Herbology has become one the most preferred paths of the occult. I say herbology because magickal practitioners not only study the homeopathic aspects of herbs, but also the magickal aspects. And while I know that this page is an incomplete representation of herbology, it is as comprehensive as I could make it, and I included both medical and magickal
charts and dictionaries. I would like to thank
Botanical.com for filling in blanks left by authors. I tried to keep the spirit of the original document, but I have edited and added information for cohension and easier readablity. I also added links
for easier navigation on the page, because it rather a lot of information.
ADVICE TO THE
BEGINING HERBALISM STUDENT
Sun Feb 25 1990
Before I take this any further, and before I begin my posts on herbs and their applications, I want to make it clear that my training in this is yet incomplete. Much of what I am going to cover is taken from notes from the many teachers I have had, some very useful reference books and experience. I will pass on what I have, in hope that those who have more may add to the knowledge, present their own experiences and generally SHARE our most important community commodity - INFORMATION. The idea is to expand ourselves, thru free exchange of this information and by doing so help the entire Pagan community survive in the long run. Please feel free to distribute the information I post here in this and other message areas and in files to as
many people as might be interested!
Herbalism, like midwifery skills, is one of the oldest parts of teaching within the craft, but is also one where we have lost a huge amount of information and where science has yet to catch up. Every pagan culture has utilized the herbalism of its particular region, and I have found no one source or teacher who could possibly know about every herb that grows on the Earth. Yet today we have the opportunity to perhaps achieve this within a lifespan or two, using the electonic communications at our fingertips. Science is now slowly begining to learn the improtance of the natural herbs in healing, but they will take centuries to figure it all out
because of the way they go about things, unless nudged.
The first step in herbalism is to gather the tools you will need, and that is the main point of this first message. I have found the following useful and in many cases
vital to learn and practice the use of herbs.
1) A Good mortar and Pestile, one of stone or metal is prefered. If wood is used you will need two, one for inedibles and one for edibles - make sure they do not look identical,
as you do not want to accidentally poison anyone!!!
2) Containers. Although you can buy dried herbs over the counter in many places these days, do not store them in the plastic bags they come in, as these are usually neither reuseable nor perfectly airtight. Rubbermaid style plastic containers are good, but expensive. I have used glass coffee and spice jars/bottles to good effect, as well as some medicine bottles. The more you recycle the better ecologically, just make sure they have been thoroughly washed and dried before placing
anything inside them.
3) Labels. This is vital! None of us in this day and age can possibly recognize each herb in its various forms simply by sight. Always label your containers as you fill them, and if possible date them when
they were filled so you don't keep spoiled stock on the shelf.
4) Tea Ball. A good metal teaball of the single cup size can be very useful in the longrun when your are experimenting, and when you are making single person
doses of teas and tonics.
5) CheeseCloth : Useful for straining a
partially liquid mixture and occasionnally for the making of sachets.
6) A Good sized teakettle. Preferably one that will hold at least a quart of
7) A Good teapot for simmering mixtures. I use one from a chinese
import store that has done me well.
8) A good cutting board and a SHARP
cutting knife for just herbal work.
9) A notebook of some sort to record the information in as you go, both successes and failures. Always record anything new you try that may or may not work, and also and research
information you get from various sources (like this echo!)
11) White linen-style bandages. Some ace bandages are also
useful in the long run.
12) A metal brazier of some sort, or a metal container that can withstand heavy useage and heat from within or without,
useful for several things including the making of your own incenses.
13) Reference sources. Shortly you should see a list of books that I have read from in the past that I consider useful, build from this as a starting point to
others and to your teachers help.
Thats it to start, you'll pick the rest up as you go. Take your time studying, take lots of notes, compare your sources and your own personal results on each herb and on herbal mixtures of
Herbal magic is one of the easiest, safest and most joyous methods of reestablishing earth-roots, of returning to a healthy and natural life. It
touches the essence of life itself with simple rituals and few props.
The magic is in the herbs -- and in you. Herbal magic is a cooperation between plant and man, between earth and heaven, between microcosm and macrocosm -- a union of energies forged to produce change by methods which outsiders view as
That these ways are far more natural, far older than the computerizedb religions and prefabricated societal values of today?s world may escape many, but that is the way of magic. It is not for
There are no vows to swear, no groups to join, and no demons to worship. And, though there are a few simple rules to follow which ensure
best results, the magic can be as simple or as complex as you wish.
Witches classify " baneful" herbs as those which produce death. Most herbalist list them as
poison, and warn others not to use them.
But the Witches once used them in their magical arts. many of the fears that surround these plants directly relate to their magical powers. They are not to be played with precisely
because they are so powerful.
No one should let a child play with a razor-sharp knife. Similarly, none but the most experienced and knowledgeable Witches should use these herbs. They are not innocuous "highs" or instruments of escape from reality. They represent the dark side of Mother Nature, the realm of sleep and coma and death, and anyone not sufficiently
prepared and tutored who uses them will be subject to Her greatest wrath.
I assure you that I am not over-dramatizing. Death stalks those who use such methods. The Witch, after years of experience and training, can be fairly sure
of herself and her ritualistic use of baneful herbs. Others cannot.
This information is included because of its historical value, and a book on magical herbalism would not be complete without a look at the "darker" side of the art. No recommendation for these uses are made. Even the most harmless
of them can cause sever effects in some individuals.
BELLADONNA (Atropa belladonna)
Once used to induce astral projection and visions, Belladonna is one of the herbs nearly everybody associates with Witchcraft and magic. One of the most grisly uses the Witches made of it was to deaden pain during the "Burning Times." The crowds that pressed up against condemned Witches as they were being led to the pyre or scaffold nearly always contained a few other Witches. One of these would try to slip a bit of this herb to the Witch. She then swallowed it and the herb helped her drowse her way to the other world. The old Witches called it "Dwale" or "banewort", and it was a common ingredient in flying ointments. Witches also used it to deaden the pain of childbirth. It was always picked on
May Eve and it is sacred to Hecate.
DATURA (Datura stramonium)
The priestesses in ancient Greece used this herb for divinatory practises, as did early Witches. It is thought to have been introduced into Europe in the 15th or 16th century, but was in use in the Americas for centuries prior to that time. Southwestern American Indian lore is filled with references to Jimsonweed, as it is also known. They used it much like the old Witches did, for causing visions and to counteract spells and hexes. The plant is so virulently poisonous that the touch of some species is enough to cause
FLY AGARIC (Amanita muscaria)
The Magic Mushroom has been used in secret rituals all over the world, and the Witches were no exception. This fungus was brewed into a tea and drunk directly before admission rituals to the Craft. It was also drunk to aid clairvoyance. Some
Witches kept a fly agaric on their altars.
HELLEBORE (Helleborus niger)
Both the black and green varieties of hellebore were used in incense to cause frenzy. Witches didn't use such incenses but mischievous sorcerers and magicians or herbalists who decided to pay back a few of the priests for their continual harassment, might introduce a bit of this herb into the censers during the Church ceremonies and stand outside, waiting for the congregation to turn violent and unruly. This was a typical magical joke or
several centuries ago.
Hellebore was also used in the flying ointments, those made to induce astral projection. The root of black hellebore, when powdered and scattered on the ground, was thought to make one invisible. It was also used in exorcism and countermagic incenses, and the fresh herb was pressed against the forehead to stop a headache. Greecian Witches faced East and cursed
while cutting it.
HEMLOCK (Conium maculatum)
Once used in spells to destroy sexual drives and in suicide drinks (i.e.Socrates), hemlock is still virulently poisonous and is dedicated to Hecate. It was used in flying
HEMP (Cannibis sativa)
Hemp, the old Witches name
marijuana, shows up in a lot of old rituals, spells and recipes, usually of the "love" or "divination" type. One old instruction called for the Witch to burn hemp and mugwort while gazing into a crystal ball. No doubt such recipes would have been effective, for marijuana has long been celebrated as a relaxant that allows the mind to slip away from everyday tensions and enter a kind of limbo between normal waking consciousness and sleep. This is very near the state many Witches need to attain prior to achieving clairvoyance.
Hemp also figures into many lovespells. It was once administered in love potions, because it had theability to relax the
defenses, and make a person more susceptible toanother's suggestions.
HENBANE (Hyoscyamus niger)
This herb was used to call up evilentities, and to induce clairvoyance. It was also used oncountermagic
spells, and to attract the love of a woman.
MEDICINAL: The gel of the inner part of an aloe leaf is used to treat burns, skin rashes, and insect bites, as well as chafed nipples from breastfeeding, when applied to the affected area
Internally it can be used to keep the bowels functioning
smoothly, or when there is an impaction.
it can cause intestinal cramping when taken internally, and
there are other herbs that do this job better.
It aids in healing wounds by drawing out infection, and preventing infection from starting. The fresh gel is best to use, rather than "stabilized" gels found in the stores. The fresh
gel was used by Cleopatra to keep her skin soft and young.
MAGICKAL: Growing an aloe vera plant in the kitchen will help prevent burns and mishaps while cooking. It will also prevent household accidents, and guard against
GROWING: Best grown indoors in pots. Those living in the deep South, as in southern Texas or southern Florida, can grow aloe outdoors. Remember that Aloe i s a succulent, not a cactus, so it needs water to keep the
leaves fleshy and juicy.
Amaranth (Amaranthus hypochondriacus)
MEDICINAL: Amaranth is used to battle stomach flu, diarrhea, and gastoenteritis. It was used by Native Americans to stop menstruation and for contraception. Applied externally, it can reduce tissue swelling from sprains
and tick bites. Not to be used by pregnant or lactating women.
MAGICKAL: Amaranth is used to repair a broken heart. It is also associated with immortality, and is used to decorate images of gods and goddesses. It is sacred to the god Artemis. Woven into a wreath, it is said to render the wearer
invisible. Also used in pagan burial ceremonies.
MEDICINAL: Angelica is a good herbal tea to take for colic, gas, indigestion, hepatitis, and heartburn. It is useful to add in remedies for afflictions of the respiratory
Angelica should not be
used by pregnant women or diabetics.
MAGICKAL: Grow it in your garden as a protection for garden and home. The root is often used as a protective amulet, and has been used to banish evil by burning the leaves. It is also used to lengthen life, and is used in protection against diseases. Adding it to a
ritual bath will break spells and hexes.
GROWING: Angelica needs rich, moist garden soil in partial shade. It prefers wet bottomlands and swamps. Prefers the cooler northern regions to grow best. It is a perennial that can
reach up to 6 feet tall.
Anise (Pimpinella anisum)
MEDICINAL: Good herb for colic, gas, and indigestion. It can also be used in herbal remedies for coughing, as it aids in loosening phlegm. It is the mildest
of the herbs used for these purposes.
MAGICKAL: Anise mixed with bay leaves provides an excellent bath additive prior to ritual. Using anise in potpourri around the house wards off evil, and anise in your sleeping pillow at night will chase away the nightmares. The essential oil is used in ritual baths prior to any divination attempts. It is believed that hanging an anise seed
head on your bedpost will restore lost youth.
GROWING: Anise likes warm, sunny areas with well-drained, rich sandy soils. It is suitable for all areas of North America. It is an annual, and grows 1-2 feet high. It needs 120 days
to produce fully ripened seed heads.
Apple (Pyrus malus)
MEDICINAL: Apples are used to treat constipation. The pectin in fresh apples can help to lower cholesterol levels, an aid in treating heart disease. Crushed
apple leaves can be rubbed on a fresh wound to prevent infection.
MAGICKAL: Apple blossoms are used in love and healing incenses. An apple should be given to a lover as a present - you should eat one half, the lover the other. It is given as an offering on Samhain to the dead, since it is a symbol of immortality. Apple wood is used to make magickal wands. Pouring apple cider
on the ground in your garden before you plant gives the earth life.
GROWING: Apple trees grow over most of North America. They need a cool winter period, making them unsuitable for low desert or tropical regions. Check with your local nursery for varieties best suited to your area and growing
Astragalus (Astragalus spp.)
MEDICINAL: Astragalus strengthens metabolism and digestion, raises metabolism, and is used in the healing of wounds and injuries. It is often cooked with broths, rice, or beans for a boost too healing energies during those illnesses that prevent one
from eating normally.
MEDICINAL: Basil is used to treat stomach cramps, vomiting, fevers, colds, flu, headaches, whooping cough, and menstrual pains. It is also used to reduce stomach acid, making it a valuable part of any treatment for ulcers, and a valuable addition to any recipe using tomatoes for those with sensitive stomachs. Externally, it can be used for insect bites, to draw out the poisons. It has been used in other countries to eliminate worms from the intestines, and the oil from basil leaves is applied directly to the
skin to treat acne.
MAGICKAL: Basil protects from evil and negativity, and aids in attracting and keeping love. It is used for purification baths, and in wealth and prosperity rituals. Carrying a basil leaf in your pocket brings wealth, and if powdered basil is sprinked over your mate while they sleep, it
is supposed to eliminate infidelity from your marriage.
GROWING: Basil will grow in any well-drained, fairly rich soil, and full sun. It can be grown throughout most of North America. It is an annual, which reaches 2-3 feet tall.
Pinch off the tips to promote bushiness and flower buds to maintain growth.
MEDICINAL: Bayberry, taken in small doses, increases the vitality of your total body systems, improving circulation. It can also be used as a poultice over varicose veins to strengthen the blood vessels. A douche made of the tea is used for vaginal infections. Tea made of Bayberry is a good gargle for sore
throat and tonsillitis.
MAGICKAL: The oil of Bayberry will bring
prosperity and luck.
Bay Laurel (Laurus nobilis)
MAGICKAL: The leaves are burned to enhance psychic powers and to produce visions. Worn in an amulet, it will provide protection from evil and negativity. The leaves are used as decorations during the Yule season, and placed in your windo it will protect against lightning striking your house. Write a wish on a bay leaf and then burn it if you want the wish to come true. Sprinkling the crushed leaves in your cupboards will keep out cockroaches and
other insect pests.
Bistort (Polygonurn bistorta)
MEDICINAL: Bistort root, when ground and mixed with echinacea, myrrh, and goldenseal, is a great dressing for cuts and other wounds. It is also a powerful astringent, used by mixing a teaspoon in a cup of boiled water, and drunk several times a day, as a treatment for diarrhea and dysentery. The same mixture can be used as a gargle for sore throats. Bistort is good to drive outinfectious disease, and is effective for all internal and external
MAGICKAL: An amulet fashioned of the root of Bistort is
carried when one wishes to conceive.
GROWING: Bistort prefers damp soils, such as in cultivated fields. It is native to Europe, but has been grown in Nova Scotia and as far south as Massachusetts. It is a perennial that reaches up to 30 inches tall. Sprinkle an infusion of bistort around your home to keep out unwanted visitors of the mischievous variety, such as poltergeists, sprites,
Black Cohosh (Cimicifuga racemosa)
MEDICINAL: Black Cohosh is useful in all conditions dealing with arthritis. It improves blood circulation, and is used in treating delayed and painful menstruation, and is often used in conjunction with other herbs in treating menopause symptoms. IT SHOULD NOT BE USED DURING PREGNANCY. BLACK COHOSH CAN BE POISONOUS IN LARGE DOSES. It contains a chemical much like estrogen, so those advised by
their doctor's not to take the Pill shoud avoid using this herb.
MAGICKAL: Black Cohosh leaves laid around a room is said to drive away bugs,
and to drive away negativity.
GROWING: Black Cohosh grows in open woody areas. It needs good soil and partial to mostly shade to do well. It has been grown as far south as Georgia, and as far west as Missouri. It is a perennial
which reaches 3 - 8 feet tall.
MEDICINAL: Blessed Thistle is used to strengthen the heart, and is useful in all remedies for lung, kidney, and liver problems. It is also used as a brain food for stimulating the memory. It is
used in remedies for menopause and for menstrual cramping.
Blessed Thistle should never be taken alone,
nor should it be used during pregnancy.
GROWING: Blessed Thistle is generally found along roadsides and in wastelands. It is an annual, and reaches to 2 feet tall. Most folks consider this a pesky weed, so cultivation is not
common. Try gathering some for yourself from the wild.
MEDICINAL: Blue Cohosh is used to regulate the menstrual flow. It is also used for suppressed menstruation. Native Americans used this herb during childbirth to ease the pain and difficulty that accompany birthing, as well as to induce labor. This herb should not be taken during pregnancy, and should be taken in very small amounts
in conjunction with other herbs, such as Black Cohosh.
GROWING: Blue Cohosh grows best in deep, loamy, moist woodlands. The berry of this plant is poisonous, and the plant itself can irritate the skin. The root is the part used in herbal medicine. It has a range from southern Canada, as far south as the Carolinas, and as far west as Missouri. This herb is best purchased from
the stores, rather than cultivated.
Burdock (Arctium lappa)
MEDICINAL: Burdock Root is used to treat skin diseases, boils, fevers, inflammations, hepatitis, swollen glands, some cancers, and fluid retention. It is an excellent blood purifier. A tea made of the leaves of Burdock is also
used for indigestion.
MAGICKAL: Used to ward off all sorts of negativity, making it invaluable for protective amulets and sachets. Add to potpourri in
MEDICINAL: Caraway aids digestion, can help promote menses, can increase a mother's milk, and is good to add to cough remedies
as an expectorant.
MAGICKAL: Carry Caraway in an amulet for protection. Carrying caraway seeds promotes the memory. It can also guard against theft. It
is said to promote lust when baked into breads, cookies, or cakes.
GROWING: Caraway can be found in meadows, woods, and rocky areas. It prefers a rich soil. Native to Europe, Asia, and Africa, it also grows wild here in North
America. It is a biennial that reaches 1 1/2 - 2 feet high.
MEDICINAL: Catnip is effective alone or in herbal remedies for colds, flu, fevers, upset stomach, and insomnia. Particularly good
for children with upset stomachs in a very mild infusion.
MAGICKAL: Use the large leaves, well dried, to mark pages in magickal books. Use in conjunction with rose petals in love sachets. It will also create a psychic bond between you and your cat. Grow near your home to attract luck and good
GROWING: Catnip will grow in most soils, and tends to enjoy a bit of the dry spells once it is established. It grows throughout North America,
and is a perennial reaching to 3 feet high.
MEDICINAL: Cayenne, also called capsicum, is very effective added to liniments for all sorts of arthritis and muscle aches. It benefits the heart and circulation when taken alone or added to other remedies. It is also used to stimulate the action of other herbs. It will stop bleeding both externally and internally, making it excellent for use with ulcers. It is used in antibiotic combinations, for menstrual cramps, and as a part of treatment for depression. Can be used to relieve colds and coughs, and is a local stimulant. Mrs. Grieve recommends it in cases of alcohol addiction, as it
reduces the dilated blood vessels.
MAGICKAL: Cayenne pepper scattered around your house will break bad spells. Adding it to love powders will ensure
that your love will be spicy, and can inflame the loved one with passion.
GROWING: Cayenne pepper plants like a good, rich soil, plenty of water, and full sun. The peppers are dried after ripening. For herbal use, the peppers are usually ground into a powder and mixed with other powdered herbs in
Cedar (Thuja occidentalis)
MAGICKAL: Cedar chips used in rituals or burnt attracts money, and is also used in purification and healing. It is a symbol of power and longevity. Hung in the home it will
protect against lightning. Juniper can be used in place of cedar.
Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis)
MEDICINAL: Use the tea for nerves and menstrual cramps. The tea is also useful for babies and small children with colds and stomach troubles. Also used to calm the body for inducing sleep in insomniac conditions. It is also a good wash for sore eyes
and open sores.
MAGICKAL: Chamomile is used in prosperity charms to attract money. Added to incense, it will produce a relaxed state for better meditation. Burned alone it will induce sleep. Added to a ritual bath, it will attract love. Sprinkle it around your property to remove curses and bad
GROWING: Chamomile is an annual that adapts to most soils, likes
lots of water and full sun. It grows up to 20 inches tall.
Cinnamon (Cinnamomum zeylanicum)
MEDICINAL: Add cinnamon to remedies for acute symptoms, as this herb is a stimulant to other herbs and the body, enabling herbal remedies to work faster. It is also a blood purifier, an
infection preventer, and a digestive aid.
Do not ingest cinnamon oil.
MAGICKAL: Burned in incense, cinnamon will promote high spirituality. It is also used to stimulate the passions of the male. It should also be burned in incenses used for healing.
The essential oil is used for protection.
MEDICINAL: Red Clover is used as a nerve tonic and as a sedative for exhaustion. It is used to strengthen those children with weak systems, and is used with children for coughs, bronchitis, wheezing, as it is mild to their systems. It is often used in combination with many other drugs in
the treatment of cancer. It is also used for skin eruptions (acne).
MAGICKAL: Clover brings luck, prosperity, and health. Carrying a three-leaf clover gives you protection. Worn over the right breast it will bring you
success in all undertakings.
GROWING: Grow clover as you would lawn grasses. Clover is an excellent cover crop, planted in fallow areas and turned
under in the fall, it makes an excellent fertilizer for poor soils.
MEDICINAL: Clove oil will stop a toothache when it is applied directly to the cavity. It is very warm and stimulating to the system, and is very useful with people who have cold extremities. Cloves will promote sweating with fevers, colds, and flu. It is often used in remedies for whooping cough. Cloves are
also safe and effective for relieving vomiting during pregnancy.
MAGICKAL: Cloves worn in an amulet will drive away negativity and hostility, and stop gossip. It is often carried to stimulate the memory, and can be added to attraction sachets. Clove oil is also worn as an aphrodisiac, and the buds when eaten are said to stir up bodily lusts. It is placed in sachets with mint and rose to chase away melancholy and to help one sleep soundly. Carried, it
can also bring comfort to the bereaved and mourning.
MEDICINAL: A poultice of comfrey heals wounds, burns, sores, and bruises. It is a powerful remedy for coughs, ulcers,
healing broken bones and sprains, and is used in treating asthma.
Large amounts or dosages can cause liver damage, but there are no problems with using it externally. Used internally, it is
best and safest to use a tea, rather than capsules.
MAGICKAL: Carrying comfrey during travel will ensure your safety. Put some in your luggage to
prevent it being lost or stolen. It will also bring luck to the carrier.
GROWING: Comfrey prefers well-drained soils and partial shade. It grows from Canada to Georgia, as far west as Missouri, in the wild. It is a perennial that grows to 3 feet high. It can be started form seed, but you wil be more successful with cuttings. Once established, it will spread vigorously. Harvest
leaves when the flowers bud, and roots in the autumn after the first frost.
Cornflower (Centaurea Cyanus)
MEDICINAL: Juices from the
stems of this plant are used externally to treat wounds and cuts.
MAGICKAL: Cornflower is used to promote and enhance phsychic sight, as well as
GROWING: Cornflower is adaptable to many soils and
conditions. It is an annual that grows 1 - 2 feet tall.
MEDICINAL: Damiana is used to regulate the female cycles. It is also used to stimulate the sexual appetite. It is good for urinary problems and
nervousness, as well as hypertension.
MAGICKAL: Damiana is used in
infusions to incite lust, and is burned to produce visions.
MEDICINAL: Dandelion benefits all aspects of the liver. It clears obstructions and detoxifies poisons. It will also promote healthy circulation. The juice froma broken stem can be applied to warts and allowed to dry; used for 3 days or so it will dry up the warts. It is also used to treat
premenstrual syndrome, as it is a diuretic.
MAGICKAL: It is a sign of rain when the down from a ripened dandelion head falls without wind helping it to do so. To blow the seeds off a ripened head is to carry your thoughts to a
loved one, near or far.
GROWING: Dandelion is a common yard, garden, and roadside weed. Do not gather where chemicals have been used, and don't
gather those near roadsides, as they have been contaminated from exhausts.
Dill (Peucedanum graveolens)
MEDICINAL: Dill is used to
treat colic, gas, and indigestion.
MAGICKAL: Dill is used in love and protection sachets. The dried seed heads hung in the home, over doorways, and above cradles provides protection. Add dill to your bath to make you
irresistible to your lover.
GROWING: Dill grows in most regions of North America. It needs sun and a well-drained soil, and frequent waterings. It is a hardy annual, biennial in the deep southern regions, that reaches 2 - 3 feet tall. Dill matures quickly, and self-sows for the following year. Plant in six
week intervals for a season-long supply of fresh dill.
MEDICINAL: The resin of Dragon's Blood is used externally as a wash to promote healing and stop bleeding. Internally it is used for chest pains, post-partum bleeding,
internal traumas, and menstrual irregularities.
MAGICKAL: Added to love incenses and sachets, it increases the potency of other herbs used. A piece of the plant is often used under the mattress as a cure for impotency. It is also used in spells to bring back a loved one. A pinch added to other herbs for
magickal purposes will increase their potency.
Echinacea (Echinacea angustifolia)
MEDICINAL: Echinacea, also known as Purple Coneflower, is a natural antibiotic. It increases the production of white blood cells, and improves the lymph glands. The tea from this herb should be used in all infections, and has been used in treating skin
cancers and other cancers.
MAGICKAL: Echinacea is used as an offering to
the spirits or gods and goddesses to strengthen a spell or ritual.
GROWING: Echinacea likes the prairies and other open, dry places. It adapts to most soils, in full sun, except wet ones. It grows over most of North America. It is a perennial, and reaches to about 2 feet tall. The root is used ground,
and the leaves are used for teas.
Elder (Sambucus nigra)
MEDICINAL: Elder flowers mixed with mint and yarrow blossoms are excellent internal cleansers when fighting flu and colds. A tea of the elder flowers and sassafras is a remedy for acne. Elder flower oil is a remedy for chapped
Should not be used
internally by pregnant or lactating women.
The bark is a strong purgative which may be employed with advantage, an infusion of 1 OZ. in a pint of water being taken in wineglassful doses; in large doses it is an emetic. Its use as a purgative dates back to Hippocrates. It has been much employed as a diuretic, an aqueous solution having been found very useful in cardiac and renal dropsies. It has also been successfully employed in epilepsy. An emollient ointment is made of the green inner bark, and a homoeopathic tincture made from the fresh inner bark of the young branches, in diluted form, relieves asthmatic symptoms and spurious croup of children - dose, 4 or 5 drops in
Elder leaves are used in the preparation of an ointment, Unguentum Sambuci Viride, Green Elder Ointment, which is a domestic remedy for bruises, sprains, chilblains, for use as an emollient, and for applying to wounds.The juice of Elder leaves is stated by the old herbalists to be good for inflammation of the eyes, and 'snuffed up the nostrils,' The flowers were used by our forefathers in bronchial and pulmonary affections, and in
scarlet fever, measles and other eruptive diseases.
MAGICKAL: The branches of the sacred elder are used to make magickal wands for ritual. Scattering the leaves in the four winds will bring protection. Elderberry wine, made from the berries, is used in rituals. In Denmark, it is believed to be unlucky to have furniture made of elder wood. Grown near your home, elder will offer protection to the dwellers. It is used at weddings to bring good luck to the newlyweds. Flutes made from the branches are used to bring forth
GROWING: Elder is a tree or shrub, growing to 30 feet tall. It prefers moist areas throughout North America. The leaves, bark, and roots of the American varieties generally contain poisonous alkaloids and should not be
MEDICINAL: Elecampane is used for intestinal worms, water retention, and to lessen tooth decay and firm the gums. It gives relief to respiratory ailments. It is usually used in combination with other herbs. Externally it is used as a wash for wounds and itching rashes. It is burned to
MAGICKAL: Add this herb to love charms and amulets of all kinds. Used with mistletoe and vervain, it is especially powerful. Use when
scrying for better results.
