Hematite

Healing stones were one of the first things I was drawn to as I became more spiritually awakened. They are versatile and useful, and very pleasing to the eye.

Hematite was the first stone I ever gravitated towards instinctually. It is mainly used for grounding and protection. I essentially use it for protection but it can be used for many other things as well. It can even be used in the corners of a room or property to help protect and ward off negativity. Hematite is beneficial with mental organization and logical thinking. Emotionally it is calming and decreases negativity. It also has the capability to boost self-esteem. Physically it has been known to cool the body and blood disorders, along with lessening anxiety. Hematite is a wonderful stone, essential in any collection.

-Lily McNamara, Magus Reader

My massage experience with Alythia

Recently, Alythia (our new massage therapist apprentice at Magus) and I decided to commit ourselves to a daily Yoga routine together.  An added bonus to that is that I get to have the opportunity to sample Alythia’s massage therapy skills which she acquired working at Juut Salon, and being trained at Aveda.  Alythia is an apprentice under Magus’ master massage therapist Mela.  And it is paying off!  After an intense Yoga session involving several moon salutations and difficult balancing and stretching postures, Alythia was kind enough to give me a much needed massage.  

First off, she and I share a similar taste in music…heavy friggen metal!  This was the first time I got to experience a massage with death metal playing, and I felt right at home.  Alythia also incorporated a chakra analysis at the beginning of the session in which she scanned my chakras and then presented me with a few different herbal chakra oil choices.  I ended up choosing the crown chakra oil, and the smell was very pleasant and uplifting as she worked the oil through my sore muscles.  

Without even explaining to Alythia where a lot of my spinal issues were, she managed to find them and go town on them.  Her massage started off fairly gentle and soothing, but once she found those problem areas she was would not stop until they were eased!  This hurt me to some degree, but it was the good kind of hurt because I honestly felt like she popped out every single knot and ache in there!  Because of this I have nicknamed her the Spine Ninja.  She perceived the sources of my body’s pain better than I can, and annihilated the crap out of it!  

As a result of her amazing skills she learned more about what types of Yoga I would need to do to work these issues out.  Also, throughout the day I was in an incredibly good and uplifted mood.  I truly look forward to continue to receive healing help from Alythia in the future and I would recommend her to anyone who was in need of some spinal work.  I have no doubt that she has excellent skills in other areas of the body, and I am proud to have her aboard our Magus team.

-Kyle Ford, Magus Minion and Assistant Manager

In the spirit of New Year’s Resolutions:

MESSAGE OF THE DAY FROM THE ELDERS TO MANKIND:

In the spirit of New Year’s Resolutions:

The Elders would like to educate us on how our thoughts play a very important role in the successes of our resolutions. They suggest rather than thinking of our resolution as something you’re “going to start” or “going to stop” doing in the next year, (Page of SWORDS), they recommend we see what we can immediately do NOW in this moment with our thoughts to get ourselves in gear in that direction, rather then perpetuating what are are currently NOT, (CHARIOT). (See card definitions below).

Think of starting that future resolution right now. So, for instance, if your goal is to lose 20 pounds they are suggesting you just say, “I live a healthy lifestyle starting now. This is who I am now. I NOW am a super healthy living being.” And you go forth and BE THAT. You want to be healthy, then you just start making decisions that make you feel healthy no matter how big or small. The more think of yourself AS THAT, the more your old habits will shift over to these new habits of healthier living.

If you believe you are something, then you will naturally BE THAT, because you feel the best about your decisions when they align with who you are. And who you are is who you THINK you are. NOT your current physical state of being. That is who you have been and have already become. There is a lag between our thoughts and what our physical life becomes. So jump out ahead of yourself and BE that now. Visualize yourself at your goal weight and watch your physical shell comfortably start migrating toward THAT.

GET IT?

SO THE CARDS ARE SAYING:

PAGE OF SWORDS: This is us keeping ourselves in a state of “having not done that yet.” This young page has been trained with his sword but he has not yet used it.

CHARIOT: Each Sphinx is pulling the chariot in an equal and opposite direction, which makes it go nowhere.

*”The Elders” is whom Holly coined the “God energy” souls that started talking to her in 2007 and have been working with her ever since. They are All Knowing and come to Holly as undefined number of souls that speak to her in one voice. Her Spirit Guide, Andre, is also one of these Elders.

Cranio Sacral & Shiatsu Treatment

What is a CranioSacral session like, and how does it differ from massage?

A CranioSacral session is one of the most deeply profound modalities of massage I have ever had the pleasure of receiving as well as giving.

First, from the receiving perspective:

With massage, your muscles are continually being manipulated with the intent to relax. With CranioSacral, you invite your body to release and relax itself. You commune and listen to your body, and let it guide you towards healing and embracing wellness. Sometimes the body is not ready to release an area, and this can be for a wide variety of reasons. To remove or release a blockage before the body is ready can cause great distress to the body. Both the practitioner and recipient need to listen and communicate with the body to determine to what extent it is ready to release.

For being so seemingly light of touch and subtle, to me, it can seem more relaxing than sleep. Like a meditative state, it’s almost trance like. I find myself being able to delve into my body, into the cells themselves, and reach beyond into the nothingness, and then find the energy that fills and flows within my body. Because it is about listening to the body, and letting the body guide and direct the practitioner, every session is unexpected and different. A CranioSacral session leaves me feeling quiet, calm, and centered yet very awakened and alert.

On a physical body level, you unwind. Blockages un-recognized normally are opened and cleared.  Mentally, receiving a session is similar to a deep meditation in which you are acutely aware and all that exists is the present moment to moment. Emotionally, you can listen and hear the messages that your body has stored within it for you. Spiritually you are given opportunity to connect to your Inner Physician, that part of you that knows exactly what ails you and what you need to heal.

On a purely physical basis, one of my favorite parts of CranioSacral work is the amazing relief it can give for jaw pain. Anyone who has TMD, TMJ, or just clenches their jaw during sleep or stress understand how awful this pain can be. CranioSacral has some marvelous inter-oral techniques that can unwind and release a tight jaw. It’s wonderful to experience especially after a visit to the dentist, or a long night of clenching & grinding in your sleep. Many remark after a session of how they feel more open and more “space” in their body, especially in the head.

It’s always amazing to me how much movement and shifting I can feel taking place within my body. I know many who report seeing a rainbow of colors or lights in different areas of the body. While I haven’t had this experience, I do “see” the shifts as they happen. It’s Really Neat.

