Thursday, July 21, 2011

Wildcrafting: Chicory


Latin: Cichorium intybus

Other Names: 
Wild Cherry
Wild Succory

Magickal Attributes: 
Blockages removed, Favors, Frigidity, Frugality, Hexing, Invisibility, Promotes positive outlook, Removing obstacles, Road opening

Medicinal & Other Uses: 
Appetite stimulant, Astringent, Beer, Blood purifier, Bruises, Calcium, Chicory Coffee, Constipation, Copper, Culinary, Cuts, Eye health, Gallstones, Gastroenteritis, Hepatoprotection, High fiber supplement, Hormone balancing, Intestinal worms, Laxative, Magnesium, Phosphorous, PMS symptom reducer, Potassium, Sedative, Sinus problems, Tonic, Vitamin A, B, B Complex, E, C, Weight loss, Zinc


Gender: M
Planet: Sun
Element: Air

Harvest Time: 
Leaves: March & November. Leaves are too bitter during the interim months.

Roots: Early Spring & Autumn

Garden Uses: 
Decorative herb

Culinary Uses: 
Coffee: 1½ tsp per cup of water

Use the roots to make a caffeine-free coffee-like beverage: scrub, chop, & toast in the oven at 350ºF 1 hour, or until dark brown, brittle, & aromatic, stirring occasionally. Grind in a spice grinder or blender, and use like regular coffee.

Other Uses: 
Washes: Strong tea for skin irritations, including fungal problems such as athlete’s foot.

Tonic: PMS reducer, balancing the hormones and lessening PMS symptoms.

Effective in jaundice, liver enlargements, gout & rheumatic complaints, 

Fresh gathered plant used in a decoction of the plant is recommended for stones.

Parts & Their Uses
Blood purifier
Hepatoprotection (prevent liver damage)
High in Vitamins & Minerals
Hormone balancer

Flowers are delicate and bruise easily, so gathering must be done with care.

Flowers may be gathered to make a light blue dye.

Harvest for a tonic and treatment for gallstones, gastroenteritis, sinus problems, cuts, & bruises.

Drying Flowers:
Gather and hand upside down to dry.

Salad greens.

Tonic for PMS.

Whole Plant:
Boiled plants for compresses for skin irritation, swelling, boils, & mild inflammation.

Tea can be used as a soothing eyewash.

Fresh or dried herb infused in alcohol.

Fresh plant parts infused in safflower or olive oil for several weeks. Can be used in foods while cooking

Fresh herb 1:1 in 25% alcohol

Infusion Recipe: 
Chicory Coffee: pour boiling water on 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoons of dried Chicory, steep for 10 minutes, then strain. Combines well with cinnamon & dandelion root.

Decoction: add 1 oz of the root to a pint of boiling water

Syrup of Succory is an excellent laxative for children, as it acts without irritation.

An infusion of the herb is useful for skin eruptions connected with gout.

Wildcrafting: Goldenrod


Latin: Solidago spp.

Other Names: Aaron’s Rod, Blue Mountain Tea, Goldruthe, Gonea Tea, Solidago, Sweet Goldenrod, Sweet Scented Goldenrod, Verg d’Or, Wound Weed, Woundwort

Magickal Attributes: Divination, Encouragement, Find lost/hidden objects, Luck, Money, Prosperity, Wealth

Medicinal & Other Uses: Aquaretic, Antimicrobial, Antioxidant, Arthritis, Allergies, Asthma, Bladder infections, Blood pressure, Cancer, Colds, Diabetes, Eczema, Flu, Gout, Hemorrhoids, Inflammation, Internal bleeding, Kidney stones, Laryngitis, Liver (enlarged), Muscle spasm relief, Rheumatic disorders, Sore throat, Tuberculosis, Urinary tract health, Wounds, Yellow dye

Deities: Venus

Gender: F
Planet: Venus
Element: Water

Harvest Time: Autumn

Garden Uses: Ornamental

Goldenrod is the antithesis to ragweed which usually grows in the same area. Ragweed causes allergies, Goldenrod counteracts it. Allow Goldenrod to flourish and, if possible, reduce the amount of ragweed.

Culinary Uses: N/A

Other Uses: 
Yellow dye

Parts & Their Uses

Flowers: Dyes, Crafts: Dried arrangements, Wreaths

Drying Flowers: Gather, bundle, hang upside down in cool, dry place.

Leaves: Infusions: Teas, Tinctures

Roots: N/A

Whole Plant: Above ground portions only.

Gargle: Make the tea described above, and gargle 3 times daily
Fluid extract (1:1) in 25 % ethanol: Take 0.5 - 2 mL, 2 - 3 times daily
Tincture (1:5) in 45 % ethanol: Take 2 - 4 mL, 2 - 3 times daily

Oils: N/A

Infusions: Hot tea or tinctures will aid in problems with asthma.

