The Medicinal Rose

Not All Roses Are The Same.

Red_RoseSome say that one should never use garden hybrid roses for medicinal purposes.  And, that there are more than 300 active compounds present in roses, of which only about 100 have been identified.  All I know is that medicinal preparations from any rose can have strong and immediate effects on some people, especially women.

The good witch or experienced herbalist will try to find a true wild rose for medicinal use.  There are many species of wild rose, but they are all easy to identify.  Every wild rose has exactly five petals, and almost all of them are pink shading to white.  They also tend to be leggy and straggling in form, extremely hardy, and likely to thrive on total neglect.  There are also some ‘nearly wild’ roses which are just as good as the true wild rose for the herbalist, but are much more suitable for the average garden.

Here in England the good witch or experienced herbalist will preferentially use the true wild rose, the dog rose, rosa canina, for medicinal purposes.  The thing is, unless you have a huge estate, you’re not going to plant this vigourous thing.  Luckily it does grow wild all over in England, especially in mature hedgerows.

However, if one has a largish garden one can plant the Japanese wild rose, rosa rugosa instead.  This is still a very strong growing shrub, but it’s more manageable than the dog rose, and you still get great hips.

Another great medicinal rose is the aptly named apothecary’s rose, rosa gallica.  This is another wild rose, basically from France.

In North America there are dozens of species of wild rose, all of which have been used by Native American tribes in medicine and magic.  In addition, many other species roses have naturalised into the American landscape, so sometimes it’s difficult to know which is a true American wild rose, and which is an introduction.  It doesn’t really matter.  If a rose has five petals and is pink or shading to white, then it’s a good medicinal plant.

nearly-wildHowever, if you are growing an apothecary’s garden, a herb garden, or a medicine garden, then perhaps the rose nearly wild in whatever variety you can find it would be your best choice.  It’s compact, has a long flowering season, and is close enough to the species wild rose to be ideal as a medicinal plant.  This rose is also readily available from specialist rose nurseries all over the world.

Almost every part of the rose has therapeutic uses.  The petals can be used to make rose petal tea or an unusual scented jam, or rose water hydrosol, or what about a rose, cardamom, and ginger body soak?  The rose hips can be added to organic cider vinegar to make a great salad dressing / tonic, and the leaves make a kind of substitute coffee.  If you dry the leaves you can smoke them ~ and I have no idea what that’s like.

dscf0012The main active effects of rose preparations are; laxative, opthalmic, diuretic, and linthontriptic, (removes kidney stones).   There are many benefits of using the rose as a medicinal plant, and some potential downsides.  Some people feel ill after ingesting rose medicines / tea, and some people feel mild hallucinogenic effects.  As I have already said, there are at least 300 active compounds in the rose and we only know what about 100 of them are, let alone what they actually do ~ weird.

If in doubt of any herbal preparation, then try just a little, in a very diluted form ~ especially if you are a woman.  And if you are either pregnant, or trying to get pregnant, then take specialist advice from your doctor or an expert herbalist before using any herbal / medicinal plant product.

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dog-roseAphrodite’s Herbalist, jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

aphrodite

Up Yours EU

The Steel Of The New Iron Lady.

flagThere is a wailing and gnashing of teeth among Britain’s left-leaning inner city liberal elite today.  The snowflake Guardian newspaper has completely thrown its toys out of the pram.  Tim Farron, the pathetic failed Leader of the Liberal Party, says that Teresa May has completely betrayed Britain.

All because, in a landmark speech yesterday, British Prime Minister Teresa May signaled that she fully accepts the will of the majority of the English Peoples and will negotiate the hardest of hard Brexit with the moribund European Union.

There is a 12 point plan for when Britain finally exits European Super State, the major elements of which are;

  1. Britain will leave the European Single Market.
  2. We will end freedom of movement and take control of immigration.
  3. Britain will no longer accept rulings from the European Court of Justice.
  4. We will leave the European Customs Union.
  5. Britain will look to the whole world when we make our own trade agreements.

The Prime Minister gave European politicians a stinging ultimatum and said that she will just walk away from a bad deal, and that if they don’t negotiate a mutually beneficial trade deal with the United Kingdom they will be committing an ‘act of calamitous self harm’.

