Craft of the Wise

Ancient knowledge for today's times



Advice to the Beginning Herbalism Student:

Herbalism, like midwifery skills, is one of the oldest parts of teaching within
the craft, but is also one where we have lost a huge amount of information and
where science has yet to catch up. Every pagan culture has utilized the
herbalism of its particular region, and I have found no one source or teacher
who could possibly know about every herb that grows on the Earth. Yet today we
have the opportunity to perhaps achieve this within a lifespan or two, using the
electronic communications at our fingertips. Science is now slowly beginning to
learn the importance of the natural herbs in healing, but they will take
centuries to figure it all out because of the way they go about things, unless

The first step in herbalism is to gather the tools you will need, and that is
the main point of this first message. I have found the following useful and in
many cases vital to learn and practice the use of herbs.

A Good mortar and Pestle, one of stone or metal is preferred. If wood is used
you will need two, one for inedibles and one for edibles – make sure they do not
look identical, as you do not want to accidentally poison anyone!!!

Containers: Although you can buy dried herbs over the counter in many places
these days, do not store them in the plastic bags they come in, as these are
usually neither reusable nor perfectly airtight. Rubbermaid style plastic
containers are good, but expensive. I have used glass coffee and spice
jars/bottles to good effect, as well as some medicine bottles. The more you
recycle the better ecologically, just make sure they have been thoroughly washed
and dried before placing anything inside them.

Labels: This is vital! None of us in this day and age can possibly recognize
each herb in its various forms simply by sight. Always label your containers as
you fill them, and if possible date them when they were filled so you don’t keep
spoiled stock on the shelf.

A Tea Ball: A good metal teaball of the single cup size can be very useful in
the long run when your are experimenting, and when you are making single person
doses of teas and tonics.

Cheesecloth: Useful for straining a partially liquid mixture and occasionally
for the making of sachets.

A Good Sized Tea Kettle: preferably one that will hold at least a quart of

A Good Teapot: for simmering mixtures. I use one from a Chinese import store
that has done me well.

A good cutting board and a SHARP cutting knife, for just herbal work.

A notebook, of some sort to record the information in as you go, both successes
and failures. Always record anything new you try that may or may not work, and
also and research information you get from various sources.

An eyedropper.

White linen-style bandages: Some ace bandages are also useful in the long run.

A metal brazier, of some sort, or a metal container that can withstand heavy
usage and heat from within or without, useful for several things including the
making of your own incenses.

Reference sources, Shortly you should see a list of books that I have read from
in the past that I consider useful, build from this as a starting point to
others and to your teachers help.

Thats it to start, you’ll pick the rest up as you go. Take your time studying,
take lots of notes, compare your sources and your own personal results on each
herb and on herbal mixtures of any kind.


Many herbs will grow well in pots on sunny windowsills, in window boxes, hanging
baskets and in tubs or barrels in a sun room or on a balcony. There should even
be enough space on one large, south-facing windowsill to grow a selection of the
basic flavoring herbs or a row of scented herbs that can be used for making
tisanes. If you have a sun room or baloney, then 4 tubs planted with mixed
annuals and perennials and a good proportion of evergreen herbs for winter
picking could provide most of the fresh herbs needed by a small household, as
well as being decorative and sweetly scented.

Light and Temperature

The first necessity is light. Few herbs suitable for indoor growing will thrive
in the shade. Most need sunlight for at least half the day, so set them in a
south facing window, if possible, otherwise one facing east or west. It is
possible to grow herbs in a shady room under special fluorescent tubes, which
should be set about six inches above the top of the plant.

Temperature is important. It is useless to attempt to grow herbs directly above
a radiator or stove in an airless kitchen that is often steamy and full of
fumes. Ideally, there should be warmth during the day, lower temperatures at
night and some humidity. In a centrally heated house, humidity may be lacking so
keep a bowl filled with water above the radiator or near the herbs. A direct
draft may harm the plants though fresh air is necessary.

Clay and Plastic Pots

Plastic pots are often used today, being cheaper, lighter and less likely to
break than clay. But there are some advantages in using an unglazed clay pot,
the most important being that excess water will evaporate through the clay walls
so the roots are not likely to become waterlogged. Drowning by over watering is
the most common fate of indoor herbs. Another advantage is that the moisture
content in the soil can be discovered by tapping a clay container sharply; it
will give a ringing sound if the soil is too dry and a dull thud if too wet.
Whether plastic or clay, the container should have an adequate drainage hole and
be stood in a saucer or tray. A layer of gravel in the tray will ensure that the
pot never sits in stagnant water.

