Balkan Ritual Costume: Hip Belts

Marks left on clay female figures shows the adornment style for that society of that time.

  • Vinca were very detailed about their ritual costumes.
  • Society lived around 6-7 thousand years ago.
  • The hip belts were normally big disks of wood, bone, stone and leather
  • They buried their dead in these decorated hip belts.
  • Hip belts were found worn naked or over an apron or fringed skirt.
  • The priestesses wore the belts/ritual costume
  • The clay sculptures were painted with ground seashell, ochre and black to color the hip belt.

Page 45-46 “The Goddesses and Gods of Old Europe, 6500-3500 B.C.: Myths and Cult Images”—By Marija Gimbutas

*need to find a good copy of these figurines.  For now, you can find the photos in the library or on-line

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Chickweed (Stellaria media)

Chickweed (Stellaria media)

Identify:

  • The leaves are opposite, smooth, and oval (with a point at the tip)

 

When to collect:

  • Best harvested between May and July, it can be used fresh or be dried and stored for later use
  • Available during winter

 

What to eat:

  • Leaves, seeds
  • Added to salads whilst the cooked leaves can scarcely be distinguished from spring spinach

 

Medicinal:

  • Beneficial in the external treatment of any kind of itching skin condition
  • The flowers develop into small capsule-like fruits which contain many tiny seeds
  • . The seeds generally germinate within a few years, but can remain viable for much longer.
  •  A single plant may produce around 2,500 reddish-brown seeds, which can remain viable in the soil for 25-40 years
  •  It can be applied as a poultice and will relieve any kind of roseola and is effective wherever there are fragile superficial veins
  • An infusion of the fresh or dried herb can be added to the bath water and its emollient property will help to reduce inflammation – in rheumatic joints for example – and encourage tissue repair
  • Contains gamma-linoleic acid (GLA). The medicinal effects of this fatty acid read much like the values ascribed to chickweed. GLA is recommended for a variety of skin problems, for hormone imbalances as in PMS, and for arthritis. It clears congestion, controls obesity, reduces inflammation, reduces water retention, acts as tonic for the liver, and reduces the negative effects of alcohol abuse.
  • Chickweed is best known for it’s ability to cool inflammation and speed healing for internal or external flare-ups
  • Wise women and herbalists still drink teas of fresh chickweed as one of the classic spring tonics to cleanse the blood.
  • Chickweed is an effective and gentle laxative.

 

Nutrition:

  • High in ascorbic acid (vitamin C) and mucilage, and also provides rutin, para amino benzoic acid (PABA), gamma linoleic acid (GLA, an omega-6 fatty acid derivative), niacin, riboflavin (B2), thiamin (B1), beta carotene (A), magnesium, iron, calcium, potassium, zinc, phosphorus, manganese, sodium, selenium, and silicon.
  • Seed – ground into a powder and used in making bread or to thicken soups

 

Ayurveda:

  • Clears heat and toxins

 

Dosage:

  • Although formerly used as a tea, chickweed’s main use today is as a cream applied liberally several times each day to rashes and inflammatory skin conditions (e.g., eczema) to ease itching and inflammation. As a tincture, 1-5 ml per day can be taken.

 

Toxicity:

  • The leaves contain saponins
  • these substances are very poorly absorbed by the body and so tend to pass through without causing harm. They are also broken down by thorough cooking.

