Herb Meanings, Benefits, and Uses A-Z: Licorice Root

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Licorice Root, a sweet staple across the globe, boasts versatile health benefits, such as Anti-Depressant, Immunity-boosting, Anti-aging, and Anti-inflammatory effects. This Root has been used throughout time to soothe pain and quell anxiety. Technically an Herbaceous Perennial Legume, Licorice Root is native to Southern Europe and India.licorice 2.jpg

The flavor in common food items comes from true Licorice Root (however, artificial and “natural” flavors have largely taken over, and sugar often compensates for compromised taste. Candies containing Licorice are not the way to reap its rewards!).

Licorice (when taken correctly) increases bile production, lowers stomach acid, reduces heartburn/reflux, and acts as a mild diuretic. Liver function, motility, assimilation of nutrients, and general intestinal health are supported when taken as a supplement/essential oil/brewed in tea/ingested in foods (beyond dessert…some love the flavor!).

In addition to flavonoids and phytoestrogens which benefit the body, Licorice contains Glycyrrhizin; this compound produces a notable taste, and is actually 50 times sweeter than sugar. Glycyrrhizin aids the adrenal system, reducing the disintegration of adrenal chemicals like Cortisol. When these hormones remain intact, the body can readily use them to combat stress, and in turn, maintain a strong immune system.

Licorice relaxes the digestive tract, allowing for proper: elimination of toxins, repair of the intestines, absorption of food, immune system function, and irradication of discomfort. It successfully coats the stomach and intestines, which creates the right inner environment for rejuvenation; This diminishes Leaky Gut, IBS, SIBO, and Constipation.

Furthermore, Licorice calms the entire body, encouraging muscles to release tension. The root also inspires mental tranquility, known to remove cerebral clutter. Due to its dual connection with the mind and body, Licorice lends itself well to both spiritual work and everyday life.

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Crystal Properties and Metaphysical Meanings A-Z: Obsidian

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Obsidian, the perfect Root Chakra stone, provides protection, strength, and stability. It comforts the user during both meditation and everyday life. Known for banishing negativity, Obsidian wards off unwanted energy; it attracts successful interactions, and keeps away stressful circumstances. Pairing an Earthy, weighted vibration with tranquil levity, Obsidian is an effective shield when carried in pockets or jewelry.

Obsidian encourages personal growth, guiding spirituality and grounding the body. It also promotes release of old baggage, which may be holding the user back. These outdated emotional ties can create physical discomfort, thus whole body healing is an inevitable side effect when working with Obsidian. This stone allows truth to be unearthed, deciphered, and applied; It highlights areas in which change may be beneficial.

Obsidian diffuses negativity, allowing positive energy to dominate. It heals physical and emotional ailments, bringing dormant issues to the surface in order to be properly dealt with. It also facilitates inner-knowing, inspiring confidence during periods of regeneration and change. A stone of release, Obsidian not only prompts loss of resentment, but also habits which no longer serve the user. It couples serenity with progression, resulting in smooth transition.

Throughout time, Obsidian has been associated with safety and connection to the Root. Tools, arrows, and knives are historically cut from Obsidian; The stone’s presence signifies metaphorical and literal wellbeing, from the home to the battlefield. It was first discovered in Ethiopia by a Roman explorer named Obsidius. Today, it occurs wherever rhyolitic eruptions are common: the United States, Argentina, Australia, Canada, Chile, Greece, Guatemala, Iceland, Italy, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, New Zeland, Peru, Scotland, and Turkey. Domestically, Obsidian is mined in Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington.

Hardness: 5-6

Classification: Volcanic Glass

Color: Black (most common), Green, red, speckled, rainbow, snowflake, and more.

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Crystal Properties and Metaphysical Meanings A-Z: Nuumite, Nuummite.


(Photo Credit: http://www.sacredsource.com.au/blog/nuummite-crystal/)

Nuumite, known to accelerate spiritual development, is the oldest mineral on the planet. It results from volcanic eruptions, and consists of Anthopyllite and Gedrite. Its origins provide a uniquely grounding energy, embodying the organic process by which it was created.

            Associated with the Root Chakra, Nuumite protects the user while aiding meditative work. It encourages feelings of well-being, satiation, and gratitude. When the Base Chakra is aligned, the higher energy centers in the body can follow suite. Carrying Nuumite not only stimulates the Root, but also removes blockages throughout the entire Chakra system.

Due to its age and connection to the forces of nature, Nuumite illuminates the past; ancient wisdom, repressed memories, and unconscious desires freely surface in order to be confronted. This stone fosters decision-making by altering the user to inner warning signs, which may have otherwise gone unacknowledged.

