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Balm of Gilead (Poplar) - Populus candicans

The true identity of the tree called Balm of Gilead is quite mysterious and often confused. Given its biblical name it is natural to assume that it must be a tree of Middle Eastern origin. Indeed there is such a tree, which as legend tells us, Queen Sheba brought as a gift for King Solomon and which then grew abundantly on Mount Gilead. However, the identity of that species is believed to be Commiphora Opobalsamum a member of the Burseraceae.
While this plant indeed has a sweet smelling balsam, what is nowadays commonly referred to as Balm of Gilead are the resinous winter buds of a type of North American poplar tree, also known as Cottonwood.
There are various species of Cottonwoods with similar properties and, given the liberal sexual behaviour of Cottonwoods, which freely interbreed with members of related species, it is sometimes very difficult to determine exactly which type of Poplar a given bud derived from. Moreover, different Latin names are often applied to the same species, which confuses the matter even further.

The sticky buds of Balm of Gilead are extremely useful. Native Americans have long utilised their healing properties as an effective treatment for protracted coughs, whooping cough and, used like Friars Balsam, to clear the upper respiratory tract. But their real secret value lies in their excellent ability to soothe aches and pains, whether they stem from tissue damage such as sore muscles, bruises or burns, or from rheumatism.

The balsam is not water soluble, so it is necessary to extract it either with fat, by macerating it in oil or cocoa butter in a warm place (do not boil, otherwise the buds might get burnt), or to prepare an alcoholic extract (tincture). It should be noted however, that some people develop an allergic reaction, which is more common with the tincture than with the ointment. This is probably due to the salicylic acid that is extracted in alcohol, but not in fat. So, if you are allergic to aspirin, you will probably react to Balm of Gilead tincture as well.

For those that are not allergic it offers great healing powers to fight viral, bacterial and fungal infections such as athlete's foot or herpes simplex. Bees use the sticky resin of poplars as 'bee glue' to seal and protect their hives against intruders. Mixing the resins they collect with waxy substances they excrete they form a substance known as 'Propolis', which is hailed as a marvelous healing substance with antiviral, antimicrobial and anti-fungal properties. However, one can extract the same benefits from Balm of Gilead in its natural form, which may help those who are allergic to bee products, but not to salicylic acid.

Balsam Poplar or Cottonwood is one of the most sacred trees in Native American plant lore.
Many tribes regard them as a kind of spirit conductor, which conveys messages of the spirit world through their rustling leaves.
Sacred objects, like the Hopi Kachinas, were fashioned from Cottonwood.
Cottonwoods were associated with fertility. Cottonwood is not a European tree, but indigenous species of Poplar also played role in folk magic, albeit a minor one. In European plant lore poplars are considered protective, especially against lightning and against snakes.

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Butterfly Pea Flowers - Clitoria ternatea
Butterfly-pea flower tea commonly known as Blue Tea is a caffeine-free herbal tea, or tisane, beverage made from a decoction or infusion of the flower petals or even whole flower of the Clitoria ternatea plant. Clitoria ternatea is also known as butterfly-pea, blue-pea, Aprajita, Cordofan pea, Blue Tea Flowers or Asian pigeonwings.

Derived from a plant that is common to most South East Asian countries butterfly pea flower tea has been brewed for centuries but only recently been introduced to tea drinkers outside the indigenous area. Butterfly pea flower tea gains its distinctive tint from the deep blue color of the petals that has made the plant a popular dye for centuries. One of the aspects of the tea is the fact that the liquid changes color based on the pH level of the substance added to it, for instance, adding lemon juice to the tea will turn it purple.

In Thailand and Vietnam the butterfly blue pea flower tea is commonly mixed with honey and lemon for a drink usually served after dinner, or a refreshment at hotels and spas, a preparation called nam dok anchan in Thai. The nam dok anchan drink has been described as being a typical local drink like chamomile tea is in other parts of the world. The tea is found in both hot and cold varieties, where the cold version is often mixed with honey, mint, cinnamon, passion fruit, and ginger

Medicinal: The use of Butterfly Pea for its healing benefits dates back hundreds of years with origins in Ayurvedic medicine. Throughout history, traditional healers in Southeast Asia and China would use the plant to help with occasional stress and insomnia.

Butterfly Pea Flowers contain potent antioxidants, which are known to protect against the damaging effects of free radicals. Antioxidants also help to slow down the aging process and protect against premature aging. They can boost the appearance and health of your skin, hair, and nails.