 

 

http://www.kingdomplantae.net/chickweed.php

http://www.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?LatinName=Stellaria+media

http://www.anniesremedy.com/herb_detail149.php

http://books.google.mk/books?id=QLin14nRVBsC&pg=PA277&lpg=PA277&dq=Chickweed+(Stellaria+media)+Ayurveda&source=bl&ots=CvqUk6A8v5&sig=ogiPKYTGuc7hATHZcUitpvuFfx4&hl=en&sa=X&ei=heCdUaK-CYjTtAbR04G4Ag&redir_esc=y#v=onepage&q=Chickweed%20(Stellaria%20media)%20Ayurveda&f=false

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Shepherds Purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris)

Shepherds Purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris)

Shepherds Purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris)

Identify:
• The Flowers are small, white, in a long, loose raceme, followed by triangular and notched (somewhat heart-shaped) pods, the valves boat-shaped and keeled.
• Leaves Form a rosette at the base a few pointed, arrow-shaped leaves

When to collect:
• Leaves are available all year round
• Harvested about a month after sowing

What to eat:
• Leaves, oil and seed

Medicinal:
• Used to stop heavy bleeding and hemorrhaging
• Used in traditional Chinese medicine formulas for blurred vision, and spots before the eyes
• One of the important herbs to stop bleeding an effect due to the tramline and other amines it contains.
• Used for heart and circulatory problems including mild heart failure, low blood pressure, and nervous heart complaints.
• When taken internally, shepherd’s purse can reduce heavy menstrual periods, menstrual cramps, and it has been used to treat postpartum hemorrhage.
• The herb is both a vasodilator, and also hastens coagulation and constrict blood vessels.
• Considered most effective for the treatment of chronic uterine bleeding disorders, including uterine bleeding due to the presence of a fibroid tumor
• Used internally to treat cases of blood in the urine and bleeding from the gastrointestinal tract, such as with bleeding ulcers
• Thought to cause the uterine muscle to contract
• Use the herb topically for eczema and rashes of the skin

Nutrition:
• Contains a protein that acts in the same way in the body as the hormone oxytocin, constricting the smooth muscles that support and surround blood vessels, especially those in the uterus.
• It contains fumaric acid which has markedly reduced growth and viability of Ehrlich tumor in mice
• Leaves contain about 2.9% protein, 0.2% fat, 3.4% carbohydrate, 1% ash
• Rich in iron, calcium and vitamin C
• Seed contains 35% of a fatty oil
• Calcium: 1763mg; Phosphorus: 729mg; Iron: 40.7mg; Magnesium: 0mg; Sodium: 0mg; Potassium: 3939mg (per 100g of food)
• A: 21949mg; Thiamine (B1): 2.12mg; Riboflavin (B2): 1.44mg; Niacin: 3.4mg; B6: 0mg; C: 305mg (per 100g of food)

Other:
• The seed, when placed in water, attracts mosquitoes. It has a gummy substance that binds the insects mouth to the seed [201]. The seed also releases a substance toxic to the larvae. ½ kilo of seed is said to be able to kill 10 million larvae [172]. Plants can be grown on salty or marshy land in order to reclaim it by absorbing the salt and ‘sweetening’ the soil
• When poultry have fed freely on the green plant in the early spring, it has been noticed that the egg yolks become dark in color, a greenish brown or olive color, and stronger in flavor.

Doses:
• Tincture in moderate doses of 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon at a time — up to 1 teaspoonful — three or four times a day before the menstrual period is due and during the period to reduce heavy bleeding.
• Limit use to a month or two, then take a weeklong break, resuming if necessary.
• If used for excessive menstrual bleeding, use for a few days to a week before the period and during the menstrual period — not throughout the month.
• Since shepherd’s purse constricts the blood vessels, it is not recommended for those with high blood pressure.
• Pregnant and nursing women should avoid shepherd’s purse.
• Signs of toxicity are sedation, pupil enlargement and breathing difficulty. Avoid if on treatments for high blood pressure. Avoid with thyroid gland disorders or heart disease.
• Possible addictive sedative effects with other depressants (e.g. Alcohol). Avoid during pregnancy

http://www.webmd.com/vitamins-supplements/ingredientmono-51-SHEPHERD’S%20PURSE.aspx?activeIngredientId=51&activeIngredientName=SHEPHERD’S%20PURSE
http://health.howstuffworks.com/wellness/natural-medicine/herbal-remedies/shepherds-purse-herbal-remedies.htm
http://botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/s/shephe47.html

http://www.pfaf.org/user/plant.aspx?LatinName=Stellaria+media

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Marshmallow (Althea officinalis)

