End of Summer – Flowers in the Garden

Witch Hazel

Witchhazel copy
Botanical Name: Hamamelis virginiana
This beautiful shrub has been blooming in my garden through the snow storms of February.
I was amazed by the delicate looking flowers covered with icicles, and how after the ice melt they
retained their beautiful colors.  With Hazel was used externally by Native Americans to heal sprains, cuts, insect bites, skin irritations and hemorrhoids.  Collect the plant in the spring or early summer.  The parts of the Witch Hazel to be collected are: the inner bark and leaves, and twigs less than one half inch in diameter. Carefully strip off the outer bark with a sharp knife!  Steep in rubbing alcohol for 3 weeks and strain into a glass bottle. You now have a wonderful first aid remedy. For external use only!

Enjoy this third in a series of posts about helpful healing herbs.  For more visit my website.

Blue Vervain

bluevervain
This beautiful purple flowered plant is called Blue Vervain, and is a wonderful addition to my herb garden.  Blue Vervain (Verbena hastata) has been used by herbalists for centuries in Europe and in the United States. The name Vervain is derived from the Celtic word “ferfain” and was used as a diuretic to treat bladder infections. Other common names are “Herb of Grace” or “American Hyssop.”

Presently Vervain is found in many herbal formulas to treat PMS and menopausal anxiety, since it has a relaxing effect on the nervous system. It also helps to expel mucus from the lungs and relieve coughs and induces a sweat during the early stages of a fever.  I have enjoyed watching the bees gathering pollen on the deep purple flowers, that slowly fade to a lavender as the flowers ages.

Do not use Vervain during pregnancy.

Cupping

cuppingCupping is a part of Chinese Medicine and is a useful  treatment for muscular tension and respiratory issues. I often use it in conjunction with acupuncture and herbs to treat seasonal allergies.

Cupping is an adjunct therapy used by acupuncturists and massage therapists. Today we either use glass or plastic cups, and a vacuum is created using a flame or
suction device, and the cup is applied to the skin. In the past animal horns were used as a cupping device. The suction of the skin helps to increase blood circulation and to release cold or damp energies from the body. If the client has a common cold, allergies, or tight muscles; cupping can be applied to move the Qi and release the pain held in the body.

The cups can be moved and cover areas where there is muscular tension, when they are removed there is a discoloration of the skin that disappears in a few days.

I enjoy receiving this technique myself and encourage you to try it in a treatment!