Tag Archives: oils

Playing with Herbs…….

Merry Meet again my friends.  Hope you all have a wonderful weekend planned.  After the amazing weekend I had last week, I’m pretty much planning on  reading, crocheting, puttering and just taking it easy.  I had so much energy this past weekend and then as the week has gone on, I’ve felt a bit drained and tired.   I bet many of you have felt that way as well.  I’m planning on making some bread and my delicious veggie soup on Sun day. I also have some new herbs I need to get put into jars and labeled. Speaking of herbs, I spent a couple of days this week making some tinctures, oils and a healing salve.  Thought I’d show you some pics and talk about it a bit here for you.

I have decided to bring out my “green” witch a bit more by really diving into learning more about herbs for medicinal purposes…not just for magickal purposes.  My daughter Kate and I have dabbled in it in the past and we are both interested in doing more then dabbling.  My friend Mossie and I (Hi Mossie!) also have decided to make potions and lotions together..though she is in Canada and I am here in Ohio..LOL! We have discussions and decide what we are going to make together.   I have been purchasing books like crazy and weeding thru what I would realistically not only make, but use on a daily basis.  I have some new favorite herbal books and I’ll talk about those in time….in my library and/or here in the blog text.  

So this week I made three tinctures, two oils and a lavender/tea tree oil antiseptic salve. I gathered my supplies and got busy. Now tinctures are very simple as I’m sure many of you know.  You can use just about any herb, I use dried, about 1-2 ozs depending on the weight of the herb.   Place the herbs in a jar that has a twist lid (I love canning jars for this), and add 100 proof vodka to fill the jar.  You can also use 80 proof and you can use Rum instead of vodka.  Rum will actually help to “sweeten” herb tinctures that will have a bitter taste like stinging nettles.  Shake the jar well to mix.  Always label your tincture with the name of it and the date.  Now just put it on a shelf for 6 weeks.  The first week I shake it every day.  After that I give it a shake every couple of days.  After 6 weeks, strain the herbs out of the tincture.  Bottle it and you are good to go. 

I made three tinctures..Valerian which will aid sleep, Yarrow which has antiseptic properties and will bring down blood pressure, and stinging nettles for my seasonal allergies.  In 6 weeks I’ll be able to start taking a dropperful every day.

I also made calendula oil and St. John’s oil….both which will be made into salves in a few weeks.  The instructions are the same as for tinctures.  You can use any kind of oil you like.  Grapeseed, virgin olive, almond, sunflower, jojoba.  For my purposes I used organic grapeseed but any of these oils will do.  The other thing I did a bit differently was that I gently warmed the oil with the herb in it to give it a good start in releasing the good stuff from the herb. 

This is the calendula…isn’t that pretty?  and it smelled wonderful!  When the oils are ready, I’ll show how to make the salves from that oil here on my blog. Here is my finished jars.  So now I’ll just be shaking them and opening them to smell them etc.  You may need to add more vodka or more oil if necessary. I’m pleased with my work! 🙂

Today my daughter Kate and I made our lavender/tea tree antiseptic salve.  This salve is good for anything going on with your skin..from dry red skin to minor cuts and scratches.  Good stuff..we use it alot and it smells great!

For this recipe I used about 1 1/2 cups of jojoba oil, 2-3 ozs of beeswax beads, 20 drops of tea tree oil, 50 drops of lavender oil, and a 1/2 tsp of vitamin E oil. Now you can use another oil like peppermint or wintergreen instead of lavender if you’d like, but the tea tree oil must stay.  You can adjust also how much of each you put in the mix…make it smell the way YOU like it!  Gently warm the oil and the beeswax until the beeswax melts.

Drop in the essential oils and vitamin E oil and stir well.  Pour quickly into clean dry jars before it sets up again.  This is my beautiful daughter Kate doing just that.  (and yes, she is carrying my grandson Charlie Matthew who will be here in about 9 weeks!)  Can’t wait! 🙂

It only took about 20 minutes for it to set up then.  Be sure and label and date the jars.  With the tea tree oil being an antiseptic, this salve lasts a long time.  But it won’t because you will find lots of uses for it! It’s great on diaper rash too! 🙂  I keep the ingredients to make this in my home at all times. 

If you haven’t worked with herbs before…these are some of the easiest ways to start.  Be sure to learn what the herbs will DO for your body and be sure always that they don’t interfere with any prescription medicines you’re taking and that your doctor knows you’re taking them.  I hope to use these remedies to REPLACE prescription meds eventually.  There are so many great videos on youtube, online herbal classes etc to help you get started.  Your local herb shop or health food store will also be a great place to find what you’re looking for and to get valuable information.  And Books…there are so many books about just this thing.  Here is some of my favorites…..

