How to Learn Homeopathy – Materia Medica

Good Witches Homestead

“Materia media” are Latin words that mean “materials of medicine,” that is, the various medicines used in homeopathy from the plant, mineral, animal, or chemical kingdoms.  Homeopathic medicines are listed in Latin so that homeopaths (and patients) can be precise with the exact source of the medicinal substance.

There are hundreds of homeopathic materia medica, and there are different styles in which they are written and organized.  Since materia medicas are full of detailed information about a medicine, it is necessary to study each medicine in a systematic way so that you can retain as much information about it as possible.  Each person develops his or her own systematic way to study the materia medica.  One common method is to summarize the key mental and physical general symptoms along with the charac­teristic physical symptoms on an index card or a sheet of paper.  In general, students of homeopathy learn the…

View original post 722 more words

Ginger Cinnamon Elderberry Syrup ~ Immune System Support

Good Witches Homestead

The elder tree is known to many herbalists as a sacred tree. While we’re sure it has its own stories to tell, there’s already an abundance of recorded folklore. In Scandinavian and Danish myths, this tree was thought to be guarded by a forest spirit named Hyldemoer, also known as Elder Mother. Before anything was taken from the tree, it was believed that one must say a certain charm for her permission. While we wish we knew these ancient words, we’re sure a “thank you,” a song of appreciation or a token of gratitude would suffice when carefully collecting its medicinal flowers or berries.

Elder tree flowers and berries are often used in teas, tinctures, jams, jellies and syrups. Traditionally the berries are used to support immune system health.* A syrup can easily be made from fresh elderberries (Sambucus nigra) and elderflowers, or you can simply use dried…

View original post 407 more words

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…

View original post 1,152 more words

Medicinal Herbs: Clary Sage

Good Witches Homestead

Clary Sage {Salvia sclarea}

Clary Sage is an ancient herb that has been used by many cultures to medicate the eyes and treat a variety of diseases. This biennial member of the mint family, Lamiaceae, is native to the northern Mediterranean, parts of North Africa, and Central Asia. It is now a commercial crop in the Mediterranean, Russia, the United States, England, Morocco, and Central Europe, cultivated primarily for its essential oils. It still grows wild in many places.

The plant begins as a rosette, and, by its second year, produces strong, hairy stems that reach an average height of three feet. The large, downy green leaves are paired and show a hint of purple. The herb produces lush spikes of lilac or blue flowers that bloom from spring to mid-summer and attract bees and other pollinators.

Healing Properties

Written records of the herb’s healing powers go…

View original post 728 more words

Health Benefits of Butterbur

Featured Image -- 4907

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Butterbur has a plant extract used in alternative remedies. But what are its health benefits and are there any risks involved in using it?

Butterbur comes from a shrub that grows in Europe, Asia, and parts of North America, and is available as a natural remedy in many health food stores and pharmacies. It is most commonly used to treat migraines and hay fever, although it has a number of other potential uses.

What is butterbur?

Butterbur plant and flower.Butterbur extract comes from the bulb, leaf, and roots of the plant.

The proper name for the butterbur plant is petasites hybridus. It grows best in wet marshland, damp forest soil, or on riverbanks.

The name butterbur is thought to come from the fact that its large leaves were traditionally used to wrap butter and stop it from melting in summer.

Butterbur extract is taken from the leaf, roots, or bulb of the plant.

The use…

View original post 780 more words

Analysis of Helichrysum (Immortelle) Chemistry, Antioxidant Activity, and Chemotaxonomy

Featured Image -- 4712

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Traditionally, helichrysum (immortelle; Helichrysum italicum, Asteraceae) has been used for the treatment of scars and cuts, as well as used as a liver stimulant and diuretic. The essential oil of helichrysum has been found to have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, fungicidal, and astringent effects. As an emollient and fragrance in the cosmetic and perfume industry, the chemical composition of helichrysum essential oil has been somewhat characterized. The aim of this study was to further characterize the chemical content and antioxidant activity of helichrysum aerial parts and to assess the chemotaxonomy of the H. italicum taxa.