Dubbed the “Magician’s Stone” or the “Sorcerer’s Stone”, Nuumite’s reputation for prompting spiritual growth has bolstered its utility in metaphysics. It directs energy upward from the Root through the Crown Chakras, allowing for release of attachments hindering personal progression. The user can expect sharpened intuition, stimulated dreams, overwhelming gut-feelings, connection to nature, and access to the inner-self.

Nuumite is currently mined in Nuuk, Greenland, which was also its place of discovery in 1982. The Crystal’s name derives from this birthplace. Despite existence of similar stones, true Nuumite comes only from Nuuk. Due to Nuuk’s treacherous terrain and distance from civilization, acquiring Nuumite is arduous and dangerous; the labor involved in obtaining this stone ensures it’s worth and value.

Hardness: 5.5-6

Classification: Mineral, Metamorphic Rock

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Numerical Patterns in Nature Part 1: Fibonacci Sequence

sunflower fibonacci

Nature offers beauty, from towering trees to tiny droplets of water, deserving both attention and adoration. Each component, no matter how small or seemingly inconsequential, becomes a masterpiece when examined more closely. Complex configurations actually construct the mundane, resulting in a world of diverse and limitless abundance. It is our responsibility to perceive, understand, and feel grateful for the divine intricacies which decorate our collective home.

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A well-known numerical occurrence in nature, the Fibonacci Sequence, results in aesthetically pleasing patterns; These numbers eventually form the shapes seen in pinecones, flowers, insects’  wings, and plants.

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Upon adding the two previous numbers in a series in order to find the next, Fibonacci’s succession surfaces; 0,1,1,2,3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, etc. (0+1=1, 1+1=2, 2+3=5, 3+5=8, etc).
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                 The quantity of flower petals, location/number of branches and stems, and mechanism by which plants expand distinctly follows Fibonacci. Trees maximize sun exposure and maintain balance naturally as they mature; this feat depends upon certain orientation of branches reaching up to the sky. Nature adopted a pattern that works every time.

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(Photo credit: https://botanicamathematica.wordpress.com/2014/04/01/fibonacci-tree/)

             All flowers possess a quantity of petals synonymous with the Fibonacci Pattern: 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, or, 89 (and beyond!). While rare, there are a few species exemplifying the beginning of the sequence: The White Cala Lily has one petal, Euphorbia has 2. It is more common for flowers to have 3 petals (Lily, Iris), or 5 (Buttercup, Wild Rose). 8 petals can occur (Delphinium), as with 13 (Corn Marigold), 21 (Chicory), 34 (Plantain), 55 (Daisy), or 89 (Sunflower). Each of these values belongs in Fibonacci, which dictates the flowers’ development.
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Notice the similarities between a pinecone, sunflower, daisy, and bee’s wing: the mode of growth is consistent.

Formation of plants in this way can be visually represented; As Fibonacci numbers continue, another shape inevitably forms, which resembles a rectangle. The Rectangles are assigned based on the values determined in the sequence (0+1=1, 1+1=2…). As values increase, the formula remains; A predictable equation presents itself, and strategic blossoming can be mapped in accordance with the sequence.
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Another important geometrical pattern emerges within the Rectangles, revealing the secret of the Fibonacci numbers.

A spiral can be traced within the Fibonacci Rectangles, which represents the recurrence of a specific value.

fibonacci spiral

If Fibonacci constituents are reduced to ratios, (adhering to the Fibonacci scheme by calculating the ratio of each preceding value; 1:0, 1:1, 2:1, and so on), then the same answer resounds. Dividing any number in the series by its antecedent value inevitably produces like outcome.
The solution always proves to be a ratio of roughly 1.618, indefinitely, gaining accuracy as the numbers in the sequence balloon.
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*As Fibonacci progresses, the ratios hiding therein oscillate slightly above and below 1.618, more closely matching the number with each new addition to the sequence.* 

 As the numbers increase, the resulting ratio reaches ever-closer to 1.618: Phi, or the Golden Ratio
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What is the significance of 1.618, and how does it relate to these omnipotent patterns?

Learn about Phi and its association with divine perfection in our next original article…Coming soon!

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Herb meanings and uses A-Z: Kava Kava, anxiety-reducing and uplifting energy

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Kava kava, which grows natively in the Pacific Islands, has been used throughout time to quell anxiety. The herb promotes relaxation, reduces stress, eases muscle tension, and thus allows the body to heal.

The plant’s roots contain substances called Kavalactones, known to have mild anesthetic effects. This lends itself well to medicine, as it can soothe pain, prevent inflammation, and promote calm.

