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Stacey

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I have found that most witches love herbs, it seems to be an integral part of our workings. It's always been an interest of mine, so much so that I am going to be doing a course to get my Herbalism Diploma......but I digress. I was researching online how to make herbal oils because I decided to use some of my herbs to make myself a prosperity oil and came across this article. In it I saw the following paragraph describing a Modern Herbalist:

"A modern herbalist is not quite a witch. She is part cheap, part environmental, part gardener and plantswoman, part medical practitioner, part rebel, part luddite, part scientist—and part witch."

 

I was wondering what others thought?

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"A modern herbalist is not quite a witch. She is part cheap, part environmental, part gardener and plantswoman, part medical practitioner, part rebel, part luddite, part scientist—and part witch."

 

I don't know why, but this hits home for me in some peculiar way.

 

I usually work with herbs purely on a mundane, medicinal level, and not really on a magical level. Unless they're still alive (attached to a root and firm in the ground), in which case I draw on their energy for spell-work. If they're dried and processed, I feel like I'm working with an empty husk of a being that's only good for its mundane properties, be they for cooking or brewing or fragrance.

 

Gardening is a good way, I've found, to replenish energy by being so close to nature and living plants, but I don't consider it a part of witchcraft in and of itself. It's...practically its own, separate craft.

 

Herbalism.

 

You don't have to be a witch, specifically, to know a lot about herbs!

 

You can be a doctor, or an environmentalist, a survival expert, etc.

 

Can't remember where I was going with this...tangents...they're funny things.

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"A modern herbalist is not quite a witch. She is part cheap, part environmental, part gardener and plantswoman, part medical practitioner, part rebel, part luddite, part scientist—and part witch."

 

 

I disagree that sort of generalization, especially with the "part witch" statement.

 

Some of the best herbalists I know are very much NOT witches. They work with the physical/medicinal properties of the plants only and have no interest in the symbolic or spirit properties.

 

Seems quite obvious to me that an herbalist is not always a witch, and a witch is not always an herbalist. :pumpkin_rolleyes:

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I agree with Aloe.

 

Also, I think...that it doesn't matter what articles/people/media describe and or label a licensed herbalist. If you want to be one...then, do so :) I think that it would be valuable to you in every area in which you can apply it.

 

I have always been interested in a serious study in herbalism myself..for health and magickal purposes. Also....you can help others :)Lots of great reasons to go for it!

 

~MoonWood

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Also, I think...that it doesn't matter what articles/people/media describe and or label a licensed herbalist. If you want to be one...then, do so :) I think that it would be valuable to you in every area in which you can apply it.

 

To be 'licensed' often has quite a bit of meaning, hard work, and hours of study behind it... and therefore matters a great deal in medicinal herb work, IMO.

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Like Ilexys M I really only use herbs for mundane things. I do it because I feel it's better than reaching for heavily processed chemicals to treat things herbs can and because I am cheap. I hardly ever use them in magical workings except in homemade incense and I may start using essential oils.

 

To me the quote you added, Stacey, rings true in part on a personal level but I do hate generalizations like that. I don't think every last modern herbalist is all of those things or any of those things.

 

To be 'licensed' often has quite a bit of meaning, hard work, and hours of study behind it... and therefore matters a great deal in medicinal herb work, IMO.

 

Yup.

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Like Ilexys M I really only use herbs for mundane things. I do it because I feel it's better than reaching for heavily processed chemicals to treat things herbs can and because I am cheap.

 

Ditto.

 

I don't trust pharmaceuticals or the people who prescribe them, and herbs are much more readily available on a budget, and quite effective as they are. :)

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Ditto.

 

I don't trust pharmaceuticals or the people who prescribe them, and herbs are much more readily available on a budget, and quite effective as they are. :)

 

I wonder how many times folks have been out and about and got a headache and said 'oh I wish there was a chemist nearby..' when they've just walked by or are near a perfectly good willow?

 

I think the problem lies with over the counter drugs having labels that say what they do, people have to learn what plants do what as there are no little labels tied to them in the wild - nice though that would be lol

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I think the problem lies with over the counter drugs having labels that say what they do, people have to learn what plants do what as there are no little labels tied to them in the wild - nice though that would be lol

 

And this is where I tell people to get off their lazy arse and research!

