Herbal Bundles (feverfew)

Some years there is an overabundance of particular plants. I try to plan for this as I harvest during the herbal year. They can be very useful to decorate my care packages. I dry them tied in bundles in my large dehydrator. This keeps their shape and vibrant pigments. So pretty when tied to the outside of a plain paper bag. At this winter time of year a bit of color is especially cheering and appreciated. When the day is cold and grey. When bad weather has kept us inside for way too long. We often need that reminder of spring and summer to come.

Bundles can be purely aesthetic, like lavender which can later be placed in a drawer or hung above the door.

Spiritual/Emotional Bundle-rue, mugwort, motherwort, sage. Dried and ready to be used.

Some bundles are useful in a bath or under a pillow for spiritual/emotional uses. Other herbs to consider are chamomile, lemon balm, catnip, rosemary, basil, skullcap, violet and clary sage.

A respiratory tea bundle could contain thyme, horehound, mullein, bay, and hyssop.

Bundles can be burned as “incense”. I like juniper, sage, mugwort and lavender leaves for this.

My headache tea bundle contains feverfew and lady’s mantle. The possibilities for themes are endless.

Thoughtfulness in your choice of plants and how they are arranged can easily create something that is both beautiful and medicinally useful when needed.

I have been growing Tanacetum for decades but rarely used it for medicine. The plant has lovely flowers which dry nicely for bouquets and it fills out an area nicely. You can find this plant in gardens and abandoned lots. It is in the Compositae/Aster family. Subfamily Anthemideae/Chamomile. Do not confuse it with Tanacetum vulgare (Tansy). Feverfew has light green feathery leaves arranged alternately on a round stem. It grows 6-18 inches high. The plant has a strong distinctive smell that is not quite pleasant. The flowers look like small daisies with white “petals” and a yellow center, If self seeds and spreads easily. It is not too invasive if you remove dead flower heads. Feverfew will grow in any type of soil and in most locations. It looks great for most of its season as a hardy perennial.

It is a mystery to me why more herbalists do not use this plant. It has been used to treat inflammation, digestive issues, allergies, arthritis, nausea, spasms (menstrual and muscle), asthma attacks, depression, menstrual problems, fever, flu, and colds. Externally is can be used to heal bruises or soothe insect bites. It is one of the first herbs to get a scientific study. Feverfew is best known as a very effective preventative strategy for migraines. As a compress it can relieve a headache. In a spray it can be part of a formula for a bug repellant. It is worth paying attention to feverfew right now because it prevents blood from clotting and inhibits the the release of inflammatory substances from the cells. It is also a powerful anti-microbial.

Parts used: leaves and flowers

Energetics:sweet, warm, moist


Emotional/Spiritual Uses: cleansing

Contraindications and Cautions: may cause mouth sores ,irritate the stomach or cause dermatitis in rare cases. Avoid during pregnancy and nursing. Do not consume if you are taking blood thinners, have a surgery planned or are allergic to plants in the ragweed family.

Published by blackbirdsbackyard

My backyard botanical pharmacy is located in Boulder Colorado. I began studying herbal medicinewhen I was 12 years old. In college I studied subjects like anthropology, microbiology, anatomy and physiology, After graduation I decided to go to midwifery school. I attended births and had a small practice until I retired early in order to be a mother full time. I have always had an herb garden, gathered plants and made my own healing formulas with plants. Over the last 30 years there have been many teachers and I have attended dozens of workshops. I am one of those people who is always reading, studying and learning. In 2019 I was called to practice as an herbalist professionally, using "plant spirit medicine" and bio-energetic ( 5 element)healing techniques. I feel that there is a big need in the community for my skills and talents. I hope to inspire others to start their own backyard pharmacies as a solution to species extinction and the healthcare crisis in America. Healing has also become a spiritual practice and way for me to feel balanced and connected with nature. I consult with clients in person, teach classes (adults and kids), give tours of my garden and offer apprenticeships. Health, joy, meaning, and support are everyone's birthright.

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