Arnica

September 12, 2008
ARNICA (Arnica montana)
(Leopard’s Bane, Mountain Tobacco, Mountain Daisy)Cultivation – Well drained, humus rich, acid soil
in Sun

Propagation – Seed sown in Autumn. Division in
Spring

Harvest – The flowers are picked when fully open

Dimensions – 10-60cm high. Up to 15cm wide

USES

Medicinal

Internal – Short term treatment of heart failure and
coronary artery disease. This is only to be
administered by qualified practitioners

External – Used in liniments and creams.
Dislocation, sprains, bruises, chilblains,
varigose ulcers and throat gargles

**May cause contact dermatitis when used externally
and could cause collapse if used internally

Magical – None found

FOLKLORE AND HISTORY

This herb is rarely used today, except in the form
of Homeopathic drops. If considering growing this
herb at home, be aware that it can be a tough one to
grow. It is an alpine plant so it needs altitude and
preferably snow. It may grow elsewher but it is
likely to be stunted and may not flower. One of
Arnica’s names is Mountain Tobacco, but as far as I
can see, there appears to be no reference or recipe
in relation to smoking it and as it is a plant that
can be toxic, I would not recommend it.

Sources:

The Complete New Herbal by Richard Mabey (ISBN
0140126821) Published
by Penguin

The Royal Horticultural Society New Encyclopedia of
Herbs and Their
Uses by Deni Bown (ISBN 0751333867) Published by DK

Disclaimer: This is for reference guide only.
Herbs can be used
effectively for mild ailments but medical advice
should be consulted
first to rule out major illnesses.

 

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Button Snakeroot

September 12, 2008
BUTTON SNAKEROOT (Liatris spicata)
(Blazing Star, Gay Feather)Cultivation – Moist to wet soil in an open, sunny
position

Propagation – Seed sown when ripe. Division in
Spring

Flowers – appear in Summer

Harvest – Leaves are collected during Summer. The
roots are collected in Autumn

Dimensions – 1-1.5 metres high 45cm wide

USES

Medicinal

Internal – This plant has astringent,
anti-bacterial
and diuretic properties. Use for kidney stone and
gonorrhoea

External – Sore throats

**This plant contains coumarins which may cause
liver
damage and reduced blood clotting

Magical – None found, but it’s relative Liatris
odoratissima (Deers Tongue) can be used in Lust
spells
and to enhance psychic powers

FOLKLORE AND HISTORY

This plant has amazing blooms in bright pink, so
even if it doesn’t have a lot of properties, it is
a nice plant to brighten up the herb garden. The
leaves could possibly be used in weaving (depending on how
big the plant gets). Both L. scariosa and L.
squarrosa can be used in L. spicata’s place. Button
snakeroot has been used in folklore to treat
snakebites in North America. The leaves of the
plant can be added with other herbs when making herbal
insect repellants.

Sources:

Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs by
Scott Cunningham (ISBN 0875421229) Published by
Llewellyn Publications

The Royal Horticultural Society New Encyclopedia
of Herbs and Their Uses by Deni Bown (ISBN
0751333867) Published by DK

Disclaimer: This is for reference guide only.
Herbs can be used effectively for mild ailments
but medical advice should be consulted first to rule
out major illnesses.

 

Brahmi

September 12, 2008

BRAHMI (Bacopa monniera)
(Water Hyssop)Cultivation – Damp soil or full water in semi shade.

Propagation – Cuttings taken in Summer

Flowers – appear in early Summer

Dimensions – Approx. 30cm high Indefinate width

USES

Medicinal

Can be used in Ayuvedic treatments. Also as a memory
inhancer, laxative, astringent, in cases of
insanity and epilepsy. It can be used as a carditonic
and diuretic. This plant may also have anti-cancer
properties

****All parts of this plant can be toxic if ingested,
so it is recommened to be only used by a qualified
practioner

Magical – None found

FOLKLORE AND HISTORY

I could find very little information on this plant. A
lot of people seem to recommend it but little appears
to be known about it, so if anyone has any additional
information on it, I would love to hear it. Brahmi
is a SE Asian member of the foxglove family and
contains saponins that are similar in effect to
reserpine (an alkaloid) which is found in Indian
Snakeroot (Rauvolfia serpentina). Therefore, I would
recommend this herb to be used in replacement of
Brahmi (where possible) as a lot more appears to be
known about Indian Snakeroot. Brahmi can be grown in
the ground or a pot with regular but not extreme
waterings. Mine is grown this way, but it has not
flowered yet, which is something to keep in mind.

