Substances & Homeopatic Remedies

Oxytropis Lambertii

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The Navajo offered this plant during the Night Chant (petroglyph below shows shaman wearing a Bighorn headdress for this ceremony; photo 5, pag 3). This ceremony is actually 9 days long--4 days of purification, 4 days when the terrible but benevolent ones arrive, and one day of healing. This elaborate ritual involves many different songs, sandpaintings, various herbs, and the ceremonial sweat lodge. The Night Chant is for curing insanity, blindness, warping, crippling, facial paralysis, and deafness. It is usually conducted between the first frost and the first thunderstorm. It can be so expensive to conduct that whole families have been bankrupted by sponsoring a Night Chant for a sick member. Some native people sprinkled their corn crop with an extract of this herb to keep off grasshoppers, which were considered to be disguised ghosts or familiars.  This plant thus has a history of being magickally protective. It is worth using as a protectant against spirits or negative magick, especially when experienced in the winter.

Herbology: Europeans have also utilized this plant as a homeopathic remedy that in combination with other remedies is used against anxiety . I believe this use along with its form makes purple locoweed a Mercury plant. It has no other known herbal use. Although this particular Oxytropis does not usually contain the dangerous alkaloid responsible for poisoning livestock, especially horses, addicting them and driving them mad, it should still be considered poisonous and not ingested. However, wild animals like antelopes and mountain sheep can graze on it without problems, and wild birds enjoy the seeds.