Medicinal plants/essential oils

Black Cohosh
Used to relieve hot flushes, night sweats, mood swings, nervous irritability & restlessness
Black Cohosh Menopause is used for the relief of symptoms of the menopause, such as hot flushes, night sweats, and temporary changes in mood, such as nervous irritability and restlessness, exclusively based upon long-standing use as a traditional remedy.

The menopause is caused by the body not producing the hormone oestrogen, which can result in women experiencing both physical and emotional symptoms. A woman is said to have reached the menopause once she has not had a period for one year, although symptoms are often experienced long after this time.

Black Cohosh belongs to the buttercup family and has traditional use as a medicine by the indigenous American Indians, who called it ‘squawroot’. It became an ornamental plant in English gardens as early as the 1730s. With its extraordinarily tall white flowers, Black Cohosh makes an impressive border plant.

Horehound has been a popular cough and cold remedy since ancient Egyptian times. As a potent expectorant, it will promote mucus and ease the pain of a non-productive, hacking cough. Try it for bronchitis, indigestion and whooping cough.

Plant Description:

Horehound is a hardy perennial and medicinal mint that may grow to two feet in height, and all the aboveground parts of this herbaceous plant are used in herbal medicine.


Ancient Egyptian priests honored Horehound as a treatment for coughs and colds, calling it "eye of the star," and the Greek physician, Hippocrates, esteemed its curative powers and even thought it would break magical spells. Horehound's botanical name is derived from the Hebrew, marrob, which translates as "bitter juice," and it is thought that Horehound was one of the original bitter herbs of the Jewish Passover meal. Some claim that Horehound is native to Morocco, but what is certain is that it was carried throughout the Old World and later to Europe and North America by traders and settlers. Horehound flourishes in Britain, where it is included in teas and candies for the treatment of coughs and colds. Among its chemical constituents are marrubium (a "bitter" that is sometimes called maribun or marrubiin), essential oils, tannins, minerals, wax, saponins, B-complex vitamins and vitamin C.

Medical Uses:

Horehound is a powerful expectorant and relieves lung congestion. In treating painful, chesty, non-productive coughs, colds, bronchitis and sinusitis, Horehound's compound, marrubium, decreases the thickness of phlegm and promotes the secretion of fluids into the bronchial passageways, producing mucus. It also combines the action of relaxing the smooth muscle of the bronchi while promoting mucus production and expectoration, thereby also easing the pain of the cough.

As a pain reliever, the marrubium compound in Horehound stimulates the central nervous system and was found in laboratory tests to be more potent than some well-known pain relief medications.

Horehound promotes good digestion. The stimulation of the central nervous system by marrubium also stimulates the stomach to secrete digestive juices, helping the stomach to digest food. The reaction also stimulates the flow of bile from the gall bladder, which eases flatulence by changing the chemical composition of the contents of the large intestine.

Horehound promotes sweating, helping to break a fever and cooling the body. The herb will also help rid the body of excess water weight and the feeling of bloating.

Horehound is considered a mild laxative and is also said to expel worms.

Some studies claim that Horehound helps to stop the high and low blood-sugar reactions.

Horehound is said to have a relaxing effect on heart tissue and is used by some herbalists as a circulatory tonic to help lower blood pressure. The marrubium may steady the heartbeat in low doses, but a physician must be consulted before using it in this situation, and larger doses may cause abnormal heartbeat

Milk Thistle
Milk Thistle was once called the Venus Thistle and was dedicated to Freya, the Norse goddess of love and beauty. In the first century CE Pliny described it as excellent for removing bile, while Dioscorides recommended it for melancholy and snakebite. When the Roman armies traveled across Europe, they took Milk Thistle seeds, leaves, stalks and roots with them to provide food and medicine.

It is probable that Milk Thistle found its' way to Britain through the Romans, where it gained a reputation as a gentle healing plant.

In the 17th century, the famous British herbalist, Nicholas Culpeper recommended Milk Thistle for curing agues and the plague. He claimed that 'it provoketh urine and breaketh and expelleth the stone and is good for the dropsy'. He also considered it helpful for relieving 'a pain in the side' - possibly a 'stitch', or discomfort in the region of the liver. He gave instructions for its' use in removing obstructions of the liver and spleen and curing jaundice. A decoction of the seed was to be taken internally or applied to the affected area on a compress.

Collective research from a number of countries worldwide has now shown that silymarin, a chemical constituent of Milk Thistle seeds, has a protective and regenerative effect upon the liver. This positively affects the memory and disposition. Culpeper also suggested eating the young plant in spring to cleanse the blood and improve circulation. Similarly, recent research suggests that powdered seed may eventually be of use in the treatment of some cardiovascular disorders.

Over the last fifty years, scientists have succeeded in identifying the active ingredients in Milk Thistle, most notably a group of three related compounds which are collectively named silymarin. Experiments have proved conclusively that silymarin protects the liver from damage by a variety of toxins.

The most amazing of these experiments revealed that silymarin could reverse the deadly effects of eating the Death Cap mushroom (Amanita phalloides), which contains some of the most potent liver toxins known to humankind. They can cause permanent liver damage or death within a few hours of ingestion.

Research in Germany and the United States suggests that Milk Thistle is invaluable in the treatment of liver damage caused by alcoholic cirrhosis, fatty regeneration and the effects of pharmaceutical drugs, anesthetics and poisoning. It is also useful in the treatment of psoriasis.

