Traditionally, all herbs had a planetary and Zodiacal rulership. To enhance the pharmacological properties of an herb, it was planted, harvested, prepared into medicine, and consumed when its ruler was rising, culminating, and setting. A Swiss man who was interested in astrology tried applying these ancient rules in his own exquisite Zodiacal garden and found that he could increase the potency of the herbs by more than twenty times by following these rules. The traditional rules are obviously also the source of our modern prescriptions requiring that we take medicine three times a day.
The Moon rules all plant growth in general and specific herbs in particular, mainly those that affect bodily fluids, fertility and sexuality, childbirth, sleep and dreams, and memory. Being moist, the most lunar herbs are the ones that are used to antidote excess heat, especially fevers that are cyclical like the Moon, such as malaria and undulant fever.
The bodyas well as the Planet itselfis approximately two-thirds water. Moreover, the fluids are, as one might expect, in constant circulation as lymph and plasma. They are also secreted in the form of saliva, sweat, tears, and urine as well as semen, womens vaginal lubricants and monthly discharges, and most important of all, mothers milk. There are herbs that promote the flow of such fluids which are demulcent and ones that arrest the flow that are astringent. There are also those that quench thirst and restore moisture to tissues that are dry and brittle.
Some of the herbs that promote circulation are salty like the fluids of the body itself. These include the various sea vegetables as well as Irish and Icelandic moss. Others are simply very moist and more sweet, like comfrey, marshmallow, and slippery elm. These are soothing and aid tissue regeneration.
Others, like astragalus, aid in the formation of white blood cells.
Saxifrage used both as diuretic and to remove urinary tract stones.
The Reproductive System
The second chakra is the water chakra in the body, and it governs all aspects of procreation from development of secondary sexual characteristics—such as curves in a woman and deepening of the voice and growth of chest and facial hair in a man, fertility, and libido—as well as the bodys capacity to replace and repair damaged tissue, regenerate itself, and sustain itself into old age. As such, herbs in this category tend to promote both fertility and longevity.
Some typical gynecological herbs are shatavari (wild asparagus from India), dong quai (angelica from China), black cohosh, blue cohosh, squaw vine, and papaya and the now very famous wild yam that is used in the creams for post menopausal women who do not want to use estrogen replacement therapies.
Comparable herbs that increase male potency are saw palmetto, pumpkin seeds, ashwagandha from India and schizandra from China.
Chaste Berry used to regulate "hormonal" mood swings.
Flag used to treat menstrual pain.
Lettuce for impotency (and blood impurities).
Loosestrife for hemorrhaging and excessive menstrual bleeding.
Water Lily reduces sexual excitement, nighttime ejaculation, diarrhea, and leucorrhea.
White Lily (garden lily) for vaginal discharges.
Wild Clary -- used to stimulate the libido, also used to treat eye infections.
Sleep and Dreams
The states of the unconscious that are most affected by the Moon are sleep and dreams. Interestingly, many of the herbs of this type are deeply protective, nutritive or tonic, and also sometimes narcotic. It is a good mother who protects her children from pain by inducing sleep and peaceful dreams.
Poppy (opium poppy) induces sleep, relaxes spasmodic conditions, and eases pain (morphine and codeine are derived from opium which comes from the poppy).
Wild Poppies (red) ease coughs, asthma, and aid sleep.
Willow Bark contains salicin, the pain reliever used in aspirin. Herbalists use to treat malaria and other fevers, diarrhea, and dysentery.
Wild Lettuce sedative and analgesic (pain reliever).
Wintergreen pain reliever.
The most elegant and esoteric of the lunar herbs are those that support the memory. These affect the brain, strengthen the powers of association, and often aid the unfoldment of higher senses. Gotu kola, the real gotu kola, brahmi from India, aids rejuvenation, longevity, and memory. Lotus seeds and root are cardiac and seminal tonics; they silence the restless mind and aid meditation.
Lunar Herbs that Reduce Heat
There are many ways to reduce heat in the body. The herbs that are most detoxifying are usually bitter in taste, but there are some cooling herbs that are mainly moist, rather than bitter. When I suffered multiple venomous bites, I phoned Dr. Shrikrishna Kashyap to ask what I should be eating. He told me to drink two glasses of cucumber juice and two of buttermilk each day to neutralize the toxins. This was a lunar prescription, and other Ayurvedic doctors might have suggested that I also adorn myself in silver, pearls, and moonstones. Actually, I took these internally in the form of colloidal silver and finely powdered pearls from China!
Cleavers protects the heart from venoms; used to treat cystitis and skin diseases.
Cucumber reduces heat and promotes the flow of urine.
Some lunar herbs are sponge-like in their effect; they help to absorb toxins in the body, bind them together, and then expel them. Some are used externally to treat infectious wounds and irritating skin conditions.
Chickweed made into an ointment for hemorrhoids, eczema, psoriasis.
Cuckoo Flower used in salads, like watercress, to treat scurvy and coughs.
Speedwell relieves bronchitis and whooping cough.
Some lunar herbs are so powerful that they are used to treat cancer and safely draw the morbidity out of the body.
Adders Tongue poultice is used to treat tumors and swellings.
Daisy dissolves coagulated blood and promotes healing of wounds.
Duckweed -- Hildegard of Bingen used this in an elixir to prevent recurrence of cancer.
Fleur-de-lis and Blue Flag used to treat tumors, especially of the thyroid.
Pumpkin Seeds used to enhance male libido and reduce tumors, especially of the prostate. Most famous use is in the expulsion of tape worms.
Wallflower similar to foxglove (used in digitalis), protects the heart.
Violet Hildegard of Bingen used this in a salve to destroy malignant tumors.
The body has natural ways of healing itself which also deserve note. For example, when I was bitten, my leg swelled up and diluted the venom so that I could work it out of my system gradually instead of dying. This is another merciful way in which water producing herbs can be used. So, you see, I do not see the Moon as necessarily dark, rather nurturing, protective, and motherly! I love Her!
Copyright by Ingrid Naiman 2007 and 2014