Guide to Seasonal Healing Herbs
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In springtime, there is an abundance of herbs for you to seek out or grow for use in food, medicine and spiritual growth. To aid you in the practice of herbalism, we share the Guide to Seasonal Healing Herbs by Seed Sistas from the Ignota Diary 2020, a tool for the practice of everyday life containing rituals, tarot spreads, astrological navigation, moon magic, a holistic health appendix including healing herbs, ayurveda, acupressure and much more.
Until 24 April 2020, 23.59 PST, you can get 30% off every item across our website, including Spells: 21st-Century Occult Poetry, Nisha Ramayya’s acclaimed debut States of the Body Produced by Love, The White Paper, a guide to the magic of technology and our rapidly evolving systems of governance, and Ursula K. Le Guin’s evergreen The Carrier Bag Theory of Fiction, introduced by Donna Haraway.
Herb of the Sun
The best time to harvest this beautiful aromatic herb for medicine is in the spring and summer months in full sunshine when the essential oils are at their most potent. As a herb of the sun with the energy to heat and circulate, Rosemary is specifically indicated in depressive states accompanied by general debility and weak circulations. Known as ‘the tip of the tongue herb’, she has been used since ancient times to improve and strengthen memory. The wonderful herbalist and holistic veterinary medicine activist Juliette de Baïracli Levy always revered Rosemary as one of her two favourite herbs. This is because of its incredibly wide-ranging applications, revitalising all the systems of the body and protecting against pathogens. Whenever you feel like a little extra support or protection is needed, Rosemary is the friend you need. Just pick a sprig to wear behind the ear, or in your hair or lapel, for clear thoughts and protection. This may be indicated for going into a new situation, for public speaking, to support with social anxiety, to talk to a friend or loved one about an emotional issue or just for an extra boost in the morning.
Herb of Venus
Daisy, also known as Bruisewort, is our native Arnica, containing saponins, the compound responsible for making soap bubbles. When we fall or knock ourselves, inner tissues become damaged and blood leaks into the surrounding area creating a bruise. The saponins found in the daisy break down the blood to help it to disperse. Applied externally as an ointment or cream, the daisy promotes healing of bruising. The actions of the herb on the body are indicative of emotional and spiritual properties too. We can see clearly how the daisy would support us to bounce back from emotional bruising, strengthening resilience and character. If you make a strong Daisy decoction, the best time for a harvest is in the summer months. Simmer the flower heads in water for ten to fifteen minutes. You will notice that when you stir your tea or pour it from one cup to the other, it quickly froths up like a head on beer. The saponins in the daisy make it a wonderful remedy for the lungs to help expectorate any stuck mucous.
Herb of Venus
Known as ‘the medicine chest of the people’, Elder is one of our most prolific and useful plants. For us to be healthy, it is essential for fluids and energy to move freely through our system, but times of ill health can lead to physical, emotional and spiritual stagnation. Elder gets things moving again. Her medicinal actions open the body’s channels of elimination, cleansing the system and promoting flow. The diaphoretic action (from the berries and flowers) relaxes the blood vessels and promotes circulation, thus raising body temperature and causing sweating, which is useful in the management of fevers. The diuretic action (from the berries) will increase urination, helping to detoxify through the kidneys. Elder’s dark berries, full of vitamin C and antiviral compounds, and with an incredible immune-stimulating effect, are perfect for use in the autumn and winter months to protect against the onset of colds and flu.
Herb of Mars
Horseradish is a hot herb of Mars with a heating nature; a forceful circulatory stimulant. The heat is primarily created from the mustard oils contained within the root. When the plant’s cell walls become damaged through chopping, grating or chewing, an enzyme is activated and mustard oil is released. This is a protective measure to prevent animals from eating it. The mustard oil is so caustic that protective glasses or swimming goggles must be used while processing a horseradish harvest. At the start of the freezing winter months all things warming and spicy are the order of the season. The gnarly, prolific roots of Horseradish are a great addition to the heavier foods usually eaten in the winter months. They are used to ease aches and pains that might occur in the damp weather. They are also a bitter digestive stimulant and a powerful anti-inflammatory. The Delphic oracle told Apollo that the radish is worth its weight in lead, the beet its weight in silver, and the horseradish its weight in gold.
Hildegard's Healing Recipes: “Your food shall be your remedy.” Hildegard's medieval recipes for inspiration for your own healing practices.
Daily Practice Guide: The establishment of daily practice, a devotional rhythm in life through ritual and routine, is the bedrock of a magical practice. Dedicating yourself to such a practice can benefit your consciousness, health and general well-being.
Spring Equinox: Magical Plants for Healing, Balance and Immunity: As well as seeding and nurturing plants, now is an important time to enhance your self-care for the days and weeks ahead through ritual, intention-setting and clearing your energy.
No Future: The Tower by Johanna Hedva: “Crisis is perhaps the most generative thing of all—the forest fire necessary for new growth—for how many of us change unless we are forced to?”
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