GROWING: Elecampane enjoys roadsides and damp fields and pastures. Plant it in full sun in a damp, but not soggy, location. It is a perennial that grows 3 - 6 feet tall. The root is most
Eucalyptus (Eucalyptus globulus)
MEDICINAL: Eucalyptus oil is a powerful antiseptic, and is used to treat pyorrhea (gum disease), and is used on burns to prevent infections. The oil breathed in will help clear the sinuses, as will the steam from boiling the leaves. When mixed with water or vegetable oils, it makes a good insect
repellant. A small drop on the tongue eases nausea.
MAGICKAL: Healing energies come from the leaves. A branch or wreath over the bed of a sick person will help spread the healing energies. The oil is added to healing baths, and
GROWING: Eucalyptus reigns among the tallest trees in the world, capable of reaching heights of over 250 feet tall. It thrives only in areas where the average temperature remains above 60 degrees, and is
adaptable to several soil conditions.
Evening Primrose (Cenothera
MEDICINAL: Evening Primrose oil stimulates to help with liver and spleen conditions. In Europe, it has been used to treat Multiple Sclerosis. It lowers blood pressure, and eases the pain of angina by opening up the blood vessels. It has been found to help slow the production of cholesterol, and has been found to lower cholesterol levels. Used with Dong Quai and Vitex, it is a valuable part of an herbal remedy for treating the symptoms of
pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) and menstrual cramping.
GROWING: The American variety is found throughout North America. It enjoys dry soils and full sun. It is a biennial, and grows 3 - 6 feet tall. The seed oil is the most commonly used portion of the plant. Some nurseries sell evening primrose, but they are actually a small, showy hybrid of the perennial Missouri Primrose, and
does not have the same medicinal uses.
MEDICINAL: Eyebright stimulates the liver to remove toxins from the body. It has been used internally and externally to treat eye infections and afflictions, such as pink-eye. The herb
strengthens the eye, and helps to repair damage.
MAGICKAL: Eyebright is used to make a simple tea to rub on the eyelids to induce and enhance
GROWING: Eyebright is adaptable to many soil types in full sun. It is a small annual, growing 2 - 8 inches high. It attaches itself by underground suckers to the roots of neighboring grass plants and takes its nutrients from them. To be cultivated, it must be given nurse plants
on whose roots it can feed.
Root (Chamaelirium luteum)
MEDICINAL: False Unicorn is very soothing for a delicate stomach. It also stimulates the reproductive organs in women and men. This herb is very important for use during menopause, due to its
positive effects on uterine disorders, headaches, and depression.
Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)
MEDICINAL: Fennel helps to take away the appetite. It is often used as a sedative for small children. It improves digestion, and is very helpful with coughs. It is also used for cancer patients
after radiation and chemotherapy treatments.
MAGICKAL: Use for scenting soaps and perfumes to ward off negativity and evil. Grow near the home for the
GROWING: Fennel prefers dry, sunny areas. It is a
perennial that can reach 4 - 6 feet tall.
MEDICINAL: Fenugreek is used to soften and expel mucous. It has antiseptic properties and will kill infections in the lungs. Used with lemon and honey, it will help reduce a fever and will soothe and nourish the body during illness. It has been used to relax the uterus, and
for this reason should not be taken by pregnant women.
MAGICKAL: Adding a few fenugreek seeds to the mop water used to clean your household floors will
bring money into the household.
GROWING: Fenugreek likes dry, moderately fertile soil in a sunny location. It is an annual, and grows to 1 - 3 feet
Feverfew (Chrysanthemum Parthenium)
MEDICINAL: Feverfew is used to treat colds, fevers, flu, and digestive problems. It is
often used to end migraines and other headaches.
MAGICKAL: Feverfew is carried for protection against illnesses involving fever, as well as for
GROWING: Feverfew bears a resemblance to chamomile. It prefers dry places, will tolerate poor soil, and is a hardy
biennial or perennial, growing to 2 1/2 feet. It prefers full sun.
Frankincense (Boswellia Thurifera)
MEDICINAL: Frankincense relieves menstrual pains, and treats rheumatic aches and pains. Externally it is used
for liniments and for its antiseptic properties.
MAGICKAL: Frankincense is burned to raise vibrations, purify, and exorcise. It will aid meditations and visions. The essential oil is used to anoint magickal tools, altars,
Garlic (Allium sativum)
MEDICINAL: Garlic is a powerful natural antibiotic. It can stimulate cell growth and activity. It reduces blood pressure in hypertensive conditions. A main advantage to using garlic for its antibiotic properties is that it does not destroy the body's natural flora. It is excellent for use in all colds and infections of the body. When ingesting the raw cloves, a sprig of parsley
chewed immediately after will freshen the breath.
MAGICKAL: Peeled garlic cloves placed in each room is said to ward off disease. It is hung in new homes to dispel negativity and evil, and (don't laugh!) to ward off vampires. It is a strong protective herb. Place a clove under the pillow of
sleeping children to protect them.
GROWING: Garlic is a perennial herb that likes moderate soil and lots of sun and warmth. The plant grows to 2 feet tall. The bulb is the most common used portion, although the greens are often
used in salads.
MEDICINAL: Ginger is an excellent herb to use for strengthening and healing the respiratory system, as well as for fighting off colds and flu. It removes congestion, soothes sore throats, and relieves headaches and body aches. Combined with other herbs, it enhances their effectiveness. It is also
very effective in combatting motion sickness.
MAGICKAL: Ginger is used in passion spells, to "heat up" the relationship. It is used in success spells,
and to ensure the success of spells.
GROWING: Ginger grows through most of North America. It reaches to 6 inches high, and is a perennial. The dried
ground root is the part used for healing.
MEDICINAL: Ginseng stimulates the body to overcome all forms of illness, physical and mental. It is used to lower blood pressure, increase endurance, aid in relieving depression, and is a sexual stimulant. The dried root is used for healing purposes. It has been used throughout ancient times to the present day for use in conjunction with most herbs in treating all
sorts of illnesses, including cancers, digestive troubles, and memory.
MAGICKAL: Ginseng is carried to guard your health and to attract love. It will
also ensure sexual potency. Ginseng can be a substitute for mandrake.
GROWING: Ginseng can be very difficult to grow. Germination of disinfected seeds (to kill mold, which plagues ginseng at all stages of growth) can take up to a year or more. Plant in early autumn in raised beds of very humus-rich soil. Plants must be shaded at all times. Roots are not harvested until the plants are at least 6 years old. Take care during harvesting and drying not to
break off any of the "arms" of the root. Dry for one month before use.
Goldenseal (Hydrastis Canadensis)
MEDICINAL: Goldenseal is another natural, powerful antibiotic. It should not be used by pregnant women. The herb goes straight to the bloodstream and eliminates infection in the body. It enables the liver to recover. When taken in combination with other herbs, it
will boost the properties for the accompanying herbs.
MAGICKAL: Goldenseal is used in prosperity spells, as well as healing spells and
GROWING: Goldenseal prefers rich soils in partial shade. It is a perennial herb that grows 6 - 18 inches high. The dried ground root is the part most often used, although the dried leaves are used in teas. It is difficult to grow successfully, and the plants need to be at least 6 years old
MEDICINAL: Gotu Kola is and excellent mental stimulant. It is often used after mental breakdowns, and used regularly, can prevent nervous breakdown, as it is a brain cell stimulant. It relieves mental fatigue
and senility, and aids thebody in defending itself against toxins.
MAGICKAL: Gotu Kola is used in meditation incenses.
"Cramp Bark" (Viburnum opulus)
MEDICINAL: Cramp Bark is one of the best female regulators in the herb world. It is a uterine sedative, aiding in menstrual cramps and afterbirth. It helps to prevent miscarriage, as well as
MEDICINAL: Hawthorn is effective for curing insomnia. Hawthorn is used to prevent miscarriage and for treating nervousness. Hawthorn has been used for centuries in treating heart disease, as regular use strengthens the heart muscles, and to prevent arteriosclerosis, angina, and
poor heart action.
MAGICKAL: The leaves are used to make protection sachets. They are also carried to ensure good fishing. In Europe, Hawthorn was used to repel witchcraft spells. Bringing branches of it into the home is supposed to portend death. It is incorporated into spells and rituals for
fertility. It will protect the home from damaging storms.
GROWING: Hawthorn is a deciduous tree or shrub, that can reach 40 feet tall. It grows throughout North America. It is tolerant of most soils, but prefers alkaline, rich, moist loam. Consult a nursery for the best species to use in your area.
The fruit is the part used in healing.
Hazel (Corylus fargesii)
MAGICKAL: Hazel's forked branches are used for divining, and the wood makes wonderful wands. Hazel nuts hung in the house will bring luck,
and can be carried to cause fertility. Eaten, the nuts bring wisdom.
GROWING: Hazelnut trees do best when planted in a well-drained, fertile,
slightly acid soil. They do best where the winter temps are above -10.
MEDICINAL: A tea made of heather blossoms is used to suppress coughing, and as an aid for
MAGICKAL: Heather is carried as a guard against rape and violent crime. In potpourri, it adds protection. When burned with fern, it will
GROWING: Heather prefers rocky or sandy soils and full sun.
It is an evergreen shrub that grows 1 -2 feet tall.
MEDICINAL: Henbane stops pain, and lessens perspiration. Henbane is very toxic, so it should not be used by pregnant women or the weak or children, and should be used in only extremely small amounts for external use only, and not on a regular basis. A poultice of leaves is used
briefly to remove pain from wounds.
MAGICKAL: Henbane is sometimes thrown into the water to bring rain. In olden times, it had many more uses, but
is seldom used today due to its poisonous nature.
GROWING: Henbane grows wild throughout temperate North America. Due to its toxic nature, it is not
advisable to grow in the home garden.
Holly (Ilex aquifolium)
MAGICKAL: Holly is used as a protective plant, and used as decoration during the Yule season. Planted outside the home, it will also afford
protection. Sprinkle holly water on newborn babies to protect them.
GROWING: Holly likes slightly acid soils, and can tolerate poor, sandy soil. It
needs full sun, and grows to about 4 feet tall.
MEDICINAL: Hops is a sedative. Therefore, it is useful in treating insomnia and nervous tension. It is mild and safe. It is used in brewing beer and ales. Hops is also used for treating coughs, bladder ailments, and liver ailments. Externally it is used to treat itching
skin rashes and hives. It also removes poisons from the body.
MAGICKAL: Hops is used in healing incenses. Sleep pillows often include hops to induce
sleep and pleasant dreams.
GROWING: Hops prefers full sun, and will adapt to many soils. It is a perennial vine that reaches to 30 feet in length.
The portion of the plant used in healing are the dried flowers.
Horehound (Marrubium vulgare, Ballota nigra)
MEDICINAL: Horehound is used in children's cough remedies, as it is a gentle but effective expectorant. It acts as a tonic for the respiratory system and stomach. In
large doses it acts as a laxative.
MAGICKAL: Horehound is used in
incenses for protection. It is also used in exorcisms.
GROWING: Horehound likes dry sandy soils and full sun. It is a perennial (except in very cold climates) that reaches to 3 feet tall. It is a vigorous grower and can become a pest if not carefully controlled. It needs little water, tolerates
poor soils, and does best in full sun. It blooms during its second year.
MEDICINAL: Horsetail is used in treating urinary tract infections. It aids in coagulation and decreases bleeding. It will also help broken bones heal faster, and will help brittle nails and hair, due to its high silica content. It has also been used as part of a treatment
for rheumatoid arthritis. Do not use if pregnant or nursing.
Whistles made form the stalks of Horsetail are used to call the spirits.
GROWING: Horsetail needs swamps and damp places to grow, in full sun to partial
shade. It grows to 1 - 2 feet tall. The plant itself is used in healing.
MEDICINAL: Hyssop is used in treating lung ailments. The leaves have been applied to wounds to aid in healing. The tea is also used to soothe sore throats. It has been used to inhibit the growth of the herpes simplex virus. In tea form, used as an expectorant for colds and catarrh. Said to expel intestinal worms. The fresh leaves, or a decoction of them, can be applied to
wounds to cure infection and promote healing.
MAGICKAL: Hyssop is used in purification baths and rituals, and used to cleanse persons and objects. Elements of Jupiter and Fire. Use in purification baths and protection spells. Was a common strewing herb during the Middle Ages, and used in the consecration of Westminster Abbey. Associated with serpents and dragons, and can be burnt as
incense or thrown on the fire to tap into dragon energy.
GROWING: Hyssop prefers dry conditions, tolerates most soils, and full sun. It is a member of
the mint family. It is a perennial shrubby plant growing to 3 feet tall.
Iceland Moss (Cetraria islandica)
MEDICINAL: Iceland Moss, a lichen, has been used for centuries to treat all kinds of chest ailments. It is used to nourish the weak, elderly, and weakly
GROWING: Iceland Moss grows in cold, humid mountain areas and
wooded areas. It grows to 4 inches tall.
Ivy (Hedera Helix)
MAGICKAL: Ivy is grown to grow up the ouside of the home to act as a
guardian and protector. It is worn by brides to bring luck to the marriage.
GROWING: Ivy has many different varieties, and most will adapt to many
different soil and growing conditions. It grows throughout North America.
MAGICKAL: Jasmine is used in love sachets and incenses. It is used to attract spiritual love. A drop of the essential oil in almond oil, massaged into the skin, is said to overcome frigidity. Carrying, burning, or wearng the flowers attracts wealth and money. If burned in the bedroom, Jasmine
will bring prophetic dreams.
GROWING: Jasmine is best grown indoors in pots. It is an evergreen vine. It likes bright light, but no direct sun, some
support such as a trellis, lots of water, and occasional fertilizing.
Jojoba (Simmondsia chinensis)
MEDICINAL: Jojoba oil from the seed has been used to promote hair growth and relieve skin problems for centuries. It is effective in treating dandruff, psoriasis, dry and chapped
Juniper Berries (Juniperus communis)
MEDICINAL: Juniper has been used to clear uric acid from the body. It is high in natural insulin, and has the ability to heal the pancreas where there has been no permanent damage. It is useful for all urinary infections and for water retention problems. Juniper is used externally as a compress to treat acne,
athlete's foot, and dandruff.
MAGICKAL: Juniper is used to protect from accidents and theft. Grown at your doorstep, it will offer you protection.
It is used in incenses for protection.
GROWING: Junipers of all species are adaptable to many growing conditions. They are low-maintenance plants. Choose a species suited to your landscape needs, to avoid problems later, as some folks plant them with no regard for their eventual size, and sometime find they have a nuisance on their hands as the plant matures. If you want berries,
you must plant a male and a female juniper.
MEDICINAL: Kelp is used to strengthen and promote the glands. It controls the thyroid and regulates metabloism. It is a sustainer to the nervous system and the brain, and is a terrific boost for pregancy and the developing child. It contains over
30 minerals and vitamins.
GROWING: Best found in stores, as this is a
seaweed that grows in the ocean.
MEDICINAL: Lavendar tea made from the blossoms is used as an antidepressant. It is used in combination with other herbs for a remedy for depression and nervous tensions. It is also used as a headache
MAGICKAL: Lavendar is used in purification baths and rituals. It is used in healing incenses and sachets. Carrying the herb will enable the carrier to see ghosts. The essential oil will heighten sexual desire in men. Lavendar water sprinkled on the head is helpful in keeping your chastity. The flowers are burned to induce sleep, and scattered throughout the home to maintain peaceful harmony within. Thrown onto fires and Midsummer as tribute to the Gods and to bring visions and inspiration. Add to healing baths and sachets, carry to attract men. The scent will induce sleep. Excellent for bringing clarity and coherence to magickal workings and for focusing visualization. When the oil of it is applied immediately to a superficial burn that the redness and
pain is significantly reduced.
GROWING: Lavendar likes light sandy soil and full sun. It grows to 18 inches. It should be mulched in colder climates
for winter protection for this perennial.
MEDICINAL: Licorice Root is a great source of the female hormone estrogen. It is used for coughs and chest ailments. It is an important herb to use when recovering from an illness, as it supplies needed energy to
MAGICKAL: Licorice root was buried in tombs and caskets to help the soul pass easily into the Summerland. Chewing on a piece of the root will make you passionate. It is added to love sachets, and an ingredient in
spells to ensure fidelity.
GROWING: Licorice is a perennial that reaches 3 to 7 feet tall. Hard freezes will kill it, so it grows best in warm sunny
MEDICINAL: Lovage root eases bloating and flatulence. It is also used
with other herbs to counteract colds and flu.
MAGICKAL: Lovage is added to baths to clean the psychic portion of the mind. Added to baths with rose
petals will make you attractive to the opposite sex.
GROWING: Lovage is a perennial that grows 3 - 7 feet tall. It is adaptable to many conditions, and
does best in full sun.
MEDICINAL: Mandrake is a very strong gland stimulant. It is used to treat skin problems, digestion, and chronic liver diseases. It is most often combined with other herbs. It is very powerful and should be used with caution, as well as in very small small dosages. Pregnant women should not
use this herb.
It is potentially very toxic if improperly used. Do not use this herb without the proper guidance
from a professional!
MAGICKAL: Mandrake is used in the home as a powerful protection. It is carried to promote conception, and men carry it to
promote fertility and cure impotency.
MEDICINAL: Marigold is a great first aid remedy. It relieves headaches, earaches, and reduces fevers. It is excellent for the heart and for the circulation. It is also used externally to heal wounds and
MAGICKAL: Fresh marigolds in any room heightens the energy within. Placed under the pillow before bed, it induces clairvoyancy. Planted in rows with tomatoes, it will keep pests from them and other vegetables. Planted near the porch/deck, it will keep mosquitoes away. It is also used to attract and see the fairies. Scattered under the bed, they protect during sleep. Add to
bathwater to win the respect of everyone you meet.
GROWING: Marigold is an annual plant that comes in many sizes and colors. It is adaptable to many
soils. Give plenty of water and full sun.
MEDICINAL: Marjoram is useful for treating asthma, coughs, and is used to strengthen the stomach and intestines,
as well as used with other herbs for headaches.
MAGICKAL: Marjoram should be added to all love charms and sachets. A bit in each room will aid in protection of the home. If given to a grieving or depressed person, it will
bring them happiness.
GROWING: Marjoram is a perennial herb growing 1 - 3 feet tall. It likes all kinds of soils, and prefers full sun and rich soil.
It is grown as an annual or wintered indoors in cold regions.
Marsh Mallow (Althaea officinalis)
MEDICINAL: Marsh mallow aids in the expectoration of difficult mucous and phlegm. It helps to relax and soothe the bronchial tubes, making it valuable for all lung ailments. It is an anti-irritant and anti-inflammatory for joints and the digestive system. It is often used externally with cayenne to treat blood poisoning, burns, and
GROWING: Marsh mallow needs marshes and swamps to grow. It is
a perennial growing to 4 feet tall.
Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris)
MEDICINAL: Mugwort is used in all conditions dealing with the nervousness, shaking, and insomnia. It is used to help induce menses, especially combined with cramp bark. It should not be used by pregant women.
Fresh juice form the plant is used to treat poison ivy.
MAGICKAL: Add to divination incenses. It is carried to prevent poisoning and stroke. Fresh leaves rubbed on magickal tools will increase their powers. An infusion made of mugwort is used to cleanse crystals and scrying mirrors. Placed beneath your
pillow, it will promote astral travel and good dreams.
GROWING: Mugwort likes dry areas in full sun. It is a perennial shrubby plant that grows 1 - 6
feet tall, depending upon growing conditions.
MEDICINAL: Mullein is a terrific narcotic herb that is not addictive or poisonous. It is used as a pain killer and to bring on sleep. It loosens mucous, making it useful for treating lung ailments. It strengthens the
MAGICKAL: Mullein is worn to give the carrier courage. The leaves are also carried to prevent animal attacks and accidents when in the wilderness. In a sleeping pillow it will guard against nightmares. Use as a
substitution in old spells for "grave dust".
GROWING: Mullein is adaptable to many soils. It prefers full sun. It is a biennial plant growing to
8 feet tall. It is a prolific self-sower.
MEDICINAL: Myrtle is used to treat
bronchitis, bruises, bad breath, wounds, colds, sinusitis, and coughs.
MAGICKAL: Myrtle is burned as an incense to bring beauty, to honor Diana and to Venus, and is a symbol of glory and happy love. Myrtle tea will make you look beautiful to your loved one. A distillation of the leaves and flowers combined will make a wonderful beauty wash for the face, and is known as "angel water". It is used in spells to keep love alive and exciting. Grow on each side of the
house to preserve and protect the love within.
GROWING: Myrtle is an evergreen plant that prefers warm climates. It has small pointed leaves, and grows to about 12 feet high. Its blossoms are small, white, and in clusters.
The leaves are gathered and dried for use in August.
MEDICINAL: Myrrh is a powerful antiseptic, being a remedy second only to echinacea. It is a strong cleaning and healing agent, soothing the body and speeding the healing process. It is often used with goldenseal. It is most often used in mouthwashes, gargles, and toothpastes
for fighting and preventing gum disease.
MAGICKAL: Myrrh is burned to purify and protect. It is used to consecrate and purify ritual tools and objects needing to be blessed. It is a standard magickal herb to be included in
the tools of everyone.
MEDICINAL: The plant is used for high blood pressure, gout, PMS, rheumatism, and ending diarrhea, scurvy, liver and prostate problems.
Externally it is used as a compress to treat neuralgia and arthritis.
MAGICKAL: Sprinkle nettle around the room to protect it. It is also burned during ceremonies for exorcism. Stuffed in a poppet and sent back to the sender of a curse or bad spell, it will end the negativity. Nettles gathered before
sunrise and fed to cattle is said to drive evil spirits from them.
GROWING: As nettle is considered a bothersome weed, it is best to purchase this herb from a store. The spines on a nettle plant can cause painful stinging, so
it is not a good idea to include it in your herbal garden.
MEDICINAL: A small amount of nutmeg, about the size of a pea, can be taken once daily over a long period (6 months to a year) to relieve chronic nervous problems, as well as heart problems stemming from poor circulation. Added to milk, and baked fruits and
desserts, it aids in digestion, and relieves nausea.
Large doses can be poisonous, and may cause
miscarriage for pregnant women.
MAGICKAL: Carried, nutmeg will help with clairvoyancy, and ward off rheumatism. It is included in properity mixtures.
Nutmegs are carried as good luck charms.
Oak (Quercus robur)
MEDICINAL: Oak bark is used to treat diarrhea, dysentery, and bleeding. For external use the bark and/or leaves are boiled and then applied to bruises, swollen tissues, wounds that are bleeding, and
MAGICKAL: The oak is the most sacred of all the trees. The most powerful mistletoe grows in oaks. The leaves are burned for purification, and the branches make powerful wands. The acorn is a fertility nut. It is carried to promote conception, ease sexual problems, and increase sexual attractiveness. The leaves and bark are used in binding spells. Planting an acorn in the darkof the Moon will bring you money. Oak wood carreid will protect from harm, and hung in the home it will protect the home and all
Oats (Avena sativa)
MEDICINAL: Oats are a traditional food for those recovering from an illness. It also supplies necessary fiber in the diet. Oats made into packs and pastes clear up many skin
disorders, such as acne.
MAGICKAL: Oats are used in prosperity and money
spells, and in rituals to the harvest.
GROWING: Oats are an annual grass that grows up to 4 feet tall. Easiest to purchase from a health food store, as much is needed to be beneficial, and takes up more room than the average gardener has available. It does make a pretty ornamental grass in the garden
and around foundations.
MEDICINAL: Onion is used externally as an antiseptic. Internal, it
can alleviate gas pains, reduce hypertension, and reduce cholesterol.
MAGICKAL: Has been used as a charm against evil spirits. Halved or quartered onions placed in the home absorb negativity. An onion under your pillow will give you prophetic dreams. Magickal swords and knives are purified by rubbing
them with an onion half.
GROWING: Onion is a perennial herb that grows from a bulb. It prefers rich garden soils and plenty of water. The greens above ground can be used alone, and the bulb harvested by pulling from the ground, and allowing the tops to dry before storing in a dry location, with
temperatures between 35 and 50 degrees.
Orange (Citrus aurantium)
MAGICKAL: The dried peel is added to love charms. The fresh or dried orangeflowers added to the bath makes you attractive. The fruit itself hinders or banishes lust. Orange juice is used in rituals in place of wine. The dried peel is added to love and fertility charms and used in Solar incenses. A
traditional Chinese symbol of good luck and prosperity.
GROWING: Oranges prefer a rich, sandy soil, and warm year-round temperatures. For most of us,
that means growing them indoors as house plants.
MEDICINAL: Oregano is used to promote perspiration as a treatment for colds, flu, and fevers. A tea of oregano is often used to bring on menses and relieve associated menstrual discomfort. It is also used in baths
and inhalations to clear lungs and bronchial passages.
MAGICKAL: Oregano is used to help forget and let go of a former loved one, such as a former spouse, boyfriend, girlfriend, etc. Burn in incenses or drink the infusion to
aid in spells for letting go.
GROWING: Oregano is a perennial that prefers well-drained, slightly alkaline soil and full sun. It is propogated by seed, root division, or cuttings. Harvest just as the plant is about to bloom
for medicinal use.
MEDICINAL: Patchouli is used to
treat dysentery, diarrhea, colds without fevers, vomiting, and nausea.
MAGICKAL: Patchouli is a powerful oil worn to attract the opposite sex. It is a sensual oil, and it can ward off negativity and evil. It is also burned in
incenses to aid divination and clairvoyance.
MEDICINAL: Pennyroyal removes gas from the digestive system. It is also used as a tea, taken a few days before menstruation to aid a suppressed flow. It's strong minty smell makes its essential oil useful for externally repelling insects such as mosquitoes, fleas, and flies. It should
not be taken by pregnant women.
Large internal doses have been known to cause convulsions and coma.
MAGICKAL: Pennyroyal placed in a shoe will prevent weariness on long walks and hikes, or journeys. It is also added to protection and exorcism incenses. It aids in making favorable business deals. It is given to arguing couples to
cease their fighting and restore harmony in the relationship.
GROWING: Pennyroyal is a perennial that grows to 1 1/2 feet high. It tolerates most soils, and prefers direct sun. Grow as you would any member of the mint
Peony (Paeonia spp.)
MEDICINAL: Peony root treats menstrual cramps and irregularities. It is also used in combination with
other herbs to ease emotional nervous conditions.
MAGICKAL: Dried Peony roots are carved and/or made into bracelets and necklaces for protection, as well as for breaking spells and curses. Peonies planted outside the home guard against storm damage and demons. A chain of beads cut from the dried root was
worn as a protection against illness and injury, and to cure insanity.
GROWING: Peonies are a perennial shrub-like plant, growing 2 - 4 feet high.
They prefer rich, humousy, well-drained soils, and full sun.
MEDICINAL: Peppermint cleans and strengthens the body. It acts as a sedative on the stomach and strengthens the bowels. It is also mild enough to give to children as needed
for chills and colds.