Addressing stunned European Union ambassadors she threatened that Britain will set itself up as a low tax rival if European leaders tried to impose a punitive exit deal on Britain.  If Europe doesn’t play ball, then Britain will just walk away and let them get on with it.  Anyhow, it’s likely that the European Union will implode after Britain leaves.

trooping-the-colour-tTeresa May is waving both the carrot and the stick, and it’s a pretty big stick.  Britain is the fastest growing G7 economy, the fourth biggest economy in the world, the second biggest contributor to NATO after the USA, London is the world’s greatest financial centre, and English is the only truly world language.

The original Iron Lady was British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, who had a close political relationship with President Ronald Reagan.  Perhaps Teresa May and Donald Trump will forge a similar history making Special Relationship between the United Kingdom and the United States of America.  Perhaps Mr. Trump could even persuade Teresa May to throw cold water on the whole stupid, tax funded, man-made climate change CO2 hysteria.  After all, England has bugger all in common with Europe, and a hell of a lot of shared history and culture in common with America.

Some say that all Britain will regret turning our backs on the European Union.  And, that our economy will falter and fail.  All I know is Europe ain’t seen nothing yet.

~

Falklandsthese opinions are mine and mine alone

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Anxiety, Stress, and Worry

How To Achieve Inner Peace.

bank-of-englandBack when I was an overpaid banker in the City of London I used to suffer terribly from anxiety, stress, and worrying too much about everything and nothing.  I was even hospitalised for 8 weeks due to stress, (and because of the effects of my chosen anti-anxiety medication ~ drinking too much booze).

We are all different, we all feel our emotions in different ways, and we all react differently to stress.  However, there are some stress and worry prone personalities ~ these are the people who are always in a hurry, who have to be the best at everything, who can’t ever say no, who spread themselves thin, who push themselves beyond all rational limits.  I used to be that man, and I used to be the best there ever was in my chosen profession, with all the trappings of success, including crushing unhappiness.  A recipe for illness and an early death.

I am no longer that man, partly because I now firmly believe that;

  • Everyone should put their own needs first, only when I feel comfortable, settled, and secure with my own life can I begin to give of myself and share with others in a healthy way.
  • Feeling bad about the past, and punishing myself for all my past mistakes, is utterly pointless.  I have no control over the past and no amount of regret, remorse, or bad feelings can change history.
  • My feelings and emotions are not some mysterious and uncontrollable force that has me at their mercy.  I do not have to go on feeling bad forever.
  • To be a good, conscientious and worthy man I don’t have to continually worry and fret about what the future has in store, and what I’m going to do about it all.
  • My worth as a man is not determined by the opinions of others.  If people don’t like me and don’t like what I do, then they can just fuck off.
  • I am not responsible for the feelings of others, especially I am not ultimately responsible for the feelings of those I care for.
  • Life is difficult and painful, shit happens, and not every day is going to be better than the one before.  Deal with it and do not take it personally ~ the Cosmos does not care.
  • All of my feelings and problems are my own, they are not always caused by other people, there is no point in blaming others when I feel bad, or I don’t get what I want, or when shit happens.
  • I cannot change what happens to me, but I can change how I react and what I do about it all.

I defy anyone to fundamentally disagree with any or all of those statements.  They are are true, and believing in them, and living by them, is something you can learn.

Your feelings and thoughts are yours and yours alone.  To make your life better you must take responsibility for your own emotions, feelings, and what you do about them.  To make your life better beyond your wildest dreams you must learn self-discipline in body, mind, and spirit.  There is no one else to blame, at the end of the day there is only you and what you choose to do.

My will shall shape my future.  Whether I fail or succeed shall be no man’s doing but my own.  I am the force; I can clear any obstacle before me or I can be lost in the maze.  My choice; my responsibility; win or lose, only I hold the key to my destiny.  ~  Elaine Maxwell.

Anxiety, stress, and worry, are merely imaginings of all the bad things that have happened, are happening, and could happen in the future.  The truth is that bemoaning your fate is just an abrogation of responsibility.  Be an urban warrior, be cool, calm, and collected.  Take full responsibility for your own life, and live the good life with serenity and inner peace.

