Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Wildcrafting: Yarrow

While on a walk the other day with my Boxer, Hoodoo, I saw that Yarrow had begun to bloom. Daisies & Asters as well. Yep, time to go wildcrafting and start some herb projects!

Yarrow is one of my favorites. Mullein is another, but it won't ready & available until August or September. Yarrow is one of those all-around great plants that should never be overlooked or considered 'just a weed'.

First for the Yarrow correspondences, then I'll present some of the great uses for this great plant.

Don't you just love this little guy!? He made it all the way up a Yarrow stalk!

Latin: Achillea mille folium

Other Names: AchiUea, Allheal, Angel Flower, Arrow Root, Bad Man’s Plaything, Bloodwort, Cammock, Carpenter’s Weed, Death Flower, Devil’s Mustard, Devil’s Nettle, Devil’s Plaything, Dog Daisy, Eerie, Field Hops, Gearwe, Gordaldo, Gordoloba, Green Arrow, Herbe Militaris, Hierba de las Cortadura, Hundred Leaved Grass,  Knight’s Milfoil, Knyghten, Lady’s Mantle, Millefoil, Milfoil, Militaris, Military Herb, Millefolium, Noble Yarrow, Nosebleed Plant, Old Man’s Mustard, Old Man’s Pepper, Plumajillo, Sanguinary, Seven Year’s Love, Snake’s Grass, Soldier’s Thousand Seal, Soldier’s Woundwort, Squirrel’s Tail, Stanch Grass, Stanch Weed, Tansy, Thousand-leaf, Thousand Seal, Thousand Weed, Woundwort, Yarroway, Yerw

Magickal Attributes: Attracts friends, Banishing, Blockages removed, Contact w/ others, Courage, Divination, Dream work, Exorcism, Faery magick, Fear repelling, Handfasting, Happy marriage, Healing, Longevity, Love, Prophecy, Protection, Psychic powers, Purification, Repel negative energy, Road opening

Medicinal & Other Uses: Amenorrhea, Anesthetic, Anti-inflammatory, Antiseptic, Aromatherapy, Astringent, Baldness, Beer flavoring, Bowels, Bleeding & clotting, Blood purifier, Catarrh, Chicken Pox, Circulation, Colds & flu’s, Coughs, Crafts, Cystitis, Diabetes, Digestion aid, Dyspepsia, Eczema, Fever, Gastritis, Glandular system, Gum problems, Headache, Hemorrhoids, Incense, Insect repellant, Liver stimulator & regulator, Lowers blood pressure, Lungs, Measles, Menstrual suppression & regulation, Nipple soreness, Nose bleeds, Peri-menopause, Potpourri, Sachets, Slows heartbeat, Smallpox, Smudging, Toothache, Thrombosis, Ulcers, Uterine tightener, Varicose veins, Vision, Wreaths

Deities: Achilles, Aphrodite, Devil, Faeries, Oshun, Yemaya

Gender: F
Planet: Saturn, Venus 
Element: Earth, Water

Harvest Time: Summer & Autumn during flowering season

Garden Uses: 
Companion plant for repelling bad insects and attracting good, predatory ones (wasps, ladybugs, hoverflies).
Beneficial compost additive.

Plant Feed Recipe:
A liquid plant feed can be made from the leaves by filling a milk jug or other container with the leaves and adding some water. Let mixture steep in the sun for a week or two and then dilute the smelly dark liquid in water using 1 part mixture and 10 parts water.

Culinary Uses: Cook like spinach, eat as a side dish or add to soups.

Other Uses: Dried Yarrow stalks for I Ching sticks.

Parts & Their Uses

Diaphoretic (sweating agent)
Astringent (shrinks body tissue)
Mild aromatic
Fever & pain reducer

Boil the flowers & leaves in water to make a tea for clearing up a cold within 24 hours.
Yellow and green dyes are obtained from the flowers.

