Our grandmothers have been using these earth medicines in this dual-task way since the earth first sprouted them.

We pay homage to our ancestors. We recognize and give thanks to the ancestors whose names we know and those we don’t. We give thanks to the Water for continually cleansing us, and we ask to learn from the Water how it seeks to be cleansed. We offer gratitude to the Earth for providing us with all the medicine our earthly form needs to safely contain our spirit, and we commit ourselves to its protection and revitalisation. We give thanks to the Fire for burning up and clearing out that which no longer supports our being, and we use its medicine to propel us forward and inspire our communities. We give thanks to the Air for continuously taking us back to our breath, and we honor it as a supreme cleanser and THE constant in our lives. We clear our minds, spirits and hearts for ascension, revolution and the Next World. Give thanks for our healing. Ase.


Many of the medicines that the earth provides us to clear our bodies of toxins, poisons and illness, simultaneously clears our energetic bodies of blockages that inhibit our connection with our spirit team, and our healing from ancestral and current life traumas. Our grandmothers have been using earth medicines in this dual-task way since the earth first sprouted them.

For the medicines that were birthed on Turtle Island, their use was instructed to Afro-Diasporic people by the Indigenous medicine healers who saw the need for black folx to protect themselves and their communities. This allowed for the continuation of our ancestors’ healing journeys, which, alongside Indigenous communities, were heavily interrupted and impacted by colonial rule. Many teachings around the use of medicines indigenous to the Mother Continent (along with specimens of the plants) were carried to the Caribbean and to Turtle Island, allowing us to preserve the ability for our grandmothers’ plants to teach us the best way to use them, and sparking the accessing of our ancestral memory.

Traditional midwives often used a lot of these medicines as ways to care for their communities; ensuring the health of the pregnant and potentially reproducing body, such that our communities could thwart the threat of premature death and disease brought from Europe with colonial settlers. In addition, many of the medicines offered in this article have historically been used by our grandmothers as early abortifacients. Holding fast to the truth that folx who can carry life have always sought to be self-determining about when and where they do so. And, as it appears, Creator has always provided us with the medicines to care for our bodies as needed and wanted, at all stages of earthly life.  

Majority of the medicines mentioned below are blood cleansers, as blood is the the life-water in our veins. It’s the piece in our material being that carries our trauma and holds our ancestral truths. To keep the blood clear and healthy will support the health of every other part of the body and keep the meridians in the spiritual body open.

Similarly, many of these medicines have been used to support a body seeking to rid itself of cancer. Cancer is said to be a physical manifestation of deep, deep hurt and long-term resentment. Illness, in and of itself, is believed to be a physical manifestation of spiritual blocks and trauma. For folx of color, in this particularly violent era, our illness rates are skyrocketing, and influenza (which is said to be a physical manifestation of extreme anger unexpressed) is still striking our bodies regularly, even harder, regardless of vaccination.

We are called to clear this bad medicine our governments and systems force down our throats through the remedies that our grandmothers set us up with a long, long time ago. We are being activated to our remembering — that’s why herbal alchemy has folx drawn to it; we know that our parents were trying to survive the system, but it’s our time to wholesomely heal and self-actualize a new way of being; knowing that our collective healing is one of the most imperative strategies to use against the oppressive powers that be. Never forget, your ability to thrive is the exact medicine they seek to antidote. We do not have to let this fester in our beings; we have been given the tools and we are remembering how to use them. Keeping clear spirits, minds and hearts will be the healing of our communities.

As bitter tasting medicines, when made into a hot tea or tincture, these roots and herbs will get the digestive organs operating at full speed to clear out the flavor that the brain just told the digestive system to register as “poison.” This brain trick gets the digestive system operating at optimum, working to clear the “poison” the digestive system was just told it contains. This, in turn, helps us to absorb our good medicine fully and rid the body of toxins that reside in it, physically and spiritually.

Burdock Root/Turtle Island:

  • Used to clear the energetic blockages that keep one from visioning their path and seeing their personal truth.
  • Connected to wisdom.
  • Used in afro-diasporic magic as a floor wash to purify a space of tricky entities and energies.
  • Strong medicine for use in clearing the kidneys, kidney stones, gallstones and the gallbladder.
  • Cleans the blood.
  • Skin healer, taken internally to improve eczema, psoriasis and rash.
  • Lowers blood sugar levels.
  • Anti-inflammatory.

Cerasee Vine Leaf (Bitter Melon Leaf)/Mother Continent, Xaymaca:

  • Used to clear energetic blockages, it aids in loosening spiritual cords and decreasing negative attachments.
  • A visioning medicine.
  • Cleans the blood.
  • Detoxifies the digestive system.
  • Clears parasites and worms.
  • Decreases blood pressure.
  • Lowers blood sugar levels.
  • Clears the urinary tract and fights urinary tract infection.
  • Used as a uterine health tonic.

Epazote (Wormseed) – Place of Mexitli (Mexico), Abya Yala: 

[I was taught to prepare epazote by a medicine man, Octavio, who is dear to my heart]

  • Used to clear parasites and intestinal worms for centuries in Mayan and Aztec communities.
  • A strong uterine tonic.
  • Cleans the blood.
  • Has been used by abuela curanderas as an effective abortifacient for those who request it.
  • Used topically in oil, it detoxifies the skin through pulling poison and other toxins or sickness out through the skin.
  • Stimulates menses flow and alleviates menstrual cramps.
  • Clears energetic blockages and allows the spirit and heart to release constriction.

Dandelion Root – Turtle Island:

  • Used in afro-diasporic conjure as a tea for clearing crossed conditions and energetic blockages that impair third-sight.
  • Enhances psychic visioning and ancestral communication.
  • Clears and detoxifies the liver.
  • Cleans the blood.
  • Relieves gallstones.
  • Diuretic
  • Relieves constipation.
  • Antimicrobial
  • High in antioxidants.
  • Supports the digestive system.
  • Relieves muscle pain.
  • Lowers cholesterol.

Blue Cohosh — Turtle Island:

  • Used to cleanse the uterus of remaining fetal tissue after miscarriage, abortion or the delivery of a sleeping baby — avoid using when pregnant.
  • Granny Midwives of the rural south have administered this medicine to shed and rebuild uterine tissues, stimulate menses, ease labor by inducing contractions and used it as a uterine tonic during the third trimester and for postpartum clearing. 
  • Used in afro-diasporic medicine magic as a protective medicine, it will often worn at the waist in a mojo or added to floor wash — it is used to ward of tricky, counteractive or mal-intended entities.
  • Used to clear the constrictive energies that remain in the uterus and the sacral area that block our creation and mute our internal fire.
  • Used to strengthen our knowledge of Self.

 


READ MORE OF OUR MAGICK AND HEALING COLUMN:

5 MEDICINES THAT HELP WITH HEALING THE HEART

HEALING AND COMMUNING WITH OUR ANCESTORS

A LOVE LETTER TO THE UNSURPRISED AND GRIEVING OF CHARLOTTESVILLE

9 STEPS FOR CLEANSING BEFORE THE LUNAR ECLIPSE

LEARNING ABOUT SPIRITUAL SOLITUDE WITH PRINCESS NOKIA

6 MEDICINES TO PROTECT OUR COMMUNITIES FROM POLICE

HEALING THROUGH MAGICK FOR THE SOLSTICE

A PRACTICAL WITCH’S GUIDE TO FINDING SACRED SPACE AND BUILDING AN ALTAR

A RITUAL AND MEDICINES TO SUPPORT YOU ON YOUR PATH TO YOUR PURPOSE