Wednesday, September 28, 2011


Lavender  (Lavandula angustifolia, or Lavandula officinalis)

When some people hear the word Lavender they may associate it with its use in soaps, shampoos and sachets because of its lovely aroma.  The name comes from the Latin root lavare, which means "to wash."  It is quite possible that Lavender earned its name because of its frequency in baths to purify the body and spirit among other things. Over the course of years, research has shown that when its scent is inhaled it produces a calming, soothing and somewhat sedative affect. 

Lavender is native to the mountainous zones of the Mediterranean; however, today it flourishes throughout southern Europe Australia and the United States.  Lavender is a heavily branched short shrub that grows to a height of roughly 60 centimeters (about 24 inches). Its broad rootstock bears woody branches with upright, rod-like, leafy, green shoots. The flowers are arranged in spirals of 6 - 10 blossoms, forming interrupted spikes above the foliage.  The oil in lavender's small, blue-violet flowers gives the herb its fragrant scent. The essential oil is extracted from the fresh flowers and used for medicinal purposes, aromatherapy and magickal uses.

For centuries Lavender has been used as an herbal remedy and does appear to have antiseptic, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, anti-inflammatory, anti-convulsive, and last but certainly not least - anti-depressant properties.
Lavender is believed to be beneficial for a multitude of problems if taken internally.  It is reported to help with stress, anxiety, exhaustion, irritability, headaches, migraines, insomnia, depression, colds, digestion, flatulence, upset stomach, liver and gallbladder problems, nervousness, loss of appetite and as a breath freshener and mouthwash. 

For issues such as relaxation and sleep, easing depression and reducing headache pain, inhaling the essential oil has been reported to work as well as some narcotics do.  Who wouldn’t want to use a natural remedy such as Lavender over a possibly addictive narcotic?  Simply boil 2 cups of water and add 2 drops of the essential oil and inhale the steam.

In regards to the internal usage you can find commercial preparations in the form of teas, infusions, tinctures, dried flowers, and oil.  As far as using the essential oil internally, unless you have a home still and the knowledge of the process to extract the essential oil, it is usually advised by most vendors to take in very small doses as it may cause you to become very nauseous.  My first rule of thumb when using essential oils is to always follow the manufacturer’s recommendations. On the other hand, the tea and dried flowers are wonderful for internal usage and I have included a recipe below that I hope you will try.

Lavender oil is one of the safest essential oils and can be used full-strength on the skin. It can be applied directly to cuts, scrapes, wounds, burns, bee, wasp and insect stings, rashes, muscle aches, rheumatism, arthritis, cold sores, canker sores, blisters, bruises, athlete’s foot and directly in the temples for headaches and migraine pain.

Magickal Properties:
GENDER : Masculine.
PLANET : Mercury.
POWERS : Love, Protection, Sleep, Chastity, Longevity, Purification, Happiness, Peace, Protection, and Sleep

Because of its lovely scent, Lavender has been used for thousands of years in love spells and spells for attracting money.  By placing Lavender flowers in a sachet or amulet and carried on your person, one might be able to attract spirits and also love, peace and good health.  Another way to attract love is to take the fresh flowers of the Lavender and rub them into the clothing.  Lavender is very useful for spell work and rituals, simply take the dried Lavender stalks and burn them just as you would incense.  You can also use them in spells to attract money, love, protection and success.  The flowers as well as the stalks can be burned, but they must first be dried. Should you desire to use Lavender for sleep divination either place a lavender sachet or lavender sprigs under your pillow before bed time while focusing your mind on your desire.  If during your dream you dream of anything related to your wish, you will get what you desire.  For peaceful sleep place a few drops of essential oil in a diffuser before bed.

