Mouse-ear {Hieracium pilosella syn. Pilosella officinarum}

Good Witches Homestead

Also, Known As:

  • Felon Herb
  • Hawkweed
  • Mouse-ear
  • Pilosella

Mouse-ear (botanical name Hieracium pilosella) is a perennially plant that grows up to a height of anything between three and 15 inches. Mouse-ear is a creeping herb that usually grows like a carpet on crawling runners, every one of which takes the form of a basal rosette of oval-shaped leaves. Mouse-ear bears green leaves having white bristles on the upper side and white or gray-green color relatively softer bristles on the under side. The herb bears vivid yellow to orange-yellow flower heads that look like dandelions during the period between May and September. These flower heads appear solitarily on stalks without leaves. The entire plant, barring the flowering parts, is swathed with glandular bristles, which are generally white, but occasionally reddish when growing on the stems. The rose-shaped arrangement (rosette) of the leaves are complete, varying from sharp to blunt, and they vary…

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Medicinal Herb: Partridgeberry

Good Witches Homestead

My botany professors first introduced me to partridgeberry, and with excitement, I recognized the scientific name as a medicinal from one of my herbal books. This was back in the late 70’s when the modern herbal literature was scanty, computers were not in my reality, and I still had yet to meet a herbalist in the flesh. I would learn a plant in school and then ride my horse home to devour any information I could find on the medicinal uses of that plant. Partridgeberry and I became quick friends, as it would accompany me on my stream-side explorations and canoe rides. I spent a lot of time in the woods by myself at that time and relished the relationships with my newfound and cherished plant allies. These relationships were the threads that wove me into the interconnected majestic quilt of biodiversity and Gaian consciousness. I began to gain a…

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Medicinal Herb: Bearberry

Good Witches Homestead

Arctostaphylos uva ursi or Arbutus uva ursi

Also, Known As:

  • Arberry
  • Bearberry
  • Bear’s-grape
  • Crowberry
  • Foxberry
  • Hog Cranberry
  • Kinnikinnick
  • Mealberry
  • Mountain Box
  • Mountain Cranberry
  • Red Bearberry
  • Sagackhomi
  • Sandberry
  • Upland Cranberry
  • Uva Ursi

The uva ursi herb, which is more commonly known as the bearberry is a small and evergreen shrub belonging to the plant order: Ericaceae. Bearberry is found growing mostly in sandy and gravel-rich as well as dry soils, large populations can be found in many parts of continental Europe and in some areas along the northern regions of the continental U.S. – the plant grows well in dry soils and grows at an optimal rate in soils composed mostly of sand and gravel. Morphologically, the shrub can be distinguished by the presence of a long and solitary fibrous main root that radiates out several buried and prostrate stems in different directions, out of these prostate roots, raise the main aerial…

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Medicinal Herb: Pipsissewa

Good Witches Homestead

Chimaphila umbellata

Also, Known As:

  • Butter Winter
  • Ground Holly
  • King’s Cure
  • Love in Winter
  • Pipsissewa
  • Princes pine
  • Pyrola Umbellata
  • Rheumatism Weed

Pipsissewa is a petite evergreen herb that grows perennially and up to a height of 3 inches to 10 inches. Plants of this species produce glossy, vividly green, jagged leaves that emerge in order of whorls the length of the stem. Pipsissewa bears tiny flowers whose color range from white to pink and they blossom during July and August. The flowers of pipsissewa are clustered at the apex of a straight stalk. When the leaves of this herb are crushed, they exude a strange flavor which is sweetish and astringent and also has a pleasingly bitter taste.

The herb derives its name from the Cree (a native tribe of Canada) term ‘pipsisikweu’ which translated into English literally means ‘it breaks into small pieces’. This name of the plant is…

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Medicinal Herb: Motherwort {Leonurus cardiaca}

Good Witches Homestead

Also, Known As:

  • Lion’s Ear
  • Lion’s Tail
  • Lion’s Tart
  • Motherwort

Although motherwort is indigenous to Europe, over the years, the plant has acclimatized itself to the different conditions all over North America. Presently, motherwort is found in the terrain ranging from Nova Scotia to Montreal and southern parts of North America to Texas and North Carolina. The plant thrives best in vacant plots and other wastelands.

