Practical Uses for Herbs: Stomach Ache

Stomach Ache A tea of equal quantities of mint,
strawberry leaf, catnip and blackberry mixed
with one tablespoon of brandy should ease the
An alternative is ground brown rice steeped
in warm water for 15 minutes. Add sugar and
nutmeg to taste. Add to boiled milk and drink.

Practical Uses for Herbs: Coughs

Coughs In 1.7 litres (3 pints) of boiling water,
place a large quantity of peppermint leaves, 150
ml (5 fl oz) of rum, 85 ml (3 fl oz) of lemon juice,
25 g (1 oz) of cinnamon bark and 25 g (1 oz) of
comfrey root. Blend well, then allow to cool and
strain. Add 225 g (8 oz) of sugar and 50 ml (2 fl
oz) of honey. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil.
Cool and store in an air-tight container

Practical Uses for Herbs: Bruises

Bruises Take 600 ml (1 pint) of almond oil and
450 g (1 lb) each of Balm of Gilead and St John’s
Wort, which you should bruise by pounding in
a pestle and mortar. Warm together over a low
flame. When the oil has taken all the colour out
of the buds, cool and strain the liquid. Then
apply as needed to the bruised area.

Practical Uses for Herbs

Herbs have always had extremely practical
uses in addition to magical properties.
Traditionally, women who had learned their
craft as witches had also learned about the
healing properties of the herbs they used. This
aspect of a witch’s abilities falls into the
category of folk medicine, but it also entailed
the women linking in with an ancient tradition
by which a deity was assigned to each herb.

Sometimes witches earned a reputation for
being able to achieve miracles, but when
something went wrong they would be blamed
for it or accused of putting the evil eye on
people they did not like. Notwithstanding that
they had done their best with the resources
they had, these women were both revered and
feared. Often the women would add other
strange ingredients to their lotions and potions.
In Scotland as late as 1865 there is gruesome
evidence that the ashes from a human skull
were much sought after as an ingredient in a
cure for epilepsy. In this particular case, the
powder was required to be added to a mixture
administered to a girl suffering from fits.
Today many ingredients, similar to those used
by our ancestors, are available to us for healing
purposes. Unlike the healers of old, we can avail
ourselves of scientific information to ensure that
we use specific herbs appropriately. Below are
some recipes that have proved their worth.
Often it is the synergy (combined influence) of
the herbs that makes them so effective. Just as
essential oils derived from plants can be
combined, so also can the herbs themselves in
order to achieve a particular end.