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Book Review: "Plants of Love: The History of Aphrodisiacs, and A Guide to Their Identification and U [26 Jun 2007|08:29pm]

OOC: This is a review that I just wrote over at witchy_reads and also for Pan Historia over on my own blog there as well as my personal journal here on Livejournal.

NON-FICTION : "Plants of Love: The History of Aphrodisiacs, and A Guide to Their Identification and Use", by Christian Ratsch, 1997 10 Speed Press, ISBN 089815-928-8 $19.95 (US)

CONTENT: Christian Ratsch has done it again with his wonderfully illustrated guide to yet another aspect of all things herbal. He pulls together the appropriate amounts of history, monographs including pictures that would help someone identify the plant in the wild. There are over a thousand plants that through history have been or are still being used as aphrodisiacs, and Ratsch rarely shies away from the frank discussion of any of them. He presents the information both interesting and shares enough knowledge to be of interest to the layperson, the Witch, as well as the scholar or the practising herbalist.
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[10 Feb 2007|03:47pm]

[ mood | optimistic ]

Hi everyone,

On Valentine's Day, instead of candy, I'm giving away homemade tooth powder. XD

It's very simple to do. I thought I would share a link in case some of you don't already know how to make it!




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Scientists Confirm Folk Remedy Repels Mosquitoes [30 Jul 2006|06:42am]

Native Mississippi plant, the American Beautyberry has been shown by scientists to actually be very effective against mosquitoes. This is a great relief to people who are concerned with insect borne diseases such as West Nile Virus and are interested in more natural ways of warding off insects without having to subject themselves or their loved ones to harsh chemicals like DEET.

“My grandfather would cut branches with the leaves still on them and crush the leaves, then he and his brothers would stick the branches between the harness and the horse to keep deerflies, horseflies and mosquitoes away,” said Charles T. Bryson, an ARS botanist in Stoneville, Miss. “I was a small child, maybe 7 or 8 years old, when he told me about the plant the first time. For almost 40 years, I’ve grabbed a handful of leaves, crushed them and rubbed them on my skin with the same results.”

“Traditional folklore remedies many times are found to lead nowhere following scientific research,” he continued. “The beautyberry plant and its ability to repel mosquitoes is an exception. We actually identified naturally occurring chemicals in the plant responsible for this activity."

You can read the full article, here:


crossposted to ethnobotanpharm and apothecarium
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Agrimony (Agrimonia eupatoria) [31 May 2006|08:32pm]


Agrimonia eupatoria (Rosaceae)

Common Names: Agrimony, Church Steeples, Liverwort, Sticklewort, Stickwort, Cockleburr, Warlock's Bane,Philanthropos, Garclive
Planetary Influence: Jupiter
Element: Air
Gender: Masculine
Tarot Correspondence: The Wheel of Fortune

Description: Gray-green cinquefoil leaves, yellow flowers shaped of stars, the scent of apricots and seeds or burrs that stick to your garments as you pass by.

Medicinal Use: Steep fresh leaves in water to make infusion, used as an external astringent to stop bleeding and for treating wounds. Use the more delicate parts of plants. 3 cups of water to 1 ounce dry herb or 1½ ounce of fresh herbs; pour the freshly boiled water over herbs in a pot, cover the pot and let the herbs steep for at least 10 minutes. Strain. This herb is also used to treat jaundice, as it is tonifying for the liver and assists in making this organ of the body more efficient. (Remember the doctrine of signatures). Agrimony is an astringent and is used to stauch the flow of blood within wounds. It is also been used since antiquity for the healing of the eyes. Not commonly known, Agrimony is used to stop loss of the hair in both men and women. A tincture extracted in 80-100 proof vodka, mascerated over 2 weeks to 1 month or one moon cycle (new to full) is very effective in this way.

