Welcome to Witches Brew
I have been meaning to get this book for quite some time now, it arrived this past Monday, and I read it from front to back in about 4 hours. Yea, it was that damn good!

For those of you who, at one time or another, have been screwed over, pushed around, stepped on and belittled in life, and found that being a "Good Witch" just wasn't cutting it, then this book will open your eyes a bit. When I was reading Dorothy's intro, I knew I had the right book, because what she says, is how I have always felt. Always.

She covers much.....You know, those topics we don't ever want to talk about for fear of the related bad karma coming your way if we even udder a bad word? LOL Dorothy is a kick-ass woman who tells it like it is, and isn't afraid to write about it. Every self respecting, powerful, take matters into your own hands, hell hath no fury, witch, should and definatly NEEDS to have this in their arsenal. Out of every book I could ever recommend, this is the one, without a doubt.

When reading it, don't get squeemish...She covers alot of taboo topics. BUT it is very humorous as well. Dorothy even goes on to tell you why she began exploring different avenues to get a problem solved using magic. I dont want to spoil it, so that's all I'm gonna say!

Happy reading!!!!!!!
The project that I had started a few months back is finally finished...thank Goddess! I can safely say I will not be doing another one of these...ever!!!!! Me, being the optimistic gal, figured I could complete this in a matter of weeks, not months....yea right. My attention for detail always puts a wrench in things I guess. Just when I am happy with it, I stand back and think, oh, i'll add this here, or that there. (sigh) My husband finally had to tell me no more, otherwise it will look to "busy".

Anyway, here it is, all 15 pounds of it. May not seem like much, but it is when you're going to hang it on a wall...hahahaha! Well I'll leave that problem to my dear hubby. hehehehe

Here is a spell that comes truly from the heart. I had used this spell when my Grandfather fell ill with pneumonia, then it progressed into everything else. As it always seems to go. His lungs kept filling up with fluid and the doctors had run a battery of tests, and tried every possible thing they could to find out why. The last resort was a special surgery we all knew he would not make it out of. Long story short, I got my things together and started.

I worked this spell long and hard. All the way until he was better and then some just to be sure. In the end, the doctors couldn't find out what was wrong, but he got better on his own, and was able to come home after a month stint in that hospital. He was thrilled and so was I. Was it my spell? I believe it helped my grandfather along, after all, belief and faith in everything you do, proves results. It worked for me, and got my gramps back home. I hope you can use this spell to help either yourself, or someone you love.

You will need:

a small piece of paper
a pencil
1 cinnamon stick
a picture of yourself or of the person you which to send healing energies to.
a cotton cloth ( I used a flour sack kitchen towel)
1 white tea light candle
eucalyptus essential oil
lighter or matches
any herbs associated with your/the person affliction,( i.e. my grandfather had lung issues, so my healing herbs of choice, mullein, plantain, red clover, rosemary)
and most importantly, your strength and healing energies!!!!!

let's begin:

Cast your circle for spell work, but it is not needed, (as sometimes we need to do healing spells immediately.)
Take the picture of you or the person you wish to send healing energy to, and wrap the picture in your peice of white cotton cloth. Like a blanket, wrapping them in soft comfort.
next take the small piece of paper and write your/the persons name on it ( in my case Grandpa Levi)
Take the cinnamon stick and wrap the piece of paper around it, more towards the back of the stick because you will burn a little bit of the end of the cinnamon stick.

Light the cinnamon stick, and let it smolder a bit. Cinnamon boosts immunity and also is a ritual incense, it also gives correct frame of mind when doing healing work, increase your concentration, clairvoyance, and is an all around magikal healing herb. Which is why i used it, in the beginning of this spell to set the tone.
Next place any of your healing herbs on the picture and under the white cotton "blanket" to assist in the healing.

Get your white tea light candle out, and before lighting it, add to the candle, a few drops of eucalyptus. (Eucalyptus is an all around healing herb. It cleanses, and purifies, not to mention helps with breathing clear!) Place the candle on the affected body part which needs healing. (my case, my grandfather had lung issues, so I placed it on his chest.
Next, with lighter in hand repeat this:

In the name of the Lord and Lady who breaths life into us all, (light the candle here) and say: I charge this candle as a magical tool for healing.