MAGICKAL: Peppermint is used in charms to heal the sick, as well as in incenses in the sickroom of the patient. It is burned to cleanse the home, and is used in sleep pillows to aid in getting to sleep. Placed beneath the pillow, it can bring dreams that give a glimpse into the future. The essential oil is used in spells to create a positive change in
GROWING: Peppermint is a perennial grown in full sun, is
tolerant of most soil types, and grows to 3 feet tall.
MEDICINAL: Periwinkle is used made into a tea or salve for external use to treat skin problems such as dermatitis, eczema, and
MAGICKAL: Periwinkle can help restore memory when it is gazed at or carried. It is also hung on a door to protect all within, and to prevent a
witch from entering a home.
GROWING: Periwinkle is a perennial plant that spreads by putting out runners, mostly used for a ground cover in partial
to full shade. It prefers moist, well-drained soils.
MEDICINAL: Plantain is used to clear mucous from the body, and to neutralize poisons. As a mild tea it is used to treat lung problems in children, and as a stronger tea is used to treat stomach ulcers. It
is also used for diarrhea, bladder infections, and for treating wounds.
MAGICKAL: Plantain is hung in the car to guard against evil spirits.
GROWING: Plantains are common weeds, some varieties being annual and some
perennial. They are found in all soil types, and prefer full sun.
Poppy is used for pain, insomnia, nervousness, and chronic coughs.
MAGICKAL: Poppy seed pods are used in prosperity charms. The seeds are added to food to aid in getting pregnant. To find the answer to a question, write it in blue ink on a piece of white paper. Place the paper inside a poppy seed pod and
put it beneath your pillow. The answer will come to you in a dream.
GROWING: Poppies are perennials that like poor to average soils that tend toward dryness. There are varieties that will grow most anywhere in North America. Their foliage tends to die off by July, after a spectacular showing of flowers in the spring, but the foliage begins rejuvenation around September,
which waits until spring to begin growing again.
Queen Anne's Lace (Daucus carota)
MEDICINAL: Queen Anne's Lace is used for treating gallstones and kidney stones, as well as
water retention and strains and sprains.
GROWING: Queen Anne's Lace is found throughout most of North America. It is a wildflower, distinguished by the one red flower in the center of a cluster of many tiny white flowers. It is
a biennial that grows to 3 feet tall.
Raspberry (Rubus idaeus)
MEDICINAL: Red Raspberry is one of the most proven female herbs. It strengthens the uterine wall during pregnancy, reduces the pain of childbirth, and helps to reduce false labor pains. After childbirth it is used to decrease uterine swelling and cut down on post-partum bleeding. It is used to ease menstrual cramps and to regulate the flow during menstruation. It is also good for vomiting in small children, and dysentery and
diarrhea in infants.
MAGICKAL: Raspberry is served as a love-inducing food. The brambles are hung at the entrance to the home to prevent unwanted
spirits from entering.
GROWING: Red Raspberry is a biennial or perennial, depending on the variety, growing 3 - 6 feet tall. They need a cold winter and a long cool spring, so they do not do well in the South. They aren't too
picky about soil, so long as they get plenty of water.
MEDICINAL: Rose hips are very nourishing to the skin, as well as containing vitamin C. It is used as a blood purifier,
and for treatment of infections, colds, and flus.
MAGICKAL: Rose water is used in gourmet dishes and in love potions. Petals are used in healing incense and sachets, and burned to provide a restful night's sleep. The essential oil is used in ritual baths to provide peace, love, and harmony within the self. The hips are strung like beads and worn to attract love. Rose petals sprinkled around the home will calm personal stress and upheavals in the home. Carry roses to attract true love. Drink a tea of rose petals for divinatory dreams. Add to charms and incenses for sleep, love and healing. To dream of roses is fortunate, foretelling success in love, unless the roses are white. Drink the tea to promote beauty without and within, and mix the petals
with regular tea to attract love.
GROWING: Roses of all varieties are adaptable to most soils as long as they have adequate water, and are occasionally fed through the growing season. There are varieties that will grow throughout North America. Plant them where you can enjoy their beauty and
Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)
MEDICINAL: Rosemary is a stimulant of the circulatory system. It is used to treat bites and stings externally. Internally it is used to treat migraines, bad breath, and to stimulate the sexual organs. It is also used to treat nervous disorders, and is used to regulate the menstrual cycle and to ease cramps. Mix the crushed leaves generously into potato dishes at your next
picnic to prevent food poisoning.
MAGICKAL: Rosemary in all of its forms is used for protection and banishment. Rosemary leaves under your pillow do away with evil spirits and bad dreams. It is hung on porches and doors to keep
thieves out. Rosemary is grown to attract elves.
GROWING: Rosemary is a perennial that prefers mild climates, so it needs to be grown indoors where the winters are harsh, or very heavily mulched. It reaches 2-4 feet in height, and is tolerable of poor soils. Cut back after flowering to keep it from becoming
Rue (Ruta graveolens)
MEDICINAL: Rue is used in small amounts to expel poisons from the system, such as those from snake bites, scorpion, spider, or jellyfish bites. It should not be taken with meals, and it should never be used by pregnant women. Juices from the fresh plant can cause the skin to blister. It is used internally and externally as a remedy for
MAGICKAL: The herb is used in sachets and amulets to ward off illness. The smell of the fresh, crushed herb will chase away thoughts or envy, egotism, and love gone wrong. Rue leaves placed on the forehead will chase away headacahes. Added to baths, rue drives away spells and hexes placed
on you. Rue is said to grow best if it is stolen.
GROWING: Rue is a bushy perennial growing to 2-3 feet tall. It is found in in average to poor
soils throughout North America, and prefers full sun.
MEDICINAL: Saffron is used as a preventative for heart disease, as it prevents the build-up of cholesterol. It is also used to soothe the membranes of the stomach and colon. It is not to be taken in large doses, nor should it
be taken by pregnant women.
MAGICKAL: Saffron is used to clean the hands before rituals. It is used in healing mixtures. The essential oil is used to
induce clairvoayancy. Thrown into the air, it can bring the winds.
GROWING: Saffron grows from a bulb commonly known as a corm. It is a perennial. Plant in the fall, 3 inches deep in light, well-drained soil where it will receive plenty of sun. The three-pronged stigmas that remain after flowering is
the part to harvest for healing use.
Sage (Salvia officinalis)
MEDICINAL: Sage is used to relieve excess mucous buildup. It is beneficial to the mind by easing mental exhaustion and by strengthening the concentrating abilities. In a lotion or salve, it is useful for treating sores and skin eruptions, and for stopping bleeding in all cuts. Chewing the fresh leaves soothes mouth sores and sore throats, as will sage tea. It is good for all stomach troubles, diarrhea, gas, flu and colds. As a hair rinse, it removes dandruff. Sage combined with peppermint, rosemary, and wood betony provides an excellent headache remedy. It is used to regulate the menstrual cycle, to
decrease milk flow in lactating women, and is used as a deodorant.
MAGICKAL: Sage is used in healing amulets, incenses, and sachets, and is also used in the same manner for bringing prosperity. Sage burned at the altar or in sacred space consecrates the area. Burned in the home, it removes impurities and banishes evil, as well as providing protection. Used in healing and prosperity charms. Regarded as a great safeguard of health, and has a reputation for promoting longevity. Is supposed to grow best in the gardens of
GROWING: Sage is an evergreen perennial, growing to 2 feet
tall. It does best in sandy, limey soil in full sun.
MEDICINAL: St. Johnswort is useful for bronchitis, internal bleeding, healing wounds, and for dirty, septic wounds. It is used to ease depression, headaches, hysteria, neuralgia, as well as symptoms that occur during menopause. It is useful in swellings, abcesses, and bad insect stings. Studies are showing that it may be effective in combatting AIDS by increasing the immune functions of the body. DO NOT GO INTO THE SUN if using this herb, as it causes blistering sunburns, especially in fair-skinned
MAGICKAL: St. Johnswort is hung around the neck to prevent fevers. Wearing the herb aids you in war and other battles, including those of the will and indecision. Burnt it will banish evil and negativity. Hung in the home or carried, it will prevent spells of others from entering, and it is used in exorcisms. If you pick the plant on the night of St. John and hang it on
your bedroom wall, you will dream of your future husband.
GROWING: St. Johnswort is a perennial reaching 32 inches tall. It is grown throughout much of North America. It prefers rich to moderately rich soils, and full sun. It is not long-lived, so replant every few years. Harvest the leaves and flower tops
as they bloom and store in air-tight containers.
MEDICINAL: Sandalwood oil is used to cool the body during fevers and heat stroke. It is also used to aid in the
passing of kidney and gall stones, and for infections in the urinary tract.
MAGICKAL: Sandalwood oil is massaged on the forehead and between the eyes to help center and calm the mind. It is used in healing oils and sachets. It is burned as a purifiying agent in every room of the home, and as a protective
Scullcap (Scutellaria galericulata)
MEDICINAL: Scullcap is a food for the nerves. It supports and strengthens as well as giving immediate relief from all chronic and acute diseases that affect the nerves. It is used to regulate sexual desires, and is very useful in remedies for feminine cramps and menstrual troubles. It reduces fevers and aids in easing insomnia and restlessness. It is also used to lessen the affects of
MAGICKAL: Scullcap is used in spells that bring about peace,
tranquility, and relaxation.
GROWING: Scullcap prefers moist well-drained soils. It is a perennial that reaches to 3 feet in full to partial
shade. It is not long-lived, so replant every few years.
Solomon's Seal (Polygonatum multiflorum)
MEDICINAL: Solomon' s Seal is used to treat tuberculosis, diabetes, and wasting diseases. It is
also used as a kidney tonic, and as a healer of broken bones.
MAGICKAL: It is added to protection sachets and incenses. It is also used for exorcisms
and cleansing mixtures.
GROWING: Solomon's Seal is a perennial herb that grows from 1 - 3 feet high. It prefers moist woods, thickets, and
roadsides. It prefers full to partial sun.
MEDICINAL: Slippery Elm is used to neutralize stomach acids. It is used to boost the adrenal glands, draws out impurities and heals all parts of the body. It is most useful for the respiratory system. Externally it is an excellent healer for burns, skin
cancers, poison ivy, and wounds.
MAGICKAL: Slippery elm is burned to
GROWING: The inner bark of the slippery elm is the portion used for healing. It is a deciduous tree that grows 50-80 feet tall. It needs full sun and good soils. It is found from Canada to Florida, west to the
Dakotas and Texas.
Spearmint (Mentha viridis)
MEDICINAL: Spearmint is a valuable herb for stopping vomiting during pregnancy. It is gentle enough to use for colic in babies, while aiding in curing colds,
flu, and gas.
MAGICKAL: Spearmint is added to healing incenses and sachets to aid in healing lung diseases and other afflictions. Place some in a
sleeping pillow for protection during sleep.
GROWING: Grow Spearmint as you would any other member of the Mint family. It is a perennial growing to 3
feet tall and is tolerable of many different growing conditions.
Squawvine (Mitchella repens)
MEDICINAL: Squawvine is most beneficial in childbirth. It strengthens the uterus, helps prevent miscarriage, and relieves congestion of the uterus and ovaries. It's antiseptic properties make it valuable for treating vaginal infections, and is a natural
nerve sedative. It is most often used in combination with Raspberry.
GROWING: Squawvine is a perennial evergreen creeper that grows on forest
MEDICINAL: Also known as Pau d' Arco. Taheebo is found in South America. It is a powerful herb with antibiotic and virus-killing properties. It gives the body the energy needed to defend itself and to help resist diseases. It is used in South America to battle cancer and
leukemia. It is useful in aiding all chronic diseases.
MEDICINAL: Thyme is a powerful antiseptic. It is used in cases of anemia, bronchial ailments, and intestinal disturbances. It is used as an antiseptic against tooth decay, and destroys fungal infections as in athlete's foot and skin parasites such as crabs and lice. It is good for
colic, flatulence, and colds.
MAGICKAL: Thyme is burnt to purge and fumigate magickal rooms and spaces, as well as to bring good health. Thyme in a
sleeping pillow repels nightmares.
GROWING: Thyme is a perennial that loves warm, sunny fields, and is found throughout North America. It grows to 15 inches tall, and makes an excellent ground cover on dry slopes. Trim it back
after flowering to prevent it from becoming woody.
Ursi "Bearberry" (Arctostaphylos Uva-Ursi)
MEDICINAL: Uva Ursi strengthens and tones the urinary tract. It is especially useful for kidney infections, bladder infections, and inflammatory disease of the urinary tract. It is used as a diabetes remedy for excessive sugar in the blood. It is used for postpartum women to return the womb to its natural size, as well as to prevent infection of the womb after childbirth. It should not beused by
MAGICKAL: Add to sachets to increase psychic powers.
GROWING: Uva Ursi rarely grows more than a few inches tall. It is best propogated from cuttings. It takes an unusually long time to root, so consider instead buying small plants from nurseries. It does poorly in rich soil, as it prefers poor soils in full sun. Once established, it spreads and becomes an
attractive, hardy ground cover, surviving temperatures of -50.
MEDICINAL: Valerian is a relaxer, and is very effective for insomnia. It is often used as a tranquilizer, but it leaves no sluggish effects on the user. It is used for nervous tension, pain relieving, and for muscle spasms. It should not be taken over a long period of time, as it can cause
mental depression in some people after long-term steady use.
MAGICKAL: Valerian is used to get fighting couples back together, in spells of love, and
in purification baths.
GROWING: Valerian is a perennial plant that grows to 3 feet tall. It prefers full sun, and average to rich well-drained soil. Root cuttings are best for propogation, and once the plants are established, they self-sow and spread by root runners. Valerian has a similar effect on cats as catnip, so you may need to protect your patch with chicken wire. Harvest
roots for medicinal use in the fall of their second year.
MEDICINAL: Vervain is used to treat the liver and diseases related to the liver,as well as painful or irregular menses. It
will also help increase the flow of a mother's milk.
MAGICKAL: Vervain is used for cleansing incenses and baths. Buried in a field, it will make your crops abundant. It is burned to attract wealth, and hung above a bed to prevent nightmares, and above a baby's crib (out of reach!) to offer protection for the little one, and will enable the child to grow up with a love of learning and a happy outlook. Hung in the home it offers protion from negative spells, and is used as a pledge of mutual faith when given to a
GROWING: Vervain is a perennial herb that grows 1-2 feet tall. It prefers full sun, average to rich soils, and is grown throughout temperate North America. It is rather short-lived, but self-sows. Harvest leaves and
flower tops as the plants bloom.
Violet (Viola odorata)
MEDICINAL: Violet is effective in healing internal ulcers. It is used both internally and externally for pimples, abscesses, tumors, and swollen glands.
It is useful in treating malignant growths, as well.
MAGICKAL: Violet in a pillow will help ease headaches away. Carrying the flowers brings a change in
luck, and mixed with lavendar makes a powerful love sachet.
GROWING: Violets are a perennial, prefer partial shade, average to rich well-drained
soil, and grow to 8 inches tall.
MEDICINAL: Walnut bark is used to treat dysentery and skin diseases. The nut is used to promote strength and weight gain. The hull of the nut is used to treat skin diseases, herpes, head and body lice, and internal parasites. Walnut leaf is used to treat eczema,
hives, and boils.
MAGICKAL: The nut still in its shell is carried to promote fertility. To discover if a Witch is in your midst, legend has it that you should drop a walnut still in its shell into the lap of the person suspected, and if that person is truly a Witch, they will be unable to rise
from a sitting position as long as the walnut is in their laps.
GROWING: Walnuts are trees that grow to 60 feet tall. They prefer full sun, deep and well-drained soil, and regular water. They grow well in areas such as the
eastern and midwestern United States.
Wild Cherry (Prunus serotina)
MEDICINAL: Wild Cherry Bark is a very good expectorant. It is therefore useful for all ilnesses that have related lung congestion. The bark
is boiled down into a syrup, which is safe to use even for children.
Willow (Salix alba)
MEDICINAL: Willow works like aspirin. In fact, aspirin was derived from willow bark. It is also used to cleanse and heal eyes that are infected or inflamed. It is safe to use, and is mild on the
stomach and leaves no after-effects.
MAGICKAL: Willow trees are planted near the home as a guard. Its branches have been used for the bindings on a witch's broom, and as healing wands. It is also used to bring the blessings
of the moon into your life.
GROWING: Willows prefer damp, low spaces, as a long rivers and streams, or areas that receive regular water. They grow
throughout North America. It grows to 70 feet or more.
MEDICINAL: Witch Hazel is used externally for insect bites, burns, bleeding wounds, hemorrhoids, and varicose veins. Internally it will stop bleeding from internal organs, treats bronchitis, flu, and coughs as well as promotes healing of stomach ulcers. It is often used as a mouthwash for conditions of the mouth and throat, and for
MAGICKAL: The forked twigs of the Witch Hazel are used for divining. It will help heal a broken heart and cool passions when
GROWING: Witch Hazel is a shrub or small tree that grows 5 - 15 feet. It ranges throughout the eastern half of North America. It prefers full
sun, and average soils.
Wormwood (Artemisia absinthium)
MEDICINAL: Wormwood is used for all problems within the digestive system, as well as liver and bladder ailments. It promotes menstruation and will help with menstrual cramps. Do not give to small children, and use only in very small quantities for very short periods of time, as the FDA considers this a
MAGICKAL: Wormwood is burned to raise your spirits to a higher level, enabling easier divination and clairvoyance. Thrown on the fire
at Samhain, it will protect from the spirits that roam that night.
GROWING: Wormwood grows mainly in temperate regions of the eastern portion of North America. It is a perennial shrub that reaches to 4 feet tall, and prefers
full sun and average to poor soils.
Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
MEDICINAL: Yarrow is used to stimulate and regulate the liver. It acts as a blood purifier and heals the glandular system. It has been used as a contraceptive, and as a part of diabetes treatment, as well as treating gum ailments and toothache. Pregnant
women should avoid this herb.
MAGICKAL: Since Yarrow has the ability to keep a couple together for 7 years, it is used in love sachets as well as a gift to give to newlyweds. When worn it wards off negativity, and if held in
your hand it repels fear.
GROWING: Yarrow is a perennial, and its various varieties range from 8 inches to 3 feet tall. It prefers full sun, and
average to poor dry soils.
Yellow Dock (Rumex crispus)
MEDICINAL: Yellow Dock is a powerful blood purifier and astringent. It is used in treating all diseases of the blood and skin. It is very high in iron, making
it useful for treating anemia. It nourishes the spleen and liver.
Alder: A druid sacred tree. A whistle made of Alder is the basis for
the old superstition of whistling up the wind.
Apple, Domestic: A Druid
sacred tree. Apple cider can be used as asubstitute for blood.
druid sacred tree. Druid Shamanic wands were often made of ash.
Betony: A Druid sacred herb. This was a magical herb used to expel the power of evil spirits, nightmares, and despair. It was burned at Summer Solstice for
purification and protection.
Birch: A Druid sacred tree. The bark was
used for purification, especially during childbirth.
Blackthorn: A Druid
sacred tree. It's thorns were used in negative magic.
Broom: Also known as Scotch or Irish Broom. A Druid sacred tree. Burned at the Spring
Equinox, it purified and protected.
Catnip: A Druid sacred herb. Chewed
by warriors for fierceness in battle.
Cedar: A Druid sacred tree. Ancient Celts on the Mainland used cedar oil to preserve heads of enemies taken in battle. To draw Earth energy, to ground yourself place the palms of your
hands against the ends of the needles.
Cherry, Wild: A Druid sacred
tree. Chips of the wood or bark were burned at Celtic festivals.
Club Moss: A Druid sacred herb. Among the Celts, only a priest or priestess could gather club moss. The plants and spores were collected in July and August for
use in blessings and protection.
Elder: A Druid sacred tree. Sacred to the Celtic White Lady and the Summer Solstice. The Druids used it both to bless and curse. Elder wands drive out evil and negativity. Standing under and elder tree at Midsummer, like standing in a ring of Faery Mushrooms, will help you
see the Little People.
Eyebright: A Druid sacred herb that promotes
Ferns: The Druids classified ferns as sacred trees. Uncurled fronds of the male fern were gathered at Midsummer, dried and carried for good luck. All ferns are powerful protective plants and faeries are
especially attracted to them.
Fir, Silver: A Druid sacred tree. Also known as the Birth Tree. Burning needles or sweeping around the bed with a
branch blessed and protected a mother and her new baby.
Foxglove: This is a Poisonous plant! A Druid sacred herb, associated with the Little People
and Otherworld beings.
Furze: Also known as gorse or whin. A druid
Sacred tree, whose flowers were associated with the Spring Equinox.
Hawthorne: A Druid sacred tree. Wands of this wood have great power.
Hazel: A Druid sacred tree. Faeries are attracted to hazel. Healing wands are
made from its wood, as are water divining sticks.
Heather: A Druid
sacred herb. Associated with Summer Solstice.
Holly: A Druid sacred tree, sacred to the Winter Solstice because of its red berries and evergreen
Hops: A Druid sacred herb used for sleep and healing.
Ivy, English: POISIONOUS! A Druid sacred herb. Connected with the Winter
Juniper: A druid Sacred tree. Its berries were used with thyme
Marigold: A Druid sacred herb. The Druids believed that Marigold water made from the blossoms, then rubbed on the eyelids helped one to
Meadowsweet: One of the three most sacred hers to the
Druids. The other two are mint and vervain (verbena).
Mint: A Druid
sacred herb. Burning mint cleanses the area.
Mistletoe: POISIONOUS! It
was the most sacred tree of the Druids, and it ruled Winter Solstice.
Mugwort: A Druid Sacred herb. Was placed in barns to protect cows from the influence of faeries. The herbs powers are strongest when picked on a Full Moon. Gather at the Summer solstice for good luck, and rub on ritual tools to
Nuts and Cones: Sacred to the Druids; very magical, especially in fertility magick. Small cones or acorns were sometimes used on
the tips of wands used by the Celts.
Oak: A druid holy tree. The oak was the king of trees in the grove. Magick wands were made of its wood. Oak galls, sometimes called "Serpent Eggs", were used in magickal charms. Acorns gathered at night held the greatest fertility powers. The Druids and other magickal practitioners listened to the rustling leaves and the wrens in the trees for
Pine: Sacred to the Druids, the pine was known as one of the seven chieftain trees of the Irish. Burn the needles inside for purification. To purify and sanctify an outdoor ritual area, brush thr ground
with a pine branch.
Rowan: Its seeds are poisonous! A Druid sacred tree and sacred to the Goddess Brigit. A very magickal tree used for wands, rods, amulets and other spell objects. A forked rowan branch can help find water. It
is believed to be a powerful charm against evil spirits.
Rue: The ancient Celts considered rue an antimagickal her; it is a defence against
spells and dark magic. If burned it routs negativity and gets things moving.
St. John's Wort: A Druid sacred herb. The Celts passed it through the smoke of the summer solstice fire, then wore it into battle for invincibility.
The people of Scotland wore it as a charm against faery influence.
Thistle: A Druid sacred herb. Primarily for protection and strength.
Thyme: A Druid sacred herb. Repels negativity and depression.
Trefoil: Also known as shamrock, or searaog. A Druid sacred herb, which symbolizes all triple deities. Always leave something in payment when you take trefoil, because it is a favourite herb of the Little People and faeries. A pinch of
Ginger or a little milk poured onto the ground are acceptable gifts.
Vervain or Verbena: A Druid sacred herb, common in many druididic rites and
incantations. Offerings of this herb were placed on altars.
Willow: A Druid sacred tree; one of the seven sacred trees of the Irish. The willow is a Moon tree sacred to the Goddess. Its grooves were considered so magickal that priests, priestesses and artisans sat among the trees togain eloquence,
inspiration, skills, and prophecies.
Woodruff: A Druid sacred herb which
acquires its scent after drying.
Wormwood: An accumulative poison! A Druid sacred herb which was very magickal as well as sacred to Moon deities. Burn on Samhain to aid evocation, divination, scrying and prophecy. Combine
with Mugwort for addedeffect.
Yew: The berries are poisonous! A Druid sacred tree. Sacred to the Winter Solstice and deities of death and rebirth.
The Irish used it to make dagger handles and bows.
Magickal Properties of Herbs, Flowers,
Another important tool for Witches are Herbs. Growing your own herbs is an excellent way to practice the Craft. You can honor them for their life force and envision your magickal purposes in them from seed until harvest. If you buy your herbs you should say a blessing over them before
using them for spell work.
When you are ready to begin using your herbs it is important to enchant or send your own energy and purpose into them. Hold
the herbs, inhale their scent. Feel yourself melding with the herbs.
Herbs can be used in any and/or all magickal workings to aid and enhance the needed outcome. They can be used in incenses, oils, recipes, teas, to smoke or
alone. Some popular ways of using herbs are:
Poppets: A poppet is a cloth figure shaped to human form and stuffed with the appropriate herb for the purpose of gaining a desired effect. (i.e.: healing, love).
Sachet: A small square of cloth filled with the appropriate herb for your spell work and sewed or tied shut. The sachet is then carried with you. This is convenient in work that needs color correspondences because you can use colored cloth and colored thread or yarn to enhance the spell work.
There are also
four basic elemental methods for using herbs.
Make a sachet of the appropriate herb Take it to an outdoors spot that you feel is empowered. Bury the sachet while performing a ritual of your choice keeping
the intent clear. Leave and don't return.
Stand in an open place on a hill. Place a portion of your herb in the palm of your hand and starting with North, blow a little of the herb into the wind. Next East, then South. At West blow the entire remaining herb into the wind.
Visualize your intent. It is done.
Take a piece of parchment paper and write your intent on it. Place a portion of the herb of choice in it and wrap it into a small packet. Toss the packet into a fire. Have
your intent in mind.
Take the appropriate herb to a lake, stream, river, etc. Hold the herb in you hand as you envision your
intent. With a sweeping motion scatter the herb into the water.
I have been told that there are over 10,000 different herbs. The following pages will contain the most used and popular. I will continue to add to the pages as I hear of other herbs and their magickal properties. If you know of any that I
am missing please send me the info to include on these pages.
recipe calls for
1 part herbs
2 part herbs
3 part herbs
1 1/2 teaspoon
Witches of old called plants by secret names probably due to a few reasons. One being to protect themselves from being found out to be witches. Another reason was due to not knowing the true name of an herb so they named it for the properties it carried. For instance Tongue of the Dog (hounds tongue) was said to be an herb that could quiet a dog's barking. Another reason was due to the fact that many witches were women, and women hate to share their recipes. ;-) Here are
some old time names for herbs:
A Bone of an Ibis
A Titan's Blood
A Lion's Hairs
Tongue of a Turnip [i.e., the leaves of the taproot]
A Man's Bile
A Pig's Tail
A Hawk's Heart
Heart of Wormwood
Ass's Foot or Bull's Foot
or another tree sap
Bread and Cheese Tree
Blood from a Head
Blood of Ares
Blood of a Goose
A Mulberry Tree's Milk
Blood of Hestia
Blood of an Eye
Tamarisk Gall [gall
is a plant tumor caused by paracites]
Masculine, Sun, Air
Origin: Trees and shrubs scattered over the warmer regions of Australia, Egypt, the Amazon and South America. Acacia senegal is native to tropical Africa, including the upper Nile area.