Butterfly Pea Flowers are also rich in anthocyanins, which further help to build and restore the skin’s collagen. Anthocyanins are water-soluble compounds that occur naturally in certain pigmented blue, red, purple, and black foods and flowers. Finally, Butterfly Pea Flowers may possess significant anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties

Lore: The legend pertaining to its origin which is not just fascinating but as mesmerizing as the flower itself. The story goes back a thousand years when much of East Asia was covered with Himapan forests which were believed to be home to a variety of mythical creatures. An idea of the types of creatures who inhabited the Himapan Forests could be gained by observing the statues that adorn the ancient temples of this region. Mystical in appearance, each is believed to be a hybrid of two or more animals owing to the forest area being positioned between heaven and earth, thus acting as a gateway on both sides. This was the reason as to why many inhabitants of the Himapan Forests had an ethereal quality but were equally sensitive to pain and suffering that is characteristic of earthly creatures.

Among these was a creature named Kinnari, a hybrid of a swan and a woman. Owing to her half-bird nature, Kinnari could fly across the skies and it was during one of her nocturnal flights that she observed a woman trying to sleep through deep distress. ‘Isra’ was her name and native to the land, it turned out that she was suffering from multiple ailments, all of which were not just having an adverse impact on her daily life but were also interfering with her sleep. Kinnari decided to help Isra by indicating her to follow and they both embarked on a flight that spanned mountains, lakes, temples, and several settlements before coming to an end at the edge of the famed Himapan Forest.

Kinnari led Isra along the path wherein several natural aromas graced their nostrils and they kept walking till Kinnari halted in front of a bush bearing blue flowers. It was a flower that Isra had never seen before and hence it appeared exotic and alien to her. But Kinnari not only seemed familiar with it but was also well aware of its numerous curative powers. She plucked a part of the plant and, handing it to Isra, instructed her to carry it back to her village. She specifically told Isra to sow the plant next to a fence so that it would get adequate support for climbing up and spreading in all directions. Isra did as she was told and soon had a full-fledged creeper in her garden which bore plenty of flowers every day. Enticing as their blue color was, over a period of time, Isra realized their potential as natural medicines and began using them for her hair. It was serendipity that she brewed tea from them and having distributed it among her neighbors, she even experimented by squeezing a few drops of lime and watching it transform into a vivid purple.
Calendula (Marigold) - Calendula officinalis
NOTE: 1/2 Ounce Increment

Few herbs have a more sunny and cheerful disposition than the humble Marigold. Their saturated orange yellow glowing flowers look like a piece of the sun itself. No wonder one of its vernacular names is 'Maidens of the Sun'. Nor is it a surprise that Culpeper gives it to the Sun in Leo. Just looking at them confers an infectious 'joie de vivre', which Culpeper praises as their ability to 'gladden the heart'. Calendula is quite a miracle herb, but since it is so common it receives scant attention- as is often the case: familiarity breeds contempt.

Calendula is a well loved garden plant, though some people resent its tendency to spread and consider it invasive. However, as a garden plant Calendula protects other herbs and plants against fungal infections and insect attacks. It also provides cheer throughout the year - at least in mild climates, where it flowers almost all the year round until the frost kills it. However, as soon as spring arrives Calendula revives and its sunny flowers are unstoppable once again, except on rainy days when they stay closed. This is how the Romans came to call this herb 'Calendula' - in their mild climate it spread its cheer for the entire duration of the calendar year.

Traditional Marigold is one of the premiere herbs for the skin. During the First World War and in the American civil war it was used extensively and very successfully as a wound cleansing herb. In fact, given the shortage of other medicines, it often was the only thing at hand - and just as well, as many army surgeons could attest: nothing cleansed the festering wounds better than this humble herb. It is strongly astringent, anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory and anti-fungal. Thus it can be used to wash any damaged skin, may it be minor scrapings, ulcers or nasty, indolent wounds. It is also effective in treating eczema, nappy rash and athlete's foot. It can be used as a gargle for inflamed and sore gums or as a douche in leucorrhoea. As a plaster it was used to treat inflamed nipples and hardened or inflamed breasts. It is even reputed to have anti-cancer properties, which makes it useful as a compress on lymphatic nodes or cancerous tissue, especially when simultaneously taken as a tea. Internally, it can be used to stimulate liver and gallbladder, alleviate nausea and indigestion, help in cases of stomach and duodenal ulcers (take with centaury), soothe the pain of cystitis and bladder infections and even stop bloody urine. Calendula expels worms, softens hardened lymph nodes and glands and regulates menstrual irregularities, especially at the onset of puberty and during menopause, when the hormones are in upheaval mode. The old herbalists made much use of the expressed juice, which can be prepared from fresh flowers or from re-hydrated dried flowers. Tincture and creams are commonly used for external applications.

