Cinquefoil is a name I have known since early childhood, but, when I was introduced to wildflowers, the predominant species in Great Britains' meadows was Silver Cinquefoil.
Its leaves are, distinctively, five
separate, serrated "fingers", reminiscent of a Marijuana leaf, though silvery
cinquefoil is a beautiful, small (one foot high) plant fond of quite dry and hot
summer conditions, growing in sandy grasslands or on scrubby hills.
Its name is from French, meaning five (FR: cinque) and leaf (FR: feuille, or "foil").
While taking my usual tour of medicinal herbs on the net, I decided to research Cinquefoil, since there was some growing in the garden of the new place I had moved to.
Now, having read a little of the number of plants that I may call Cinquefoil, and also having found a site by a naturopath, who, upon surveying the "five - fingers" plant, noted that these plants often have seven leaflets fanning out from each leaf stem, not just five, I have taken some shots of a couple of varieties growing in the yard, since even this common wildflower has some quite good medicinal properties.
Somehow, I don't feel an affinity for this plant, and I actually wondered about my feelings for it. Having grown medicinal and attractively flowering herbs for over ten years, I usually try minute amounts of my herbs, to explore each of the plants' capabilities. Knowing that these medicines are available is usually comfortable enough for me, without feeling that all of my medicines should be home-grown (perish the thought).
Last year, I came across a Magick site which explained that I should pick
Cinquefoil upon the full moon at midnight. it is said to offer good luck in love
, and also good financial fortune.
I have no idea why I didn't follow the instructions for the romance of it, and subsequently cut down a yard wide cinquefoil plant in cold blood, in the middle of the day, in the feeling that I wanted more showy specimens in the flower beds.
I would feel differently if I had a good two acres to play with, I'm sure.
At age 56 I am at risk of becoming one of those plastic people, the neat Babbits living in beige homes, sporting beige manners and in keeping - up with the Jones-Babbits next door. What is wrong with me? don't really feel that inhibited about White Witchcraft (Wiccan Magick), since I swear that all Brits are born garden witches and part fairie!
How to assess the inhibition in forgetting there was a golden opportunity to explore? Well, though I may not have thought about it, last year was a spider year. The neighbours reported a "guitar" spider close to where the plant was growing, saying that the "guitar spider" was the only poisonous spider in Canada. I do not know what it looks like, but at the same time, a huge, gorgeous, yellow and black striped spider about two and a half inches wide from toe to toe was reclining amongst the coneflowers, right next to the Cinqefoil. Spiders biting me do not remind me of good luck in love, unless I can sue the importer of such rarities, and take my man out to dinner on the proceeds.
The soil worried me somewhat, because I am most aware of rather rare and beautiful imagery from what I believe to be Spodumene or a combo of fluoro-Tourmaline and Spodumene. Anyway, the garden is always a holy spot, and, perhaps, a little awareness encourages a medicine-maker to back away form certain areas.
I inadvertently brought with me some seeds from the last house, and these are Potentilla, a type of cinquefoil with extremely pretty primrose-yellow flowers. This blooms all summer, and is a welcome addition to my type of rambling and shaggy garden.
As much as I have felt an aversion to actual Cinquefoil, I have felt an affinity for the beautiful Potentilla, called L. Potentilla tormentilla.
The fields behind Old Townline in Carleton Place are full of the lovely Potentilla, and I have, several times, licked the dew off one of its flowers, with the result that a feeling of quietude and peace, and an idea of silk as an internal texture, has instantly come to me, to focus my walk and walking meditation on the sweetness and gentitlity of the sunny meadows.
I have always meant to look up this particular herb, with the feeling that someday, I will discover some medicinal quality that I can regularly use.
The other side of me says - nonsense, just breathing their oils and pollens from the atmosphere is a type of health plan that our ecologies give to us, naturally. When I make an herb medicine, I hardly take it, in the feeling that, if I give it to others, the potency for people more truly in need will be preserved.