Part Used: Flowers, essential oil, wood.
Uses: Anointing, divination, inspiration, insure agreements, love, meditation, peace, platonic love, prosperity, protection, psychic, purification, and wisdom.
Other: Petitions to the Goddess, Sacred fires, and Buddhist incense, sacred to Hebrews. Thought to have been used in Christ's crown of thorns. Used to increase power of spells. See
TONGUE: Erythronium Americanum
Parts Used: Leaves, bulbs.
Origin: Eastern United States of America, from New Brunswick to Florida, and westwards to Ontario and Arkansas.
Uses:The constituents of the plant have not yet been analysed. The fresh leaves and corm, and to a lesser degree the rest of the plant, are emetic. The fresh leaves having emollient and anti-scrofulous properties are mostly used in the form of a stimulating poultice, applied to swellings, tumours and scrofulous ulcers. The infusion is taken internally in wineglassful doses. It is reputed of use in dropsy, hiccough and vomiting. The recent bulbs have been used as a substitute for colchicum. They are emetic in doses of 25 to 30 grains.
Origin: Saintpaulia is a genus of 20 species of herbaceous perennial flowering plants in the family Gesneriaceae, native to Tanzania and adjacent southeastern Kenya in eastern tropical Africa, with a concentration of species in the Nguru mountains of Tanzania. The genus is most closely related to Streptocarpus, with recent phylogenetic studies suggesting it has evolved directly from subgenus Streptocarpella. Common names include Saintpaulia, African-violet or African Violet, the latter somewhat confusing name given due to its superficial resemblance to true violets (Viola, family
Parts Used: Flower
AGARIC: Polyporus officinalis
Origin: White Agaric, or Larch Agaric, was once a celebrated drug but, it is now little used, though it is still to be obtained in the herbalists' shops. The term 'Agaric' is, of course, more properly applied to the Fungi of the genus Agaricus, but in medicine it has long been applied to this species of fungus, P. officinalis (Fries), syn. B. laricis (Jacqui.), B. purgans (Person), which is found upon the old trunks of the European Larch, and Larix siberica (Ledebour) of Asia. The same species is found upon various coniferous trees in some of the western United States and in British Columbia. It is stemless, of various sizes, from that of the fist to that of a child's head or even larger, hard and spongy, externally brown or reddish, but as found in commerce, deprived of its outer coat, it consists of a light, white, spongy somewhat farinaceous mass, which though capable of being rubbed into powder upon a sieve, is not easily pulverized in the ordinary way, as it flattens under the pestle. The best is considered to be that from Siberia, but it is probably produced wherever the European Larch grows. It is collected in the autumn, chiefly in the larch forests of Archangel, then dried, deprived
of its firm, upper rind, and exported to Hamburg.
Parts Used: Toadstools dried and powdered Uses:Fertility.
Other Uses: In moderate doses, Agaric acid is stated to have no effect upon the system except to paralyse the nerves of the sweat glands. Large doses act as an irritant to the stomach and intestines. The most important use of Agaric is in the treatment of sweats in wasting conditions such as phthisis. Its value in checking these profuse sweats has been confirmed by clinical experience. It is used inthe preparation of Tincture antiperiodica. When Agaric acid is applied to abraded surfaces or mucous membrane, it acts as a distinct counter-irritant.
Masculine, Jupiter, Air/Fire.
Origin: Found abundantly throughout Europe, Britain and North America.
Part Used: Leaves, root.
Uses: Banishment, luck, prosperity, protection, to keep secrets, send-back spells.
Other: Once mixed with pounded frogs and human blood as a cure for internal hemorrhaging.
AGUE ROOT: Gentianella
Origin:Eastern N. America - southern Ontario to Tennessee
Parts Used: Root.
Origin: Alfalfa is native to Iran, where it was probably domesticated during the Bronze Age to feed horses being brought from Central Asia. It came to Greece around 490 B.C. being used as a horse feed for Persian army. It was introduced from Chile to the United States around 1860. It is widely grown throughout the world as forage for cattle, and is most often harvested as hay. Alfalfa has the highest feeding value of all common hay crops, being used less frequently as pasture. Like other legumes, its root nodules contain bacteria, like Rhizobium, with the ability to fix nitrogen, producing a
high-protein feed regardless of available nitrogen in the soil.
Parts Used: Sprouts, shoots, leaves dried and powdered
Uses: Prosperity, anti-hunger and money.
Other Uses: Helps lactation.
Masculine, Mars/Venus, Fire/Earth.
Origin: An evergreen tree from the West Indies, Central and South America, mainly Jamaica. Called Allspice because it tastes like a combination of clove, juniper, cinnamon and pepper.
Part Used: Fruit, essential oil.
Uses: Animal healing, compassion, courage, determination, fertility, healing, love, luck, physical energy, power, prosperity, renewal.
Other: Said to improve school and job performance due to its ability to aid willpower and concentration.
ALMOND: Amygdalus communis
Origin:There are numerous varieties of the Sweet Almond in commerce, the chief being: (1) the Jordan Almonds, the finest and best of the Sweet variety. These, notwithstanding their Oriental name (derived really from the French jardin), we receive from Malaga, imported without their shells. They are distinguished from all other Almonds by their large size, narrow, elongated shape and thin skin; (2) Valentia Almonds, which are broader and shorter than the Jordan variety, with a thicker dusty brown, scurfy skin, usually imported in their shell, and sometimes called in consequence, 'Shell Almonds'; (3) and (4) Sicilian and Barbary Almonds, which closely resemble the Valentia Almonds but are rather smaller and of an inferior
quality. They occasionally contain an admixture of Bitter Almonds.
Parts Used: Milk, Oil, Nut Uses: Money. Promotes wisdom. Almond assures alertness. The symbol of wakefulness to the Egyptians.
Other Uses: Fresh Sweet Almonds possess demulcent and nutrient properties, but as the outer brown skin sometimes causes irritation of the alimentary canal, they are blanched by removal of this skin when used for food.
ALOE: Aloe Vera
Origin: Aloes occur naturally in Africa, especially South Africa's Cape Province and the mountains of tropical Africa, and neighbouring areas such as
Madagascar, the Arabian peninsula and islands off Africa.
Parts Used: Human use of Aloes are primarily as a herbal remedy in alternative medicines and "home first aid". Both the translucent inner pulp as well as the resinous yellow exudate (gel) from wounding the Aloe plant is used externally to relieve skin discomforts and internally as a laxative.
Uses: Aloe is known for its healing powers. It is also protective and guards against undue spiritual influence and protects against minor injury. Aloe can be used in beauty spells, to rejuvenate lost beauty. It is connected to Venus, the moon, and the element of water. It guards against evil in the home, and accidents. Aloe if hung in one's doorway will drive away evil and bring good luck.
Amaranthus hypochondriacus and other species
Femine, Saturn, Fire.
Origin: Native to the tropics of both hemispheres.
Part Used: Leaves and flowers.
Uses: Ancestor contact, invisibility, love, peace.
Other: Sacred to the Horned God. Native American herb.
ANEMONE: Anemone pulsatilla
Origin:Anemone pulsatilla is found not in woods, but in open situations. It grows wild in the dry soils of almost every Central and Northern country of Europe, but in England is rather a local plant, abounding on high chalk downs and limestone pastures, mostly in Yorkshire, Berkshire, Oxford and Suffolk, but seldom found in other situations and other
districts in this country.
Parts Used: Whole herb.
Uses: Health, protection and healing.
Other Uses:Nervine, antispasmodic, alterative and diaphoretic. The tincture of Pulsatilla is beneficial in disorders of the mucous membrane, of the respiratory and of the digestive passages. Doses of 2 to 3 drops in a spoonful of water will allay the spasmodic cough of asthma, whooping-cough and bronchitis. For catarrhal affection of the eyes, as well as for catarrhal diarrhoea, the tincture is serviceable. It is also valuable as an emmenagogue, in the relief of headaches and neuralgia, and as a remedy for nerve exhaustion in women.
ANGELICA: Angelica archangelica, over 30
Masculine, Sun, Fire.
Origin: Believed by some to be a native of Syria; others feel it is from Northern Europe. Found in cool, moist areas of Scotland and Iceland, said to have come to England in the mid 1500' s.
Part Used: Root, seeds, essential oil.
Uses: Anointing, exorcism, healing, hex breaking, inspiration, knowledge, love, meditation, prosperity, protection, renewal, success, visions, wisdom.
Other: Used as a fixative. Said to be the most effective plant against evil. Associated with early Norse magick.
Sabbat: Imbolc, Beltane.
ANISE: Pimpinella anisum
Masculine, Jupiter/Mercury, Air.
Origin: Native of Egypt, Greece and Asia Minor. Spread to central Europe in middle ages.
Part Used: Seed, essential oil.
Uses: Consecration, divination, fertility, love, good luck, happiness, luck (to newlyweds), lust, meditation, mental, to banish nightmares, prosperity, protection, psychic, purification (with Bay), to call spirits, youth.
Other: Not related to Star Anise. Used at Roman wedding feasts. Use with Bay for purification. Used in dream pillows.
APPLE: Pyrus species
Feminine, Venus, Water.
Origin: Native to temperate regions of Northern Hemisphere.
Part Used: Fruit, flower, wood.
Uses: Binding, divination, happiness, healing, immortality, longevity, love (blossoms), peace wisdom.
Other: Used to confer the wisdom of Aphrodite. Unicorns. Cider is a substitute for blood in rites. Said to be the passport to the Other worlds; a food of the Sidhe Folk and burned as an offering to them. A Druid sacred tree. Symbolizes choices.
Sabbat: Samhain, Beltane (blossom).
Origin: Although formerly supposed to come from Armenia, where it was long cultivated, hence the name Armeniaca, there is now little doubt that its original habitat is northern China, the Himalaya region and other parts of temperate Asia. It is cultivated generally throughout temperate
regions. Introduced into England, from Italy, in Henry VIII's reign.
Parts Used: Kernels, oil.
Uses: Love. An aphrodisiac. Used as a base for mixing true essential oils.
Other Uses: Apricot oil is used as a substitute for Oil of Almonds, which it very closely resembles. It is far less expensive and finds considerable employment in cosmetics, for its softening action on the skin. It is often fraudulently added to genuine Almond oil and used in the manufacture of soaps, cold creams and other preparations of the perfumery trade.
ARABIC, GUM: Acacia vera, A. arabica
Masculine, Sun, Air.
Part Used: Resinous gum.
Uses: High vibrations, protection, purification, spirituality. See
Origin: The Trailing Arbutus (Epigaea repens, Linn.) is a small evergreen creeping shrub, found in sandy soil in many parts of North America, in the shade of pines. Its natural home is under trees, and it will thrive in this country only in moist, sandy peat in shady places. It has long been known in cultivation here as an ornamental plant, having been introduced into Great Britain in 1736. Like the common Arbutus, or the Strawberry Tree and the
Bearberry, it belongs to the order Ericacece, the family of the heaths.
Parts Used: The leaves, used dried to make an infusion, and fresh to make a tincture.
Uses: Exorcism and protection.
Other Uses: Astringent and diuretic. Used in the same way as Buchu and Uva ursi for bladder and urinary troubles: of special value when the urine contains blood or pus, and when there is irritation. The infusion of 1 OZ. of the leaves to a pint of boiling water may be taken freely.
ASAFOETIDA: Ferula foetide
AKA: Devil's Dung.
Origin: Originally from Afghanistan, Persia and southwestern Asia.
Part Used: Root, leaves.
Uses: Exorcism, purification, protection.
Other Uses: Has fallen out of use due to its particularly horrible odor. Use with care - better yet, substitute a better-smelling herb.
ASH: Fraxinus excelsion, F. Americana
Masculine, Sun, Fire.
Origin: Common in Britain. Tall trees to shrubs, native to north temperate zones - N. America, Europe and Asia.
Part Used: Leaves, wood.
Uses: Healing, love, prophetic dreams, prosperity, protection.
Other: A Druid sacred tree. Druid wands were often made of Ash. Sacred to the peoples of Scandinavia and Germany. Yggdrasill, a representation of the cosmos, was an Ash tree. Indicates linking of inner and outer worlds. Useful for absorbing sickness. Used in spells requiring focus.
Sabbat: Yule, Beltane.
Masculine, Mercury, Air.
Origin:The five typical aspens are all native to cold regions with cool summers, in the far north of the Northern Hemisphere, extending south only at high altitudes in mountains. The White Poplar by contrast is native to much warmer regions, with hot, dry summers. They are all medium-sized deciduous trees reaching 15-25 m tall, exceptionally to 30 m.
Part Used: Leaves, wood.
Uses: Anti-theft, eloquence.
Other: Helps in past-life regression and recall.
ASTER: Aster spp.
Origin: The genus Aster includes some 600 species of widely distributed flowering plants in the family Asteraceae. Aster comes from the Greek word for "star", and refers to the shape of the flower head. Many of the species are popular garden plants because of their showy flower heads. The genus Aster is now generally restricted to the Old World species, with Aster amellus being the
type species of the genus (and of the family Asteraceae).
Parts Used: Flower-dried or fresh, leaves, and roots
Other Uses: Love.
Other Uses: Aster Smoke was used to revive the unconscious, to treat mental illness, nosebleeds, headaches, congestion, and for smudging. Aster tea was used to treat earache, relieve gas pains, stomach aches, & fevers.
Origin: The Avens (Geum urbanum, Linn.), belonging to the order Rosacece, its genus being nearly related to the Potentilla genus, is a common wayside plant in Great Britain, abundant in woods and hedges in England, Ireland and southern Scotland, though becoming scarcer in the north. It is
common in the greater part of Europe, Russia and Central Asia.
Parts Used: Herb, root. Uses: Exorcism, purification and love.
Other Uses: Astringent, Styptic, febrifuge, sudorific, stomachic, antiseptic, tonic and aromatic.
AVOCADO: Persea americana
Origin: Avocado (Persea americana) is a tree and the fruit of that tree, classified in the flowering plant family, Lauraceae. It is native to Central America and Mexico. The tree grows to 20 m (65 ft), with alternately arranged, evergreen leaves, 12-25 cm long. The flowers are inconspicuous, greenish-yellow, 5-10 mm wide. The pear-shaped fruit is botanically a berry or drupe, from 7 to 20 cm long, and weighs between
100-1000 g. It has a large central seed, 3-5 cm in diameter.
Parts Used: Oil, Fruit, Fruit Skin
Uses: Love, lust and beauty.
Other Uses: Ediblie fruit high in Vitamin C, and Vitamin A.
Origin: In the wild condition it is fairly common in cultivated fields and by roadsides. The stems are 1 to 3 feet high, tough and wiry, slender, furrowed and branched, somewhat angular and covered with a loose cottony down. The leaves, very narrow and long, are arranged alternately on the stem, and like the stem are covered more or less with white cobwebby down that gives the whole plant a somewhat dull and grey appearance. The lower leaves are much broader and often have a roughly-toothed outline. The flowers grow solitary, and of necessity upon long stalks to raise them among the corn. The bracts enclosing the hard head of the flower are numerous, with tightly overlapping scales, each bordered by a fringe of brown teeth. The inner disk florets are small and numerous, of a pale purplish rose colour. The bright blue ray florets, thatform the conspicuous part of the flower, are large,
widely spread, and much cut into.
Parts Used: Flowers
Other Uses: Used for eyewashes, tonic, stimulant and emmenagogue properties, with action similar to that of Blessed Thistle. The expressed juice of the petals makes a good blue ink; if expressed and mixed with alum-water, it may be used in water-colour drawing. It dyes linen a beautiful blue, but the colour is not permanent. The dried petals are used by perfumers for giving colour to pot-pourri.
BALM OF GILEAD: Commiphora opobalsamum
Origin: Native to countries around the Red Sea.
Part Used: Buds.
Uses: Healing, inspiration, knowledge, love, manifestations, protection, strength, virility, wisdom.
Other: The true Balm of Gilead is a rare desert shrub; other plants share the name: 1. Cedronella canariensis, C. triphylla. A shrub with leaves that smell like lemon and coriander. 2. Abies balsamea. AKA Balsam Fir, which grows in eastern North America. Its leaves smell like spicy strawberries. 3. Populous balsamiferous. A species of Poplar. Its sticky buds have a heady aroma and are used in healing incenses, for protection and to mend a broken heart.
BALM, Lemon: Melissa officinalis
Origin: A native of South Europe, especially in mountainous situations, but is naturalized in the south of
England, and was introduced into our gardens at a very early period.
Parts Used: Herb
Uses:Healing herb useful in infusions and sachets. Use for attracting success.
Other Uses: Carminative, diaphoretic and febrifuge. It induces a mild perspiration and makes a pleasant and cooling tea for feverish patients in cases of catarrh and influenza. To make the tea, pour 1 pint of boiling water upon 1 oz. of herb, infuse 15 minutes, allow to cool, then strain and drink freely. If sugar and a little lemonpeel or juice be added it makes a refreshing summer drink.
BAMBOO: Bambusa arundinacea
Origin:There are 91 genera and about 1,000 species of bamboo. They are found in diverse climates, from cold mountains to hot tropical regions. They occur from Northeast Asia (at 50°N latitude in Sakhalin), south throughout East Asia west to the Himalaya, and south to northern Australia. They also occur in sub-Saharan Africa, and in the Americas from the southeast of the USA south to Chile, there reaching their furthest south anywhere, at 47°S latitude. Major areas with no native bamboos include Europe, north Africa, western Asia,
northern North America, most of Australia, and Antarctica.
Parts Used: Stems and shoots
Uses: Use bamboo to make flutes to call good spirits.
Other Uses: Shoots used in cooking
BANANA: Musa paradisiaca, Musa
Origin: The tropical fruit known as Plantain belongs to the genus Musa, which contains about forty species, widely distributed throughout the tropics of the Old World and in some cases introduced into the New
Parts Used: Fruit, unripe and ripe, Juice.
Uses:Fertility, Potency, Prosperity. Used to get rid of a situation that is holding you down.
Other Uses: The Banana family is of more interest for its nutrient than for its medicinal properties. Banana root has some employment as an anthelmintic and has been reported useful in reducing bronchocele.
BANYAN: Ficus benghalensis
Origin: They are large trees that usually start life as a seedling epiphytic on another tree (or on structures like buildings and bridges), where a fig-eating bird has deposited the seed. The roots descend over the trunk of the host seeking out the soil below, once they have rooted into this the fig roots rapidly thicken and lignify. Where the fig roots cross each other they fuse, thus creating a lattice around the host tree's trunk. The fig competes with its host for light, water and nutrients, while its roots prevent the host's trunk from growing. Eventually the host dies and rots away, leaving the fig self supporting as an ordinary tree, but with a tubular lattice of lignified roots instead of a trunk. For this reason banyans
are often referred to as strangler figs.
Parts Used: Seeds, Oil, Roots.
BARLEY: Hordeum distichon
Origin: Pearl Barley is the grain without its skin; rounded and polished; this is the official variety. Taste and odour farinaceous. The Scotch, milled, or pot barley isthe grain with
husks only partly removed. Patent Barley is the ground decorticated grain.
Parts Used: Decorticated seeds.
Uses: Love, Healing, Protection
Other Uses: Pearl Barley is used for the preparation of a decoction which is a nutritive and demulcent drink in febrile conditions and in catarrhal affections of the respiratory and urinary organs: barley water is used to dilute cows' milk for young infants, it prevents the formation of hard masses of curd in the stomach. Malt is produced from barley by a process of steeping and drying which develop a ferment 'diatase' needed for the production of alcoholic malt liquors, but in the form of Malt Extract it is largely used in medicine. Vinegar is an acid liquid produced by oxidation of fermented malt wort. Malt vinegar is the only vinegar that should be used medicinally.
Masculine, Mars/Jupiter, Fire.
Origin: Native to India. Other varieties found in W. Africa, India, Japan, Persia, Egypt, Greece, and Rome.
Part Used: Leaves, essential oil.
Uses: Anti-theft, business success, confidence, exorcism, fidelity, happiness, hex- breaking, love, luck to new home (if a gift), mental, peace, prosperity, protection, purification.
Other: Associated with dragons, salamanders and other fire beings. A Druid sacred herb. Use during meditation and ritual to regenerate yourself. Sacred to Vishnu and Krishna. Used to protect the dead from evil and to offer them entrance into the Summerland. Sacred to Haitian goddess of love, Erzulie.
Sabbat: Midsummer, Imbolc.
BAY: Laurus nobilis
Masculine, Sun, Fire.
AKA: Laurel, Bay Laurel.
Origin: Native to Mediterranean. Grows in Britain, but is a small tree; much larger in warmer climates.
Part Used: Leaves, wood, essential oil.
Uses: Clairvoyance, concentration, consecration, divination, endings, exorcism, healing, hex-breaking (with Sandalwood), inspiration, justice, knowledge, love, luck, lust, meditation, memory, peace, physical strength, power, prophetic dreams, prosperity, protection, psychic, purification (excellent), release, transformation, victory, wisdom, wishes.
Other: Symbol of glory and reward, leaves were woven into victory wreaths. The death of a Bay tree was considered a bad omen.
Sabbat: Yule, Imbolc.
BEAN: Phaceolus vulgaris
Origin: Native of Indies; cultivated all over Europe; also said to be found
in ancient tombs in Peru.
Parts Used: Dried ripe seeds
Uses:Protection, Exorcism, Wart Charming, Reconciliations, Potency, Love
Other Uses: When bruised and boiled with garlic Beans have cured otherwise uncurable coughs. If eaten raw they cause painful severe frontal headache, soreness and itching of the eyeball and pains in the epigastrium. The roots are dangerously narcotic.
BEDSTRAW: Galium verum
Origin: Yellow Bedstraw is abundant on dry banks, chiefly near the sea. Its small, bright yellow flowers are closely clustered together in dense panicles at the tops of the wiry, square, upright stems, which are I to 3 feet high, and bear numerous very narrow, almost thread-like leaves, placed six to eight together in whorls. The
flowers are in bloom in July and August.
Parts Used: Stem, leaves, roots, flowers
Uses: Fragrant Love
Other Uses: It is still used to a limited degree as a popular remedy in gravel, stone and urinary diseases. The Yellow Bedstraw can furnish a red dye, like its ally, the Madder of the Continent, Rubia tinctorum. It has been cultivated for the purpose, but with little or no profit, as the roots are too small, though it has been used in the Hebrides for dyeing woollen stuffs red.
BEEBALM: Monarda didyma
AKA: Bergamot (not to be confused with Orange Bergamot), Oswego Tea.
Origin: Indigenous to N. America.
Part Used: Leaves, flower.
Uses: Love, lust, protection, success.
BEECH: Fagus sylvatica
Origin: The common name of the Beech tree, found in varying forms throughout the Teutonic dialects, means, with difference of gender, either 'a book' or 'a beech,' the Runic tablets, or early books, having been made of this wood. Fagus is from a Greek word meaning 'to eat,' referring to the edible character of the
Parts Used: The oil of the nuts.
Other Uses:The tar is stimulating and antiseptic, used internally as a stimulating expectorant in chronic bronchitis, or externally as an application in various skin diseases. The oil is used in the same ways as the other fixed oils of its class
BEET: Beta vulgaris
Origin: It is a native of South Europe, extensively cultivated as an article of food and especially for the
production of sugar, and presents many varieties.
Parts Used: Leaves, root.
Other Uses: Major source of sugar in the world, unless it says pure cane sugar it's a beet sugar/cane sugar mix.
Origin: Widely distributed over Central and Southern Europe, South-west Asia and Algeria; cultivated in England, France and North
Parts Used: Root, leaves, tops.
Uses: Astral Projection
sedative, antispasmodic, mydriatic
BENZOIN: Styrax benzoin
Masculine, Sun/Venus, Air.
Origin: Tree native to E. Indies, China, Sumatra, and Sri Lanka.
Part Used: Resin, tincture, essential oil.
Uses: Astral projection, banishment, to attract customers (with Cinnamon and Basil), exorcism, inspiration, knowledge, love (with Sandalwood and Rose), memory, peace, power (mental and personal), protection, purification, spell- breaking, visions, wisdom.
Other: Used as a base for incense, and as a fixative for oils, incense, and potpourris.
Sabbat: Imbolc, Mabon.
ORANGE: Mentha citrata
Masculine, Mercury, Air.
Origin: Citrus tree native to Italy.
Part Used: Essential oil from fruit peel.
Uses: Prosperity, Protection (physical as well as psychic), success.
Origin: Found throughout Britain, rarely in Scotland. Grows in woods and copses, sometimes on heaths and moors.
Part Used: Leaves and flowers.
Uses: Banishment, consecration, love, to banish nightmares, healing (wounded animals), protection, purification, release.
Other: Has a long history as a protective herb. Balefires.
BIRCH: Betula spp.
Feminine, Venus, Water.
Origin: Ancient tree found all over Europe, N. America and northern Asia.
Part Used: Leaves, bark, essential oil, wood.
Uses: Exorcism, love, new beginnings, protection, purification.
Other: Symbol of the return of spring. Sacred to the Druids. Also known as Lady of the Woods. Dedicated to Thor. Is used as a substitute for Pine in incenses.
BISTORT: Polygonurn Bistorta
Origin: A native of many parts of Northern Europe, occurring in Siberia and in Japan and in Western Asia to the Himalayas. It is common in the north of England and in southern Scotland, growing in moist meadows, though only of local occurrence;
in Ireland, it is very rare.
Parts Used: The root-stock, gathered in March, when the leaves begin to shoot, and dried.
Uses: Psychic Powers and Fertility
Other Uses: Bistort root is one of the strongest astringent medicines in the vegetable kingdom and highly styptic and may be used to advantage for all bleedings, whether external or internal and wherever astringency is required. Although its use has greatly been superseded by other astringents of foreign origin, it is of proved excellence in diarrhoea, dysentery, cholera and all bowel complaints and in haemorrhages from the lungs and stomach, and is a most effectual remedy for bleeding from the nose and exceedingly useful in dealing with haemorrhoids. It is used - as a medicine, injection and gargle - in mucous discharges, as well as for haemorrhages.
BITTERSWEET: Solanum dulcamara
Origin: The leaves bear a certain resemblance to those of Belladonna, and the flowers of both Bittersweet and Belladonna are purple, though totally distinct in shape, and both have berries, red in the case of Bittersweet, not black as in the Belladonna. Bittersweet is common throughout Europe and America. It abounds in almost every hedgerow in England, where it is rendered conspicuous in the summer by its bright purple flowers, and in autumn by its brilliant red berries. Belladonna for which it is
often mistaken is rare.
Parts Used: Twigs.
Uses: Protection and Healing
Other Uses: The drug possesses feeble narcotic properties, with the power of increasing the secretions, particularly those of the skin and kidneys. It has no action on the pupil of the eye. It is chiefly used as an alterative in skin diseases, being a popular remedy for obstinate skin eruptions, scrofula and ulcers. It has also been recommended in chronic bronchial catarrh, asthma and whooping cough. For chronic rheumatism and for jaundice it has been much employed in the past, an infusion of 1 OZ. of the dried herb to 1/2 pint water being taken in wineglassful doses, two or three times daily. From the fluid extract made from the twigs, a decoction is prepared of 10 drachms in 2 pints of boiling water, boiled down to 1 pint, and taken in doses of 1/2 to 2 OZ. with an equal quantity of milk. The berries have proved poisonous to a certain degree to children. Fluid extract, 1/2 to 2 drachms.