The following are recommended doses for lavender:
  • Internal use: Tea: 1 to 2 tsp whole herb per cup of water. Allow to steep for 3-5 minutes or even up to 15 minutes. Soothes tension and helps insomnia.
  • External use: inhalation: dried flowers in 2 to 3 cups of boiling water; inhale vapors for headache, depression, or insomnia.
  • Topical application: lavender water can be safely applied. Pour 3/4 cups boiling water over 3 Tablespoons dried lavender flowers or buds. Let cool and strain. Can be sprinkled on your pillow for a good night's sleep, or applied to skin to cool, soothe and refresh.
  • Lavender Bath and Oatmeal: place into a muslin bag or multiple thicknesses of cheesecloth, two tablespoons each of lavender buds or flowers, and freshly ground oatmeal (whirl in blender). Tie tightly with a long piece of string or ribbon. Attach the bag to the bathtub spigot, so the bag hangs below the water level. While bathing, rub the bag on the skin to soothe dry, itchy, achy spots. Very relaxing!
Lavender Ice Tea Recipe
2 tbsp Lavender flowers (1 tbsp dry)
1 tbsp Lemon balm (1 tsp dry or one lemon slice)
1 tbsp Mint (1 tsp dry, applemint is best but spearmint works also)
3 tbsp Honey

Pour six cups boiling water on herbs and steep for ten to fifteen minutes.  Cool to room temperature.  Add lemon slice after cooling if you’re using it instead of the lemon balm. Add honey and stir.  Add crushed ice.  Enjoy!

If you would like to learn how to make sachets of your own, please check out this link.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Could This Be Love

I never thought I had any more to give
  Then I met you!
It feels like this could last forever
  Love is a wondrous thing
A thousand times I've seen you standing there
  Never had the courage to talk to you
Half the time it seems as though no one else is around
  You come to stand next to me, your hand gently touching mine
I look in your eyes, falling deep within their darkness
Is this the beginning, so much to say, somehow we find comfort in the silence
As quickly as you are there, you are gone.

You Are My Everything

There are just some things we don't talk about
People fall in and out of love
We're taught to keep feelings hidden
Can't you see my arms stretched out to you?
Don't let me go
I'm always yours
Let the feelings sweep us away
Hold on to me and feel the love
Shut out the world, it's only us
I'm your queen and you're my king

Sparkle Of Love

Wherever you are
There is the sparkle of sunlight
  from your soul
I draw the presence of
Love's praise surrounds
  you in silence and in song
I love you season by season
  by day and by night
  with all of my life.

Goddess Above

Loneliness is but a feeling
  I wallow in
The despair of it leaves me
  bitter and cold

The warmth I feel from your
  soul momentarily soothes me and
  releases the inner peace I strive

How then can I go on day by day
  without your strength to guide

I feel so cold when you're not
  close to my heart.
Please dear Goddess above help me
  find my strength so that I
  may feel warm

Sunday, September 25, 2011


Just an update to let you know why I have been MIA (missing in action).  Our family has been going through a myriad of issues.  I've been dealing with health issues again, we have had deaths in the family and my stepfather suffered a stroke.  Each day has been spent just getting through the day lately.  I've sought guidance with the Goddess and God during these difficult times and have found solace and tranquility gazing at the lovely full moon.    I have managed to get my articles written for Spirit Magazines so if you would like to see the monthly herbal articles check them out  I also have several friends that seem to be going through similar situations, maybe it is a sign of the times right now.  I send to them and any one else positive healing energy through the Universe.

On a happy note, the Goddess blessed me with being able to take in 3 orphaned kittens 2 weeks ago.  I believe they were either dumped off or their mother was killed; but the situation in which they were found still leads me to believe they were left there.  They are thriving well and gaining weight.  As soon as they are old enough I will be looking for wonderful homes for them.

I will be taking new pictures of them soon.  They are much bigger now and walking around.  Soon I won't be able to keep them in their box!  I hope every one had a blessed Mabon and may you have a wonderful Samhein.

Blessed Be!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


Dandelion (Taraxacum Officinale)

For many people, dandelions are simply a yard pest; a pesky weed.  However, dandelions are very rich in nutrients.  For herbalists though the dandelion is a valuable herb with many culinary and medicinal uses.  The bitter dandelion root is a favorite in folk medicine, and particularly useful for stimulating a sluggish liver.  The dandelion is a rich source of vitamins A, B complex, C, and D, as well as minerals such as iron, potassium, and zinc. The most active ingredient in dandelions, eudesmanolide and germacranolide, are found only in dandelions.  They also have high levels of minerals like iron, magnesium, zinc potassium, manganese, copper, choline, calcium, boron, and silicon.  

