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Good Old-Fashioned Witches' Remedies for Whatever Ails Ye

To prepare herbal teas for medicinal purposes, always use one teaspoon of herb to one cup of boiling water. Crush the leaves of fresh or dried herbs and place thenm in an earthenware teapot. Fill with boiling water and steep for five minutes. (Teas made from roots or seeds must be boiled for 10-15 minutes in order to extract the full flavor of the herb.) After the tea has steeped, strain it through a cheesecloth and then add honey or sugar if a sweetner is desired.

(IMPORTANT: Herbal prepartations should never be boiled in aluminum vessels! Use only copper, earthenware or pyrex to avid contamination of the medicines. Please follow all directions carefully!)

ANIMAL BITES (MINOR WOUNDS) The powdered root of angelica (gathered when the moon is in Leo, preferably) mixed with a bit of pitch and laid on the biting of dogs, or any other creature, helps to cleanse the open wound and makes it heal more quickly.

ANXIETY A tea made from catnip, chamomile or scullcap help to relieve anxity and nervousness.

ARTERIOSCLEROSIS (HARDENING OF THE ARTERIES) Combine one pint of grain alcohol with one ounce of powered dried hawthorne berries. This tincture should be given in doeses ranging from one to 15 drops. (NOTE: Althought hawthorne is non-toxic, it can produce dizziness if taken in large doses.)

ASTHMA Place the soft fuzzy leaves of the mullein plant in a teapot with hot water and inhale the steam through the spout to releive the symptoms. Another preventative against mild attacks calls for on tablespoon of sumflower oil taken at night before going to bed. A brew of skunk cabbage, garlic, onion and honey was favored by many witches as remedy for bronchial asthma. A very old asthma remedy used by the American Indians calls for the smoking of ground red clover blossoms. The leaves of the California gum plant combined with those of the Stramonium were also smoked.

ATHLETE'S FOOT Rub onion juice between the toes two or three times daily until the condition disappears.

BACKACHE A tea of nettle or rosinweed is recommended for aching backs by many witches.

BEE OR HORNET STING Wash thesting with a strong tea of juniper berries and hot water or apply a fresh poultice made of mashed garlic plant three times daily. Another old-fashioned pagan home rememdy for bee stings is as follows: heat bruised plantain leaves with a match until they are wilted. Do not burn them. Squeeze out the juice and apply it to the insect bite or sting.

BURNS (MINOR) Rub the juice from the following plants directly on the burned area: aloe vera leaves, hound's tongue leaves, plantain leaves, houseleeks or quince seeds. To make a healing herbal salve, mix together in a large enamel baking pot one lb. of lard, four ounces of beeswax and one ounce of any of the following herbs: all-heal, fleabane, Irish moss or lady's bedstraw. (fresh, finely cut-up herbs are the best to use, but dried herbs may also be used if fresh ones cannot be obtained.) Heat the mixture in a 200 degree oven for 3 1/2 to four hours and then strain through a cheesecloth into a clean, heat-proof container. Allow the salve to cool to room temperature before applying to the burn.

COLDS An acient gypsy cold remedy recommends the drinking of a syrup made fron one ounce of fresh, chopped horseadish root, one pint of boiling water and honey. Another cold remedy is blessed thistle or elder flowers brewed as a tea with a bit of honey or sugar as a sweetner.

COLDS AND FEVER To break colds and fevers, pour one pint of boiling water over one ounce of yarrow. Add one teaspoon of honey and three drops of tabasco sauce. Let stand approximately 10 minutes, and drink while still warm. This old witches' rememdy will open up the pores and cause profuse sweating to purfy the blood of toxins.

CONSTIPATION A strong tea made from powdered licorice root and castor oil will produce a powerful laxative effect. Other herbal teas recommended include: bunchberry, horehound and red mulberry.

COUGHS Witches' Syrup #1: Cover three-quarter ounce of fresh Coltsfoot leaves and one-quarter ounce of Irish moss with one pint of water and boil down until only one cup remains. Strain and add honey, bringing the syrup to a boil. Remove from heat, let the syrup cool and then bottle it. Take as needed in tablespoon doses.

Witches' Syrup #2: Boil down two or three ounces of sunflower seeds in one quart of water. Add a bit of gin and honey and take three times daily.

DANDRUFF Steep one ounce of rosemary in a pint of boiling water. Cool and then massage into the scalp after washing and rinsing the hair.