Botanicals

Bay

Just like the other aromatic herbs that we have covered in our herb explorations so far, Bay (Laurus nobilis) not only enhances the flavour of our dishes but helps us to digest them. Culinary herbs, such as Sage, Rosemary, Thyme and Bay all have properties that help stimulate our digestion and helps calm the stomach, easing gas and cramps. These herbs, including Bay also help to ease symptoms of coughs and colds.

Bay leaves have been used therapeutically for thousands of years. Like Lavender, Bay leaves contain Linalool a compound with relaxing properties when inhaled. Bay is also an antirheumatic and can help ease arthritic aches and pains.

Bay is associated with the Sun. Symbolically it represents triumph and victory. Thought to arise from Greek mythology, the laurel wreath, made of Bay leaves has long been used to crown successors from sports events to graduates. The term ‘laureato’ in Italian, referring to a student that has graduated. The evergreen is also thought to protect the home.


Ways to enjoy Bay

  1. Like the other culinary herbs, fresh or dried Bay leaves can be added to many dishes to enhance the flavour and help improve digestion.
  2. Steep a couple of Bay leaves in boiling water to enjoy its soothing properties. Leave for 10 minutes and enjoy as a tea.
  3. Burning dried Bay leaves can help calm the mind and body.
  4. Make a decoction of Bay leaves by gently boiling a handful in water for around 30 minutes and then add the water into a bath to help arthritic pain. Alternatively heat leaves gently in an oil such as sunflower to infuse and once cool enough, rub into sore muscles.

We always love to hear your favourite uses for herbs too, please feel free to leave us a comment.

When working with any plants it is important to do your own research to ensure they work for you. Bay is not recommended during pregnancy.

Botanicals

Botanical Incense Blend

Welcome to Wild Fen’s signature Loose Incense blend; a celebration of our favourite plants that we have grown and foraged throughout the seasons.

It combines a truly magickal blend that holds the energies of each season, for a grounding aroma that helps us feel more connected and inspired. From the abundant flowers of Spring and Summer; Lilac, Hawthorn blossom, Rose, Jasmine, Feverfew, Mallow and Goldenrod. Herbs such as Bay, Rosemary, wild Mint, Sage, Marjoram, Thyme and wild Fennel and forest goodness such as Mugwort, Cedar, Pine, Spruce, Rowan and Willow. A combination of flower, leaf, bark and resins all home grown or locally foraged by us.

The incense blend can be used in a number of ways. For ceremonial use, it can be burned upon a charcoal disc. This allows the plants to smoulder and release their aromatic smoke and potent plant enegies. The charcoal does produce additional smoke so it is best used outdoors, or in a well ventilated area.

Our favourite way to enjoy this blend for everyday use is with a mesh incense burner, such as those used for resin burning. For a very gentle fragrance, the dry blend can be added to an incense burner (above a tealight candle) which will release the oils from the plants and emit a gentle calming scent.

Alternatively, you do not need to burn the blend to enjoy the plant energies. You can carry your tin with you for a grounding tool that can be breathed in to calm and relax you throughout the day.

We would love to hear how you use yours!

Using our mesh burner to smoulder our incense blend
Botanicals

Mindful Magick smoulder stick

We recently put out a question over on our Instagram page asking what people would like from a smoulder stick. The most common answer we received was around support for anxiety, stress and depression.

Last month, we created a beautiful smoulder stick after a harvest of our flowering marjoram along with other herbs in our garden – lemon balm, bay, thyme and lemon verbena. Each of these herbs is known to positively impact our nervous system, calming the body and relaxing the mind. We teamed these herbs with foraged plants known to benefit our mental health. We only made 6 which sold quickly but after finding some beautiful wild pink marjoram last week, we decided to make a new batch.