From a practitioner’s point of view:

I approach each body with respect and reverence. It is a great gift to be invited to participate with a person on their healing journey. I acknowledge that I am there to assist them on their journey and tend to their needs. It is not mine to decide where it is they need to go and take them there. It is my place to listen deeply to the person and their body, and remind them of it’s inherent healing ability.

In massage, there is often an agenda: Get the person to relax. The therapist takes on this responsibility, and does whatever they deem necessary to get that job done. It is like barging into the body, and giving commands and directions like a foreman would direct his construction team. With CranioSacral, I, the practitioner come to the body as a guest to the home of the body. I knock on the door, and wait to be invited in. I sit patiently and quietly and listen to the homeowner, who guides me through the home of their body.

I only go where invited; just as you can close a door to a room you don’t want a guest to see, you choose what areas of access I am given. I have had clients who were concerned that I was going to see into the deep dark parts of their soul: that’s not how it works. I do not trespass or stumble into areas of the body or psyche.

It is important for the practitioner to remain in what we call Neutral stance for the full session. It is not about pushing or pulling the person in any way; it is about deeply listening and then responding appropriately.

What to expect in a session beginning to end:

CranioSacral is preformed through comfortable clothing. Many wear yoga pants and a t-shirt. CranioSacral is done in the prone position: with the person laying on their back facing the ceiling. We begin the session by me listening to you verbally; we discuss what is going on with your body, what you want me to address, and what your personal goals for the session are.

There are multiple ways I can and do assess the body, which may include me asking you to stick out your tongue, or just having you stand while I scan your energetic/magnetic body.

I usually like to begin having the person face down, and doing Shiatsu techniques. This helps to ground and center a person into their body. I then have the person turn over, and then we begin the CranioSacral session. The session may be done on the purely physical level, or we may explore the emotional and spiritual depths of the body. We may dive deep down, and resurface, and bob up and down in the layers of the person, depending on what they want and need. I often share the impressions I receive, and let you decide what to do with them.

At the end, I help you to re-ground and re-integrate. I leave you for a few minutes to let you absorb and regroup from the session. We then discuss how you feel, impressions you received, and you go on your merry way. I recommend not planning anything after a CranioSacral session, as it can be so profound that you may want to take time to yourself to journal the experience.

When should you get a CranioSacral session?

CranioSacral is a great idea whenever you feel a need to explore and integrate yourself.

It’s helpful for if you’ve just been to the dentist and need relief from jaw pain.

It’s wonderful to receive one previous to or following a magickal initiation or spiritual transformation.

It’s a good idea if you want a calming and centering, yet very deep and profound experience of bodywork.

Nighttime Prayer

This is a nighttime prayer that is appropriate for any and all, and is a nice way to end the day and enter the SlumberLand:

I soften my mind and heart to rest

And pray that self & soul be blessed

I release this days frustrations and guilt

Embracing compassionate forgiveness like a quilt

Though fear may attack and assail me

I am protected: Divinely and Preciously

May I be grateful of the bountiful blessings in life

Rather than feeding & amplifying the strife

Great Powers that Be, Both Within and Outside of Me!

Please Bless and Protect my entire system of support

With Love and Light

Through every night.

Amen!

Invigorate your Body, Mind & Spirit

What’s your morning routine like? Do you jump out of bed minutes before you need to get out the door, or do you intentionally wake earlier and give yourself ample time to get ready?

I have created a way to get in exercise, meditation, and magick in in less than 20 minutes!

How is that? Easy! I call them Mela’s Magick Sun Salutations.

I sit and center myself on my yoga mat. I breathe in and out, noticing how my body feels, where my breath is going into (am I breathing into my diaphram, or shallow breaths?) without judging or trying to change my breathing. I take note of where I have tension, and how my spine is aligned. I take about 2 minutes for this check-in with my body, and then set my intent for my SunSalutations. That early in the morning, my brain is still revving up, so I often default to an intention of “For the Good, the Beautiful, and the True. May it fill me, so that I may Radiate and Shine through my day”

Then I slowly begin to sync my body and my breath as I move through the poses.

Mountain pose. Swan dive down into a forward bend. Right leg back into a lunge. Left leg back into the Plank position. Push hips up & anchor my arms to the mat as I move into Downward Dog. Back into plank. Bend the knees and swoop up into Cobra. Breathe into my heart chakra. Push up into plank again. Flow back to Downward Dog. Plank (yea, again). Step the right foot up into lunge. Left foot meets the right and I do a beginner’s Eagle pose. Forward bend again. Then pull myself up, vertebra by vertebra into the standing Mountain Pose again. Then I do it again, stepping back with my left foot this time.

That is one round of the Sun Salutation. All together, I do 4 of them. I choose four to honor and invoke Jupiter & it’s beneficence. In between each round, I do a Balancing pose that helps me feel solid in my core and grounded. So I do a total of 3 balancing poses; I do this so that I get to the number of 7, which is for Venus, and I do that to honor and invoke Love into my day.

In each set of the Sun Salutations, I also add push-ups right after Cobra, and before I do the plank. I do 7 or 11 push ups, depending on which round I’m on. Again, 7 representing for me Love, or 11 which to me symbolizes breaking from the Wheel of Life into the realm of the Mystical Magickal world.

I then sit on my mat, and tune into myself again. First I notice the big differences compared to how I felt 20 minutes before: I feel the circulation in my body has increased, and so I feel more open and loose, while also noticing that my posture feels more correct and stable. I feel my breath expanding through my entire body. Tension is alleviated in most areas.

I then intentionally practice gratitude, and thank my Practice…. I thank my body, I appreciate my mind, and am amazed at how connected I feel to Spirit.

And that’s it! That is how I begin each and every day. In the past 6 months, I have skipped exactly 2 mornings…. And then regretted it throughout the day.

People often ask how I maintain my physique… this 20 minutes each morning, is my Secret-not-a-secret, of how I combine exercise, meditation, and magick in my formulation of a foundationally fabulous day!

Herbal Stress Relief

After a long and busy day, using an herb or two to unwind can be a wonderful stress reliever.  There are many herbs that can help de-stress from a hard day.  Some are great for people who are usually cold; others are a good choice for people with mild indigestion.  Let’s explore them and find the perfect relaxation herbs!

Today I am posting about Linden Flower.  Linden Flower is a classic relaxant.  Once considered the mildest of narcotics, Linden is mildly sweet and a little relaxing.  The label “narcotic” was taken away from this little beauty once scientists understood the chemical structure of narcotics.  They discovered that Linden is not a narcotic at all!  It simply acts to relax tensions.  This is especially true when it comes to tensions felt when arguing.  This is indicated by a story that comes out of Europe.  The story says that it was desirable to have town meetings under Linden trees if a town hall was not available.  The reason?  People would argue less and the meetings would end sooner if people could inhale the light fragrance of the Linden tree in bloom!  