I also gathered the Tomentilla version of the plant for its root. Tomentilla and Rose Madder (another plant) can be gathered, and the roots dried and pounded for red pigment, traditionally used in fine art. I had several Tomentilla plants, and boiled their roots into some home-made paper. That was satisfying- I obtained a truly glowing pink tint, which spanged freshly from my textured paper, far better than an industrially dyed pulp.
Since I have little trouble with the collywobbles, I never used Tomentilla for what it is medicinally known, that is, as an antidote for diarrhea. I considered keeping it for that purpose, but who cares- anything will do, I feel. Still, perhaps blending Tomentilla and Veeronica Blackroot with some strawberries might reset the volcanic digestive tendencies. I don't do much for my stomach except to take fresh mint or strawberries for the upset, and/or Gravol pills. My reason is that I have to take prescription medications and don't want to fool around, but you can trust Cinquefoil if you are stranded in the wilderness and need to relieve the dangerously dehydrating diarrhea..
Have a look at the Cinquefoil table (properties page) and you will see the many folk names that this handy plant has accrued to its personal myth.
As for uses, the plant goes far beyond providing a dye, or being a love charm.*
According to one site, one may cook the silvery and silky version of Cinquefoil. In ancient China, this herb was used in magic for casting spells and as a love-divining herb.
TEA OF CINQUEFOIL
" Tea (made with water or milk) is an excellent remedy for diarrhea and is even said to be good for dysentery. As an antispasmodic, it can relieve abdominal cramps and painful periods; but the tea is then generally mixed with balm leaves and German chamomile flowers for this type of pain. A tisane used externally is also useful as an astringent for skin problems, jaundice, malaria, cystitis, palsy, shingles, itch, sciatica, gout, rheumatism, arthritis, quinsey, epilepsy, toothache, bleeding gums, mouthwash, fever, and throat sores, hoarseness, cough, ague, colds, flu, canker sores. When added to bath water, it will stop bleeding from piles, boils, ulcers, sores, and wounds.
"Use the entire plant except the roots, dried in the shade.
Decoction: boil 2 tsp. herb in 1 cup of water or milk. (Let stand fifteen minutes) This should be drunk three times a day.
Mixed tea: mix equal parts of silverweed, balm leaves and German chamomile flowers.
Steep 1 tsp. of the mixture in 1/2 cup water. Sweeten with honey.
Take 1 to 1 1/2 cups a day, a mouthful at a time.
Infusion: use 1 tsp. of the dried herb in 1 cup of boiling water. Cover with a saucer and steep for 30 minutes; strain. "
"Cinquefoil gets its name from an Old French word meaning "five-leaf.", and its Latin name, Potentilla ,refers to its medicinal potency. Through the ages herbalists have recommended a decoction of the root of cinquefoil as a remedy for fever, an analgesic for toothache, a gargle for mouth sores, and generally as a disinfectant and astringent. The bark of the root was also applied to stop nosebleeds, and a leaf or root tea was recommended for diarrhea. Even though early users did not know it, the tannic acid in cinquefoil accounts for its effectiveness as an astringent in stopping bleeding.
bring 1-2 tablespoonfuls of chopped cinquefoil to the boil in half a liter (one pint) of water. Let stand for 20 minutes. Make a moist compress with the lukewarm liquid. Moisten again as soon as the compress begins to dry.
take 2 ml of the tincture three times a day.
The young cinquefoil can be eaten raw, finely chopped, mixed in a salad or cooked (hotpot, soup). Dry the whole plant in the shade or use it fresh in a decoction (1 plant rinsed in 1 cup [250 ml] water)
Cinquefoil is also very useful in treating fractures or osteoporosis.
An excellent detoxifying plant, cinquefoil helps addicts wean themselves from alkaloids such as nicotine and cocaine"
The above is from the link shown here. Read lots more about collecting, mixtures and uses:
'In rich soils, the leaflets are often six or seven. Out of a hundred blossoms once picked as a test, eighty had the parts of the corolla, calyx and epicalyx in fives, and the remaining twenty were in sixes. They were used to cure the intermittent fevers which prevailed in marshy, ill-drained lands, and especially ague. '
In addition, my Cinquefoil bloomed with a 3/4 inch flwer in June, but witha less than half inch flower in hot July, it is then,though, in full bloom, as is my favourite, the prettier Potentilla. Actually, Potentilla as a wildflower does not lose its leaf shaping as well as basic dark green Cinquefoil, when in rich soil. I have both in pampered garden soil.