Marshmallow (Althea officinalis)

(This photo shows the common species of Europe)

Identify:
• The most common form of Marshmallow is Malva Neglecta. It is also known as cheesies, because of the cheese shaped seeds it produces.
• Althea officinalis is more commonly seen in England and Europe.
• Althea officinalis is a taller species with mauve or blue flowers.
• This plant has stems that originate from a deep tap root and are low spreading with branches that reach from a few centimetres to almost 60 centimetres long.

When to collect:
• Stems die down in Autum

What to eat:
• Leaves, flowers and roots
• The leaves are picked in August, when the flowers are just coming into bloom. They should be stripped off singly and gathered only on a fine day, in the morning, after the dew has been dried off by the sun.

Medicinal:
• Treat gangrene. Soak the afflicted limb. Drink cups of marshmallow tea.
• Marshmallow is also a diuretic and is good for the kidneys. One of Dr. Christopher’s students gave her a son a marshmallow root to chew on when he was doubled over in pain from severe kidney pain from being unable to void his urine. Within seconds of chewing the root he was able to void his urine, and received relief from the excruciating pain.
• Other uses of Marshmallow include soothing and healing to the inflamed respiratory, alimentary, intestinal, and genitourinary areas. It has been used for mastitis, skin irritations, and in sitz baths to relieve rectal irritations. It is also helpful in dealing with gravel, inflammation of the kidneys, cystitis, and bladder infections. The herb is mainly used internally, especially for bronchial afflictions. It can also be used for constipation.
• Historically, Marshmallow has been used by a variety of people for a variety of ailments. Hippocrates felt that it was of immense value in the treatment of wounds. Charlemagne demanded that it be cultivated in his domain. The ancient Arabs used the leaves to
• Contains polysaccharide that is effective in suppressing cough. Studys have proven the plant to be more effective then Codine.
• The great demulcent and emollient properties of Marsh Mallow make it useful in inflammation and irritation of the alimentary canal, and of the urinary and respiratory organs. The dry roots boiled in water give out half their weight of a gummy matter like starch. Decoctions of the plant, especially of the root, are very useful where the natural mucus has been abraded from the coats of the intestines, The decoction can be made by adding 5 pints of water to 1/4 lb. of dried root, boiling down to 3 pints and straining: it should not be made too thick and viscid. It is excellent in painful complaints of the urinary organs, exerting a relaxing effect upon the passages, as well as acting curatively. This decoction is also effective in curing bruises, sprains or any ache in the muscles or sinews. In haemorrhage from the urinary organs and in dysentery, it has been recommended to use the powdered root boiled in milk. The action of Marsh Mallow root upon the bowels is unaccompanied by any astringency.
• Boiled in wine or milk, Marsh Mallow will relieve diseases of the chest, constituting a popular remedy for coughs, bronchitis, whooping-cough, etc., generally in combination with other remedies. It is frequently given in the form of a syrup, which is best adapted to infants and children.
• Marsh Mallow Water
‘Soak one ounce of marsh mallow roots in a little cold water for half an hour; peel off the bark, or skin; cut up the roots into small shavings, and put them into a jug to stand for a couple of hours; the decoction must be drunk tepid, and may be sweetened with honey or sugar-candy, and flavoured with orange-flower water, or with orange juice. Marshmallow water may be used with good effect in all cases of inveterate coughs, catarrhs, etc.’ (Francatelli’s Cook’s Guide.)
• For Gravel, etc.
‘Put the flower and plant (all but the root)of Marsh Mallows in a jug, pour boiling water, cover with a cloth, let it stand three hours – make it strong. If used for gravel or irritation of the kidney, take 1/2 pint as a Tea daily for four days, then stop a few days, then go on again. A teaspoonful of gin may be added when there is no tendency to inflammation.’ (From a family recipe-book.)
The powdered or crushed fresh roots make a good poultice that will remove the most obstinate inflammation and prevent mortification. Its efficacy in this direction has earned for it the name of Mortification Root. Slippery Elm may be added with advantage, and the poultice should be applied to the part as hot as can be borne and renewed when dry. An infusion of 1 OZ. of leaves to a pint of boiling water is also taken frequently in wineglassful doses. This infusion is good for bathing inflamed eyes.
An ointment made from Marsh Mallow has also a popular reputation, but it is stated that a poultice made of the fresh root, with the addition of a little white bread, proves more serviceable when applied externally than the ointment. The fresh leaves, steeped in hot water and applied to the affected parts as poultices, also reduce inflammation, and bruised and rubbed upon any place stung by wasps or bees take away the pain, inflammation and swelling. Pliny stated that the green leaves, beaten with nitre and applied, drew out thorns and prickles in the flesh.
The flowers, boiled in oil and water, with a little honey and alum, have proved good as a gargle for sore throats. In France, they form one of the ingredients of the Tisane de quatre fleurs, a pleasant remedy for colds.
—Preparations and Dosage—Fluid extract leaves. 1/2 to 2 drachms.
• Marshmallow forms a protective layer on the skin and lining of the digestive tract.
• Because it contains salicylic acid (the natural forerunner of synthetic aspirin), Marshmallow has been used to relieve the pain of headaches and muscle aches; and along with its ability to expel excess fluid and mucus, it also helps to ease sore throat and sinusitis.

