Comparative uses and effects of a few hemostatics: making note of their similarities and differences.
..perhaps there is a broader connection between external wound healing and emotional / psycho-spiritual healing.. Up to you if you choose to entertain that. Freeform thoughts and stories on wound healing, here you go!
Mugwort: Where to begin with this dreamy, multi-dimensional plant ally. Ai Ye or Artemisia vulgaris, is a bitter friend for womb healing wonders. As an emmenagogue and mild narcotic, this herb is not to be used during pregnancy but holds healing powers for infertility caused by Cold trapped in the Womb (1), or what Western medicine calls endometriosis. By bringing energy, life force and circulation to the uterus, this magiKal herb disperses chronic cramping and can alleviate feelings of trapped negative energy in the sacral and root chakra. Mugwort is used internally as a vermifuge and tool against Salmonella and parasites. Less commonly known are its uses externally. As a hemostatic, I feel that ashes of mugwort are great to pack wounds or ulcers with. This is purely folkloric, as I have not referenced any published articles with that statement, but this plant of innocent mastery can work from the outside to draw together wounded flesh back into a sealed & effective organ barrier much like how it draws storylines and imagery from dreams together into a cohesive manner. Many times, I've been protected by Mugwort; from cramps, from anxiety, and from dreamless nights. It's been more then a few times that I've harvested Artemisia douglasiana and had it drying on my dashboard while road-tripping and have had the most intense, significant, colorful dreams while car camping. As a smoke, it's very calming for the mind and a great alternative to cannabis. As a smudge, it works well on its own, or with wild sage, copal, or cedar.
Like Mugwort, Thuja occidentalis or Cedar Tree Leaf is an emmenagogue and hemostatic. Thuja is cooler in nature than Mugwort and also has astringent and antipyretic properties. For clearing Viral heat, mix equal parts Lomatium and Thuja tincture to take orally 3-4xs a day to reduce symptoms of herpes virus or molescum contagiousum. Multiple teachers have directly expressed that Cedar leaf is a more active anti-viral than Echinacea and Indigo root combined. This widely used herb can also be infused into a hot bath for arthritic pain and fascinatingly, thujone is a cannabinol receptor agonist. Thuja is also a sacred tool for smudging, connecting to ancestors, and as a channel and purification technology in sweat lodge ceremony. Cedar is the most relied upon ancestral tool use by in North America for transmuting prayers into results and speaking directly with stone people and sky beings. (4-5)
Thuja and Mugwort are both bitter mucilitics and can both be applied externally as well. Mugworts topical uses on warts interests me to explore what external application of Thuja poultice or ash would do to someone experiecing a herpes outbreak as I am currently guiding a client with Type 1 Herpes simplex. She has heart miscommunication symptoms energetically, so I prescribed Thuja and Lomatium for her to clear heat, but perhaps I should suggest burning the twigs and leafs over coals then rubbing the cooled ash on her skin during outbreaks?... More thoughts on that to be developed…
Thuja and Mugwort can also both be applied topically in the form of Moxa or powder for aches and pains and moving Bi pain, also known as rheumatism or cold-damp arthritis.
The first time I saw Dragons Blood was in a Mercado de las Brujas in Trujillo, Peru in 2012. I asked what is was and she asked if I had any open wounds. I had a broken toe with a deep abrasion on it from surfing, so I sat on the ground next to a big pile of candles and San Pedro cactus cuttings and she rubbed the resinous Sangre de Drago on my toe. It turned a foamy white before sealing into this film, like a liquid bandage. Marvelous! My skin healed within 3 days (much faster than most extremity wounds for me) and I bought some more to explore and play with. Internally, this liquid can be taken for bleeding ulcers and to protect the stomach, but not frequently or excessively as I believe it contains a bit of latex. Dragons blood is salty and neutral and also an anti-fungal, astringent, vulnerary, and alterative. It astringes tissues internally to bind and tone internal traumatic injuries and weeping ulcers. I've seen it in an alcohol extract as well for taking as tincture or using as a First Aid remedy for broken skin, blisters, lacerations, and sores.