Feminine, Venus, Water.
Origin: Common everywhere.
Part Used: Leaves, possibly dried fruit and wood from the cane.
Uses: Animal healing, healing, prosperity, protection.
Other: Used in invocations to Brigid.
Sabbat: Lughnassadh, Imbolc.
BLADDERWRACK: Fucus vesiculosis
Origin: Almost all the more solid Algae were formerly described by the name of Fucus, but now it is applied to one genus of Fucaceae, most of the species of which are found only in the northern seas, many being more or less exposed at low water. Fucus vesiculosis is found on submerged rocks on both coasts of North America, and in Europe north of the Mediterranean, where it drifts in from time to time through the
Strait of Gibraltar.
Parts Used: The dried mass of root, stem and leaves. (The thallus.)
Uses:Protection, Sea Spells, Wind Spells, Money and Psychic Powers
Other Uses: Bladderwrack is not largely used at present, any virtues it may have being due to the iodine contained in it. It has alterative properties, has been used in scrofula, and is thought by some authorities to reduce obesity through stimulating the thyroid gland.
Origin: Bleeding heart, or lyre flower, is a perennial herbaceous plant native to eastern Asia from Siberia south to Japan. This species of bleeding heart can grow to 60-140 cm tall and has ternately compound leaves (leaflets that come in threes). The flowers are pendulous, shaped much like hearts, produced in a raceme bearing 3-15 individual flowers, each one 2-3 cm long, with pink outer petals and white inner petals. The
flowering season is from early spring to mid summer.
Parts Used: Flower
BLOODROOT: Sanguinaria Candensis
Origin: United States of America and Canada, found in rich open woods from Canada, south to
Florida and west to Arkansas. and Nebraska.
Parts Used: Root, whole plant.
Uses: Love, Protection, Purification
Emetic cathartic expectorant and emmenagogue, and of great value in atonic dyspepsia, asthma, bronchitis and croup. (The taste is so nauseating, that it may cause expectorant action.) Of value in pulmonary consumption, nervous irritation and helpful in lowering high pulse, and in heart disease and weakness and palpitation of heart of great use. For ringworm apply the fluid extract. Also good for torpid liver, scrofula, dysentery. It is applied to fungoid growths, ulcers fleshy excrescences, cancerous affections and as an escharotic. Sanguinaria root is chiefly used as an expectorant for chronic bronchitis and as a local application in chronic eczema, specially when secondary to varicose ulcers. In toxic doses, it causes burning in the stomach, intense thirst, vomiting, faintness vertigo, intense prostration with dimness of eyesight. The root has long been used by the American Indians as a dye for their bodies and clothes and has been used
successfully by American and French dyers.
BLUBELL: Scilla nutans
Origin: Abundant in Britain, Western Europe to Spain, eastward to Central
France, along the Mediterranean to Italy.
Parts Used: Bulb, dried and powdered.
Uses: Luck, Truth
Other Uses: Though little used in modern medicine, the bulb has diuretic and styptic properties. The bulbs are poisonous in the fresh state. The viscid juice so abundantly contained in them and existing in every part of the plant has been used as a substitute for starch, and in the days when stiff ruffs were worn was much in request. From its gummy character, it was also employed as bookbinders' gum.
Origin: Blueberries are a group of flowering plants in the genus Vaccinium, sect. Cyanococcus. The species are native to North America and eastern Asia. They are shrubs varying in size from 10 cm tall to 4 m tall; the smaller species are known as "lowbush blueberries", and the larger species as "highbush blueberries". The leaves can be either deciduous or evergreen, ovate to lanceolate, and from 1-8 cm long and 0.5-3.5 cm broad. The flowers are bell-shaped, white, pale pink or red, sometimes tinged greenish. The fruit is botanically a false berry 5-16 mm diameter with a flared "crown" at the end; they are pale greenish at first, then reddish-purple, and finally turn blue or dark purple on ripening. They have a sweet taste when mature, with variable acidity. Other sections in the genus include other wild shrubs producing edible berries such as cranberries, bilberries and cowberries. The
blueberry season typically runs from May to October, peaking in July.
Parts Used: Fruit
Other Uses: Blueberries, especially wild species, contain antioxidants which have been found to reduce the risks of some cancers. At the 2004 International Conference on Longevity, a group of researchers released details of a study that suggests certain compounds found in blueberries (and some similar fruits, including cranberries) have a significant impact in reducing the degradation of brain function, as in Alzheimer's Disease and other conditions (, ). Research at Rutgers  has also shown that blueberries may help prevent urinary tract infections.
BLUE FLAG: Iris Versicolor
Origin: Blue Flag is a perennial herb, found abundantly in swamps and low grounds throughout eastern and central North America, common in Canada, as well as in the United States, liking a loamy or peaty soil. It is not a native of Europe. It grows 2 to 3 feet high, with narrow, sword-shaped leaves, and from May to July produces large, handsome flowers, blue, except for the yellow and whitish markings at the base of the
Parts Used: Root.
Other Uses: The root is an official drug of the United States Pharmacopoeia and is the source of the Iridin or Irisin of commerce, a powdered extractive, bitter, nauseous and acrid, with diuretic and aperient properties. Iridin acts powerfully on the liver, but, from its milder action on the bowels, is preferable to podophyllin. The fresh Iris is quite acrid and if employed internally produces nausea, vomiting, purging and colicky pains. The dried root is less acrid and is employed as an emetic, diuretic and cathartic. The oleoresin in the root is purgative to the liver, and useful in bilious sickness in small doses.
Origin: The Bodhi tree was a large and very old specimen of the Sacred Fig, located at the Mahabodhi Temple at Bodh Gaya (about 100 km from Patna in the Indian state of Bihar) under which Siddhartha Gautama, the spiritual teacher and founder of Buddhism later know as Gautama Buddha, arrived at Bodhi. The Bodhi Tree belongs to the Sacred Figs (Ficus religiosa), also known as Bo, Pipul (Peepal) or Ashwattha trees, which are sacred to Hindus, Jains and Buddhists. According to Buddhist belief, Siddharta Gautama meditated under this tree, mentioned as Ashwattha in the Tipitaka, when he achieved Nirvana. The word 'Ashvattha' is derived from the Sanskrit roots 'Shwa' meaning tomorrow, 'a' indicating negation, and 'tha' meaning "one that stands or remains". (The Hindu philosopher Shankaracharya interprets the name to indicate "One which does not remain the same tomorrow", such as the universe itself.) The Sacred Fig currently growing at the Mahabodhi Temple is not the original specimen, but probably a direct clone descendant of it. This tree is a frequent destination for pilgrims, being the most important of the four holy sites for Buddhists. Another sacred specimen, also propagated from the original Bodhi
tree, is the Sri Maha Bodhi in Sri Lanka, planted in 288 BC.
Parts Used: Leaves, Fruit
Uses:Fertility, Protection, WIsdom, Meditation
BONESET: Eupatorium perfoliatum
Origin: Thoroughwort or Boneset is a very common and familiar plant in low meadows and damp ground in North America,
extending from Nova Scotia to Florida.
Parts Used: Herb.
Uses: Protection, Exorcism
Other Uses: Stimulant, febrifuge and laxative. It acts slowly and persistently, and its greatest power is manifested upon the stomach, liver, bowels and uterus. It is regarded as a mild tonic in moderate doses, and is also diaphoretic, more especially when taken as a warm infusion, in which form it is used in attacks of muscular rheumatism and general cold. In large doses it is emetic and purgative.
BORAGE: Borago officinalis
Origin: The Common Borage is a hardy annual plant coming originally from Aleppo but now naturalized in most parts of Europe and frequently found in this country, though mostly only on rubbish heaps and near dwellings, and may be regarded as a garden escape. It has long been grown freely in kitchen gardens, both for its uses as a herb and for the sake of its flowers, which yield excellent honey.
Parts Used: Leaves and flowers.
Uses:Use it in spells concerning courage. A tea of borage can be used to heighten psychic powers. Worn it will protect one when walking outdoors.
Other Uses: Diuretic, demulcent, emollient. Borage is much usedin France for fevers and pulmonary complaints. By virtue of its saline constituents, it promotes the activity of the kidneys and for this reason is employed to carry off feverish catarrhs. Its demulcent qualities are due to the mucilage contained in the whole plant. For internal use, an infusion is made of 1 OZ of leaves to 1 pint of boiling water, taken in wineglassful doses. Externally, it is employed as a poultice for inflammatory swellings.
Origin: It is found in forests, heaths and paddocks in Australia - New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria. New
Parts Used: leaves, fronds, roots
Uses: Healing, Rune Magic, Prophetic Dreams
Other Uses: Anthelmintic; Antiemetic; Antirheumatic; Diuretic; Febrifuge; Poultice. The young shoots are diuretic, refrigerant and vermifuge,and they have been eaten as a treatment for cancer. The leaves have been used in a steam bath as a treatment for arthritis. A decoction of the plant as been used in the treatment of tuberculosis. A poultice of the pounded fronds and leaves has been used to treat sores of any type and also to bind broken bones in place. The root is antiemetic, antiseptic, appetizer and tonic. A tincture of the root in wine is used in the treatment of rheumatism. A tea made from the roots is used in the treatment of stomach cramps, chest pains, internal bleeding, diarrhoea, colds and also to expel worms.
NUT: Bertholletia excelsa
Origin: It is native to Guiana, Venezuela, Brazil, eastern Colombia, eastern Peru and eastern Bolivia. It occurs as scattered trees in large forests on the banks of the Amazon, Rio Negro, and the Orinoco. It is a large tree, reaching 30–45 m tall and 1–2 m trunk diameter, among the largest of trees in the Amazon Rainforests. It may live for 500 years or more. The stem is straight and commonly unbranched for well over half the tree's height, with a large emergent crown of long branches above the
surrounding canopy of other trees. The bark is grayish and smooth.
Parts Used: Nut
Other Uses: Nutritionally, Brazil nuts are an excellent source of selenium and a good source of magnesium and thiamine. They are 14% protein, 11% carbohydrates, and 67% fat. The fat breakdown is roughly 25% saturated, 41% monounsaturated, and 34% polyunsaturated. The saturated fat content of Brazil nuts is among the highest of all nuts, surpassing even macadamia nuts.
BROOM: Cutisus scoparius
Origin: Shrub indigenous to England, grows wild in temperate Europe, northern Asia and North America on sandy fields and heath.
Part Used: Leaves and stem.
Uses: Clairvoyant, exorcism, love, protection, purification.
Other: A Druid sacred tree. It can be substituted for furze (gorse) at Spring Equinox. Weather magick.
Sabbat: Ostara, Samhain.
BRYONY: Tamus communis,
Bryonia dioica, Bryonia alba
Origin: Black Bryony belongs to a family of twining and climbing plants which generally spring from large tubers, some of which are cultivated for food, as the Yam, which forms an important article of food in many tropical countries. Great Britain only furnishes one species of this tribe, Tamus communis, which, from its powerful, acrid and cathartic
qualities, ranks as a dangerous irritant poison.
Parts Used: Root.
Uses:Image Magic, Money, Protection
Other Uses: Rubifacient, diuretic. The expressed juice of the fresh root, mixed with a little white wine, has been used as a remedy for gravel, being a powerful diuretic, but it is not given internally now, and is not included in the British Pharmacopoeia. Death in most painful form is the result of an overdose, while the effect of a small quantity, varying not with the age only, but according to the idiosyncrasies of the patient, leaves little room for determining the limit between safety and destruction. The expressed juice of the root, with honey, has also been used as a remedy for asthmatic complaints, but other remedies that are safer should be preferred. The berries act as an emetic, and children should be cautioned against eating them. As an external irritant, Black Bryony has, however, been used with advantage, and it was formerly much employed. The scraped pulp was applied as a stimulating plaster, and in gout, rheumatism and paralysis has been found serviceable in many instances. A tincture made from the root proves a most useful application to unbroken chilblains, and also the fruits, steeped in gin, are used for the same remedy. Black Bryony is a popular remedy for removing discoloration caused by bruises and black eyes, etc. The fresh root is scraped to a pulp and applied in the form of a poultice.
Origin: The buchu include several shrubby plants belonging to the genus Barosma, order Rutaceae, natives of the Cape of Good Hope. The principal species, B. crenulata, has leaves of a smooth leathery texture, oblong-ovate in shape, from an inch to an inch and a half in length, with serrulate or crenulate margins, on which as well as on the under side are conspicuous oil-glands. The other species which yield buchu are B. serratifolia, having linear-lanceolate sharply serrulate leaves, and B. betulina, the leaves of which are cuneateobovate, with denticulate margins. They are all, as found in commerce, of a pale yellow-green color; they emit a peculiar aromatic odor, and have a minty and slightly astringent bitter taste. Buchu leaves contain a volatile oil, which is of a dark yellow color, and deposits a form of camphor on exposure to air, a liquid hydrocarbon being the solvent of the camphor
within the oil glands.
Parts Used: Leaves
Uses: Psychic Powers, Prophetic Dreams
Other Uses: The buchu, or buka, shrub's leaves were previously used to treat urinary tract infections and kidney stones and to increase the production of urine. . The British Pharmacopoeia contains an infusion and tincture of buchu. The former may be given in doses of an ounce and the latter in doses of a dram. The drug has the properties common to all substances that contain a volatile oil. The infusion contains very little of the oil and is of very slight value. Until the advent of the modern synthetic products buchu was valued in diseases of the urinary tract, but its use is now practically obsolete. The infusion (B.P.) of 1 OZ. of leaves to 1 pint of boiling water is taken in wineglassful doses three or four times a day.
BUCKEYE: Aesculus hippocastanum
Origin:The North American species are known as Buckeyes and the Eurasian species as Horse-chestnuts. Some are also sometimes called "White Chestnut" or "Red Chestnut" (as in some of the Bach flower remedies). The name Horse-chestnut, hyphenated here to avoid confusion with the true chestnuts (Castanea, Fagaceae), is also often given as 'Horse Chestnut' or 'Horsechestnut'. One species very popular in cultivation, the Common Horse-chestnut Aesculus hippocastanum is also often known as just 'Horse-chestnut'. The use of the term 'horse' refers to their strength or inedibility, the word 'horse' originally meant strong or powerful, and does not here refer their fitness as fodder for horses, except in folk etymology. The name buckeye derives from the resemblance of the seed to the brown eye of a buck (male deer), and horse-chestnut from the external resemblance of the seed
to a chestnut, but being inedible.
Parts Used: Nuts
Uses: Attracts money and wealth, and can be used to help alleviate pain. Also useful to have near when performing any act of divination.
Other Uses:The nuts contain high concentrations of a saponin toxic to many animals including humans because it causes hemolysis (destruction of red blood cells). The saponin can be eliminated by leaching the pulverized nuts in multiple changes of boiling water, to yield a wholesome starchy porridge once important to some Native American tribes. Some animals, notably deer and squirrels, are resistant to the toxins and can eat the nuts directly. Crushed buckeye nuts have also been used, thrown into lakes by poachers, to kill fish for easy capture. California Buckeyes Aesculus californica are known to cause poisoning of honeybees from toxic nectar (other locally native bee species not being affected). Other buckeye species are thought to have the same effect, but the toxins are diluted because the trees are not usually abundant enough in any one area.
Origin: The Common or Purging Buckthorn, a much-branched shrub, usually about 6 feet high, but sometimes as much as 10 or 12 feet, is indigenous to North Africa, the greater part of Europe and North Asia. Though found throughout England in woods and thickets and near brooks, it is practically confined to a calcareous soil, except in a few counties, such as Bucks., Herts., Oxon. and Wilts. In Scotland it occurs only in a single
Parts Used: Berries.
Uses:Protection, Exorcism, Wishes, Legal Matters
Other Uses: Until late in the nineteenth century, syrup of Buckthorn ranked, however, among favourite rustic remedies as a purgative for children, prepared by boiling the juice with pimento and ginger and adding sugar, but its action was so severe that, as time went on, the medicine was discarded. It first appeared in the London Pharmacopceia of 1650, where, to disguise the bitter taste of the raw juice, it was aromatized by means of aniseed, cinnamon, mastic and nutmeg. It was still official in the British Pharmacopoeia of 1867, but is no longer so, being regarded as a medicine more fit for animals than human beings, and it is now employed almost exclusively in veterinary practice, being commonly prescribed for dogs, with equal parts of castor oil as an occasional purgative. There used to be a superstition that the Crown of Thorns was made of Buckthorn.
Origin: A native of Northern or Central Asia. Largely
cultivated in the United States.
Parts Used: The fruit.
Other Uses: Astringent, acrid. An infusion of the herb has been used in erysipelas, and a poultice made of the flour and buttermilk for restoring the flow of milk in nurses.
BURDOCK: Arctium lappa
Origin: It grows freely throughout England (though rarely in Scotland) on waste ground and about old buildings, by roadsides and in fairly damp places. The Burdock, the only British member of its genus, belongs to the Thistle group of
the great order, Compositae.
Parts Used: Root, herb and seeds (fruits)
Uses: Exorcism. Has protective properties. Gather the roots in the waning Moon, dry and then cut them into small pieces. String these on red thread like beads and wear for protection against evil and negativity
Other Uses:Alterative, diuretic and diaphoretic. One of the best blood purifiers. In all skin diseases, it is a certain remedy and has effected a cure in many cases of eczema, either taken alone or combined with other remedies, such as Yellow Dock and Sarsaparilla. The root is principally employed, but the leaves and seeds are equally valuable. Both root and seeds may be taken as a decoction of 1 OZ. to 1 1/2 pint of water, boiled down to a pint, in doses of a wineglassful, three or four times a day. The anti-scorbutic properties of the root make the decoction very useful for boils, scurvy and rheumatic affections, and by many it is considered superior to Sarsaparilla, on account of its mucilaginous, demulcent nature; it has in addition been recommended for external use as a wash for ulcers and scaly skin disorders. An infusion of the leaves is useful to impart strength and tone to the stomach, for some forms of long-standing indigestion. When applied externally as a poultice, the leaves are highly resolvent for tumours and gouty swellings, and relieve bruises and inflamed surfaces generally. The bruised leaves have been applied by the peasantry in many countries as cataplasms to the feet and as a remedy for hysterical disorders. From the seeds, both a medicinal tincture and a fluid extract are prepared, of benefit in chronic skin diseases. Americans use the seeds only, considering them more efficacious and prompt in their action than the other parts of the plant. They are relaxant and demulcent, with a limited amount of tonic property. Their influence upon the skin is due largely to their being of such an oily nature: they affect both the sebaceous and sudoriferous glands, and probably owing to their oily nature restore that smoothness to the skin which is a sign of normal healthy action. The infusion or decoction of the seeds is employed in dropsical complaints, more especially in cases where there is co-existing derangement of the nervous system, and is considered by many to be a specific for all affections of the kidneys, for which it may with advantage be taken several times a day, before meals.
Origin: The cabbage is derived from a leafy wild mustard plant, found in the Mediterranean region around 100 AD. The English name derives from the Normanno-Picard caboche ("head"). Cabbage was developed by
ongoing artificial selection for suppression of the internode length.
Parts Used: leaves
Other Uses: The plant is used because of its large food reserves, rich in essential nutrients including vitamin C, stored over the winter in its leaves.
CACTUS: Cereus grandiflorus
Origin: Tropical America, Mexico, West Indies, and Naples.
Parts Used: The flowers, young and tender stems.
Uses: Protection and chastity
Other Uses: Diuretic Sedative, Cardiac. Cereus has been used as a cardiac stimulant and as a partial substitute for digitalis. In large doses it produces gastric irritation, slight delirium, hallucinations and general mental confusion. It is said to greatly increase the renal secretion. It does not appear to weaken the nervous system. It has a decided action on the heart and frequently gives prompt relief in functional or organic disease. It has been found of some service in haemoptysis, dropsy and incipient apoplexy.
Origin: Camphor is a white crystalline substance, obtained from the tree Cinnamonum camphora, but the name has been given to various concrete odorous volatile products, found in different aromatic plants. The commercial Camphor comes only from C. camphora and Dryobalanops camphora (fam. Dipterocarpacaea). The first gives our official Camphor, the latter the Borneo Camphor, which is much valued in the East, but unknown in Europe and America. C. camphora is an evergreen tree looking not unlike our linden; it grows to a great size, is manybranched, flowers white, small and clustered, fruit a red berry much like cinnamon. While the tree grows in China, etc., it can be cultivated successfully in sub-tropical countries, such as India and Ceylon, and it will thrive in Egypt, Formosa, Madagascar, Canary Islands and
southern parts of Europe, California, Florida, and also in Argentina.
Parts Used: Gum.
Uses: Chastity, health and divination. Lunar rituals. Lessens sexual desire, brings harmony to home. Wear to strengthen psychic powers. Also anoint yourself when you have decided to break off with a lover, or when they have done so with you and you find it hard to let go.
Other Uses: Camphor has a strong, penetrating, fragrant odour, a bitter, pungent taste, and is slightly cold to the touch like menthol leaves; locally it is an irritant, numbs the peripheral sensory nerves, and is slightly antiseptic; it is not readily absorbed by the mucous membrane, but is easily absorbed by the subcutaneous tissue- it combines in the body with glucuronic acid, and in this condition is voided by the urine. Experiments on frogs show a depressant action to the spinal column, no motor disturbance, but a slow increasing paralysis; in mankind it causes convulsions, from the effect it has on the motor tract of the brain; it stimulates the intellectual centres and prevents narcotic drugs taking effect, but in cases of nervous excitement it has a soothing and quieting result. Authorities vary as to its effect on blood pressure; some think it raises it, others take an opposite view; but it has been proved valuable as an excitant in cases of heart failure, whether due to diseases or as a result of infectious fevers, such as typhoid and pneumonia, not only in the latter case as a stimulant to circulation, but as preventing the growth of pneumococci. Camphor is used in medicine internally for its calming influence in hysteria, nervousness and neuralgia, and for serious diarrhoea, and externally as a counter-irritant in rheumatisms, sprains bronchitis, and in inflammatory conditions, and sometimes in conjunction with menthol and phenol for heart failure; it is often given hypodermically, 3 to 5 grains dissolved in 20 to 30 minims of sterile Olive oil - the effect will last about two hours. In nervous diseases it may be given in substance or in capsules or in spirit; dose 2 to 5 grains. Its great value is in colds, chills, and in all inflammatory complaints; it relieves irritation of the sexual organs.
Origin: A Caper (Capparis spinosa L.) is a biennial spiny shrub that bears rounded, rather fleshy leaves and big pinkish-white flowers. Native to the Greek archipelagos, it grows wild on walls or in rocky coastal areas throughout the Mediterranean region. It is best known for its
edible buds and fruit which are usually consumed pickled.
Parts Used: Buds, fruits, and root
Uses:Potency, lust and luck.
Other Uses: In Greek popular medicine a herbal tea made of caper root and young shoots is considered to be beneficial against rheumatism. Dioscoride (MM 2.204t) also provides instructions on the use of sprouts, roots, leaves and seeds in the treatment of strangury and inflammation.
CARAWAY: Carum Carvi
Origin: Caraway is another member of the group of aromatic, umbelliferous plants characterized by carminative properties, like Anise, Cumin, Dill and Fennel. It is grown, however, less for the medicinal properties of the fruits, or so-called 'seeds,' than for their use as a flavouring in cookery, confectionery and liqueurs .
Parts Used: Fruit.
Uses: Love charms to attract a lover. Lust, Health, Mental Powers. Stimulates conscious mind. Serves as protection against all manner of evil spirits, entities and negativity. Any object which holds caraway seeds is theft-proof.
Other Uses: The roots are thick and tapering, like a parsnip, though much smaller and are edible. Parkinson declared them, when young, to be superior in flavour to Parsnips. Mixed with milk and made into bread, they are said to have formed the 'Chara' of Julius Ceasar, eaten by the soldiers of Valerius. The scattering of the seed over cakes has long been practised, and Caraway-seed cake was formerly a standing institution at the feasts given by farmers to their labourers at the end of the wheat-sowing. The little Caraway comfits consist of the seeds encrusted with white sugar. In Germany, the peasants flavour their cheese, cabbage, soups, and household bread with Caraway, and in Norway and Sweden, polenta-like, black, Caraway bread is largely eaten in country districts.
CARNATION: Dianthus caryophyllus
Origin: The Carnation is a flowering plant native to the Near East and has been cultivated for the last 2,000 years. Its original natural flower colour was pinkish-hued, but later, cultivars of other colours, including red, white, yellow and greenish, have been developed.
Parts Used: Flower, Oil.
Uses: Worn by witches to prevent capture and hanging. Produces added energy in ritual when used as an incense. Protection, Strength, Healing. This is an oil of power. It improves relationships and stimulates energy. It is used as an energy restorer after exertion, an aid in consecration ceremonies.
Origin: The genus Jacaranda includes several species which are used medicinally in South America, and especially in Brazil. The trees are small, and the leaves thick, tough, and lanceolate, about 2 1/2 inches long,
odourless, and slightly bitter in taste.
Parts Used: The leaves.
Uses: Protection and health.
Other Uses: The value of the Jacaranda active principles has been proved in syphilis and venereal diseases, being widely used by the aborigines of Brazil and other South American countries. The leaves have also been tried in epilepsy for their soothing influence.
Origin: Both the Carrot and Parsnip are striking examples of the effect of cultivation on wild plants. The roots of the wild variety are small and woody, while those of the cultivated kind are fleshy and
succulent and grow to a considerable size.
Parts Used: Whole herb.
Uses:Fertility and Lust.
Other Uses: Mother Nature's skin nurturer. Relieves and replenishes dry, aging skin. Helps to reduce wrinkles and restore elasticity. Stimulates endocrine function. *Not for use during pregnancy.
CASCARA SAGRADA: Rhamnus purshianus
Origin: The Californian Buckthorn, known more commonly as Cascara Sagrada, is a nearly-allied shrub growing in the United States, from northern Idaho westward to the Pacific Ocean. The drug prepared from its bark is now more commonly employed than those
prepared from the two previously described species.
Parts Used: Bark.
Uses: Sprinkle an infusion of cascara sagrada around your home before go to any court proceeding. It will help win your case. Cascara sagrada is also use in money spells, and worn as an amulet against evil and hexes.
Other Uses: Cascara Sagrada is a mild laxative, acting principally on the large intestine. It is considered suitable for delicate and elderly persons, and may with advantage be given in chronic constipation, being generally administered in the form of the fluid extract. It acts also as a stomachic tonic and bitter, in small doses, promoting gastric digestion and appetite.
Origin: A medium-sized tree, beautiful, and not unlike in appearance the walnut tree, with oval blunt alternate leaves and scented rose-coloured panicles of bloom - the tree produces a fleshy receptacle, commonly called an apple, at the end of which the kidney-shaped nut is borne; the end of it which is attached to the apple, is much bigger than the other. The outer shell is ashy colour, very smooth, the kernel is covered with an inner shell, and between the two shells is found a thick inflammable caustic oil, which will raise blisters on the skin and be dangerously painful if the
nuts are cracked with the teeth.
Parts Used: Nut.
Uses: Money. Helps rid stress.