Nutrition:
• rich in mucilage, paraffin, pectin, lecithin, quercetin, salicylic acid, tannins, amino acids, beta-carotene, calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, potassium, selenium, zinc, vitamins B-1, B-2, B-3 and C.
• The root contains a hefty 35% mucilage, a slippery, slimy, indigestible complex sugar that coats, cools, and moisturizes wounded, inflamed tissue from the throat to the intestines and on through the urinary tract.

http://www.dickcontino.com/marshmallow-root-herb-remedies-side-effects.htm
http://www.greenmedinfo.com/article/marshmallow-powerful-cough-suppressant-activity-greater-drugs
http://www.herballegacy.com/Marshmallow.html
http://www.ediblewildfood.com/mallow.aspx
http://botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/m/mallow07.html
http://doctorschar.com/archives/marshmallow-althaea-officinalis/

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Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica)

Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica)

Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica)
Identify:
• deep green leaves with serrated edges and tiny greenish flowers.
• Stems are square.
• Plants grow 3-7 feet tall.
• The stalk and underside of leaves are covered with stinging hairs that rise from a gland containing formic acid.
• Nettle is common in streambeds, forests and disturbed areas with rich wet soil.
• Do not gather nettles in agricultural or industrial areas because they may absorb inorganic nitrites and heavy metals.

When to collect:
• They are most potent when gathered in early spring before flowering, usually from March-May.
• Will often toughen and/or become bitter after its flower clusters appear.
• As the plants mature, you’ll find that the pale green top leaves will have better flavor and texture than will the large, dark foliage lower on the stalk.
• Furthermore, many nettle patches will put out new tender shoots in the late fall, often maintaining them until well after the first frost.
• Pick/cut the top 4-6 inches of the plant (this will be the tender part), and it will regrow and then you can harvest again.

What to eat:
• The whole above ground part can be eaten, stems and all.
• Do not harvest nettle for food after they flower as old leaves contain cystoliths that may irritate the kidneys. This compound is destroyed when the plant is dried, so gathering nettles after flowering is fine to prepare dried herb tea or powder.