Magical One of the vernacular names of Marigold is 'Death Flower' and in older herbals one reads that they are often planted on graves. This is probably due to their apparently immortal life force, which symbolizes the undying spirit and will give cheer to the departing souls. This immortal quality is also invoked in many a love charm intended to make love last forever so it shall never wilt.
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Chamomile - Matricaria recutita (Whole) (German)
Of all the herbs in the western herbalist's material medica Chamomile is perhaps the most universally useful - with its help, a skilled herbalist can ally almost any affliction. Chamomile looks like an overgrown Daisy and indeed it belongs to the same family of plants. It is a great blessing that something so useful is also so common, though familiarity breeds contempt, causing us to loose sight of our herbal blessings. Chamomile has been used and revered since ancient times and all the great herbalists of antiquity praise it highly. It is even a healer to other plants it grows near, which has earned it the name of 'plant's physician' - only bees seem to dislike its smell.

Medicinal: Chamomile radiates joy, peace and simplicity. It has a way of creating order out of chaos, when the inner balance has been disturbed. It is a tonic for the nervous system, soothing, yet strengthening the nerves without stimulation, which has a roll-on effect on just about all the other bodily systems. It takes the edge off frazzled nerves that keep us from finding sleep at night or make it impossible to properly digest our food. It calms a nervous stomach and soothes any inflammatory conditions of the digestive system, including ulcers and colitis. Its calming effects are also helpful in IBS, colic or diarrhea. Chamomile is decongestant and one of the best remedies to treat a head cold with excessive mucus and blocked up sinuses. Externally it soothes all types of inflammatory skin conditions and sore or sensitive spots. It has often been called a mother's herb, for it can soothe most problems mothers have to deal with, from nappy rash to teething problems, to upset tummies or frenzied screaming fits and hyperactivity. Last but by no means least, it also soothes and strengthens the mother's nerves and helps her deal with it all.

Magical: Chamomile is a gentle, yet powerful herb of the sun that brings peace, serenity and light to the soul and calms all sense of fretting or fear. It is an excellent herb for chakra balancing and to help one find one's inner center. Chamomile may inspire confidence and open the heart to expressing love and compassion. It can also be used for dream work, as it protects the seeker on his astral journeys and wards off demonic entities and nightmares. It is used to bring clarity of vision for divination and scrying, and may also be used for prophetic dreams. Chamomile has a reputation for attracting good fortune, especially in monetary matters.

Shamanic Magical Uses: This is the plant of Asgard, the land of the Aesir. Its English name Maythen was originally pronounced Maegthen, as can be seen from the Lacnunga poem, and maeg is cognate to mage, meaning powerful. Chamomile is a solar plant, and it harnesses the power of the Sun. As the plant of golden Asgard, it can be burned in recels or scattered as a way to send your words straight to the Aesir and have them hear you. I suspect few of them would ignore you if you were holding Maegthen in your hand. It burns away the darkness and the creeping negativity, as its medicinal nature as an antifungal demonstrates. Used magically, it can be a powerful antidepressant. Why, then, does it cause sleep? One of the symptoms of depression is actually a lack of good, solid, peaceful sleep, and Chamomile is the best plant for this purpose.

There is also that finding a way out of depression is a long, slow journey that may require changes in brain chemistry, a finicky business at best. This sort of thing is best done slowly and quietly, over time, preferably on a sleeping person. To bring the Sun into someone's life, give them tea made from charged and hallowed Chamomile that has been asked to slowly purge the depressing chemicals from their brain, every night when they go to sleep, for a long time, perhaps months. One day they may find that they no longer need it, but if it does nothing after three turns of the moon, there is something going on that even this herb cannot cure, and you can discontinue it.
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Cornflower - Centaurea cyanus
Cornflower is a member of the daisy family noted for its vibrant azure blue flowers. The plant is called cornflower because it naturally occurs near field crops, namely corn. The plant is also known as Bachelor's Button and Boutonniere Flower because young men once wore the flower in the label of their jacket to draw attention to their eligibility status.

Medicinal: Cornflower is used to treat daily ailments such as mucus membrane and tissue inflammation and skin inflammation, pain and conjunctivitis.