Magical Uses: Agrimony is used interchangibly with Cinquefoil which is also known as Five Finger Grass. This herb is protective and should very easily find its place in absolutely any and every protection spell and formula. Agrimony protects against all negative magic and energies, and indeed will not only thwart such workings but will reflect them right back to the sender. Agrimony can be used to quell the nerves of those who feel that they are under such magical and psychic attacks. If placed under the head, it can cause a very deep sleep. This should be used with caution, as it has been warned by many that such sleep cannot be broken until the herb is removed from under the pillow of the sleeper.Agrimony is also used as protection against goblins and poison.

Beyerl, Paul "A Compendium of Herbal Magick"1998 Phoenix Publishing
Cunningham, Scott "Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs, 1985 Llewllyn Publishing
Wood, Matthew, "The Book of Herbal Wisdom", North Atlantic Books

And this Wytch's own considerable notes and experiences about this herb.
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Book Review: Witchcraft Healing : by Muller-Ebeling, Ratsch, & Storl [28 Jan 2006|03:18pm]

I am going to try to stimulate some discussion on this group and on another group that I am owner of here on LJ. Feel free to post similar things here if you wish.The below review is one I wrote over in witchy_reads a bit ago, with some editing. I still stand by today what I wrote then.

Title "Witchcraft Healing: Healing Arts, Shamanic Practices and Forbidden Plants",
Author(s):by Claudia Muller-Ebeling, Christian Ratsch, & Wolf-Dieter Storl,
Publisher: Inner Traditions Books, 2002
ISBN: 0892819715
Price: $24.95 (US)

CONTENT: When I picked up this book at the local Barnes and Noble, I thought it looked very good. I don't think however, I was quite prepared to be as impressed as I was with the work. It is not just a work about herbs and Witchcraft and their history, but a treasure trove of world cultural traditions and the folk healing modalities.

As a professional herbalist, I was really very happy to see the amount of research and documentation that went into this book. It really delves into the European shamanic traditions and healing arts and folk religions attached to them. This is something, which is sadly quite lacking in alot of literature that is about "shamanism". So much of of it is a bastardization of Native American practices and urban legend. Not so with this book. You get a clear idea where the lines of the histories of Witchcraft and folk medicine practices got blurred and blown far out of proportion by way of legend and outright lies. And you also get an in depth look at how many of these plants were used. The authors pull no punches, poisons, halucinagens and abortifacients can be found listed in this book. I think this is the first time in many years that I have seen an herbal book dare to list them, let alone discuss them. I also learned about some plants that I had no knowledge of before and I am always up for that! This, I believe is how Witches in the past truly practiced, and how many still practice to this day throughout the world. The focus however is on European Witches and Western herbalism.

Witchcraft Medicine is clearly a scholarly work, but it it is not so much that the subject is at all dry and uninteresting to read. It was for me quite the contrary. I couldn't put it down! There is no relgious-centric slant to it at all. There are no sensationalist claims about 8 million Witches being murdered during the so-called Burning Times, for example. It's just lots of very straight facts, which is important even for Kitchen Witches. There is too much that is junk out there, and this book I would count it among my top ten historical herbals on my personal bookshelf. This book is a very impressive body of work. Note that there are not really recipies or proportions as to using these now.

RATING: A+ (And if I could rate it higher than that I would!)
Crossposted toethnobotanpharm
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Reishi [20 Apr 2005|12:01pm]

[ mood | contemplative ]

Hello everyone,

I've mentioned this to a couple of you already, but I was curious what the community at large might have to say on the subject of Reishi (aka: Lingzhi/Red Mushroom/Ganoderma Lucidum).

Since I work for a company that sells products with this ingredient as an additive, I am hearing a lot about it all the time, and the testimonials from people who use it.

What do you guys think; Have you heard of it? Is it all hype? Is it any different from other antioxidant mushrooms?

Input from herbalists, or anyone who has used it (successfully or not) as a remedy would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you!