Milk Thistles' healing properties were first discovered through practical experience rather than through pharmacological research carried out by scientists.

rose Hips
Roses - Medicine for the Heart and Body

Rose hips
The rose has always been valued for its beauty and fragrance. Cultivated for thousands of years, roses are an ancient symbol of love and beauty. The ancient Greeks and Romans identified the rose with their goddesses of love, Aphrodite and Venus. Today, pink and red roses are commonly given as expressions of love and admiration. Rose cultivation took off in Europe in the 1800's with the introduction of roses from China that had an amazing ability to bloom repeatedly throughout the summer and into late autumn. Rose bushes have become one of the most popular garden shrubs bearing flowers in a variety of colors -red, white, pink, yellow, orange, and burgundy. Currently, there are thousands of rose varieties and hybrids that have been developed for their bloom shape and color, size, fragrance, and some even for their lack of thorns.
Since earliest times roses were important in hand lotions, cosmetics, and perfumes. Today, almost all women's perfumes and 40 percent of men's fragrances contain rose oil. Rose perfumes are made by steam-distilling the crushed rose petals. About 60,000 flowers are required to produce 30 grams (1 oz) of rose oil, a yellowish-grey liquid. Damask roses are typically used, and the main fragrant constituents of rose oil are the terpenoids, geraniol and citronellol. Today, about 70 to 80% of rose oil comes from Bulgaria, while the balance is mainly from Iran and Germany.

In the perfume industry in France, the variety of rose used is Rosa. x centifolia. The oil is popular in aromatherapy and is said to have mild sedative activity and is used to treat anxiety and depression. Rose oil also predominates in the anointing oil used in the coronation of British monarchs. Rose water, made from rose oil, is used to flavor candy, desserts, and syrups, and is also used to treat eye irritations.

In addition to producing oil, rose petals are commonly used in potpourris, and can be added to salads, jellies and jams. The dried petals of the rose varieties, Rosa gallica and R. x centifolia, which are rich in astringent tannins, are used in mouth rinses to treat mild inflammations.
Culinary Uses
Rose hips are the berry-like fruits of the rose bush left behind after the bloom has died. They are typically red or orange, but may also be dark purple to black in some species. Although nearly all rose bushes produce rose hips, the tastiest for eating purposes come from the Rugusa Rose. Rose hips have a tangy, fruity flavor similar to that of cranberries. The fruits are best harvested after the first frost, which makes them turn bright red and slightly soft.

There are many culinary uses for rose hips. They can be used fresh, dried, or preserved. Rose hips can be used in apple sauce, soups and stews, syrups, puddings, marmalade, tarts, breads, and pie, or made into a jam or jelly. Each hip comprises an outer fleshy layer which may contain up to 150 seeds embedded in a matrix of fine hairs. The irritating hairs should be removed before using the rose hips in a recipe.
Rich in Vitamin C
Rose hips of some species, especially the Dog Rose (Rosa canina) and Rugosa Rose (Rosa rugosa), are a rich source of vitamin C. With one to two percent vitamin C, by dry weight, rose hips have a higher content than citrus fruit. During World War II when imports of citrus products to Great Britain were limited, tons of rose hips were harvested there from the wild to make rose hip syrup as a vitamin C supplement for children.
Medicinal Properties
In addition to their culinary uses, roses were also valued for their medicinal properties. In AD 77 the Roman writer Pliny recorded 32 disorders that responded to treatment with rose preparations. Medieval herbals contained many entries that tell of the restorative properties of rose preparations.

The anti-inflammatory properties of rose hips have recently been shown to be useful in the treatment of patients suffering from knee or hip osteoarthritis. Osteoarthritis is a degenerative joint disease affecting over 20 million Americans. It is characterized by the breakdown of cartilage in the joint, allowing bones to rub against each other, causing pain and loss of movement.

Scientists in Denmark reported that patients who daily consumed standardized rose hip powder (made from dog rose) experienced significantly less joint stiffness and pain, and an improved general well-being and mood after 3 to 4 months of treatment. The use of rose hip powder also enabled the patients to considerably reduce their standard pain medication. Rosehips contain high levels of antioxidant flavonoids with known anti-inflammatory properties.
Additional Protection
Rose hips also contain carotenoid pigments, plant sterols, tocotrienols and a very high level of anthocyanins, catechins and other polyphenolics, known phytochemicals to protect against cancer and cardiovascular disease (CVD). They also contain up to 5 % by weight of pectin, a soluble fiber that protects against CVD. In clinical trials, rose hips were seen to reduce C-reactive protein levels, associated with a lower risk of CVD.

The rose hips of Dog Rose are a traditional diuretic and laxative. The rose hips are useful in the treatment of influenza-like infections, diarrhea, and various urinary tract disorders. No side effects are known when rose hips are used in the normal designated amounts.
Herbal Tea
Rosehips are also commonly used to make herbal teas, by boiling the dried or crushed rose hips for10 minutes. About 2 tablespoons of berries are used per pint of water. A half-teaspoon of dried mint may be added to give a different flavor, or the acid-tasting tea may be sweetened. Rose hip tea may also be improved by blending with hibiscus flowers.

Author: Winston Craig, MPH, PhD, RD.

Bergamot Essential Oil

Bergamot oil can be used in the treatment of depression, stress, tension, fear, infection (all types including skin), anorexia, psoriasis, eczema and general convalescence.

When you are looking for an oil to help with depression, SAD (Seasonal Affected Disorder) or generally feeling just a bit off, lacking in self-confidence or feeling shy, then consider bergamot oil. It also has superb antiseptic qualities that are useful for skin complaints, such as acne, oily skin conditions, eczema and psoriasis and can also be used on cold sores, chicken pox and wounds.

