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.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tea Talk - Pentacles

Pentacles are misunderstood. Really. They have been for a long time. I remember when I was young, I was told to be wary of people who wore pentacles...although I don't remember who told me to be wary. I still know those people who divert their eyes or make jokes about witchcraft. I am to dispel (pun intended) the misinformed mindsets.

Pentacles are a symbol of the earth and they can represent many things that come in 5's:
the 5 elements (earth, fire, air, water, spirit)
the 5 senses (taste, touch, smell, sight, sound).
the 5 digits (fingers and toes on each hand/foot)
In Chinese symbolism they can represent the 5 flavors (sweet, spicy, sour, bitter, savory).

In a religious sense, 5's are also found... the Torah has 5 books, the 5 Pillars of Islam and Buddhism, the 5 fundamental virtues, and the Hebrew numerical value of 5 is "breath" as in the "breath of G-d." Because it is an odd number, the components will always be seeking balance, always changing. Thus, five occurs in nature, and is nothing to be afraid of...unless.... you are afraid of nature...

The fact that people who worship nature have been called witches by default (and since the name has had a negative connotation for quite some time...) the pentacle has been associated with the misconceptions of others. Until people understand that those who appreciate and worship nature are akin to themselves, the pentacle may still be misunderstood. But for those of us who are open and understand the significance of the pentacle...we will keep referring to it and using it...

Thanks for listening... : )

Mini Meditation - Neohumanism

Neohumanism - humanism that gives respect AND support to all life. Basically, once our basic needs are met as humans, we can turn our hearts towards helping one another; benefit others by being compassionate. What we may find as we begin to support the growth and health of our neighbors, is that by helping one, you can also help many.

For example, say you cut your neighbor's grass for them because you knew they were having a hectic week at work. They are now more relaxed knowing that the yard-work has been done. Now they can enjoy time with their children instead of a loud machine. The childrens' lives are more enriched for having more time with their parent....

Thus, when we act with the intent of compassion, we promote health, love, and life in others.

When you have a moment to meditate, think about the kindness that you have received, of the things you are thankful for...then ask yourself if you can help others to have the same kindness in their lives. You may find that it may be a simple gesture, one that can make a wonderful difference.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Bit-O-Herbs - Eucalyptus


One of my friends asked me last do you help sinus congestion and a cough? Neti-Pots are good to flush the sinus sytem, but I have found that their affects are temporary and needed every day. Also, they cannot be used for other respiratory symptoms.

Instead, try eucalyptus oil...

It is used as a natural antiseptic, and if used properly, can have similar effects to vicks vapor rub (without the gook!).

You can place a few drops of the oil on a wet, cold washcloth. Cover your face, mouth, or nose with the washcloth. Breathe in through the cloth and the eucalyptus oil. The healing properties of the plant will carry through your respiratory system and you will get clearer breathing very soon.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Mini Meditation - The World Around Us

" You are not in the world; the world is in you."

When you view a flower, your eyes register the shape and color. Your brain measures the size relative to your body size. Chemical signals tell you that it smells sweet. Through every sense you perceive truth or reality. However, that reality is created within your own body, often within your mind.

During meditation, concentrate on a natural object. You may hold it in your hand, on your lap, or sit near to it. Be aware of how you see an object, how you feel it. Be aware that these senses are being created in your own body. These perceptions are of your own creation. Thus, "the world is in you" and you have the power to create all around you as you wish it.