Herbal Living

As metaphysically minded people, we need to be very aware of the impact and importance that herbs and plants have, not only spiritually, but physically. The Herbal Healing Perspective will strive to provide you with safe non-toxic alternatives. Living well is a life long journey.

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Chickweed

I recently spent sometime learning how to scour the California country side for medicinal plants and herbs. One plant that was a surprise to me was the abundance of a weed known for its fascinating health benefits and tasting remotely like fresh picked corn.

The botanical name ~ Stellaria media ~ meaning ‘little stars’, or commonly known as Chickweed, can affect your physical and psychic health, by opening up cosmic energies and giving the strength handle these energies. Chickweed has been used in folk medicine for skin conditions, indigestion rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, stomach ulcers and as a "blood cleanser". When chickweed is consumed, it increases the body’s ability to absorb nutrients, especially minerals. It can also dissolve and break down unwanted matter, including disease-causing bacteria, cysts, benign tumors, thickened mucus in the respiratory and digestive systems, and excess fat cells. Yes, you heard me correctly; drinking chickweed infusion can eliminate fat cells.

The appearance of chickweed seems to be very fragile; however it is quite a hardy herb.  The normal growing season begins in the fall and is capable of enduring harsh winter storms. Its seeds usually produce by the spring, although the plant can begin to bloom when the ground is still frozen. The strength and vigor of this herb is so robust that it blossoms, in most areas of the country, every single month of the year.

The plant is characterized by the presence of lower oval leaves with the entire plant reaching about twelve inches high. The flowers of this plant have very deeply notched, double petals, causing the five to seem like ten. The flower exhibits a very interesting trait, termed the 'Sleep of Plants,' each night the leaves fold over the tender buds and the new shoots.

The whole plant can be uses in alternative medicine as an astringent, diuretic, expectorant, and laxative. A decoction of the plant is taken internally as a post-partum depurative, having a purifying and detoxifying action. It is also used to relieve constipation and is beneficial in the treatment of kidney complaints.

According to Dianecht, chief physician of the Tuatha-de-Dannans, porridge made of hazel-buds, dandelion, chickweed, and wood sorrel boiled with oatmeal is a cure for the common cold and sore throat. The decoction is also used externally to treat rheumatic pains, wounds and ulcers. It can be applied as a medicinal poultice and will relieve any kind of roseola and is effective wherever there are fragile superficial veins or itching skin. 

I'm going to grab my scissors and my basket and go outside and pick a bunch of chickweed!

 

Healing Poultice

As a detoxification agent and a blood purifying herb, particularly in an emergency situation, with the possibility of any type of blood poisoning or tetanus - the following procedures must be followed. To draw out as much of the poison as possible from the affected area, prepare an herbal poultice and apply this directly on to the affected area.

 

The poultice should be prepared by grinding equal parts of each into a smooth paste, with an even consistency.  A tablespoon each: Powdered ginger root, Capsicum, Seaweed kelp, Wheat germ oil and a teaspoon of honey.

 

Spread the paste on the affected area of the skin using clean surgical gauze; this herbal application must be thinly applied over the whole area and left on the skin. If necessary, it can be left up to seven hours before reapplying. Repeat until the area is healed and the detoxification is completed.

 

Magickal Abilities

Element - Water

Planet - Moon

Deity - Venus, Hera, Brigid, Oya

Magickal Properties/Uses - Fidelity, Love

To attract a new romance or maintain a relationship mix Chickweed Roses and Orange Blossoms into your bath water. To maintain a good marriage add a little bit to your partner’s food every day. Bring peace to your home by sprinkling tea brewed from this herb throughout the house.

 

Magickal Faire ~ Fairy Salad

 b2ap3_thumbnail_chickweed-1.JPG

Going clockwise starting in the upper left: wild onions, red buds, chickweed and wild cress, dandelions, wild violets, and pansies.

 Soak the greens to remove any grit. Pinch off any pithy stems (this is more a texture preference than a necessity). Toss together. For a light dressing you can mix 2 tablespoons of maple syrup with juice from 1/2 a lemon and top with chopped walnuts. Enjoy!

 *Note: Side effects may include contact dermatitis after skin contact with the herb. People with allergies to the daisy plant family may also react to chickweed. Chickweed should not be used internally by pregnant or nursing women or children. Chickweed contains nitrate. If you experience symptoms of nitrate poisoning after taking chickweed, call your health care practitioner. Symptoms may include weakness, headache, fainting, bluish fingers and lips and dizziness.  There have been case reports of muscle paralysis from very large oral doses of chickweed. These case reports, however, appear to have been isolated reports.

 

Additional Research: stirringsandstories.blogspot.com; www.angelfire.com; www.susunweed.com; www.herbs2000.com; en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chickweed; altnature.com; www.foxnews.com/health

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Tammye McDuff is Editor-in-Chief for Bellflower Bulletin; Senior Journalist & Copywriter for Homes & Living eZine, and iSocial Media developer. Among past credentials include the Festival of Films; L.A. Examiner; Perils of Cyber Dating; and The Boston Globe Contributing articles to Pagan Pages; Spirit One Magazine and Sage Woman while serving as Senior Journalist for Downey Connect Magazine. Summer 2013, you can find her on HubPages; as a guest blogger and creating content for Your Wellness Guide eZine and Demand Media Studios

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