Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Working with herbs

Merry Meet!

So, here we are and I thought I would begin some instructional things on basic herbs and their uses. First off, be careful with herbs. Some folk may be allergic or sensitive to the herbs you use. Second of all, herbs are pretty basic and many of them can be easily grown or bought, sometimes fresh, at your local grocery or Asian or Ethnic food store. Some can even be bought in Health food stores, so don't let the idea of herbs bother you.

There are basic herbs. Lavender is a great all purpose herb for nerves, anger, fear and any type of calming. You can get lavender at your local florists, or at art stores where you can buy sachets of lavender. You can get lavender oil, but I will talk about oils a little later. There are some teas that contain small amounts of lavender in them. Lavender is used primarily in sachets or mojo bags or as a bath packet. You can make a herbal bath packet by gathering the leaves or spices you want and folding them into a coffee filter and stapling the filter shut so the herbs don't come out.

Chamomile is a another great herb. It is a soother as well. It is also great for stomach complaints and headaches and tired eyes. You can get this in a tea form. Drink for stomach complaint just as you normally would. Headaches the same. For tired eyes, make your tea but do not add milk or sweetner and when it cools, take a clean wash cloth and soak your cloth in the tea, wring it out and place on the eyes.

Mint is great for many things. Mint can be used as a tea to drink for stomach complaint or indegestion. You can use it as a muscle relaxer by soaking in it in a tub of water. It is good for chest colds and complaints, and good for skin trouble if strained and used straight as a facial rinse (no milk or sugar, please) Esoterically, it can cleanse the house of troubles and quarrels and be used in love rubs or potions.

Garlic has been an old time herb for health. Just seasoning food while it cooks or making garlic butter, whatever you like in garlic makes the dish healthier for you. You can use it as a muscle rub...but brother do you smell afterwards. It is also sovereign against evil spirits, ghosts, and monsters of all sorts. Wearing a piece of it in your mojo or having it at your door protects you and your house.

Salt, humble and common is great as a gargle for sore throat, cleanser for mind abrasions, wash for the face, add savor to any food, preserve meats, vegetables, even breads. It is also sovereign against evil spirits and if you believe in the faery folk, it will keep them out of your house.

Sage is great for all fowl and fish and dressings and pork. It is also good for clearing the mind for careful thought, just sprinkle a little in some tea. It is good for smudging, which is burning like incense. If you don't have a sage wand, take a small square of paper and place a half teaspoon in the center and twist the sage up into the paper and place in a heat resistant bowl. Light the paper and waft the smoke toward your room or the person you wish to bless. Caution, sage has a very strong grassy smell, almost like marijuana, so be careful if you are practicing in secret.

I'll quit for now. My next blog, I'll talk about more common herbs and what they may be used for.

Blessings Be!
Aslinn Dhan