In these cases, what is effective is its soothing activity that is beneficial for rheumatism and infections or ocular irritation (stye, conjunctivitis).

It also helps alleviate sunburns, eye irritation, and even skin disorders as a floral water.

Magical properties: A decoction of the petals, filtered through three layers of linen and ritually consecrated beneath a full moon with a moonstone, were used as an eye bath for increasing clairvoyance
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Dandelion Flower
The Dandelion grows across North America and Europe, and was introduced into many other continents as well. The leaves and flowers are both edible and quite healthy, with the flowers tasting less bitter than the leaves. Many rural people still use the flowers for making Dandelion wine in the summer. The root of the plant also contains compounds believed to relieve kidney and bladder problems when drunk as a tea. Metaphysical: Celebrating the return of summer, Overcoming an obstacle, especially by using your innate intelligence, Trying to connect with the sun and its power, Celebrating any event that brings joy and the energy of youth into your life
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Elderflower (Elder Flowers) (Sambucus Nigra)
Fun Fact: Elder Flowers will add a boost to your magical workings !

Medicinal Uses: Although still considered a valuable item in the herbal medicine chest, Elder does not quite enjoy the eminent status it once held. In the past, not only the flowers, but leaves and inner bark were used extensively. The Flowers have a long-standing reputation as a treatment for all kinds of inflammatory and congestive conditions of the respiratory system, especially when these are accompanied by fever.

An infusion can be made to treat coughs, colds and flu, asthma and hay fever. The diaphoretic action helps to reduce fevers and thus it has often proven useful in cases of measles, scarlet fever, and other infections.

Externally, an infusion of Elder-flowers can be added to the bath water for a wonderfully refreshing bath that soothes irritable nerves and relieves itchy skin. A cool infusion can be used as an eyewash for sore or inflamed eyes. Earache may be relieved by means of a poultice made from the flowers. For this purpose a small linen bag is filled with flowers, briefly dipped in hot water and squeezed to press out any excess liquid before it is applied to the aching ear.

Magical Uses: Elder is a very magical tree and sacred to the Great Goddess, who presides over the mysteries of life, death and rebirth. As such, the Elder tree symbolizes fertility and rejuvenation as well as the realm of magic and healing. It is a tree of protection, and twigs of it were often pinned over the doors to ward off evil spirits. It was grown near the house to benefit from its healing and protective powers and to protect the farm against lightening flashes. But above all, Elder trees are linked to the realm of the fairies and it was said that one might see their procession passing by if one hid in an Elder grove on St. John's night (drinking some Elder champagne).
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Hibiscus Flowers - Hibiscus sabdariffa
Hibiscus is the tasty, ruby red tea enjoyed all over the world, especially in the Sudan, Egypt and the Caribbean. Recent research confirms a centuries-old traditional use: Hibiscus tea positively affects blood pressure and cardiovascular health!

But Hibiscus is more than just a popular alternative for blood pressure concerns! It’s a healthy source of naturally occurring bioflavonoids & immune-boosting vitamin C. Blend with Rose Hips and make a tasty “immunity tea” the whole family can enjoy!

Magical: If you use hibiscus herb in your rituals and spells, you can use them effectively to attract love/lust; divination; and dreams.

Promotes Psychic development, harmony

Use in spells to assist in psychic growth and clairvoyance, and to promote peace and tranquility.
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Hops Flowers - Humulus lupulus
Medicinal Uses: Hops is mostly used as a sedative and recommended for restlessness, insomnia and nervous complaints. It's particularly useful for nervous conditions of the digestive system as the bitter principles combined with the calming effect can ease nervous indigestion. The bitter principles also act on the liver. Furthermore, hops is a diuretic and is used to reduce under the skin swellings or to help flush metabolic waste from the system in certain types of arthritis and gout. A pillow stuffed with hop flowers can be used to aid sleeplessness. Hops has estrogenic compounds, which among chronic users of beer, may result in enlarged breasts.

CAUTION: Hops should be avoided in cases of depression, since it has a tendency to exacerbate the condition.