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Info Requested [16 Apr 2005|09:35am]

[ mood | contemplative ]


I would like to include your contact information in an address book I am creating for myself. Please enter your particulars using the link you see below:


This is a really easy tool that will help you exchange and keep your contact's information up-to-date . When you update your information the changes automatically appear in your friends' address books.

Many Thanks,

Donna (Ushaemnakhtwy)

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Judge Strikes Down FDA Ban on Ephedra [15 Apr 2005|01:24am]

From the IAHF email list, for immediate release.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Food and Drug Administration failed to prove certain "low dose" ephedra supplements are unsafe, a U.S. court said in a ruling announced on Thursday that could allow some types of the controversial weight loss pill back on the market.

The agency's decision to ban all ephedra dietary supplements -- regardless of dose -- until manufacturers could demonstrate a benefit "is contrary to the clear intent of Congress," the court said in its decision issued on Wednesday.

Nutraceutical International Corp., a leading supplier of dietary supplements, which filed the suit challenging the agency's ban, posted the ruling on its Web site on Thursday.

Read More

While it DOES make me happy that the ban is lifted. It does not make me happy that an herb that was never intended as a weight loss agent is being unbanned because of that very use (read that as abuse). Most weight loss formulas with this herb, which is par excellence for asthma, are essentially badly formulated. This herb, in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) usually avails itself of other herbs, such as Licorice Root in the formulas to help balance out the herb's effects. Unfortunately, most nutriceutical companies don't have two clues about TCM, and so it keeps getting misused.
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Skhmt and Healing [14 Feb 2005|03:47pm]

[ mood | drained ]

I have a question for the healers here- how do you commune with Skhmt through your healing? I know it sounds like a pretty basic and open-ended question, but lately I asked myself this question and I've found that I'm not, really, doing much of anything to incorporate Skhmt in my healing as I do it. I can reflect back on my day and say, "Was Skhmt really there?" But I'm feeling dissatisfied with this sort of "heal now, ask questions later" sort of approach, and now I have found that of all the ntjrw with Whom I work, I have the most trouble establishing a reliable connection with Skhmt these days. It's pretty ironic, since the three major ntjrw with Whom I work incorporate the three major aspects of my life, and my career in the medical field is a very large chunk of my life! I'm certain that I used to be doing a better job than this.^_^'

For those of you who have full-time jobs in the field, how do you keep Her presence in mind throughout the day? It's so easy to become absorbed in the cases that come and go, and the medicines to be given or treatments to be performed... when I got back into this field I thought that it would help me to establish a deeper bond with my Mother, and at first it did.^_^ But over time, the practice has gotten busier and busier- we've helped a lot of patients, and that's a good thing, but lately I've started feeling a little overwhelmed. I need to reconnect with the spiritual side of the work, but it's hard to reflect on these sorts of things when there's barely enough time to plan how you're going to get things done in time for everybody to go home when they're supposed to go.

I'm hoping that by looking back into the heart of the matter during my off time, I'll be able to draw upon those connections when I go back in. So if you have any meditations, stories about times that went well, tricks that you use throughout the day, or anything else, I'd be grateful to hear of them.

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Ganoderma links [18 Aug 2004|06:51pm]
[ mood | awake ]

Hello everyone,

My first day at a new job, the product they manufacture (Ganoderma Lucidum) has become a small obsession for me. wingedkite provided me a few links, so I thought I'd share them here...




If anyone else has info about this mushroom, I would love to know more!


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Diets [07 Jul 2004|12:21pm]

Well, I have talked with KI Niankh about dieting some and I'd also like the opinions of any of you out there also.

I'm going to be starting this South Beach Diet. Anyone have any luck with it? Anyone currently on it? Any ideas, comments or suggestions?

