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Birch bark can easily be harvested from dead or fallen trees, where it still retains its wonderful properties. Birch bark is strong and water resistant, almost like cardboard in its pliability, and can therefore be bent, cut, and even sewn.
Birch trees have a strong connection with the celebration of Beltane, they are among the first to come into leaf, and therefore would have made a obvious choice as a representation of spring.
Burdock is considered by many herbalists to be the best known medicinal for skin conditions (Hoffman, Moore). This herb is highly effective, gentle, and multipurpose. It promotes the flow of bile and also increases circulation to the skin.
Usually used as a tincture. The tannins in the herb are released only if it is taken in an acidic medium; add a little lemon juice to a quarter-cup of water to which you add the tincture or prepare as a tea.
Coltsfoot was so popular in Europe that French pharmacists painted its flowers on their doorposts. It was brought to America from Europe. Before the plant flowers, it resembles butterbur enough that old herbals caution against confusing the two.
The roots of devil's claw are used traditionally after they are chopped and allowed to dry in the sun for at least three days. Devil's claw is one of the bitterest of all herbs, making a very good digestive stimulant.
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