Both Sangre de Drago and Cattail Pollen are botanical byproducts of plants used in native cultures for ages. Cattail pollen and Sangre De Drago are both neutral, astringent, emmenagogues that stop bleeding when applied externally, and affect the Heart and Liver meridian. Cattail pollen is a fatty, nutritive oil that can be mixed into a paste with honey or molasses and smeared onto painful swellings, abscesses, bleeding injuries from blunt force trauma or accidents, or skin sores.
Cattail pollen can be drank as a mashed and filtered tea to move blood and encourage circulation and removal of obstructed blood flow. Together, Cattail pollen and Dragons Blood can be paired to generate recovery from long-term ulcers that continue to weep. I have not had a chance to play with Cattail pollen yet, but now that I know, I will be lurking in riverbanks (where Nelumbo grows too!) to see if I can spot any pollen.
Other herbs to explore for packing into wounds, reef cuts, open blisters, closing openings:
Plantain: A sweet, easy-to-grow juicy green leaf that can be chewed up fresh and applied to insect bites to draw out the venom and itch. As a dried leaf powder, I have used this for open / weeping reef cuts from surfing in shallow water as well. Unlike ointment or propolis that seal off aeration and dampen the area, the plantain powder helped to form a protective herbal crust that truly seemed to slowly draw in the edges of the abrasions and cuts and assist in speedy healing.
Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) mellows allergies and cuts off colds before they progress while being heart tonifying. I find this plant great to use before public speaking for strengthening words and staying heart-centered. Yarrow contains salicylic acid, which aids in inflammation and pain relief while you pack your bloody wound with it! Yarrow has so many uses, its nearly a panacea (in my opinion), but for the purpose of this mental flow state on hemostatics, I must express how resinous it is! Wow, sticky and sealing and astringent all in one. The alkaloids achillin, achillicin, and matricin are precursor compounds to chamazulene, what makes the essential oil bright blue (6). These three alkaloids are the active hemostatic (wound-healing) agents! To actually use Yarrow on a wound, powder the dried leaf and pack right onto the open wound. A hefty scab will form and underneath, the wound will be slowly & securely closing.
Creosote: (Larrea tridentata) native to the Sonoran and Mojave Desert : bathing with it as a wound wash, grinding leaves for sprinkling powders on wounds, mixing sifted clay dirt and creosote powder into a mud to make a body clay mask for drawing out pain, sorrow, inflammation, cancer, infection, virus. Closing open wounds with simply the powdered leaf sprinkled on top the cut or abrasion 2xs/day then left on to form a crust. Let it fall off naturally. These are some of the native ways I have been shown to work with creosote for healing. It is also a completely wondrous, aromatic, purifying smudge that bridges the smoky fire element with the resonance of Arizona monsoons; our precious water element. All four elements present with Creosote (3). While working with other entheogens in the desert, horney toads have helped me to work through past trauma, but only after monsoons when the soil could soften and they could come out of their burrows with ease (5).
Tepezchoiute (Mimosa tenuiflora): native to the Chiapas, Veracruz, Oaxaca, Quintana Roo - This root bark can be shredded and ground into a chunky medium or blended into a powder. If you can find it in a market or from an herbalist who works with it, this material is a wound-healing wonder. The Maya have been using it since before recorded time for skin lesions and infections. I started working with it for its anti-parasitic action while living in Mexico.. and my former partner has been working with it for years to extract ceremonial alkaloids from it. He looked at my damp-heat facial acne and thought, let’s make a tea with this for a facial poultice. That was so effective and lovely for reducing redness and infection in the skin, but what impressed me profoundly was applying the powered root bark as spot treatment for skin eruptions (2). After three treatments three days in a row like this, my skin overall was less inflamed, eruptive spots were soothed and closed, and there was this glowing elasticity in texture throughout my face. I could literally witness a closing action on any weeping spots. When my partner had his gauged ripped out by police forces (an act of systemic racism against indigenous in Chiapas), I packed his ear with powdered Tepez, and it closed / sealed in a day and a half. Amazing. This can be used for burns, eczema, aging or fragile skin, and for making internal purgative medicine.
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Jesus Alberto Foñseca Perez