~

winthese thoughts are mine,

and mine alone

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

The Diesel Myth

Should You Make Your Next Car A Diesel?

draxThe first thing I need to tell you is that, contrary to everything Governments, Left Leaning Liberal Media, The Green Lobby, and exponents of Man-Made Global Warming have been saying for years, diesel cars are no cleaner and no better for the environment than petrol, (gasoline), engined vehicles.  Like so-called renewable energy, all these green lunatics are costing us the Earth banging on about various means of powering a vehicle.  Electric cars are not green, the electricity has to come from somewhere.

diesel-exhaustThere is a huge difference between the manufacturer’s official pollution figures, and the amount of nasty stuff diesel cars chuff out in the real world.  Volkswagen, (VW), have just reached an agreement to pay $4.3 billion in fines after fiddling the fuel consumption and pollution figures of its vehicles ~ and that’s after agreeing a $14.7 billion settlement to recompense aggrieved VW diesel owners in the USA.  In the United Kingdom VW diesel owners are looking for a settlement of £3,000 each for the German car maker’s lies.  Respectable scientists even say that diesel cars produce ten times more pollutants than buses and trucks.  I don’t believe that either.

Jumping on the anti-diesel bandwagon the mayors of four major cities; Athens, Madrid, Mexico City, and Paris have announced that diesel cars will be banned from entering their towns from 2025.  Who gives a damn?  These cities are so bad to drive in that you’d have to be mad to take your car into the centre, and come 2025 it can only be worse than today.  Banning diesels won’t make these urban areas any better, the exhaust from petrol engines is just as ruinous to your health.

rta1One should never believe anything car manufacturers are car salesmen tell you, because they always lie about everything.  For example, in the real world most cars use twice as much fuel as the car makers’ own fuel consumption figures, and some bad and aggressive drivers get terrible fuel consumption.  It’s obvious that the more fuel you use, the more pollution you create.  And bad, aggressive drivers often end up in accidents, which also create a lot of pollution, and death.  Death in car accidents is bad.

However, diesel / compression ignition cars have two major advantages over an exactly comparable car powered by an exactly comparable petrol, (gasoline), engine.  Firstly, you get about 50% more miles to the gallon from a diesel engine.  Secondly, properly looked after a diesel engine should last for twice as long as the equivalent petrol engine.  Longevity is good for the environment as the real pollution of any car should be measured over its dust to dust lifespan.

Right now diesel fuel costs just a few pence / cents more than the same amount of petrol / gasoline.  However, you get far more miles from a gallon of diesel than you do from a gallon of petrol / gasoline.  Take a new Kia Sportage as an example.

  • Petrol / Gasoline 37 miles per gallon (Imperial)
  • Diesel 61 miles per gallon (Imperial)

The diesel engined car is perhaps 5% more expensive to buy than the petrol car, and perhaps it’s 5% slower, but one gets about 165% of the mileage from each tank of fuel.  Diesels are a lot more fuel efficient than petrol cars. (Don’t actually believe the total fuel consumption figures, most drivers won’t get that in the real world.)  So, if you are a higher mileage driver, (more than 6,000 miles a year), or you want to keep your car a long, long time, (100,000 miles plus), then a diesel makes a lot of sense.  And, there is always the likelihood that a diesel car will depreciate slightly slower than its petrol engined equivalent, (although with all the controversy over diesel cars this may be a good time to pick up a used bargain).

Except in terms of extreme speed and acceleration there is nothing wrong with the performance of modern diesel-engined cars ~ in fact Audi, (another German manufacturer), has won at Le Mans and other endurance races with a diesel racing car.  Bentley’s new diesel SUV, the Bentayga will go from 0 to 60 mph in 4 seconds and on to 187 mph, mind you, you will pay in excess of £160,000 for the privilege.

So, the bottom line is, would I buy a diesel car?  And the answer is maybe.  If I expected to do a hell of a lot of miles, take transcontinental road trips, and keep the car a long time, then a diesel wins hands down.  But then I don’t live in California smog all the time, and I don’t care one jot about man-made global warming, or inner city pollution.

I would buy a classic SAAB diesel convertible in a New York Second.

~

9-3convertible003these opinions are mine,

and mine alone

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Scenes on Sunday #25

California Road Trip.

Echo Beach, Route 66, Hotel California

Gorillaz, Manfred Mann’s Earth Band

California Girls, Breakfast in America

California Rain, California King Bed

Dog Breath, Champagne, Back to California

I’m Going Home, Get Back, Grateful Dead

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P1020195pictures by the girl riding shotgun

jack collier doing the driving

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

nothing but you

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lust passion desire ardour whimsy fantasy

love adoration truth verity intimacy vagary

eccentricity unpredictability Emerald City

yearning romance cherish sympathy reality

hard pain heartache heartbreak actuality

unrequited love’s misery, if I can’t have you

~

P1030624words and pictures by jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Food on Friday ~ 2017 Cleansing

How many of us overindulged a little over the Holiday Season?

