Natural Facial Cleanser & Exfoliant

This multitasking face wash acts as a cleanser, exfoliant and mask. Anti-inflammatory yarrow, chamomile and turmeric calm irritated skin, while green clay draws out excess dirt. The dried herbs and ground berries gently exfoliate to prevent blocked pores.

1 tablespoon finely ground oats or almonds

1 tablespoon green clay

1 tablespoon finely ground dried herbs – a mix of chamomile and yarrow flowers

2 teaspoons finely ground dried berberis berries or elderberries

1 teaspoon turmeric powder

Combine all the ingredients in a jar. Seal. Shake. Label. Date.

Place a heaped teaspoon in your palm, add a few drops of water and mix into a paste. If you have dry or sensitive skin, add a few drops of glycerine or honey to the mix.

Rub all over your face and neck in a circular motion, leave on for 5 minutes and then wash off.

Shelf Life Keep in a cool, dry place for up to 1 year or more.

Lovers’ Quarrel Massage Oil

Heal a lovers’ quarrel or learn to forgive yourself.

  • 1 drop angelica essential oil (Angelica archangelica)
  • 5 drops German chamomile essential oil (Matricaria recutita)
  • 3 drops rose geranium essential oil (Pelargonium graveolens)
  • 8 drops lavender essential oil (Lavandula angustifolia)
  • 3 drops lime essential oil (Citrus latifolia)
  • 1.3 ounces jojoba oil
  • 1 drop or 1 gel cap vitamin E

Mix all oils in a dark-colored glass

For massage blends, a dilution of 2.5 percent is recommended (15 drops of synergy per ounce of carrier oil). Vitamin E is a good preservative for your massage oils, 10 drops per 8 fluid ounces of carrier oil.

Lily of the Valley (convallaria majalis)

Lily of the Valley (convallaria majalis)

One of the most popular Victorian garden plants on account of its perfume, lily of the valley contains three glycosides; convallarin, convallamarin, and convallotoxin. Convallotoxin is one of the most active natural substances affecting the heart. It causes irregular, slow pulse rates and can cause heart failure. In addition, the plant contains saponins, which cause gastrointestinal poisoning.

There was a superstition that anyone planting a bed of lily of the valley would be dead within 12 months. Gerard recommended it ‘because it restores speech to those who have the ‘dumb palsy’ and is a treatment for gout. The flowers, put in a sealed glass jar and set in an anthill for a month, will yield a liquor which is an excellent ointment for treating gout.’

Magical propensities for drawing peace and tranquillity; repels negativity; empowering happiness; mental powers. Use in magical workings to stop harassment.

Golden Milk

This golden tonic milk is based on a traditional Ayurvedic recipe. Made with anti-inflammatory turmeric and sedative poppy seeds (these nourish the nervous system, aiding in a peaceful night’s sleep), along with cardamom and vanilla, it soothes and relaxes the muscles and mind. Drink a mugful before bed to slip into a deep slumber.

1 mugful of almond or oat milk
1 teaspoon freshly grated turmeric or turmeric powder
1 teaspoon ground poppy seeds
½ cinnamon stick
3 cardamom pods
½ vanilla pod
1 teaspoon coconut oil
1–2 teaspoons honey or unrefined sugar


Heat the milk, herbs and spices in a saucepan, bring to a simmer, cover and turn the heat off. Leave to steep for 5–10 minutes, strain mixture into a mug and then stir in the coconut oil and honey or sugar. Serve, stirring between sips.

Mood Tea

In depression, it is important to take time for self care. Take a moment to make a healing, herbal tea at least once a day to help lift the spirits.

2 ounces dried rose

2 ounces dried skullcap

2 ounces dried St John’s wort

2 ounces dried vervain

Pour all the herbs into a sterilized jar and shake to mix them together. Seal, label and date.

Make an infusion with 1–2 teaspoons of the dried herb in a cup of boiling water, cover and steep for 15 minutes. Strain and drink.

Drink up to three times per day.

Shelf Life Keep the dried herb mix in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year.

Caution Check with a herbalist before taking St John’s wort with other medications.

Days of the Week & Phases of the Moon for Botanical Magic

Days of the Week & Phases of the Moon for Magic

Here are the best days of the week to perform each type of magic:

Sunday—personal empowerment, success, generosity, luck

Monday—spirituality, virtue, emotional security and well-being

Tuesday—drive, confidence, ambition, victory, vitality

Wednesday—knowledge, change, charm, communication

Thursday—luck, power, protected growth, accomplishment, money, honor

Friday—beauty, grace, the arts, love, fertility, bonding, sex appeal

Saturday—the law, loss, endings, transforming, banishings, interrupting”

To give your magic a boost, try timing it with the phase of the moon. For things that won’t wait, go with the day of the week that works best:

Waxing moon—growing toward full. Do magic for increase, prosperity, health, wellness, love.

Full moon—alignment of moon, earth, and sun (sometime resulting in an eclipse), all purpose, use the extra boost for the metaphysical heavy lifting, court cases, protection.

Waning moon—shrinking toward the new moon. Practice magic of decrease; bringing things to a close; removing bad habits, negative people, debt, illness.

New moon—first light. New growth, beginning projects, set ideas in motion. Set goals for the month.

Dark moon—the absence of light. Do magic surrounding intuition, turning inward, cleansing, banishing or binding both people and addictions.

Blue moon—the second full moon in a calendar month. Do magic for wishes.

Black moon—the second new moon in a calendar month. Do magic for serious binding, banishing, stalkers, serious illness, addiction. Heavy lifting.

