Herb of the Month
Bay (Laurus nobilis) [True Laurel, Daphne]
The noble Bay has been popular medicinally for a number of ailments through the centuries. Culpepper claimed it was useful in combating gas, which he called "expelling wind". Even in Maude Grieve's time (the early 1900's) Bay was being used to help those with flatulent, or gassy, colic. It may help reduce gas when it is included in a dish, such as chicken soup or pot roast.
The seed and leaf have been used for amenorrhea, or lack of menses. This means that high doses of Bay leaf and seed can cause miscarriage. It is the seed that is particularly dangerous. The leaf is generally recognized as safe at any amount taken by anyone, so far, but high use should be avoided in pregnancy. Bay leaf and seed was boiled in a decoction and added to bath water to help women with amenorrhea in Culpepper's time.
The leaf can have mild diaphoretic properties. Diaphoretic herbs help the body to eliminate toxins through the skin by encouraging perspiration. This is great for maintaining one's health. The skin is responsible for eliminating a part of the body's wastes all of the time. Toxins come out with perspiration. This is one reason that many health traditions suggest that all people should sweat everyday.
A traditional herb in the fight against ulcers, a recent study suggests that this use may be an important one. The seed was shown to help curb early ulcers. This is early work, but Ulcerbay, the medication to prevent ulcers may be in stores in a few decades.
In Iran, Bay is a traditional anti-seizure herb. It has traditionally been given to epileptics in this part of the world. At traditional doses, the essential oil of Bay caused sedation and motor impairment. This seems to be related at least in part to three chemical constituents found in Bay: cineol, eugenol, and methyleugenol. While research on the anti-convulsive effects of Bay is in the early stages, modern science may once again find a treatment from traditional medicinal sources.
The use of Bay as an herbal medicine is not as popular as it once was. This may be due to the use of dried Bay leaf in the place of fresh. As this herb dries it gives up some of its active constituents. Another factor is the separation of the berry from the leaf. The more dangerous berry is no longer commonly available in the way that Bay leaf is. It can still act as a gentle healing herb, even dried. Its actions may not be as strong as some other herbs, but if gentle help is all that is needed, why go stronger?
The primary medicinal uses for this herb in modern times come largely from the essential oil of Bay. It is applied to arthritic joints in a base oil for relief from soreness. A base oil is a carrier oil for an essential oil. Apricot, almond, and olive oil are all examples of carrier oils. A quarter cup of carrier oil would be used to dilute just a few drops of essential oil. This makes essential oils practical for use and affordable for many budgets.
The essential oil of Bay can be dispersed in the air to help fight viral infections, flatulence, tonsillitis, and poor appetite.
It is a common ingredient not only in cooking, but in the creation of many commercial beverages, from sodas to alcoholic drinks. Bay essential oil is also used in detergents, colognes, aftershaves, and cosmetics for its scent.
The essential oil is considered safe, but because of a naturally occurring chemical constituent in Bay essential oil, it is not recommended for pregnant women. The chemical in question is methyl eugenol, a chemical that may have narcotic properties.
Whether used to relieve the pain of arthritis or to calm the reproductive system, promote health as a diaphoretic or aid digestion, Bay leaf can be a gentle aid in leading a happy, healthy life. Enjoy this tasty herb!
HERBAL ENCHANTMENT by Liz
(Laurus nobilis) Lorbeer, Laurier d'Apollon
Laurier d'Apollon, one of the names of Bay, comes from the legends of Daphne and Apollo. Daphne was a beautiful and virtuous young woman who was seen by Apollo one day. Apollo immediately fell head over heels in love with Daphne, but Daphne did not love him. Daphne fled from Apollo and tried to hide by changing herself into a tree never before seen on Earth. Apollo found the tree and, knowing that it was his true love, Daphne, Apollo named this new tree and picked some of its leaves to wear in his hair.
The laurels of Bay worn in victory, accomplishment, and by messengers in ancient Greece had their start in the first laurel worn by Apollo when he discovered Daphne as the Bay Laurel tree. These wreaths were the first prizes given at the ancient Olympic Games. They were also given to students who completed their studies. These wreaths were called "baccus laureus" and it is from this phrase that bachelor, as is bachelor degree, comes from.
