Our lab is back into high gear with new Spagyrics for meditation and spiritual work, as well as two new healing Spagyrics.
Although well-loved in Ayurvedic medicine, the tonic herb Kutki is rather obscure in the West. But, familiar or not, its first taste impression tells all about its uses- it is bitter! In herbal energetics the world over, bitter means liver and digestive healing properties, and this is what Kutki excels at.
Like other herbal bitters, Kutki immediately stimulates digestion, starting in the mouth and then activating the digestive system from the stomach on down. This stimulating action is useful for all kinds of imbalances, from simple upset stomachs to infections and sluggish metabolism, but especially issues of the liver.
Kutki has a direct reparative effect on the liver tissues, and so has been used with success for any liver disorder involving damage, such as toxic exposure, hepatitis, cancer, and cirrhosis. And, since the liver is involved in mediating and regulating so many other body systems and processes, Kutki’s healing effect there can also lead to better overall immunity, reduced allergic and inflammatory response, and a healthier circulatory system. Click here for our new Kutki Spiritualized Essence.
Our next new Spagyric is a case of making lemons from lemonade! Much like our Japanese Knotweed, our new Initiatic of Scotch Broom is from an invasive plant that is also an effective medicine. And, as with the Knotweed, we knew (and fought!) Broom for some time, while also searching to understand how its energies as a garden-crasher might translate into medicinal qualities.
Now that we live on the coast, Scotch Broom is the new challenge in our yard, and even as we began pulling it out to clear for gardening, we were also harvesting its cheery yellow flowers for medicine. Like so many “invasive” plants, Broom comes in not as an invader, but to repair the damage that humans have done as the real invaders.
Broom is a pea-family plant, and has the pea’s ability to fix nitrogen into the soil, making it more fertile. Broom is also a powerful antioxidant, ecologically and medicinally, and was revered by the ancient Scots as a plant that “roots firmly amid rock, yet upholds what is ready to fall”. This is a great description of its established locations on our property, where it is doing a fine job of stabilizing loose and rocky soil, and sheltering other plants as they come in. Along with the Alders, it is repairing the damage that was done to the land by years of clearing out brush and scraping the soil, and we are trying to work with it in that capacity, while also encouraging new plants that we prefer.
As with other pea family medicines like Alfalfa and Red Clover, Broom’s nitrogen-fixing properties can be used to collect and remove nitrogen wastes in the body, reducing the inflammation of some types of arthritis and other toxicity-caused illnesses. Broom is also a strong liver cleanser, on the same level as Milk Thistle, and as already mentioned, a powerful antioxidant.
Traditional uses of Scotch Broom include very balancing effects to the heart and circulatory system, where it calms hypertension and arrhythmia, while also strengthening the heart and raising too-low blood pressure. Besides protecting the body from physical stresses through detoxifying and antioxidant actions, Broom is calming and even sedative to the mind, helping at the emotional level of stress, as well.
Broom flowers and tops were added to beer as a bittering agent, and also to increase intoxication, and we find the Initiatic of Broom to be very sedating, even dreamy. As you may expect, broom is made into brooms for sweeping, and can be used in banishing and magickal cleansing. Large doses of broom can cause hallucinations, and so connect back to the ritual use of brooms for shamanic flight. A timely topic for this Samhain season!