Other Uses: The oil must be used with great caution, but has been successfully applied to corns, warts, ringworms, cancerous ulcers and even elephantiasis, and has been used in beauty culture to remove the skin of the face in order to grow a new one. The nuts are eaten either fresh or roasted, and contain a milky juice which is used in puddings. The older nuts are roasted and salted and the dried and broken kernels are sometimes imported to mix with old Madeira as they greatly improve its flavour. In roasting great care must be taken not to let the fumes cover the face or hands etc., as they cause acute inflammation an external poisoning. Ground and mixed with cocoa the nuts make a good chocolate. The fruit is a reddy yellow and has a pleasant sub-acid stringent taste, the expressed juice of the fruit makes a good wine, and if distilled, a spirit much better than arrack or rum. The fruit itself is edible, and its juice has been found of service in uterine complaints and dropsy. It is a powerful diuretic. The black juice of the nut and the milky juice from the tree after incision are made into an indelible marking-ink- the stems of the flowers also give a milky juice which when dried is hard and black and is used as a varnish. A gum is also found in the plant having the same qualities as gumarabic; it is imported from South America under the name of Cadjii gum, and used by South American bookbinders, who wash their books with it to keep away moths and ants. The caustic oil found in the layers of the fruit is sometimes rubbed into the floors of houses in India to keep white ants away.
CASTOR: Ricinus communis
Origin: The valuable purgative known as Castor Oil is the fixed oil obtained from the seeds of the Castor Oil plant. Besides being used medicinally, the oil is also employed for lubricating purposes, burning and for leather dressing. The Chinese are said to have some mode of depriving it of its medicinal properties so as to render it suitable for culinary purposes. The Castor Oil plant is a native of India, where it bears several ancient Sanskrit names, the most ancient and most usual being
Eranda, which has passed into several other Indian languages.
Parts Used: Seeds.
Other Uses: Castor Oil is regarded as one of the most valuable laxatives in medicine. It is of special service in temporary constipation and wherever a mild action is essential, and is extremely useful for children and the aged. It is used in cases of colic and acute diarrhoea due to slow digestion, but must not be employed in cases of chronic constipation, which it only aggravates whilst relieving the symptoms. It acts in about five hours, affecting the entire length of the bowel, but not increasing the flow of bile, except in very large doses. The mode of its action is unknown. The oil will purge when rubbed into the skin, or injected. It is also used for expelling worms, after other special remedies have been administered.
CATTAIL: Typha latifolia
Origin: Typha is a genus of about ten species of monocotyledonous flowering plants in the monogeneric family, Typhaceae. The genus has a largely Northern Hemisphere distribution, but is essentially cosmopolitan. These plants are known as bulrush or bullrush (mainly in British English), cattail (mainly in American English), or in some older
British texts as reedmace.
Parts Used: Whole Plant.
Other Uses: Typha plants grow along lake margins and in marshes, often in dense colonies, and are sometimes considered a weed in managed wetlands. The plant's root systems help prevent erosion, and the plants themselves are often home to many insects, birds and amphibians. The rhizomes are a palatable, nutritious and productive root vegetable, generally harvested in the fall and winter. The pollen is also sometimes used as a flour supplement, and the young green flowering stalks can be boiled and eaten like sweetcorn. The disintegrating heads are used by some birds to line their nests. The downy material was also used by Native Americans as tinder for starting fires. It has also been used to fill life preservers in the same manner as kapok.
Origin: Found by old walls, on waste ground and in hedges, nearly always in the neighbourhood of human habitations.
Parts Used: The whole herb, collected in the wild state, from May to July, when in flower, and dried. Likewise, the fresh juice.
Uses: Helps wearer escape unfair imprisonment or entrapment. Cures depression.
Other Uses: Protection, Escape, Happiness, Legal Matters.
Origin: Odour characteristic and agreeable. Taste,
aromatic, warm, and slightly pungent.
Parts Used: Ripe seeds, herb and root.
Uses: Chew the seeds to aid concentration. Use in spell poppets to bring sleep. Burned with orris root, it increases psychic powers. The stalk and seeds, induce lust when eaten.
Other Uses: Carminative stimulant, diuretic, tonic, nervine, useful in hysteria, promoting restfulness and sleep, and diffusing through the system a mild sustaining influence. Good combined with Scutellaria for nervous cases with loss of tone. On this account it is recommended to eat the cultivated fresh root as well as taking the oil or fluid extract. Is said to be very good for rheumatism, when it is often combined with Coca, Damiana, etc. D
CENTAURY: Erythraea centaurium
Origin: The plant is a native of Europe and North Africa. Though common in this country in dry pastures and on chalky cliffs, it cannot be easily reared in a garden,
and for its medicinal use is, therefore, collected in the wild state.
Parts Used: The whole herb, collected in July, when just breaking into flower and dried. The plant has a slight odour, which disappears when dried.
Uses: Snake Removing.
Other Uses: Aromatic bitter, stomachic and tonic. It acts on the liver and kidneys, purifies the blood, and is an excellent tonic. The dried herb is given in infusion or powder, or made into an extract. It is used extensively in dyspepsia, for languid digestion with heartburn after food, in an infusion of 1 OZ. of the dried herb to 1 pint of water. When run down and suffering from want of appetite, a wineglassful of this infusion Centaury Tea - taken three or four times daily, half an hour before meals, is found of great benefit. The same infusion may also be taken for muscular rheumatism.
CHESTNUT: Castanea vesca
Origin: It grows so freely in this country that it has been by some authorities considered a true native, its claim resting chiefly upon the use of what was for centuries supposed to be Chestnut timber in very ancient buildings, such as the roof of Westminster Hall and the Parliament House of Edinburgh. It is now, however, recognized that the wood of Chestnut loses all virtue of durability when over fifty years old, and though the tree is of very quick growth, the beams in question could not have been grown in fifty years, so it has been proved that they are of Durmast Oak, which
closely resembles Chestnut both in grain and colour.
Parts Used: Leaves and fruit.
Other Uses: In some places Chestnut leaves are used as a popular remedy in fever and ague, for their tonic and astringent properties. Their reputation rests, however, upon their efficacy in paroxysmal and convulsive coughs, such as whooping-cough, and in other irritable and excitable conditions of the respiratory organs. The infusion of 1 OZ. of the dried leaves in a pint of boiling water is administered in tablespoonful to wineglassful doses, three or four times daily.
Origin: Several plants have been named Chickweed, one of them a plant belonging to the Purslane family and four species of Cerastium - the Mouse Ear Chickweeds - but the name especially belongs to the plant in question, Stellaria media, the ubiquitous garden weed, of which our caged birds are as fond as they are of Groundsel, a taste shared by young chickens, to whose diet
it makes a wholesome addition.
Parts Used: Herb.
Uses: Fertility, Love
Other Uses: Demulcent, refrigerant. It is held in great repute amongherbalists, used mostly in the form of an ointment. The fresh leaves have been employed as a poultice for inflammation and indolent ulcers with most beneficial results. A poultice of Chickweed enclosed in muslin is a sure remedy for a carbuncle or an external abscess. The water in which the Chickweed is boiled should also be used to bathe the affected part.
Origin: It is a perennial, with a tap root like the Dandelion. The stems are 2 to 3 feet high, the lateral branches numerous and spreading, given off at a very considerable angle from the central stem, so that the general effect of the plant, though spreading, is not rich and full, as the branches stretch out some distance in each direction and are but sparsely clothed with leaves of any considerable size. The general aspect of
the plant is somewhat stiff and angular.
Parts Used: Root.
Uses: Removing Obstacles, Invisibility, favors and frigidity. Promotes frugality.
Other Uses: Chicory has properties similar to those of Dandelion, its action being tonic, laxative and diuretic.
CHILI PEPPER: Capsicum minimum
Origin: Zanzibar - but now grown in most tropical and sub-tropical
Parts Used: Fruit, ripe and dried.
Uses: Love. Use to assure fidelity. A hex breaker.
Other Uses: A powerful local stimulant, with no narcotic effect largely used in hot climates as a condiment, and most useful in atony of the intestines and stomach. It should not be used in ordinary gastric catarrh. For persons addicted to drink it seems to be useful possibly by reducing the dilated blood-vessels and thus relieving chronic congestion. It is often added to tonics and is said to be unequalled for warding off diseases.
CHINA BERRY: Smilax China
Origin: A climbing shrub with tuberous roots, stems prickly, leaves stalked and veined, with a tendril on each side of the leaf stalks. The flowers have globular heads, sessile in the axils of the leaves, Tubers cylindrical, irregular, 4 to 6 inches long, 2 inches thick, slightly flattened, having short knotty branches, with a rust-coloured shiny bark, sometimes smooth, may be wrinkled, internally pale fawn colour, mealy, small resin cells, no odour, taste indifferent, afterwards
slightly bitter and acrid, not unlike ordinary sarsaparilla.
Parts Used: Fruit.
Other Uses: Alterative, diaphoretic, tonic. China Smilax is used for the same purposes and has much the same properties as the official Sarsaparilla. In large doses it causes nausea and vomiting, especially valuable in weakened and depraved conditions due to a poisoned state of the blood, it is a useful alterative in old syphilitic cases and in chronic rheumatism; it is also used for certain skin diseases. It was introduced into China in A.D. 1535, when it was considered an infallible remedy for gout; in that country the roots are eaten as a food. With alum the root gives a yellow dye and with sulphate of iron a brown colour.
Origin: This perennial plant, in habit and appearance like the chamomile, has stems that lie on the ground for part of their length, before rising erect. Each bears one large flower, the disk being yellow and the rays white, tinged with purple beneath. The leaves are smooth, alternate, and pinnate, with deeply-cut segments. The root is almost cylindrical, very slightly twisted and tapering and often crowned with a tuft of grey hairs. Externally it is brown and wrinkled, with bright black spots. The fracture is short, and the transverse section, magnified, presents a beautiful radiate
structure and many oleoresin glands. The taste is pungent and odour slight.
Parts Used: Root.
Other Uses: Chrysanthemum root is widely used because of its pungent efficacy in relieving toothache and in promoting a free flow of saliva. The British Pharmacopoeia directs that it be used as a masticatory, and in the form of lozenges for its reflex action on the salivary glands in dryness of the mouth and throat. The tincture made from the dried root may be applied to relieve the aching of a decayed tooth, applied on cotton wool, or rubbed on the gums, and for this purpose may with advantage be mixed with camphorated chloroform. It forms an addition to many dentifrices.
CINCHONA: Cinchona officinalis
Origin: The trees in this genus are the source of a variety of alkaloids, the most important of which is quinine, an anti-fever agent especially useful against malaria. The medicinally important part of the tree is the bark, which is stripped from the tree, dried and powdered. As a medicinal herb, cinchona bark
is also known as Peruvian Bark.
Parts Used: Bark.
Other Uses: The Cinchona can be used for a number of medical reasons such as treats malaria, kills parasites, reduces fever, regulates heartbeat, calms nerves, stimulates digestion, kills germs, reduces spasms, kills insects, relieves pain, kills bacteria and fungi, and dries secretions. The main reason for its use is to treat malaria, but it is rarely used today as many people think it is dangerous, as it can kill if taken in large amounts.
CITRON: Citrus medica
Origin: The citron was the first of the citrus known to the Romans. Pliny's Natural History gives an account of the tree (HN xii.7) that some called the Assyrian, others the Median "apple" (the generic Greco-Roman name for globose fruits). In Pliny's time the fruit was never eaten (it began to be used in cooking by the early 2nd century), but its intense perfume was used, penetrating clothes to repel noxious insects (compare Citronella). According to Pliny, attempts to grow the Citron in pots
for its medicinal properties were unsuccessful.
Parts Used: Fruit
Uses: Psychic Powers, Healing
Other Uses: Food.
Origin: Lemon grass is widely used as a herb in Asian (particularly Thai, Lao, Khmer and Vietnamese) and Caribbean cooking. It has a lemony flavour and can be dried and powdered, or used fresh. The stalk itself is too hard to be eaten, except for the soft inner part. However, it can be finely sliced and added to recipes. It may also be bruised and added whole as this releases the aromatic oils from the juice sacs in the stalk. The main
constituent of lemongrass oil is citral.
Parts Used: Oil.
Uses: Cleansing, attracts friends to home & business. Also used for warding off, healing, unhexing, exorcism...don't use indoors.
Other Uses: Protects, cleanses, clears the aura and strengthens the life-force. Encourages self-expression and creativity. Brings clarity to the mind and inner vision. Activates the throat chakra. Repells insects. Nice deodorizer.
OF GOLD: Crocus angustifolius
Origin: As one of the first flowers to bloom in the spring, the large hybridized and selected "Dutch crocus" are popular with gardeners. However, in areas in which snow and frost occasionally occur in the early spring one has to plant them carefully as it is not uncommon in these regions for the crocuses to bloom early, only to suddenly wither and
die from a unseasonable "post-winter" frost or snowfall.
Parts Used: Flower.
Uses: Understand animal languages
Origin: The origins of this plant are the subject of controversy with some authorities claiming it is native to southeast Asia, while others claim its origin is in northwestern South America. Fossil records from New Zealand indicate that small, coconut-like plants grew there as far back 15 million years ago. Even older fossils have been uncovered in Rajasthan & Maharashtra, India. Regardless of its origin, the coconut has spread across much of the tropics, probably aided in many cases by sea-faring peoples. The fruit is light and buoyant and presumably spread significant distances by marine currents: fruits collected from the sea as far north as Norway have been found to be viable (subsequently germinated under the right conditions). In the Hawaiian Islands, the coconut is regarded as a Polynesian introduction, first brought to the Islands by early Polynesian voyagers from their homelands in the
Parts Used: Fruit.
Uses: Purification, protection and chastity.
Other Uses: Food.
Origin: Native to North America.
Parts Used: Root.
Uses: Courage, protection and potency.
Other Uses: Astringent, emmenagogue, diuretic, alterative, expectorant. The root of this plant is much used in America in many disorders, and is supposed to be an antidote against poison and the bite of the rattlesnake. The fresh root, dug in October, is used to make a tincture. In small doses, it is useful in children's diarrhoea. In the paroxyms of consumption, it gives relief by allaying the cough, reducing the rapidity of the pulse and inducing perspiration. In whooping-cough, it proves very effective. The infusion and decoction have been given with success in rheumatism. In infantile disorders, it is given in the form of syrup. It is said to be a specific in St. Vitus' Dance of children. Overdoses produce nausea and vomiting.
Origin: Coltsfoot grows abundantly throughout England, especially along the sides of railway banks and in waste places, on poor stiff soils, growing as well in wet ground as in dry situations. It has long-stalked, hoof-shaped leaves, about 4 inches across, with angular teeth on the margins. Both surfaces are covered, when young, with loose, white, felted woolly hairs, but those on the upper surface fall off as the leaf expands. This felty covering easily rubs off and before the introduction of matches, wrapped in a rag dipped in a solution of saltpetre and dried in the sun, used to be
considered an excellent tinder.
Parts Used: Leaves, flowers, root.
Uses: Love and visions. Use in spells of peace and tranquility.
Other Uses: Demulcent, expectorant and tonic. One of the most popular of cough remedies. It is generally given together with other herbs possessing pectoral qualities, such as Horehound, Marshmallow, Ground Ivy, etc.
Origin: From its branching and fibrous root, which is blackish and rather stout, springs a large tuft of leaves, dark and bluish green on the upper surfaces and greyish beneath. These lowest leaves are on long foot-stalks and are large, having a terminal group of three leaflets, and below them on each side another group of three leaflets. The stem-leaves get gradually smaller, the higher they grow up the stem, the uppermost being without stalks and merely threelobed. The flower stems are 1 to 2 feet high, erect and slender, often reddish in colour, branching into a loose head of
flowers, which are 1 1/2 to 2 inches in diameter and drooping.
Parts Used: Aquilegia vulgaris
Uses: Courage and love.
Other Uses: Astringent. It has been employed on the continent, but according to Linnaeus, with very unsatisfactory results, children having sometimes been poisoned by it when given in too large doses. It is no longer used.
Origin: A native of Europe and temperate Asia; is common throughout England on the banks of rivers and ditches, and in watery places generally.
Parts Used: Root, leaves.
Uses: An herb of Hecate,used in rituals to honor the Crone. Safety during travel. Use the root in money spells.
Other Uses: Demulcent, mildly astringent and expectorant. As the plant abounds in mucilage, it is frequently given whenever a mucilaginous medicine is required and has been used like Marshmallow for intestinal troubles. It is very similar in its emollient action to Marshmallow, but in many cases is even preferred to it and is an ingredient in a large number of herbal preparations. It forms a gentle remedy in cases of diarrhoea and dysentery. A decoction is made by boiling 1/2 to 1 OZ. of crushed root in 1 quart of water or milk, which is taken in wineglassful doses, frequently.
CORN: Zea Mays
Origin: South America; also cultivated in other parts of America, in the West Indian Islands, Australia, Africa, India, etc.,
and now in France.
Parts Used: Seeds.
Uses:Protection, luck and divination.
Other Uses: Diuretic and mild stimulant. A good emollient poultice for ulcers, swellings, rheumatic pains. An infusion of the parched corn allays nausea and vomiting in many diseases. Cornmeal makes a palatable and nutritious gruel and is an excellent diet for convalescents.
COTTON: Gossypium herbaceum
Origin: Gossypium herbaceum is the indigenous species in India, and yields the bulk of the cotton of that country. It is also grown in the south of Europe, and other countries bordering on the Mediterranean Persia, etc. The seeds are woolly and yield a very short stapled cotton, while G. Barbadense gives the Sea Island, or long-stapled cotton, this latter being indigenous to America. The two varieties are recognized in the U.S.A. G. Barbadense, the best species was introduced from the Bahamas in 1785 and only grows in the low islands and sea-coast of Georgia and South Carolina. The upland Georgian, Bowed or short-stapled cotton, which forms the bulk of American cotton, is the produce of the upland or inner districts of the Southern States. Its staple is only about 1 1/4 inch long, and it adheres firmly to the seed, which is covered with short down. Egyptian cotton and
Bourbon are likewise referrable to this species.
Parts Used: Bark of root and of other cultivated species
Uses: Luck, healing, protection, rain, fishing magic.
Other Uses: Mainly used as an abortifacient in place of ergot, being not so powerful but safer; it was used largely in this way by the slaves in the south. It not only increases the contractions of the uterus in labour, but also is useful in the treatment of metrorrhagia, specially when dependent on fibroids; useful also as an ecbolic; of value in sexual lassitude. A preparation of cotton seed increases milk of nursing mothers.
COWSLIP: Primula veris
Origin: Many of the Primrose tribe possess active medicinal properties. Besides the Cowslip and the Primrose, this family includes the little Scarlet Pimpernel (Anagallis), as truly a herald of warm summer weather as the Primrose is of spring, the Yellow Loosestrife and the Moneywort (Lysimachia vulgaris and Nummularia), the handsome Water Violet (Hottonia) and the nodding Cyclamen or Sowbread, all of which have medicinal value to a greater or lesser degree. Less important British members of the group are the Chaffweed (Centunculus minimus), one of the smallest among British plants, the Chickweed Wintergreen (Trientalis), the Sea Milk-wort (Glaux maritima), which has succulent salty leaves and has been used as a pickle, and the Common Brookweed or Water Pimpernel (Samolus).
Parts Used: The yellow corolla is alone needed, no stalk or green part whatever is required, only the yellow part, plucked out of the green calyx.
Uses: Healing, Youth, Treasure Finding.
Other Uses: Brings luck. Posies of cowslips placed under the pillow allows contact with the dead in dreams.
Origin: The first crocus seen in the Netherlands, where Crocus species is not native, were corms brought back from the Holy Roman Emperor's ambassador to the Sublime Porte, A. Ghislain de Busbeq, in the 1560s. A few corms were forwarded to Carolus Clusius at the botanical garden in Leiden. By 1620, the approximate date of Ambrosius Bosschaert's painting (illustration, left), new garden varieties had been developed, such as the cream-colored crocus feathered with bronze at the base of the bouquet, similar to varieties still in the market. Bosschaert, working from a preparatory drawing to paint his composed piece, which spans the whole of Spring, exaggerated the crocus so
that it passes for a tulip, but its narrow, grasslike leaves give it away.
Parts Used: Flower
Uses: Love and Visions.
Other Uses: The spice saffron is obtained from the stigmas of Crocus sativus, a fall-blooming species.
CUBEB: Piper cubeba
Origin: Cubeb, or tailed pepper, is a plant in genus Piper, cultivated for its fruit and essential oil. It is mostly grown in Java and Sumatra, hence sometimes called Java pepper. The fruits are gathered before they are ripe, and carefully dried. Commercial cubebs consist of the dried berries, similar in appearance to black pepper, but with stalks attached — the "tails" in "tailed pepper". The dried pericarp is grayish-brown, or black and wrinkled. The seed, when present, is hard, white and oily. The odor of cubebs is described as agreeable and aromatic. The taste,
pungent, acrid, slightly bitter and persistent.
Parts Used: fruit, oil
Other Uses: It continues to be used as a flavoring agent for gins and cigarettes in the West, and as a seasoning for food in Indonesia and Africa.
CUCKOO-PINT: Arum maculatum
Origin: The flowering organs are contained in a sheath-like leaf called a spathe, within which rises a long, fleshy stem, or column called the spadix, bearing closely arranged groups of stalkless, primitive flowers. At the base are a number of flowers each consisting of a pistil only. Above these is a belt of sterile flowers, each consisting of only a purplish anther. Above the anther is a ring of glands, terminating in short threads The spadix is then prolonged into a purple;
Parts Used: Root.
Other Uses: The dried root was recommended as a diuretic and stimulant, but is no longer employed. The British Domestic Herbal describes a case of alarming dropsy with great constitutional exhaustion treated most successfully with a medicine composed of Arum and Angelica, which cured in about three weeks. The juice of the fresh tuber is purgative, but too violently so to be safely administered, and its use for this purpose has now been abandoned. Other uses of the tuber are, however, advocated in herbal medicine. Preparations were once official in the Dublin Pharmacopceia, and are also recommended by Homoeopathy. A homoeopathic tincture is prepared from the plant, and its root, which proves curative in diluted doses for a chronic sore throat with swollen mucous membranes and hoarseness, and likewise for a feverish sore throat. An ointment made by stewing the fresh sliced tuber with lard is stated to be an efficient cure for ringworm, though the fresh sliced tuber applied to the skin produces a blister. The juice of the fresh plant when incorporated with lard has also been applied locally in the treatment of ringworm.
Origin: In the East this trailing annual plant has been extensively cultivated from some 3,000 years and spread westward. It was known to the Greeks (the Greek name being sikuos) and to the Romans. According to Pliny, the Emperor Tiberius had it on his table daily, summer and winter. Pliny describes the Italian fruit as very small, probably like our gherkin; the same form is figured in Herbals of the sixteenth century, but states, 'if hung in a tube while in blossom, the Cucumber will grow to a most surprising length.' In Bible history, the Israelites in the wilderness complained to Moses that they missed the luxuries they had in Egypt, 'Cucumbers and Melons,' and Hasselquist in his travels (middle of eighteenth century) states: 'they still form a great part of the food of the lower-class people in Egypt serving them for meat, drink and physic.' Isaiah, speaking of the desolation of Judah says: 'The daughter of Zion is left as a cottage in a vineyard, as a lodge in a garden of cucumbers.' The Cucumber of the Scriptures is, however, by some authorities
considered to be a wild form of Cucumis melo, the melon.
Parts Used: The whole fruit peeled and unpeeled, raw and cooked.
Uses: Chastity, healing and fertility
Other Uses: Cucumber seeds possess similar properties to those of the allied Pumpkin which are distinctly diuretic, but mainly employed as a very efficient taeniacide, 1 to 2 oz. of the seed, thoroughly ground and made into an electuary with sugar, or into an emetic with water, being taken fasting, followed in from 1 to 2 hours by an active purge. The resin has been given in doses of 15 grains. Cucumber seeds are much smaller than Pumpkin seeds, relatively narrower and thicker and with almost no marginal groove. The emulsion made by bruising Cucumber seeds and rubbing them up with water was formerly thought to possess considerable virtue and was much used in catarrhal affections and diseases of the bowels and urinary passages.
Origin: Cumin, besides being used medicinally, was in the Middle Ages one of the commonest spice of European growth. It is a small annual, herbaceous plant, indigenous to Upper Egypt, but from early times was cultivated in Arabia, India, China, and in the countries bordering on the
Parts Used: Fruit.
Uses: Protection, fidelity and exorcism.
Other Uses: Brings peace and harmony to the home. Anoint all doorways once a week just before sunrise when the household is asleep and it is quiet. Also for anti-theft.
CYCLAMEN: Cyclamen hederaefolium
Origin: There are eight members of the genus, distributed over Southern Europe, North Africa and Western Asia, one of which, Cyclamen hederaefolium, the Ivy-leaved Cyclamen or Sowbread, has been occasionally found in Kent and Sussex, but is generally considered to have been introduced accidentally, being really a native of Italy. Its large, tuberous root-stock, in common with that of C. Europaeum and of others found in the south of Europe, is intensely acrid, a
quality that has caused its employment as a purgative.
Parts Used: Tuherous root-stock used fresh when the plant is in flower.
Uses: Fertility, protection, happiness and lust.
Other Uses: Worn to ease childbirth by the expectant mother. Also used in love spells.
Origin: The Common Daffodil, a representative of the Ajax group, grows wild in most European countries. Its green, linear leaves about a foot long, and golden, terminal flowers, are familiar in moist woods
and country gardens.
Parts Used: Bulb, leaves, flowers.
Uses: Love, fertility and luck
Other Uses: It is said by Galen to have astringent properties. It has been used as an application to wounds. For hard imposthumes, for burns, for strained sinews, stiff or painful joints, and other local ailments, and for 'drawing forth thorns or stubs from any part of the body' it was highly esteemed. The Daffodil was the basis of an ancient ointment called Narcissimum. The powdered flowers have been used as an emetic in place of the bulbs, and in the form of infusion or syrup, in pulmonary catarrh.
DAISY: Chrysanthemum leucanthemum
Origin: It is to be found throughout Europe and Russian Asia. The ancients dedicated it to Artemis, the goddess of women, considering it useful in women's complaints. In Christian days, it was transferred to St. Mary Magdalen and called Maudelyn or Maudlin Daisy after
her. Gerard terms it Maudlinwort.
Parts Used: Whole herb, flowers, root.
Uses: Use for love.
Other Uses: Use to decorate on Midsummer's Eve to bring happiness and win the favor of faeries.Worn on the person on Midsummer's Eve for luck and blessings.
Origin: A small shrub; leaves smooth and pale green on upper side, underneath glabrous, with a few hairs on the ribs, ovolanceolate, shortly petiolate with two small glands at base; flowers yellow, rising singly from axils of the leaves, capsule one-celled splitting into three pieces; smell
aromatic, taste characteristic, bitterish, aromatic and resinous.
Parts Used: Leaves.
Uses:Lust, love and visions.
Other Uses: Mild purgative, diuretic, tonic, acting directly on the reproductive organs, stimulant, hypochondriastic, aphrodisiae.