A guardian of homes and a protector from evil, the Bay tree has been a part of human history for centuries. Planted in the New Forest of Great Britain as a protection from evil, Bay is also thought to protect those who take care of it from thunder, lightening, and fire. Perhaps it acts as a protection from fires because Hermes made the first fire in Roman mythology by striking a pomegranate against this tree.
Bay has also been a plant of divination. Legend states that Bay leaves were chewed by the priestesses at Delphi as they prepared to prophesy.
The ancient Sabine people, who lived in what is now Italy, dedicated Bay to the goddess Fides. When the Romans conquered the Sabines, they adopted Fides into their pantheon. She is a goddess of good faith and of keeping one's word.
A faithful heart is one of the reasons that Bay leaves are used in this love spell: Take five Bay leaves and pin them to your pillow. Pin one in each corner and one in the center of your pillow. Lay down, placing your head on the pillow and repeat this seven times:
"Sweet guardian angels, let me have
What I most earnestly do crave -
A Valentine endued with love,
Who will both true and constant prove."
interval between repeating the stanza above, count to seven, seven times. Next
sleep and dream, for in that dream a vision of that true and constant love will
Associated with Leo and the Sun, it is always a pleasure to work with Bay.
Mistletoe (Viscum album) [Herbe de la Croix, Mystyldene]
In this stressful season it can become very important to take time to unwind and take pleasure in things on a personal level. Try making a decoration for decking the walls.
HERBAL HEALTH by Liz
Mistletoe has not been in
common use in much of the United States in recent times. This is for very good
reason. Mistletoe is a dangerous herb to use medicinally! The reasons for this
center on the cautions for this herb: It is contraindicated in protein
hypersensitivity. This means that people with protein sensitivities should not
take Mistletoe internally. It is contraindicated for people with
chronic-progressive infections like TB (tuberculosis) and AIDS (acquired immune
deficiency syndrome). If someone chooses to take Mistletoe internally, then they
should have their blood pressure checked regularly, and stop taking any
Mistletoe if there are any abnormal blood pressure readings. It is also
important to not exceed any recommended doses for Mistletoe. How does one get a
recommended dose? This is done by making an appointment with an expert qualified
in the use of this herb. One standard dose is 2 1/2 grams combined with cold
water for ten to twelve hours taken as often as twice a day. This comes from the
American Herbal Retailer Association’s Herbal Safety Handbook and is just one
possible dose for Mistletoe Herb.
Mistletoe is gathered just before it comes to berry. The dew should have been evaporated by the sun before collection begins. The young twigs and the leaves are collected. Mistletoe can then be dried in the shade, with any damaged parts being thrown away. It has been used dried and in tincture, a method of preservation that usually involves alcohol.
In the past Mistletoe has been used to calm serious nervous system disorders such as epilepsy and St. Vitus’s Dance. One treatment for epilepsy, once popular in parts of Sweden, was for the epileptic to carry a knife that had a handle made from the wood of Oak Mistletoe. For this use it would be necessary to harvest older Mistletoe. Other treatments used in the past to treat epilepsy include directions to take a very small amount of the leaf collected from Lime trees (Linden or Basswood trees).
It was also used as a heart tonic, especially when the person needing a heart tonic had typhoid fever. Mistletoe was thought to deaden nerves and calm delirium. It was classed as a narcotic. This may have been why it used to be combined with Valerian and Vervain for nervousness, hysteria, and insomnia. It was once used to halt internal hemorrhaging. There was even a time when Mistletoe was used to fight sterility.
The uses for Mistletoe discussed so far are, for the most part, relegated to the history books. The uses that have stayed with us into modern times are combating degenerative joint diseases and malignant tumors. These uses come from Germany, where the use of this herb is still somewhat common and has been researched. Mistletoe has been taken orally and injected into the skin to combat joint diseases. The thinking behind its use here is that it will stimulate the body (the digestive system, the urinary system, the endocrine system, the respiratory system) into better functioning and help the body to deal with the causes of the degenerative joint disease. It inflames the skin tissue and can even cause some of the tissue near the injection site to die. This too can be beneficial, but it must be applied with care and expertise.
The use of Mistletoe in fighting malignant tumors is not an effective cure. It is considered a palliative herb for this ailment. A palliative therapy is a therapy that slows or covers up a disease. It can be thought of as treating the symptoms and ignoring the underlying cause of the disease.