The motherwort is a perpetual plant often growing up to a height of five feet. The herb bears leaves that are hairy and have an unkempt and disheveled look and often resembles the tail of a lion. Owing to the leaves’ appearance to the lion’s tail, the herb is also known by other common nicknames like lion’s ear, lion’s tart and of course, lion’s tail. Each leaf of motherwort comprises three hemispheres that are shaped like javelins. The herb bears pink, white or purple…

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Medicinal Herb: Marshmallow

Good Witches Homestead

Althaea Officinalis

Also, Known As:

  • Althaea
  • Marshmallow
  • Mortification Root
  • Sweetweed

Found growing in abundance in moist and wet places all over the world, marshmallow is a perennial aromatic herb that is sometimes found to grow up to four feet in height. While the herb can be found growing in plenty in the wild, it is also cultivated commercially for medicinal use. The root of the plant is white in color and tastes sweet similar to the parsnip (a long tapering cream-colored root cooked and consumed as a vegetable). However, unlike the parsnip, marshmallow roots contain plenty of mucilage (a gummy substance secreted by some plants containing protein and carbohydrates). The plant has numerous branch-less stems that are woolly or covered with long, soft, white hairs. The marshmallow stems bear serrate (edged with indentations or with projections that resemble the teeth of a saw) and pubescent (covered with down or fine hair) leaves…

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Medicinal Herb: Lungwort

Good Witches Homestead

Pulmonaria Officinalis

Lungwort is a perennial herb that normally grows up to a height of one feet or 30 cm. The plant bears wide oval-shaped leaves at the base, while the upper leaves are relatively smaller marked with the irregular color pattern, especially white spots. The lungwort plants also bear bunches of pink-purple colored flowers.

Going by the Middle Ages Doctrine of Signatures, an ancient European philosophy, herbs bearing parts that resembled human body parts, animals, or other objects, had useful relevancy to those parts, objects or animals. It may as well indicate to the surroundings or specific places in which herbs grew. Following this theory, lungwort is effective in treating chest ailments and hence its leaves bear resemblance to the lung tissues.

The lungwort plant is native to Europe and western Asia and belongs to the family of Boraginaceae and the Pulmonaria genus of flowering plants. One species of…

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BLM to begin 2nd Year of the Conger Wild Horse Roundup and Research Study

Straight from the Horse's Heart

Note:  The BLM has set the AML (Appropriate Management Level) for the Conger HMA in Utah (170,993 acres) at ONLY 40-80 wild horses – not even a viable herd number.  How many stallions are they going to geld?

                                                                                                                (Photo: BLM)

From BLM News Release:

BLM to begin Year 2 of the Conger Wild Horse Gather and Research Study

Public welcome to observe gather operations

FILLMORE, Utah The BLM Fillmore Field Office is planning to begin gather operations on Tuesday, Nov. 28 in support of the research wild horse gather in the Conger Herd Management Area (HMA) west of Delta, Utah.

“This gather is in year two of a research study that is being conducted on wild horse behavior and ecology, said BLM West Desert District Wild Horse Specialist Trent Staheli.  “It will examine the behavioral effects of gelding, population dynamics, fertility, reproductive rate, recruitment rate, age-specific survival and…

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Authentic Self

secretsoftheserpent

You hear me telling you to become an authentic person quite often in my posts. I have been asked to explain exactly what an authentic person is. In short it is a person who is comfortable being who they are, they are very grounded and solid. They don’t care what the hell anyone thinks about them. But it goes way deeper.

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On Being an American Druid

The Druid's Garden

The quintessential image of a druid is a group of people, all in white robes, performing ritual inside an ancient circle of stones.  This image is probably the most known and pervasive of all visuzaliations of druidry, and for many, it shapes the our perceptions of what druidry should be. But taken in a North American context, this image presents two problems.  First, we have no such ancient stone circles and two, another group has already claimed the quitessential white robe, and its not a group with which we want to associate our tradition.  This kind of tension, along with many other unique features of our landscape, make being an American druid inherently different than a druid located somewhere else in the world.  In the case of any spiritual practice, context matters, and context shapes so much of the daily pracice and work.    And so today, I’m going to answer…

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