Magical Herbs and Supplements In Your Cupboard

Hello and welcome to Magick Month!  For the entire month of October The Guitar Witch will be posting a new tip or challenge to help your creativity flourish and pulse with all the energy and life it deserves! You can find previous days here. Today I will talk about magical herbs and supplements you likely have in your cupboard.

Magical Herbs and Supplements Part 2

Yesterday, I talked about some special and magical herbs and supplements you could use to encourage the health of your brain.  Today I’ll talk about some special properties of a few common herbs that you likely have on hand – specifically oregano, basil, sage, and aloe vera. 

Note: I will list personal allies that have helped me a great deal and are generally well tolerated.  However, everyone’s biochemistry and physical constitution is unique, so substances that work great for one person may be detrimental to someone else.

Remember that anything powerful enough to help is usually powerful enough to hurt.  Please tread with caution and pay attention to your body.   

Oregano – Immunity, anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, anti-fungal, antibacterial

Oregano is composed of over 60 different compounds with the primary ones being carvacrol and thymol .

Carvacrol possesses a wide range of actions, such as antimicrobial, antioxidant, and anticancer activities[1]. It has shown antimicrobial activity against several different strains of bacteria and fungi[2].

Thymol is also one of the most important constituents in thyme species. It has been shown to possess various properties including antioxidant, free radical scavenging, anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antispasmodic, antibacterial, antifungal, antiseptic and antitumor activities.  The effects of thymol are likely due to to its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant characteristics[3]

I usually add oregano to soups, pastas, and sprinkled on potatoes or toast.  However, using Oil of Oregano (I highly prefer capsules) is a much better way to get the necessary doses of the various compounds needed to have noticeable effects. 

Basil – Stress, anti-inflammatory, pain reduction

Various species of basil are involved in religious ceremonies around the world, and traditional witchcraft associates basil with money and luck. 

These varieties of basils have different scents and properties because they will have a number of different essential oilsin different proportions.  European basil contains high concentrations of linalool and estragole. The clove scent of sweet basil is derived from eugenol.[6] 

The medicinal benefits of basil come largely from linalool, which studies have shown to have anti-inflammatory, anti-epileptic, sedative, and stress-reducing qualities[4].

Basil is one of my favourite herbs, and I think it tastes great with almost anything savory.  And while I personally haven’t tried this use,  this study suggests that topical application onto the skin can improve skin texture and moisturization as well.

Caution: Although safe when consumed as a whole herb, large doses of eugenol and estragole have both been shown to have toxic properties. 

Sage (Culinary) – memory, attention, enhancement of effectiveness of other substances

Some research has suggested extracts of certain species of sage may have positive effects on human brain function, improving memory and attention. These results have been seen laboratory research and in controlled clinical trials[7]

Sage contains eucalyptolborneol, and thujone. Like most herbs, different species will have different ratios and concentrations of these phytochemicals. 

Borneol has been proved to be capable of enhancing the ability for other substances to get into the brain more efficiently.  Researchers have found the effects of Huperzine loaded nanoparticles were more effective in improving the memory impairment of rats with Alzheimers when combined with borneol (Zhang et al., 2013a, b)[8]

Sage, like Oregano and Basil can added to many foods or its essential oils can be inhaled. 

However, like these other substances, be careful with large doses.  For example, sage contains thujone.  Thujone is most famous for being a compound in the spirit absinthe and can be very toxic – even neurotoxic – at high doses. 

Aloe Vera– skin health, anti-inflammation, antioxidant, healing

Aloe Vera’s list of benefits is quite overwhelming.

It has liver protective properties, beneficial effects against skin problems, such as wounds, injuries, and infective diseases, is antibacterial and antifungal, is immunomodulant, anti-inflammatory, and antioxidant[5].

Aloe versa also increases collagen synthesis, elastin and hyaluronic acid levels[6].  This may be one reason it may speed wound healing.

Although I grow my own aloe vera, I feel kind of guilty about taking it from my plants unless I have a burn.  So usually I keep a store-bought glass bottle of liquid aloe juice in my fridge, and add it to smoothies or drink it with lime juice and water. 

In Conclusion

Oregano, basil, sage and aloe vera are powerful plant allies that can be cheaply bought or easily grown in your own home. 

I feel like personally growing and tending to these plants can have a deeper impact on their effectiveness.  Plants are living and feeling organisms and if you treat them with love, they will likely produce less of their chemical toxins meant to harm their predators (that would be YOU!). 

Again, dose makes the poison, but also the medicine.  I feel like eating even large amounts of raw herbs is likely quite safe, but ingesting high doses of concentrates and extracts is more likely to prove harmful.  It is up for you to the appropriate risk/reward ratio for you.

References:

[1] Sharifi-Rad, Mehdi et al. “Carvacrol and human health: A comprehensive review.” Phytotherapy research : PTR vol. 32,9 (2018): 1675-1687. doi:10.1002/ptr.6103

[2] Andersen, A. (2006). “Final report on the safety assessment of sodium p-chloro-m-cresol, p-chloro-m-cresol, chlorothymol, mixed cresols, m-cresol, o-cresol, p-cresol, isopropyl cresols, thymol, o-cymen-5-ol, and carvacrol”. International Journal of Toxicology25: 29–127. doi:10.1080/10915810600716653PMID 16835130.

[3] Nagoor Meeran Mohamed Fizur, Javed Hayate, Al Taee Hasan, Azimullah Sheikh, Ojha Shreesh K. Pharmacological Properties and Molecular Mechanisms of Thymol: Prospects for Its Therapeutic Potential and Pharmaceutical Development  (2017).  Retrieved from: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fphar.2017.00380/full

[4] https://abstraxtech.com/blogs/learn/linalool-benefits

[5] This is an absolute treasure trove of Aloe Vera information:  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6163315/#B276-ijms-19-02843

[6] https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6163315/#B276-ijms-19-02843

[7] Miroddi M, Navarra M, Quattropani MC, Calapai F, Gangemi S, Calapai G (2014). “Systematic review of clinical trials assessing pharmacological properties of Salvia species on memory, cognitive impairment and Alzheimer’s disease”CNS Neurosci Ther20 (6): 485–95. doi:10.1111/cns.12270PMC 6493168PMID 24836739.

[8] https://www.sciencedirect.com/book/9780128140017

 

 

If you have any questions do not hesitate to comment below.

Thanks for reading!

~ Blessed Be and Happy Creating ~

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