Magickal Uses: Herb pillows stuffed with hops may be used for dream work. It may be used in incense. In Scandinavian countries, the hop strobilus is regarded as a symbol of fertility. Hops cleanses and removes obstructions, while helping to focus and calm the mind.
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Jasmine Flowers - Jasminum odoratissimum
Jasmine flowers exude an exotic, sensuous scent that has long been one of the most sought after fragrances among perfumers around the world. Thus, most flowers are collected for essential oil production, but in Asia the fresh and dried flowers are also commonly available and play a great role as religious offerings. in India, the flowers of J. sambac are regarded as sacred, symbolizing innocence and purity of mind. Jasmine flower garlands adorn the temples and holy effigies or are offered to the Gods. At religious festivals the Gods themselves are thought to be present within the flowers. Jasmine flowers are never amiss at wedding ceremonies and women like to entwine a string of flowers with their hair, thus engulfing themselves with this beautiful, most sensuous of natural perfumes. The fragrant Jasmine tea is particularly popular in China.

Medicinal Uses: In Ayurveda, jasmine flowers are used for biliousness (Problems associated with bile due to issues with Liver or Gallbladder), constipation, inflammation, and blood disorders. In Thai, Chinese, and Arab medicine, it also plays a role as a heart tonic and averting faintness. In Western herbalism, they are rarely used, but may be employed for their calming and soothing effect on the nerves. Externally, they can be used as a wash or bathwater, especially for dry and sensitive skin.

Magickal Uses: Jasmine can be used for tantric rituals, sacred unions, and love charms. The soothing, calming, and sensuous properties act more on the mind, rousing sensuality and open the mind to the divine beauty of all things. Jasmine gives wings to prayers and makes a wonderful offering to the gods. It helps the practitioner to connect with his purest intentions and highest aspirations.

**NOTE: There is no such thing as true Jasmine essential oil. Due to the extremely delicate nature of the volatile oil, all Jasmine oils are Absolutes (i.e. Extracted instead of Distilled) and are VERY expensive in their pure form.
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Lavender (French) - Lavandula stoechas
Known for it’s soothing and calming effect. Lavender has many uses thru oils, soaps, herbs, buds, smudge sticks, flowers and other forms for aromatherapy and healing. For Native America, lavender has always been a part of their ceremony and always considered a sacred sage. Blue/ grey buds are perfect for making sachets, for jar potpourri, sleep pillows and bath herbs.

NOTE: This lavender has been grown specifically for fragrance and should not be used in cooking. Lavender buds are about the size of a grain of rice. Very clean. Imported from Provence, France. These buds are very fragrant and have a 1 year shelf life if kept in a sealed container in a dry, cool and dark place. If the fragrance fades squeeze the buds to release the oils inside. It will give them a renewed scent.
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Lavender - English (Lavendula angustifolia)
Culinary Grade

Without a doubt, Lavender is one of the best known herbs, though its healing reputation is mostly due to its essential oil, which is perhaps THE most widely used essential oil in aromatherapy and cosmetics. Its scent is so neat and clean and tidy and soothing and pleasant - in other words, reminiscent of grandma's linen closet. Lavender is indeed used in numerous household products, such as soaps and washing powders. But Grandma probably placed a little sachet stuffed with Lavender flowers between her linens, which not only lent them that special scent of floral freshness, but also kept the moths and bugs away. The very name 'Lavender' is descriptive of these age-old uses, which go back to Roman times. The Latin word 'lavare' from which 'Lavender' is derived, simply means 'to wash'. Although Lavender is a Mediterranean herb and at home in the dry, hot climate of the Provence, it has also long been cultivated as a commercial crop in Britain. In southern Europe, Lavender starts flowering early and thus provides welcome spring nectar for busy bees. The resulting honey is sold as a precious delicacy. However, in France the deeply violet flowered French Lavender (L. stoechas) is by far the most common species encountered in the wild. It has been used medicinally in France as well as in England until about the middle of the 18th century and was an important ingredient of the famous 'Vinegar of the Four Thieves', which at the time was hailed as one of the most effective preventative remedies against the Black Death. Lavender also had the power to ward off other invisible demons and devils and was cast into the bonfires at the summer solstice for protection.

Medicinal: It is said that Lavender helps stroke victims and can calm or even stop the hands from shaking. Lavender has a bit of a soapy taste, but it has a calming, soothing effect on the mind. It is mildly anti-depressive and strengthens the nerves. It can also be used for nervous indigestion and queasiness of the stomach. A lavender pillow helps to calm an overactive mind and can induce peaceful sleep. A strong infusion can be added to the bathwater for a wonderfully soothing and skin cleansing effect.