It has a powerful effect on stimulating the liver, stomach and spleen and has a superb antiseptic effect on urinary tract infections and inflammations such as cystitis.

Burners and vaporizers
In vapor therapy, bergamot oil can be used for depression, feeling fed-up, respiratory problems, colds and flu, PMS and SAD.
Blended massage oil or in the bath
It can be used in a blended massage oil, or diluted in a bath to assist with stress, tension, SAD, PMS, skin problems, compulsive eating, postnatal depression, colds and flu, anxiety, depression, feeling fed-up and anorexia nervosa.

Blended in base cream
As a constituent in a blended base cream bergamot oil can be used for wounds and cuts, psoriasis, oily skin, scabies, eczema, acne, cold sores as well as chicken pox.

Bergamot blends well with:-
Although essential oils blend well with one another, bergamot oil goes particularly well with other essential oils such as black pepper, clary sage, cypress, frankincense, geranium, jasmine, mandarin, nutmeg, orange, rosemary, sandalwood, vetiver and ylang-ylang.

Habitat: Fennel is indigenous to southern Europe and the Mediterranean region. It was spread throughout Europe by Imperial Rome and eventually found its way to India, where it is now cultivated extensively. It was taken to the US by the colonists and has been a popular plant there ever since. It is also grown widely today in China, Egypt, Australia and South America.

Characteristics and properties: Fennel was well known to the Ancient Greeks and was revered by Pliny, who believed strongly in its medicinal properties and used it in as many as 22 remedies. It was taken by the Romans to all of Italy and France, where it became popular as a galactogogue, a substance which increases a mother's milk supply. Fennel's potential to aid in breastfeeding is due to its content of flavonoids and coumarins, which are groups of phytoestrogens, plant compounds which exert a balancing effect on female hormone levels.

Like other plants containing phytoestrogens, fennel has become knownas a treatment for any conditions related to hormonal imbalance, such as PMS and other menstrual irregularities and the symtoms of the menopause. Its other popular application is for its digestive and carminative properties for which it enjoys an unparalled reputation, being renowned since earliest times for relieving indigestion and intestinal gas and acting effectively in cases of colic. It aids digestion by stimulating the production of gastric juices, is said today to provide relief from the symtoms of IBS, and more than any other herb is an excellent tonic for the stomach and the intestines.

Fennel is also anti-spasmodic in nature and affects the nervous system and nerve function due to its ability to prevent or relieve spasms of muscles; it's hepatic and affects the liver and the body's detoxification systems due to its ability to tone, strengthen, detoxify and heal the liver; it's anti-inflammatory and affects immune system and reactivity due to its ability to counteract inflammation; it's diuretic and detoxifies the organism by stimulating the production of urine and the elimination of toxins through the urine; it's choleretic and furthers its reputation as a digestive aid by increasing the liver's production of bile; it's anti-microbial and has actions against a range of bacteria as well as various fungi and yeasts; and it's proven useful as a pleasant smelling and tasting herb, as this has led to it being much valued by herbalists as a way of improving the palability of preparations containing other less-agreeable herbs. Traditional Chinese medicine includes the use of fennel for gastroenteritis, hernia, abdominal pain, for a calming effect on bronchitis and coughs, and to open nasal passages and to resolve phlegm. The infusion may be used as an eye wash or compress to treat conjunctivitis and blepharitis, and oil of fennel can be used externally to ease muscular and rheumatic pains.

History and curiosities: In ancient times, fennel was regarded as a food of the gods and eating it allowed a person to achieve knowledge of the gods. In Greek mythology, fennel features in the story of Prometheus, who stole fire from heaven and gave it to mankind, carrying the flame to earth in the stalk of a fennel plant, which burns slowly and therefore was appropriate for the task. Fennel became a symbol of victory for the Greeks when they defeated the Persians at Marathon in 490 BC, the battle taking place in a field of fennel. Charlemagne was a great believer in the healing properties of the plant and in the year 812 he declared that fennel was essential in every imperial garden. Fennel shoots, fennel water and fennel seeds are all mentioned in a record of Spanish agriculture in the year 961, and fennel was frequently utilised in Anglo-Saxon cookery and medical recipes prior to the Norman Conquest. According to Chaucer, fennel was one of nine sacred herbs of the Anglo-Saxons, considered to have special properties in fighting off disease.

Plantago major

Other Names: Common Plantain, Broadleaf Plantain, Great Plantain, Greater Plantain, Ripple Grass, Plantago Asiatica, Waybread, Waybroad, Snakeweed, Cuckoo's Bread, Englishman's Foot, White Man's Foot, Che Qian Zi (China), Breitwegerich (German), Tanchagem-maior (Portuguese), Llantén común (Spanish), Llantén major (Spanish)

Plantain Habitat
Plantain is a perennial herb, thought to be of Eurasian origin and now naturalized throughout the world. Plantain is considered a common and noxious weed by some and a miracle plant by others.

Plantain Cultivation:
Plantain is very easy to cultivate, it succeeds in any soil and prefers a sunny position, some forms have been selected for their ornamental value. It is an important food plant for the caterpillars of many species of butterflies. Plantain grows from a short, tough rootstock or rhizome, which has a large number of long, straight, yellowish roots, is a basal, rosette of large, broadly oval, dark green, leaves. The 4 to 10 inch long smooth, thick, strong and fibrous leaves have 3 to 7 or more ribbed veins, abruptly contracting into a long, petiole (leaf stalk) which is reddish at the base. The leaf margin is of Plantain is entire, or unevenly toothed. The flower stalks, are erect, long, slender, densely-flowered spikes. Each tiny flower is brownish and bell-shaped with four stamens and purple anthers. Flowers bloom most of the summer. The fruit is a two-celled capsule and containing four to sixteen seeds. Harvest fresh young edible leaves in spring. Gather Plantain after flower spike forms, dry for later herb use.