Boxes and Barrels

Wooden boxes or barrels make good containers if you have the space. Boxes should
be at least 10 inches deep. Saw barrels in half and use them as tubs, or cut
several holes about 2 inches across in their sides and grow a herb from each
hole. If you use a large barrel in this way, put a narrow tube of wire netting
down the center from top to bottom, before filling it with earth. By watering
down the tube, the moisture will spread evenly through the soil; with no tube,
the lower plants may suffer from drought. Do not creosote the insides of wooden
containers to sterilize them as the fumes may damage the plants, instead make a
small fire of newspaper inside the container, just sufficient to char and
sterilize the surface of the wood.

Hanging Baskets

To make the best use of all available space and light, plant a hanging basket
with herbs, the upright species in the center and trailing mints and thymes,
nasturtiums or ground ivy round the edge. Special clay bowls or wire baskets can
be bought for this purpose or even an old kitchen colander will do. To contain
moisture, line the wire basket thickly with sphagnum moss or hay, or with a
plastic sheet, before filling it with earth.

A large, unglazed, terra-cotta bowl with 6 or 7 2-inch holes bored in it will
make an ideal hanging onion pot, if you can buy one or have one made. Fill it
with earth, plant chives in the top and press the bulbs of Welsh onion into the
holes. You will be able to cut the hanging green shoots throughout the winter.

Soil, Water, Food, and Care

Put a layer of broken crocks or stones in the bottom of large containers before
filling them with soil and sprinkle a few spoonfuls of granulated charcoal over
them to prevent the soil souring. Then, fill with a standard potting compost
bought from a shop or good, loamy, garden earth mixed with a little coarse sand.
Sterilize the garden earth for an hour in the oven if you wish, to kill insect
eggs and weed seeds.

Be careful not to overwater, especially during the winter when plans are resting
and should not be stimulated into unseasonal growth. It is best to water in the
morning so that excess moisture can evaporate during the day and to use only
tepid water. During the summer, it may be necessary to syringe the leaves of
broad- leafed herbs such as sweet basil with tepid water to prevent them from
flagging. The leaves of herbs in city window boxes will also need occasional
syringing to prevent their pores becoming clogged with grime and fumes.

Each spring, spread a little well-rotted compost over the earth in the herb
container and water well. If any other food is needed, use a herbal fertilizing

Although the restricted light and space will prevent herbs from growing as large
indoors as they would outside, they will need regular cropping or trimming to
keep them compact and controlled. Pinch out the center shoots to encourage bushy
growth and cut off any runners. Examine the drainage hole regularly and if root
fibers are showing, transfer the plant to a larger pot.

What to Grow

Many people will want to grow culinary herbs indoors that cannot be bought fresh
and do not dry well. Three large pots, 12 inches in diameter, filled with the
annuals, chervil, basil, and coriander, will provide a good mixture with strong,
distinctive flavors. Sow their seeds directly into the pots in the spring in
moist, fairly rich soil, and thin out the seedlings. The chervil and coriander
will begin to shoot and grow leggy soon after midsummer, but basil, especially
the compact bush basil, will continue into the winter months.

Sweet marjoram and summer savory also grow well indoors and are both annuals.
For a basic supply of perennial, evergreen culinary herbs, plant thyme species,
winter savory, a clump of Welsh onions and the prostrate rosemary. Decorative
dwarf golden sage can be included, and the biennial parsley. None of these are
invasive herbs and can be planted together, but mint needs a pot of its own and
plenty of moisture. If you have room for a deep tub or barrel on a balcony or
roof, then it may be possible to grow tall herbs such as angelica, deep-rooted
caraway or horseradish; otherwise these species are obviously unsuitable for
indoor growing.

Another series of pots or a large box could be used for growing herbs for
tisanes. Plant peppermint and lemon balm (whose roots may need confining), the
annual German chamomile, the little rock hyssop, lady’s mantle and trailing
ground ivy.

Herbs grown for their scent might include dwarf lavender species, clove
carnation, dwarf santolina and upright and trailing pelargoniums. There are
literally hundreds of pelargonium varieties, each with leaves of a different
scent and shape, and all make admirable houseplants, being easy to grow and easy
to propagate from cuttings. Use the leaves to flavor custards, creams and
gelatins and in potpourri mixtures.


Notes: Always keep a record of the work you do. If using herbs for healing,
remember you are NOT a doctor, use them only for adjuncts not replacements for
medical treatment. The traditional Herbal Craftsperson will meditate as the work
is done and after it is completed, in this way learning is continued.