Drying Flowers:
Gather freshly opened flowering stalks, cutting close to the base. (If the root is needed, carefully uproot the entire plant). Tie in bunches of three or four then hang upside down to dry in an airy place away from direct sunlight. When thoroughly dry, remove the flower clusters carefully and place in jars with tight-fitting lids, and stored away from sunlight. The leaves can be stripped and saved & stored in the same manner. The stalks can be cut to length for I Ching sets, adding a small pouch for storage (to sell).

Crushed leaves can be used for clotting blood in wounds.

Crushed purple root is a numbing agent.

Whole Plant:
Burn in fire pit as a mosquito repellent.

Use for urinary disorders, menstrual problems, and cardiovascular complaints.
Cotton pads soaked in tincture will soothe varicose veins.

Boil down the flowers to make the essential oil.
Inhale oil for allergic mucus problems, including hay fever & mild asthma.

Drink flower infusion for congestion.
Use a flower infusion externally for minor skin problems, such as eczema & chapping.

Infusion Recipe: 
Pour 2 cups of boiling water over 1 cup of crumbled dried flowering yarrow tops, cool and strain. Pat on skin. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Completed Garden - Dedicated to Lugh

The fence is up, the gate is finished, and the Runic & Ogham blessings are in place! The garden is dedicated to Lugh's aspect of the Fertility Sun God of the Good Harvest.

 The inside posts have a blessing in Ogham that reads, "Bless this Land".

The gate handle is an old horseshoe painted with runes "Abundance, Good Harvest", plus 3 individual runes; Kaunaz, Othila, & Ior. Across the top is a runic sentence that says "Here there be Dragons and Faeries":

The bindrune is a combination of Ior (good year, cycles), Jera (harvest, reward), Othila (gardening, home, land). The 2 side runes say, "Lugh".

Next week the seeds will be planted by the Moon phases & Planets. I can then relax, watering daily, weeding as necessary, but - LOL - at least the hard work is finished! :)

Friday, May 6, 2011

More on My Garden

OMFG! The garden is FINALLY dug! I can't believe it! That dig 1 day, rain 2 days, dig 1 day, rain 2 days.....routine was getting very tiresome after almost 3 months!

Today we're supposed to get the fence up so I can finally get to planting the rest of my seeds. (But guess what - its supposed to rain! aaaaggghhhh!) The first seeds planted are secure inside a portable 6' x 8' chain link kennel, which will be repurposed to the Dark Cornish Bantie pen once their coop is built next week. The remaining wire from fencing the garden will be used for the larger chickens' pen.

Then, to top it off I get up today and think "I need a scarecrow!" Oh yippee, another damned project! I try to ignore the idea. Ain't hap'nin'. Shit. So my mind instantly begins mentally going through my never-used wardrobe (being retired, I only wear a select few items - none of which are flattering, but they sure are comfy!). After deciding on what she was going to wear I had to make sure that I still had those things. I remembered clearing out everything a year or so ago. Luckily, I'd just stuffed it all at the back of the closet on the floor. All those pretty fabrics are NOT going to go to waste - I WILL find a use for them.........someday. And that "someday" has finally arrived for a few of those items: a pretty flowy yellow skirt w/ red & blue flowers, a red top, a floppy straw hat, men's ties for a "belt" and other ties to cover the string tied neck, hands, & feet. (I got over 75 ties for $5 at a yard sale years ago - and I finally get to use a few! They were just too pretty not to buy!)

So, once the fence is up, I'll start on the scarecrow. Once finished I will post a picture of her. Her name is "Hoodoo Hannah". :D

I want to thank the author of this blog (Laura Mayes) for inspiring me to go ahead with my scarecrow project: http://thequeso.com/how-to-make-a-scarecrow-without-involving-any-money-or-actual-skill/comment-page-1/#comment-18412 She turned a "scary" project into something I know I can manage - and she did it with such humor! Thank you!