The Herbalist - - Dipaunka Macrides


Education , something that all of us have been or are involved with either personally or because we have children who are at School . We place so much importance on scholastic achievement and learning of mundane things like maths, economics but how many of us teach our children life skills or how to heal themselves .
Through the teaching I do ,both privately and through the mainstream Education system I am seeing a growing interest in Natural Healing and a strong desire for knowledge of Herbal Remedies
What I am purporting is that we need to gain as much knowledge as we can about herbs and natural healing and pass this on to our children and grandchildren .
Birch Leaves - Betula Pendula
Silver Birch has been used by man for a very long time . The name Birch is thought to have been derived from the Sanscrit word “ Bhurga “ meaning “ tree whose bark is used for writing on”. Rolls of birch bark have been found at excavations sites and North American Indians used them for writing on as well . In Scotland Silver birch sap was drunk for Bladder and kidney complaints . Birch wood was used to make broom handles and the bark was used as candles
Parts Used : Leaves, Bark , Sap
Properties : Astringent , antiseptic, antilithic ,bitter, diaphoretic, diuretic
Uses: I use the leaves a lot for clearing the Urinary system if there are kidney stones or if there is a possibility of them . The leaves help remove waste products especially uric acid , so are helpful for gout and rheumatism . They also help clear mild infections of the urinary tract or cystitis . For strong infections other herbs like Buchu and Uva Ursi would be more appropriate . The bark can be applied externally { inner side on the skin } to ease muscle pain .
In combination with other diuretic herbs , birch leaves help eliminate fluid and reduce the swelling of water retention . The essential oil from the leaves is used to treat eczema and psoriasis .
For those of you who like home brewing , the bark can be used to make beer .If you macerate the bark in olive oil , this can be applied externally for aching muscles and rheumatism .
Majik and folklore : Folk and common names used are Beithe, bereza, berke , beth, bouleau, canoe birch, lady of the woods, paper birch , white birch .It’s gender is feminine , ruled by Venus, element is water and deity is Thor { norse god of thunder } . It’s powers are Exorcism, protection and purification .
Majikal uses : When doing a house cleansing burn silver birch leaves with other gums and resins to clear the energy . Birch trees protect against lightning and are good for general household protection.The twigs were used to gently strike someone who was possessed to rid them of the negative forces . The traditional Witches broom was made from Birch twigs { the carry over was the broom handles in modern times } .
Babies cradles can be made from birch wood to protect them .
Black cohosh -Cimicifuga racemosa
Long used by the North American Indians for the female reproductive system , it was called Squaw root . It was first introduced into American medical practices in 1828 . It is a perennial that grows up to 8ft tall.
Parts used - The root stock
Properties : Alterative, antispasmodic , anti-rheumatic, antiinflammatory, anti tussive, bitter, mild expectorant, emmenagogue, diuretic, sedative.
Uses : When combined with St. Johns wort it helps relieve hot flushes and other menopausal problems . It has a mild sedative effect on the nervous system and it’s antispasmodic action helps to relieve cramping so it is a good one to take along with Chaste berry if you experience PMT and period pain. Care needs to be taken as in large doses it may cause abortion ! As an anti-inflammatory Black cohosh is used for arthritis { especially if associated with menopause } rheumatism and rheumatoid arthritis .
It’s sedative action can be useful for high blood pressure and whooping cough . The hormonal compounds in Black cohosh are responsible for it’s normalising and balancing action on female hormonal activity . It also may be of benefit in some cases of tinnitus .
Majik and folklore : Folk and common names used are , Black snakeroot , bugbane , bugwort, cimicfuga , rattleroot , rattleweed , richweed, squaw root . It’s gender is masculine,and it’s powers are Courage , Love , Protection, Potency .
Majikal uses : Use it in love sachets and in baths to help impotency . Sprinkle and infusion of it around your home to clear the energy . You can carry it to give you courage .
Black Haw - Viburnum prunifolium
It was used by the Catawba Indians for treating dysentry and was later discovered to have an effect on the Female reproductive system as does Cramp bark { also a viburnum}
Parts Used : Dried bark of the root, stem and trunk .
Properties : Antispasmodic, Anti- diarrhoeal , astringent, hypotensive, nervine, sedative, spasmolytic, uterine tonic.
Uses : This herb is great for period pain , uterine cramps, false labour pains and threatened miscarriage . As a uterine tonic it can help with anyone who has prolapsus of the uterus or heavy menopausal bleeding . I often use it for women who have bad period pain and heavy bleeding , in combination with chaste berry , cramp bark or ladies mantle .
The sedative and hypotensive actions along with its tonic effect on the uterus make it a useful herb for anyone prone to high blood pressure during pregnancy . This also will help with the prevention of varicose and thread veins . If you have heavy bleeding after childbirth black haw will help cease the bleeding and tone the uterus . It also contains salicin which is an analgesic , so if you are allergic to aspirin you should be careful how much you take .

Ok , hope this has helped increase your knowledge and desire to impart that knowledge onto your progeny.

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