Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Solomon's Seal Ointment

Today, as well as getting some knitting done, I got a small batch of ointment made up.
I wild crafted this Solomon's Seal root my self just this fall. There is a small patch that has sprouted up at the edge of my yard [which is also the edge of the woods]. I only had to dig one shovel full of dirt on the edge of the patch to get enough roots to make this little batch of ointment. I only noticed this spot where the Solomon's seal has decided to sprout up about two or three years ago, and then it was just one long slender plant. Now, there are at least 20 graceful stalks and more each spring.

Solomon's Seal is an herb that enjoys the cool dampness of the woods; like the ones found right here in the Ozark foot hills of Missouri. It is native to both the U.S.A. and Europe.

The primary uses are external. As a poultice it is suggested for bruises, inflammations and wounds. As a wash it is used for skin problems, blemishes and poison ivy. It is also stated to be good for neuralgia, [which is a sharp or 'biting' nerve pain, generally due to nerve damage or irritation] which explains it's use for de quervain's tendonitis or 'Mommy's Thumb'; a condition effecting two tendons of the hand, from the thumb to the wrist causing acute pain. I also wonder if it wouldn't aid in relieving the pain associated with shingles.

It is a folk remedy for piles [hemorrhoids], rheumatism, arthritis, lung ailments and skin irritations. One text states, 'will allay pain and heal piles, pulmonary consumption and bleeding of the lungs, also inflamed stomach and bowels'.

In Galen's time a distilled water of Solomon's Seal was used as a cosmetic, and Culpepper wrote; "the diluted water of the whole plant used to the face or other parts of the skin, cleanses it from freckles, spots or any marks whatever, leaving the place fresh, fair and lovely, for which purpose it is much used by the Italian ladies, and is the principle ingredients in cosmetics and beauty washes advertised by perfumers at a high price".
These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please use common sense and consult a professional health care provider you trust with any decisions regarding your health and well being.

New Designs for a New year

Happy New Year! Wanted to share what I've decided to start for this new year.

I am always very inspired by stories. I've thought of designing projects that reflect the stories that I read/see/hear. I wanted to start with a fictional seires that I've really enjoyed, but then I decided to start with True stories. Stories that should be told. If I were to wear something designed with at story, when someone asked me about it, I'd have the opportunity to share that story.
I'm reading a devotional book called "the Midnight Bride" by Richard Wurmbrand. It is a beautiful study of the Song of Solomon and a journey with the Persecuted Church, who is, the Bride of Christ. There are many stories of individuals who choose to stand for Christ with the possiblity of death than to deny the Truth that had bestowed upon them true love and freedom.

The story I came to, as I was thinking of designing patterns for Real Life Heros, was that of Mary Dyer. Have you heard of her? She was hung in what is now Massachusetts in the seventeenth century because of the calling Christ had placed on her life.
As it is stated in 'the Midnight Bride"; "... a law was passed declaring that all Quakers entering the British Colony should be whipped, imprisoned and put to forced labor. Every exiled Quaker who returned was to be hanged. The 'crime' of the Quakers was their belief in an inner illumination, a direct communion with God without the intermediary of clergy or ritual.
"Once such Quaker was Mary Dyer. Though she had been whipped and threatened with death, she repeatedly went to the colony from Rhode Island to visit her brethren in jail. Finally, Mary and two others were sentenced to hang. She attended the execution of the other two, then her hands were tied and black sack was put over her head. But at the last moment, she was reprieved and deported.
"She returned to Massachusetts. She was risking public flagellation and having her tongue pierced with a red hot iron. At her trial she declared: 'If you do not revoke your unjust laws, the Lord will send other witnesses of the truth after my death. Compared with liberty and truth, my life does not matter.' For this, she died. She was a valiant Christian."
Mary Dyer
After hearing this story, and searching for more info and seeing the memorial statues on this Christain American Hero, I began drafting a shawl pattern to remember her brave actions. From the statue, it kind of looks like she may be wearing a small shawl with some kind of belt to keep the ends in place. This is the basic structure I'm going with for my pattern.

I've chosen two types of cables; the first one, and the one that makes up the bulk of the garment is called Simple Chains. It is fitting; A Quaker is bound to a simple life, by the chains of their beliefs. Not that the beliefs of a Christian should ever be compared to chains, for it is by this that we are set free. But, we do serve a master, everyone. If we are not a slave to God then we are a slave to the devil and this world.
The second cable pattern is just called Double Twisted Cable which will go around the neckline of the shawl. This I choose to remember the fact that she was not once on the gallows but twice [double] and it was in this 'twist' of events that God allowed her more time to impact the world around her.
I hope to update again soon with my progress on this project.
Thanks for reading!