Agrimony

Agrimonia Eupatoria

Common Names: Common Agrimony, church steeples, Sticklewort
Botanical Name: Agrimonia Eupatoria
Family: Rosaceae
Description: A perennial that grows to a height of roughly 3-4 feet, 0.5-2 meters. Natural habitat is woods and fields.
Origin: Northern Hemisphere, grows in England the United States and southern Canada.
Cultivation: Sun or partial shade, gather herb in summer while flowers are in bloom.
History: The name Agrimony is from Argemone, a word given by the Greeks to plants that were healing to the eyes, the name Eupatoria refers to Mithridates Eupator, a king who was a renowned concoctor of herbal remedies. The Anglo-Saxons, who called it Garclive, taught that it would heal wounds, snakebites, warts, etc.
Parts Used: All of the above ground parts of the plant can be used. It can be harvested when flowering, but avoid the flower spikes that have burs, and then dry for use.
Storage: Dry plant and store in airtight container away from heat or light, or in the freezer.

Agrimonia Eupatoria Flowers

Uses:
Agrimony is astringent, and contains tannins, glycosidal bitters, nicotinic acid, silicic acid, iron, vitamins B and K, and essential oil. The high tannin content makes it a good astringent.
* Agrimony is used in herbal baths to help sore muscles.
* The decoction is used externally for pimples and skin eruptions.
* Can be used as an eyebath for tired eyes and conjunctivitis.
* Once an important herb for cleaning wounds, the vitamin k content promotes blood clotting.
* Agrimony has been known to help with hemorrhoids and allay bleeding
* As a wash it helps minor injuries and chronic skin conditions.
* In lotion applied externally to minor sores and ulcers.

Agrimonia Eupatoria Leaves

Other Uses: In Chinese medicine Agrimony is used to control severe menstrual bleeding. Flowers can be used to make a yellow dye. Used as a gargle it has been used to help with sore throat.

Contraindications: Not recommended during pregnancy, those suffering from lupus, myasthenia gravis, or any other autoimmune disease.

Sources:
http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/a/agrim015.html#his
Herbal Body Book, pg 42
http://www.herbalextractsplus.com/agrimony.cfm

Alder

Alnus Glutinosa

Common Names:  Black- Black Dogwood, European Alder Buckthorn

Botanical Name: Black Alder (Alnus glutinosa), Red Alder (Alnus rubra), Italian Alder (Alnus cordata)

Family: Betulaceae

Description: The Alder is a flowering tree reaching 30 to 35m. The Green alder is more of a shrub reaching only 5m. Bees love their pollen

Origin: Europe, North Africa, and Central Asia, introduced to North America in 1800’s.

Cultivation: Alders thrive in well-drained soils that are neutral-to-acid. They enjoy sun or partial shade.

History: In the Highlands of Scotland it is used for making handsome chairs, and is known as Scottish mahogany.

Parts Used:

Storage: The bark is stripped from young plants in spring and early summer and dried for one or (preferably) two years before being used in herbal remedies.

Alnus Incana Rugosa Leaves

Uses:

Alder’s are antiseptic, astringent, anti-inflammatory, and haemostatic (stops bleeding).

*Alder barks soaked in vinegar and mixed with other cleansing herbs make a cleansing wash for skin irritations.

* Black alder tea is said to be good for skin problems.

* Herbal baths or poultices for swelling, inflammation and rheumatism-type complaints. To make the poultice uses fresh or dried leaves and simmer them in hot water. Then apply to affected area. Or pulp the leaves and moisten with warm milk.

* Black Alder has tannins, which are believed to be astringent, and have been used to treat hemorrhoids.

* Black Alder bark has been used to treat gum disease and scalp infestations, i.e. Scabies and scabs.

* Fresh crushed leaves have been used to soothe chapped skin.

Red Alder: Alnus Rubra

Other uses: Alders have been used to make charcoal, and electric guitar bodies.

Contraindications: use only the dried bark as fresh bark can cause vomiting.

Sources:

http://www.botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/a/alder019.html#his

IN DEFENSE OF PLANTS: Ep. 294 – Herbaria: Past, Present, and Future

Ep. 294 – Herbaria: Past, Present, and Future

This is an amazing podcast on Herbariums! The Adoring Crow has its very own herbarium and you can purchase sheets from our etsy and see our plant log on the blog!

