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Saturday, March 1, 2014

March 1st WHMonth: MULLEIN

TO CELEBRATE WOMEN'S HISTORY MONTH (WHM), during the month of March ~ in addition to my weekly postings ~ I will be making DAILY postings  of time tested herbal and medicinal food healing information in honor of Women, who have been the traditional Healers of their Families, Communities, Villages and Nations from time immemorial. 

HERBS ARE NATURES MEDICINE . . . and they are the primary tools women have used from time immemorial for healing the mind and body and spirit of her family and community. Woman's History Month is honoring women, who as inherent healers, have always pulled from the earth all the tools she needs to maintain her family and community, nurturing love and good health. A medicine woman's bag would hold many, many herbs, generating many, many formulas, as one herb used for a cold (mullein), when combined with totally different herbs, can be used as an antispasmodic for inflammation or an injury.

Even from conception, herbs like lady's mantle, red raspberry, wild yam, cramp bark, damiana, false unicorn are used in various combinations to increase fertility and to secure the fetus in the womb; every female starting her menses should have a cup of red raspberry tea every day for the rest of her life – as it will forever tone, harmonize and 'shore up' her reproductive system; to help her milk flow, herbs like anise seed, blessed thistle, fennel and parsley (as a hot compress on the breasts) are used. Herbs that promote menstruation pennyroyal, myrrh, black cohosh, rue and angelica. To calm nervous/hyperactive children – catnip which has been used in ancient times for babies and young children for expelling wind, or curing hiccups and stomach spasms (colic), with camomile, lemon balm, valerian, lady's slipper as relaxers and soother to the nerves. Echinacea has great antiseptic qualities; cleanses the blood as well as destroying bacteria, used following childbirth to relieve post-partum disease . . . MAKE NATURE'S MEDICINE YOUR OWN

Mullein (verbascum thapsus) has a special affinity for the respiratory organs, with a valued reputation for its remarkable narcotic properties without being poisonous and harmful. It is a great pain killer, calming and quieting all inflamed and irritated nerves.  Its high nutritive value steadily increases weight in wasting disorders. Mullein soothes and strengthens the bowels and renal system, and is one of the most important agents for influencing the endocrine glands.The roots, flowers and leaves are all medicinal and can be used for many different ailments when combined with various other herbs.

Mullein is one of my favorite herbs (yeah, that's me in the photo, during my early teaching days back in the 80's when I did many herb walks with students in the streets of The Bronx).  Oohh . . . maybe I'll post some of my herb walk pictures and photos of herbs I've taken.  Would you like that, just out of curiosity, or find it beneficial?  Actually, from the photos you might be able to learn to identify some herbs in your own community that you walk by every day on the way to the train or bus or store or doctors office [umm, we have to work on cutting out "the trip to the doctors office" <;o)) ] 

CALLING ALL HEALERS ~ MEN AND WOMEN ALIKE – Let's expand our Medicine Bags and share our personal experiences with this herb (or others you've used for similar conditions.  I'm sure many many of you have used various herbs for sprains, injuries and wounds; and parents have their own arsenal of what their families have traditionally  used for children's earaches. Send me what works for you. From this sharing, I will do a whole new weekly post, and we'll call it: EXPAND YOUR MEDICINE BAG!

I have used Mullein many times over the years for various sports and martial arts sprains and injuries.  I would boil some water and wrap some Mullein (along with some PLANTAIN which is a powerful pain reliever, antispasmodic - maybe I'll do Plantain tomorrow) in a towel and let it sit in the pot (covered) for 30 minutes or more. Then apply the 'hot compress' to the inflamed area - as it cooled, I would simply pour more of the hot infusion to re-soak the cloth. 

Mullein has a neutral taste, mildly pleasant and affects the lungs, glands and lymphatic system. Its properties and therapeutic actions are as an expectorant, astringent, demulcent, diuretic, vulnerary and antispasmodic.

It can be smoked to relieve lung congestion and coughs. Mullein flowers also provide a soothing and cleansing effect to the skin. As a wash, they are an easy treatment for minor wounds and scrapes. These same flowers can be picked throughout the growing season, placed in olive oil and left to infuse. The resulting infusion is wonderful for earaches that do NOT involve a ruptured eardrum.


For respiratory congestion, combine mullein with yerba santa, wild cherry bark, licorice and comfrey root as a tea or tincture.

2 parts Mullein with ½ part Lobelia and 1/8 part Cayenne as a fomentation is excellent for bronchitis, rheumatism, stiff joints, mumps and swollen glands.

For glandular imbalances combine equal parts Mullein leaves, wood sanicle and ½ part Lobelia simmered in 2 qts water for 15min, strain – use as hot compress for one hour 3x daily. My personal formula for lymphatic cleanse includes mullein, bayberry, echinacea, yarrow and yellow dock.