The Water in the following preparations is brought to boiling then poured over
the herb, the herbs are NOT boiled in the water, for that would cause a
breakdown of the vitamins and minerals in the herbs that are so vital to the
healing process.

Making An Infusion

This process draws the properties you want out of the herb for healing. An
infusion is basically a strong tea. The normal mixture is 1 pint of water to «
ounce of herb. It takes experience to learn how long each herb needs to steep,
some take longer than others, the average length of time is hour but with
practice you’ll learn which take longer and which take less time.

This is the easiest method.

Making A Decoction

This is much the same as an infusion (tea) except you are working with a much
more solid herb such as thick pieces of root or bark which can’t be ground up or
the remedy calls for a much stronger dose..

This is the one case where you should BOIL THE HERB. In fact that’s the whole
process. Make sure that no steam escapes or the vital oils will go away with it.
Also (of course) never use any metal when doing ANY herbal remedies.

If you will have more than one ingredient in the decoction begin by boiling the
toughest then work down. Start with cold water and after boiling for what you
consider long enough allow it to steep usually for at least 30 minutes.

Making A Poultice

This is used when you need to apply the herbs externally such as for a burn or
for acne. Yes it’s messy but often essential for healing. Pour boiling water
over the herbs using just enough to dampen them or evenly cover the plant
matter, you’re not trying to extract anything from the herb only to moisten it.
When it is all evenly wet remove it with a strainer and place between 2 pieces
of gauze (cheesecloth also works well if folded several times). You then apply
the gauze with the herbs inside to the affected part and allow the moisture with
the herb essence to pass within the person.

Making An Ointment

This method involves mixing the herb(s) with a fixative such as petroleum jelly
or vegetable fat. This is done by heating the fixative until it is quite warm
and adding the ground herbs to it. Once mixed up the mixture can be heated more
than once and allowed to cool, Once you are satisfied that all the goody has
been removed from the herb the whole mixture should be strained and put into a
storage container then allowed to cool. This is the same procedure used to make

Making A Wash

Same as an infusion (tea) except you use it externally.

Making A Tincture

These are used when long term storage is required. It requires alcohol of at
least a 75% grade which can be safely ingested. Place the following in a jar
which can be tightly sealed.

1-4 ounces of the herb 8 ounces of alcohol (drinkable!) 4 ounces of water

Seal the jar and keep it safely out of the light for 2 weeks. Each day at least
once, check it and make sure that you loosed the mass of herb inside the jar by
swirling it about. Continue this process until at the end of the 2 weeks the
alcohol has extracted all the constituents without need of heat. This process is
best begun on the new moon and completed on the full.

AROMATHERAPY – The Art of Herbal Scents…

Aromatherapy, the art of healing with aromatic plants, or with the oils of those
plants, was well known to the ancient ones. The Egyptians, the Romans and the
Greeks all practiced it as an integral part of their medicinal lore. Wise women
and men treasured the secrets of precious scents and applied them with great
skill. The Romans massaged themselves with sweet-smelling unguents before
plunging into their elaborate baths. The Greeks assigned a godlike virtue to
each plant, and by inhaling the fragrance, they believed they would assume the
attributes of that god. During the Plague of Europe’s 17th Century, the
perfumers who dispensed the pine, cypress and cedar incense that was burnt in
the streets and in the hospitals to mask the dreadful odors, those perfumers
were UNTOUCHED by the virulent disease that annihilated great masses of the

Of course, medical science has come a long way. Many treatments that were used
in the past have been supplanted by more modern, more scientific methods. But,
have they thrown out the baby with the bathwater? About a hundred years ago, the
great medical minds of the world decided that this herbal scent business was
just so much superstition, and that such old-wive’s tales had no place in Modern
Medicine. Since that time, no medical practitioner would recommend scent, with
the exception of the menthol-type scents burnt or inhaled for respiratory
complaints, which were already known to be so effective that to forbid them
would place a seal of unbelieveability on the entire edict. All other scent-
medications were scorned, even though they had proven to be a very effective
means of well-keeping. And the public, believing the medical profession to be
infallible, went along with it. Today, aromatherapy is enjoying a re- birth in
the holistic spirit of New Age Medicine.

The mind plays a major role in all bodily ailments, as proven by recent
research. That is not to say that the mind can cure the body of all its
ailments, but fragrances that can alter the patient’s emotional state may be
able to leave the way open for a beneficial cure, by accepted means. In other
words, why leave anything to chance? What would it hurt to smell an herb when
you have a headache? Would it infringe upon the noble Medicine Man’s territory
if we sniffed flowers when our tummies hurt?

