Herbal Interests // Herbal Medicine Research Part II
I am back again! With more herbal medicine research! Plus, get ready for some research on some local weeds and also mint because my friend has been growing mint in her garden and lent me some to try out. I'm drying it in my kitchen right this minute! Can you sense the excitement over here? That will be coming soon, but for now, here is some info on the medicinal and magical properties of rosemary, sage, and thyme. You can read Part I here.
Rosemary. A woody, perennial herb, with fragrant evergreen, needle-like leaves and can blossom white, pink, purple or blue flowers. Derives from Latin as "dew of the sea."
- An aromatic herb, it is often used for chest congestion, making phlegm easier to expel, and is rich in anti-inflammatory tannins which soothe sore throats.
- It wards off stress induced headaches and prevents headaches caused by vasoconstriction; helps blood vessels dilate.
- Can be used for poor circulation, hair improvement, muscular aches, sore throats, repelling bad dreams, digestion and gall bladder inflammation, anti-dandruff and scalp nourishment, and improved memory.
- It works great in air fresheners and aromatherapy. It has a woodsy scent. Use rosemary, sliced lemon or orange, and vanilla with water on the stovetop.
- It's oil can be used for skin irritations like eczema and joint problems. It speeds healing wounds and bruises.
- Rosemary and nettle leaf infusion is an excellent herbal rinse for hair, dandruff, and to stimulate growth when used after washing or as a topical oil applied directly to the scalp.
- It can deter small pests like mice by tucking springs in the backs of cabinets, and can be a repellent towards mosquitoes.
- Rub on feet or sore areas for illness. Used externally, it can soothe indigestion and stomach cramps.
- It can help to extend the shelf life of homemade lotions, cosmetics, and other beauty products.
- It can be used to increase menstrual flow and cause abortions and miscarriages. Do not use in large amounts if pregnant.
- Folklore: It's magical name is "elf leaf," and was hung about houses to keep thieves and witches out. Carrying rosemary was believed to ensure success in love and also help retain youthful looks. Burning rosemary in your home or a personal space will help cleanse the atmosphere of negativity. Some of it's magical powers include exorcism, healing, love, lust, mental powers, protection, purification, sleep, and youth.
- In history it was used to enhance memory and remember the dead. Ancient Greeks often wore wreaths of rosemary on their heads to improve memory, especially during exams. These are the common herbal wreaths displayed in art. Wreaths can be displayed in the home to ward off negativity and encourage happiness. Rosemary aids in sleep and prevents nightmares. Used as a wash, it can encourage youthfulness, attract love, or as a hand wash before performing magic (whaaaat). Burning rosemary with juniper berries in sickrooms will promote healing.
Sage. Also called garden sage or common sage. It is an evergreen shrub with woody stems, grey leaves, and purple flowers. It is an ornamental garden plant often used for medicines and cooking.
- A grounding and cooling herb, it is one of the best remedies for laryngitis and sore throats. Can be used for colds, fevers, coughs, and flu. The leaves will help to soothe the throat and aid in inflammation of the mouth and tonsils. Oil made from the plant will help soothe mucous membranes.
- Very effective for hot flashes. Use it for menstrual regulation. Do not use if pregnant or nursing as it can reduce milk production and stimulate the muscles of the uterus.
- Used as a treatment for mood, memory, attention, and mental performance.
- It is good for the teeth and gums and can be made into homemade tooth powders. Use to soothe the mouth, throat, and gum inflammation. Internally use as a mouthwash to treat gingivitis, inflamed tongue, and mouth ulcers.
- Effective for anti-dandruff and other hair treatment.
- Helps to soothe heartburn, dyspepsia, bloating, and indigestion.
- It is a mild sedative.
- It is antibacterial and an astringent. Use it to soothe insect bites and skin infections. Use externally.
- It helps to banish night sweats when used internally.
- In folklore, it is often called garden sage, red sage, or sawge. Its powers include immortality, longevity, protection, purification, wisdom, and granting wishes. Wearing a horn filled with sage can protect you from the evil eye, while burning it will dispel negative energy (more on smudge sticks below).
- In history, it takes it's name from the Latin word, "salvare" which means, "to save." Ancient Greeks and Romans ate sage to improve the mind. Carrying it on your person is said to promote wisdom. Romans believed eating the plant would protect pregnant women, increase fertility, and extend life. To extend your own life, it was recommended to eat the plant everyday in May: He would love life for aye, Must eat sage in May. Ancient Egyptians believed it increased fertility in women; many women would drink sage juice before lying with their husbands to ensure conception.
- Smudge Sticks: Burn to rid negative energy in yourself, home, or any space. It is useful when feeling depressed, angry, resentful, unwell, or after an argument. It rids the negative presence or unwanted spirits in the home. This method is thousands of years old, and was used by Native Americans, Ancient Romans, Greeks, and Egyptians. Light one end of the stick and set it on fire. Extinguish the flames and let the smoke billow. Walk around your home and let the smoke get everywhere and in every space. Use a bowl to catch the ashes.
Thyme. An evergreen herb used for culinary, medicinal, and decorative purposes. It is a member of the mint family (most of these are, if you have not already noticed) and is related to oregano.
- Brew in a tea to use against coughs, bronchitis, and sinus pressure.
- It is antiseptic when made into an essential oil.
- Often used in ancient times for medicated bandages and poultices.
- It fights against toenail fungus.
- Aid sleep and prevent nightmares by placing a spring under your pillow.
- A useful treatment for acne.
- In history, thyme was burned to give courage in Ancient Greece. It was used in the mummification process in Ancient Egypt and was also traditionally placed in coffins. Used in spells and charms to attract loyalty, affection, and good opinions of others. Burn it as an incense or hang in the home to banish negativity and purify. It can help to attract good health to the occupants of the home. It was worn to protect the bearer from evil spells and give courage and strength, and having a bush in your garden was thought to bring positive energy to into the house.
That's all for today! Hope you enjoyed learning a bit more about these three common herbs.