In some parts of the world the holidays began with Thanksgiving, November 24th 2016, and in some other parts of the world the holidays continued until Epiphany, last Friday, January 6th 2017.  Most of the people I know partied and overindulged on food and booze right through December 2016 until January 1st this year.  A lot of the people I know put on a little weight, and have New Year’s Resolutions to eat better and exercise more.  Good Luck with that.

However, perhaps to help a little, here are some nutritious, simple, cleansing dishes to tempt our jaded palates.  As far as exercise goes, in addition to my usual long walks, this year I’m checking out something called PiYo, which is an amalgam of Pilates and Yoga ~ allegedly.  (There is no way I’m spending any money on video courses / programs ~ but take your choice.)

All of these easy, cleansing dishes would make a great light dinner and something fabulous to take to work for lunch.

First up this week, from Andrea at Cooking with a Wallflower, we have a simple cilantro and lime rice, (please, it’s called coriander in England).  Andrea says this would go well in a burrito, but that’s really missing the point, isn’t it?

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Cilantro and Lime Rice

Found for us by Jessica at how sweet it is, I am seriously going to make this fabulous looking winter salmon salad.  I would strongly encourage my friend in SoCal to give this the once over as it also contains radishes and avocado, along with salmon another couple of her favourites.

winter-salmon-salad-_-honesltlyyum-1-1

Winter Salmon Salad

A very healthy vegetarian recipe from Kate Taylor at Cookie + kate we have chickpea salad with carrots and dill.  This is crisp, fresh, sharp, and protein rich ~ if you want a change make it with cilantro instead of dill.

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Chickpea Salad with Carrots and Dill

And now, from Tieghan Gerard at Half Baked Harvest we have these wonderful looking spicy brown rice seared tuna roll bowls.  As well as tuna this dish uses lots of cleansing superfoods; mango, cilantro, garlic, radishes, and avocado.

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Spicy Brown Rice Seared Tuna Roll Bowl

Recovering pastry chef, the Bojon Gourmet, has a great recipe for a winter salad; beet citrus and chicory salad with ricotta salata and pistachios.  This is a seriously low calorie dish, (when it comes to the calories you can actually use), and beets are one of these superfoods we hear so much about.

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Beet Citrus and Chicory Salad with Ricotta Salata and Pistachios

Next from Heather Christo we have a 3 day soup cleanse, which looks a lot nicer than some ‘cleansing recipes I’ve seen.

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Three Day Soup Cleanse

Finally this week, another great collection, this time from Delicious; 50 fast recipes to kick start that winter cleanse.  One of the 50 featured recipes is this nice and easy sweet miso steak with ramen.  What’s not to like?

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Sweet Miso Steak with Ramen

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dscf0002a big thank you to all the great cooks featured in this week’s Food on Friday

jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

Full Wolf Moon

The First Full Moon Of 2017.

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January 12th 2017, and the full moon is close to us today.  Luna isn’t quite at perigee, (the closest she comes to the Earth), that was two days ago on January 10th, so it isn’t quite a supermoon.  However tonight’s full moon will be big and bright, perfect for skywatchers, witches, and sorcerers.

It’s likely that the moon was Mankind’s first reliable calendar, the full moon perhaps measuring the months of the year, although any strictly lunar calendar will see the seasons drift.  Some say that Stonehenge is also a tool to manage the lunar calendar.  And, that the first powerful priests and sorcerers were really astronomers.  All I know is that Stonehenge is a spooky and magical place.

The English word moon derives from the Greek and Latin for ‘measure’.  Other English names for the Moon, are Luna the ancient Roman Goddess of the Moon, (from which we get the word lunatic),  and Selene the ancient Greek Goddess of the Moon, (and Selene is both a given name and an adjective).

moonThe moon affects everything on the Earth, from the behaviour of animals and birds, to our moods, the tides, even women’s menstrual cycles.  In witchcraft, the full moon is the most important time for casting spells ~ magic has more potency under a full moon.  This is the time for enlightenment and psychic awareness, so if you have any sixth sense or psychic abilities they will be at their strongest tonight.  All witches and those with magical and psychic abilities will be acutely aware of the phases of the moon.