Linden is a little cooling to the body, so it is ideal for someone who becomes hot easily.  Not only does it make a mild herb tea, it is also great in the bath!  Making an entire pot of the tea and pouring one cup to drink and two or three cups into a warm bath can be a great way to relax.  A Linden bath is also a great way to get a fussy toddler ready for bed with less resistance.  It is also thought to help someone who is habitually tense avoid hypertension, especially if there is a family history of heart disease.  This is a tree with many names, and while herbalists tend to use a European name: Linden, there is also an American name: Basswood.  

-Liz Johnson, Store Owner

A is for Agrimony

A is for Agrimony

In that obscure top shelf of many an herb shop lies a jar of agrimony.  This little jewel of both Western herbalism and traditional Chinese medicine contains a wonder of uses, magickal, and medicinal.  In legend and lore, it banishes goblins and other evils, and in the body it is thought to relax shoulders and defensive postures.  Could these be related?  As the body perceives that the environment is safer, perhaps the shoulders drop and the muscles relax.

To rid the home and property of goblins: hang small bags of agrimony in dark spaces that goblins like to hide in, like closets and seldom used cupboards.  Use a bag with a thin fabric so the agrimony energies can seep out easily over time.  Give the bag a little squeeze for an extra burst of agrimony energies whenever going into the space where it hangs.  This irritates the goblins and they leave for a home where no one has figured this out!

In both East and West it is thought to effect the liver and digestion, among other things.  These effects on the digestive system have lead to its use in fighting diarrhea, mild food poisoning, and more.  For many this can be a pleasant addition to a tasty herbal tea, but those with diabetes may need to watch their sugars more carefully than normal if choosing to try this herb out.  Be sure to check on line for warnings and drug interactions or any other new information about this herb, or make an appointment to see an great herbalist.

 

B is for Bay

Considered a masculine herb of the Sun and associated with the element of fire, bay is an herb of victory and pronouncement.  By using bay while declaring the victory that is coming, the odds of success increase.  One way to do this is to write the wish on a whole bay leaf, then burn it in a fire or on incense charcoal.  It is even used in love spells, with the names of the proposed lovers written on the leaf.  It is even a beautiful addition to a marriage ceremony to place the names of those getting married together on one leaf.

Bay leaf has been an ingredient in herbal baths for sore joints and other pains for centuries and pairs well with rosemary, calendula, and other herbs traditionally used for ache and pains.  They make a pretty addition to the bath, too, so just float a handful in the next bath along with a bag or strainer of smaller herbs that that allow the water from the faucet to run through them.

Be sure to check on line for warnings and drug interactions or any other new information about this herb, or make an appointment to see an great herbalist.

 

C is for Chrysanthemum

Just to be clear, this is not the red or white poinsettia that is so popular in December among some folks, but a completely different plant, so don’t eat the poinsettia one!

There are lots of good reasons to enjoy real chrysanthemum tea, from helping to prevent heart disease to preventing gray hair to working to help the body deal with dry and itchy eyes, but my favorite is how it can help asthmatics.  That’s right, the herb has been shown to inhibit PAF (platelet activating factor), one of many causes of asthma.  When this is the primary issue in the body triggering asthma attacks, this herb has been shown to reduce the number and severity of asthma attacks.

Associated with fire, the sun, and masculinity, this herb is a protective herb that is thought to shield the home and the people living in the home from dangers.  Having a little in the house is thought to be very protective, so keep some in the kitchen and consider using some in a cup of tea!

Be sure to check on line for warnings and drug interactions or any other new information about this herb, or make an appointment to see an great herbalist.

 

D is for Dandelion

A classic herb from Western herbalism and one nearly every child in temperate climates has played with at least once, dandelion is a symbol of joy, sunlight, and the Sun.  Sending a wish out into the universe or up to the heavens?  Blow those seeds into the air and surely your wishes will grow, although where they work best might surprise you!

Considered a great liver and kidney cleanser, dandelion is in many a spring tonic tea and lots of spring soups and salads.  The roasted root has been used as  a coffee substitute or coffee extender, much like roasted chicory and in autumn, the root has been added (in small quantities) to savory soups and stews.

Be sure to check on line for warnings and drug interactions or any other new information about this herb, or make an appointment to see an great herbalist.

 

E is for Elder

The tree of the Faeries and the crone of the triple goddess, elder is a powerful herb in exorcism, banishment and healing.  Ask elder for help in separation, endings, and transformation by burning elder flowers and frankincense mixed together.  This can be done on incense charcoal or in a fire whenever a new start is needed. Of course, using the wood of the elder tree was said to increase the power of witches…or perhaps that should say increases the power of those who take their lives into their own hands to create the best future possible for themselves and those they love.

A traditional European healing herb, elder tree was once grown in every French yard by royal decree as part of the health policies of King Charlemagne. Each part of the tree has its uses, but the flowers and berries are readily available and still valued today.  The flowers are used for all sorts of health issues, but above all else, they are a prized ingredient tin teas for colds and flu. The berries are often turned into syrup for colds and flu as well.

Be sure to check on line for warnings and drug interactions or any other new information about this herb, or make an appointment to see an great herbalist.

 

F is for Fenugreek

A wonderful herb for bringing wealth and prosperity into the home, using it in mop water or adding some of its golden color to potpourri is a great way to bring the energies of fenugreek into the home.  Associated with Jupiter and its prosperity and expansiveness, it is a fantastic choice for brining more of the good things of life into the home and family.

While fenugreek has its immediate uses, its real magic lies in its potential for long term health.  It has been shown to lower fats and sugars in the body, so its traditional inclusion in Indian cuisine is not just a tasty seasoning, but perhaps a powerful little secret to a long and healthy life!  A nice, spicy, earthy recipe might call for ¼ to ½ teaspoon of fenugreek…perhaps with some sesame, mustard seed, cumin, fennel, garlic, lime, curry, or other wonderful flavors. Look for a great recipe on line today.

Be sure to check on line for warnings and drug interactions or any other new information about this herb, or make an appointment to see an great herbalist.

 

G is for Galangal

A warm, spicy herb, galangal is associated with Mars and masculinity.  It adds energy to any magickal working and has been used in nearly every kind of magick work – from money to lust to psychic abilities and more. Need a little more action in the bedroom?  Sprinkle a little galangal root around the home and under the bed. Want more out of life in any way? Put a little galangal in a small bag and keep it in a pocket or on a necklace.