DANDELION: Taraxacum officinale
Sun, Fire, Jupiter
Origin: The Dandelion, though not occurring in the Southern Hemisphere, is at home in all parts of the north temperate zone, in pastures, meadows and on waste ground, and is so plentiful that farmers everywhere find it a troublesome weed, for though its flowers are more conspicuous in the earlier months of the summer, it may be found in bloom, and consequently also prolifically dispersing its seeds, almost throughout the year.
Parts Used: Root, leaves.
Uses: Calling Spirits, Clairvoyance, Divination Magic.
Other Uses: An herb of Hecate,used in Samhain rituals. If you rub yourself all over with it,you will be welcomed everywhere you go,and all your wishes will be granted.
DATURA: Datura stramonium, D.
Feminine, Saturn, Water.
AKA: Jimsonweed, Devil's Apple, Ghost Flower.
Origin: Over 15 species found throughout the world.
Part Used: Seeds.
Uses: Hex-breaking, protection, sleep, visions.
Has been used in shamanic and religious rites. Sacred to Aztecs. A Native American herb.
Ingredient of Witches' Flying Ointment.
Masculine, Mars/Venus, Fire/Earth.
Origin: Native to N. America; later cultivated in Britain.
Part Used: Leaves, essential oil.
Uses: Animals, to stop gossip, love, lust, peace, psychic power.
Other Uses: Ingredient in Voodoo incenses. CAUTION: Toxic.
DEVILS BIT: Scabiosa succisa
Origin: It is a slender, little-branched plant, with a hairy stem, few leaves, which are oblong and not cut into, and almost globular heads of deep purplish-blue flowers. It is to be found in bloom from July to October. The florets composing the head are all very much the same size, the outer ones being scarcely larger than the inner. The stamens of each floret, as in the other species of Scabious are a very conspicuous feature, the anthers being large and borne upon filaments or threads that are almost as long again as the corolla. The root is, when fully grown, nearly the thickness of a finger, and ends in so abrupt a way as almost to suggest that it had been bitten off, a peculiarity that has given it a place in legends. In the first year of the plant's existence the root is like a diminutive carrot or radish in shape; it then becomes woody and dies away, the upper part excepted; as it decays and falls away, the gnawed or broken look results. The portion left throws out numerous lateral roots, which compensate for the portion that has perished. The plant derives its common name from this
peculiarity in the form of the root.
Parts Used: Herb.
Uses: Exorcism, love, protection and lust.
Other Uses: This plant is still used for its diaphoretic, demulcent and febrifuge properties, the whole herb being collected in September and dried. It makes a useful tea for coughs, fevers and internal inflammation. The remedy is generally given in combination with others, the infusion being given in wineglassful doses at frequent intervals. It purifies the blood, taken inwardly, and used as a wash externally is a good remedy for cutaneous eruptions. The juice made into an ointment is effectual for the same purpose. The warm decoction has also been used as a wash to free the head from scurf, sores and dandruff.
DEVILS SHOESTRING: Nolina
Origin: Member of the Lily family found in only in
Texas in the US.
Parts Used: Whole Herb.
Uses: Protection, gambling, luck, power and employment.
DILL: Peucedanum graveolens
Origin: Dill is a hardy annual, a native of the Mediterranean region and Southern Russia. It grows wild among the corn in Spain and Portugal and upon the coast of Italy, but rarely occurs as a cornfield weed in Northern Europe.
Parts Used: Dried ripe fruit.
Uses: Love charms. Hung at the doorway no person of harm shall enter.
Other Uses: Hang in children's rooms to protect them. Used in bathing it is said to make one irresistable.
DITTANY OF CRETE: Dictamnus origanoides, Origanum dictananus.
Feminine, Venus, Water/Earth.
Origin: It is indigenous to Crete, Greece, where it symbolizes birth and love. Its local name in Crete ("love") is due to the fact that it likes to grow in very steep slopes on the rocky mountains of Crete. The young men used to show their courage and their love to their beloved ones by risking their live picking it up and offering it to them.
Part Used: Leaves, essential oil.
Uses: Astral projection, clairvoyance, divination, happiness, manifestations, meditation, psychic.
Other Uses: A base for spirit manifestation. Use with Vanilla, Benzoin and Sandalwood for Astral Travel. Related to Marjoram and can be interchanged with it or Oregano in incenses.
DOCK: Rumex crispus
Origin: The leaves are crisped at their edges. It grows freely in our roadside ditches and waste places. The roots are 8 to 12 inches long, about 1/2 inch thick, fleshy and usually not forked. Externally they are of a rusty brown and internally whitish, with fine, straight, medullary rays and a rather thick bark. It has little or no smell and a rather bitter taste. The stem is 1 to 3
feet high and branched, the leaves, 6 to 10 inches long
Parts Used: Roots.
Uses: Healing, fertility and money.
Other Uses: The root has laxative, alterative and mildly tonic action, and can be freely used as a tonic and laxative in rheumatism, bilious complaints and as an astringent in piles, bleedings of the lungs, etc. It is largely prescribed for diseases of the blood, from a spring eruption, to scurvy, scrofula and chronic skin diseases. It is also useful in jaundice and as a tonic to the stomach and the system generally. It has an action on the bowels very similar to that of Rhubarb, being perhaps a little less active, but operating without pain or uneasiness.
Origin: The seeds germinate in the ground in the normal manner and throw up thready stems, which climb up adjoining plants and send out from their inner surfaces a number of small vesicles, which attach themselves to the bark of the plant on which they are twining. As soon as the young Dodder stems have firmly fixed themselves, the root from which they have at first drawn part of their nourishment withers away, and the Dodder, entirely losing its connection with the ground, lives completely on the sap of its 'host,
' and participates of its nature.
Parts Used: Stems.
Uses: Love, divination and knot magick.
Other Uses: The threads being boiled in water (preferably fresh gathered) with ginger and allspice produced a decoction used in urinary complaints, kidney, spleen and liver diseases for its laxative and hepatic action. It was considered useful in jaundice, as well as in sciatica and scorbutic complaints.
DOGBANE: Apocynum androsaemifolium
Origin: Perennial growing to 0.6m by 1m . It is hardy to zone 4. It is in flower in July. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) .
Parts Used: Root, Fruit, Bark.
Other Uses: Spreading dogbane is an unpleasantly bitter stimulant irritant herb that acts on the heart, respiratory and urinary systems, and also on the uterus. It was widely employed by the native North American Indians who used it to treat a wide variety of complaints including headaches, convulsions, earache, heart palpitations, colds, insanity and dizziness. It should be used with great caution, and only under the supervision of a qualified practitioner if taking this plant internally. The root contains cymarin, a cardioactive glycoside that is toxic to ruminants.
DOGWOOD: Piscidia erythrina
Origin: A tree with very valuable wood and with the foliage and habit of Lonchocarpus. The pods bear four projecting longitudinal wings. The pounded leavesand young branches are used to poison fish the method followed is to fill an open crate with the branches, drop it into the water, and swill it about till the water is impregnated with the liquid from the leaves, etc.; this quickly stupefies the fish and enables the fishers to catch them quickly. In commerce the bark is found in quilled pieces 1 or 2 inches long and 1 inch thick. The outer surface yellow or greyish brown, inner surface lighter coloured or white, and if damp a peculiar blue colour. Inside it is very fibrous and dark brown, taste very acrid and bitter, and produces burning sensation in mouth with a strong disagreeable smell like broken opium. In 1844 attention was called to its
narcotic, analgesic and sudorific properties which are uncertain.
Parts Used: Bark.
Uses: Wishes and protection.
Other Uses: In some subjects it cures violent toothache, neuralgia and whooping-cough and promotes sleep, and acts as an antispasmodic in asthma. It also dilates the pupil and is useful in dysmenorrhoea and nervous debility. In other subjects it only causes gastric distress and nausea; over doses produce toxic effects.
Origin: Very long-lived tree of Sumatra, East Indies, Mexico, South America and China.
Part Used: Resin from fruit, stem.
Uses: Animals, binding, changes, consecration, courage, determination, exorcism, fidelity, honesty, love, luck, potency, power, prosperity, protection, purification, strength.
Other Uses: To bring back loved ones. Use with Cinnamon for prophetic dreams. Also use to add potency to the mixture.
DULSE: Palmaria palmata
Origin: Dulse grows attached to rocks by a holdfast. It is commonly used in Ireland and Atlantic Canada both as food and medicinally and is now shipped around the globe. Dulse is found in many health food stores or fish markets or can be ordered directly from local
Parts Used: Fronds.
Uses: Lust and harmony.
Other Uses: Dulse is a good source of dietary requirements. A handful will provide more than 100% of the daily amount of Vitamin B6, 66% of Vitamin B12, a day's supply of iron and fluoride, and it is relatively low in sodium and high in potassium.
DUTCHMAN'S BREECHES: Dicentra cucullaria
Origin: Dutchman's breeches is a flowering plant in the family Fumariaceae, native to North America. It occurs mainly in the eastern half of the continent, from Nova Scotia and southern Quebec west to eastern North Dakota, and south to northern Georgia and eastern Oklahoma; there is also a disjunct population in Idaho, Oregon and Washington. It typically grows in rich woods. The common name Dutchman's breeches derives from their white flowers that look like white
Parts Used: Whole Herb.
Other Uses: Native Americans and early white practitioners considered this plant useful for syphilis, skin conditions and as a blood purifier. Dutchman's breeches contains several alkaloids that may have effects on the brain and heart. However, D. cucullaria may be toxic and may cause contact dermatitis in some people.
DYER'S BUGLOSS: Alkanna tinctoria
Origin:Alkanet is grown in the south of France and on the shores of the Levant. It has a dark red root of blackish appearance externally but inside showing a blue-red meat, surrounding
a whitish core.
Parts Used: Root
Used: Used to color dyes, tincures, and wines.
Other Uses: Purification and prosperity.
Uses: Protection, Power.
ECHINACEA: Echinacea angustifolia
Water, fire Origin: The flowers are a rich purple and the florets are seated round a high cone; seeds, four-sided achenes. Root tapering, cylindrical, entire, slightly spiral, longitudinally furrowed; fracture short, fibrous; bark thin; wood, thick, in alternate porous, yellowish and black transverse wedges, and the rhizome has a circular pith. It has a faint aromatic smell, with a sweetish taste, leaving a tingling sensation in the mouth not unlike Aconitum napellus, but without its lasting numbing
Parts Used: -Root, dried; also rhizome.
Uses: It is said to strengthen spells, and as an offering to spirits to ensure that a spell would work. Believed to be associated with the mother of the plains, and the lady of the corn, both Godesses who rule over the spring and summer months within the plains.
Other Uses: Echinacea increases bodily resistance to infection and is used for boils, erysipelas, septicaemia, cancer, syphilis and other impurities of the blood, its action being antiseptic. It has also useful properties as a strong alterative and aphrodisiac. As an injection, the extract has been used for haemorrhoids and a tincture of the fresh root has been found beneficial in diphtheria and putrid fevers.
Origin: Edelweiss is one of the best known European mountain flowers. The name comes from German edel (meaning noble) and weiß (meaning white). The scientific name, Leontopodium means "lion's paw", being derived
from Greek words leon and podion.
Parts Used: Stems, leaves, and flowers
Uses: Invisibility and bullet-proofing.
Other Uses: It is not toxic, but has been used traditionally in folk medicine as a remedy against abdominal and respiratory diseases.
ELDER: Sambucus canadensis, S. nigra.
Feminine, Venus, Water/Air.
Origin:Native shrub of U.S.A., Canada, Britain and Europe, N. Africa.
Parts Used:Flowers, wood, leaves, berries.
Uses: Banishment, blessing, clairvoyance, compassion, consecration, cursing, divination, exorcism, healing, hex-breaking, love, luck, prosperity, protection, release, sleep, transformation, wisdom.
Other Uses:Sacred to Mother Goddess. To help receive messages from the dead. A Druid sacred tree. Represents life in death and death in life. Said to offer protection to the Faeries. Burn the berries to invite the Good Folk to a gathering. CAUTION: Considered toxic by some.
Origin:Elecampane, also called Horse-heal (Inula helenium), is a perennial composite plant common in many parts of Great Britain, and ranges throughout central and Southern Europe, and in Asia as far eastwards as the Himalayas.
Parts Used: Root.
Uses: Use during scrying to increase effectiveness. Add this herb to love charms and amulets of all kinds. Elecampane is usually combined with other herbs to increase effectiveness.
Other Uses: Said to have sprung from the tears of Helen of Troy when Paris abducted her.Used to raise and sustain the spirits. Can be burned as an incense to aid meditation. Dispels violent, angry vibrations. Hide a sachet of the herb in a room, or sprinkle powdered herb along the doorways and hallways. Add to love sachets and incenses.
Origin: The Elms belong to the natural order Ulmaceae and to the genus Ulmus, which contains sixteen species, widely distributed throughout the north temperate zone, extending southwards as far as Mexico in
the New World and the Sikkim Himalayas in the Old World.
Parts Used: The dried inner bark.
Other Uses: onic, demulcent, astringent and diuretic. Wasformerly employed for the preparation of an antiscorbutic decoction recommended in cutaneous diseases of a leprous character, such as ringworm. It was applied both externally and internally. Under the title of Ulmus the dried inner bark was official in the British Pharmacopoeia of 1864 and 1867 directions for the preparation of Decoc. Ulmi being as follows: Elm Bark 1 part, water 8 parts; boil for 10 minutes, strain, make up to 8 parts.
ENDIVE: Cichorium endivia
Origin: Endive is variation of the winter leaf vegetable chicory which can be cooked or used in salads, created by growing chicory (or certain similar breeds) until its foliage sprouts, then cutting off the leaves and placing the still-living stem and root in a dark place. They grow a second bud, but without the sunlight it is white
and lacks the bitterness of the normal chicory bud.
Parts Used: Leaves.
Uses:Lust and love.
Other Uses: Food.
Origin: The leaves are leathery in texture, hang obliquely or vertically, and are studded with glands containing a fragrant volatile oil. The flowers in bud are covered with a cup-like membrane (whence the name of the genus, derived from the Greek eucalyptos well-covered), which is thrown off as a lid when the flower expands. The fruit is surrounded by a woody, cupshaped receptacle and contains numerous minute seeds.
Parts Used: The oil of the leaves
Uses: A healing herb. Has an affinity with the Moon. Carry some of the leaves with you for protection. To relieve a cold or other respiratory infection, ring green candles with the leaves and pods and visualize yourself healed. Allow the candles to burn down completely. Surround blue candles with leaves and burn for strong healing vibrations.Allow the candles to burn down completely. For healing charms of all kinds. Carry in an amulet or sachet to help in the reconciliation of relationship. Careful, the other person must be willing.
Other Uses: The medicinal Eucalyptus Oil is probably the most powerful antiseptic of its class, especially when it is old, as ozone is formed in it on exposure to the air. It has decided disinfectant action, destroying the lower forms of life. Internally, it has the typical actions of a volatile oil in a marked degree. Eucalyptus Oil is used as a stimulant and antiseptic gargle. Locally applied, it impairs sensibility. It increases cardiac action.
EYEBRIGHT: Euphrasia officinalis
Origin: The Eyebright is the only British species of a genus containing twenty species distributed over Europe, Northern and Western Asia and North America.
Parts Used: Herb.
Uses:Annoint eyelids with the infusion daily to induce clairvoyant visions.
Other Uses: Although neglected nowadays by the faculty, modern herbalists still retain faith in this herb and recommend its use in diseases of the sight, weakness of the eyes, ophthalmia, etc., combining it often with Golden Seal in a lotion stated to be excellent for general disorders of the eyes. The juice obtained by expression from the plant in the fresh state is sometimes employed, or an infusion in milk, but the simple infusion in water is the more usual form in which it is applied. An infusion of 1 OZ. of the herb to a pint of boiling water should be used and the eyes bathed three or four times a day. When there is much pain, it is considered desirable to use a warm infusion rather more frequently for inflamed eyes till the pain is removed. In ordinary cases, the cold application is found sufficient.
Origin: Mediterranean region, India, temperate Europe and Britain.
Part Used: Seeds, essential oil.
Uses: Clairvoyance, confidence, courage, fertility, healing, longevity, protection, purification, strength, virility.
Other Uses: Shields one from vice.
Origin: The name comes from Foenum-graecum, meaning Greek Hay, the plant being used to scent inferior hay. The name of the genus, Trigonella, is derived from the old Greek name, denoting 'three-angled,' from the form of its corolla. The seeds of Fenugreek have been used medicinally all through the ages and were held in high repute
among the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans for medicinal and culinary purposes.
Parts Used: Seeds.
Other Uses: This is an Egyptian preparation, made by soaking the seeds in water till they swell into a thick paste. Said to be equal to quinine in preventing fevers; is comforting to the stomach and has been utilized for diabetes. The seeds are soaked in water, then allowed to sprout, and when grown about 2 or 3 inches high, the green eaten raw with the seeds. The seeds yield the whole of their odour and taste to alcohol and are employed in the preparation of emollient cataplasms, ointments and plasters.
FERN: Many species.
Origin: Common throughout U.S.A. and Europe.
Part Used: Leaves (fronds).
Uses: Banishing, exorcism, healing, invisibility, love, luck, prosperity, protection, release, youth.
Other Uses: The Druids classed ferns as sacred trees. All ferns are powerful protective plants. Burned indoors, they provide strong protection; burned outdoors, they produce rain. A herb often used in weather magick.
Sabbat: Midsummer, Mabon, Samhain.
FEVERFEW: Chrysanthemum Parthenium
Origin: Feverfew (a corruption of Febrifuge, from its tonic and fever-dispelling properties) is a composite plant growing in every hedgerow, with numerous, small, daisy-like heads of yellow flowers with outer white rays, the central yellow florets being arranged on a nearly flat receptacle, not conical as in the chamomiles. The stem is finely furrowed and hairy, about 2 feet high; the leaves alternate, downy with short hairs, or nearly smooth-about 4 1/2 inches long and 2 inches broad - bipinnatifid, with serrate margins, the leaf-stalk being flattened above and convex beneath. It is not to be confounded with other wild chamomile-like allied species, which mostly have more feathery leaves and somewhat large flowers; the stem also is upright, whereas that of the true garden Chamomile is procumbent. The delicate green leaves are conspicuous even in mild winter. The whole plant has a strong and bitter smell, and is particularly disliked by bees. A double variety is cultivated in gardens for ornamental purposes, and
its flower-heads are sometimes substituted for the double Chamomile.
Parts Used: Herb.
Uses: Carry a sachet of it to prevent minor accidents.
Other Uses:As the name implies, an infusion is taken to reduce fevers. It's greater use is the prevention of migraine headaches.
Origin: The Common Fig-tree provides the succulent fruit that in its fresh and dried state has been valued from the earliest days. It is indigenous to Persia, Asia Minor and Syria, but now is wild in most of the Mediterranean countries. It is cultivated in most warm and temperate climates and has been celebrated from the earliest times for the beauty of its foliage and for its 'sweetness and good fruit' (Judges ix. 2), there being frequent allusions to it in the Scriptures. The Greeks are said to have received it from Caria in Asia Minor - hence the specific name. Under Hellenic culture it was improved and Attic figs became celebrated in the East. It was one of the principal articles of sustenance among the Greeks, being largely used by the Spartans at their public table; and athletes fed almost entirely on figs, considering that they increased their strength and swiftness. To such an extent, indeed, were figs a part of the staple food of the people in ancient Greece that there was a law forbidding the exportation of the best fruit from their
Parts Used: Fruit.
Uses:Divination, Fertility and Love.
Other Uses: Figs are used for their mild, laxative action, and are employed in the preparation of laxative confections and syrups, usually with senna and carminatives. It is considered that the laxative property resides in the saccharine juice of the fresh fruit and in the dried fruit is probably due to the indigestible seeds and skin. The three preparations of Fig of the British Pharmacopoeia are Syrup of Figs, a mild laxative, suitable for administration to children; Aromatie Syrup of Figs, Elixir of Figs, or Sweet Essence of Figs, an excellent laxative for children and delicate persons, is compounded of compound tincture of rhubarb, liquid extract of senna, compound spirit of orange, liquid extract of cascara and Syrup of Figs. The Compound Syrup of Figs is a stronger preparation, composed of liquid extract of senna, syrup of rhubarb and Syrup of Figs, and is more suitable for adults.
Origin: The Knotted Figwort, common throughout England, is similar in general habit to the Water Figwort, but differs both in the form of its root and in having more acutely heartshaped leaves. The stem, too, is without the projections or wings at its angles, and the lobes of the calyx have only a very narrow membraneous margin. The plant, also, though found in rather moist, bushy places, either in cultivated or waste ground, and in
damp woods, is not distinctly an aquatic, like the Water Figwort.
Parts Used: Herb.
Uses:Health and Protection.
Other Uses: It has been called the Scrofula Plant, on account of its value in all cutaneous eruptions, abscesses, wounds, etc., the name of the genus being derived from that of the disease for which it was formerly considered a specific. It has diuretic and anodyne properties. The whole herb is used, collected in June and July and dried. A decoction is made of it for external use and the fresh leaves are also made into an ointment.
FIR: Abies balsamea, A. fraseri, A. alba.
Origin: Over 40 species in northern U.S.A. and Canada; in mountainous
regions of Europe, Asia, and the Himalayas.
Part Used: Needles, essential oil.
Uses: Happiness, inspiration, peace, prosperity, protection, visionary, wisdom.
Other Uses: Used to invoke the power of the God. A Druid sacred tree.
FLAX: Linum usitatissimum
Origin: Flax is one of the English-grown medicinal herbs, the products of which are included in the British Pharmacopoeia, its seed known as Linseed, being much employed in
Parts Used: Seed.
Uses: Money, protection, beauty, psychic powers, healing.
Other Uses: Emollient, demulcent, pectoral. The crushed seeds or linseed meal make a very useful poultice, either alone or with mustard. In ulceration and superficial or deep-seated inflammation a linseed poultice allays irritation and pain and promotes suppuration. The addition of a little lobelia seed makes it of greater value in cases of boils. It is commonly used for abscesses and other local affections. Linseed is largely employed as an addition to cough medicines. As a domestic remedy for colds, coughs and irritation of the urinary organs, linseed tea is most valuable. A little honey and lemon juice makes it very agreeable and more efficacious. This demulcent infusion contains a large quantity of mucilage, and is made from 1 OZ. of the ground or entire seeds to 1 pint of boiling water. It is taken in wineglassful doses, which may be repeated ad libitum. Linseed oil, mixed with an equal quantity of lime water, known then as Carron Oil, is an excellent application for burns and scalds.
FLEABANE: Inula dysenterica
Origin: This species is a native of most parts of Europe, in moist meadows, watery places, by the sides of ditches, brooks and rivers, growing in masses and frequently overrunning large tracts of land on account of its creeping underground stems. In Scotland, however, it is rare, though common in
Parts Used: Herb, root
Uses: Exorcism, protection and chastity
Other Uses: The leaves when bruised have a somewhat soap-like smell. The sap that lies in the tissues is bitter, astringent and saltish, so that animals will not eat the plant, and this astringent character, to which no doubt the medicinal properties are to be ascribed, is imparted to decoctions and infusions of the dried herb.
FOXGLOVE: Digitalis pupurea.
Feminine, Venus, Water.
AKA: Faery Gloves, Dead Men's Bells, Faery Fingers.
Origin: Grows wild in Britain and Europe. Later introduced into eastern and central N. America.
Part Used: Leaves.
Uses: Protection, faery magick.
Druid sacred herb associated with the "Little People."
Boswellia carterii, B. thurifera.
Masculine, Sun, Fire.
Origin: Small tree native to Arabia, north and east Africa, India and China.
Part Used: Gum, essential oil.
Uses: Annointing, to bind spells, blessing, clairvoyance, cleansing, consecration, divination, exorcism, hex-breaking, inspiration, knowledge, love, luck, meditation, power, to protect from nightmares, prosperity, protection, psychic, purification, spirituality, success, transformation, visions, wisdom.
Other Uses: To increase power of spells. Can substitute for any other gum in an incense. Drives away evil spirits and impure thoughts. Draws spiritual serenity of the light. Freedom from vile habits.
Sabbat: Imbolc, Beltane, Midsummer, Yule, Lughnassadh.
FUMITORY: Fumaria officinalis
Origin: A small annual plant, a common weed in many parts of Europe, including Britain, and
naturalized in the United States.
Parts Used: Herb.
Uses:Money and exorcism
Other Uses: A weak tonic, slightly diaphoretic, diuretic, and aperient; valuable in all visceral obstructions, particularly those of the liver, in scorbutic affections, and in troublesome eruptive diseases, even those of the leprous order. A decoction makes a curative lotion for milk-crust on the scalp of an infant. Physicians and writers from Dioscorides to Chaucer, and from the fourteenth century to Cullen and to modern times value its purifying power. The Japanese make a tonic from it. Cows and sheep eat it, and the latter are said to derive great benefit from it. The leaves, in decoction or extract, may be used in almost any doses. The inspissated juice has also been employed, also a syrup, powder, cataplasm, distilled water, and several tinctures.
AKA: Low John the Conqueror (Alpina galanga).
Origin: China. Other species in Malaysia and India.
Part Used: Root, essential oil.
Uses: Consecration, exorcism, healing, hex-breaking, invincibility, law, love, luck, lust, prosperity, protection, psychic.
Other Uses: To increase power of spells.
GARDENIA: Gardenia augusta
Origin: Species of the genus are evergreen shrubs and small trees growing to 1-15 m tall. The leaves are opposite or in whorls of three or four, 5-50 cm long and 3-25 cm broad, dark green and glossy with a leathery texture. The flowers are solitary or in small clusters, white or pale yellow, with a tubular-based corolla with 5-12 lobes ('petals') from 5-12 cm diameter. Flowering is from about mid-spring to mid-summer and many species are strongly scented.
Parts Used: Flower, seed, oil.
Uses:Wear flower to attract love.
Other Uses: Gardenia plants are prized for the strong sweet scent of their flowers, which can be very large in some species. Gardenias have a reputation for being difficult to grow. Because they originated in warm humid tropical areas, they demand high humidity to thrive. They flourish in acidic soils with good drainage. Potting soils developed especially for gardenias are available. In Japan and China, Gardenia augusta is called Kuchinashi (??); the bloom is used as a yellow dye, which is used for clothes and food (including the Korean mung bean jelly called hwangpomuk).
GARLIC: Allium sativum
Origin: The Common Garlic a member of the same group of plants as the Onion, is of such antiquity as a cultivated plant, that it is difficult with any certainty to trace the country of its origin. De Candolle, in his treatise on the Origin of Cultivated Plants, considered that it was apparently indigenous to the southwest of Siberia, whence it spread to southern Europe, where it has become naturalized, and is said to be found wild in Sicily. It is widely cultivated in the Latin countries bordering on the Mediterranean. Dumas has described the air of Provence as being 'particularly perfumed by the refined essence of this mystically attractive bulb.'
Parts Used: Bulb.
Uses:Extremely protective. Used to absorb disease. Rub fresh peeled cloves on afflicted area and throw them into running water.
Other Uses: Worn, garlic guards against snowstorms (mountaineers wear it.) Rubbed on pots and pans before cooking it removes negative energy. Carry the bulb with you on trips. Hang in home to protect. Used in exorcisms.
