Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Mardi: Herbal-Wise

It seems to me that as we near the Holidays and the winter months creep close – at least here in the Northern Hemisphere – people are more prone to accidents.  And I’m not just talking about the kind that happen because conditions are really bad on the road and you probably shouldn’t be driving at all.  Injuries, particularly those involving winter sports, rear their ugly heads.  Even in perfect climates, people distracted by the concerns of the season make mistakes behind the wheel that they wouldn’t normally pull.  And then there is the overt hazard that is so called “flu season”.  Given all the other obligations that pile up this time of year, very few of us have the dubious luxury of being sick or injured.  Right now, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Old wives had a simple solution in the form of an herb known to this day as feverfew.  A form of chrysanthemum, the feverfew plant was carried in sachets, planted in window boxes and brewed into tisanes to keep away illness and injury or to cure those that had already occurred.  This plant found its way into both Wiccan magick and hoodoo root work, and its properties for protection and healing are still widely regarded.

Scott Cunningham advises carrying feverfew to keep illness away, particularly those of the upper respiratory variety.  It is also thought to guard against accidents.  A sprinkling of the dried leaves and flowers can be carried in a muslin bag as a pocket piece for this purpose.

In hoodoo, feverfew is often added to warding mojos.  Dried feverfew and comfrey root are placed in a bag along with a Saint Christopher medal; if the medal has been blessed, so much the better.  Keep this in your vehicle to avoid accidents.  The same mix, along with dried rosemary, is thought to be an excellent protection for people who work on or near roads and highways.  A similar mojo filled with feverfew and wormwood should be carried while undertaking dangerous sports such as rock climbing, skiing, sky diving, etc. to prevent serious or life threatening injury.

As a final note, though feverfew was and is brewed into curative teas, one should consult an herbalist or other expert before trying that route at home.  Feverfew decoctions can cause digestive upset and pregnant/nursing women should never ingest the plant in any form.  Bonne chance ~

Header: The Skating Pond by Currier & Ives c 1862


Timmy! said...

Excellent advice, Pauline.

I also like the way the couple in the foreground of the painting seem so calm while everyone else seems to be distracted. No doubt one of the reasons why you chose it for this post...


Pauline said...

The closer I looked at the etching, the more I realized that over half of those people were going to hurt themselves. It was just a matter of how badly.