Recent research suggests that Mistletoe absorbs different chemicals and energies from different host trees. Mistletoe taken from an Oak will differ from Mistletoe taken from an Apple tree. These differences may be very important, but they have not been thoroughly researched. As work with various Mistletoes is done, we may find that Mistletoe harvested from a particular species of tree is best for a particular disease. It is even possible that we will find that the variations in the Mistletoe will effect different people differently. Maybe Mistletoe taken from an Oak will be more effective in fighting degenerative joint disease in a person with low inner strength, while the Mistletoe from the Apple tree will be more effective in fighting the same disease in a person who finds it difficult to relax.
The side effects of taking Mistletoe can be quite serious. Minor side effects include headache, allergic reactions, chills, and high fever. The more serious side effects are angina and orthostatic circulatory disturbances. What is angina? Angina is a severe, restricting pain. What is an orthostatic circulatory disturbance? A sudden and noticeable change in circulation when standing up. Often this shows itself by a sudden change in blood pressure when a person stands up. If there is a sudden dizziness when standing up, then maybe there was a sudden drop in blood pressure. Anyone could have felt this while sick. It is not uncommon to stand up suddenly while sick with a flu or fever and feel a little dizzy. If this happens while taking Mistletoe, and it is more extreme than what may happen during a flu or fever, or happens frequently, then it is time to stop taking Mistletoe! It is also time to get a diagnosis from a physician and have a talk with a well trained herbalist.
In addition to the cautions stated at the beginning of this article, there are some known drug interactions to be aware of if considering taking Mistletoe internally. Those taking medications that effect blood pressure need the guidance of an expert qualified in the uses of both Mistletoe and the medication it will be mixed with. Remember: mixing herbs and medications is serious business make sure you are safe!
For more information on the uses of Mistletoe Herb, past and present, please consult A Modern Herbal by M. Grieve and The Commission E Monographs.
HERBAL ENCHANTMENT by Cher
The name of this
familiar Yuletide plant is taken from the old Anglo-Saxon ‘mistletan’ –
‘mistel’ meaning ‘different’ and ‘tan’ meaning ‘twig.’ It was
called ‘different twig’ because
Mistletoe is a parasite: it lives only off of a host tree, hence it would, indeed, be a ‘different twig’ from the twigs of its host tree. Mistletoe is rare because it is a true parasite, that is, it takes all its nourishment from its host, and not from soil or decayed bark like some fungi or lichen. It is most often found on old Apple trees, Ash, Hawthorn, and, of course, Oak.
According to one old legend, Mistletoe was once a strong tree in its own right, but the Cross of the Christ was made from it, and thereafter it degraded to a parasite. This legend is the derivation for its folk name, Herbe de la Croix (Herb of the Cross).
Mistletoe was held in great reverence by ancient Druids. A female plant because it gave red berries, and growing in true union with a male host (the sacred Oak), it was the symbol of life and the health and vitality of the people. Druid priests received visions telling them when to seek ripened Mistletoe. The trees on which it grew were believed to be the homes of the gods. The plant was cut from Oaks with golden knives or sickles, to bring the Divine to the people, protection from evil. Druid priests were said to be able to cure all ills with its power. If the Mistletoe sprigs fell during the cutting ceremonies, it was an ill omen for the entire nation. Druid youths carried branches of Mistletoe, announcing the New Year. This, and the fact that the berries ripen in December, is the origin of its association with Yuletide and New Years celebration.
In Norse myth, the God of Peace, beautiful Balder is said to have been killed by an arrow made of Mistletoe. The myth tells of the promise made by every living thing and all the elements never to harm Balder, for he was the source of purity in the world. Mistletoe was too young to make the promise. The gods tested the promises by throwing things at Balder, proving he could not be hurt. Loki, god of mischief and destruction, cast a Mistletoe arrow at Balder. The god fell dead, ending an age of innocence. Balder was restored to life and Mistletoe was given to the keeping of the Goddess of Love. It was then ordained that all who passed under it receive a kiss to show it is a symbol of love and not Loki’s hate. Even in modern days, to be caught under the Mistletoe is to receive a kiss.
In London, Mistletoe is a symbol of freedom, for it is neither a shrub nor a tree. It is also said to bring new life at the Solstice, for the joining of the feminine plant with the masculine Oak.
Christian priests have for centuries condemned it as pagan, due to its strong association with Druids, and have forbidden it in the Church. Nonetheless, it was and remains a common decoration in houses at Yuletide.