IF YOU NEED MEDICATION, TAKE MEDICATION. But, be sure you need it. Are you
taking medication because it is required by your condition, or are you
popping pills you bought over the counter to self-cure a ‘minor’ problem?
Illnesses that are stress-induced, like asthma, headache, and depression respond
very well to inhalation therapy. Skin disorders, respiratory ailments, digestive
problems and backache can respond to inhalation and massage with scented oils.
The same way a lovely perfume evokes memories, or desires, all fragrances cause
the brain to respond in some way. If the fragrance brings about a sense of
relaxed wellness, who is to say that that is not the healing element? Aromatic
bathing enhances the benefits of the scents used as inhalants or tactile

Along the same lines, the inhalation of a burning scent, if purely made, would
have the same or maybe a more readily-absorbable effect. So, take stock of the
fragrances available to you, in the forms of incense, oils, potpourris and even
teas. Even if they don’t heal what ails you, they can make you feel more
relaxed, more well. And isn’t that what you wanted, after all?

What follows is a list of fragrances and the ailments they have been reputed to
affect. I have tried to use only the herbs, plants and seeds you can find most
easily in your garden, in the supermarket, and at the corner fruit stand. Also,
below are some guides that will help with your plans.

An aromatic tea is to be consumed close to the nose, so as to continuously
inhale the healing aromas while you drink the beverage.

When you use oils for massage, you will need to know the areas of greatest value
for that massage. We suggest you consult a chart that shows the accupressure
/acupuncture points, used by the great Chinese practitioners for centuries of

A foot soak is reputed to be nearly as beneficial to the body as a whole-body
soak, since the feet will absorb the medicating herb and propel the journey
upward into the body of the healing element.

Inhaling is done over a bowl of boiled water in which the herb or its oil are
floated, while you lean over it with a towel over your head to simulate a steam

A compress is either cool or warm, but always damp, with the herb impregnated
within, and is laid gently upon the area, not rubbed or massaged or moved about
in any way. For this reason, compresses work quite well for burns, wounds and
sores. You can burn an herb in many ways.

A purchased herbal incense works well. Or you could place the dried herb on any
burning incense, or an open fire. Scented candles also provide the same scent.
Essential oils dropped judiciously upon burning coals will do. You must only
decide whether you want just the scent in the air, or if the smoke is what you
feel will benefit. Burning always gives a dry scented air, as opposed to
steaming, which provides a damp scented air.

T – Aromatic Tea, also known as Tisane

W – Bathe (Make a tea and add it to your bath

M – Massage with a scented oil

C – Compress, wet, either warm or cool

S – Steam (Best way is with a humidifier)

B – Burn

I – Inhale, either the smoke or the steam, but also the aroma of the other

F = Foot Soak, with a stronger tea blend than in the bath



Water Retention (T);

Arthritis (T,C,M);

Cholesterol Reduction (T)


Infant/Child skin care (M,W);

Coughs, Colds (M,I)


Meditative frame of mind (B,T);

abates nightmares (T,M)

Baby’s Breath

Healing frame of mind (B)


Skin care (W,M)


Bronchitis, Colds, Internal Cleansing (B,I);

Antiseptic (C)

Depression (M,W);

Fainting (I);

Nervousness, Insomnia (T,B);

Fever (T,M,W,S,C);

Indigestion, Nausea (T,M);

Mental fatigue,Peaceful frame of mind (B,T,M,W);

Hormone Stimulant (M,T,C);

Insect Bites (C,W);

Migraine (B,C,W,T);

Stimulant (T);

Weight Loss, Skin Care (M,W)


Antiseptic (W)

Decongestant, Colds (S,I,W,T)

Internal Cleansing (B,I)

Hair Loss (M,W)


Antiseptic, Acne (W,S)

Pain Relief, Neuralgia (M,C)

Insecticide, Lung Congestion (B,I)


Calm, Healing frame of mind (T,B,M,W)


Nervousness, Headache (T)

Hysteria, Insomnia (T,B,M)

Fever, Hives (W)

Stomach Upset, Hiccups (T,I,S)


Fever, Internal Disinfectant (T)


Internal cleansing (B)

Lung congestion, Expectorant (B,M,I,W,S)

Digestion (I)

Antiseptic, Astringent, Eczema (W,C)

Sexual Response (M,B)

Sedative (B)


Burns (C)