Plantain Medicinal Properties and Herbal Use
Plantain is edible and medicinal, the young leaves are edible raw in salad or cooked as a pot herb, they are very rich in vitamin B1 and riboflavin. The herb has a long history of use as an alternative medicine dating back to ancient times. Being used as a panacea (medicinal for everything) in some cultures, one American Indian name for the plant translates to "life medicine." And recent research indicates that this name may not be far from true! The chemical analysis of Plantgo Major reveals the remarkable glycoside Aucubin. Acubin has been reported in the Journal Of Toxicology as a powerful anti-toxin. There are many more highly effective constituents in this plant including Ascorbic-acid, Apigenin, Baicalein, Benzoic-acid, Chlorogenic-acid, Citric-acid, Ferulic-acid, Oleanolic-acid, Salicylic-acid, and Ursolic-acid. The leaves and the seed are medicinal used as an antibacterial, antidote, astringent, antiinflammatory, antiseptic, antitussive, cardiac, demulcent, diuretic, expectorant, haemostatic, laxative, ophthalmic, poultice, refrigerant, and vermifuge. Medical evidence exists to confirm uses as an alternative medicine for asthma, emphysema, bladder problems, bronchitis, fever, hypertension, rheumatism and blood sugar control. A decoction of the roots is used in the treatment of a wide range of complaints including diarrhoea, dysentery, gastritis, peptic ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, haemorrhage, haemorrhoids, cystitis, bronchitis, catarrh, sinusitis, coughs, asthma and hay fever. It also causes a natural aversion to tobacco and is currently being used in stop smoking preparations. Extracts of the plant have antibacterial activity, it is a safe and effective treatment for bleeding, it quickly stops blood flow and encourages the repair of damaged tissue. The heated leaves are used as a wet dressing for wounds, skin inflammations, malignant ulcers, cuts, stings and swellings and said to promote healing without scars. Poultice of hot leaves is bound onto cuts and wounds to draw out thorns, splinters and inflammation. The root is said to be used as an anti-venom for rattlesnakes bites. Plantain seeds contain up to 30% mucilage which swells in the gut, acting as a bulk laxative and soothing irritated membranes. The seeds are used in the treatment of parasitic worms. A distilled water made from the plant makes an excellent eye lotion

Info @


Botanical Name of Mugwort: Artemisia vulgaris - Its name is derived from the Old English word muggiawort, which means ‘midge plant’
Other Common Names:
Common wormwood, felon herb, wild wormwood, chrysanthemum weed, old uncle Henry, cingulum Sancti Johannis, common artemisia, sailor's tobacco, Chinese moxa, old man and St. John's plant - NB: It should not be confused with St. John's wort.

Mugwort is native to Europe, Africa and temperate Asia and is today widely naturalized in most parts of the world. It ususally grows best in loamy soils that are nitrogenous and slightly alkaline. It prefers sunny places and it can easily be found along roadsides, weedy and waste areas.

Plant Description:
Mugwort is a tall shrublike perennial plant of the sunflower family. It has purple angular stems and can grow up to 5 feet tall. The leaves are dark green on top and have smooth texture, the underside is covered with dense white tomentose hairs. The flowers are small and yellow with a hint of green. This plant blooms from July to October.

Plant Parts Used:
Aerial parts, root.
Therapeutic Uses, Benefits and Claims of Mugwort

Mugwort contains the constituents volatile oil, flavonoids, a sesquiterpene lactone, coumarin derivatives, and triterpenes.
Mugwort is most commonly used to treat disorders of the digestive tract and aid in all digestive functions and has been said to have properties which are antifungal, antibacterial, expectorant, and antiasthmatic. It is considered to be good herb for gastric disorder, stomac pain and bowel complains. It has been used for poor appetite, indigestion, travel sickness and stomach acidity.

The Herb Mugwort
(Artemisia vulgaris )
Kohler's Medicinal Plants - 1887

Mugwort has been used as a herbal remedy for nervousness, exhaustion, gout, bruises, chilblain and depression expecially when it is accociated with loss of appetite . This herb is said have mild narcotic and sedative properties which explain its uses to promote sleep in cases of insomnia. Because of its diuretic properties it is thought to have medicinal benefits for the liver, spleen, and kidney. It is also considered an excellent insect repellant.

Traditionally mugworth has been use to stimulate irregular or suppressed menstruation. It is beleved that it stimulates the uterus and that it is useful for for menstrual pain and cramps. Futhermore it has been used to induce miscarriage probably due to the herbs abilitly to interfer with menstruation.

Additionally mugwort has been used as a folk and herbal remedy for various ailments incluidng colds, epilepsy, colic, fevers, asthma, bronchitis, sciatica, kidney problems and there is some scientific indication that it can lower blood sugar levels.

This herb has mild purgative abilities and might therefore be helpful for constipation.

Mugwort is also well renowned for its use as a dream and shamanic-journeying herb, and can be used for this purpose by making one of the preparations just mentioned, or by putting it into dream pillow or sachet. Mugwort can help to produce brighter, more vivid dreams, improve dream recall, assist in lucid dreaming, and help with the process of what some call precognitive dreaming (dreaming of future events)

Dosage and Administration:
There is no established, proven safe or effective dose for mugwort. Traditionally it is mainly used as tea. 2 cups of mugwort tea using fresh leafs infused for 5-10 minutes in boiling water daily for six days has been recommended by herbalists. As a commercial supplement one to two capsules, two times daily with water is considered standard dosages. But the manufactures instructions should always be followed.