Marjoram is an uplifting herb to work with. In ancient Greece it was named ‘joy of the mountains’ and was combined with thyme and burned to help ease grief and sadness. It is a nervine that helps tension headaches and insomnia, although is not recommended during pregnancy. We also added oatstraw to our new batch of sticks that calms and strengthens the nervous system.

We now have 5 new Mindful Magick smoulder sticks. With potent plants known to help calm the central nervous system, reduce symptoms of stress and help uplift our spirits. These sticks emit an aromatic smoke when burned and can be used in mindfulness and meditation practices. If you would prefer not to burn your stick, you can hang it above your bed or place on your altar to enjoy the energy of the plants. You can find out more information about each plant used in this stick and their benefits in our Etsy listing.

Botanicals

Introducing Smoulder Sticks

We have decided to rename our handcrafted herb bundles that we have so far been referring to as ‘smudge sticks’.

We have spent a lot of time thinking about this and wanted to give some background as to why we have come to this decision.

As we have discussed in previous posts, burning plants to release an aromatic, beneficial smoke has been carried out across cultures for thousands of years. It would have been the earliest form of aromatherapy with methods and motivations for use varying across the world.

The term ‘smudging’ refers to a specific Indigenous American tradition, where herbs particularly Sage and Cedar are used in sacred cleansing ceremonies. In recent decades, this term has been adopted in Western spirituality, and the burning of Sage in particular has gained popularity.

This increase in popularity, has also seen an increase in the trade of sacred herbs, such as White Sage and Palo Santo, both of which have become over harvested and are now considered to be endangered.

Offering people sustainable plant alternatives is extremely important to us, as is sharing the benefits of connecting with plants on a daily basis. We only ever use herbs that we have grown ourselves organically or gathered from the wild in a responsible way. With so much wildlife depending on our plants, we work seasonally, using plants readily abundant during that season and follow responsible foraging guidelines.

We have been inspired by what we have learned about Smudging ceremonies, as well as other ancient burning practices and when originally naming our bundles ‘smudge sticks’ did so in a respectful way, to honour this sacred practice. However the more we have learned about the specific nature of a smudging ceremony and the increase in the exploitation of these sacred herbs, the more we felt ready to create a new name for our own herb bundles.

We have loved finding out about the variety of ways people have been using our sticks in their own lives. Sometimes for cleansing, often during mindfulness and meditation practices to help calm the mind, and some people choosing not to burn them at all, enjoying the energy of the plants in a different way.

After some thought we settled with the name ‘smoulder’ stick, meaning ‘to burn slowly with smoke but no fire’. It feels as though this word describes its action so well. So in celebration of our new name, we will be listing some lovely limited edition smoulder sticks, and how you choose to work with them is completely up to you!

Foraging, Wheel of the Year

Lammas Tea Blend

We hope that you have been able to find some time and space to connect with the new season of Lammas – also thought of as high Summer or the birth of Autumn.

One of the ways I like to connect to a new season is by creating a tea blend that seems to hold the energy of the season in the plants that I blend.

In celebration of Lammas and the abundance of edible & medicinal plants available at this time of year, we created this vibrant and flower filled mix that we enjoyed drinking in our garden around a fire last night. It was not only visually pleasing but delicious too!

Botanicals

Yarrow and Rose bud Smudge Sticks

Yarrow feels especially abundant this year. This delicate yet mighty wildflower has been used extensively in herbal medicine due to its wealth of therapeutic properties. Ruled by Venus, Yarrow has also long been entwined with myth and magic. Perhaps most notably, the belief that if a handful of the plant was placed under a pillow, it would reveal a person’s future love mate within a dream.

Burning Yarrow is thought to bring courage, dispel fear and heal deep wounds. These qualities seemed to lend themselves to the creation on a Smudge Stick to encourage feelings of self love, connection and heart healing. Teamed with a whole rose bud to offer gentle nurturing and healing, Mallow flowers to protect and Lavender and wild Chamomile to ground, relax and help us to open our hearts.