Medicinal:
• traditionally used as a spring tonic. I
• t is a slow-acting nutritive herb that gently cleanses the body of metabolic wastes.
• It is one of the safest alteratives, especially in the treatment of chronic disorders that require long-term treatment.
• It has a gentle, stimulating effect on the lymphatic system, enhancing the excretion of wastes through the kidneys.
• Nettle’s iron content makes it a wonderful blood builder, and the presence of vitamin C aids in the iron absorption. As a hemetic (an herb rich in iron), this is an excellent herb for anemia and fatigue, especially in women. It “promotes the process of protein transanimation in the liver, effectively utilizing digested proteins, while simultaneously preventing them from being discharged through the body as waste products
• vitamin K, which guards against excessive bleeding. It is also a good supplement to strengthen the fetus. It is used during labor to ease the pains, and will increase milk production in lactating women. Stinging nettle is often recommended for pre-menstrual syndrome because of its toxin-ridding activity. When the liver is sluggish, it processes estrogen slowly, contributing to the high levels that cause or aggravate PMS. It acts as a restorative remedy during menopause, and the astringency of the herb helps in excessive menstrual flow.
• As a diuretic, stinging nettle increases the secretion and flow of urine. This makes it invaluable in cases of fluid retention and bladder infections. It is also anti-lithic and nephridic, breaking down stones in the kidneys and gravel in the bladder.
• Boron is a trace mineral essential for healthy bones. James A. Duke states in his book The Green Pharmacy, “The recommended beneficial dose of boron is 2-3 milligrams daily. An analysis of stinging nettle provided to me [James Duke] by the USDA scientists shows that it contains 47 parts per million of the mineral boron, figured on a dry-weight basis. That means that a 100-gram serving of stinging nettle, prepared by steaming several ounces of young, tender leaves, could easily contain more than the 2-3 milligram recommendations. According to the Rheumatoid Disease Foundation, boron is effective because it plays a role in helping bones retain calcium. It also has a beneficial influence on the body’s endocrine (hormonal) system, and hormones play a role in helping the body maintain healthy bones and joints.”
• Stinging nettle acts similarly to dandelion leaf, promoting the elimination of uric acid from joints with an alkalizing diuretic activity. In an open multi-clinical trial of 219 patients with arthritis, nettle leaf was compared with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) therapy, demonstrating a similar reduction in pain and immobility, with excellent tolerability. In an article by Rob McCaleb in 1998 it states, “In an open randomized study, singing nettle given in combination with a sub-therapeutic dose of an anti-inflammatory drug was as effective as a full dose of the drug alone for arthritis pain relief. Forty patients experiencing acute arthritis took part in the study, with half taking the full 200 mg standard dose of the prescription drug diclofenac. The other subjects took 50 mg of diclofenac along with 50 g of stewed nettle leaf. All subjects ate the same foods during the study and only those with uncomplicated medical histories were included, based on very specific criteria. Researchers used both objective and subjective tests to measure effectiveness. The results were impressive: a combination of 50 g nettle leaf with one-quarter of the normal dose of diclofenac was just as effective in relieving pain as the full dose of the drug alone. The authors noted ‘50 mg diclofenac is unlikely to produce such a profound effect.’ Previous research has shown that doses of 75 mg diclofenac are inadequate for arthritis pain relief.”
• Nettle leaf is useful to correct symptoms of gastrointestinal excess, such as gas, nausea, and mucus colitis.
• Numerous studies conducted mostly in Germany have shown the root to have a beneficial effect on enlarged prostate glands.
• The fresh leaves were found to show anti-tumoural activity in animal studies and strong anti-mutagenic activity. Nettle leaves are high in antioxidants with vitamin activities and have high potassium to sodium ratio. All this indicates it as an excellent natural source for protection against neoplastic diseases (tumors), cardiovascular disorders, and immune deficiency.
• In the respiratory system nettles help clear catarrhal congestion. The seeds are an excellent lung astringent, particularly useful for bronchitis, tuberculosis, and consumption.
• Nettle is anti-asthmatic: the juice of the roots or leaves, mixed with honey or sugar, will relieve bronchial and asthmatic troubles and the dried leaves, burnt and inhaled,
• The juice of the Nettle, or a decoction formed by boiling the green herb in a strong solution of salt, will curdle milk, providing the cheese-maker with a good substitute for rennet. The same juice, if rubbed liberally into small seams in leaky wooden tubs coagulates and will render them once more watertight.
• A decoction of Nettle yields a beautiful and permanent green dye, which is used for woollen stuffs in Russia: the roots, boiled with alum, produce a yellow colour, which was formerly widely used in country districts to dye yarn, and is also employed by the Russian peasants to stain eggs yellow on Maundy Thursday.
• Both in the Pacific Northwest and in Europe, people have stung themselves to cure arthritic joints and to stay awake and alert during battle or hunting. Traditional knowledge is now validated by scientific research.