Depression, Nervous Tension, Calm (T)

Nausea, Fatigue, Insomnia (T,W)

Diarrhea, Indigestion, Menstrual Cramps (T,M)

Eczema, Rheumatism, Arthritis (M,W,C)

Fainting (I)

Fever (C,T,W)

Headache, Migraine (M,I,)

Weight Loss, Cellulite (T,M,W)

Infant skin care, Inflammations (W)

Hemorrhoids (W,C)

Menopause (M,W,T,B,S)

Pain Relief, Neuralgia (C,W,M,T)

Sore or Weak Eyes, Sores, Wounds (W,C,S)

Hysteria, Relaxant, Appetite Stimulant (T,B)


Healing frame of mind (M)

Bedwetting (B,S)

General Weakness (T)

Spasms, Circulatory Problems (W,F,M,C,T)

Impotence (M,B)

Infections (W)


Weight loss, Skin care (W,M,T)


Calm (T,B,I)

Muscle Tension, Spasms, Pain Relief (M,W,S,C)

Toothache (T,C)

Insect Repellent (B,C,W)

Stimulant (B,T,M)

Infections, Antiseptic (W)

Nervousness, General Weakness (T,W,S)

Cough, Colds, Gargle (T,W,S,B)


Depression, Calm, Heartache (T)


Internal cleansing (M,W,I)


Water retention (T)


Peace, Calm (B,I,S)


Water retention, Cellulite, Menopause (W,M)

Varicose Veins, Hemorrhoids (W,C)

Coughs, Sinus, Flu, Colds (I,C)

Cramps, Muscle Tension (M)

Wounds, Sores, Cuts, Acne (W,C,M)

Rheumatism, Arthritis, Aches & Pains, Spasms (F,C,M,W,S)

Nervousness (S,B,I)

Deodorant, Astringent (W)


Blood weakness, Water retention (T,W)

Eczema (W)


Hiccups, Health maintenance (T,I)


Asthma, Bronchitis, Cough, Flu (I,C)

Sinus, Migraine (M,W,I)

Burns (C)

Diarrhea, Indigestion, Kidney/Urinary Infection (W,M)

Sore throat, Laryngitis (I,S,C)

Rheumatism, Aches & Pains (M,W,F)

Antiseptic, Wounds (C,W)

Insect Repellant (B,C,W)

Fever (C,M)


Colic, Constipation, Cystitis, Flatulence, Indigestion (T,W)

Nausea, Weight loss, Reducing hunger pangs (T,W)

Health maintenance (T)


Depression (W)


Calm (B,I,M,W,F,S)


Asthma, Hypertension (C)

Intestinal Worms (T)

Antiseptic, Antibiotic (W)

Toothache (M,T,C)

Insomnia (T,W)

Coughs, Colds, Congestion (T,M,C,S)


Water Retention, Cellulite (M,W)

Insect Repellant (B,C,W)

Varicose Veins, Circulation Problems (W,C)

Astringent, Wounds, Fractures (W)

Burns  (C)

Neuralgia, Pain Relief (M,W,F,C)

Hormone Stimulation (M,B)

Fatigue, Exhaustion (M,W,F)


Health Maintenance (T)

Menstruation (T,C)


Depression, Heartache, Grief (I,B,M)

the Pain of Childbirth (I,S,M)


Asthma, Bronchitis, Colic, Flu (I,S,F,C)

Eczema (W)

Fever (W,C)

Indigestion, Rheumatism (M,W,C)

Good spirits, Peace, Calm (B,S,I)

Meditative frame of mind (I,B,W,T)


Water Retention, Hemorrhoids (W,C)

Rheumatism, Gout (C,M,F)

Stimulant, Energizer (W,B)

Antiseptic, Sores, Wounds (W)

Colic, Cough (T,S,I)

Exhaustion, Fatigue (F,M,W)

Kidney/Urinary Infections, Cellulite (M,W)

Constipation (M)

Diarrhea, Flatulence, Indigestion (T,C)

Eczema (W,C,S)


Burns, Eczema (W,T,C)

Wounds, Spasms, Acne (C)

Hemorrhoids, Insect Repellant (W,C)

Calm (T)

Sore throat, Nausea, Diarrhea, Nervous tension (T,I,S)

Depression, Headache, Migraine (W,B,T,I)

Hair Loss, Cellulite, Weight Loss, Menopause (M,W)

Rheumatism, Fatigue, Exhaustion (M,W,F)

Fever, Pain Relief (M,C)


Rheumatism, Gout (W,F)