Potential Side Effects of Mugwort
Due to the fact that the preparation instructions and dosage amounts of mugwort have not been clearly defined it should not be used by pregnant or breastfeeding women.
Mugwort contains a chemical called thujone, which is responsible for the medicinal properties of the plant. In large dosage thujone can be toxic so caution is advised.

It can cause miscarriages because it stimulates menstruation and should be avoided during pregnancy. Individuals that have sensitivity to mugwort pollen should avoid using it. Mugwort should not been used as a medicinal herb unless under the care and supervision of a licensed and qualified healthcare professional.
Info sources

Salvia sclarea
Family: Lamiaceae
Names: clarry, orvale, toute-bonne, clear eye

Description: The large leaves grow off a central stalk that bends with the weight of the flowers. It grows to a height of 3 feet with a width of 1 foot. The flowers are lilac or pale blue, pink or white, in whorls on top of the stems, with the upper lip curled up. The leaves are broad oval or heart-shaped, in pairs, 6-9 inches long, covered with fine silver-white hairs, almost stalkless. It blooms from June to July.

Cultivation: A biennial to zone 6. Germination is in 12-15 days. Space 2-3 feet apart. Soil temperature 70F. Soil should be well drained, fertile. Moist is preferred but it tolerates dry conditions with a pH of 5.3 to 7.2. Full sun. Seedlings started in spring will flower the following season. Plants self-sow.

History: The Romans called it sclarea, from claurus, or “clear,” because they used it as an eyewash. The practice of German merchants of adding clary and elder flowers to Rhine wine to make it imitate a good Muscatel was so common that Germans still call the herb Muskateller Salbei and the English know it as Muscatel Sage. Clary sometimes replaced hops in beer to produce an enhanced state of intoxication and exhilaration, although this reportedly was often followed by a severe headache.

Part used: herb/flowering tops and foliage

Constituents: linalyl acetate, linalol, pinene, myrcene, saponine and phellandrene.

Actions: anticonvulsive, antidepressant, antiphlogistic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent, bactericidal.

Medicinal Uses: Like its relative sage, clary tea, the leaf juice in ale or beer, was recommended for many types of women’s problems, including delayed or painful menstruation. It was once used to stop night sweating in tuberculosis patients. An astringent is gargled, douched and poured over skin wounds. It is combined with other herbs for kidney problems. The clary seeds form a thick mucilage when soaked for a few minutes and placed in the eye, helps to removed, small irritating particles. A tea of the leaves is also used as an eyewash. Clary is also used to reduce muscle spasms. It is used today mainly to treat digestive problems such as gas and indigestion. It is also regarded as a tonic, calming herb that helps relieve premenstrual problems. Because of its estrogen-stimulating action, clary sage is most effective when levels of this hormone are low. The plant can therefore be a valuable remedy for complaints associated with menopause, particularly hot flushes.

Aromatherapy Uses:
EXTRACTION: Essential oil by steam distillation from the flowering tops and leaves. A concrete and absolute are also produced by solvent extraction in small quantities.
CHARACTERISTICS: A colorless or pale yellowy-green liquid with a sweet, nutty-herbaceous scent.

Circlation, Muscles and Joints: high blood pressure, muscular aches and pains.
Respratory System: Asthma, throat infections, whooping cough

Digestive System: cramp, dyspepsia, flatulence. Soothes digestive problems such as gas and gastric spasm.

Genito-urinary system: amenorrhea, labor pain, dysmenorrhea, leucorrhea. A good tonic for the womb and helpful with uterine problems. A hormone balancer.

Spirit: rejuvenating, balancing, inspiring, revitalizing

General: The essential oil lends strength, both psychological and physical. While it helps reduce deep-seated tension, it remains stimulating, regenerative, and revitalizing. Clary feeds the soul and is recommended when pressures and stress come from outside. The oil is very relaxing. Particularly recognized as useful for people involved in creative work. It lends us the courage to do things we haven’t done in a long time. Clary helps bring us more closely in touch with the Dreamworld. It seems to encourage vivid dreams or at least enhance dream recall.

Cosmetic Uses: It is used to reduce excess oil or dandruff on the scalp and for excessively oily complexions.

Clary is known for its ability to enhance vision, protecting not only one’s physical eyesight but promoting increased skill white in meditation and visionary states. The seeds are the most useful part of the plant for this purpose and may be extracted as a wash to make a magickal lotion which may be used in the magickal healing of afflictions to a person’s sight.

Other Uses: used as fragrance components and fixatives in soaps, detergents, cosmetics and perfumes. The oil is used extensively by the food and drink industry, especially in the production of wines with a muscatel flavor.

Toxicity: non-toxic, non-irritant, non-sensitizing. Avoid during pregnancy. Do not use clary sage oil while drinking alcohol, it can induce a narcotic effect and exaggerate drunkenness.

Nettle Tea Benefits and Uses
Nettle tea benefits have been recognized for centuries as a treatment for a host of different conditions. Today it is used as an overall health tonic and to treat enlarged prostate, kidney and urinary conditions, high blood pressure, anemia, skin inflammations and much more.

Of all the nettle tea benefits, its greatest strength may lie in the large amounts of nutrients the plant contains. It is relatively safe for children and adults, although it is always recommended that you consult a medical doctor before taking any new herb.