Nutrition:
• Compounds including histamine, acetylcholine and formic acid are injected into tissue causing an awakening of cellular responses, lymph flow and nerve and capillary stimulation.
• extremely high iron and chlorophyll content. It is also very high in the minerals calcium, magnesium, silicon, sulphur, copper, chromium, zinc, cobalt, potassium and phosphorus. Nettles also contain high amounts of vitamins A, C, D, E, and K as well as riboflavin and thiamine

http://www.thenourishinggourmet.com/2009/04/harvesting-wild-nettles.html
http://wildfoodsandmedicines.com/nettle-restorative-food-purifying-medicine-guardian/
http://www.herballegacy.com/Vance_Medicinal.html
http://botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/n/nettle03.html

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Plantain (Plantago)

Plantain (Plantago)

Identify:
• The oval, ribbed, short-stemmed leaves tend to hug the ground. The leaves may grow up to about 6″ long and 4″ wide.
• The easiest way to identify plantain (of either type) is that it has leaves with parallel veins. Most plants have leaves with veins that fork outward from a central midrib. Plantain, on the other hand, has side veins and a midrib which all run parallel to one another down to the base of the plant. Plantain doesn’t have showy flowers, but it does have a distinctive, compact seed head that turns from green to brown as the seeds mature.

What to collect:

• Eat the leaves when they’re young. Like most plants, the leaves tend to get bitter tasting as they mature.
• leaves should be collected when they are very young, otherwise they will be too stringy
What to eat:
• The entire plant. Young leaves can be eaten raw or cooked. They are somewhat bitter and tedious to prepare because it’s generally preferable (though not required) to remove the fibrous strands before use. Many people blanch the leaves in boiling water before using them in salads in order to make them more tender. Once blanched, plantain can be frozen then used later in a sauté, soup or stew. Seeds can be eaten raw or cooked and can be tedious to harvest. The seed can be ground into a meal and mixed with flour. Dried leaves make a healthy herbal tea.
• They can be eaten raw, used in a salad, or cooked like greens

