Sunday, 15 February 2015

Herbal help for the digestive system and working to protect the land from fracking

This weekend I was involved in the Warrior's Wyrd, a planning day for the Warrior's Call, Pagans United Against Fracking.  I am a core member of the Warrior's Call which was created in 2013 to answer the need of our land and water for protection from fracking and other highly polluting gas and oil extraction techniques such as coal-bed methane and underground coal gasification which have been used on a large scale elsewhere in the world, particularly in the USA and Australia and which the UK Government and drilling companies are trying to develop here in Britain.  See for information about this. As a pagan I felt I had to answer the call to protect our land and water.  I have sworn an oath to work magically and practically to protection Albion from fracking.

The Warrior's Call works to raise awareness in the pagan community about the threat of fracking, to encourage and empower pagans to become involved in community campaigning and front-line resistance to fracking, bringing our spirituality and our magic to help defend the land and assist those who are working to protect it.  We work with the Warrior's Sigil, a magical sigil which protects and empowers us.  There is lots of information on our website and on our Facebook page and Facebook Group

Members of the Warrior's Call have taken the lead in setting up community campaigns, protection camps and awareness-raising events in areas threatened by extreme gas extraction developments such as Cheshire, South Wales, Somerset and Sussex.   In my part of the country I set up and co-ordinate Gasfield-free Coventry to raise awareness and campaign against extreme gas extraction in Coventry & Warwickshire Since the group was formed in the spring of 2014 a proposal for Underground Coal Gasification which covered 40 square miles of Warwickshire countryside has been withdrawn due to opposition by the local council.  Which shows we can make a difference if we stand up to do our bit to protect the land and people where we live.

The Warrior's Wyrd Day was a gathering of core Warrior's Call organisers and others who were interested in getting involved in planning our activities for 2015.  We kicked off the day discussing why it is difficult to involve pagans and people generally in activism and how to raise awareness of the threat of fracking and what pagans can do about it in their local communities.  In the afternoon we focused on planning the Morrighan Encampment, a national pagan anti-fracking camp to be held in the late summer of 2015 at which there will be lots of workshops on campaigning and front-line action as well as ritual and entertainments.  We also discussed other plans for the year including developing an Action Pack for pagan anti-fracking activists, awareness raising at Summer Solstice celebrations round the country and doing presentations and stalls at pagan camps over the summer.  It was a tiring but very productive day.

The Warrior's Call banner with the Warrior's Sigil

 The altar with Sigil Chalice and Oak piece from an oak felled at a drilling site in Sussex

 The Warrior's Call Display

Me presenting Warrior's Call event plans to the group

I have also been active on the herbalism front.  For this month I was set the task of researching the meaning of the terms astringent and carminative.  

Astringents are herbs that contract blood vessels and mucous membranes to reduce secretions, they help stop internal and external bleeding, catarrhal discharges etc.  The action is due to tannins in the herbs.  Astringent herbs include agrimony, elecampane, ground ivy, meadowsweet, mullein, oak bark, plantain, raspberry, red sage, rhubarb root, rosemary, wild cherry, witch hazel and yarrow.

Carminatives are anti-flatulence herbs.  They help to expel wind from the stomach and intestines.  They contain volatile oils which help to tone mucous surfaces in the digestive tract and increase peristaltic action.  They relieve wind and bloating, improve digestion and absorption and reduce inflammation and dysbiosis, when pathogenic yeasts and bacteria get out of balance with healthy intestinal flora.  Carminative herbs include angelica, aniseed, caraway, cardamon, cayenne, cinnamom, chamomile, coriander, dill, fennel, garlic, ginger, juniper, mustard, peppermint, sage and thyme.  

A herbal remedy using some of these herbs is the digestive elixir I made at a workshop with Sarah Head my herbwife mentor in January I decanted the elixir this week and have found it be helpful in soothing bloating, wind and digestive discomfort I had been experiencing.

Digestive Elixir recipe

Peel from 1/2 a fresh orange or 3-4 pieces of dried orange peel.
Tablespoon of fennel seeds.
Tablespoon of cardamon pod.
Crush seeds & pods with pestle & mortar or with the end of a rolling pin.
2-3" chunk of ginger peeled & grated.
Put the ingredients in a jar and half fill with honey, then fill the rest of the jar with brandy. 
Leave in a cool place for 4-6 weeks.
Strain through a sieve then through muslin or a tea-towel into a clean bottle.

Take a half teaspoon neat after a meal.  This gets sluggish digestion moving and calms wind and bloating.

 Digestive Elixir

'Bartram's Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine' Thomas Bartram.
'The New Holistic Herbal' David Hoffmann.
'The Complete Herbal Tutor' Anne MacIntyre.


  1. Inspiring once again thank you for Warriors Call (where do I sign?) and digestive elixir

  2. Hi Mick, to get involved in the Warrior's Call all you need to do is check out the website which has suggestions on what you can do to get involved in fighting fracking, like our Facebook page for updates and join the Facebook group to keep in touch with what is going on with anti-fracking campaigning and action around the UK and the rest of the world and join in as you are able to. cheers Anne.