Sunday, March 28, 2010

Zora Neale Hurston

I have another blog that I use to express other interests that I have. My second love being literature, this is dedicated to Zora Neale Hurston one of my favorite authors. I have studied much about her life and her work. Although she passed in obscurity, people now recognize the gem that she was. Her research and interst in folklore, anthropology and sociology are to be commended.

Bit-O'-Herbs: Chamomile

Singing its Praises: Egyptians use to worship Chamomile for its healing properties. Greek physicians used it to cure fevers and female disorders. Many beauty salons offer their customers chamomile tea to relax the facial muscles before their treatments.

Parts of the Plant: The leaves, when dried, are especially useful in potpourri as their apple-like scent is long lasting. The active ingredients for teas, compresses and baths of Chamomile are found in the yellow center of the flower. To active, boil for 20 min.

Uses and Remedies: Yellow chamomile flowers(Anthemis tinctoria) may be boiled for a strong yellow-brown dye. You may infuse the flowers to make your tonics, teas, etc. Also, as a cosmetic remedy, try infusing it as a facial steam. It is said to soften and reduce the redness of irritated skin. Herbal eye pillows with chamomile will inflammation and reduce dark circles.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Crystal-Clear: Moonstone


Moonstone is inextricably linked to the moon and all qualities that we think about the moon... especially knowledge as it is linked to intuition and the subconscious. It also affects mentrual cycles, which are also in accordance with the ebb and flow of the moon. In the case of headaches caused by food, moonstone may be used to relieve symptoms.

In the Zodiac:

The zodiac sign Cancer rules this stone, as Cancer rules intuition and empathy. Also, Moonstone tends to calm overreactions and sensitivities (touchiness if you will) to which Pisces may be apt. It is a feminine stone, as a water sign crystal, and is associated with psychic and cleansing abilities.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Bit-O-Herbs: Comfrey

Just about everything I have read about Comfrey says that it's a "miracle" plant. The lists of benefits and uses is outstanding. From it's ability to carry essential vitamins and minerals, act as an anti-inflammatory, and aid in the growth of other plants, Comfrey lives up to its claims.

Comfrey contains calcium, potassium, phosphorus, and vitamins A, C, and B12. It may serve as a nice addition to your diet. Chop the young leaves for your green salads, or cook like a spinach with garlic and olive oil.

It may be added to cosmetic products to ease inflammation of the skin; eczema, arthritis, burns, sprains and fractures can be aided with a fresh compress (poultice).

The extremely long taproot draws vital nutrients to the top of the soil, and permaculturists will use it to enrich poor soils when gardening. Be careful when placing it in your garden, however, as you will have a difficult time removing it. Not only does Comfrey benefit the garden when it is alive, but using withering leaves in compost will make a great fertilizer.

Other uses include teas, ground cover, dying cloth (gives and olive green color) and fodder. Miracle plant to the rescue!

Monday, September 28, 2009

Mini Meditation - Inner Peace

It is said that the people of the world will never live in peace, until they have found peace within themselves.

There is a system of action in our universe, and it all begins within ourselves. We think, then we feel, then we act, our actions carry on to others, influence their thoughts, and so on.

If we begin by creating positive, loving thoughts, then our actions will follow in the same manner. Acting in loving, caring ways, we create a more peaceful environment within ourselves and for our neighbors. Then the next person may begin to turn their thoughts to the positive, do positive deeds, and expound upon the peace initiated.

Take a few deep breaths. Imagine your body brimming with peace. Imagine what it would look like to be at peace within your body. Think of all the organs functioning in unison, healthy and full of life. Then focus on your breathing. You want to draw in goodness and expel negative energies. Try any of these:
Breath In Love. Exhale Doubt.
Breath In Joy. Exhale Fear.
Breath In Light. Exhale Dark.
Breath In Health. Exhale Toxins.

At any time during the day when you feel your peace encroached upon, take a deep breath and remember to draw in goodness and expel the negative. First you must create a peace within your being, before you can help create peace in this world.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Bit-O Herbs : Parsley

I took pictures of these caterpillars in my garden in the spring. They were the largest and most colorful I had ever seen. I encourage and love seeing bugs and lizards, spiders and worms in the garden...a nice balance tells me that my mini-ecosystem is working well. Though much to my dismay, these caterpillars ravaged the entire parsley plant. Usually they just munch on a few leaves and move on to the next plant, and so on until they develop. I call this picture, "Parsley Killer."

Parsley is one of those herbs you should always have in the garden. Planted next to roses, they will improve the scent and health of the rose bush. The Greeks planted parsley around the edges of the herb beds for protection. It has been used for decoration, to crown winners of games, as potpourri and of course, for food.

It is a popular ingredient in natural remedies such as tonics for hair and the eyes, and steam for dry skin. When crushed, the juice can be used on sprains to reduce swelling, or as an antiseptic for insect stings and bites.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Crystal Clear : Amethyst

Amethyst is one of those stones that most people are drawn to, whether it is because they find a connection with it's soothing powers, psychic enhancement, or simply because of it's color.

It is the birthstone of February and fits the characteristics of a Pisces or Aquarius. Amethyst's properties suit those who are in-tune with the spiritual world, seeking mental clarity or seeking a source of creativity.

I have recently used a small, but very powerful crystal next to my bed to relieve anxious dreaming. Amethyst is said to draw away negative energies and calm the mind. Since I have been using the stone, it has worked wonders. My anxious dreams have completely ceased! If you are considering doing this in your home, I suggest that you cleanse your amethyst every few days...or else you will find its power weakening...and the dreams will begin to strengthen.

As for psychic enhancement, amethyst creates a bridge between the "what you see" reality and the "psychic" reality. Intuition plays a large role in many lives, and you may use amethyst if you sense an imbalance of your realities, or to protect yourself from the negative energies absorbed via intuition.