Medicinal:
• The liquid juice clarified and drunk for several days helps distillation of rheum upon the throat, glands, lungs, etc.
• Applied to a bleeding surface, the leaves are of some value in arresting haemorrhage, but they are useless in internal haemorrhage
• The fresh leaves are applied whole or bruised in the form of a poultice. Rubbed on parts of the body stung by insects, nettles, etc., or as an application to burns and scalds, the leaves will afford relief and will stay the bleeding of minor wounds.
• Plantain is an Alterative meaning that it is one of about 100 plants that clean and correct impure conditions of the blood and the eliminative tissues and organs. Dr. John R. Christopher explains that although many herbs might work fast on a given organ to relieve engorgement to really be an Alterative herb it must do the job slowly but surely, toning the organs as well as cleaning the blood. This herb does that and can be used completely. The roots, leaves, flowers and seeds can be used internally or externally.
• Plantain is #1 in the field of blood poisoning treatment. You can see the healing at work. Swelling goes down and the “red” line recedes. Limbs poisoned can be saved using this herb. It is used as a poultice on the outside and taken as a tea on the inside. Michael Tierra, L.Ac., O.M.D. states that plantain is an herb that will “dry excess moisture and remove excess fat where toxins are retained.” (Tierra, p. 13)
• Plantain is also a diuretic so is useful for kidney and bladder problems. It is taken throughout the day as a tea to help the kidneys and bladder. It is used in bed-wetting challenges. It also helps dropsy and water retention. Sometimes diuretics should be teamed with a demulcent herb to buffer the effects on the kidneys. There is no research or recommendations that taking plantain tea requires ones. Actually, plantain itself is a demulcent also.
• As a styptic it can be chewed or pounded into a paste and applied to a wound to stop minor bleeding. It is very soothing and cooling as it heals. Taken as a tea or in soup it soothes irritated mucous membranes. It will stop the bleeding of minor cuts and when taken internally, ulcers. Although Mrs. M. Grieve, author of A Modern Herbal, disagrees with that stating that they are not useful in internal bleeding although historically it had been used for such. It will slow the flow in excessive menstrual cycles. It also is used for bloody urine.
• This herb is used as a vulnerary to heal wounds, cuts and scratches. Because it is found in high traffic areas around playgrounds, baseball fields and parks it is easy to grab, crush and use. Since it contains epidermal growth factor, it can be used in place of comfrey to repair damaged tissue, treat bruises and broken bones.
• Plantain is also used as an antivenomous herb in its role as a blood cleanser. Terry Willard, author of Edible and Medicinal Plants of the Rocky Mountains and Neighbouring Territories, states that it is good to draw out the poison of snake bites. It is an excellent choice for poisonous bites and stings of scorpions and insects. It does a good job in easing the pain of poison ivy. “I don’t know of any itch that can stand up to plantain,” states Susan Weed, director of the Wise Woman Center in Woodstock, New York. (Mandile, p. 27)
• Plantain is used to treat many skin disorders. Christopher Hobbs educates us on skin problems. “It is often said that you can’t judge a book by its cover, but what about the human ‘cover’, your skin? Doctors recognize many varieties of problems and diseases of the skin. Although we can visualize the skin (in contrast to, say the liver), it is often difficult to determine whether a problem is due to attack from various fungi and bacteria or to an internal process such as psoriasis or eczema, or from factors within and without such as an allergic reaction to an ingredient in your soap.
• Plantain does an excellent job as a deobstruent. Removing foreign objects and particles from the body. Teamed up with cayenne the unwanted items work their way out even faster. Plantain’s refrigerant qualities soothe and cool sores and ulcers. It is excellent to ease and heal hemorrhoids as a tea injected after each bowel movement and applied externally.
• The leaves of both plantains contain an Iridoid called aucubin, and flavonolds – antioxidants that strengthen blood vessels and are often anti-inflammatory. Plantain also contains soothing mucilages.

http://www.herballegacy.com/Ahlborn_Medicinal.html
http://www.ediblewildfood.com/broadleaf-plantain.aspx

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Burdock (Arctium lappa)

Burdock (Arctium lappa)

Burdock (Arctium lappa)

Kapha reducing

Identify:

  • Leaves: Large, wavy, heart-shaped leaves that are green on the top and whitish on the bottom makes identifying burdock easy. Leaves can grow to 50 centimetres in size.

When to collect:

  • collect the aerial parts while the vital energy is rising – i.e. leaf stalks and leaves are collected before the leaves are fully developed, while the roots should be collected when the vital energy is most concentrated within – i.e. in spring or autumn, preferably during the first year, before they become too old and tough.
  • The roots are dug in July
  • Burdock leaves, which are less used than the root, are collected in July.
  • For drying, follow the drying of Coltsfoot leaves. They have a somewhat bitter taste.
  • All the richness of the plant is safely packed away in the long, tapered root just as the leaves start to fall, and that’s the time to pluck it from the ground, in the autumn of the plant’s first year.