Sources:

The Royal Horticultural Society New Encyclopedia
of Herbs and Their Uses by Deni Bown (ISBN
0751333867) Published by DK

Website:

 

http://www.shaman-australis.com/Website/subcat36.htm>Disclaimer: This is for reference guide only.
Herbs can be used
effectively for mild ailments but medical advice
should be consulted
first to rule out major illnesses.

Borage

September 12, 2008

BORAGE (Borago officinalis)
(Bugloss, Burrage, Herb of Gladness,
Starflower)Cultivation – Well drained, moist soil in full
sun. Will tolerate poor dry soil

Propagation – Seed sown in Spring

Flowers – appear in early Summer

Harvest – Leaves are picked in Spring and Summer
as the plant starts to flower. Flowers are picked as
they open and seperated from the calyx

Dimensions – 30cm-1m high 15-30cm wide

USES

Medicinal

Internal – Fevers, bronchial infections
(including pleurisy and tuberculosis), mouth and
throat infections, dry skin, cirrhosis and chronic
nephritis, ringworm, skin conditions (especially
where you would use Evening Primrose), rheumatic
complaints and premenstral syndrome

External – Eyewashes, gargles, mouthwashes and
poultices

**Skin irritant and possible allergen. May
cause liver damage in large doses

Culinary – Used to flavour alcohol. Add to salads
and soft cheeses. Cook with your vegetables. It can
be candied or made into a sweet syrup. The flowers
can frozen in ice cubes to add to homemade lemonade

Magical – Courage, Psychic Powers

FOLKLORE AND HISTORY

Carrying the fresh blossoms will strengthen your
courage and wearing it through your buttonhole (easier
said than done as the flowers detach from the plant
very easily) will protect you when walking outdoors.
Borago comes from the latin word ‘burra’ which
translates to “hairy garment”, which is exactly what
the plant looks like. Pliny called the plant
Euphrosinum due to the euphoric effect of the plant
(hence the name Herb of Gladness) and is perhaps why
it was once used as an antidote to poison. Borage can
be used when made into a tea as an eye wash for cats
but make sure you strain the tea through muslin or a
coffee filter to remove all the fine hairs first.

Sources:

Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs by
Scott Cunningham (ISBN 0875421229) Published by Llewellyn Publications

The Royal Horticultural Society New Encyclopedia of
Herbs and Their Uses by Deni Bown (ISBN 0751333867) Published by
DK

Themes for Herb Gardens by Kim Fletcher (ISBN
0670906751) Published by Viking

The Essential Herb Garden (Growing and Using Herbs in
Australia) by Gilian Painter (ISBN 1864290455)
Published by Millenium Books

The Complete New Herbal by Richard Mabey (ISBN
0140126821) Published by Penguin

Disclaimer: This is for reference guide only.
Herbs can be used
effectively for mild ailments but medical advice
should be consulted
first to rule out major illnesses.

Bergamot

September 12, 2008

BERGAMOT (Monarda didyma)
(Oswego Tea, Bee Balm)Cultivation – Rich moist soil in sun or partial
shade

Propagation – Seed sown in Spring or Autumn.
Division in Spring. Softwood cuttings in early Summer

Flowers – are produced early to mid Summer

Harvest – Plants are cut when flowering. Leaves are
cut before flowering

Dimensions – 40cm-1.2m high. 45cm wide

USES

Medicinal

Internal – Minor digestive complaint

Culinary – Leaves and flower heads are used as a
herbal tea and as an ‘Earl Grey’ flavouring to black
tea. Flowers can be used as a garnish is salads

Magical – None found but it was used by Native
American Indians so I am assuming there is a magical
use for them

FOLKLORE AND HISTORY

Bergamot was given its name due to its scent which
resembles the orange of the same name. The latin name
of this plant is derived from a spanish botanist (Dr
Nicholas Monardes), who described the plant in his
herbal in 1569. The Americans took to drinking
Bergamot as a tea substitute as a protest on the tax
on tea from India after the Boston Tea Party. This
plant can be prone to spread throughout the garden
with runners similar to Mint runners. If possible,
contain this plant to a pot, or be prepared to pull
up a whole lot of the runners in Summer.