 

lol

 

It's not like it's hard in this day and age.

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I was taking a vey expensive medication for a chronic problem I had, it cost $500 a month on the states and I ordered it for$160 from Canada. All at serious detriment to my budget, I even had to grovel to my parents some months to afford it. Then one Yule a coven mate gave us all herb cards, I was looking at the botanical illustrations and reading what they were good for and there was my problem, a simple cheap tea that did the same therapy as the medication! I had gone to a nateropath who had helped me with a related condition many years before, but she had sold out and only sold premade herb pills and sport drinks instead of mixing herbal treatments like she used to. I couldn't recall the mix of herbs that the NP had given me do long ago, but the card refreshed my memory that this herb had been the main ingredient. Now I have no need for expensive medicines and I am cured, and if my condition comes back out comes the herbs to fix me right up!

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I like the saying although I do prefer to think of myself as frugal (or better yet just using common sense, lol) rather than "cheap." I use some herbs/plants often, but for me it is very important to have an actual relationship with the wort itself. Even if used for medicinal purposes rather thanmagical I think it greatly enhances the effects if the spirit of the plant is an ally and is invoked, not just ingested/applied.

 

M

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It is so true, M. Also, when one uses the plant directly rather than a commercially prepared pill, that relationship is much easier to build. Drinking a hand made tea has so much more healing in it than a white dusty pill.

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I use herbs and other plants medicinally and magically; however, I am certainly no expert on either practice. Like any other amateur herbalist, I've just picked up a few tricks along the way. While I prefer using natural remedies, whenever possible, I think it is important to note that some diseases and conditions cannot be easily cured with herbs alone.

 

Don't quote me on this, because I don't recall the source, but last I knew there were well over 120 different modern day medicines that derive their active ingredients from plants, so to say that chemists don't use plants would be inaccurate. Of course, we don't want to over-use synthetic chemicals, but research on the long term effects of using "man-made" medicines is mixed at best and not necessarily all negative.

 

Back in the day, however, when all people had was herbs, the life expectancy wasn't quite as high as it is today. I am not claiming that herbs were any more or less effective in the past. The processes that helped to extract the chemicals in the herbs have, however, improved drastically. Scientists have made that possible. They may not be stirring up potions over a hearth in a little cottage, but I don't think we should be too hard on them. Creating better, stronger, more potent medicines from herbs does require an intimate knowledge of and consequently relationship with the plant.

 

Jevne

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I use herbs and other plants medicinally and magically; however, I am certainly no expert on either practice. Like any other amateur herbalist, I've just picked up a few tricks along the way. While I prefer using natural remedies, whenever possible, I think it is important to note that some diseases and conditions cannot be easily cured with herbs alone.

 

Don't quote me on this, because I don't recall the source, but last I knew there were well over 120 different modern day medicines that derive their active ingredients from plants, so to say that chemists don't use plants would be inaccurate. Of course, we don't want to over-use synthetic chemicals, but research on the long term effects of using "man-made" medicines is mixed at best and not necessarily all negative.

 

Back in the day, however, when all people had was herbs, the life expectancy wasn't quite as high as it is today. I am not claiming that herbs were any more or less effective in the past. The processes that helped to extract the chemicals in the herbs have, however, improved drastically. Scientists have made that possible. They may not be stirring up potions over a hearth in a little cottage, but I don't think we should be too hard on them. Creating better, stronger, more potent medicines from herbs does require an intimate knowledge of and consequently relationship with the plant.

 

Jevne

 

Totally agree.

 

I am someone who was able to get off prescription heart medication and pain medication by using herbs, but considering the shape I was in when I first got sick, I don't know that I would have had the strength or clarity to do the work needed (medicinal and magical) to find my cure.

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I use herbs and other plants medicinally and magically; however, I am certainly no expert on either practice. Like any other amateur herbalist, I've just picked up a few tricks along the way. While I prefer using natural remedies, whenever possible, I think it is important to note that some diseases and conditions cannot be easily cured with herbs alone.