In Conway, Mistletoe is said to keep evil spirits away. In Devon, it is believed it will aid in the opening of locks, hence it is a patron of locksmiths.
Once hung for Yule, folk custom says to leave it up for the entire year, to keep love in the home and to ensure plenty. Another tradition states that it should be burned under the pancakes made for Shrove Tuesday.
Patchouli (Pogostemon cablin)
A member of the mint family, Patchouli is prized and hated for its distinctive fragrance. Once the scent that let the buyer know that the India ink that they purchased was really India ink, Patchouli was the distinctive scent of India in the European markets for centuries. Patchouli has been used in Asian medicinal traditions to treat everything from bad breath to snake bites, especially in India and the Philippines, where the plant is native. In America and Europe the essential and infused oils are most often used medicinally. When using essential oil remember to dilute it with a carrier oil like Grapeseed oil or Olive oil. The ratio of essential oil to carrier oil can be as low as 1 to 100, depending on the intended use of the oil. Patchouli is generally recognized as safe, so following one’s nose is a good idea when diluting the essential oil or making infused oils with Patchouli. Patchouli, being rich in oils even when dry, is a great candidate for making an infused oil from the herb. This is less expensive than buying the essential oil and very easy to do.
The scent of Patchouli has always been a primary focus for the actions of Patchouli. It is described as sweet, woodsy, pungent, rich and herbaceous. Personal interpretation is important, so smelling the herb oneself and deciding if it contains those characteristics (sweet, woodsy, etc.) is important. An individual’s body chemistry can respond to an herb very differently from the way most people respond to it, so take the time for individual evaluation of the scent or taste of an herb. There may be surprises in store!
Many people who like the smell of Patchouli feel that it feeds the soul. The sweetness of the scent is indicative a of sugars, which some healing traditions associate with either the pancreas or the spleen and with feeding the body. The idea that it feeds the soul may come from the sweetness of Patchouli’s scent. This may be one reason for its popularity in perfumes.
The pungent nature of Patchouli can lead some healers to think of the lungs or the intestines. Patchouli does seem to have some decongestant properties, so the lung action that the pungency pointed to seems to be borne out by its usefulness in some types of lung congestion. It has also been used for nausea, diarrhea and bad breath, so perhaps the effects on the intestines that the scent suggested are also in this plant.
For the most part its uses are more surface than those discussed above. Patchouli is often used on problem skin, from acne to dry skin, from fungal infections to wrinkles. Its uses on the skin come mostly from practical experiences of healers from around the world. It does have antiviral, bactericidial, antimicrobial, and antiseptic properties, so it is capable of helping the body to heal from some fungi and other infections. The scalp has also benefited from the application of a little Patchouli. The application in all cases is topical, meaning that it is applied to the skin, usually as an oil or cream. It is also used topically as an insect repellant.
Patchouli is used to relieve headaches historically and nervous exhaustion in modern times. This implies that headaches derived from a nervous or anxious state of mind may be calmed with the scent of Patchouli, be it from the herb directly, or the oil. This use for Patchouli seems to be largely an aromatherapy application, so inhaling the scent of Patchouli is probably the most common way people use Patchouli to help heal this type of headache. Keeping a blend of herbs around that contain Patchouli can be calming if they are added to the bath or kept as potpourri. The scent of an herb or oil can have a strong immediate effect that wears off more and more quickly with each application if it is used too often. It is better to have a herb or oil used for its scent in one specific place, like the bath or as potpourri in a closet or a special room, than to have it around all of the time, unless its use is as perfume!
So what’s acting in the herb to create all of these wonderful age old remedies? Well, for the technically minded, Patchouli’s main principle constituents are Patchouli alcohol, pogostol, bulnese, bulnesol, nor patchoulenol, and patchoulene. At least, that’s what’s active in it according to Julia Lawless.
The herb, and oils made from it, get better as they age. It is a good idea to buy more Patchouli (or make more oil) than necessary and store some in a glass jar in some out of the way place for a few years. The reward for this patience? The scent will improve remarkably, becoming deeper and much more full over time. Some of the harshness with mellow with age. For those who love Patchouli, there might not seem to be any harshness to it, but age some and compare, it is amazing.
Patchouli is a fun and generally recognized as safe herb, so don’t be afraid to play with Patchouli. It can be friendly and it even plays well with many other herbs, helping other scents to stay strong longer and blend better. The ways in which Patchouli can be used are endless. A little imagination can really make Patchouli a terrific herb. Associated with death and graveyards, I’ve even put Patchouli into a “holiday” tea for Halloween! A great herb to start the holiday season with, Patchouli is healthful and fun.