Infusion Recipe: Place 2 - 3 tsp of dried herb in one cup of hot water and let stand for 10 -15 minutes. Strain and drink 3 times daily. Add honey if needed.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Wildcrafting: Plantain

Latin: Plantago major or Plantago lancelota 

Broad Leaf Plantain

Lance Leaf Plantain

Other Names: 
“Life Medicine”: Along-the-Road, Band Aid Plant, Beside Cart Grass, Broad Leaf Plantain, Buckthorn Plantain, Common Plantain, Cuckoo’s Bread, Devil’s Shoestring, Dog’s Ribs, Dooryard Plantain, English Plantain, Englishman’s Foot, Greater Plantain, Hock Cockle, Indian Plantago, Kemp, Lance Leaf Plantain, Narrow Leaf of Patrick, Leaf Plantain, Patrick’s Dock, Pig’s Ear, Ribwort Ripple Grass, Ripple’s Grass, Round Leaf Plantain, Rubgrass, St. Patrick’s Leaf, Slanlus, Snakebite, Snakeweed, Waybread, Waybroad, Weybroed, White Man’s Foot

Magickal Attributes: 
Healing, Protection, Repel negative energy, Snake repelling, Strength

Medicinal & Other Uses: 
Appetite suppressant, Astringent, Anti-toxic, Antimicrobial, Anti-inflammatory, Anti-histamine, Bladder infections, Blisters, Blood glucose reduction, Bronchitis, Cholesterol, Cuts, Demulcent, Diarrhea, Diuretic, Expectorant, Headaches, Poison neutralizer, Riboflavin, Scratches, Stings, Styptic, Ulcers, Vitamin B1, Weariness, Wounds


Gender: F
Planet: Venus
Element: Earth

Harvest Time: 
Fresh herb collected when coming to flower.
Leaves dried, gathered before flowering.
Root gathered in autumn and dried.

Garden Uses: 
Important butterfly food.
Ornamental garden decoration.

Culinary Uses: 
Pot Herb, Salads

Other Uses: 
Appetite suppressant, Anti-toxic, Antimicrobial, Anti-inflammatory, Anti-histamine, Asthma, Astringent, Aversion to Tobacco, Bladder problems, Blisters, Blood sugar control, Bronchitis, Catarrh, Cholesterol, Coughs, Cuts, Cystitis, Demulcent, Diarrhea, Diuretic, Dysentary, Emphysema, Expectorant, Fever, Gastritis, Hay Fever, Headaches, Hermorrhage, Hemorrhoids, Hypertension, Irritable Bowel Syndrome, Peptic ulcers, Poison neutralizer, Rheumatism, Riboflavin, Scratches, Sinusitis, Stings, Styptic, Ulcers, Vitamin B1, Weariness, Wounds

The seeds and refined colloid are used in laxative preparations. 

It is a great idea when using Plantain externally to also use it internally as well for the same condition.

Parts & Their Uses


Harvest and place flat to dry.

Use fresh leaf whenever possible.

Boil 2 oz. dried leaf in ½ quart water.

Dried herb 2-4 grams - 3x’s/ day

Apply freely to cuts, slow healing wounds stings, splinters and hemorrhoids.

Use topically for bee stings, removal of splinters, pus, bites, burns, nettles sting, eczema, skin disorders, diaper rash, vaginal irritation, leg ulcers, abscesses, bleeding & hemorrhoids. 

"Medicinal"  herb tea:  For colds and flu use 1 tbls. dry or fresh whole Plantain (seed, root, and leaves) to 1 cup boiling water, steep 10 min. strain, sweeten. Drink through the day.

Stings - chew one leaf and apply to sting immediately. The pain will disappear almost instantly and the poultice will draw out the poison.

Decoction of the roots is used in the treatment of a wide range of complaints including diarrhoea, dysentery, gastritis, peptic ulcers, irritable bowel syndrome, haemorrhage, haemorrhoids, cystitis, bronchitis, catarrh, sinusitis, coughs, asthma and hay fever. It also causes a natural aversion to tobacco and is currently being used in stop smoking preparations. 

Whole Plant:
Succus: (fresh juice) 10m l-3 times per day for inflamed mucous Membranes in cystitis, diarrhea, and lung infections. *Dilute juice and gargle for sore throats, gum and mouth inflammations. 1-2 teaspoons up to 3 times per day for gastric ulcers 

Powder: ¼ to ½ t (Adult dosage: all 3-4 x’s daily)

Healing salve: In large non-metallic pan place 1lb. of entire Plantain plant chopped, and 1 cup lard, cover, cook down on low heat till all is mushy and green. Strain while hot, cool and use for burns, insect bites, rashes, and all sores. Note: used as night cream for wrinkles.