 

Don't quote me on this, because I don't recall the source, but last I knew there were well over 120 different modern day medicines that derive their active ingredients from plants, so to say that chemists don't use plants would be inaccurate. Of course, we don't want to over-use synthetic chemicals, but research on the long term effects of using "man-made" medicines is mixed at best and not necessarily all negative.

 

Back in the day, however, when all people had was herbs, the life expectancy wasn't quite as high as it is today. I am not claiming that herbs were any more or less effective in the past. The processes that helped to extract the chemicals in the herbs have, however, improved drastically. Scientists have made that possible. They may not be stirring up potions over a hearth in a little cottage, but I don't think we should be too hard on them. Creating better, stronger, more potent medicines from herbs does require an intimate knowledge of and consequently relationship with the plant.

 

Jevne

Right on Jevne!

 

I personally never jumped on the, modern medicine = bad bad bad, while herbs = good and great band wagon. With either type you have to be careful, in fact just as if not more careful if using just straight herbs for medicine. Secondly, people are living much longer, healthier lives than ever before in the history of mankind in the days of modern meds. I am pretty sure a distraught mother in the 1800s who had all her children dying of TB in spite of her herb garden would have giving up her life to have had some of what we have today to fight and cure that disease.

 

So I look at BOTH having their pros and cons and usefulness in life.

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It certainly doesn't have to be either or. Modern medicine has it's place but, IMO, is overused. I don't need to down a handful of drugs for a migraine. Or, at least, if I had the choice I would use herbs over the other stuff. I have had migraines that I had to go to the ER for and get injected with all kinds of nasty but blissful drugs for. It really depends. I certainly wouldn't treat, say, cancer just with herbs but I wouldn't rush to the ER with a hangnail, either.

 

The life expectancy from hundreds of years ago was not just because there weren't such advances in modern medicine but also due to hygiene and food. Meaning there were a lot more factors than just herbs vs. modern medicine, too many to dismiss either. Take everything on a case by case basis and certainly don't throw out either way altogether. To me modern western medicine is the net that catches my ass when shit gets really bad. Herbs are what I use to keep me afloat.

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So I look at BOTH having their pros and cons and usefulness in life.

 

Which brings up another good point . . . regardless of the source, it is a good idea to consult an expert when working with both natural and synthetic chemicals. I mean it is one thing to treat a headache with a herbal remedy and quite another to try to treat a brain tumor with tea.

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Which brings up another good point . . . regardless of the source, it is a good idea to consult an expert when working with both natural and synthetic chemicals. I mean it is one thing to treat a headache with a herbal remedy and quite another to try to treat a brain tumor with tea.

 

So so true. Or happy thoughts. Oh Lord have mercy I hate the "just think happy thoughts and you will be cured" crowd!

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The life expectancy from hundreds of years ago was not just because there weren't such advances in modern medicine but also due to hygiene and food.

 

You are absolutely right, Maggie. We can also thank scientists for advances in waste disposal and treatment and improvements in food preservation methods, too.

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It certainly doesn't have to be either or. Modern medicine has it's place but, IMO, is overused.

It is. But then again so are some herbs. If a person is anti modern meds then they may over use some of the medicinal herbs as well. I think balance and being reasonable is appropriate.
The life expectancy from hundreds of years ago was not just because there weren't such advances in modern medicine but also due to hygiene and food. Meaning there were a lot more factors than just herbs vs. modern medicine, too many to dismiss either.
Actually, because of hygiene back then and lack of over use and abuse by antibacterial soap products, people were far more resilient from catching things than they were now a days. There is no denying the fact that back in those days, if you got a cancer, TB, small pox, certain flus, etc. etc. and etc. you were far more screwed and likely to die than in this day in age, regardless of being well versed in your herb garden back then.
Take everything on a case by case basis and certainly don't throw out either way altogether.
Right on! I guess this is why I find it mildly irritating when I see some people in life frowning upon or judging those that choose either route predominantly. Neither going mostly herb or modern med is holier than thou or more righteous than the other. They BOTH have their place and needs. They can BOTH be abused, or dangerous.
To me modern western medicine is the net that catches my ass when shit gets really bad. Herbs are what I use to keep me afloat.