Then visualize you or the person you which to heal, being released of the pain, being released from the sickness that afflicts them or you. ( I visualized my grandfather, in his hospital bed, laying there sick, but slowly getting his energy back, laughing smiling, breathing easy, and I also pictured the sickness in his lungs pulling out of him, in a bluish haze, slowly floating away out the window into the air to be carried away from him. I took deep breathes, giving him my breath, helping him breath.

Visualize anything that will make your spell work for you!
The chant after you have a clear picture in your mind is as follows:

Magik mend, while this candle burns
Sickness will end and health return.
Wrap thee in cotton, bind thee with love.
Protection from pain, surrounds like a glove.
May the brightest of blessings, surround thee in light.
For thou art cared for, healing thoughts sent in flight.

Repeat chant 3 times.

then at the ending of the chant, end with: Harm to none, so mote it be.
Let the candle burn for 15 minutes. then blow out.
Repeat this spell for as long as you feel the need to, and then some, just to be sure.
I did this spell everyday, for a week and a half, for my grandpa.
Blessed be!
Therapeutic Benefits of Eucalyptus

Eucalyptus Benefits for the Skin
Your skin mirrors what's going on inside your body, reflecting the performance of such major organs as the kidneys and liver. Eucalyptus is amoung those herbs that detoxify and cleanse the kidneys and liver, helping these organs to function efficiently, which in turn benefits the skin. Drinking 3 cups of eucalyptus tea a day can clear up acne and minor bacterial infections. Applied topically, the tea may produce healthier looking skin.

Eucalyptus Benefits for the Gums
The tissue-constricting tannins in eucalyptus make it an effective remedy for bleeding gums. Rinse with the tea two to three time daily.
Eucalyptus Benefits for Steam Bath for Bronchitis
Bronchitis and sinus congestion can be eased by inhaling the steam from eucalyptus tea. Pour 1 quart of boiling water over 1 tablespoon of dried eucalyptus leaves., cover to seal in the volatile oil, and steep for 5 minutes. Drape a towel over your head and shoulders to form a tent over the tea. close your eyes and for 10 minutes, breathe in the steam. Use this facial steam daily until your symptoms abate. Caution: Do not leave young children unattended with the hot tea!

Eucalyptus Benefits for Compress for Inflammation
A traditional folk-medicine remedy, a eucalyptus compress is effective in treating painful joints, minor burns and sore muscles. the compress is particularly suitable for stiffness and swelling due to arthritis. Soak a clean cotton cloth in the cooled tea, wring out and apply 2 - 3 times a day for relief.

Eucalyptus Benefits for Gargle for Sore Throats
Make a cup of healing eucalyptus tea from equal parts of dried eucalyptus leaves and dried calendula flowers. The tannins in eucalyptus help reduce inflammation while calendula soothes. Let the tea cool, and then use it as a gargle 2 - 3 times a day until symptoms subside.
Eucalyptus globulus
Family: Myrtaceae

Names: blue gum, fever tree, Tasmanian blue eucalyptus, Tasmanian blue gum, Blue Gum Tree, Compact Blue Gum Eucalypt, Eucalipto, Eucalypt, Okaliptus, Stringy Bark Tree; Qahich’a waavu’it

Description: Tall, attractive tree growing to 195 feet or 115 in cooler climates. The trunk is smooth and cream colored with a covering of grayish-blue bark that peels off in narrowstrips. The narrow, leathery, sword-shaped leaves have a prominent mid-rib. They are studded with oil glands, fragrant and greenishblue color. Creamy-white flowers are borne on short flat stalks, followed by fruit that is concealed in an aromatic, camphor-scented, woody cup. It is hardy to zone 9. It is in leaf all year, in flower from July to August. The scented flowers are hermaphrodite and are pollinated by bees.