Aging Skin, Acne, Antiseptic, Astringent (W)

Insect Repellant (B,C,W)

Water Retention, Gastric Distress (T,I,S)


Weight loss (T)


Asthma, Bronchitis, Colds (I,S)

Constipation, Indigestion (M,T)

Colic, Headache, Nervous tension, Depression (M,W,T)

Health maintenance (I,B)

Insect Bites (C,W)

Menstrual Cramps (M)


Meditative frame of mind (T,M,B,I)


Rheumatism (M,C,W)

Water Retention (T)


Asthma, Bronchitis, Colds, Flu (T,I,S,W)

Colic, Indigestion, Nausea, Morning Sickness (T,M)

Mental Fatigue, Shock (T,W)

Toothache (W,C)

Fatigue, Weight Loss (T,C)

Headache, Migraine (M,I,W)

Insect Repellant (B,C,W)

Cooling, Fever, Nerves (M,C)

Spasms, Pain Relief  (C)


Sinus, Bronchitis, Flu, Decongestant (I,C)

Hormone Stimulant (M,B)

Fatigue, Aches & Pains, Rheumatism, Gout (B,C,M)

Infection, Antiseptic (W)

Water Retention (I,W)


Calm, Peace, Depression, Insomnia, Fatigue (T)

Nausea, Heart, Liver, Uterus, Stomach (T)

Weight Loss, Infant skin care (M,W)

Sex Drive/Libido (M,B)

Headache (W,M,I,T,B,S,C)

Astringent (W)


Weight loss, Nervous tension (T)


Depression, Healing frame of mind, Stimulant (T)

Asthma, Colds, Flu, Decongestant (M,W,F)

Constipation, Diarrhea, Cellulite (T,M)

Fainting, Headache (T,M,I)

Rheumatism, Gout, Arthritis, Aches & Pains (M,F)

Weight Loss, Migraine (M,W)

Exhaustion, Fatigue (T,M,W,F)

Hormone Stimulant (M,B)

Sores, Burns (C)

Antiseptic, Skin, Astringent (W)

Fumigant (B)

Heart, Sickliness (T,M,B,I,S)

Sprains, Pain Relief (M)


Meditative frame of mind (B,T)


Asthma, Bronchitis, Cold (T,I,S)

Burns, Eczema (W,C)

Fainting, Low Blood Pressure (T,M,B)

Flatulence, Headache, Indigestion, Diarrhea (T)

Sore throat, Cough (T,I,S,C)

Toothache, Weight loss (T,W)

Menopause, Cellulite, Aches & Pains (T,M,W)

Menstrual Cramps, Nervousness, Hair Loss, Trembling (T,M)

Fatigue (W,M)

Memory, Ability to Learn (B,T)


Depression, Heartache (T)

(Use Spearmint for the same reasons as Peppermint, but Spearmint is less
powerful and better for children.)


Heartache, Depression, Calm (T)

Internal cleansing, Kidney/Urinary Infections (W,M)

Asthma, Bronchitis (I,S)

Fainting, Restore Energy, Renew Spirits (B,I,T)

Rheumatism, Weight loss (M,W,C)

Cellulite, Aches & Pains (W,F,M)

Insect Bites, Antiseptic, Inflammation, Infection (W,C)

Wounds, Sores, Cuts (C)

Constipation, Intestinal Parasites (T,M)

Fatigue (T,B,M)

Spasms, Hair Loss, Digestion (M,W,T)


Peace, Calm (T,B)


(Courtesy of Jeanne Rose)


Witch Hazel Extract:

Soak 1 oz. witch hazel leaves and twigs combined in 2 cups of alcohol. Shake
daily. Strain. Use full strength on bruises. (You can dilute with water and use
as a mouthwash also.)

Yerba Santa Poultice:

Good for severe bruises and swelling too. Mash the leaves of a Yerba Santa,
then soak them in water, and apply while still hot to the bruise. Cover the
leaves with a CLEAN cloth.


Mari-Gilly Water for Burns and Sunburns:

An Actual Case History from the Author:

“One day while lighting the oven the book of matches took fire in my hand and
stuck there. After shaking it off, I dug into my herbal closet. I was looking
for a remedy I had made a month before. Amateurishly I had preserved it beneath
a layer of oil, and it was colorful with mold. I filtered it out and plunged the
badly burned hand in the liquid. Within two minutes the pain was gone. In 20
minutes the hand was wrapped in cloth and no longer painful. There were no
blisters of any kind, but within three days a black, horny layer appeared where
the blisters might have been. Very ugly. In another week, this peeled off, and
once again the hand was smooth,
pink, soft, and completely unscarred.”