Native Americans have used dandelion decoctions (liquid made by boiling down the herb in water) to treat kidney disease, swelling, skin problems, heartburn, and stomach upset. Chinese medicinal practitioners traditionally used dandelion to treat digestive disorders, appendicitis, and breast problems (such as inflammation or lack of milk flow). In Europe, herbalists incorporated it into remedies for fever, boils, eye problems, diabetes, and diarrhea.

Many herbal doctors use dandelion to purify the liver and gallbladder of toxins.  Research has indicated that dandelions can treat pneumonia, bronchitis and other respiratory disorders.  The dandelion has shown to improve general health and is also beneficial to the kidneys, pancreas, spleen, stomach and other organs.  It has also been recommended for the treatment of tinnitus, tonsillitis, osteoporosis, abscesses, anemia, boils, mammary tumors, cirrhosis, water retention, hepatitis, jaundice, rheumatism and warts. 
Along with all these uses, the root of the dandelion can be used as an alternative to coffee (see recipe below) for which it is believed to have a tonic effect on the pancreas, spleen and female organs, while the leaves are wonderful in salads, sandwiches and teas.  So what we have thought of as such a pesky, horrible weed has now turned out to be a most beneficial herb and herbal medicine. 
Dandelion Benefits also include:
  • It is a gentle diuretic
  • It can purify the bloodstream and liver, and it can stimulate the manufacture of bile
  • It can decrease the amounts of serum cholesterol and uric acid
  • It can maximize the performance of the kidneys, pancreas, spleen, and stomach
  • It is very beneficial to menopausal women
  • It is effective in treating abscesses, anemia, boils, breast tumors, and cirrhosis of the liver
  • It may avert the development of age spots or breast cancer
Adult Usage
Dandelion may be used in a variety of available forms:
  • Dried leaf infusion: 1 - 2 teaspoonfuls, 3 times daily. Pour hot water onto dried leaf and steep for 5 - 10 minutes. Drink as directed.
  • Dried root decoction: 1/2 - 2 teaspoonfuls, 3 times daily. Place root into boiling water for 5 - 10 minutes. Strain and drink as directed.
  • Leaf tincture (1:5) in 30% alcohol: 100 - 150 drops, 3 times daily
  • Standardized powdered extract (4:1) leaf: 500 mg, 1 - 3 times daily
  • Standardized powdered extract (4:1) root: 500 mg, 1 - 3 times daily
  • Root tincture (1:2) fresh root in 45% alcohol: 100 - 150 drops, 3 times daily
Dandelion Coffee
Although dandelion is a wonderful plant it does not always grow where it is wanted.  When weeding, keep the long taproots.  Scrub all the dirt off the roots, chop into pieces, and roast in a medium oven until dry and slightly burnt.  Make a decoction and take 1 or 2 cups a day as a liver strengthener and tonic.

This information is not intended as medical advice. 
Please consult your physician or other qualified health professional before taking supplements of any kind.

Sunday, August 7, 2011


Sage (Salvia Officinalis)

Sage, often referred to as the herb of longevity has been used for thousands of years medicinally. Although best known as a main ingredient in poultry stuffing, it has been used since the Middle Ages medicinally as it was thought to promote longevity. Its name comes from the Latin Salvare, which translates roughly as "to rescue" or "to heal."

Sage is a remedy often used for respiratory infections, congestion, cough, sore throats, mouth sores, mouth ulcers, appetite stimulant, indigestion and is also said to be beneficial for the liver. It is also sometimes given to help with fever, night sweats, and urinary problems. Some women have found that it also helps ease menopausal symptoms.