Cultivation: Prefers a sunny position in a moderately fertile well-drained moisture retentive circum-neutral soil. Succeeds in most soils, tolerating poor and dry soils, especially those low in mineral elements. Established plants are drought tolerant. Plants should not be grown in frost pockets or windy sites. Requires a sheltered position, disliking cold, dry or desiccating winds. Eucalyptus species have not adopted a deciduous habit and continue to grow until it is too cold for them to do so. This makes them more susceptible to damage from sudden cold snaps. If temperature fluctuations are more gradual, as in a woodland for example, the plants have the opportunity to stop growing and become dormant, thus making them more cold resistant. A deep mulch around the roots to prevent the soil from freezing also helps the trees to survive cold conditions.
The members of this genus are remarkably adaptable however, there can be a dramatic increase in the hardiness of subsequent generations from the seed of survivors growing in temperate zones. Trees have been planted in marshy areas where they have the ability to reduce the wetness of the land (because they transpire so much water) thus getting rid of mosquitoes that were breeding there. Eucalyptus monocultures are an environmental disaster, they are voracious, allelopathic and encourage the worst possible attitudes to land use and conservation. A very fast growing tree, new growth can be up to 2.5 metres per year. Trees are gross feeders and can severely stunt the growth of nearby plants. Trees are very amenable to coppicing. Plants are shallow-rooting and, especially in windy areas, should be planted out into their permanent positions when small to ensure that they do not suffer from wind-rock.
They strongly resent root disturbance and should be container grown before planting out into their permanent position. The flowers are rich in nectar and are a good bee crop. Seed - surface sow February/March in a sunny position in a greenhouse. Species that come from high altitudes appreciate 6 - 8 weeks cold stratification at 2°c. Pot up the seedlings into individual pots as soon as the second set of seed leaves has developed, if left longer than this they might not move well. Plant out into their permanent positions in early summer and give them some protection from the cold in their first winter. The seed can also be sown in June, the young trees being planted in their final positions in late spring of the following year. The seed has a long viability. Harvest the bark, roots, and leaves as needed.History: The “eu” and “kalypto” is of Greek origin, meaning “well” and “cover” referring to the covered stamens. The Australian Aborigines called it “Kino” and bound the leaves around serious wounds and it is still highly valued by both orthodox and herbal practitioners for its strongly germicidal, expectorant, and decongestant properties. It was introduced into Europe as an ornamental species around 1788 and was found to inhibit the growth of other plants in surrounding areas due to secreting a chemical poison into the soil.

Introduced into California in the 19th century and quickly used by desert Indians. Eucalyptus can store quantities of water in its roots, and for this reason, the tree was planted in swampy ‘fever districts’ to dry up the marshes and prevent outbreaks of malaria. Eucalyptus oil is commonly found in proprietary throat lozenges, while steam inhalations are particularly beneficial for clearing the head and chest of mucus and catarrh. Eucalyptus plantations destined for paper pulp have provoked severe criticism from environmentalists as some virgin forests have been cut down to make way for this fast-growing, water-loving species. This species is the national emblem of Tasmania.

Constituents: essential oil with cineole, pinene, limonene, cymene, phellandrene, terpinene, aromadendrene, ellagic and gallic acid, biter principle, resin, tannin

Properties: expectorant, stimulant, antibiotic, antiseptic, rubefacient, Antibacterial; Antiperiodic; Antispasmodic; Aromatic; Deodorant; Febrifuge; Hypoglycemic

Energetics: spicy, warm
Meridians/Organs affected: lungs, kidneys

Medicinal Uses: Eucalyptus leaves are a traditional Aboriginal herbal remedy. The leaves are distilled to produce eucalyptol, which is used internally to treat bronchitis, tuberculosis, and nose and throat inflammations. Vapor made by boiling the leaves, bark, or roots, or distilling them in water has been used as an inhalant for diphtheria, coughs, and respiratory ailments. Leaf poultices have been used to bring abscesses to a head. The leaves have been prepared for internal use to treat intestinal worms. A tea made from the leaves is a good treatment for coughs, colds, flu, croup, pneumonia and asthma. The essential oil found in the leaves is a powerful antiseptic and is used all over the world for relieving coughs and colds, sore throats and other infections. The essential oil is a common ingredient in many over-the-counter cold remedies. Extracts of the leaves have antibacterial activity. The antibiotic properties of the oil increase when it is old, because ozone is formed in it on exposure to air. It has a decided disinfectant action, destroying the lower forms of life. The oil can be used externally, applied to cuts, skin infections etc, it can also be inhaled for treating blocked nasal passages, it can be gargled for sore throat and can also be taken internally for a wide range of complaints.