LOL I love this saying! I think that's the way to go. You apply both within reason.
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Which brings up another good point . . . regardless of the source, it is a good idea to consult an expert when working with both natural and synthetic chemicals. I mean it is one thing to treat a headache with a herbal remedy and quite another to try to treat a brain tumor with tea.

Exactly! I knew of a guy that thought he could be more liberal with herbs get very very sick because he was not using a medicinal herbal tea properly. My ex mother in law almost died recently, because she dicked around with herbs and herbal doctors while her breast cancer got even bigger and spread into the lymph nodes. Boy did I yell at her. Thankfully I think it was caught just in the nick of time, but still not out of the woods yet. she wasn't expected to survive. Maybe she wasn't wrong trying the herbs for a little bit but she should never have sat there continuing that route while it got worse and the herbs obviously were not working out.
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Boy did I yell at her. Thankfully I think it was caught just in the nick of time, but still not out of the woods yet. she wasn't expected to survive. Maybe she wasn't wrong trying the herbs for a little bit but she should never have sat there continuing that route while it got worse and the herbs obviously were not working out.

 

Why not? Its her life so why shouldn't it be her choice? I certainly wouldn't want anyone telling me I "should never" do what I want to do with my own health, whether what I wanted cured me or not.

 

My Dad has a lot of serious health conditions including a brain tumor too big and in too bad of a place to be removed. He decided at one point to eschew treatment and ease pain only, because he was just done. No more lasers in his body. I would NEVER have presumed to yell and berate him for a choice he made about his own life. I'm not in his body feeling what he's feeling, and as much as I want him to live I believe I don't have a right to make his choices for him. He also went the herbal route for awhile, I fully supported him in that too.

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Why not? Its her life so why shouldn't it be her choice? I certainly wouldn't want anyone telling me I "should never" do what I want to do with my own health, whether what I wanted cured me or not.

 

This is true as well. The only thing that bothers me is when people sell it as a cure using very VERY faulty "science" and reasoning. If people go into something with all the info, great, but those who offer false information? I have zero tolerance for that.

 

I do think telling people what is "right" and "wrong" when it comes to health is a slippery slope. I am a firm believer in home birth and you wouldn't believe how many people try and force women into the hospital for "their own good". That's just one example.

 

 

Wytchy- bugs are a small issue when it comes to hygiene. I was more meaning things like childbed fever so maybe I should have said sanitation instead?

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Why not? Its her life so why shouldn't it be her choice? I certainly wouldn't want anyone telling me I "should never" do what I want to do with my own health, whether what I wanted cured me or not.

 

For some reason, your response made me think of a discussion that my son and I had recently. He was walking along down the middle of the road, and I told him to move to the side, so he wouldn't get hit. He announced defiantly, that he can walk down the middle of the road, if he wants to. It's his choice. As a pedestrian, he has the right of way, after all.

 

I told him that, while I respect his right to make his own choices and be his own person, that whole I-can-do-what-I-want attitude is a lot less impressive when you are dead, and he better get his ass over.

 

I would hope that if the time ever came, Aloe, your daughter would tell you to get your ass out of the road, too. :)

 

Jevne

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I told him that, while I respect his right to make his own choices and be his own person, that whole I-can-do-what-I-want attitude is a lot less impressive when you are dead, and he better get his ass over.

 

 

When it comes to treatment of fatal illnesses though, some people simply choose to let the illness take its course rather than take a chance on invasive treatments. My Dad decided at one point that he was in too much pain too keep fighting the issues and the treatments added to the pain. I respected his choice.

 

But anyway, I'm probably dragging this off topic.

 

 

I do think telling people what is "right" and "wrong" when it comes to health is a slippery slope. I am a firm believer in home birth and you wouldn't believe how many people try and force women into the hospital for "their own good". That's just one example.

 

Yep, so true. Problems can happen either way. My sister got fucked up during her hospital birth because of a drastic error made by a nurse. Same could happen with a midwife. There's no certainty either way that things will always be smooth and safe.

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