“This episode takes a deep dive into the past, present, and future of herbaria. I sit down with Director of the William and Lynda Steere Herbarium, Dr. Barbara M. Thiers about her new book “Herbarium: The Quest to Preserve and Classify the World’s Plants.” Dr. Thiers has spent a lifetime thinking about and working in herbaria and she recognized the importance of telling their stories. Listen in as we discuss humanity’s impulse to save things. This podcast was produced in part by Peter, Cathrine, Melvin, OrangeJulian, Porter, Grif, Jules, Joan, Les, Marabeth, Ali, Margaret, Southside Plants, Robert, Keiko, Bryce, Brittany, Helen, Amanda, Mikey, Rhiannon, Michelle, Kate, German, Joerg, Alejandra, Cathy, Jordan, Judy, Steve, Kae, Carole, Mr. Keith Santner, Dana, Chloe, Aaron, Sara, Kenned, Vaibhav, Kendall, Christina, Brett, Jocelyn, Kathleen, Ethan, Kaylee, Runaway Goldfish, Ryan, Donica, Chris, Shamora, Alana, Laura, Alice, Sarah, Rachel, Joanna, Griff, Philip, Paul, Matthew, Clark, Bobby, Kate, Steven, Brittney, McMansion Hell, Joey, Catherine, Brandon, Hall, Vegreville Creek and Wetlands Fund, Kevin, Oliver, John, Johansson, Christina, Jared, Hannah, Katy Pye, Brandon, Gwen, Carly, Stephen, Botanical Tours, Moonwort Studios, Liba, Mohsin Kazmi Takes Pictures, doeg, Clifton, Stephanie, Benjamin, Eli, Rachael, Plant By Design, Philip, Brent, Ron, Tim, Homestead Brooklyn, Brodie, Kevin, Sophia, Mark, Rens, Bendix, Irene, Holly, Caitlin, Manuel, Jennifer, Sara, and Margie.”

Recipes: Yellow Dock Syrup

photo by Angel Crow
Do not use without permission

Yellow dock syrup! Amazing for iron and mineral supplementation, and works as a great digestive bitter. I added ginger to mine for some warming digestive soothing. Three times a day 1 spoonful! It lasts in the fridge for about one week. It is not shelf stable.

16 oz water
2 oz dry dock root 4oz fresh (I did 2 oz ginger fresh and 2 oz dock fresh)
4 oz molasses

photo by Angel Crow
Do not use without permission

Add chopped roots to water in a saucepan and simmer below boiling until water reduces to half. It took me just over an hour at medium heat.

Strain dock roots into a jar and add molasses while still warm.

Let cool and bottle up.

Store in the fridge for up to one week.

Enjoy!

Broad Leaf Dock Root

Motherwort, Leonurus cardiaca

Angel Crow 09/23/2020

By D. Gordon E. Robertson – Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=26208666

Motherwort

cool, dry, relaxant

Leonurus cardiaca
Common Names: motherwort, throw-wort, lion’s ear, and lion’s tail.
Taste: bitter, acrid, aromatic
Family: Lamiaceae (Labiatae) 
Zone:
4-8
Plant Description:
An herbaceous perennial in the mint family with a square stem covered in small hairs and purplish near the nodes. The leaves are hairy, lobed, thick, grooved, and toothed, they have dark green color with paler undersides. The flower grows in clusters above the leaves and has very spiky seed pods that will poke when harvesting. Blooms from midsummer to midfall in whorls of pale pink to red-purple flowers.

Herbarium of Baltimore Woods – Marcellus, Onondaga Co., N. Y. Leonurus cardiaca L. – Motherwort

Cultivation: Motherwort is forgiving and will thrive in many light and soil conditions. It self seeds quite regularly so plant in an area where spread is preferable. Self seeding can be avoided by cutting back 3-4 inches after flowering to keep seed production down. Sow in the Spring and divide roots in late Spring or midautumn. Thin seedlings to 12 inches.
Propagation: Seeds need to be stratified, meaning they need the exposure of cold or cold weather. Many stratify their seeds by planting them in the fall or keep them in the refrigerator for a few months prior to seeding.
Preservation: Harvest when in full bloom. The aerial parts of the plant are to be used, leaves, flowers and stems. You can hang them in bunches in a dry dark place, or you can place cuttings in a paper bag. Shake the bag once a day to increase airflow. Once dry store in a jar away from heat or light.
Medicinal Parts: Leaves, flowers, and Aerial parts
Actions: nervine, sedative, emmenagogue, cardiac tonic & antispasmodic, relaxing, diaphoretic, digestive
Affinities: the nervous and cardiovascular systems
Notable Constituents: humulene, pinene, caryophyllene, apigenin, leonurine, leocardin,
quercetin, tannins

Medicinal Applications:

  • Motherwort is a cardiac tonic and an antispasmodic. It relaxes the cardiovascular system making it a splendid aid for palpitations, heart murmur, and angina or pain in the chest. It has a vasodilating effect, opening the blood vessels and improving blood flow.
  • Motherwort is a cooling cardiac remedy assisting in removing heat from the upper body in the area surrounding the heart. This is helpful for high blood pressure conditions and heat in the circulatory system, or for heat conditions such as hyperthyroidism.
  • Helpful for releasing the heat of a fever by opening the periphery at the level of the skin imparting a diaphoretic action.
  • As a bitter herb the digestive system is stimulated and is especially helpful for indegestion due to nerves.
  • Calming and grounding as a Nervine, cardiac tonic, bitter, and antispasmodic its effects focus on the parasympathetic nervous system (the rest and digest system conserves energy and slows the heart rate). It is especially helpful for anxiety, nervousness, headaches, tension, insomnia, and repeated waking in the night.
  • An emmenagogue and uterine relaxant, it helps to bring on a stagnant period especially those accompanied with emotional difficulties or anxiety. Helpful in expelling the afterbirth when the placenta does not drop easily after childbirth.

In Practice:

  • An excellent remedy for nervous conditions and insomnia, especially when heat and anxiety is present.
  • Known as Lion Heart, Motherwort imparts courage and aids in setting boundaries.

Cautions: Motherwort can interact with cardiac medications. Avoid taking Motherwort the week prior to menstruation in those with heavy flow. May cause contact dermatitis. Don’t use if you have a blood clotting problem.

Companion Herbs: rose, linden, hawthorn, hibiscus, blue vervain, lemon balm, sage, red rasberry

History: Used traditionally as a dark green wool dye. Sometimes mixed with mullein or other lung herbs to assist with asthma, bronchitis, and other lung problems.

Sources:

Bremness, Lesley, The Complete Book of Herbs A Practicle Guide to Growing and Using Herbs, New York, Ny, Penguin Group, 1988 Print

The American Herb Association and Kathi Keville, Director, Complete Book of Herbs Using Herbs to Enrich Your Garden, Home, and Health, Lincolnwood, Il, 1997, Print

Commonwealth Center for Holistic Herbalism, Materia Medica, https://commonwealthherbs.com

Jeanroy, Amy, The Spruce “How To Grow and Use Motherwort” https://www.thespruce.com/grow-and-usemotherwort1762292#:~:text=To%20grow%20motherwort%20in%20the,light%20conditions%2C%20and%20most%20soils.

Wesserle, Maria, Four Season Foraging “Basic Herbal Preperations with Motherwort” https://www.fourseasonforaging.com/blog/2019/8/5/basic-herbal-preparations-with-motherwort#:~:text=Motherwort%20should%20be%20harvested%20when,and%20discard%20the%20stem%20outdoors.

Herb of the Day: Burdock Root, Arctium minus

Arctium minus Burdock Root

Arctium minus Burdock Root

Digging this root up was hard! The plant has seed balls covered in velcro style prickers. They stick to your gloves and can irritate the skin. The root is thick and goes very deep even in very rocky soil. They grow Burdock in hay bales in farms to make it easier to harvest. I got mine from my backyard and made sure to leave plants for next year. Harvesting roots kills plants so it is really important to harvest sustainably and respectfully. I harvested this root to make tincture. The leaf has also been used to wrap food for cooking in.

Burdock root helps blood disorders like gout rheumatic accumulation, and arthritis. It helps bring circulation to the skin and capillaries. It activates the immune response at the root of a boil, sore or rash, and can be helpful for eczema. Difficulty with oil digestion can also cause dry skin and Burdock assists with this.

Arctium minus Burdock Root

Burdock is also highly nutritive and can aid in chronic illness and malnutrition. Due to its diuretic action it improves vitality by clearing the blood, liver, and kidneys of toxins. It is also a great bitter to aid in digestion. Overall, it is magnificent in all chronic skin conditions, aids in skin, blood, liver, and kidney toxin excretion, and helps digestion and assimilation of fats.

Some people may develop a rash when using Burdock but this is usually due to an underlying source of irritation that has yet been discovered in the diet or environment. This can include a pharmaceutical or food allergen. A Rash can also happen when taking too much Burdock.

Sourced from my school’s Commonwealth Herbs Materia Medica, Boston, Ma

#herbalism #herbalist #greenwitch #burdock #artiumminus

Herb of the Day: Yellow Dock, Rumex obtusifolius

Rumex obtusifolius, Dock

Rumex obtusifolius Dock,

I used broad leaf Dock but you can also use Curly Leaf Dock. Always harvest sustainably especially with roots. Never take more than you need. Never take all. Digging up Dock is very time consuming and difficult. You need to be tender to not destroy the root but firm to remove it from the rock and sandy soil in which it often grows. You can often find it growing along paths, parking lots, and roads. A strong weed with strong medicine.