Magical: Lavender is perhaps one of the best herbs for purification, protection and healing rituals. It calms and centers the mind and is a great aid for meditation. Its superior harmonizing qualities are ideal for chakra-balancing. It can be used to seal a platonic friendship, especially between teacher and student. Lavender is a plant of Mercury, and is well suited to calm an overactive mind and to stabilize emotions. It may be used for studying, as it may deepen understanding, but should be avoided in case of mental exhaustion (it will send you to sleep).
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Life Everlasting - Helichrysum stoechas

The Helichrysum flower was well-known in ancient Greece for its beauty, as well as its medicinal properties. It is thought that these flowers were once dried and arranged as an offering to the Greek Gods.

The name we use for it now comes from Greek, helios or Sun, from the Titan of myth, Helios, that drove the shining golden chariot of the sun, and chrysos for gold, or golden, which refers to the bright sunny flowers that are a trademark of this plant.
This sunny little plant, which is a relative of the daisy, got it’s other common names of Immortelle and Everlasting from the flower’s retention of their bright yellow color when dried, and this might be why the dried flowers were used as offerings by the Greeks.
The Romans used it to treat cuts, and it was also used traditionally in the Mediterranean to treat colds and chest ailments.

Used as a strewing herb in the Middle Ages, it was also used in folk healing for skin conditions and healing scars.
In Africa it has a traditional use of treating rheumatism, since it is a wonderful anti-inflammatory, and was known as Geelsewejaartjie which translates roughly to “bright yellow flowers that last seven years in the house.” It is also said it is one of the herbs used by Moses to help protect the Israelites from the plagues in the Old Testament.

Later on in Italy its curry-like flavor made it a widely used culinary addition, it does have a curry like smell, but the taste is more bitter like sage or wormwood. Different parts of the plants such as the young shoots and leaves are stewed with meat or vegetables to impart their flavor.
It also is a fairly powerful cat repellent, but since it is poisonous to felines (and will take over any where it is planted) it should be planted with caution, and mindfulness of where kitties tend to venture.

Anti-Inflammatory (Reduces inflammation), Anti-Allergenic (Prevents allergies), Anti-Aging (Slows aging), Diuretic (Increased urination), Sedative (Relaxes the body and mind), Oneirogen (Increases dreaming) and mild Astringent (Causes the contraction of body tissues).

In magick, Life Everlasting is used in spells for good health and Longevity, as well as for restoring youth. It can also be used to prevent sickness and disease.

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Linden Flower / Leaves - Tilia europea (Cut / Sifted)

Linden is a mother of a tree - everything about her is feminine, nurturing, loving and caring as only mothers can be. She spreads her branches protectively like and arboreal embrace.

In Norse and Germanic mythology she is sacred to Freya or Frigga, Goddesses of Love and in the hearts and minds of the people she was perhaps the most beloved of all trees. Linden trees were especially honoured in Slavic countries, but also in France and Germany, where just about every village had a central Linden tree that served as the social and cultural focal point of village life. It was here that dances and festivals were celebrated, where couples promised each other their undying love, and justice was spoken in open-air courts called 'tings'.

No other tree features as prominently in popular poetry, songs and literature as the Linden. The outpouring of nectar from her flowers provides a feast for gazillions of bees and epitomizes her generous, providing nature. Bees, of course, are sacred to the Great Mother Goddess and the honey they produce is nectar for the Gods. Linden honey is indeed among the finest tasting and most valuable of all honeys - though unfortunately almost entirely used for pharmaceutical preparations.

Linden trees are very healing indeed - not just her honey and flowers, but also the inner bark, charcoal and leaves are used in folk medicine for a wide variety of conditions.

Naturally, this motherly tree is also protective against witches, devils and other evil spirits. Twigs were hung above doors and leaves were pinned to hats or collars to avert all evil.

According to folklore, Mary, mother of Jesus, blessed the Linden tree with all these virtues. One day Jesus was wandering the earth feeling tired and ill. He lay down to rest under a Linden tree and fell asleep. Protectively the Linden tree spread her branches over the sick man. Some time later Mary, who had followed him, came by and found her son under the tree. Alas, when he woke up he was cured and restored. Mary, grateful to the tree for having so lovingly cared for her son, blessed it with healing and protective virtues, of which it has given generously ever since.

Medicinal: Linden Blossom is calming and relaxing. It also acts as a hypotensive by dilating the blood vessels. Thus it can be useful in cases of high blood pressure and angina pectoris. It is antispasmodic and useful for relaxing cramps. It is also one of the best diaphoretics that can be used to induce a sweat to break a fever. It opens the heart and relaxes those that feel they have too much on their chest. It can be used for migraine, stress related conditions and nervous tension. It is also beneficial for insomnia, hysterics and stomach conditions that are due to stress. It is also helpful in cases of lung catarrh and kidney troubles.