When applied topically, Kava Kava mends open wounds and lassurations. It accelerates the physical repair process, encouraging blood flow to the area while diminishing discomfort. Kava Kava addresses tooth aches and sore throats if administered around the mouth.

If ingested in beverages or food, Kava Kava benefits the stomach and digestive tract by alleviating instestinal/stomach complaints. Its roots are traditionally chewed, aiding digestion, but can be ground into powder as well. Kava Kava’s bitter flavor may dissuade some users, but is easily masked. Commonly brewed into tea, Kava Kava’s taste becomes pleasant when mixed with water. Today, the herb is featured in chocolates, smoothies, chips, and desserts.

Kava Kava gently induces euphoria, elevating mood without altering consciousness. It eliminates feelings of insecurity and fear, replacing them with tranquil contentment. Revered for its ability to simultaneously ground and uplift the user, this herb is a perfect contradiction; Kava Kava maintains serenity despite its energizing properties.

For some lively relaxation, try brewing:

  1. Kava Kava (root, cut or powdered)
  2. Herbal tea of choice (Rooibos is a nice option with creamy flavor)

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Herb meanings and uses A-Z: Ignatius Bean (St. Ignatius Bean, Strychnis Ignatii) Controversial Homeopathic/Herbal Cure

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Ignatius Bean, a powerful homeopathic and herbal remedy only to be taken in small amounts, directly effects the nervous system. Taken as a supplement or brewed into tea, it can reduce muscle spasms, headache, migraines, cholera, vomiting, colds, asthma, PMS, and PTSD. Believed to improve digestive function, Ignatius allegedly aids severe stomach complaints.

*Saint Ignatius’ Bean contains Strychnine, which is a highly toxic chemical; for this reason Ignatius must only be consumed in diluted concentrations*

Despite being poisonous, in very low doses, it exhibits health care potential by relaxing the muscles. It traditionally treats Insomnia, Anxiety, Panic disorders, and mood imbalances. It is still used in China to quell PMS and Menopause.

Ignatius Bean was discovered in the Philippines, traveled to Europe in 1699 by way of a missionary, and is now readily available worldwide. Its name comes from Saint Ignatius, the founder of the Society of Jesus. Currently, it grows in China, India, and Borneo, but remains most abundant in the Philippines. Ignatius favors wet, fertile climates.

For an Anxiety-reducing remedy, try:

  1. Ignatius (*EXTREMELY diluted!)
  2. Rooibos leaves
  3. Lemon juice (if available, for flavor)

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Herb benefits and uses A-Z: Juniper. Gentle, delicious, and natural antibacterial

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Juniper, a type of Evergreen Tree, grows in Asia, Europe, and North America. It naturally eliminates harmful bacteria from the body, making it an antibiotic. Unlike stronger herbal antiseptics, Juniper spares only the gut’s friendly bacteria.

This herb contains Terpinen, which supports Kidney Function. Juniper also consists of Amentoflavone, a compound exhibiting antiviral capabilities. Together they facilitate detoxification, and thus ensure continued health of all organs in the body.

Juniper can be ingested, and it soothes the digestive tract when consumed in tea or food. Simultaneously irradicating infection and fostering a healthy microbiome, this herb boosts Immunity. Conditions like IBS, SIBO, Diarrhea, Flatulence, Constipation, Heartburn, and bloating are relieved with continued Juniper exposure. It has a pleasant taste, and is commonly added to beverages around the world.

The cosmetics industry takes advantage of this herb’s appealing aroma and palatability. Juniper appears in unlikely places, improving the smells of makeup/beauty/hygiene products.

Due to Juniper’s antiviral, antibacterial, and antifungal capacities, it holds promise for topical treatment of: Warts, Athlete’s Foot, Ezcema, Cystisis, Skin Growths, and Psoriasis. It can also thoroughly disinfect open wounds and cuts.

Traditionally, Juniper is brewed as tea, administered as lotion/ointment, taken as a supplement, or included in bath water. The berries, leaves, and bark of the Juniper Tree each lend themselves medicinally.

*For a delicious Biome-balancing cleanse, try brewing:

  1. Juniper berries (dried)
  2. Lavender blossoms (dried)
  3. Jasmine

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Crystal meanings and uses A-Z: Moldavite, the extraterrestrial glass 

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Moldavite, a beloved and revered crystal, is only found in the Moldau Valley of Czechoslovakia. A meteorite allegedly landed in this location, resulting in the formation of Moldavite. It is notably powerful, and the user must be grounded in order to reap its benefits. Paired with a stabilizer like Black Tourmaline or Hematite, its effects can be positively controlled.

A Heart, Third Eye, and Crown Chakra stone, Moldavite supports the upper energy system. It connects the emotional, imaginative, and spiritual centers of the body. It fosters self-work and personal progression, lending itself well to manifestation and meditation.