Moon Phases:

You may have seen a triple moon symbol; it looks like this )0(. It’s not just a clever design; this is the waxing, full, and waning moon depicted. So, if you look up into the sky and the moon is pointing to the left, it is waxing. If it is pointing to the right, it is waning.

Sources: Blackthorn’s Botanical Magic, The Homemade Apothecary

 

Cleansing Smoke

Regular use of cleansing smoke with a variety of materials is beneficial to an energetically healthy home. Too many folks rely solely on one cleaning method and one protection method. For example, many people enjoy the way white sage (Salvia apiana) smells, and though it is a good ally for clearing and cleansing space, it should not be your only ally.

Smoke Tools Hierarchy:

  • The weakest of the smoke tools is floral smoke. Lavender buds, for example, are very pleasant smelling. Flowers are well suited to brightening a space.
  • Leaves are slightly stronger and are good for refreshing the energy of a space. White sage is a common example. Since white sage (Salvia apiana) is largely wildcrafted (harvested in the wild) and used by native peoples, the increasing use of herbal cleansing smoke has led to skyrocketing prices and difficulty in sourcing the materials for the native peoples to whom white sage is sacred. The Salvia genus has many allies that can be farmed and don’t infringe on the beliefs and practices of First Nations and Native American people. 
  • The roots of a plant are stronger magically than its leaves. Roots will remove energies and entities that were not bothered by leaf smoke. Consider the strength of plant allies like ginger root, calamus root, and galangal root (Low John).
  • Even stronger than the root allies are wood allies. Palo santo is a popular wood-based smoke tool. This tree, native to Peru and the Yucatán Peninsula, has become increasingly popular in the last few years. Because of the popularity of this wood, the trees that take decades to reach maturity are over-harvested.
  • The strongest smoke tool of the plant ally families is the resin group. Tree resins are hardened sap structures like dragon’s blood (Dracaena draco), frankincense (Boswellia carteri), copal (Protium copal), and myrrh (Commiphora myrrha). If there is a problem that has not been affected by the lower energy signatures of the plant allies, a resin should do the trick.
    • Dragon’s Blood: This popular incense resin, resembling red chalk, commonly comes from two species, Dracaena draco and Dracaena cinnabari. Though there are more than the two varieties of Dracaena that produce this fragrant resin, many assume that all dragon’s blood is Dracaena draco. Both produce a similarly colored sap, with musky, warm notes with a hint of floral, though D. cinnabari has a touch more of the floral note than its cousin D. draco. D. cinnabari is the slower growing of the two varieties, though both trees take over ten years to produce their signature red sap. Due to over-harvesting and habitat loss, both species of Dracaena are on the threatened list.
    • Note: While no essential oil of dragon’s blood exists at this time, high-quality dragon’s blood oils can be sourced.

Sources: Blackthorn’s Botanical Magic, The Homemade Apothecary

Aches & Bruises Balm

Aches & Bruises Balm

A healing balm for aches, sprains and bruises.

3 tablespoons beeswax

5 fluid ounces comfrey-infused oil

5 fluid ounces elder leaf-infused oil

20 drops of wintergreen essential oil

10 drops of marjoram essential oil

10 drops of lavender essential oil

Melt the beeswax in a bain-marie, then add the infused oils and mix well until fully combined. Remove from the heat and leave to cool for 5 minutes, then add the essential oils and stir well. Pour into jars, seal, label and date.

To use, massage into the affected area up to three times a day for a maximum of 2 months at a time.

Shelf Life: Up to 1 year in a cool, dark place.

Herbal Muscle Bath Salt

Herbal Muscle Bath Salt

The salt and herbs in this bath salt work together to relax tired muscles, improve circulation and ease aches and pains.

4 ounces of salts of your choice, e.g. Epsom salts, Dead Sea salts, pink Himalayan salt

2 teaspoons chopped fresh or dried pine needles

2 teaspoons chopped fresh or dried eucalyptus leaf

2 teaspoons fresh or dried lavender flower heads

2 teaspoons dried daisy heads

10 drops of essential oil of your choice, e.g. rosemary, lavender, mint, eucalyptus

Put the salts and herbs into a blender and pulverize them together. This allows the cell walls of the herbs to be broken down so medicinal properties can be extracted into the bath water. Transfer the mixture to a glass or ceramic bowl, add the essential oil and mix well.

To use, add the mixture to a square of muslin cloth. Tie into a bundle at the top with string and then tie this to your hot water bath tap, allowing it to sit just below the tap. Run the hot water directly over and through the bundle, allowing the salt to dissolve and the herbs to be retained inside the muslin (so preventing drain blockage).

Add cold water to the bath to the desired temperature. Soak and relax in the bath for at least 30 minutes.

Tip: This mix can be made in bulk (with dried herbs) and stored in a sealed jar in a cool, dark place for up to 1 year.

Immune System Tonic Tincture

Immune System Tonic Tincture

Echinacea and elderberry are two herbs used to boost the immune system for prevention and treatment of infection. Combine the health-enhancing effects of mushrooms and anti-microbial properties of eucalyptus and you have an all-round infection-busting tonic.

7 ounces fresh elderberries (or 3.5 ounces dried)

2 ounces dried echinacea root

10 eucalyptus leaves, shredded

5 ounces fresh shiitake mushrooms, chopped

Vodka

Place all the ingredients, except the vodka, loosely in a large, sterilised preserving jar to about two-thirds full. Fill the jar with vodka. Seal the jar, then store in a cool, dark place, shaking the jar every couple of days for a month.

Strain, discarding the plant material and keeping the liquid. Pour the liquid into a sterilised bottle, seal, label and date.

Take 1 teaspoon in a little water, up to three times a day, as needed.

Shelf Life Up to 2 years in a cool, dark place.