Health Benefits of Echinacea

Echinacea, also known as Cone flower, is a member of the daisy family and is well known for its variety of health benefits. It is most commonly taken in the form of tinctures or teas.

I never heard of Echinacea growing up but looking back, I think there used to be some Echinacea flowers growing randomly right in my own backyard! If I had known that, I would have definitely tried to retrieve them and use for my health. It is also my favorite tea to make because it just tastes so delicious!

Echinacea is known mostly as a great way to prevent colds but has many other uses as well:

  • Stimulates body’s immune system by increasing activity of white blood cells.
  • Improves liver’s ability to reduce effects of environmental toxins.
  • Increases production of cancer fighting substances in the body.
  • Helps to prevent bacterial and viral infections.
  • Reduces inflammation.
  • Keeps teeth healthy.
  • Prevents ear infections.
  • Helps skin lesions like psoriasis and eczema.
  • Heals respiratory conditions like bronchitis.
  • Can be used in healing or strengthening spells as it adds power to whatever it is applied.

To use Echinacea, drink a cup of tea or ingest 1/2 teaspoon of tincture three times a day every day for three weeks. If you want to continue the process, stop taking it for a full week before repeating.

As always, take caution when using any new herbs by looking out for allergic reactions.

What is Smudging?

In movies, you may see a shaman burning what seems like a bundle of leaves during an important ceremony. Or perhaps your hippie friend told you that you should “totally smudge yourself, man,” after telling him that you’ve been in rut lately, but what exactly is smudging and what purpose does it serve?

 

Many cultures all over the world have used smudging as an ancient healing method for hundreds of thousands of years. Smudging is the burning of herbs and/or plant resins with the intention of cleansing ones self, others, living spaces, and even objects of negative energy. This negativity can be harbored emotionally, spiritually, environmentally, physically, etc. and builds up with time.

Think of it as a spiritual shower; when done correctly, it purifies yourself, your aura, and your mind, allowing you to have inner peace. It brings balance to your energy field. Smudging frequently is important in order to spiritually “wash” yourself of any negativity so you can move forward with your life in the best, most positive way possible and make your intentions stronger.

In fact, recent scientific studies have proven that herbal smoke can act as a powerful antiseptic, purifying the air of harmful bacteria.

Smudging can also be used to protect yourself from said negative energies. Pray, recite verses, or cast protection spells while burning the herbs and/or resins of your choice to create the protective field around you.

There are many different kinds of herbs each with different purposes you can use to smudge such as tobacco, varieties of sage, sweet grass, cedar, juniper, cypress, pinion, bay leaf, fennel, mugwort, and yerba santa just to name a few.

If you’ve been feeling depressed or down lately, smudging may be what you need in order to clear your field of any stagnant energy and to clear your mind. Feel the smoke wash it away while blessing yourself and everything the smoke comes in contact with.