Cancer is the sign that rules the lower lobes of the lungs, the breast, the stomach and pregnant womb. It is associated with lubrication of the mucosal membrane, aspects of the emotional heart, and nourishment of self and others. It is the fourth sign of the zodiac and associated with the home and comfort. The Moon governs Cancer.
Agrimony: main sites of action are the liver, and the mucus membranes of the stomach and the lower lobes of the lungs. As an astringent, it benefits tissues that have become stagnant and atonic, and as a mild hepatic from the Rose family, Agrimony is excellent for skin and sensitive digestion made worse with emotional stress.
How it Can Help:
Liver: this herb soothes cramps due to stress and tension, and is indicated in tender breasts before menstruation. It helps to ease liver qi stagnation and blood stasis manifesting as painful periods with cramping and dark, clotted blood.
Lung: soothe wet coughs and can be helpful as a secondary herb in cases of bronchitis and respiratory congestion.
GI tract: promotes healing of ulcers in the GI tract, alleviates diarrhea. Promotes the assimilation of nutrients in cases of sluggish Liver.
Mucus membranes: tightens and tones epithelial tissue internally and externally, useful for pimples in cases of ‘damp heat’ and/or liver qi stagnation. Taken internally or applied externally, assist healing of bruises and slow-healing sores.
Lemonbalm: a preferred remedy for children who are feverish, restless or dehydrated. Calms nervous tummies and soothes the heart. Encourages relaxation and comforts anxiousness by instilling a sense of safety and quiet joy. Used to promote longevity. A gentle herb for the young and elderly, and most in between*. Diaphoretic, carminative and gentle ‘spirit tonic’.
how it can help:
Fevers: especially useful for fevers in children due to heat stroke and dehydration. Also helpful in cases of stomach bugs and the early stages of a cold with congestion, chills and tight muscles at the back of the neck and shoulders.
Digestion: resolves griping pains and indigestion, especially when these are brought about by stress and overwork. Gently moves the liver and spleen to promote assimilation of nutrients.
Emotions: drives away ‘black bile’ or melancholy, calms fright and debilitation caused by overwork and overthinking.
Mind: in Europe, it is used as are ‘spirit tonics’ of Chinese medicine. Promotes memory and longevity, and gently restores vitality in cases of old age or chronic overwork. Combined with Lemon Peel, Nutmeg and Angelica Root it is effective in relieving both neuralgic and vascular headaches.
*take only occasionally with hypothyroidism
Clary sage: taken internally, it warms the stomach and moves stagnant blood anywhere in the body. By increasing the warmth and circulation of the body, and by uplifting the mood, Clary Sage also provides moderate aphrodisiac effects. Antispasmodic, carminative, aromatic, aperitive. The essential oil alleviates sadness and reduces stress, can also be diluted and rubbed on areas experiencing pain or cramping.
how it can help:
Mood: clams spasms of both physical and mental nature. Energizing and calming at the same time. Soothes tension, including menstrual cramps.
Digestion: adds digestive fire to the stomach and spleen. As it strengthens ‘kidney yang’ as well, it is especially indicated for individuals with sore knees and lower back as well as weak digestion.
Eyes: as an eyewash, can help resolve cataracts over time. Strengthens vision in individuals with weak or watery eyes.
Heartsease/Wild Pansy: this relative of the violet has a long history of use in cordials, syrups and candies as a sweet and gentle heart tonic. From the perspective of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Its ability to clear itchy skin eruptions suggests that it cools heart fire. Its lore includes use as a love potion, and is possibly the herb that inspired Shakespeare’s Midsummer Night’s Dream.
how it can help:
Pectoral tonic: taken internally, this herb eases tension around the heart and pericardium, and helps resolve bronchitis and congestion in the lungs. Calms a troubled heart affecting the nervous system.
Skin: taken internally or externally, this herb can soothe inflammatory skin conditions. It can be applied to eczema as a poultice.
Rosa Solis: Culpeper says that this herb is ruled by the Sun as well as the sign Cancer. It brings warmth to the areas attributed to Cancer (stomach, lungs, breast and womb). Traditionally, its medicine was prepared with whisky or wine.
how it can help:
Longevity: in the 19th century, it was commonly used to slow aging and in convalescence. A 17th century English recipe calls to macerate Rosa Soils with Licorice, Anise, Cinnamon, Clove, Nutmeg, Coriander, Dates, Figs and sugar in high-proof alcohol for a month in order to restore vitality to the heart and nervous system.
Pectoral tonic: alleviates wheezing due to watery congestion in the lungs and to prevent respiratory infections in damp, humid climates and was historically used in this way to prevent ‘consumption’ (tuberculosis infection).
For a personalized session and for more information on how to use these herbs, book an astro-herbalism appointment with Kelsey.