As with many spicy herbs, galangal has been used for slow digestion and other mild digestive issues.  It warms and gets digestion moving and calms certain bodily functions that can lead to allergies.  This is a great herb to use in cooking anywhere that ginger might be used, in fact, it has been substituted for ginger by unscrupulous spice dealers in days gone by.  A different taste from ginger, it is a great, spicy root in its own right.

Be sure to check on line for warnings and drug interactions or any other new information about this herb, or make an appointment to see an great herbalist.

 

H is for Honeysuckle

Honeysuckle is a fantastic herb traditionally used to help fight fevers, asthma, and more, this is a great flower to have on hand for lots of reasons!  It tastes nice in a tea, and has been an ingredient in cough syrups. It even has a reputation as an aphrodisiac. In fact, it was once banned from houses in England for causing erotic dreams! Be careful, though, because it can bring bad luck into the home that has cut honeysuckle in it…it may be better to just pick the flowers.

Under the power of Aries, it is a flower for anyone born march 21 – April 19.  Being associated with Aries, Mars is one of the planets to which it can be linked. Magickally, it is about giving energy to the person who uses it, making them more charming and irresistible.  Adding a little finely ground Honeysuckle to a favorite powder is a great way to bring the charm and vivacity of honeysuckle into one’s life.

Be sure to check on line for warnings and drug interactions or any other new information about this herb, or make an appointment to see an great herbalist.

 

I is for Irish Moss

What a lucky herb.  Sweep a little under the rug for a lucky family and a lucky home.  It is also very protective of the home, so even if you feel lucky already, legend says that a little under the rug can go a long way to keep family and home in good shape.  It is associated with the Moon and the element of water.  The water association make makes some sense as this is a seaweed.

Also called carragheen, this is a traditional northern European food and medicine, especially in Ireland.  It is used to make milk jelly in some places, which is traditionally used for colds and flu, and for burns. Studies suggest that it may be able to help us with ulcers, high blood pressure, and acid stomach, but it has many more traditional uses that have yet to be studied.

Be sure to check on line for warnings and drug interactions or any other new information about this herb, or make an appointment to see an great herbalist.

 

J is for Juniper Berry*

 

Juniper is a plant that is traditionally left to die on its own as killing a Juniper bush is said to bring death to the person who cuts it down.  Going further back in time, we find this herb used to cleanse homes and temples and used in Egyptian medicine.  Of course, this is an essential ingredient in gin.

It is associated with Jupiter and the Moon, and is used magickally to cleanse not only space, but the mind as well.  The berry is burned in incense for clarity, the branches and berry burned in incense to drive away evil.  But juniper causes confusion as well! Leaving a bit of juniper near doors and windows is said to distract evil influences, who will feel compelled to count all of the little, over lapping leaves on the branch.

Gently crushing a few tablespoons of the berry can be a great addition to an herbal bath, too.

In traditional and natural healing, juniper berries are probably best know as kidney cleansers, although it has lots on wonderful uses.  This is a strong herb and often not used full strength, but since it also has a long history as a cooking herb, this can be a nice herb to try in small amounts in meat dishes or dishes with a meaty sense to them, like mushroom pate.  Just remember that even as a spice, this is a strong herb and a little goes a long way.

Be sure to check on line for warnings and drug interactions or any other new information about this herb, or make an appointment to see an great herbalist.

 

K is for Kola

The seeds of this evergreen tree have been harvested for the energy boost that they can give for a very, very long time. Kola trees are native to Togo, Sierra Leone and Angola. In the center of the seed lies the all important red kernel.  This where the caffeine lies.  The seeds are dried for processing and become key ingredients in colas around the world. It contains caffeine, theobromine, theophylline, the three purine alkaloids we love as “pick me ups”.  These are found in kola and in tea, so if a cola is a better pick me up than coffee, then tea may be a better bet for a warm drink than coffee.

As for magickal work, one traditional spell from Nigeria has been recorded.  In it the male head of a family gives thanks to the ancestors for talents and skills and asks them for guidance in the responsible use of those talents.  This intent is kept in mind while a generous amount of whiskey it poured over a representation of that talent.  A Cola spp. nut is broken on it (or the powder could be sprinkled on it), and the proper prayers are spoken.  This would make it an herb of Jupiter, wealth, and success.

Be sure to check on line for warnings and drug interactions or any other new information about this herb, or make an appointment to see an great herbalist.

 

L is for Lavender*

A masculine herb associated with Mercury and the ancient Greek element Air and used to remind people both of love and of chastity over the centuries, it has been wound up in relationship symbolism for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. It is thought to bring happiness, and considering its antidepressant properties, this is no surprise.  It is also used in magickal circles for peace, sleep, protection, purity, and a long life. It has even been used symbolically as a safeguard against spousal abuse.  It can be burned in incense, bathed in, or even soaked in oil and the oil applied to the skin.

This is an amazing herb that has several very important uses. The one that will be highlighted here is sleep. Lavender effects sleep three ways: it relaxes the nervous system, it increases certain brain chemistry that enhances that relaxation, and it shortens the time it takes to fall asleep. Perhaps this is why it makes such a great dream pillow stuffing.

Be sure to check on line for warnings and drug interactions or any other new information about this herb, or make an appointment to see an great herbalist.

 

M is for Meadowsweet

Sacred to the ancient Druids, this herb is synonymous with love, peace, and happiness. It is a traditional strewing herb for weddings, a day of happiness for most couples.  It is associated with Jupiter, a planet of expansiveness, as in the wedding expanding the family.

Containing aspirin naturally, it is also full of things to protect the stomach from the effects of aspirin. Many who cannot tolerate aspirin find that they can tolerate small amounts of meadowsweet. It is these other parts of the herb that have lead to its use in traditional and natural healing for ulcers.

Be sure to check on line for warnings and drug interactions or any other new information about this herb, or make an appointment to see an great herbalist.

 

N is for Nettles*

Full of stinging hairs until it is cooked or dried, nettles this martial plant was beloved by Caesar’s men, who brought with them as they travelled.  They loved it for waking up cold legs on a frigid morning, when they would grab some fresh and beat their freezing legs with it to wake up! Associated with Mars and fire, this is the perfect herb for a little “get up and go”.  Need a little motivation? Try a pinch of nettles in your magickal incense or soak some in oil and use the oil to dress a candle that you burn to infuse your work with your very own magick.

 

Astringent and alterative, U. dioica is also anti-inflammatory, diuretic, tonic, nutritive, styptic, circulatory stimulant, galactagogue, hypoglycemic, anti-uric acid, rubefacient.  It is cooling, minerally, and astringent with a hint of bitterness.  These tastes reveal the tissue states that U. dioica can be used on: irritation, depression, stagnation, and atrophy.  