Patchouli (aka Graveyard Dust)
Patchouli first became known in Britain in the 1820's when the dried flowers where used to impregnate Indian shawls. In the 1860's patchouli scents enjoyed the same popularity as it did in the "Flower Power" era of the 1960's.
Patchouli is a fragrant herb whose origin is India. With its strong, earthy, exotic scent, it has long been used as an aphrodisiac. Legend says Patchouli positively influences sex, physical energy and prosperity.
Patchouli is associated with the Element of Earth. A symbol of sexuality, fertility and prosperity. Patchouli is said to contain properties relating to sex and physical energy, both of these energies are often associated with Earth.
Patchouli is also associated with the planet Saturn, which governs areas of discipline and the pattern of responsibility. Saturn reveals the fulfillment of obligation in one’s life. Patchouli is about finding the energy to see things through. Patchouli’s nature is one of grounding and integrating the needs of both physical and spiritual paths.
Patchouli is also associated with death, sometimes being called graveyard dirt. It has been used as a symbol of closure with people who have left one’s life, whether through death or the ending of a relationship in some other way.
Patchouli is said to encourage rapport, reasonableness, and lucidity. Patchouli still is used in the East to scent linens. Its deep, earthy-sweet fragrance has been used for arousing sexual desire for at least 100 years.
Bilberry (Vaccinium myrtilli)
Bilberry is a small shrub,
with green, wiry, angular branches, that grows about a foot high. The slightly
serrated, one-inch leaves are obvate and alternate on the branches. The leathery
leaves are a dark green that is a little shiny on top during the summer. At this
time of year they look a little like those of the myrtle. This explains one name
for this bush: burren myrtle. In autumn the leaves turn red and are very
ornamental. Bilberry bears globular wax-like flowers that range from red to
white in color. Its black berries, which are covered when quite ripe with a
delicate gray bloom, contain five seeds. The berries are round with a flat top.
There are varieties with white fruits and with red fruits.
It is often found in cooler areas of North America and Eurasia, usually in moist, acid soils in wooded areas.
In Scotland Bilberry bushes are called 'Blea-berry,' from an old North Country word, 'blae,' meaning livid or bluish. The name Bilberry may come from Bulberry. Bulberry seems to come from the Danish 'bollebar,' meaning dark berry. Other names for Bilberry include wineberry, dyeberry, whortle berry and huckleberry.
The leaves taste so good as an herbal tea that they have been used as a substitute for tea.
Bilberry is mentioned in older texts from Buryatia, Europe, and China as an herb valuable for it's ability to aid healing from many diseases of the digestive system, circulatory system and eyes.
In modern times, Bilberry Leaf is thought to have a calming effect on smooth muscle tissue. It is reputed to be good for menstrual cramps.
It is thought to nourish the respiratory tract and the leaves are sometimes used for coughs.
A close relative of Uva Ursi, the Bilberry leaf can be used in much the ways Uva Ursi leaf might be used. Both have traditionally been used to help those with those with urinary tract disorders and kidney problems.
It has helped people with nervous stomachs and general indigestion. Being rich in both tannins and pectin, the herb also helps treat diarrhea.
A tea made of the leaves has been taken by diabetics for prolonged periods of time to help with blood sugar management. It is a traditional herb for diabetes in parts of Europe, Asia and North America. Myrtillin (methoxylated glucoside of gallic acid), the part of Bilberry leaf that has the greatest effect on blood sugar, can help to normalize blood sugar levels in many people who have lost this ability. Bilberry leaf also contains chromium, an important nutrient for everyone, but especially for diabetics. Chromium increases the glucose tolerance factor by enhancing insulins ability to oxidize glucose. Bilberry does affect blood sugar levels and would require monitoring and changes in medication levels when used by diabetics today. Some feel that Bilberry leaf is better for the body than modern diabetes medications, but it is not as effective as modern medications. This means that it may not be a viable option for some diabetics.
Bilberry supports healthy eye function and can be used to treat eye conditions like night blindness, poor adaptability to bright light, poor vision from diabetes.
Bilberry leaves have also been used for skin problems, hemorrhoids, joint problems and blood purification.