An oleo- resin is exuded from the tree. It can also be obtained from the tree by making incisions in the trunk. This resin contains tannin and is powerfully astringent, it is used internally in the treatment of diarrhea and bladder inflammation, externally it is applied to cuts etc. The oil is one of the most powerful antiseptics. It may be combined with olive or sesame oil. As an ointment, rub it directly on the chest or back to relieve congestion in the

lungs. An emulsion is made by combining equal parts of the oil with powdered slippery elm or gum Arabic and water. After being well shaken, the mixture is taken internally in teaspoon doses for tuberculosis and other infections and inflammations of the lungs. The oil is rubbed over aching muscles or trauma sites to stimulate circulation and relieve pain and blood congestion.

Aromatherapy Uses:
Extraction: Essential oil by steam distillation from the fresh or partially dried leaves and young twigs.

Characteristics: A colorless mobile liquid (yellow on aging), with a somewhat harsh camphoraceous odor and woody-scent undertones
Blends well with: thyme, rosemary, lavender, marjoram, pine, cedarwood and lemon
Uses: Skin Care: burns, blisters, cuts herpes, insect bites, insect repellant, lice, skin infections, wounds Circulation, Muscular aches and pains, poor circulation, rheumatoid arthritis, sprains, etc.
Respiratoryasthma, bronchitis, catarrh, coughs, sinusitis, throat infections

Genito-urinary System: cystitis, leucorrhea

Immune System: Chickenpox, colds, epidemics, flu, measles

Nervous System: Debility, headaches, neuralgia

Safety: Externally non-toxic, non-irritant (in dilution), non-sensitizing. Internally as little as

3.5ml has been reported as fatal.

Toxicity: Eucalyptus oil should be used infrequently since it is difficult to eliminate through the kidneys. Contraindicated for women who are pregnant or breast-feeding as well as anyone suffering from low blood sugar. Commission E says it is also contraindicated for persons suffering from inflammatory diseases of the gastrointestinal tract, liver, and bile ducts, as well as severe liver disease.

Other Uses: The leaves and the essential oil in them are used as an insect repellent. The trees can also be planted in wet areas where mosquitoes abound. The ground will be dried out by the trees, making it unsuitable for the mosquitoes to breed. The essential oil is also in spot removers for cleaning off oil and grease. A yellow/brown dye is obtained from the young leaves. It does not require a mordant. Grey and green dyes are obtained from the young shoots. A dark green dye is obtained from the young bark. Wood - heavy, durable, fire resistant. An important timber species, it is used for construction, tool handles etc. It is also used as a source of pulp for paper.

Ritual Uses: Herb of the Moon and Pluto. Eucalyptus may be used to purify any space, whether preparing the temple or cleansing a home of unwanted energies.

Eucalyptus Tea Recipes
To make eucalyptus tea, pour 1 cup of boiled water over up to 1/2 teaspoon of the dried eucalyptus leaves, which can be found at most health-food stores. Cover and steep for 10 minutes; strain. Sweeten with honey, to taste. You can drink up to 2 - 3 cups a day.

Caution: In large doses eucalyptus can cause nausea, vomiting or diarrhea. Don't use more than 1/2 teaspoon per cup of water.

Herbal Tea Recipe for Asthma & Bronchitis

1/2 ounce dried eucalyptus leaves
1 ounce dried coltsfoot leaves
1 ounce dried thyme leaves

Use one teaspoon of this herbal mixture per cup of boiling water. Make this tea mixture to help open a tight respiratory tract and congested lungs. The herbal ingredients in this tea are known for their antispasmodic and disinfectant properties.

Herbal Tea Recipe for Acne
1 ounce dried eucalyptus leaves
1 ounce dried dandelion roots and leaves mixture
3/4 ounce dried licorice root
3/4 ounce fennel seeds

Use 1 teaspoon of this herbal mixture per cup of boiling water. You can drink this herbal tea as prescribed above, or use it as a facial wash. Either way, it is effective in healing such skin conditions as acne.