Traditionally, nettles is used for many things, but skin health and allergies are among its many traditional uses. A cup of tea can start the right person on the road to a healthier life if they are a match for this herb.  A cup of tea can be as simple as a teaspoon of herb steeped in boiling hot water for 5 – 15 minutes.  It can also be useful in some cases of heartburn, just eat a pinch!

Be sure to check on line for warnings and drug interactions or any other new information about this herb, or make an appointment to see an great herbalist.

 

O is for Osha

An amazing North American herb with a long history of use by many Native American nations. Magickally, it can be thought of as clearing the way, creating balance, and giving energy to the person using it, bringing luck, health, and wealth. Great in a magickal bath, a few pinches with angelica root, rosemary, and juniper berries would be a great combination for good luck and all that can come from that.

Traditionally, this herb is used medicinally to purify the body.  It is a decongestant and a tonic for the upper respiratory system and for digestion. A cup of the tea is often used, but it is simmered for stronger effect.

Be sure to check on line for warnings and drug interactions or any other new information about this herb, or make an appointment to see an great herbalist.

 

P is for Poria

A fungus, it grows in the roots of conifer trees in Asia and the southern USA.  It resembles a truffle. It can be placed around the bedroom, under beds and in bedroom windows whenever the person needing it is being their own worst enemy. Getting in your own way? Can’t make up your mind? Then this is an herb with great energies to invite into your life.

Poria is traditionally used to combat insomnia, restless thinking, moodiness, anxiety, and lots more. This is considered a mild herb used by children and the elderly alike and often treated as a food rather than as a medicine.  It can be ground down to be used as flour, hence the name “Tuckahoe Bread” from the southern USA.   

Be sure to check on line for warnings and drug interactions or any other new information about this herb, or make an appointment to see an great herbalist.

 

Q is for Quassia

Quassia is a great herb for trapping anyone attacking you, controlling situations and having commands obeyed. Powerful? Yes! A small piece in oil that can be worn or used on doorways and windowsills to drive away enemies.

Legend says that we learned about this from a slave named Quassi.  He used the wood as a secret remedy for fever and deterioration.  Quassi is supposed to have sold the secret of his cure in 1756.

A traditional bitter tonic, the wood has even been fashioned into cups to make brewing this remedy as simple as adding boiling water to the cup.  A tonic, when used appropriately, can help the body “tune up” in a variety of ways. This traditional tonic is also poisonous to flies, dogs, fish, and rabbits.

For those unable to find a Q. amara cup, a standard infusion allowed to grow cold and sipped throughout the day.

Be sure to check on line for warnings and drug interactions or any other new information about this herb, or make an appointment to see an great herbalist.

 

R is for Rosehips

This is a great herbs for cooling tumultuous situations, calming arguments, and welcoming friends into one’s home. Offered as a welcoming tea on a hot summer day, perhaps mixed with hibiscus, this is as magickal welcome for anyone entering one’s home. It can be included in any magickal bag of herbs worn or kept nearby for calmness in heated situations when it could be easy to argue instead of compriomise.  

Famous in ancient Rome as a cure for dog bites, this tasty herb is not used for this reason any more, but it has some great uses in today’s herbalism. Known to be high in vitamin C and the bioflavanoids that ideally accompany vitamin C, rosehips are great in capsules or teas as a cold and flu fighter. It is cooling to the body, so if you find yourself too cold after using some, warm up with something hot and spicy.

Be sure to check on line for warnings and drug interactions or any other new information about this herb, or make an appointment to see an great herbalist.

 

S is for Suma

A bringer of luck, hope, and good fortune, Suma is associated with the Sun, Leo, and fire. This can be the perfect addition to strewing herbs that are sprinkled around the home to bring luck to the home and all who live in it. It can be thought of as a bit of South American sunshine that can go in a pocket!

Called “Para Todo”, or heal all by some in Brazil, this is often called an adaptagen, or an herb that can help to body adapt to stress…emotional or physical.  Anything that can helpa person adapt to stress is something that has the potential to make any day a better day. It can be included in a tea or put into a capsule easily.

Be sure to check on line for warnings and drug interactions or any other new information about this herb, or make an appointment to see an great herbalist.

 

T is for Tarragon

A commanding herb, tarragon is associated with Mars and the element of fire. It can be used in cooking, or in a bath to increase confidence, rouse courage, and provide protection. It brings out the dragon in us!

Traditionally used to improve both breath and digestion, this is a n herb with a long, proud history. A pinch with salmon, meats, eggs, carrots, or asparagus can taste amazing, try some today! Is there a food that is not a favorite? Tarragon has a reputation for dulling the taste buds a bit, so adding it to a dish, or to an herbal remedy, that is going to get a complaint or teo can help the evening go more smoothly.

Be sure to check on line for warnings and drug interactions or any other new information about this herb, or make an appointment to see an great herbalist.

 

U is for Uva Ursi

Used to increase psychic powers, this is a powerful herb to be respected for the doors it leads us to, and lets us go through. It is a traditional smoking herb and is used in teas today as well as smoked. It is associated with Saturn and the element Earth. It is also traditionally associated with the bear and grouped with other herbs classed as bear remedies. Osha root would be another example of a bear remedy.

In traditional healing, uva ursi is strongly associated with the urinary system, from infections to stones. It is popular to this day in teas and tinctures. It is high in tannins, so it may make the mouth pucker!

Be sure to check on line for warnings and drug interactions or any other new information about this herb, or make an appointment to see an great herbalist.

 

V is for Vervain

Associated with Venus and the element earth, its magick and power have been recognized by many cultures. A traditional sweeping herb for cleaning altars in ancient Greece, it protective powers have been well understood for thousands of years. It makes a cleansing incense ingredient, mixing with myrrh or a darker copal very well.

In traditional and natural health, vervain is thought to calm anxiety, calm digestion, and calm the mind. It has many uses, but most, if not all, come from the calmness that this provides some people. Despite its bitter and acrid tastes, it is popular in teas and tinctures today.

Be sure to check on line for warnings and drug interactions or any other new information about this herb, or make an appointment to see an great herbalist.

 

W is for Wood Betony

Feeling attacked? This is a great herb for defending against outside evils, against negative spells. A great bath herb, this is a good herb to include in a magickal bath for driving away negative influences and invading powers. Try adding it to a bath with basil, St. John’s wort, and angelica.