This was a wonderful team of plants to work with. There are just two of these beauties now available in our Etsy shop.

*As of 20/08/20 we have changed the name of our sticks to ‘Smoulder sticks.’ You can read more about our decision regarding this here.

Botanicals

Abundance Smudge Sticks

In the approach to Lammas, as Summer reaches its height, we wanted to create a Smudge Stick that celebrates the rich abundance of the season. You may well have read my previous post about Goldenrod finding its way into my garden this year.

Goldenrod is extremely high in antioxidants and its Latin name Solidago translates as ‘to make whole or heal’. In folklore Goldenrod is believed to to bring luck and prosperity and encourage an abundant mindset. These qualities are believed to become more potent when the plant self seeds too!

After harvesting some during the waning moon I felt strongly that this would be the star of the show. Teamed with sun ruled Bay, refreshing Peppermint, powerful Red clover and vibrant Nasturtium flowers, this Smudge Stick intends to encourage feelings of abundance and prosperity.

Research suggests that burning herbs is a fast and effective method for delivering the therapeutic properties of a plant to an individual. The practice of burning dried plants has been carried out extensively across cultures and may be the earliest example of aromatherapy.

You can find out more about this beautiful smudge stick in our Etsy shop now.

*As of 20/08/20 we have changed the name of our sticks to ‘Smoulder sticks.’ You can read more about our decision regarding this here.

Botanicals

Sleep and Dream Smudge Sticks

Our new sleep and dream smudge sticks are crafted with Mugwort gathered under July’s full moon. This beautiful plant is named after Artemis, the Greek goddess of the Moon.

Mugwort is referenced in Norse and Celtic mythology as a magical plant that wards off evil, and for this reason was hung in door ways or burned to clear stagnation and prevent illness in the home. It has a long history of use in herbal medicine particularly with issues relating to the digestive system and the menstrual cycle. It is referred to by many as the ‘dream plant’ and is thought to enhance intuition and bring lucidity to dreams, making them easier to recall in the morning.

It has been lovingly woven with Lavender, a herb that is known to calm the central nervous system to help promote rest and wild Rose petals that gently uplift and nurture.

As always plants are powerful, and some people experience side effects to some plants it is important to ensure it connects with you personally. We always recommend doing your own research and introducing new plants gently.

You can find our Sleep and Dream smudge sticks in our Etsy shop now.

*As of 20/08/20 we have changed the name of our sticks to ‘Smoulder sticks.’ You can read more about our decision regarding this here.

Botanicals

Why burn plants?

Before we had the technology to extract the essential oils from plants, burning leaves, flowers, roots and resins would have been the earliest and simplest forms of aromatherapy (the use of aromatic plant extracts for healing). The practice of burning dried plants has been carried out extensively across cultures, often but not always in connection with religious and spiritual practices.

When we burn herbs an aromatic smoke is released containing many of the beneficial compounds of the plant itself. Research suggests that burning is a fast and effective method for delivering the therapeutic properties to an individual, with different plants offering a rich variety of benefits. One study noted a 95% reduction of airborne bacteria in a room after burning a mixture of aromatic herbs with Mango or Pipal wood for an hour. A reduction of bacteria in the room was still noted up to 30 days after the burning.

As well as the therapeutic benefits that we obtain from the plant itself, the process of burning may well have its own healing benefits. Fire has long been associated with transforming energy from one state to another. Using fire imagery, or burning something can give us a sense of change, transformation or release.

Using a herb bundle combines the healing properties of the plants themselves with the transformative energy of fire. As with all forms of medicine, it is important to ensure it connects with you personally. Plants are powerful, and some people experience side effects to some plants. We always recommend doing your own research and introducing new plants gently.

We are excited to offer a new selection of smoulder sticks that will be available from our shop this week.

*As of 20/08/20 we have changed the name of our sticks to ‘Smoulder sticks.’ You can read more about our decision regarding this here.