Eucalyptus Tea Recipe for Head Colds
1/2 ounce dried eucalyptus leaves
1 ounce dried peppermint leaves
1/2 ounce dried chamomile flowers

Use 1 teaspoon of this herbal mixture per cup of boiling water. Sweeten with honey to taste. These herbs are prescribed for their decongestant and expectorant effects. Eucalyptus is antiseptic, as well, and is very helpful for a head cold, sinus congestion and the flu.
These statements are not intended to diagnose, treat or cure or prevent any disease.
I really just can't say enough about Scott's books. I love each and every one that I have bought. In this book, lots of folk lore, and spells for your house hold. I love folklore, and love how some of the "sayings" from different cultures are very similar to the old wives tales past down from my grandparents and my husbands grandparents.

For example, my husband and I were discussing some of the things we grew up hearing. He told me that his grandmother told him if he seen a ghost in the house to slam the door 3 times, this way the ghost would get caught in the door and the frame and leave. Sure enough, it was in this book as well. Different saying, but the same principal.

Scott covers every aspect of the home. Plants, pets, and even the garage, anything associated with your home is in this book. Clearly written and easy to understand. He starts off the chapter with the folklore associated with that particular part of the house, i.e. "thresholds/doorways." gives a few spells in that chapter then moves onto the next. At the end of the book, and in the very last chapters, is where all the goodies lie. Spells and charms to protect your home and loved ones. A truly engaging book. A must have for every Kitchen Witch!
I thought I'd post a few herbal "self" pampering recipes. The goddesses know, we all need a little time for ourselves and a bit of pampering now and then. I know I do! Remember......whatever your doing throughout the day, sometimes, you need to take time for yourself, even if it is for just 10 minutes. I know it may not seem like alot of time, but hey......it is enough to ground yourself and just let your head and muscles relax, even for a moment.

The kids might be screaming, hubby is nagging...whatever the case may be......whatever it is, it can wait for just a minute or 2.  Good advice from my Great Grandma. As a mother, homemaker, and the like....I wholeheartedly agree. All to often we get caught up with everyone elses needs and wants, and put our most basic needs aside. Ladies...think of yourselves once in awhile, even if it is just a cup of coffee, while your green clay mask drys (tightening your face to an immobile position, which isn't a bad thing, you don't have to answer any ones questions......just shake your head and point to your face and lips.....like...... "I cant move them...sorry!" LOL)

In short, we deserve a little "me" time, even if it is brief.

Herbal Skin Wash
A very uplifting face or body wash if you like. What a way to refresh and wake you up.

1- 16 ounce bottle of liquid castile soap
5 drops each of the following essential oils:
tea tree
green myrtle
german chamomile
 1 tsp. Jojoba oil

Add the essential oils and tsp of jojoba oil to the bottle of liquid castile soap. Shake really well before each use. It will keep for up to a year.

Elder Flower Toner
1 C. distilled water

1Tbs. elder flowers

1 Tbs vegetable Glycerin

5 drops Lavender essential oil

In a saucepan, bring your water to a boil, then remove it from the heat. Add the elder flowers, cover it, and steep them for @ 45 minutes or so. Strain them out, and add this liquid to a container. Add your glycerin and essential oil. Shake to blend  and before each use. Stores in fridge for @ a week and a half.

Wicked Witch of the West Clay Mask
1 Tbs. French Green Clay

Pure Aloe Vera Juice

2 drops of chamomile essential oil

In a bowl, use a whisk to combine the clay with enough of the aloe juice to make a spreadable paste, then mix in your essential oil.

Spread onto your face and let it dry for @ 30 minutes. That may be a bit to long, but I like my face to Crack when I try to move my lips, as I know then, that it is completely dry!  So grab a cup of coffee and relaxxxxxxxx!!!!!!

Light moisturizer for all skin types
1/2 C. distilled water

2 tsp. vegetable glycerin

5 drops, geranium, grapefruit, lemon, or rosemary essential oils

Add all ingredients to a container, and shake well before and during use. Apply with cotton ball all over face. Great for after the clay mask! It will keep for quite a while.
I don't knw what it is about soups and stews, for me it's just comfort food. Nothing like a warm steaming bowl of a hearty soup or stew...yummalicious! This is a recipe from my great grandma debbie. This was passed down to me by my mother. I hope you enjoy it, as it is great!!!!!!