Wood betony has many traditional uses as an herbal medicine. It has been used for headaches, arthritis, heartburn, and more. It has even been used as a wash for bruises and other skin problems. It can be used in a tea or a tincture, but it is traditionally steeped in wine and sipped.

Be sure to check on line for warnings and drug interactions or any other new information about this herb, or make an appointment to see an great herbalist.

 

X is for Xanthan

Xanthan stabilizes and is used in powders with herbs like motherwort to bring more emotional strength and stability to the person wearing it. It is also good with combining disparate ingredients, and this can be used to help bring a situation together that has lots of people that have a hard time coming to a consensus. Just add a pinch to an incense and let xanthan bring things together.

This very modern gum is used in herbalism in pill making as a binder and can act as a laxative. Pill making is a bit obscure to many herbal enthusiasts and a class in herbal preparations might be a good place to learn more about this aspect of herbalism. As for the laxative properties of xanthan gum, one study suggests that 15g and day for a week to ten days could make a significant difference for someone with constipation.

Be sure to check on line for warnings and drug interactions or any other new information about this herb, or make an appointment to see an great herbalist.

 

Y is for Yucca*

Associated with  Mars, this is an aggressive plant that purifies and protects the user.  Perfect for a cleansing bath, it might even suds a little! Thought to lift curses and hexes, it is a standard ingredient in baths and herb bags.  In herb bags it offers protection from the evils of others.

Y is for YuccaOne of the uses for yucca has traditionally been in arthritis. Be cautious, too much will upset the stomach.  Some can handle two cups of the tea every day for weeks, others cannot take more than a few sips a day for a few days at a time, which begs the question, is it the right herb for the person who cannot take very much of it? They should probably see an herbalist before continuing with this cleansing herb.

Be sure to check on line for warnings and drug interactions or any other new information about this herb, or make an appointment to see an great herbalist.

 

Z is for Zedoary

Associated with Mars and the element of fire, this is a passionate herb. After all, when all else is over, passion still matters! It protects and purifies as well. It can be soaked in oil to create a magickal oil that can be worn to protect and lend passion to projects, relationships, and more.

Zedoary is thought to perk up the appetite, aid digestions, and calm spasm in the intestines. A cup of tea can be taken with or shortly before meals, but it is often easier to cook with it, which allows adjustment of dose by taste, a powerful dosing mechanism in many circumstances.

Be sure to check on line for warnings and drug interactions or any other new information about this herb, or make an appointment to see an great herbalist.

-Liz Johnson, Store Owner

De-Stress for the Holidays

After a long and busy day, using an herb or two to unwind can be a wonderful stress reliever, but as the holidays approach with its worries of family, finances, and making time for a little holiday fun, des-stressing can be down-right essential!  There are many herbs that can help de-stress from a hard day.  Some are great for people who are usually cold; others are a good choice for people with mild indigestion.  Let’s explore them and find the perfect relaxations herbs and oils!

Linden Flower is a classic relaxant.  Once considered the mildest of narcotics, Linden is mildly sweet and a little relaxing.  The label “narcotic” was taken away from this little beauty once scientists understood the chemical structure of narcotics.  They discovered that Linden is not a narcotic at all!  It simply acts to relax tensions.  This is especially true when it comes to tensions felt when arguing…a common holiday pitfall.  This was known even in the Dark Ages of Europe.  Legend says that it was desirable to have town meetings under Linden trees if a town hall was not available.  The reason?  People would argue less and the meetings would end sooner if people could inhale the light fragrance of the Linden tree in bloom!  

Linden is a little cooling to the body, so it is ideal for someone who becomes hot easily.  Not only does it make a mild herb tea, it is also great in the bath!  Making an entire pot of the tea and pour one cup to drink and two or three cups to pour into a warm bath can be a great way to relax.  A Linden bath is also a great way to get a fussy toddler ready for bed with less resistance.  

Considering toddlers, Peach Leaf is a great relaxing tea that is even used with little ones.  Phyllis Light tells the tale of the neighborhood children being gathered in the shade on hot summer days and given tea, peach leaf tea, to soothe them into a much needed nap!  Peach leaf is great for children who get so mad that they cannot speak!  Also, this is a good herb for childish temper tantrums that grown-ups can throw too.  

German Chamomile is a classic that many people know as relaxing and good for poor digestion.  This is a great herb for unwinding, especially if indigestion is a common complaint.  However, if there is a history of hay fever, then it is possible to have an allergic reaction to this herb.  German Chamomile is related to the primary culprits in hay fever suffering.  One key sign that German Chamomile is the best choice to relax with is one red cheek and one pale cheek.  This seems to be a sure sign that the body wants German Chamomile.  With its apple like taste, German Chamomile makes a great evening tea.

Roman Chamomile is also relaxing.  This plant has been used interchangeably at times with German Chamomile.  While German Chamomile has a sunny little flower, Roman Chamomile has a larger, white petals.  It is usually more bitter than German Chamomile.  This means that it is more effective in helping the body to digest rich foods.  The slightly bitter taste makes Roman Chamomile an ok tea, but perhaps better used in a tincture or in an infusion in combination with other herbs.  Pregnant or breast-feeding women should not use Roman Chamomile.

Valerian is another classic relaxation herb.  It is a sedative, not just a relaxant, so it can induce sleep.  In fact, it induces sleep so well that if someone gets only a poor quality of sleep, this will improve the quality of the sleep that they get.  It is very pungent, sometimes being described as smelling of dirty laundry or sweat.  Most of Valerian’s other common names, like Phu, refer to the bad smell of this herb!  It does taste better than it smells, but only a little.  Despite the smell and taste of Valerian, it remains one of the most effective and most popular sedative herbs available today.  The pungent taste suggests that it is especially useful to those who are often cold, or who have a hard time getting going in the morning.  It also helps relax the digestive system, removing many tension derived digestive issues.  It is usually drunk as a tea, but it can be put into capsules or turned into a tincture.

Wild Lettuce is a less well-known herb that is a great relaxant.  Sometimes called “Little Opium”, this herb was once considered the weakest of opiates.  Like Linden, it turned out that Wild Lettuce is chemically not related on a chemical level to any of the herbs it used to be associated with.  It is not an opiate at all.  It is cooling to the body, so like Linden, it is best used by people who are a little over heated because they are worked up about something, be it an injustice, or an argument with a family member. Wild Lettuce makes a fine tea and can be used in many other forms.  