I've just felt the need to eat better and not cram so much junk and icky stuff onto my plate. I think we all should learn better eating habits and watching the contents of what we ingest. For our own good ;)
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Turmeric Has Powerful Anti-Inflamatory & Anti-Cancer Effects. [04 Jul 2004|02:26pm]

The following article was written by Dr. Virender Sodhi MD an Ayurvedic physician and Naturopath of my acquaintence. I met him about three years ago at Frontier's HerbFest. His lecture was absolutely fascinating and he answered some very useful questions to me about how to avoid getting "Mummy Tummy" when travelling in Egypt. At any rate, I found the gentleman to be quite knowlegeable and he really was responsible for sparking the thrust of my interest in the Art and Science of Ayurveda.

Turmeric, unlike many prescribed anti-inflamatories, such as Celebrex and Vioxx, does not carry the same side effects, and may also have the added benefit of being an effective anti-oxidant as well as being anticarcinogenic, antimicrobial and hepatoprotective. People in India who eat alot of turmeric (one of the main ingredients in the various curries found throughout Asia and the Near East), are less likely to develop cancer. Click on the link to read more.

Turmeric, a powerful anti-inflammatory
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Hodgkins lymphoma... [02 Jul 2004|01:15am]

[ mood | worried ]

My father was recently diagnosed with Hodgkins lymphoma. Does anyone know a good remedy for cancer that I might be able to make for him?

Edit: That sounded kinda funny. I know there aren't any quick fixes. I know there isn't a cure. I'm looking for something that might soothe him somewhat during chemo and help his immune system. Any ideas?

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Starting us up again.. [23 Jun 2004|06:31pm]

This community has been incredibly quiet as of late. I am of a mind that we need to start it up and get it moving. I will be posting articles and such in order to generate discussion and maybe we can get us back on track with some great topics. :)
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Reiki and Ka [09 May 2004|05:05pm]

[ mood | excited ]

I've been reading Jeremy Naydler's Temple of the Cosmos lately, and it seems to alternate between sections which are simply dripping with personal agenda, and sections which seem to be reliable and interesting information.

Right now I'm in one of the interesting sections^_^, where Naydler is explaining the member-based mode of consciousness (i.e. that the AE believed that emotions and methods of thought and action were centered in different parts of the anatomy, and it was those individual parts of the anatomy which had consciousness rather than the body as a whole- which was viewed basically as a temporarily animated corpse), and the difference between the ka and the ba. Basically, he described the ba as a unified concept of these centers of consciousness which was only attained after death, or possibly in other "out of body" experiences. The ka, alternatively, was an energy which enhanced the member-based mode of consciousness since the ka itself is a vitalizing energy which gave life to each of the limbs (please bear with me- I promise I'm building up toward something related to healing^_~). Furthermore, he says that in earlier times the ka was not so much an individualized "body" as a collective force, directed toward the living by the akhw, which is why it was so important that offerings to the akhw be continued- so that the blessed dead would be happy, and direct this universal life force energy toward their descendants. In later times the ka became more personalized, but even then- for the more common folk- it was frequently depicted as two upraised arms on a standard, rather than the full "double" which was much more individual and typically reserved for the more elite.

I am normally very hesitant to attempt assimilation between supposedly similar elements of different cultures. But when he said "universal life force energy," and described it as a communal force which could be directed toward the members of the body, my ears pricked up and I thought, "That sounds just like how my instructors describe Reiki!" And likewise, the Reiki energy is a "universal life force energy" which is directed towards the limbs in order to revitalize them. I started wondering how the practice of Reiki could be expanded if we were to chart out the ancient Egyptian member-based centers of consciousness and directing Reiki energy as ka energy to those centers- would it work? Could those centers be cleansed and/or recharged with this energy in a way which would correspond to the member-based consciousness rather than the usual chakra system? I have begun visualizing/feeling the Reiki energy I channel toward myself in my nightly practice sessions as my own ka energy, as an experiment. I thought I was coming up with an entirely new way of using Reiki when I remembered the Sekhem/Seichim style of Reiki.^_^ You'd think I'd know more about Sekhem since I am Kemetic, and I have been practicing Reiki (on a basic level) for several years. Unfortunately, I don't know nearly as much as I'd like to- my instructors have both been Usui Reiki-do, and so of course I have been as well.