What to eat:

  • leaves and the peeled stalks of the plant either raw or boiled. The leaves have a bitter taste, so boiling them twice before eating is recommended to remove the bitterness.
  • The root of the plant can also be peeled, boiled, and eaten.
  • fresh herb/root is infinitely more powerful than the dried material.
  • First-year roots and second-year stems can be cooked by boiling for about 20 minutes, then season to taste. Before cooking however, the stems should be peeled, and roots scrubbed in order to remove the bitter rind. Immature flower stalks may also be harvested in late spring, before flowers appear; their taste resembles that of artichoke. The Japanese have been known to eat the leaves when a plant is young and leaves are soft.

Medicinal:

  • diabetes sufferers, as it is rich in inulin and helps to even out blood sugar levels.
  • German researchers have confirmed anti-tumor activity in all parts of Burdock as long ago as 1964
  • Medicinally, Burdock root is thought of as a ‘liver herb’ and it is particularly recommended as blood cleanser for skin conditions such as acne, eczema, psoriasis and other skin conditions. Both, the fresh, grated root or the mashed fresh leaves can be applied as a poultice to wounds, bruises and badly healing sores. Simultaneously a tea or decoction of the root can be used internally to facilitate inner cleansing and support liver and kidneys. The whole plant has a tendency to draw impurities from the body and aid the healing process. Burdock root and Nettle root extract are said to be helpful as a hair tonic to prevent loss of hair.
  • Traditionally, Burdock is also considered a powerful anti-tumor herb and various salves and decoctions have been prepared with it as a home treatment for this purpose. One of the better-known preparations that fall into this category is a tea known as ‘Essiac’ of which Burdock is a key ingredient.
  • improve the digestion and absorption of food
  • The Chinese felt that in addition to clearing up the skin, burdock would clear up problems with all the glands that lie under the skin. This is noteworthy because we now know acne is caused by infected sebaceous glands.
  • Chinese researchers have proven burdock to be anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, diuretic, antitumor, antifungal, estrogenic, hypoglycemic, and antibacterial.
  •  brew burdock root into a strong tea. Applied externally, this is used to cure dandruff; taken internally, it is said to clear up skin afflictions of all sorts.
  • poor complexion is caused by toxins in the system, burdock and its clinically proven ability to act as a diuretic would indeed help the body cleanse itself through the traditional means, urination. It is also mildly laxative and will get things moving out from that exit point as well.
  • The leaves form a cooling and healing poultice for boils, carbuncles, etc., and the seeds are excellent for dropsy and kidney trouble, and are also an effective remedy for neuralgia.
  • one of the powers attributed to burdock is its ability to cleanse the body. In days gone by, it was considered a blood cleanser; today we say that it offers a stimulating effect on the excretory systems, helping them rid the body of toxins.
  • burdock has the specific ability to speed the healing of the skin. Psoriasis, dandruff, wounds, ulcers, eczema, eruptions on the skin, boils, carbuncles, sties, sores, aphthous ulcerations, and chronic acne are all treated effectively with burdock. Whereas calendula is used externally to improve the skin’s appearance, burdock is taken internally.
  • Burdock root improves digestion, stimulates digestive juices, and increases bile flow and kidney function. It also contains the compound inulin, which is a great food source for probiotics (friendly intestinal bacteria).

Nutrition:

  • Ayurvedic philosophy considers burdock root to be one of nature’s great skin cleansers and blood purifiers. Burdock root is very concentrated in both vitamins (B1, B2, B3 and C) and minerals (iron, manganese, silicon and zinc). It is balanced between quantities of calcium and phosphorus, making it neutral in pH.
  • electrolyte potassium (308 mg or 6.5% of daily-required levels per 100 g root) and low in sodium. Potassium is an important component of cell and body fluids that helps control heart rate and blood pressure.

 

http://botanical.com/botanical/mgmh/b/burdoc87.html

http://doctorschar.com/archives/burdock-arctium-lappa/

http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/burdock-root.html

http://www.ediblewildfood.com/burdock.aspx

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