The recipe for the miracle is:

Simmer one handful of balm of Gilead buds and one handful of marigold flowers in
an enamel or glass pot with water to cover. Do not boil. After 15 minutes remove
from heat, strain and pour liquid into a clean and sterile jar. Add a layer of
olive oil to cover. Do not let the oil and liquid mix. It will keep for a few
months. To use: Hold breath (as liquid does NOT smell good) and pour through
filter paper or paper towel. Use directly on burns, sunburns, and other similar

Marshmallow-Comfrey Oil:

Simmer 1 handful of crushed marshmallow root and 1 handful of Comfrey root in 1
cup of white wine in an enamel pot. Cover. Simmer for 20 minutes. Strain. When
cool apply to burns and sunburns.


Note: All these cures will work for pimples, zits, and corns too.

Stolen Apple Cure:

Get an apple. Cut this apple into as many pieces as you have warts. Rub one
peace onto 1 wart, and repeat with all warts. Wrap up the apple bits in a piece
of cloth, then bury the whole thing. When the apple bits have rotted, the warts
will be gone.

Dandelion Juice:

Gather together, many dandelions, this includes stems, heads and leaves. Squeeze
them. Apply their milky fluid to the wart or corn.

Oil of Thuja:

Apply this oil to a wart. An infusion used as a wash on the warts will work too.
(Note: Thuja is also called White Cedar)

Marigold Juice for Warts:

Take a fresh marigold, squeeze out the juice and apply it directly to a wart.
Let the juice dry. Make applications until the warts fall off.

Milkweed Juice:

Take some fresh milkweed, squeeze it, and apply this milk to the warts. The
indians say that it will entirely cure warts with just a very few applications.


If you use tobacco products, try this instead. Try chewing a combination of
gentian root and chamomile flowers every time you feel the need to smoke, then
try these tea recipes.

Manzanita Cider:

Crush a handful of manzanita berries and bruise a handful of the leaves, and
pour over 2 cups of boiling water. When settled, strain off the liquid and use
throughout the day as a drink.

Horehound Tea:

Take 1 oz. of the green herb, 1 oz. of honey, and 1 pint of boiling water.
Cover, and set aside until cold. Drink 4 oz. at a time for a cough.

Other Herbal Teas:

Try a combination of coltsfoot, mugwort, and culeb, with lemon and honey.

Try a snuff of golden seal; small pinch of the golden yellow powder snuffed into
each nostril is sometimes very efficacious in the treatment of bronchitis. If
your respiratory passages are particularly painful, slippery elm tea is an
excellent demucelent.

Sinus Infections-

Golden Seal Snuff:

Take powdered golden seal and snuff a bit into each nostril whenever needed.

Herbal Inhaler:

In a small bottle add 10 drops of each of the following oils. Carry it around
with you and sniff the scent of these fine aromatics whenever you wish to clear
your nasal passages.

Eucalyptus, Lavender, Rosemary, Bay Leaf, and Cloves -or- Peppermint

Sore Throats-

Dirty Sock Cure:

During the winter, when you get a sore throat, wrap your dirty wool sock around
your throat every night and the soreness will soon disappear.

Sage Tea:

Take equal parts of sage, rosemary, honeysuckle, and plantain. Boil these herbs
in sufficient water to cover. Add a small tablespoonful of honey to each pint of
liquid and use as required.

Yerba Mansa Root:

This root, chewed slowly, will ease the pain of sore throats.

Colds & Coughs-

Teas for Colds and Coughs:

To help eliminate mucus in the respiratory passage, mix together equal parts of
the following ingredients:

comfrey root


balm of gilead

chamomile or coltsfoot

elecampane or wintergreen leaf*

For either tea steep 1 heaping teaspoon of the herbs in 1 cup of boiling water.
Cover the pot and steep for 10-20 minutes. Strain. Drink this tea as often as
you like. You can add lemon and honey.

(*: Potentially dangerous. Can cause irritation, allergic reaction, gastric
distress or other discomfort.)

Tea for Coughs:

Mix together equal parts of pennyroyal, licorice, and horehound and make a tea
by steeping 1 heaping teaspoon per cup of boiling water for 10-20 minutes.
Strain. Drink with lemon and honey as often as you like.

Tea for Colds in the Chest:

Mix together equal quantities of birch leaf, horehound, and licorice. Steep 1
heaping teaspoon of herbs per cup of boiling water for 10-20 minutes. Strain.
Drink with lemon and honey as often as you like.