Nettle Tea for Enlarged Prostate

For men suffering from a weak urine stream and frequent urination due to an enlarged prostate, nettle tea can help the condition by slowing the growth of prostate tissue. Reader’s Digest recommends drinking 1 to 2 cups daily as needed. However, make sure you consult a qualified medical practitioner first if you suspect you have an enlarged prostate.

Nettle Tea for Kidney and Urinary Problems

According to Jethro Kloss, a famous American herbalist, some of the many nettle tea benefits include treating kidney inflammation and problems, gravel in the bladder and a decreased urine flow.

Nettle Tea for High Blood Pressure

The diuretic properties of nettle tea make it a natural way to lower high blood pressure. Preliminary studies have confirmed this, although further scientific evidence is still needed. Drinking 1 to 2 cups per day may help lower blood pressure, but remember that high blood pressure is a serious condition. Always consult a doctor prior to incorporating nettle tea into your overall care regimen.

Nettle Tea for Anemia

Stinging nettle leaves contain large amounts of iron, vitamin C and chlorophyll. These nutrients can help sufferers of iron-deficiency anemia, a disorder in which the red blood cells are reduced and sufficient oxygen is unable to be delivered to the body’s tissues. Nettle tea provides iron to promote the production of red blood cells.

Drink several cups of nettle tea per day if you suffer from anemia. Make sure to talk to your doctor first, particularly if you are taking any prescription blood pressure medications. Nettle can cause blood pressure to plummet to dangerous levels if taken in conjunction with many of these drugs.

Nettle Tea for Hives, Rashes and Skin Inflammations

Nettle leaves contain caffeic malic acid, a substance that inhibits inflammation and prevents the release of inflammation-causing chemicals present in hives, rashes and other inflammatory skin conditions. Nettle tea can be used freely in a poultice or as a wash for these disorders.

Other Nettle Tea Benefits

Other nettle tea benefits include treating coughs, colds, fever, arthritis and diarrhea. Consuming the tea regularly is also believed to prevent the development of hay fever. Other external uses for nettle tea include the treatment of dandruff and eczema. It is also beneficial for the complexion and for strengthening nails. It is truly a miracle plant, and these many nettle health benefits are in addition to the immune- and energy-boosting properties of the herb.

** I would advise an element of caution in picking and using fresh nettle plants. If you do decide to use the fresh plant rather than buy tea bags, remember to snip only the top new growth for use, never use old plants**

Feverfew is an short-lived perennial native to southeastern Europe which is now widespread across North America, Europe and Australia. It is a member of the Asteraceae family along with sunflowers and dandelions and has small ray flowers, similar to daisies, which appear in a dense cluster at the top of the stalk in late summer and autumn. It has a compact, bushy habit (once establish) reaching a height of 9 to 24 inches. The leaves are alternate, hairy, yellowish green and give off a bitter odor when crushed.

History and Folklore
Feverfew was used by the ancient Greeks and Egyptians for inflammation and menstrual pain as well as general aches and pains.
Dioscorides documented feverfew's use for inflammation and swellings in the first century of the common era.

In medieval Europe it was used for just about everything and it has enjoyed long popularity in cottage gardens. During the time of the plagues, it was planted around houses to protect those inside from the disease. (It may have actually prevented plague carrying vermin from entering)

The name parthenium is from the Greek meaning "girl" and alludes to its traditional use for female complaints.

Feverfew can be grown from seed, cuttings or by division. It is not picky about soil as long as isn't soggy and prefers full sun, but will also do well in partial shade. Feverfew is also a good container plant but should not be brought inside to overwinter but instead placed in a sheltered area so that it can have a dormant period. It'll die anyway if you bring it in.

It will reseed if seed heads are left on the plant at the end of the season. Due to the fact that it reseeds like crazy, this plant can be very invasive. Deadhead spent flowers to control its spread and save the seeds to plant them where you want them later.

Harvesting & Storage
Cut fresh leaves as needed or lay flat on a screen to dry and store in an airtight container away from light and heat.

=Magical Attributes=

Feverfew is masculine in nature and is associated with the plant Venus and the element of water.

Alone or combined with hyssop and rosemary in a bag it is used to prevent general accidents. To prevent accidents while traveling, put it in a bag with comfrey root and a St Christopher medal and put it in your glovebox, rearview mirror or carry on bag.

Growing this plant around the ouside of your home is said to prevent illness from entering.

Binding the flowers to the wrist is said to assist in drawing out pain as well.

Healing Attributes
Feverfew is good for migraines and other headaches and PMT symptoms. Chewing the leaf at the first sign of a migraine is traditionally affective at stopping it in its tracks. Because the leaf tastes aweful and can cause blistering inside the mouth, it is suggested that you add it to a sandwich instead of eating it straight. Drying seems to weaken the medicinal effect of this herb.

Feverfew can be used as an infusion (or tea) but tinctures are much more effective. Fresh is best, however.

Feverfew has blood thinning qualities and should not be used by anyone who is taking blood thinners or who is planning to undergo surgery.
Pregnant women should not use feverfew.

Echinacea is well known for its anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-inflammatory properties. It is commonly recommended by herbalists as an agent to lessen the symptoms and duration at the onset of a cold or the flu. Liquid form seems to be the most effective way, taken in a Tea to be used up to 6 times per day, or as an Oil at one drop every 2-3 hours or so (mix it in warm water because it tastes bad). Alternatively, the leaves can be dried, pulverized into a powder, and made into Capsules for when it is inconvenient to utilize its beneficial properties otherwise. This method also solves the problem of the bad taste. As a cold and flu preventative, Echinacea has not been conclusively proven scientifically, but as with most herbs, it hasn't been tested extensively either. There are plenty of people who swear by it, and it is safe to take intermittently for a couple of weeks a month if you want to experiment with its possible preventative properties.