-The New Age Herbalist by Richard Mabey

-The Book of Herbal Wisdom by Matthew Wood

-Judes Herbal Home Remedies by Jude C. Todd

-The Herbal Medicine-Maker’s Handbook by James Green

-The Herbal Home Remedy Book by Joyce Wardwell

-The Wild & Weedy Apothecary by Doreen Shababy

-Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health by Rosemary Gladstar

and anything by Susun Weed

I’ll be talking alot more about herbs and remedies as my dabbling turns into serious learning.  I have even signed up for an online course..though basic..it’ll be a great place to start.  To give me a good foundation to move on to possibly becoming a Master Herbalist.  For now, I’m a green witch..still learning and enjoying the process!  Anybody care to join me? 

“We have finally started to notice that there is real curative value in local herbs and remedies. In fact, we are also becoming aware that there are little or no side effects to most natural remedies, and that they are often more effective than Western medicine.”
Anne Wilson Schaef

Blessings and Light, Autumn

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Filed under Books I'm reading, Daughters, Discussion, Family, Herbal remedy, Herbs, Photography, Quote

Herbal remedies and sisters in spirit…….

Merry Meet again friends…Hope this finds you all well and happy.  Here in Ohio we are enjoying a few days of gorgeous Autumn-like weather…its been really cool at night..around 70 during the day…windows are open airing out the house..perfect weather to me!  But it is only a glimpse as it is going to warm up again starting tomorrow.  But the nights are staying cool so it is a promising sign that Fall..my favorite time of year..is almost here!  I just come alive in the Fall..I love the crispness of the air and crunching leaves and the beautiful colorful trees.  I love the smell of woodsmoke, good food cooking in the slow cooker, apples, pumpkins, mums, the harvest moon..just magick! 

While pot roast was cooking in the crockpot today I decided to either make or finish up some herbal remedies I had been wanting to make.  I had brewed olive oil with calendula for several days and wanted to make it into a salve.  This works like a do’all skin ointment.  Put it on cuts, bruises, reddened or dry skin, callouses, hives, rashes, bug bites, mild burns…just about anything.  I also made a lavender toner a couple of weeks ago.  I just needed to strain off the lavender buds and bottle it.  I also  made a germ fighting spray that was posted online by Granny’s Hearth.  I feel so “witchy” when I’m making them and putting a spell on them!

After I get the remedies jarred and bottled..I light a candle and put a spell on them to make them work as they should.  This is what I say:

“In my kitchen, I toil and brew

Making potions with love and magick true

May they soothe and heal and lessen pain

Until all is well and right again

By herbs and oils and with harm to none

By my will and power, this spell is done.”

I have really just started making homemade herbal remedies for medicinal purposes.  I have made homemade cleaning supplies, homemade soaps, essential oil sprays for home or perfume, but had never really made homemade salves etc.  I have enjoyed it immensely and find that they work fabulously..even better then the over the counter stuff you buy at Walmart and Krogers.   To increase my knowledge, I am going to take an online herbal course thru Susun Weed who came highly recommended by several of my facebook friends.  I can’t wait to really get some help on the subject and to become more learned in it.  I have bought many books and find it pretty simple to follow but I want to learn from an expert! 🙂  I have a lovely sister in spirit who will be taking the class with me…it’ll be great to compare notes and discuss the classes together.

Speaking of facebook, I just have to say that I have got the best facebook friends ever.  So many wonderful, kind, funny, caring people.  I have a habit of asking a question of the day..and everyday I get people who come and share themselves with me…if there is disagreement it is done kindly and respectfully…there has yet to be any rudeness on my page which I’m grateful for..as I have seen it and don’ t like it.  I believe in live and let live and telling someone their beliefs are wrong goes against my grain.  I am so grateful for all of my fb friends because they have made my world bigger and lovelier, they have expanded my knowledge, and I feel a true spirit connection with people all over the world.  Thank you so much to each of you!!

  I also am part of a wonderful online “coven” for want of a better word…my sisters in spirit…my closest fb friends…and they are pure joy to me…They open their hearts everyday to each other…whoever needs comforting, support, someone to listen, candles lit, prayers sent up, questions about anything..we are all there for each other!  We share our lives quite openly..we are true sisters in every sense of the word.  I am incredibly blessed to have them and I love each and every one of them…Thank you from the bottom of my heart my sisters! 

The New Moon is coming soon..for me,  this New Moon means a good cleansing and blessing of my home…renewing the protection I have set around my house, starting my  “Fall cleaning”..getting the house ready for the cool weather..such as getting the fireplace cleaned and wood ordered, stocking up on baking supplies, and having a list of indoor projects to keep me busy in the lazy months!

May you all have a blessed Labor Day tomorrow and I believe today was Father’s Day in the Southern Hemisphere!  Remember to be kind, live in each moment, spend time each day reflecting on gratitude for what you have been blessed with in your life, and send out love to those around you and you’ll get it back.

Merry Part and Merry Meet again,

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Filed under Herbs, Spells