Yellow Dock is called that because of the vibrant yellow of the root. The root color is so intense it can stain glass and is used as a dye. It is a wonderful astringent bitter for use in hot conditions of the stomach and intestines, especially ones cause by stagnation and fermentation in the gut. It stimulates liver and gallbladder function aiding in the release of bile easing constipation. Note, the looser the stool the lower the dose. Interestingly because it is astringent it also aids in Diarrea. It strengthens the gut by improving its muscle tone and health. Yellow dock also improves blood quality and as an alterative cleans and improves bodily fluids, and health and vitality. It is excellent for improving bodily uptake of iron and has a large amount of iron itself making it great for iron deficiency. Additionally, it can help calm liver stagnation that appears on the skin.

Yellow dock is helpful for those with weak digestion, iron deficiency, and increases mineral nutrition to the tissues. Loose bowel tone with constipation can be improved with yellow dock, especially in a decoction. It is an excellent remedy for those recovering from chronic gut stagnation and inflammation that has backed up into the liver. I think of IBD and IBS being states that may benefit from Yellow Dock, but with our modern diets we all need some gut relief.

For correction of diarrea it is good to include a mucilagenious herb to help absorption of fluids after use of an astringent. This makes Yellow Dock friends with Marshmallow Root. Burdock, dandelion, and calendula are also companions of this herb. Calendula is especially helpful for those with internal wounds like ulcers.

Herbarium Sheets

I’ve started making Herbarium sheets. An herbarium is a collection of pressed plants with their name, location, collector’s information, and general observations. Botanists use this information as a reference to track environmental changes, growing information, and more. It is quite fun and a great project for kids too! 🙂

Norse Elder Futhark Divination Set w/Border

Norse Elder Futhark Divination Set w/Border

In the Shop, Elder Futhark Rune Set. Runic inscriptions are found on artifacts, including jewelry, amulets, plateware, tools, weapons, and, runestones, from the 2nd to the 8th centuries. Elder Futhark is the oldest form of the runic alphabets used by the Norse and Germinaic people. In Norse mythology Odin (The All Father) and relentless seeker of knowledge sacrificed himself on the Yggdrasil (tree of life) to learn the runes. The runes are symbols of some of the most powerful forces in the cosmos. The runes allow access to these forces through their symbolism. Odin didnt just sacrifice himself to learn symbols, but rather he was unlocking the keys to the knowledge if these powers and a very strong type of magic.

Norse Elder Futhark Divination Set w/Border

At the center of the Norse cosmos stands the Yggdrasil who grows from the Well of Urd, a water source whose depths cannot be fathomed and which holds the most powerful forces and beings. Among these include the Norns, female beings of control and create fate, of which even the Gods and Goddesses are controlled by. Fate cannot be changed, but the runes gave access to some awareness to one’s path.

Norse Elder Futhark Divination Set w/Border

For legal purposes I am required to state that all my handmade items at The Adoring Crow are sold as curios only, offered solely for entertainment purposes and are not guaranteed to give any specific healing, abilities, or results. All purchases and use are the responsibility of the buyer and owner. I take no responsibility for use or misuse of my items and the buyer takes full responsibility for items once purchased. The Adoring Crow cannot guarantee that the products will provide a desired outcome.

All pictures, designs and content are the sole property of The Adoring Crow and may not be reproduced.

Thank you for looking!

https://www.etsy.com/shop/TheAdoringCrow

Odin, His Runes, & Ravens Wall Hanging

New in the shop, A woodburning wall hanging of Odin, the Norse God of war and protector of heroes, his ravens, Huginn and Muninn, with ground collected crow feathers and the elder futhark runes. I drew Odin freehand with a woodburner. Odin gave his eye for knowledge and sacrificed himself on the Yggdrasil to learn the runes. His ravens, Hugin and Munin (thought and memory), fly around the world and report back what they observe. Odin seeks knowledge. He collects the fallen for Valhala to fight in the final battle before Ragnarock. He is a shape shifter and seer.

All pictures, designs and content are the sole property of The Adoring Crow and may not be reproduced.

For legal purposes I am required to state that all my handmade items at The Adoring Crow are sold as curios only, offered solely for entertainment purposes and are not guaranteed to give any specific healing, abilities, or results. All purchases and use are the responsibility of the buyer and owner. I take no responsibility for use or misuse of my items and the buyer takes full responsibility for items once purchased. The Adoring Crow cannot guarantee that the products will provide a desired outcome.

Thank you for looking!