Echinacea also appears to be useful for a plethora of other common ailments, and a tea can be made to reduce symptoms of scratchy or sore throat, lymph node inflammation, stomach cramps, and urinary tract infections. There is some indication that it is beneficial in cancer patients, helping to rejuvenate the system after chemotherapy, and it is widely used as a general blood purifier. Externally, it can be made into an Ointment for treatment of insect bites, burns, measles, skin ulcers, herpes sores, cold sores, and yeast infections in women. The Indians swore by it as being an effective anti-venom agent for snakebites, but this hasn't been conclusively proven.

A visit to the nursery by an 'intergalactic traveller' and cedar trees

Last year on the nursery we had a rather interesting gentleman come to visit us. He said he was an 'inter galactic traveller' and had come to pick up his 4000 credits. After explaining that we didn't have four thousand credits he decided he wanted to look at our cedar trees instead. The gentleman spent ages just gazing and smelling the cedars after which he then disappeared off in the direction of a camping shop to look for a tent. Although I haven't seen him since, his obvious love of cedar trees left me curious and led to researching the qualities of cedar.

Cedar is a lovely tree with many stunning qualities. Its a good one to use before any ceremony and burn it together with sage and sweetgrass for a wonderful aroma while sending prayers out to the universe. The combination of smells is truly invorating, cleansing and has adds a very positive energy.

Some information on Cedars.

Incense Cedar
From Plants of Power - Alfred Savinelli

Incense cedar grows to a height of 50/80 feet. It will normally grow at an elevation of about 6000 feet. I has outward spreading branches that may reach an expanse of 96 feet in trees that are over 100 years old.

The genus Cedrus has long been considered to be a 'god tree' from the latin deodar. The far famed Cedars of Lebanon in the language of prophecy are frequently employed in the scriptures as beings of power and longevity. the cedar forests are in the mountains of Afghanistan, North Beluchistan, and the north west Himalayas. They also grow in the higher mountain ranges from Nepal up to Kashmir. Over the years the Cedrus Deodar receives many offerings and homage by wayfarers.

The North American Cedrus juniperus can be visited with the same respect. It has been said their presence will reveal itself and bestow blessings on the traveller. The cedar is often found growing around dry rock ridges. It may be found from the eastern foothill region of the Rocky Mountains from Alberta to western Texas and westward to the coast of British Columbia. It grows from Washington to eastern Oregon Nevada and Northern Arizona.

The divine nature of the North American cedar conifers has long been understood by the native peoples. Cedar is burned while praying either silently or aloud. The prayers rise on he cedar smoke and are carried to the Creator. Some incense smokes are for attracting good spirits, elimanating negative energies or invoking the ancestors. Cedar smoke has been used to create a bridge between heaven and earth and for speaking with the Creator. The power of cedar is well depicted in the writings of Old World ancestors:

"and so they two came to the cedar forest and stood gazing at its height, looking at the entrance to where Humbab the forest guardian wanders about setting his footsteps. The roads were straight and good. The cedars held high there luxurious beauty on the face of the mountain, good was its shade full of pleasure".

In Egyptian Mythology, the cedar is the celestial or cosmic tree. Osiris as the God of heaven is frequently identified with the cedar and is called the heavenly tree. As ruler of the sky he can sit in the celestial tree and can spiritually become one with it. Osiris is a multi faceted deity,when he grows forth from the cedar he shows his solar nature.

Another text describes the initiation of a seer. At one point the initiate descends to the lower world, in meditation. There he sees alters in the waters, tablets of the gods and the divine cedar tree.

Cedar is considered to be a herb of the sun, its element is Fire.

Medicinal uses (not to be used if pregnant due to its reflex action on the uterus)
Aromatic, Astringent, diuretic. The decoction has been used in intermttent fevers, rheumatism, dropsy, coughs, scurvy and as an emmenagogue. The leaves made into an ointment with fat are a helpful local application in rheumatism.

Rosy Periwinkle
Vinca rosea

Rosy Periwinkle
Madagascar Periwinkle
The herb called the rosy periwinkle is a much branched perennial shrub which can reach 2 1/2 feet in height when fully mature. The rosy periwinkle has oval shaped leaves which have a peculiar glossy skin. The herb is also characterized by white to pinkish flowers that have five lobed petals. Rosy periwinkle also bears downy textured seedpods which are cylindrical in shape.

The Madagascar periwinkle known by the botanical name as C. roseus (earlier Vinca rosea) is one of the few plants that have generated recent interest in the scientific and medical communities around the world. The scientific and medical communities became interested in the properties of the herb sometime in the middle of the 1950's. It was at that time, that herbal researchers first came upon the traditional "periwinkle tea" used by people in Jamaica as a folk remedy. These researchers started to study the properties of the plant and tried to analyze its anecdotal anti-diabetic abilities - the main use for the herb in Jamaica. The research on the plant was very satisfactory as many of the properties hoped to be gained by the researchers was displayed by the plant, for example, the researchers found that the herb contained at least two anti-cancer alkaloids - the compounds vincristine and vinblastine - these two compounds were found to be capable of inhibiting the growth of tumors in the human body. The first alkaloid compound vincristine has proven to be of greater effectiveness when used in the treatment of childhood leukemia in affected children. At the same time, the second alkaloid compound called vinblastine was found to be effective in the treatment of testicular cancer and the condition known as Hodgkin's disease - which is the name for a malignant cancer affecting the lymphatic system of patients. Side effects which are similar to those induced by many chemical medications used during chemotherapy, were found to be inducible by these two alkaloids - taking the alkaloids induced nausea and hair loss in patients.