I have a couple of questions for those more experienced with Sekhem/Seichim than I:

First, does any of the above sound familiar, or is this something which has not yet been tried within the Reiki system?

Second, how different is Sekhem from Reiki? Do I need a separate initiation to access Sekhem?

Cross-posted to my journal

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Another Question [08 May 2004|07:41am]

Well, I have yet another question and you guys are probably going to hate me for asking SO much stuff all the time.

Rich has asked me to inquire about chest colds. As our money is limited and we DON'T have insurance right now, seeing a doctor is impossible. I suppose if it got to the point of REALLY severe, we could go to the county hospital, but anyway. . .

Are there any herbs or medicinal things that could help soothe his pain? He says he's coughing up *junk*, lots of coughing and just not breathing right. (He's not suffocating, but just, you know, when you get a cold, it's hard to breathe)

We dont know if it's just a regular little cold, a chest cold, or what. . .

Any medicinal advice? Or is this something we should take to the ER? I just didn't know what to do. I apologize if it's a bother.

Hugs and love to all of you!

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Dittany of Crete [19 Apr 2004|02:39pm]

[ mood | curious ]

I have a quick question. I recently purchased a nice little bag of Dittany of Crete also known as Origanum dictamnus. I've been doing some on-line research of it and I've found some very interesting things about it. Such as:

-it can be used for childbirth.
-gastric/stomach pain
-and even helps to ease animal bite wounds.
-is used to aide in astral traveling and in the manifestation of spirits.

Originally, we purchased it for "astral travel" usage. I did read online that it is "typically safe to ingest" but I was also wondering if anyone knew, can this be smoked? I'd like to use it when meditating and was just curious if that was possible. (to smoke it) If not, well, I can still brew teas with it, I believe. I suppose any info on HOW this herb can be ingested, made into incense, smoked, ground, whatever. . .would be useful! Thank you! :)

Ankh Udja Seneb

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A Controversial Quote [10 Apr 2004|10:41pm]

"It is not enough to assert or even project energy; one has to direct it, modulate it and even free it from the traps of language. The word "energy" is one of the greatest hinderances to the actual practice of energy medicine. To bypass both the medical and academic authorities and to pretend to resolve our new global crisis by making its redemption spiritual , "hollistic" - or both - is a naive overvaluation of our ability redefine and thereby alter our condition." Richard Grossinger, "Planet Medicine"

So what do you all think of this? He has some interesting points. Energy is real, but does it make our brand of healing better because we do involve religion and/or spiritual practices to our healing? How do we resolve mind, body and spirit and still not lose our professionalism?
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Positive thoughts for the day [10 Apr 2004|12:04am]

I think I am going to try to get this community a bit of a jump start. We have sort of let it slide, and I would rather that we not do that. So I will start with a positive thought of the day, and if you want to comment, great! If you want to do one yourself, by all means, please do! We are going to start down this healing path, and we are going to address all parts of mind, body and spirit, for that is really what this group is all about.

So here is the first one:

"I must not fear. Fear is the mind-killer. Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration. I will face my fear. I will allow my fear to pass over me and through me. And when it has gone I will turn my inner eye to see its path. And where the fear has gone there will be nothing. Only I will remain." - The Bene Gesserit Litany Against Fear
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Into and a Question, Por Favor! [12 Mar 2004|02:41pm]

[ mood | awake ]

Em hotep! Figured I'd make a little post to first introduce myself a bit and to also ask a question!

I'm a 22yr old Sekhmet kid, into poetry, writing, working, working and more working. . .LOL and various other non-important activities :) hehehehe

I suppose I'll just ask if anyone knows of any herbal remedy for heartburn/indigestion? My husband suffers indigestion almost daily, and was just curious!

Ankh Udja Seneb!

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