Great Grandma Debbie's Hungarian Goulash

2 Tbs. oil

2 Lbs. Beef Stew Meat

1 C. sliced onions

1 - 1Lb Can tomatoes

¾ C. diced green peppers

1 - 6 oz. can tomato paste

¼ C. dry red wine

1 bay leaf

2 tsp. paprika

1 tsp salt

¼ tsp. pepper

1/8 tsp. dry marjoram

1/8 tsp. dry thyme

1 Tbs. corn starch

2 Tbs. water

Cooked Noodles

Heat oil in dutch oven, add beef and brown well on all sides. Add onion, saute untill tender. Add tomatoes, peppers, tomato paste, wine, bay leaf, marjoram, & thyme. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer 2 hrs. or until the meat is fork tender. Mix corn starch and water, stir into hot mixture. Bring to a boil and cook for 2 minutes. Serve over cooked noodles.
Herbal Protection Charm

This herbal protection charm is perfect to keep with you in your car. It provides protection for you while you are on the road--not just from physical damage to your automobile, but also protection against any of those mishaps that occur on the highway.

You will need:

1 six inch square of white or gold cloth

Red embroidery thread


1 tsp. basil

1 tsp. burdock

1 tsp. clover

1 tsp frankincense

1 piece of Dragon's Blood Resin

1 tiger's eye (gemstone) chip

1 sprig of rowan or ash

Embroider the algiz rune on the outside of the cloth. If you can't embroider, you can use red fabric paint. When done (or when its dry), lay the cloth out with the algiz rune touching the table. Raise energy and charge the herbs for protection. Place them in the center of the cloth. Add the Dragon's Blood Resin and the tiger's eye. Catch the corners of the cloth together and bind with red thread. Bind the sprig of rowan to the charm and keep with you in your car for protection on the road.

Family Healing Spell

Prepare an envelope from a square of paper. On the paper write the word " Health ".

Then write the name of the person you are directing the healing towards.

Enclose a pinch of the following herbs into the envelope:

Burdock, Galangal, Horehound, Elder, Lavender, Lemon Balm, Mandrake root, Rose, Rue, Sassafras, and Yellowdock.

Chant the following:
" I charge these herbs to aid my spell, that _________ will be well.
That by free will that can be blessed, with total health and happiness.
I ask the Goddess to hear my call, that it may be correct and good for all. "
Light the envelope on fire with the altar candle. Focus on the smoke towards those in need.
Place the envelope into the cauldron so that it can burn completely and say:
" I call upon a breath of wind, empowered by the Spirit of Air,
To carry my spell toward my kin and gracefully deliver it there.
By all the powers of three times three, this spell bound around shall be.
To cause no harm, nor return on me.
As I do will, So mote it be!
Nature has some incredible things to teach us.  And these lessons can be in plain view but we miss them.  One such example is the herbs plant  burdock.
Known in the herbal world for its culinary and medical qualities, burdock has earned itself a name forever in history.  In fact it was part of the space mission. And all because a man took his dog out hunting.
One day in the early 1940’s a man called George de Mestral took his dog out on a hunting trip.  On their return both he and the dog had burdock seeds attached to his clothing and the dog’s fur.   De Mestral was a Swiss inventor and he became curious as to how these seeds stuck to both him and the dog.

When he looked at the seeds through a microscope, he saw that the seeds were covered in tiny hooks which would latch on to anything that looked like a loop.  Thus the hooks caught on to fur and hair and certain clothing of passers by and thus were spread over long distances. No wonder this herbs plant was so prolific.

De Mestral was intrigued by this hook and loop system and decided that it could be manufactured and applied to man-made materials as a means of joining things together. All he had to do was work out how to make the hooks and then the loops.   To begin with he received no encouragement whatsoever. Eventually a weaver in Lyons agreed to help him and made two cotton strips which worked in principle.  However the cotton did not last very long.  De Mestral decided to investigate synthetic fibers.  Nylon then was a brand new, state of the art material, and after some research, de Mestral discovered that if sewn under a hot infrared light, ideal nylon hooks resulted.