'The juice drank, about four ounces at a time, for certain days together, cureth the quinsey and yellow jaundice, and taken for 30 days cureth the falling sickness. The roots boiled in vinegar and the decoction held in the mouth easeth toothache. 'The juice or decoction taken with a little honey removes hoarseness and is very good for coughs. 'The root boiled in vinegar, being applied, heals inflammations, painful sores and the shingles. The same also, boiled in wine, and applied to any joint full of pain, ache or the gout in the hands, or feet or the hip-joint, called the sciatica, and the decoction thereof drank the while, doth cure them and easeth much pain in the bowels. "
The juice of the root, mixed with wheat bread, boiled first, is recommended as a good styptic.
"Use the infusion in ritual baths and for purification rites. Cinquefoil bestows eloquence and protection to the wearer, bring it to court.
'Cinquefoil was used in flying potions. Found in many old recipes & Grimores ' Baneful Herbs & Flying Ointments ' "
'Flying ointments refer to a salve that witches of old would use to Astral travel. Sabbats (Sabbaths, or holidays ) and witches ' celebrations were not easily accessible in those days. While some believed it was all done in the mind, others believe that witches could fly by this practice. There are over 60 recipes for flying ointments, witch contain some of these herbs, most recipes have been altered in some way though.
'The "ointment" would consist of certain herbs (some listed below) and some sort of fat**.'
'Ancient witches would rub the ointment into their skin and lye down by a fire, the ointment reportedly would turn their skin red and radiate heat energy. Witches would then Astral travel to Sabbats and secret meetings with other witches. There are reports that the witches that Astral traveled would be able to see everything that was actually happening in the place where the meetings were "physically" being held.'
Re:*... further, it might be possible that Cinquefoil was used as a control, so that vast travels involving actual levitation did not occur without "steering", and useful braking.
** A recipe for Violet ointment gives you the idea of how simply an ointment may be created. Violet leaves, picked in the spring, are baked in vegetable shortening to produce a salve.
WELL! IN THIS DAY AND AGE OF SELF_ DETERMINATION AND, EXCEPTIONALLY, WHILE WE CANUCKS ARE ON A BUDGET, THIS SEEMS TO BE A VIABLE ALTERNATIVE TO THE HUGE COST OF AIR FARE. I AM MOST SURE THAT SOME PEOPLE WOULD TRUST THESE REMEDIES BETTER THAN THEY DO AIR CANADA.
A really fun site, but, beware.
YOU REALLY, REALLY SHOULD READ UP ON THE LIST OF TRANSLATED WITCHES HERB NICKNAMES, AS LINKED BELOW.! IT SEEMS THAT EYE OF NEWT, TOE OF TOAD OR WHAT-HAVE-YOU WERE ACTUALLY SECRETIVE NAMES FOR FLOWERS AND HERBS USED IN EARLY STEWPOT PHARMACEUTICALS.
This type of thing still happens today, for instance a cosmetics witch in a pharmacy, to whom I showed some of my home-made perfume, could not get the name Leonurinidas cardiaca out of her head. So, after the closet nickname fer it spread, I was labelled as so asenine and filthy as to transport 'piss' (actually, Leonurinamide) into the divine realm of the pharmacy, fer gawds' sake!!! There are times when our modern wizards and witches need a good kick in their divine butts.
"What Is Eye of Newt"?
AND, A' LAST! CHRISTIAN AND JEWISH LORE AND LOADS OF PLANT IMAGES......WHY DO YOU THINK I CHECK OUT WICCA AND AYURVEDA FOR HERBS STUDIES?
CHRISTIANS AND JEWS http://www.all-creatures.org/picb/wfshl-photo.html
# yellow flower images of several types .....great site - Christian and Jewish fellowship, especially; animal rights, Jewish and Christian vegan philosophy, recipes.
copyright Sue Risk, Northdays Image 2003 - 2015