One recent study from France looked at the chemical composition of fourteen different harvests of Bilberry leaf. For the technically minded, the basics of their findings were: total polyphenol compounds 12.98 and 10.62%, tannins 7.84 and 7.43%, total flavonoid compounds 2.98 and 2.20% (spectrophotometry), 1.41 and 1.16% (HPLC), quercetin 3-glucuronide 1.02 and 0.83%, hyperoside 0.22 and 0.16%, chlorogenic acid 3.66 and 1.58%. The levels were higher in young leaves and lower in old leaves.
Taking Bilberry leaf internally is easy and tasty. Pour boiling water over two teaspoons of cut & sifted bilberry leaves. Steep for ten minutes, then strain. Bilberry leaf tea can be taken 3-5 times per day, or as required. Bilberry leaf tea is not recommended for prolonged use, due to the high tannin content of the leaves that may damage the liver. One teaspoon contains about 0.6 grams of myrtillin.
Bilberry leaf tea and myrtillin extracts may reduce the required dosages of insulin for individuals with blood sugar control difficulties.
Some herbalists recommend Bilberry during pregnancy, other say that it is best to avoid it if pregnant. The truth is that not enough is known about Bilberry to make a specific recommendation about its safety outside of diabetes. Outside of the concerns about diabetes, a lot of the warnings about Bilberry are based on speculation. The concerns about prolonged use, due to the high tannin content of the leaves that may damage the liver, deserve consideration. Also, an old study on animals reported severe hydroquinone-type poisoning reactions with long-term use of bilberry leaf tea. No one could repeat these effects. Hydroquinones and arbutin in bilberry leaf are present only in traces, making hydroquione poisoning by Bilberry leaf difficult to accomplish. This brings the original study into question. None the less, better to think on it than not know at all. Use Bilberry leaf internally with caution and due respect for its power.
HERBAL ENCHANTMENT Bilberry - Vaccinium myrtillus
Bilberry has been commonly known
by many names. It is the common Whortleberry, the American Huckleberry,
Whinberry, Trackleberry, and Black Whortles. In the North Country of Scotland,
it is called "blea-berry" from the Scottish "blae" meaning
"livid or bluish." In Denmark, it is known as "bulberry"
from the Danish "bollebar" or "dark berry."
Bilberry is associated with Jupiter, and thus is an herb of luck and benevolence. It is said to have cheering and soothing qualities.
On the English/Welsh border, shepherds say that where Bilberry grows in the hills, there sheep will be comfortable grazing.
A decoction of Bilberry leaves, when filtered and assayed with an iron sulphate mordant will give a beautiful green dye.
There is much lore about the picking of Bilberries -- almost all of it is associated in one way or another with the festival of Lammas, or Lughnasah, the First Harvest.
The people of Cheshire are said to eat the berries picked on Lammas with cream and milk for good luck.
In Ireland, there are still numerous county festivals centered around the picking of the bilberries on Lughnasah.
Here are two wonderful ideas for using Bilberry leaves:
For eye strain:
Make a cup of tea, using one teaspoon of Bilberry leaves per cup of boiling water. Let steep 5 to 7 minutes. Place the tea in the refrigerator for at least half an hour. When cold, soak two cotton balls in the liquid and place one on each closed eye for 10 minutes.
Or, you can make a nighttime
You will need:
1 rectangle of soft cloth, 8 inches by 7 inches
1 rectangle of cotton batting, 7 inches by 3 inches.
˝ ounce Bilberry leaves
Choose cloth that is soft to the touch and of a soothing, restful design. Fold the rectangle of cloth in half so you have a pocket 8 inches long and 3 ˝ inches wide.
Sew up both short ends. Turn right-side out. Place the batting and the Bilberry leaves in the pocket you have formed, spreading out the leaves evenly. Carefully sew the open edge closed, then sew a line of stitching down the middle of your pillow.
Rest the pillow on your eyes before you sleep to soothe eye-strain.
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Items at this on-line store are shown as curios. We make no claims nor guarantee any magical or supernatural powers for any item. The names and assumed powers are derived from books, folklore and various other sources. The information provided is for educational purposes only and is not intended as diagnosis, treatment, or prescription of any kind. The decision to use, or not to use, any information is the sole responsibility of the reader. This information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice. You should not use this information to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease without consulting with a qualified healthcare provider. Please consult your healthcare provider with any questions or concerns you may have regarding your condition.