The loops were also made from nylon.  The process he developed consisted of heat-treating the loops which made them tough and resilient -necessary for repeated opening and closing the fastening.  However the fastener did not work well until after a long time of disappointment he finally found that if the loops were cut, the fastener worked perfectly.

From beginning to end, creating the fastener and then working out a satisfactory manufacturing process took 10 years.  In 1951, de Mestral submitted his idea to the patent office in Switzerland.  The patent was granted in 1955.  The name of the invention was Velcro, coined from the two French words, “velours” which means velvet and “crochet” which means hook.

The  ‘zipperless zipper’

Velcro was patented in many countries around the world.    A journalist in America  nicknamed it the “zipperless zipper” and said it was even more sensational than the invention of the zipper 25 years previously.

Fame did not follow immediately.  The early Velcro was certainly not attractive to the fashion industry.  Velcro’s acceptance began with NASA saw the benefits it could provide in helping spacemen to get in and out of their bulky spacesuits.   In the weightless environment of a spaceship, spacemen could store food pouches on the wall, and even stand upright with the aid of Velcro.  It was the publicity that NASA received that made people assume that Velcro was a NASA creation.    Then scientists began to think “outside the box”.

NASA uses Velcro in space shuttles in many different ways to combat the difficulties of being in a weightless environment.   It is a great way to anchor objects such as helping to keeping a meal tray steady in one place.  Apparently it has also been used as a nose scratcher inside an astronauts’ helmet! Once that concept of Velcro was accepted, other possible uses began to appear.  Skiers came next, again because Velcro made it easier to get into and out of their skiing gear.  This was followed by scuba divers and it became part of marine gear.

At last the benefits of Velcro fasteners began to be realized in more and more ways. It is fascinating to think that only a few years before people did not think that Velcro had any really useful advantages. How wrong they were.  Today many other uses for Velcro have been found. It is ideal for sticking badges on to uniforms.  The shoe industry uses Velcro fastenings.  The are numerous uses in the industry of children’s clothing, including Velcro fasteners on disposable diapers.  It has proved invaluable to people with certain disabilities.  It fastens bags and backpacks.  It is used in the upholstery industry for loose covers.  The auto industry uses it to secure mats.  It stops carpets from slipping.  It closes pockets securely.    It is used in medicine for orthopedic  braces.  People are inventing new uses for Velcro every day.

One of the amazing features of Velcro is its strength.  Given certain specifications as to how well the hooks are embedded and how much surface area is in contact with the hooks, a two inch square can support an 175 pounds (79kg) person.

One other fascinating fact about Velcro is that although it can stick a man to a wall, it is also very easy to pull the two pieces of Velcro apart.  How does that happen?  This is because when we undo Velcro we are doing it a little at a time.  However, if Velcro is applied to a rigid surface so it cannot be peeled apart, the bond is extremely strong and if the article is vibrating the bond even stronger.

As more and more uses are found for this amazing adaptation of nature.its worthwhile to ponder on the fact that this marvelous concept was there to discover from ancient times.   We just need to be able to see life in a different light and think “outside the box”.  When George de Mestral and his dog returned from an outing,  both with burdock burs on them, de Mestral was fascinated and wanted to know how that could happen.

Our story is not quite done.   There is now a science which is becoming more and more important as we look for better ways to run our planet.  It is called bio mimicry and it means imitating life. One of the things these scientists do is to look at natural processes and work out how they can be copied for our use.  That is exactly what George de Mestral did.

And that is the origin of his quote, “If any of your employees ask for a two-week holiday to go hunting, say yes.”

However the real hero of the story is not de Mestral, it is the humble burdock herb which has been trying to  show mankind a better way to fasten things for centuries.  Incredible!

 Courtesy of http://www.startaherbgarden.com

Fun Folklore:In the Middle Ages, knights often rode into battle with a sprig of burdock, which was said to protect and promote healing, particularly of the feet. A charm of burdock root, gathered under a waning moon and strung around the neck, will ward away evil influences.

I hope you've enjoyed the fun Facts & Folklore about Burdock, Stayed tuned for spells with Burdock!