Sources:

The Complete New Herbal by Richard Mabey (ISBN
0140126821) Published by Penguin

The Royal Horticultural Society New Encyclopedia
of Herbs and Their Uses by Deni Bown (ISBN 0751333867) Published by DK

The Essential Herb Garden (Growing and Using Herbs
in Australia) by Gilian Painter (ISBN 1864290455)
Published by Millennium Books

Disclaimer: This is for reference guide only.
Herbs can be used
effectively for mild ailments but medical advice
should be consulted
first to rule out major illnesses.

Anise Hyssop

September 12, 2008

ANISE HYSSOP (Agastache foeniculum)
(Giant Hyssop, Anise Mint, Blue Giant Hyssop, Liquorice Mint)Cultivation – Well drained soil in full sun

Propagation – Seed sown in Spring. Division in Spring. Semi-ripe
cuttings in Summer

Flowers – This plant flowers in early Summer

Harvest – Leaves are collected in Spring and Summer. Flowers are
collected in Summer. Leaves are cut and collected before flowering

Dimensions – 6-cm-1.2m high. 30cm wide

USES

Medicinal

Internal – Coughs

Culinary – Flowers are added to salads. Leaves can be used in herbal
teas

Magical – None found

FOLKLORE AND HISTORY

This plant does not look like or appears to be related to Hyssop, it
has an amazing smell though and attracts bees to the garden to aide
pollination. This plant was planted in the 1870s in N America to
produce a honey with a slight aniseed flavour.

Sources:

The Royal Horticultural Society New Encyclopedia of Herbs and Their
Uses by Deni Bown (ISBN 0751333867) Published by DK

The Essential Herb Garden (Growing and Using Herbs in Australia) by
Gilian Painter (ISBN 1864290455) Published by Millennium Books

Disclaimer: This is for reference guide only. Herbs can be used
effectively for mild ailments but medical advice should be consulted
first to rule out major illnesses.

Angelica

August 29, 2008

ANGELICA (Angelica archangelica)
(Archangel, Masterwort)Cultivation – Rich, moist soil in sun or partial shade

Propagation – Seed sown in Spring or Autumn. Seed viable for only
one year and it will normally take two years before the plant will go
to seed

Harvest – Roots in Autumn. Leaves are gathered before flowering.
Seeds as they ripen. Stalks are cut in early Summer

Dimensions – 1-2.5 metres high. 1.2 metres wide

USES

Medicinal

Internal – Digestive problems, gastric ulcers, anorexia, morning
sickness, poor circulation, chronic fatigue, menstrual and
obsteric problems

External – Rheumatic pain, neuralgia and pleurisy

**This plant may cause skin allergens. Do not give to pregnant women
or people suffering diabetes (Angelica has a high sugar content)

Culinary – Use like celery (leaves). Stalks can be candied or used
in jams. Flower buds can be used in salads either cooked or raw

Magical – Exorcism, protection, healing, visions

FOLKLORE AND HISTORY

This plant was apparently named after the monk who discovered its
medicinal properties. He claimed he received a vision from an angel
who told him Angelica could cure the plague. The root of this plant
was carried by some American Indian tribes and used as a gambling
talisman. Angelica can protect your property by sprinkling the herb
in the corners of the rooms of your house or around the perimetre.
Smoking the plant may cause visions. Angelica was once used to curb
lust in young men. The root was powered and mixed in cold water for
this remedy.

Sources:

The Complete New Herbal by Richard Mabey (ISBN 0140126821) Published
by Penguin

Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs by Scott Cunningham (ISBN
0875421229) Published by Llewellyn Publications

The Royal Horticultural Society New Encyclopedia of Herbs and Their
Uses by Deni Bown (ISBN 0751333867) Published by DK

The Essential Herb Garden (Growing and Using Herbs in Australia) by
Gilian Painter (ISBN 1864290455) Published by Millennium Books

Disclaimer: This is for reference guide only. Herbs can be used
effectively for mild ailments but medical advice should be consulted
first to rule out major illnesses.