Mullein-fl3For earaches, discharge or disease of the ear (NOT ruptured ear drum), simmer 2 ounces of Mullein flowers in olive oil (enough oil to cover the herbs) until 'done'. Strain and press out the oil and bottle when cooled. Or create a 'Sun Oil' by placing Mullein flowers in a jar and cover with olive oil 1” above the flowers, cover tightly and shake well daily for 2 weeks. Strain and press out the oil and bottle. Apply a few drops in the ear overnight. Add beeswax to the infused oil, and you will have a balm that makes a great addition to any baby's bottom. The delicate skin of a baby's diaper area can benefit from a light layer of this mullein balm.

For asthma combine equal parts Mullein, sage and plantain, steep for 15min in 1 pint of water, strain and sweeten with honey, bottle and keep in cool dry place.

Friday, February 28, 2014


A beautiful orange colored gemstone, Carnelian is linked both to the Root Chakra and the Sacral Chakra.  Carnelian's main qualities are energizing and grounding/centering. Carnelian also has protective qualities, and can fill one with warmth, joyful gratitude and a genuine simple happiness. It is a stone that activates one's flow of inner power and sexual energy flow, and is often recommended for women. 

The earthy and grounding carnelian comes in many colors, the most powerful ones being red and deep orange carnelian. As with any crystal or stone, there are benefits to be discovered by the proper use of rich and beautiful carnelian. 

As a healing stone it has long been believed to help cure diseases of the blood, as well as to stop nose bleeds.  It is said to aid in the elimination of toxins and waste products from the body, and has been used, in the form of an elixir, to help cuts and abrasions heal more quickly.
Carnelian helps fight negativity and depression, enabling us to look at the brighter side of life, bringing with it a feeling of optimism.  It is believed to help quell feelings of anger and annoyance, allowing for logical and clear thinking to rule our actions.
Carnelian is a grounding stone and also helps with stress-related problems - next time something makes your ‘blood boil’- think about reaching for some carnelian to help calm you down!  It is stone of courage and inspiration, helping us to overcome our fears - especially beneficial for those nervous of public speaking as it said to aid the speaker to be not only relaxed and confident, but more eloquent too (turquoise is the #1 stone for “communication” at the Throat Chakra). This also makes it an ideal talisman for actors and those involved with the theater.
Carnelian is both an energy booster and stabilizer, too. Although it does increase the energy flow in any space (or for any body) carnelian does it in a happy and calm kind of way. It is a joyful stone that feels very secure in its essence and transmits the same warmth, protection and inner security to its surroundings. 

On our website, we have further information regarding the 2nd Chakra and Carnelian:

Feng shui-wise, carnelian is used for its energy activating and protective qualities. It is often used along with citrine in the so-called feng shui gem tree for wealth, as well as various bracelets and amulets. Carnelian is also associated with the flow of abundance.

Thursday, February 27, 2014


Eyebright is an herb that we use the “whole above ground part” medicinally.  Eyebright is taken by mouth to treat swollen (inflamed) nasal passages, allergies, hay fever, common cold, bronchial conditions and inflamed sinuses (sinusitis).  It is also used for cancer, coughs, pink eye (conjunctivitis), earaches, epilepsy, headaches, hoarseness, inflammation, jaundice, runny nose, skin ailments and sore throat.

The eyes are considered the Windows of the Soul, and it is the liver that opens into the eyes. The Liver is like a “General of an Army” because it maintains evenness and harmony of movement throughout the body. When the Liver is harmonized and receives blood properly and plentifully, the eyes can see; many eye and vision disorders are liver-related. (Infertility is often an imbalance of the liver as well.) During physical activity the Liver allows the blood to move freely outward when the body needs blood for nourishment. During rest or inactivity the blood returns to and is stored in the Liver. When we have difficulty sleeping, or restless sleep, or wake unrested, it may partially be due to our Liver being out of balance and is unable to do its job fully. (Inquire about our Liver-Giver formula to remedy this.)

Eyebright can be applied directly to the eye in the form of a lotion, poultice, or eye bath to treat a variety of conditions including inflammation of the eyelids at the edge of the lashes (blepharitis), eye fatigue, inflammation of the blood vessels, and for "glued " and inflamed eyes.

Eyebright aids in stimulating the liver to clear the blood and relieve those conditions that affect clarity of vision and thought. In a formula, it should be taken liberally on a daily basis to treat all eye problems. For conjunctivitis, eye weakness, dry or tearing eyes, ophthalmia and other eye disease, the tea can be used as an eyewash and combined with goldenseal, rue or fennel.
Other herbs that invigorate and restore balance to the eyes: red raspberry, jaborandi (glaucoma), yellow marigold (c. officinalis) (glaucoma).

Some herbs that restore balance to the liver include: Burdock, Chaparral, Dandelion, Yellow Dock, Gentian, Prickly Ash Bark and Sassafras.  

You may have your favorite herbs for the eye irritation or dryness. Feel free to share, and if you want I'll post them.

Sunday, February 23, 2014


during the month of March - in addition to my 
weekly postings - I will be making DAILY 
postings of specific herbal and 
healing information 
for women.

Pictured here are my WOMEN WARRIORS: 
my Healers, Sistas, teachers, Spirit Guides.
If you have specific concerns, interests and/or conditions you'd like me to address, please let me know in the comment box.  I'm sooo excited, I hope I can wait another week to begin.