One of the reasons Sage is so good for sore throats, mouth sores and mouth ulcers, are because of the oils and tannins. These oils and tannins have astringent, antiseptic and irritant properties in them. For a sore throat mix a Sage tea with apple cider vinegar and salt for gargling. Another wonderful aspect of Sage is that it is reported to have moisture-drying properties and can be used as an antiperspirant. As an astringent it can be used as a refreshing after-shave and a Sage tea can be used to help digestive problems and flatulence.
Herbs can be very powerful medicines, whether used in a tincture, tea or capsule they hold an incredible and potent medicine quality. Some herbs such as Sage, when burnt offer various remedies for many physical, emotional, spiritual or mental imbalances.

Sage is held sacred by many Native American Indians and, I, myself as a kitchen witch cleanse my house frequently with sage. It heals by bringing the person back into balance and cleanses the body and mind of negative spirits and impurities and thus is wonderful to use to clean your home of unwanted negative energy. This would be called smudging. I personally use a bundle of white sage and light the end, let it flame for a while and then blow it out. With a feather I then direct the smoke throughout the house. Depending on my intention I sometimes I have a chant or blessing I say while doing this. After completion I am always amazed at how calm and balanced the air is.

Another method of smudging is to use a loose mixture, place it in a shell, piece of pottery or a stone bowl. In this mixture you could have the sage, cedar (for healing) sweet grass (brings positive energy) and juniper (for healing) and a feather (if you do not have a feather you can make a feather like object from a piece of paper). Use your hands to roll the dried leaves, crumbling them into your bowl or shell. Burn the mixture until it begins to smolder and give off clouds of smoke. Begin fanning the smoke with the feather, starting at your heart and working your way up to the head and continue this process all the way down the body and back up again. Pray to your spiritual deity and ask for good, positive energy. Offer the smoke to the 5 directions – North, South, East, West and Spirit asking them to rid the negativity that is attached to you and your life. At this time you can then move through your home and cleanse and also you family or friends.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Asian Citrus Salmon

Salmon filet (buy size according to how many you'll serve I usually get one big enough to feed 6) 
2 oranges 
2 tbs freshly grated ginger 
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce 
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil 
2 small pats of butter (optional...i'm leaving off now) 
salt and pepper 
2 tbs toasted sesame seeds 
2 tbs fresh cilantro 

Bake at 350 degrees for approx 20 mins 

Put foil on a cookie sheet and rinse the salmon filet, then lay the filet on the foil. Rub the fresh ginger into the flesh of the salmon. Pour Oil over salmon and then soy sauce. Squeeze 1 orange on the salmon and thinly slice the remaining orange to lay on the salmon at the end. Use salt and pepper to taste. Add the sesame seeds and cilantro and butter, if you are using, then spread the orange slices all over the fish. Lay another piece of foil on top of the salmon and then seal up the sides. Cook about 20 minutes or until the flesh flakes away lightly. 

Serve with sauteed cabbage with soy sauce and sesame seeds, salt and pepper and brown rice.

Caught In The Act

One morning as I wandered downstairs to get my morning cup of coffee, I noticed that my favorite Tinker Bell pen and several of my paint brushes were strewn across the floor.  I figured one of the kitties must have brought them down.  I put them back in their proper place and went about my day.  Later on in the afternoon as I go to the kitchen, low and behold several of my paint brushes are again at the bottom of the stairs.  This went on for several weeks until the other day while I was in the art room making a gift for my mother in law I caught this on camera.

Let me introduce Stormy Diva Demon Monster Balazs my 3year old domestic long haired mixed breed Bombay.  Her name at the Southside Animal Shelter where we adopted her from was Velcro.  She was 4 months old when we adopted her and she loved to climb and hang on things, especially cages.  The sad thing about this misadventure of hers was that my other kitty Rajhi was getting blamed for the misbehavior. 

This is Rajhi my 1 year old Silver Bengal.  Stormy has apologized to Rajhi for getting him into trouble and she has since told me she just wanted to paint some pretty art too.  I wished I could have gotten the photo of her covered in gold flake and glitter the other day, but she was too fast for me.  I think I may have to set up a nanny cam...LOL!