the outside.

Of course, most of us shower or bathe daily. However, there comes a time when we need to take the cleansing of the body a step further. A detox bath is a wonderful way to begin the purification process. There are many simple formulas to use to help you move toxins out of your body through the pores of your skin. And a long soak in a warm, relaxing bath just feels good.

Your body is bombarded daily by poisons and toxins. They can be absorbed through your skin, ingested in the food you eat, and they can enter your body just by breathing. Even those folks who are very careful to eat organic foods and clean their homes with natural cleaners are exposed to many toxins. We all can benefit from a detox bath from time to time.

The most simple of all detox baths is to add 1/2 cup Epsom salt and 1/2 cup baking soda (non-aluminum) to your bath. Sink into the warm water and relax. If you want a good smellin’ soak, just add a few drops of essential oil like relaxing lavender or calming clary sage.

You can take this detox to a whole other level with a few extras added in. Bentonite clay is a wonderfully powerful detox-er. You can make a paste of bentonite clay and a small amount of water. Rub the clay paste all over your body. This is sure to pull those nasty toxins out of your beautiful body!
Allow the paste to dry for about 5 minutes before immersing yourself in the bath.

Once you have shed the toxins, you may want to moisturize with organic coconut oil (the only moisturizer I use) with essential oils that are meant to purify. Purification oils include: thyme or valerian.

I hope you enjoy your detox and purification bath. I know that I do. Each time I do a detoxification purification bath I feel as if I have given by body a fresh start. And, oh how soothing this ritual can be!

Coming up in Thursday’s installment in our week of purification, we will explore detoxing and purifying on the inside………

Bright blessings!