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Echinacea

Echinacea purpurea
MEDICINAL: Echinacea, also known as Purple Coneflower, is a natural antibiotic and immune system stimulator, helping to build resistance to colds, flus, and infections. It increases the production of white blood cells, and improves the lymph glands. The tea from this herb should be used in all infections, and has been used in treating skin cancers and other cancers. Please note that if you suffer from any auto-immune disorder, you should use Echinacea, or any other immune stimulant herb, only under the guidance of a professional, such as a naturopathic doctor, TCM practitioner, etc.

RELIGIOUS: Echinacea is used as an offering to the spirits or gods and goddesses to strengthen a spell or ritual.

GROWING: Echinacea likes the prairies and other open, dry places. It adapts to most soils, in full sun, except wet ones. It grows over most of North America. It is a perennial, and reaches to about 2 feet tall. The root is used ground, and the leaves are used for teas.

Elder

Sambucus nigra
MEDICINAL: Elder flowers, mixed with mint and yarrow blossoms, are excellent internal cleansers when fighting flu and colds. A tea of the elder flowers and sassafras is a remedy for acne. Elder flower oil is a remedy for chapped skin. Elder is used to cleanse the body, build the blood, treat inflammation, fever, and soothes the respiratory system. The leaves can be used as an antiseptic poultice for external wounds, and as an insect repellant. The Greeks used a tea from the root as a laxative. Elder can be toxic, especially if fresh, most notably the stems as they contain cyanide. This herb should not be used internally by pregnant or lactating women.

RELIGIOUS: The branches of the sacred elder are used to make magickal wands for ritual. Scattering the leaves in the four winds will bring protection. Elderberry wine, made from the berries, is used in rituals. In Denmark, it is believed to be unlucky to have furniture made of elder wood. Grown near your home, elder will offer protection to the dwellers. It is used at weddings to bring good luck to the newlyweds. Flutes made formt he branches are used to bring forth spirits.

GROWING: Elder is a tree or shrub, growing to 30 feet tall. It prefers moist areas throughout North America. The leaves, bark, and roots of the American varieties generally contain poisonous alkaloids and should not be used internally.

Elecampane

Inula helenium
MEDICINAL: Elecampane is used for intestinal worms, water retention, and to lessen tooth decay and firm the gums. It gives relief to respiratory ailments. It is usually used in combination with other herbs. Externally it is used as a wash for wounds and itching rashes. It is burned to repel insects.

RELIGIOUS: Add this herb to love charms and amulets of all kinds. Used with mistletoe and vervain, it is especially powerful. Use when scrying for better results.

GROWING: Elecampane enjoys roadsides and damp fields and pastures. Plant it in full sun in a damp, but not soggy, location. It is a perennial that grows 3 - 6 feet tall. The root is most commonly used.

Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus globulus
MEDICINAL: Eucalyptus oil is a powerful antiseptic, and is used to treat pyorrhea (gum disease), and is used on burns to prevent infections. The oil breathed in will help clear the sinuses, as will the steam from boiling the leaves. When mixed with water or vegetable oils, it makes a good insect repellant. A small drop on the tongue eases nausea.

RELIGIOUS: Healing energies come from the leaves. A branch or wreath over the bed of a sick person will help spread the healing energies. The oil is added to healing baths, and for purifications.

GROWING: Eucalyptus reigns among the tallest trees in the world, capable of reaching heights of over 250 feet tall. It thrives only in areas where the average temperature remains above 60 degrees, and is adaptable to several soil conditions.

Evening Primrose

Oenothera biennis
MEDICINAL: Evening Primrose oil stimulates to help with liver and spleen conditions. In Europe, it has been used to treat Multiple Sclerosis. It lowers blood pressure, and eases the pain of angina by opening up the blood vessels. It has been found to help slow the production of cholesterol, and has been found to lower cholesterol levels. Used with Dong Quai and Vitex, it is a valuable part of an herbal remedy for treating the symptoms of pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) and menstrual cramping.

GROWING: The American variety is found throughout North America. It enjoys dry soils and full sun. It is a biennial, and grows 3 - 6 feet tall. The seed oil is the most commonly used portion of the plant. Some nurseries sell evening primrose, but they are actually a small, showy hybrid of the perennial Missouri Primrose, and does not have the same medicinal uses, so be sure you are buying the plant you really want.

Eyebright

Euphrasia officinalis
MEDICINAL: Eyebright stimulates the liver to remove toxins from the body. It has been used internally and externally to treat eye infections and afflictions, such as pink-eye. The herb strengthens the eye, and helps to repair damage.

RELIGIOUS: Eyebright is used to make a simple tea to rub on the eyelids to induce and enhance clairvoyant visions.

GROWING: Eyebright is adaptable to many soil types in full sun. It is a small annual, growing 2 - 8 inches high. It attaches itself by underground suckers to the roots of neighboring grass plants and takes its nutrients from them. To be cultivated, it must be given nurse plants on whose roots it can feed.

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