Different healing and medicinal properties are also evident in the Madagascar periwinkle; such abilities are also seen in the related herbs such as the lesser periwinkle, the rauvolfia herb, and all the other members of the dogbane family of plants. At least, seventy confirmed alkaloid agents have been extracted from the herb - some of these alkaloid compounds have distinct medicinal properties. Of the many types of alkaloids found in the plant, an ability to decrease blood sugar levels has been observed in some, while other alkaloids have been found to reduce the blood pressure in patients with elevated blood pressure problems.

Traditionally and historically, the Madagascar periwinkle has been used by many folk healers in many different cultures, for treating a variety of ailments much before the present day modern researchers studied and confirmed the plants varied and valuable healing properties. For example, this plant was used by the folk healers of the India, in treating wasp stings by a topical application of the juice from crushed leaves. External bleeding in the body was traditionally healed in Hawaii by using an extract of the boiled plant as a topical application. The plant was also used by the people in Central America and some parts of South America to make an oral gargle for easing the pain of sore throats along with ailments affecting the chest region. Traditional herbal eyewash made from the extract of the flowers was also applied to affected eyes by the peoples of Cuba, Puerto Rico, Jamaica, and other Caribbean islands. The majority of the traditional uses of the herb in these lands continue to this day.

While used in a variety of ways in herbal medicine, the Madagascar periwinkle is also a beautiful plant and is planted as an ornamental garden plant in many home gardens. Madagascar, a large island next to Africa in the Indian Ocean is the place of origin of the flower, the plant is cultivated extensively in many parts of the world these days, and is a naturalized herb in many of the warmer regions of the world - it is found in the southern United States in North America. Commercially speaking, a number of different varieties of the plant are now available due to breeding experiments. The Madagascar periwinkle comes in many varieties nowadays, with floral colors that are a hot pink to mauve and to the original white or pinkish color. If you intend to buy the seeds, remember that the Madagascar periwinkle and its many varieties are usually grouped along with the true periwinkles, plants of the Vinca genus.

Whole plant.

In France, the epithet "sorcerer’s violet" has been given to the rosy periwinkle. The origin of this name is with regard to the historical use of the plant in the charms and love potions of medieval Europe. The power of exercising evil spirits was also attributed to the plant by Europeans in the old days. For example, the rosy periwinkle was used by medieval Europeans in their floral garlands to ensure the protection of the bearer from sudden harm. The Italians called the rosy periwinkle, the flower of death and placed garlands made from the plant on the grave stones of infants. The use of the plant and its cultural connotations changed over time, and the periwinkle was considered to be an emblem of friendship by the French during the era of the enlightenment in Europe.

Different health disorders have been traditionally treated using herbal remedies made from the periwinkle plant. These have included problems such as memory loss to even toothache and other complaints such as circulatory problems to persistent inflammation of the intestinal region. The diuretic action and the blood sugar lowering ability of the periwinkle has been proven decisively, however, the real effectiveness of the herb in treating all these other ailments is not confirmed even though the plant has a long history of use in a healing role. The early researches conducted on the diabetes related medical properties of the plant during the 1950s, led to the discovery of other useful compound in the herbal extract. The extract is found to be capable of treating juvenile leukemia, it has been found to be effective against Hodgkin's disease, and in the treatment of other cancers - all of which were considered largely incurable earlier. The anti-cancer properties of the herb are due to two main alkaloids, the compounds vinblastine and vincristine, these chemicals seem capable of binding to proteins in some microtubules of the affected cells, leading to the quick death of cancer affected cells.

The anti-diabetes action of the periwinkle is made use of in the folk medicine of the Philippine islands. Closer home, soothing eyewash is prepared from the flowers and used in the folk medicine of the Caribbean islands.

Though naturalized and cultivated as a garden plant in many areas of the world, the rosy periwinkle is native to and originates from the rich plant life of Madagascar. There are also similar acting related species of the plant in the Mediterranean - these can also be potentially utilized in the same way as the rosy periwinkle.

Extensive clinical research has been conducted on the properties of the Madagascar periwinkle's due to its long traditional use as an herbal treatment for persons affected by diabetes. The plant also contains two potent anti-cancer alkaloids, the compound vincristine and vinblastine - the identification of these compounds is believed to be one of the most important medicinal finds from plant sources within the past forty years of medical history. Patients with Hodgkin’s disease are given vincristine as a standard treatment, and the compound vinblastine is used extensively in the treatment of childhood leukemia cases. The anti-diabetic role of the plant still needs further verification, as it has been found that while herbal extracts from the Madagascar periwinkle can indeed lead to a lowering of blood sugar levels in the body, very simple preparations from the whole plant are not effective and thus an active compound in the extract has to be identified.

Madagascar periwinkle contains over 70 different indole alkaloids, including vinblastine, vincristine, alstonine, ajmalicine, leurocristine, and reserpine.

I think the plant has many uses such as when you have a sore stomach or a headache just drink a cup of the the boiled plant i.e. wash the plant thoroughly, take off any dry stems or leaves, break it up and put it in a big pot and fill it up with water and boil it for half an hour, and that is the juice that you drink like a cup of tea, if it is a bit too strong then dilute it with boiling water. Also if you are tired just drink a cup in the morning or when you go to sleep the night before because it works as a sleeping tonic, wake up in the morning and you will feel good and strong, maybe it does have some iron properties in the plant.