Magical: Linden represents the essence of love and compassion, the Green Tara of trees. It can be used to meditate on the Mother energy and to celebrate the mother aspect of the Great Goddess. It represents love in action, compassion and caring. It can be used to meditate on spiritual and transcendental love and to open the heart chakra. Its protective and healing energy is well suited to any healing ritual. Linden protects against demons that torture the mind with anguish and fear.

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Mullein Flower - Verbascum thapsus
The regal Mullein demands attention - tall and upright, with bold, furry leaves and an impressive flowering spike it towers above most common herbs and seems to be keeping a watchful eye. The flowering spike is densely covered with bright yellow flowers that greet the weary walker with a myriad of eyes. Dipped in tallow or wax this spike used to be much used as a simple torch. The furry leaves on the other hand, were used to line shoes for extra warmth and comfort. Mullein is an ancient magical herb that played an important role in folk-medicine. It was usually the centerpiece of the '9 herb bundle' around which the other herbs were arranged. Its obvious solar attributes made it a favorite herb for St. John's /midsummer rites. Ceremonial Mullein torches were lit after dark and paraded around the village to scare off evil creatures. Hung in the stables it protected the animals against the evil works of witches and demons and against thunder and lightening.

Medicinal: The leaves and flowers are highly recommended as a cough remedy, especially for a dry, hacking cough, asthma, bronchitis etc. It is also sometimes given for kidney complaints. The tea must be strained! (Or alternatively use a tea ball or strainer to infuse) (For maximum effect combine equal parts leaves and flowers)

Magical: Mullein is an ancient sacred plant that can be used in the midsummer celebrations. Flares are made with the flowering spikes that serve as a representation of the Sun god. Mullein protects against all evil, and in particular, against lightning. However, bringing Mullein into the house for no good reason is said to cause lightning to strike.
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Out of Stock
Red Clover Blossoms - Trifolium pratense
Red Clover is a lovely little meadow herb that is common throughout Britain and Europe. It made its way to North America with the first settlers and once arrived, was readily absorbed into the Materia Medica of Native Americans. Since then it has become so widespread that Vermont adopted it as its official state flower. The sweet little flower heads are particularly popular with bees, bumble bees and butterflies, but the sweetness is not well preserved on drying. Clovers belong to the pea family, which is famous for its ability to fix nitrogen in the soil. It is for this purpose that it is often planted as ground cover or intermediary silage crop. Foragers usually use it in combination with other herbs since by itself it does not taste of much, but bulks up a meal and adds some valuable nutrients. It can also be mixed with Coltsfoot to make a simple herbal tobacco.

Medicinal: Red clover contains isoflavones, which have a proven effect on female hormones and much has been written about Red Clover as an herb for menopausal problems. However, the research results involving the whole herb are not consistent. This may be due to differing gathering conditions since plants vary in their cycles just like humans do and produce different amounts of certain chemical compounds at different times.

More traditional uses of Red Clover include blood cleansing - especially in connection with skin problems in children, childhood eczema and psoriasis and as an anti-carrhal remedy for cough, bronchitis and whooping cough. Red Clover has a mildly tonic effect on the nerves, which in turn eases indigestion, nausea and headaches. Externally it has been applied as a salve or strong decoction for wounds, ulcers and sores and is reported as a folk remedy for certain types of cancer. It is also used as an eye wash for conjunctivitis.