Skullcap is a classic to help people whos’ minds will not stop chattering.  People who seem to benefit the most from Skullcap are those who lie in bed at night going over conversations that they have had, conversations that they will have, things to do, things that should have been done better, and more.  Like Roman Chamomile, Skullcap is bitter, so those with poor digestion also value it.  The bitter flavor also leads many people to make tinctures instead of teas.  It strengthens the nerves and calms the body, making tomorrow a better day.  Whether using a tincture or a tea, Skullcap can make the person taking it hungry!  Any time Skullcap is used, it makes sense to have a little snack, unless there is already indigestion that the Skullcap is helping the body to recover from.  This is another herb that should be avoided in pregnancy.

Agrimony is a delightful herb for people who tell everyone around them that they are “fine” when they are tense or worried.  Usually, being worried makes them tense!  When they do open up the shoulders rise as they talk about the things that bother them, and they begin to resemble the shape of the tense little Agrimony plant.  Agrimony looks as though it is tensely reaching for the sky.  Agrimony calms these folks especially.  There is some good nutrition in Agrimony, among other minerals, it contains silica, which gives muscles a chance to recover from the wear and tear of always being tense.  It is also less bitter than Skullcap, or our next herb, Vervain.

Blue Vervain is almost the companion to Agrimony because when one doesn’t do the trick to relax someone, the other often will.  Blue Vervain helps the great list makers of the world to relax.  These are people who hold themselves to impossible standards, and they hold everyone else to them too!  Blue Vervain is more bitter than Agrimony, so like Scullcap, it can make the person using it hungry.  Also, it should be avoided in pregnancy.

European Vervain is a cousin of Blue Vervain.  Some herbalists consider it too strong and prefer Blue Vervain, others prefer Blue Vervain because they think it is stronger than European Vervain!  If you try one of them and it seems almost perfect, it may be worth trying the other to see if it is a better fit.  The same health warnings apply to both Vervains.

Mullein Leaf is a very relaxing herb.  It is most often used by those with coughs and chest congestion, but it can also make the person using it a little spacey!  There is an herbalist who drinks it because it gives her just a hint of “her youth in the 60’s”.  I do not recommend Mullein Leaf before a class or anything else that involves concentrating, but it can be a great way to unwind at the end of a long day!  In addition to being drunk, Mullein Leaf can be smoked.  It is even considered to be cleansing to the lungs to smoke mullein after quitting smoking.  

Lemon Balm is actually a great resource for people who’s thyroid is a little off.  Many people function with “normal” thyroids but are on the hyperactive end of “normal”.  Lemon Balm can be a great normalizer, relaxing thyroid function and consequently relaxing the body.  If you find that you love Lemon Balm, pay special attention to foods and herbs good for the thyroid.  You might just find that much of your tension melts away once you focus on caring for your thyroid!  It is also great for people who get upset stomachs when they are tense.

Catnip is a classic relaxant.  It opens up a tense body, allowing for healthy sweating and more free movement of fluids through the body.  This little beauty can actually take the edge off of a fever!  It is ideal for people with dry skin who often become overheated.  A great herb to use when coughing, or experiencing diarrhea.

Hops is a sedative.  It helped George Washington fall asleep every night.  It is also a depressant, so it is important not to use Hops if depression is present as it will exacerbate the problem.  This issue includes beer!  Hops is very bitter, so as a tea it is not the best tasting herb in the world, but it need not be drunk to be effective.  When drunk, it stimulates the appetite and better enables the body to move unhealthy levels of mucous through the digestive system.  George Washington slept with a pillow stuffed with Hops.  Inhaling the fragrance is a great way to use Hops while avoiding the worst of the bitterness it contains.

Motherwort is most popular among people who’s heart suddenly beings to race when they are anxious or under a lot of pressure.  A classic for this symptom in menopausal women, Motherwort, or Mother Plant in modern English, is very relaxing for people who’s tension sneaks up on them, or for people who suddenly become overwhelmed by pressures that they are under.  This is another herb to be avoided in pregnancy, although it was once given immediately after a birth.

Passion Flower Herb is another great thyroid regulator.  If this herb is the perfect relaxant, then look to other things that can be done to improve thyroid health.  The name Passion Flower Herb usually makes people think of aphrodisiacs.  This is a little misleading, as it is named for the passion of the Christ.  This has to do with the specific structures found in the flower of Passion Flower Vine.  In addition to being drunk in teas, some people choose to smoke Passion Flower Herb to relax.  It is especially valuable to those prone to “Hangovers” from sedatives, because it doesn’t seem to cause any negative residual effects.  Also, despite how it got its name, it can have an aphrodisiac effect in some people.

Crampbark is classically used for just what the name sounds like it would be used for: cramps.  A popular women’s herb since time immemorial, Crampbark is calming and a mild sedative.  In its chemical cocktail lies one of the active ingredients found in Valerian, valerianic acid.  This little chemical, all by itself, is a relaxing sedative.  It is present in Crampbark in smaller amounts than it is in Valerian, and it is surrounded by different chemical friends, but it is a part of Crampbark’s calming and muscle relaxing powers.  One of the great benefits of Crampbark is that is does not smell or taste as bad as Valerian!  Making a tea or a weak decoction of Crampbark can be a good way to remove tension during the day.

Wild Yam calms people who express tension through aggression.  These are often people with irritated bowl syndrome, diverticulitus, or other intestinal issues.  It is also used in RA.  Like Crampbark, Wild Yam is a bit tough, so a decoction is a good way to work with it.  This is not a sedative, but it can be very calming.  This makes it a good daytime choice for handling stress.

Damiana is often listed as aphrodisiacal for women!  This may be due to the testosterone like alkaloids found in the plant.  Testosterone contributes to the sex drive in women as well as men.  It is used to relax people who are tense about new situations and have a difficult time opening up.  It is also great for people who often have cold hands and feet.  It opens up circulation at the periphery, allowing warm blood to travel throughout the body.  It has been used as an anti-depressant.  This is another herb that some people choose to smoke instead of drink in teas, like Mullein or even Scullcap.

Oatstraw is a classic rebuilder.  It is an ideal calming herb for people who habitually push themselves a little too hard.  They are always looking for the next challenge.  If they keep up a highly tense and demanding schedule, these folks can take on a hollow look, or an overfed and still unhealthy look.  Skin problems are not uncommon to people whos’ body’s cry out for a little Oatstraw.  Oatstraw will calm them down and give them more resources to face the next battle that they take on.  Oatstraw tea can taste a little strange to the people who do not need it, but it often tastes ok or even good to those that do!  

Alfalfa is more about good nutrition then anything else.  Chock full of vitamins and minerals, Alfalfa gives the body many of the things it needs to function better.  The list of minerals goes on and on, but it is especially high in iron, a nutrient that gives energy and calms the body at the same time.  It can be put into capsules or tea once it is dried and taken as a medicine, but alfalfa sprouts are also a great way to get the benefits of Alfalfa.  