Sleep Tea for Colds:

Mix together equal quantities of dandelion root, chamomile, and valerian. Steep
1 heaping teaspoon of herbs per cup of boiling water for 10-20 minutes. Strain.
Drink with lemon and honey to relax you and help you sleep when you have a bad

Tooth Aches-


Put a piece of a garlic clove inside the cavity. It kills the pain and seems to
slow up the infection process. At night place a peeled garlic between your teeth
and your cheek. This is also good to keep a cold from becoming severe. (Make
sure you wash out your mouth in the morning though!)
Marshmallow Root Poultice:

If you have an abscessed tooth and a swollen jaw, place pieces of dried
marshmallow root between the tooth and cheek. Renew the poultices in the morning
and night. This greatly reduces the inflammation and keeps the pain in check.

Bad Backs-

Chamomile Oil:

This is an old Egyptian formula. Take flowers of chamomile and beat them up with
pure olive oil. Leave to stand until the virtues of the flowers have been
extracted. Then with the oil rub over the whole body, especially the back. Go to
bed, cover up. Good for over-strained muscles, cramps, strains and stitches.

Super Massage Cream:

1 « oz. of coconut oil

1 « oz. of turtle oil

1 dropper sweet clover oil

Mix all the ingredients together. This is an excellent cream, useful for all
sore and aching muscles. According to the therapist the author consulted, this
cream is superior to anything supplied by the hospital.

Lavender Oil:

Mix 1 part oil of lavender with 3 parts olive oil, or 1 part oil of lavender
with 1 part coconut oil, and use to massage the muscles of the lower back. Use

Aching Joints-

Parsley Tea to Stimulate the Kidneys:

Take a handful of fresh parsley and pour over it 2 cups of boiling water. Steep
until cold then strain. Drink 1 cup of this tea before every meal and before
going to bed.

Indian Tea:

The indians drink a tea of rose petals, peppermint, lemon peel, and liden leaves
for arthritis.

Rheumatism Tea:

An excellent tea to take daily for the treatment of rheumatism and arthritis is
a mixture of cascara sagrada, poke root, cimicfuga, uva ursi leaves, chamomile
and sassafras. Take 1 T. of this mixture and pour it over 2 cups of boiling
water. Let it steep for about 10 minutes and strain. Make it fresh in the
evening and drink 1 cup, with lemon and honey if you like. Drink the other cup,
cold, in the morning.


Insect Bite Ointment:

Beat some frankincense to a powder and mix it with oil of bay. Use it to anoint
the body to ease the itch of insect bites. For the sting, a little oil of
cajeput offers relief.

Dog Bites:

Four oz. rue, 4 oz. treacle, 4 oz. garlic, 4 large spoonfuls of scraped pewter.
Boil all of the ingredients with a bottle of strong ale. (Beer will do.) Strain.
Apply the sediment to the wound and drink the clear liquid 9 spoonfuls every day
for 9 days. – a seventeenth-century recipe.

Athlete’s Foot-

Soap & Powder:

Mix together 1 oz. powdered gum, benzoin with 4 oz. starch. When washing your
feet, use soap bark, a useful detergent, especially good for athlete’s foot.

Apple Cider Vinegar Bath:

Steep 1 oz. sage and agronomy in 2 cups of hot apple cider vinegar for 15
minutes. Keep it covered. When cool enough put your feet in and soak for as long
as you can. Repeat two or three times a day.

Olive Hair Oil:

To 4 oz. olive oil, add 1 t. oil of rosemary, and 5 drops oil of lemon grass.
Rub a tiny bit into the hair each night. This is version of an old time recipe
that helps hair grow.

Yucca Root Shampoo:

Boil 4 oz. yucca root or soap bark in 2 cups of fresh water until it is reduced
to 1 cup. Strain and cool. If not sudsy enough for you, add castille shampoo.
Brunettes can substitute rosemary water, and blondes chamomile water, for the 2
cups of liquid-both cleanses and deodorized the scalp.

To thicken the hair, and to keep it from falling out:

Put 4 lbs. pure organic honey into a still with 4-6 oz grapevine tendrils and 2-
4 oz. tender rosemary tops. Distill as cool and as slowly as possible. Allow the
liquid to drop until it begins to taste sour. Rub this into the hair roots

Sage Tea:

Drink sage tea daily and rub the infusion onto the roots of your hair to retain
its rich, dark color.

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October 19, 2010 - Posted by | Herbal Magick

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