Magical: Clover is one of the oldest cultivated plants. It has been used both medicinally and magically since ancient times. Although modern folklore has this three-leaved plant being associated with the Christian Holy Trinity, the association of plants with three leaves goes much further back into Pagan times. The ancient Greeks and Romans associated it with their triple Goddesses and the Celts considered it a sacred symbol of the Sun. It is the national flower of Ireland, but the association with St. Patrick is actually more modern. In folk magic Red Clover is used in a ritual bath to attract money and prosperity to the bather and is also used as a floor wash to chase out evil and unwanted ghosts.
1 Oz
Out of Stock
Red Lotus Flower - Nymphaea pubescens
The Red Lotus Flower is a stunning and unique flower known for its vibrant red color. It is not only a symbol of purity but also has traditional uses for inducing a state of peace and relaxation, with reported effects of lucid dreaming. Explore the beauty and potential benefits of the Red Lotus Flower today!
1 Oz
Rose Petals / Buds Mixed- Rosa Centifolia
Originally the most commonly used species of Rose was the cultivated variety Rosa gallica officinalis, also known as Apothecary's Rose, which has been in cultivation for at least 5000 years. At home in the Middle East, this beautifully fragrant species was highly revered in the ancient world. Today many deep red species of Rose are available to commerce and sold simply as 'Rose' as it is often impossible to tell exactly which species they are derived from. Christianity adapted the Rose as a symbol of the Virgin Mary, but long before then Rose was already celebrated and revered as sacred to Venus/Aphrodite and her female mysteries. The scent of Roses permeated the ancient world: Roses were scattered as strewing herbs across the floor, the bed or dinner table, Rose oil was distilled for use as perfume or medicine and Rose water was popular for cosmetic use and food. Even now, Rose petals are among the most popular potpourri ingredients, and arguably provide the most endearing fragrance for scores of cosmetics - though their use as food and medicine seems to have lost some of its appeal. Rose rapidly conquered sentiments and noses throughout Europe - wherever she went she was met with adoration. She was loved as much by the Greeks and Romans as by the Arabs, who had introduced them to it. In fact, love and Roses seem to go hand in hand - and can frequently be considered synonymous: Rose is THE most frequently used symbol of love. No other flower has won as many hearts throughout the world, nor features as prominently in art, literature or music - how could be otherwise for a flower of Venus/Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love, Art and Culture.

Medicinal Medicinally Roses do not play a great role today. In the old days they were valued for their cooling, soothing effect and for their ability to improve the flavor of other medicines. Today it is the essential oil of rose that plays the greatest role as a therapeutic agent. Roses are mildly astringent and can be used in tea blends for respiratory complaints. Externally, they make a good cleansing wash for impurities of the skin or for eye infections. Roses lift the spirit and dispel depression.

Magical Rose petals are an excellent strewing herb for any sacred space, especially when dedicating the altar to Venus/Aphrodite. They can be included in incense blends, magical potpourris, dream pillow, sachets and love charms or in the ritual cup, especially for celebrations of the Great Rite. They can be sprinkled in the bath water for purification, especially in connection with hand fasting celebrations. No ritual of love should be celebrated without Roses
1 Oz - Food Grade
Yarrow Flower - Achillea millefolium
CAUTION: May cause allergic reaction in individuals who are sensitive to herbs of the daisy family.

Yarrow received its Latin name from the Greek hero Achilles, son of the Sea-Goddess Thetis and the mortal king Peleus. Being well-versed in the magic arts, Thetis sought to make her baby invulnerable by dipping him into the river Styx. Thus, no arrow or sword could harm him, except on a small area around his ankle where his mother had held him. She also tried to make him invulnerable by fire, but Peleus disturbed her ritual. Thetis fled back to her father and Peleus gave Achilles to the centaur Chiron for his education. Chiron taught the young lad well, both in the use of weapons and in the use of herbs. He not only became one of the greatest warriors in the war of Troy, but he also staunched and healed many of his men's wounds with the aid of a special herb named Yarrow. In older books Yarrow is sometimes called 'Militaris' for the services it has provided to military men throughout the ages.

In Chinese philosophy, Yarrow is thought to denote perfect balance between yin and yang, the male and female energies of the universe. Thus it is considered most sacred as a divinatory tool for the famous I Ching. Yarrow is a small herb of the daisy family, which apparently pretends to belong to the Carrot family and some older writers actually seem to have been fooled by it. Yarrow has a very aromatic, bitter scent and in the past has been used for brewing ale.

Medicinal: Yarrow is a balancing herb and may be useful in numerous conditions depending on which herbs it is combined with. It is excellent for various inflammatory conditions, such as hayfever, colds and flu or to treat infections of the urinary tract such as cystitis and vaginits. Its bitter principle acts as a tonic for the digestive system and soothes cramps and colic. Yarrow can help to reduce fever and promotes sweating. It is an excellent styptic and can be used to staunch both internal and external bleeding. It can check excessive menstrual flow, help regulate the cycle and is useful during menopause. Externally it can be used to dress cuts and wounds and to soothe inflammatory skin conditions, rashes, acne and eczema. It is also used in hair care preparations as it promotes hair growth and checks dandruff. Yarrow may be used for varicose veins and to revive tired legs and feet

Magical: Yarrow can be used for protection and courage. It is ideal for chakra balancing and to cleanse the third eye. It may also be used for love divination and to attune to the changing balance between yin and yang when working with the I Ching. It may also be used to seal the bond of friendship.
1 Oz
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