Wood Betony has been popular as a tension headache remedy in this arena.  It is thought to strengthen the nervous system which helps us face stressful situations.  Wood Betony is a great choice when tension seems to be getting the better of a person, keeping them from accomplishing their goals.  A strong infusion of Wood Betony can be drunk several times throughout the day to relax muscle tension that causes headaches and to give a little lift, a little more energy to put towards work.

Kava Kava is definitely an evening beverage.  Historically drunk after work with friends, Kava is relaxing and stimulating.  It is thought to remove barriers by making the drinker braver, but not by dulling decision making processes.  It has been said that if one drinks Kava with someone that one has wanted to make a pass at, and the only thing in the way was nervousness, then a pass is more likely while using Kava, but, if that person is in a relationship, then nothing would happen, because poorer than normal judgment is not a part of the Kava experience.  Most people do not like the taste of Kava, so blending it with other herbs and spices is popular.  Spices, such as Cinnamon or Allspice can be added.  Herbs like Peppermint are another way to go.  There is an added sensation when Peppermint is used.  Kava slightly numbs the mouth and Peppermint cools it, the combination has been popular with some of the staff here at Magus.  The easiest way to make a strong Kava brew is to put it in a coffee maker.  It can take a very long time to go through the filter as it is a little gummy, but it is often worth the wait.  Ultimately Kava acts as a sedative and muscle relaxant, but there are about two hours before those effects kick in, during which people tend to become more talkative.  The effects overall are enhanced by having other people to talk to.  This herb, like alcohol, does damage the liver.  It is important not to mix it with alcohol or any medications that damage the liver

California Poppy is a wonderful sedative.  It has even been used on children who cannot sleep.  It is a relative of opium poppy, but it is not the same plant.  However, the relationship between the two plants is close enough that California Poppy will often trigger an opium response in drug tests.  California Poppy is like a weaker, non-addictive form of its powerful cousin, Opium Poppy.  Anyone needing to pass drug tests should not use this herb.  Like Mullein and Damiana, this herb is smoked as well as drunk in teas.

The last herbs I want to discuss today are not relaxing herbs, but they are another type of herb that is very useful when trying to handle stress.  Adaptagens, herbs that help people adapt to new situations and to stresses, are not necessarily relaxing, but they do make it easier to handle a bad day.  Astragalus is an adaptagen that is especially useful to people who pick up every virus running around.  It strengthens the immune system and gets the body to respond more quickly to changes in the environment.  This is an odd tasting herb, but the flavor is perfectly hidden by chicken soup!  Tossing a little Astragalus into a soup pot is the best way to give a little help to a stressed out, sickly person.  I would recommend fishing the herb out before eating the soup, or putting it into the soup pot inside a tea ball or muslin bag.

Ginseng is probably the best known adaptagen today.  There are several species and several types of Ginseng.  We offer white American Ginseng, white Asian Ginseng, and steamed, or red Asian Ginseng.  Each of these is different from the others.  The American Ginseng is the most neutral Ginseng, meaning it is good for most men and women.  It is a little bit cooling to the body, so it can take some of the heat off a tense time.  Asian white Ginseng is also good for both men and women, but it is a little better for men in traditional Chinese medicinal thinking.  Red Ginseng is definitely a yang, or male energy building herb.  It increases heat and should be used in moderation.  It is easy to tell if too much being used: sleep will become difficult and the tongue will begin to look like chopped raw beef.  Generally, for those needing red ginseng, an inch of the root simmered in water for half an hour is plenty.  It might be beneficial to drink the liquid of this decoction once a day, once every other day, or even just two or three days a week.  As for the white Ginsengs, the dose is often a bit higher, but they too can be needed only a few days a week when prepared in the same way.  Ginsengs do raise blood pressure, which is great for those with low blood pressure, but not so good for anyone with high blood pressure.

Eleuthero, once called Siberian Ginseng, is another adaptagen from Asia.  It is sometimes considered a women’s Ginseng, sometimes used as a substitute for Ginseng when it becomes too expensive.  It is a part of a blend that I think is great for dealing with stress when I am tired.  It is based on the “Vitality” blend from TCM.  It is equal parts Eleuthero, Green Tea, Gotu Cola & Ginseng.  It may not make the day suddenly sunny & bright, but it does make it easier to handle, especially when I am tired.  Eluethero can even help the body adjust to altitude changes!  This herb can even help with depression by helping the body adjust physically to a healthier chemical balance.

Gotu Cola is another wonderful adaptagen from Asia.  It reduces fatigue and improves sleep quality!  While it is not a good bedtime tea (none of the adaptagens are) it will improve the quality of sleep if it is drunk during the day to help when dealing with stress.  Gotu Cola is good for those with cold hands and feet or arthritis.  It can even improve skin, hair, and nail health.  Gotu cola is easy to grow indoors and if it is shade grown it is less bitter and makes a great salad green.

Suma, once called Brazilian Ginseng, is South America’s best adaptogen.  Many for the claims made for Ginseng about fighting illness, stress, exhaustion, and more have been made for Suma by people living in S. America.  Like Ginseng, Suma can be put into teas, capsules, or tinctures for easy travel.  The doses are also similar.  Taking too much Suma is much like taking too much Ginseng too, a nervousness sets in, depriving the body of sleep.

Maca…nutritive

Muira Puma is also from S. America.  This is more often classed with aphrodisiacs than adaptogens, but truthfully, any adaptogen can be considered an aphrodisiac.  This herb also has its limits and can make people nervous when as much as an entire cup of the tea is consumed.

Jiaogulan is the right adaptagen for anyone who just gets more and more slow as they become more and more stressed.  It does warm up the body, so it is for someone who gets cold easily, too.  Jiaogulan is great when cholesterol is an issue or diabetes might become an issue due to family history.  It has a history of use with depression, anxiety, and other psychological issues.

Reishi is fungus from Asia that can be added to soups and stews or taken alone in decoctions to reduce tension.  A good anti-oxidant, it is good for people who are often too cold or people who are often too hot, or even bounce between these extremes.

Rooiboos, Red or Green, is a great adaptagen for allergy sufferers!  It also benefits anyone with cancer or heart disease in their family history.  This is another good anti-oxidant and it taste great.  Red Rooiboos is red because of from the oxidation that happens during fermentation.  This process decreases the antioxidant level, but many prefer the taste of the Red, or fermented Rooiboos.  Commonly drunk as tea, Rooiboss is a great afternoon pick me up.  It can interfere with iron absorption.

-Liz Johnson, Store Owner