The flowering aerial parts of helichrysum (H. italicum ssp. italicum) were collected in May 2011, near Valdanos, Montenegro. The air-dried aerial parts of the plant were extracted with 45% ethanol and dried. The air-dried flowering upper parts of helichrysum were submitted to hydrodistillation to produce the essential oil.

The essential oil was characterized by…

View original post 630 more words

Fall Allergies ~ An Herbal Approach

Good Witches Homestead

Seasonal allergies can really get you down, and over-the-counter meds can knock you out. Try these natural herbal remedies to soothe pollen induced headaches, scratchy throats, chapped skin, and more.

allergy-teaAs allergy sufferers, we’re acutely aware of seasonal changes in air quality. Earth’s reawakening in spring brings us welcome warmth, but it also delivers not-so-welcome tree pollen. Summer’s riot of plant bounty includes grasses and the associated output of pollen. Fall has its own offenders in the form of ragweed pollen and mold from fallen leaves.

If you’re an allergy sufferer, you may be thinking about closing the shutters and latching the door. Venturing out into this minefield of airborne plant pollens can feel treacherous. Fortunately, Mother Nature has provided us with a phyto-pharmacy that can help carry you comfortably through each season.

What’s an Allergy?

Seasonal allergies are common, affecting more than 35 million people in the United States and…

View original post 1,164 more words

Herbs To Have In Your Medicine Cabinet This Fall

Good Witches Homestead

It’s the time of year, where more often than not we are turning to our medicine cupboard to support our bodies and our families. An abundance of tea herbs, honey, and lemon, fresh herbs like ginger, turmeric, cayenne, and garlic are all great to have on hand throughout the winter. A few herbal tinctures also play useful roles and are key ingredients in the medicine cabinet.

elderflowerElderberry | Elderberry is an excellent superfood-like ally safe to take in large quantities. With elderberry and plenty of rest, our body’s natural response kicks in–that’s why elderberry syrups and tea have long been used to help support optimal immune function. All these amazing herbs come in handy when our resources are low: elderberry helps our body maintain its normal immune response. Because it’s so much like food, it’s incredibly safe for kids, and happens to taste divine when combined with honey–hence the elderberry syrup! This one…

View original post 1,014 more words

Health and Beauty Benefits of Grapeseed Oil

Featured Image -- 4475

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Fast facts on grapeseed oil. Here are some key points about grapeseed oil. More detail is in the main article.

  • Grapeseed oil is high in omega-6 fatty acids.
  • The oil can be used in hair and on the skin as part of your beauty regimen.
  • Buy expeller- or cold-pressed oil for use in the kitchen.

Grapeseed oil is a byproduct of winemaking. After the wine is made by pressing grapes, grape seeds are left behind. Grapeseed oil is extracted from these leftover grape seeds. Grapeseed oil is used as a natural beauty product. It’s also marketed as a healthy alternative to vegetable oil.

Is grapeseed oil safe to consume?

The health benefits of grapeseed oil are controversial. Part of this controversy is because of how the oil is processed. Most commercially available grapeseed oil is made using chemical solvents like hexane. Hexane is classified as an air pollutant and neurotoxin.

View original post 866 more words

Ozark Encyclopedia – G – Ginseng

Featured Image -- 4462

Mountain Man Traditional Healing

Ginseng – Panax quinquefolius

Parts used: root

Traditional uses: Root used for headache, colic, colds, as an expectorant. Chewed for thrush. Decoction used for palsy and vertigo. Poultice applied to wounds and bleeding cuts. Decoction used as a febrifuge. General tonic.

“In China, both varieties are used particularly for dyspepsia, vomiting and nervous disorders. A decoction of 1/2 oz. of the root, boiled in tea or soup and taken every morning, is commonly held a remedy for consumption and other diseases. In Western medicine, it is considered a mild stomachic tonic and stimulant, useful in loss of appetite and in digestive affections that arise from mental and nervous exhaustion.” ~Grieve MH

*** Cautions: Plant is listed as “vulnerable” and may be illegal to gather in your area outside of a certain season. Ginseng gathering is legal in Arkansas, but the plant is hard to find and has almost been…

View original post 301 more words