Aloe Vera

August 29, 2008

ALOE VERA (Aloe vera syn. A. barbadensis)
(Burn Plant, Medicine Plant, Bardados aloe,
Curacao aloe)Cultivation – Very well drained soil in the sun

Propagation – By offsets at all times of the year.
Aloe Vera rarely sets seeds

Harvest – Leaves are cut as they are required from
plants that are 2-3 years old. Sap is drained from
cut leaves

Dimensions – 60-90cm high. Infinate width

USES

Medicinal

Internal – Chronic constipation (especially
following iron medication), poor appetite, digestive
problems, colitis and irritable bowel syndrome

External – Burns, scalds, sunburn, wounds,
eczema, psoriasis, acne, dermatitis, ulcers,
colonic irrigation and nail biting

**This plant is contraindicated during pregnancy and
when haemorrhoids are present. The leaves are a
strong purgative and requires great care over dosage,
so if you are planning to use this plant internally,
then it is advised to see a qualified practitioner.
Aloe vera may also cause miscarriage and serious
stomach upsets if used excessively. Aloe Vera comes
out via the breast milk, so it is to be avoided while
breastfeeding, if taken internally.

Magical – Protection, Prevention of household
accidents, Luck in the home

FOLKLORE AND HISTORY

This plant is hung on houses in Africa to get rid of
evil and to encourage good luck. Aloe has been used
as far back as the fourth century BC. Apparently
Alexander the Great conquered Socotra in order to
secure supplies of Aloe Vera. The Aloe mentioned in
the Bible was not Aloe Vera but lignin aloes or
aloeswood (Aquilaria malaccensis).

Sources:

Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs by Scott
Cunningham (ISBN
0875421229) Published by Llewellyn Publications

The Royal Horticultural Society New Encyclopedia of
Herbs and Their
Uses by Deni Bown (ISBN 0751333867) Published by DK

Disclaimer: This is for reference guide only.
Herbs can be used effectively for mild ailments but medical advice should be consulted first to rule out major illnesses.

Agrimony

August 29, 2008
AGRIMONY
(Church steeples, Cockeburr, Cocklebur, Garclive, Philanthropos,
Sticklewort, Stickwort)
Cultivation – Well drained. Sunny position

Propagation – Seed sown in Spring

Flowers – are produced in Spring

Harvest – When flowering

USES

Medicinal

Internal – Colitis, Food allergies, Diarrhoea, Gallstones,
Cirrhosis, Grumbling appendix, Urinary incontinence, Cystitis,
Rheumatism

External – Sore throat, Conjunctivitis, Haemorrhoids, Minor
injuries, Chronic skin conditions

**Do not give to stress related constipation

Culinary – Flowers can be used in herbal teas

Magical – Protection, Negativity

FOLKLORE AND HISTORY

The herb was named after Mithridates Eupator, who was a king of
Pontus and a famous herbalist. It is said Agrimony is able to
protect against goblins, evil and poison. It was also used to break
hexes and to send the hex back to the person who sent it. By placing
Agrimony under your pillow, you could sleep as if you were dead.
But someone needs to be on hand to remove the herb from under your
pillow, as you will not wake until it is removed.

Sources:

The Complete New Herbal by Richard Mabey (ISBN 0140126821) Published
by Penguin

Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs by Scott Cunningham (ISBN
0875421229) Published by Llewellyn Publications

The Royal Horticultural Society New Encyclopedia of Herbs and Their
Uses by Deni Bown (ISBN 0751333867) Published by DK

Disclaimer: This is for reference guide only. Herbs can be used
effectively for mild ailments but medical advice should be consulted
first to rule out major illnesses.

 

 

Hello world!

August 28, 2008

Hello – and welcome to my blog. I have a passion for herbs, their uses and their lore. This blog is dedicated to all the herbs that I have growing presently in my garden, as well as those herbs that I have grown in the past. Further on down the track i will also include more information on how to use herbs.