In relationships and love the full moon enhances a woman’s sex drive, but this is also a time for a fresh start, forgiveness, acceptance, commitment, and love.  This is the perfect day for a witch to cast a spell and work her love magicSpiritually the full moon is strong, although it’s effects are both negative and positive.  Today a vulnerable man may well be moonstruck with love and desire, but he should know that somewhere out there someone has his best interests at heart.

moonwolfThe first full moon of the year is known as The Wolf Moon.  This derives from Native American Mythology in which wolves hold a very special place.  This is the time of the werewolf ~ the legend of the werewolf goes at least as far back as the ancient Greeks.  Other names for this full moon are the Cold Moon, and the Hunger Moon ~ cold, bright in the darkness, and unforgiving.  This is a time for self-care, reflection, and making real and realistic plans for the rest of the year.

The first full moon of 2017 carries with it mixed messages, good and evil, forgiveness and rejection, life and death, man and woman.  Everything about this full moon is contradictory and complimentary, the very essence of yin and yang, of darkness and light, of balance.  The Wolf Moon is what we make of it.  This Full Wolf Moon a time for decision making, planning, of endings and beginnings, of intense emotional energy.  A sweet smile and laughter will bring the full moon’s power of joy and happiness into your life.  Approach this full moon with a dark spirit, and the rest of your year will be equally dark and gloomy.

This Full Wolf Moon is the Goddess in her Mother aspect.  Create a safe space and clear your mind.  Invite the true spirit of love and understanding into your life.  And, let’s all be careful out there tonight.

~

moonjack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

wiccan moon

Rose Petal Tea

The Healing Powers Of The Rose.

Herbalists and witches know that the rose is a very useful and powerful medicinal plant, and that one of the interesting things you can use it for at this time of year is as a remedy for coughs and colds.  A very easy way to take advantage of the natural healing power of the rose is to make rose petal tea.  Well, the petals do contain vitamin C, which helps combat the common cold, but the petals also hold some powerful polyphenols and antioxidants.  Ideally one should use the petals of the wild dog rose, rosa canina, but I also use the petals from garden hybrid roses.

dscf0012Try making rose petal tea with just a handful of fresh rose petals, and a very little sugar or honey, (don’t use a lot of sugar or honey as it will overpower the taste).  Personally I just scald the petals, but some suggest simmering, (stewing), for 5 minutes.  Some also suggest removing the white portion of fresh petals, although personally I wouldn’t do that.  The white area does impart the tea with a slightly bitter, tannin taste, but I firmly believe that’s also where most of the good stuff is concentrated.

Scientifically, the principal qualities of rose petal tea are that it has; Laxative, Opthalmic, Diuretic, and Linthontriptic virtues.  I firmly believe it’s a lot more complicated than that.  For example, you should find that rose petal tea will slightly numb your mouth and ease any sore throat and cough you may be suffering from.

Among herbalists it is widely accepted that rose petal tea boosts the immune system and has beneficial effects on the following problems;

  • anxiety, depression, and stress.
  • arthritis.
  • constipation and other digestive problems.
  • coughs, colds, and sore throats.
  • menstrual cramps and pain.
  • skin and hair problems ~ the tea is said to relieve the symptoms severe acne.
  • urinary tract infections.

dscf0016If that wasn’t enough, drinking rose petal tea is supposed to help ward off cancers due to its beneficial effects on the immune system.  Some say that drinking rose petal tea also promotes weight loss ~ I couldn’t promise that, other than you may use much less sugar and cream than if you were drinking coffee instead of this herbal tea.

You can make rose petal tea either with fresh petals, (make certain they are pesticide free), and you can also make a green tea with dried rose petals.  You can buy dried rose petals mail order from all kinds of places, including Amazon.  As far as I’m concerned, I think it’s better to collect fresh rose petals, and keep a few handfuls in the refrigerator.

There are a couple of things to be careful of.  Firstly, drinking more than three or four cups of this stuff a day is likely to give you diarrhea.  Secondly, most really effective herbal remedies for menstrual pain are also female aphrodisiacs as they affect the production of oestrogen~ don’t say you weren’t warned.

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p1050056Aphrodite’s Herbalist, jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

aphrodite

let me be your teddy bear

Lonely Little Bear

dscf0007Marmaduke and I are pals, but as you can tell from his recent pictures he misses his girl, so he’s thinking of joining a lonely hearts club.

He’s an affectionate and loving little bear.

He’s also a very handy teddy bear.

And, Marmaduke can cook.

He sings better than Presley, (at least Marmaduke thinks he sings better than Elvis Presley).

Please listen responsibly.

~

dscf0044jack collier

jackcollier7@talktalk.net

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