The Herbalist - theherbalist.com.au - Dipaunka Macrides

Herbs 2

It is now autumn but by the time you read this it will be winter . Now is the time to stock up on all the immune boosting and respiratory herbs in preparation . Have lots of garlic, lemons, chilli , and honey on hand.
Diet comes into play here so cut down on the dairy products and Carbohydrates which are mucus forming . Another thing that boosts your resistance to colds and flu’s is having cold showers after your hot or warm shower . Also to improve your circulation and help your body eliminate try dry skin brushing before you shower or bathe . Sun baths are also good to increase your vitamin D to help prevent you feeling down.
Blood Root - Sanguinaria canadensis
This herb is only now starting to make a comeback in use as a herbal medicine . Years ago when I was first getting into herbs I made a tea of Blood root and other herbs . It was disgusting which was just as well as I threw it out . I had put too much Blood root in and didn’t know then that
in large doses it is toxic . I was lucky , so make sure you know what you are doing when using herbs .
The American Indians used it to paint their bodies and dye their clothes . They also used it to treat fevers ,rheumatism and induce vomiting .
The juice from the root was also used as rouge .
Parts used : Dried Rhizome .
Properties : Antipyretic , anti-spasmodic, antimicrobial, anti-septic, cardio-active, cathartic, diuretic, emetic, expectorant, emmenagogue, febrifuge, sedative, spasmolytic , stimulant, topical irritant {fresh juice}
Uses : Because of it’s strength and potency it should always be used in small doses . It is great for sore throats as a gargle or internally as an expectorant for excess phlegm or bronchitis . It’s expectorant properties make it of benefit for asthma , croup and laryngitis .
Externally as a wash it helps with conditions like eczema , psoriasis , rashes ,impetigo . Although snuffs are no longer in fashion , powdered blood root can be used in this way for nasal polyps . If you have warts or tinea an ointment of Blood root will help due to it’s antimicrobial action.
Combined with gingko, cayenne, ginger and yarrow it stimulates peripheral circulation for those of you who get cold hands and feet .
Majik and folklore
Folk names used are - Indian paint, Indian plant , Indian red plant, king root , pauson, red paint root, red puccoon, red root, Sanguinaria ,
tetterwort . It’s gender is Masculine, ruled by Mars and it’s element is fire. It’s powers are for Love , Purification, and protection.
Majikal Uses Carry or wear the root to draw love and also for protection. If you wish to protect your home , place it near doorways or on windowsills . You can also use the juice or tincture to draw pentagrams at the doorways for the same purpose .
Blue cohosh - Caulophyllum thalictroides
This is another traditional Native American Indian herb { wise people }
which was used as a women herb to help with childbirth and as a female tonic.It was also called Squaw root or Papoose root . It grows to about 1 metre and has a beautiful purple flower . Traditionally it was also used as a contraceptive and by both genders for genitourinary complaints .
Parts Used : The root and rhizome .
Properties : Anti inflammatory , antispasmodic, anti- rheumatic, anthelmintic , diaphoretic, diuretic, emmenagogue, oxytocic , uterine tonic .
Uses : If you have a weak uterus or poor uterine tone then this herb used with Black haw {see April issue }Cramp bark, Ladies mantle , Raspberry leaf and Shatavari . If there is a threat of miscarriage or false labour pains it can be used in small amounts in pregnancy . It can also be used to facilitate easy delivery of your baby . This is yet another example of how amazing Nature is . Blue cohosh also helps to stimulate menstruation in cases of Amenorrhoea { delayed or absent menstruation} It can be used for Dysmenorrhoea { period pain} or Menorrhagia { heavy bleeding }
Blue cohosh is sometimes used for rheumatic pains .
Cautions : The powder is irritating to the mucus membranes and remember if using it during pregnancy use in small amounts .

Bog bean -Menyanthes trifoliata
In Germany this herb was considered at one time to be a panacea . The common English name was derived from the German name “ Bocksbohen “ which meant goats beans . It also was called Buck bean and Marsh trefoil { 3 leaf } . Long used in folk medicine for Arthritis , rheumatism ,gout, scurvy, scabies , fever , and water retention .
Parts used : The leaves
Properties : Antirheumatic, Bitter , chologogue , diuretic, emmenagogue,
stomachic.
Uses : If you have a poor appetite or sluggish digestion then take this herb with alfalfa, bay leaf and gentian . It helps strengthen weak or underactive digestion because of it’s bitter principles . Part of this process is aided by it’s action of stimulating the Liver as well as biliary and gastric secretions . It’s primary use is for the treatment of Arthritis , rheumatism and rheumatoid arthritis. The root can be used for stubborn skin complaints .
Contra indications : Large doses can cause diarrhoea and vomiting . Not to be taken if suffering from colitis , diarrhoea or dysentery.

Take care be healthy and keep growing your Herbs . Remember the more we plant and propagate the less we will lose .

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