Due to Moldavite’s resonance within the Heart, it encourages unconditional love. Wearing Moldavite nearby the Heart metaphorically and literally maintains the organ. It provides a sense of belonging, comfort, and safety; it also stimulates blood flow, creating a warm sensation. This nurturing energy eases unfamiliarity when vaccessing the Pineal and Crown Chakras.

Moldavite is perhaps most renowned for its ability to open the Third Eye. When worn at bedtime, the stone facilitates dream work; when worn during the day, it heightens intuition. Moldavite sharpens insight and bridges the Pineal and Crown, allowing for removal of barriers which prevent growth.

Hardness: 5.5

Classification: Tektite, Amorphous Crystal

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Herb meanings and uses A-Z: Hawthorn 

           Hawthorn Berry, an herb native to Europe, benefits the cardiovascular system. In the same family as the Rose, this berry is embraced, revered, and appreciated globally. 

               Containing the vitamins B1, B2, the C complex, as well as Calcium, Iron, Phosphorus, and Choline, Hawthorn bolsters immunity. It is a proven antispasmodic, which means it reduces muscle spasms; this effect aids heart conditions, soothes indigestion, and relieves insomnia. 
              Hawthorn is proven to regulate blood pressure, and this has potential to rectify a myriad of health concerns. By lowering cholesterol, fortifing blood vessels, preventing blood clots, calming palpitations, and strengthening the heart muscles, Hawthorn prepares the body to process blood. Healthy cycling of blood ensures proper functioning of all organs.

             This herb relates with the literal and metaphorical heart, and thus lends itself both medicinally and ritualistically. It soothes emotional upset and uplifts mood, while also protecting the physical heart. Due to its mild sedative and anti-inflammatory properties, Hawthorn relaxes the user and quells anxiety.

             Hawthorn Berry’s pleasant taste and positive impact upon temperament make it ideal for health care. It’s commonly jammed, jellied, candied, or turned into wine. Though delicious, candies and other sweet treats come with downfalls, and their sugar content inevitably overshadows the presence of Hawthorn. To truly reap Hawthorn’s potential, one must use the Herb (tea, tincture) or an extraction (pill, essential oil, etc).

          Today, it grows in the United Kingdom, Poland, Albania, Romania, and Bulgaria. Hawthorn’s branches and stems, in addition to the berries, can be turned into viable medicine/tinctures/teas/edibles. In fact, the leaves, berries, and flowers of Hawthorn are all safe to consume, and reputedly palatable. Therefore, it has earned itself the nickname of the “bread and butter tree”.

To prepare some armor for your cardiac area, try:

  1. Hawthorn Berries (dried)
  2. Raspberry leaves
  3. White tea leaves

Crystal uses, meanings, and properties A-Z: Labradorite (Spectrolite), Stone of Transformation.

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Labradorite, the stone of transformation, is essential for meditative work; it provides both protection and insight. Consisting of Anorthite: a mineral containing high levels of calcium, Albite: a sodium-rich mineral, and Silica: Quartz, this stone marries metaphysical exploration and Earth’s resounding stabilization.

The color scheme present in Labradorite is unique, and to see its hues through extreme luminescence requires clarity. This focus, many believe, translates from corrected eyesight into fortified inner sight and spiritual progression.

Its namesake hails from its place of discovery; In 1770, a missionary found the stone near Labrador, Canada. Now, its name shares meaning with a phenomenon called “labradorescence”, or simultaneous inclusion of a wide color spectrum within a Crystal.

Hints of green and blue are typical, but Labradorite can also appear in various shades. Not all examples of the stone display labradorescence, however. A further sect exists for particularly lustrous specimens; A rarer version, known as Spectrolite, consistently features an array of inclusions.

Labradorite eliminates anxiety and stress, and attracts prosperity and serenity instead. It boosts confidence and builds connection with the higher self. Associated with the Third Eye, Labradorite encourages intuition and foresight, bringing unconscious issues to the foreground in order to be properly released.

Sharpening the intellect and ensuring proper translation of emotions, Labradorite incites introspection. Wearing Labradorite overnight stimulates precognitive dreams. Fostering both physical and personal development, this stone helps to unearth dormant and unresolved inner-conflict, which can then be overcome.

Though primarily associated with the Third Eye, Labrodorite also connects with the Solar Plexus. The Pineal’s steadfast passion combines with the Plexus’ youthful essence, creating the perfect environment for unattached self-discovery.

Hardness of 6-6.5

Classification: Triclinic Crystal (composed of vectors that are unequal in length, irregular shape)

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