2-3 ml. 3 tx’s/ day for heavy mucus

1- 60 drops 3x’s/ day

1:5 in 45% alcohol, 2-4 ml

This herb has approval status by the German Commission E. 

Recommended daily dosages are as follows: 

3 - 6 g of the herb. 

½ to 2 t (Adult dosage: all 3-4 x’s daily)

Infuse plant parts in safflower or olive oil for several weeks. Use topically for skin abrasions, wounds, & stings.

1:1 in 25% alcohol, 2-4 ml

Infusion Recipe: 
A Simple Cough Syrup
1 T licorice root 
1 T marshmallow root
 1 T plantain leaf 
1 tsp thyme leaf
1 pint water
4 T honey
4 oz vegetable glycerin
10 drops anise essential oil (optional)

Prepare a triple-strength tea by simmering the herbs in water for 10 minutes, then steeping for 20 minutes. Strain the tea, and then stir in honey and glycerin while the tea is still warm. Add optional essential oil. Bottle and store in the refrigerator. It will keep for months in the refrigerator. Take 1 tablespoon at a time.

Infusion: 3 to 4 T (Adult dosage: all 3-4 x’s daily)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

The Old Man's Bones

Today I went out to see how well the bones were being stripped by the bugs - and hopefully not the animals. Well, all the bones were there except one. Not happy about that. It was a nice big bone too - the right thigh bone. But at least all the others were there.

I spent a couple of hours in horrendous heat peeling of the skin so I can take the bones. Some of his teeth had fallen out so I quickly gathered those before they got lost. The skull still has some skin on it that will be a bit difficult to remove, but not impossible. I was able to get most of the rib bones and the spinal vertebrae. The pelvis had been chewed on a bit, but not too bad. Two of the legs still had too much skin on them to fight with in all that heat.

So, I have a large barrel full of bones to soak and strip of sinew & skin. A bit of lye in the water should do the trick. 

The skull will be placed on an altar to honor him. The rib bones will make a very cool windchime, and the top vertebrae that connects the neck to the head will be used as the clapper weight (or what ever its called).

The hooves will be trimmed, filed, and shined. They'll make interesting paperweights. I'm sure not too many people have those! LOL

Hubby calls me "gruesome". Yeah, I guess he's right (even after a shower my hands still stink a bit). But bones are just too cool to let just rot into the ground! Wish I could've saved The Old Man's hide as well. Might try a section anyway - need to do some research as to how to go about it though.

Other than horrendous heat, nothing else is new. It got up to 113 degrees with the heat index today! Not cool! Then it rained and instantly brought it down to 85 degrees with the heat index. Definitely more tolerable!

Time to join the dogs & hubby outside. 


Saturday, July 2, 2011

Almost Instant Cure for Bites & Stings

If you get bit by a bug or stung by a bee, take a Broad Leaf Plantain (Plantago major) leaf, chew it up and stick that mess on the sting or bite. The pain goes away within seconds.

By the time you go in the house, gather all the other stuff and get started you're in a bad mood, the pain can be excruciating, and you fumble around because it hurts so much. When you could've already had the problem solved and on your way doing what ever
you were doing.

I know. I did this. I'm mildly allergic to stings, and ALWAYS have the sting/bite area swell up for days or weeks. Well, I walked barefoot (usually do) and got stung by a bee or something - didn't see it, but I SURE felt it! I immediately picked a Plantain leaf, chewed it up and stuck the mess on the sting, which was on the knuckle of my little toe (gods, what a sucky place to get stung!) Within 5 seconds the pain was gone. And it STAYED gone. No residual stinging later, etc.. No swelling. Nothing. Awesome!

Wish I'd known this last year when I was stung on the hand by a wasp. It swelled up and lasted over a month. And that was AFTER sucking out the venom with a syringe.

Oh, it also makes an EXCELLENT "lettuce" in salads and really, really good on homemade hamburgers! And is far more nutritious as well.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Chicken Coops

Finally! The chicken coops are completed. Well, mostly. There are still a few minor things to do - but have to wait for some more funds for that to happen! But, at least the chickens are occupying their new abodes and seem to be happy about it.

This is the large one:

Here are some of the chickens:

Liberace & Charlie:

Charlie is a black Silkie and Liberace is a Showgirl, which is a Naked Neck Turken x Silkie. 

These are some of the others:

These lovelies are our ladies. Liberace should make some interesting chicks with these! LOL

This is our other rooster, Rooster Cogburn:

I can't wait for his tail feathers to come in, he'll be gorgeous!

Here is the smaller coop for the Banties:

So, that's finally (well, almost) the end of that whole project. The rest is "little" stuff. Now I can finally clean out the garden shed and get it set up properly as a garden shed rather than a messy substitute chicken cage. Ahhh, to have things "right" again! Lovin' it!