GENTIAN: Gentiana lutea
Origin: The Yellow Gentian is a native of the Alpine and sub-alpine pastures of central and southern Europe, frequent in the mountains of Spain and Portugal, the Pyrenees, Sardinia and Corsica, the Apennines, the Mountains of Auvergne, the Jura, the lower slopes of the Vosges, the Black Forest and throughout the chain of the Alps as far as Bosnia and the Balkan States. It does not reach the northern countries of the Continent, nor the British Isles. At an elevation of from 3,000 to 4,500 feet, it is a characteristic species of many parts of France and Switzerland, where, even when not in flower, the numerous barren shoots form conspicuous objects: the leaves are at first sight very similar to Veratrum album, the White Hellebore, which is its frequent companion. Out of Europe, the plant occurs in the mountains of Lydia. In some parts it occupies large tracts of country, being untouched by any kind of
Parts Used: Root.
Uses: Love, Power.
Other Uses: Gentian is one of the most useful of our bitter vegetable tonics. It is specially useful in states of exhaustion from chronic disease and in all cases of general debility, weakness of the digestive organs and want of appetite. It is one of the best strengtheners of the human system, and is an excellent tonic to combine with a purgative to prevent its debilitating effects. Many dyspeptic complaints are more effectually relieved by Gentian bitters than by Peruvian Bark. It is of extreme value in jaundice and is prescribed extensively. Besides being unrivalled as a stomachic tonic, Gentian possesses febrifuge, emmenagogue, anthelmintic and antiseptic properties, and is also useful in hysteria, female weakness, etc. Gentian with equal parts of Tormentil or galls has been used with success for curing intermittent fever.
Feminine, Venus/Mars, Water/Fire.
Origin: Over 700 varieties native to S. Africa.
Part Used: Leaves, flower, essential oil.
Uses: White - fertility, health. Pink - love. Red - protection. Rose - annointing, to stop gossip, happiness, hex-breaking, protection, purification. All colors - Animals, confidence, consecration, courage, exorcism, lust.
Other Uses: Reduces yin/yang extremes (balancing).
Masculine, Mars, Fire.
Origin: Native of Asia. Brought to America by the Spaniards. A species of wild Ginger (Asarum canadense) is native to N. America. Introduced into W. Africa, India, Jamaica and Australia about the 16th century. Brought to Europe long before the days of the Roman Empire.
Part Used: Root, essential oil.
Uses: Courage, love, lust, power, prosperity, psychic, to halt storms, success.
Other Uses: Offer whole root to the elemental spirits.
GINSENG: Panax quinquefolius
Origin: Ginseng that is produced in the United States and Canada is particularly prized in Chinese societies, and many ginseng packages are
prominently colored red, white, and blue.
Parts Used: Root.
Uses: Love, Wishes, Healing, Beauty, Protection, Lust.
Other Uses: Promotes Yin energy, cleans excess Yang in the body, calms the body. The reason it has been claimed that American ginseng promotes Yin (shadow, cold, negative, female) while East Asian ginseng promotes Yang (sunshine, hot, positive, male) is that, according to traditional Chinese medicine, things living in cold places are strong in Yang and vice versa, so that the two are balanced. Chinese/Korean ginseng grows in northeast China and Korea, the coldest area known to Chinese in the old time, so ginseng from there is supposed to be very Yang. And originally, American ginseng was imported into China via subtropical Canton, the seaport next to Hong Kong, so Chinese doctors believed that American ginseng must be good for Yin, because it came from a hot area. However they did not know that American ginseng can only grow in temperate regions. The ginseng root is sliced, a few slices are soaked in hot water to make a tea. A randomized, double-blind study shows that American ginseng reduces influenza cases in the elderly when compared to placebo.
GOAT"S RUE: Galega officinalis
Origin: Goat's Rue, known in the old Herbals as Herba rutae caprariae, is a leguminous plant that in former times was much employed on account of its diaphoretic properties in malignant fevers and the plague, hence one of its German popular
names of Pestilenzkraut.
Parts Used: Leaves, flowering tops.
Uses: Healing, Health.
Other Uses: Diaphoretic, galactagogue. The herb is official in the National Formulary IV attached to the United States Pharmacopoeia; the dried flowering tops are made into a fluid extract with diluted alcohol. In 1873 Gillet-Damitte, in a communication to the French Academy, stated that this plant when given to cows would increase the secretion of milk from 35 to 50 per cent, since which time, Cerisoli, Millbank and several French physicians have affirmed that Goat's Rue is a powerful galactagogue. The best preparation is stated to be an aqueous extract prepared from the fresh plant. This almost black extract has a pronounced odour and is recommended to be given in doses of from 8 to 15 grains, from three to five times a day.
GOLDENROD: Solidago virgaurea
Origin: The generic name comes from solidare, for the plant is known as a vulnerary, or one that 'makes whole.' It grows from 2 to 3 feet in height, with alternate leaves, of a clear green, and terminal panicles of golden flowers, both ray and disk.
It is the only one (of over eighty species) native to Great Britain.
Parts Used: Leaves.
Uses: Money, Divination
Other Uses: Aromatic, stimulant, carminative. Golden Rod is an ingredient in the Swiss Vulnerary, faltrank. It is astringent and diuretic and efficacious for stone in the bladder. It is recorded that in 1788 a boy of ten, after taking the infusion for some months, passed quantities of gravel, fifteen large stones weighing up to 1 1/4 OZ., and fifty over the size of a pea. It allays sickness due to weak digestion. In powder it is used for cicatrization of old ulcers. It has been recommended in many maladies, as it is a good diaphoretic in warm infusion, and is in this form also helpful in dysmenorrhoea and amenorrhoea. As a spray and given internally, it is of great value in diphtheria.
Origin: The plant is a native of Canada and the eastern United States, the chief States producing it being Ohio, Kentucky, West Virginia, Indiana, New York and in Canada, Ontario. Most of the commercial supplies are obtained from the Ohio Valley, the chief market being Cincinnati. It is scarce east of the Alleghany Mountains, having become quite rare in New York State, where it has been almost exterminated by collectors. It is found in
the rich soil of shady woods and moist places at the edge of wooded lands.
Parts Used: Root.
Uses: Healing, Money.
Other Uses: The American aborigines valued the root highly as a tonic, stomachic and application for sore eyes and general ulceration, as well as a yellow dye for their clothing and weapons. It is official in most Pharmacopoeias, several of which refer to its yellowing the saliva when masticated. The action is tonic, laxative, alterative and detergent. It is a valuable remedy in the disordered conditions of the digestion and has a special action on the mucous membrane, making it of value as a local remedyin various forms of catarrh. In chronic inflammation of the colon and rectum, injections of Hydrastine are often of great service, and it has been used in haemorrhoids with excellent results, the alkaloid Hydrastine having an astringent action. The powder has proved useful as a snuff for nasal catarrh. It is employed in dyspepsia, gastric catarrh, loss of appetite and liver troubles. As a tonic, it is of extreme value in cases of habitual constipation, given as a powder, combined with any aromatic. It is an efficient remedy for sickness and vomiting.
GOTU KOLA: Centella
Origin: Asiatic Pennywort (also called Gotu Kola or Pegaga) is an herb native to Asia. Its scientific name is Centella asiatica (L.) Urban (syn. Hydrocotyl asiatica Linn). It is in the family Umbelliferae/Apiaceae. Pegaga comes from Singapore. It is a small, annual, slender, creeping herb. It has long-stalked, green, reniform leaves with rounded apices which have smooth texture with palmately netted veins. Pegaga have relatively long pericladial petioles, around 20 cm. The stems are creeping in nature (stolons), green to
reddish green in color, interconnecting one plant to another.
Parts Used: Whole Plant
Other Uses: Pegaga's rootstock consists of rhizomes, growing vertically down. They are creamish in color and covered with root hairs. The whole plant is used. It's crop matures in three months and the whole plant, including the roots, is harvested manually. When eaten raw as salad, Pegaga is thought to help maintain youthfulness. As a concoction of juice from the leaves it is thought to relieve hypertension. This juice is also used as a general tonic for good health. Also as a poultice of the leaves it is used to treat open sores.
Origin: A gourd is a hollow,
dried shell of a fruit in the Cucurbitaceae family of plants.
Parts Used: Fruit.
Other Uses: Gourds were originally used by man as containers or vessels before clay or stone pottery, and is sometimes referred to as "nature's pottery". The original and evolutional shape of clay pottery is thought to have been modeled on the shape of certain gourd varieties.
Origin: Cereal crops are mostly grasses cultivated for their edible grains or seeds (actually a fruit called a caryopsis). Cereal grains are grown in greater quantities worldwide than any other type of crop and provides more food energy to the human race than any other crop. In some developing nations, cereal grains constitute practically the entire diet of common folk. In developed nations, cereal consumption is more moderate but still substantial . The word cereal derives from Ceres, the name of the Roman goddess of The Harvest and Agriculture. Grains are traditionally called corn in the United Kingdom, though that word became
specified for maize in the United States, Canada and Australia.
Parts Used: Seeds, Stems, and Leaves.
Other Uses: Food.
GRAINS OF PARADISE: Aframomum melegueta
Origin: Grains of Paradise refers to a West African spice obtained from the plant Aframomum melegueta (is a herbaceous perennial plants native to swampy habitats along the West African coast. Its trumpet-shaped, purple flowers develop into 5 to 7 cm long pods containing numerous small, reddish-brown seeds.) which gives pungent, peppery flavor. It is also known as Guinea pepper, Melegueta pepper, alligator pepper
and Guinea grains.
Parts Used: Seeds.
Uses:Lust, Luck, Love, Money and Wishes.
Other Uses: In West African folk medicine, grains of paradise are valued for their warming and digestive properties. Grains of paradise have been introduced to the Caribbean islands, where they are used as medicine and for religious (Voodoo) rites.
GRAPE: Vitis spp.
Origin: Grapes are the fruit that grow on a woody grape vine. The grapevine belongs to the family Vitaceae. Grapes grow in clusters of 6 to 300, and can be black, blue, golden, green, purple-red and white. They can be eaten raw or used for making
grape juice, jelly, wine, and grape seed oil.
Parts Used: Fruit, seed.
Uses: Fertility, Garden Magic, Mental Powers and Money Matters.
Other Uses: Researchers,such as Marty Mayo, comparing diets in western countries have discovered that although the French tend to eat higher levels of animal fat, surprisingly the incidence of heart disease remains low in France. They named this phenomenon the French Paradox. Many scientists now believe the reason is the greater consumption of red wine in France. Something in the grape helps to lower cholesterol levels in the body and thus slows the build up of deposits in the arteries. Compounds such as resveratrol (a polyphenol antioxidant) have been discovered in grapes and these have been positively linked to fighting cancer, heart disease, degenerative nerve disease and other ailments. Doctors do not recommend excessive consumption of red wine, but three or four glasses a week is beneficial and encouraged.
Origin: Grass generally describes a monocotyledonous green plant characterized by slender leaves, called blades, which usually grow upwards from the ground. The family Poaceae (also known as Gramineae) is for flowering plants that are botanically regarded as true grasses. There are approximately 600 genera and 9,000 species of grass. Grasses are popular in rain forests in South America and in other
parts of the world.
Parts Used: Stems, leaves, seed.
Uses: Psychic Powers and Protection
Other Uses: Edible.
GROUND IVY: Glechoma
Feminine, Saturn, Water/Earth.
Origin: Ground Ivy is one of the commonest plants, flourishing upon sunny hedge banks and waste ground in all parts of Great Britain. The root is perennial, throwing out long, trailing, unbranched square stems, which root at intervals and bear numerous, kidney-shaped leaves of a dark green tint, somewhat downy with manycelled hairs, and having regular, rounded indentations on the margins. The leaves are stalked and opposite to one another, the undersides paler and dotted with glands.
Parts Used: Herb
Uses: Animals, anti-theft, clairvoyance, divination, fidelity, honesty, renewal, protection, weddings.
Other Uses: Diuretic, astringent, tonic and gently stimulant. Useful in kidney diseases and for indigestion. From early days, Ground Ivy has been endowed with singular curative virtues, and is one of the most popular remedies for coughs and nervous headaches. It has even been extolled before all other vegetable medicines for the cure of consumption.
Masculine, Mars, Fire.
Origin: N. America, northern Europe and Britain. Some sources say it is not a native of N. America, but was introduced by the Europeans.
Part Used: Berries, wood, leaves, flowers.
Uses: Chastity, divination, fertility (used at weddings), happiness, protection.
Other Uses: Maypoles. A Druid sacred tree, also sacred to faeries. Wands of this wood are of great power. Part of the sacred triad of Oak, Ash and Thorn.
Origin: The scientific name is Corylus (authenic Latin but derived from an ancient Greek name), and it is placed in the birch family Betulaceae, though some botanists split the hazels into a separate family Corylaceae. They have simple, rounded leaves with double-serrate margins. The flowers are produced very early in spring before the leaves, and are monoecious, with single-sex catkins, the male pale yellow and 5-12 cm long, the female very small and largely concealed in the buds, with only the bright red 1-3 mm long styles visible. The seeds are nuts 1-2.5 cm long and 1-2 cm diameter, surrounded by an involucre (husk) which partly to fully encloses the nut; the shape and structure of the involucre are important in the identification of the different species of hazel.
Parts Used: Twigs, branches, seed (nut),
Uses: Luck, Fertility, Anti-Lightning, Protection and wisdom.
Other Uses: The Wood is used for all magickal tools but makes an excellent all-purpose wand. Can be used as divining rods. Tie two hazel twigs together with red or gold thread to make a Solar Cross which is an excellent good luck charm. Especially good in all luck wishes. A sachet of the fruit of the tree is given to new brides for luck in marriage and fertility. Place the sprigs up high in the room for a powerful magickal protection and luck.
HEATHER: Calluna vulgaris.
Feminine, Venus, Water.
Part Used: Leaves and blossums.
Uses: Beauty, friendship, immortality, longevity, luck, protection.
Other: Protection from violent crimes. Used for rain-making (with Fern). To conjur ghosts. Worn by Wiccans to "light their way."
Origin: A sweet-scented plant which is called Heliotrope because it follows the course of the sun. After opening it gradually turns from the east to the west and during the night turns again to the east to meet the rising sun. The Ancients recognized this characteristic of the plant and applied it to mythology.
Parts Used: Whole plant.
Uses: Exorcism, prophetic dreams, clairvoyance, banishing, healing, wealth and invisibility.
Other Uses: Burn or carry for banishing or repelling negative influences around you, and for increasing courage and will power. Also used fresh under the pillow for psychic dreams.
HELLEBORE, BLACK: Helleborus niger
Origin: It is a native of the mountainous regions of Central and Southern Europe, Greece and Asia Minor, and is cultivated largely in this country as a garden plant. Supplies of the dried rhizome, from which the drug is prepared,
have hitherto come principally from Germany.
Parts Used: Rhizome, root.
The drug possesses drastic purgative, emmenagogue and anthelmintic properties, but is violently narcotic. It was formerly much used in dropsy and amenorrhoea, and has proved of value in nervous disorders and hysteria. It is used in the form of a tincture, and must be administered with great care. Applied locally, the
fresh root is violently irritant.
HEMLOCK: Tsuga canadensis, many
Saturn, Earth, Water.
Origin: Evergreen tree of U.S.A. and Canada.
Part Used: Needles, wood, essential oil.
Uses: Fertility, protection, renewal, strength, Astral projection, banishing.
Other Uses: Native American herb. This is the tree and is not toxic.
Feminine, Saturn, Earth\Water.
Origin: It is by no means an uncommon plant in this country, found on hedgebanks, in neglected meadows, on waste ground and by the borders of streams in most parts of England, occurring in similar places throughout Europe (except the extreme north) and also in temperate Asia and North Africa. It has been introduced into North and South America.
Part Used: Leaves, fruit, seeds.
Uses:Used to empower magickal tools. To paralyze a situation. Sacred to Hecate. Destroy sexual drives.
As a medicine, Conium is sedative and antispasmodic, and in sufficient doses acts as a paralyser to the centres of motion. In its action it is, therefore, directly antagonistic to that of Strychnine, and hence it has been recommended as an antidote to Strychnine poisoning, and in other poisons of the same class, and in tetanus, hydrophobia, etc. (In mediaeval days, Hemlock mixed with betony and fennel seed was considered a cure for the bite of a mad dog.) On account of its peculiar sedative action on the motor centres, Hemlock juice (Succus conii) is prescribed as a remedy in cases of undue nervous motor excitability, such as teething in children, epilepsy from dentition. cramp, in the early stages of paralysis agitans, in spasms of the larynx and gullet, in acute mania, etc. As an inhalation it is said to relieve cough in bronchitis, whooping-cough, asthma,
HEMLOCK, WATER: Cicuta virosa
Origin: The leaves of the Water Hemlock are sometimes found admixed with those of Conium. This is a semi-aquatic plant growing in ditches and on the banks of pools and rivers, though not very common in England. It has similar properties to the true Hemlock.
Part Used: Root.
Uses: Astral projection, banishing.
Used to empower magickal tools. To paralyze a
situation. Sacred to Hecate.
HEMP: Cannabis sativa
Parts Used: The dried, flowering tops of the female, or pistillate plants.
Uses: Healing, love, vision and meditation.
Other Uses: The principal use of Hemp in medicine is for easing pain and inducing sleep, and for a soothing influence in nervous disorders. It does not cause constipation nor affect the appetite like opium. It is useful in neuralgia, gout, rheumatism, delirium tremens, insanity, infantile convulsions, insomnia, etc. The tincture helps parturition, and is used in senile catarrh, gonorrhoea, menorrhagia, chronic cystitis and all painful urinary affections. An infusion of the seed is useful in after pains and prolapsus uteri. The resin may be combined with ointments, oils or chloroform in inflammatory and neuralgic complaints. The drug deteriorates rapidly and hence is very variable, so that it is best given in ascending quantities to produce its effect. The deterioration is due to the oxidation of cannabinol and it should be kept in hermetically-sealed containers.
Feminine, Saturn, Water.
AKA: Black Nightshade.
Origin: Central and southern Europe, western Asia, India and Siberia. Naturalized into N. America. Not truly indigenous to Britain, but often found there now.
Part used: Leaves.
Uses: Love, although of a binding nature (a definite no-no), banishing, to attract rain.
Other Uses: Ingredient of Witches' Flying Ointment.
Use Fern as a
HENNA: Lawsonia alba, Lawsonia inermis
Origin: The small, white and yellow, heavy, sweet-smelling flowers are borne on dwarf shrubs 8 to 10 feet high. A distilled water prepared from them is used as a cosmetic, and the powdered leaves have been in use from the most ancient times
in Eastern countries for dyeing the hair and the nails a reddish-yellow.
Parts Used: Flowers, powdered leaves, fruit.
Other Uses: It has been employed both internally and locally in jaundice, leprosy, smallpox, and affections of the skin. The fruit is thought to have emmenagogue properties. The Egyptians are said to have prepared both an oil and an ointment from the flowers for making the limbs supple.
Origin: Hibiscus or Rosemallow is a large genus of about 200-220 species of flowering plants in the family Malvaceae, native to warm temperate, subtropical and tropical regions throughout the world. The genus includes both annual and perennial herbaceous plants, and woody shrubs and small trees. The leaves are alternate, simple, ovate to lanceolate, often with a toothed or lobed margin. The flowers are large, conspicuous, trumpet-shaped, with five petals, ranging from white to pink, red, purple or yellow, and from 4-15 cm broad. The fruit is a dry five-lobed capsule, containing several seeds in each
lobe, which are released when the capsule splits open at maturity.
Parts Used: Bark.
Uses: Lust, love and divination
Other Uses: Extracts of some hibiscus species are claimed to have health benefits, including prevention of constipation, bladder infections and nausea, and high blood pressure. The studies that yielded these results are debated. An unspecified hibiscus plant is used to make a herbal tea, typically blended with rosehip.
Origin: Of the 17-19 species, 12-13 are native to North America (11-12 in the United States, 1 in Mexico), and 5-6 species from China
Parts Used: Wood, bark, nut.
Other Uses: Hickory wood is extremely tough, yet flexible, and is valued for tool handles, bows (like yew), wheel spokes, carts, drumsticks, golf club shafts (sometimes still called hickory stick, even though made of steel or graphite), walking canes etc. Baseball bats were formerly made of hickory but are now more commonly made of ash. Hickory is also highly prized for wood-burning stoves, because of its high caloric content. Hickory wood is also a preferred type for smoke curing meats. A bark extract from Shagbark Hickory is also used in an edible syrup that is similar to maple syrup, with a slightly bitter, smoky taste. The nuts of some species are palatable, while others are bitter and only suitable for animal feed. Shagbark and Shellbark Hickories, along with the Pecan, are regarded by some as the finest nut trees.
HIGH JOHN the CONQUEROR: Ipomoea jalapa.
Origin: S. America, Mexico, southern Europe.
Part Used: Root.
Uses: Anointing, consecration, happiness, hex breaking, law, love, luck, prosperity, protection, success.
Other Uses: Morning Glory root may be substituted - it is of the same family. CAUTION: Toxic, as is Morning Glory.
HOLLY: Ilex aquifolium
Origin: The Holly is a native of most of the central and southern parts of Europe. It grows very slowly: when planted among trees which are not more rapid in growth than itself, it is sometimes drawn up to a height of 50 feet, but more frequently its greatest height in this country is 30 to 40 feet, and it rarely exceeds 2 feet in diameter. In Italy and in the woods of France, especially in Brittany, it attains a much larger size than is common in these islands.
Parts Used: Leaves, berries, bark.
Uses: Old Solar Year, Waning Sun, Protection, Good Luck, Anti-Lightning, and Dream Magic.
Other Uses: Plant around the house for protection. Leaves and berries can be carried to heighten masculinity. Its wood is used for all magickal tools as it will enhance any wish you have.
Origin: Caprifoliaceae, the order to which the Honeysuckles belong, includes about 300 species, chiefly shrubs, growing in the north temperate zone or extending into the higher cool tropical regions. Besides the Viburnums and Sambucus, a number have found more or less important uses in medicine, but they exhibit but little uniformity in composition or properties.
Parts Used: Flowers, seeds, leaves.
Uses: Prosperity spells and charms and for divine inspiration, peace and balancing.
Other Uses: Fill a sachet and wear it for clairvoyance or crush the flowers and rub into the forehead for psychic powers. Place flowers in a herbal bath for balancing yourself when feeling out of sorts.
HOPS: Humulus Lupulus
Origin: The Hop is a native British plant, having affinities, botanically speaking, with the group of plants to which the Stinging Nettles belong. The sole representative of its genus in these islands, it is found wild in hedges and copses from York southwards, being only considered an introduced species in Scotland, and rare and not indigenous in Ireland. It is found in most countries of the North temperate zone.
Parts Used: Flowers.
Uses: Healing and Balancing. Placed in a pillow, will induce sleep.
Other Uses: A tea drank before bedtime helps with a restful sleep, also drank after magick acts to help balance and refocus oneself back to the everyday world. Unwise to use if depressed.
HOREHOUND: Ballota nigra, Marrubium vulgare.
Masculine, Mercury/Saturn, Air/Earth.
Origin: Indigenous to Britain, naturalized in N. America.
Part used: Leaves.
Uses: Animals, anti-theft, exorcism, fidelity, healing, honesty, mental power, protection, to keep secrets.
Other: Dedicated by ancient Egyptians to Horus. One of the bitter herbs taken by Jews at Passover.
HORSERADISH: Cochlearia Armoracia
Origin: This plant has been in cultivation from the earliest times, but its exact place of origin seems to be obscure. Hooker considers that it is possibly a cultivated form of Cochlearia macrocarpa, a native of Hungary; other authorities consider it indigenous to the eastern parts of Europe, from the Caspian and through Russia and Poland to Finland. In Britain and other parts of Europe from Sicily northwards, it occurs cultivated, or semi-wild as a garden escape. It is probably the plant mentioned by Pliny under the name of Amoracia, and recommended by him for its medicinal qualities, being then apparently employed exclusively in physic, not as food or condiment It is possible that the Wild Radish, or Raphanos agrios of the Greeks was this plant It is said to be one of the five bitter herbs, with Coriander, Horehound, Lettuce and Nettle
which the Jews were made to eat during the Feast of Passover.
Parts Used: Root.
Uses:Purification and Exorcism
Other Uses: Stimulant, aperient, rubefacient, diuretic and antiseptic. It is a powerful stimulant, whether applied internally or externally as a rubefacient, and has aperient and antiseptic properties. Taken with oily fish or rich meat, either by itself or steeped in vinegar, or in a plain sauce, it acts as an excellent stimulant to the digestive organs, and as a spur to complete digestion.
Origin: They are chiefly distributed in the temperate northern regions: seven of the twenty-five known species are British, the most frequent being Equisetum arvense, E. sylvaticum, E. maximum and E. hyemale. E. arvense, the CORN HORSETAIL, is a very troublesome weed, most difficult to extirpate
from cultivated land. Many of the species are very variable.
Parts Used: Herb.
Uses:Snake Charming and fertility
Other Uses: Diuretic and astringent. Horsetail has been found beneficial in dropsy, gravel and kidney affections generally, and a drachm of the dried herb, powdered, taken three or four times a day, has proved very effectual in spitting of blood. The ashes of the plant are considered very valuable in acidity of the stomach, dyspepsia, etc., administered in doses of 3 to 10 grains. Besides being useful in kidney and bladder trouble, a strong decoction acts as an emmenagogue; being cooling and astringent, it is of efficacy for haemorrhage, cystic ulceration and ulcers in the urinary passages. The decoction applied externally will stop the bleeding of wounds and quickly heal them, and will also reduce the swelling of eyelids.
HOUSELEEK: Sempervivum tectorum
Origin: The Houseleek was dedicated of old to Jupiter or Thor, and bore also the names of Jupiter's Eye, Thor's Beard, Jupiter's Beard, Barba Jovis (in France, Joubarbe des toits), from its massive clusters of flowers, which were supposed to resemble the beard of Jupiter. The German name of Donnersoart and the English Thunderbeard have the same meaning, being derived from Jupiter the
Parts Used: Fresh leaves.
Uses: Luck, protection and love
Other Uses: Refrigerant, astringent, diuretic. In rural districts, the bruised leaves of the fresh plant, or its juice, are often applied as a poultice to burns, scalds, contusions, scrofulous ulcers, and in inflammatory conditions of the skin generally, giving immediate relief. If the juice be mixed with clarified lard and applied to an inflamed surface, the inflammation is quickly reduced.
HUCKLEBERRY: Vaccinium myrtillus
including Britain, Siberia and Barbary.
Parts Used: The ripe fruit. The leaves.
Uses: Luck, protection, dream magic and hex breaking.
Other Uses: The leaves can be used in the same way as those of UvaUrsi. The fruits are astringent, and are especially valuable in diarrhoea and dysentery, in the form of syrup. The ancients used them largely, and Dioscorides spoke highly of them. They are also used for discharges, and as antigalactagogues. A decoction of the leaves or bark of the root may be used as a local application to ulcers, and in ulceration of the mouth and throat. The fruit is helpful in scurvy and urinary complaints, and when bruised with the roots and steeped in gin has diuretic properties valuable in dropsy and gravel. A tea made of the leaves is also a remedy for diabetes if taken for a prolonged period.
Origin: Woods of Britain.
Part Used: Roots.
Uses: Love and Protection.
Other Uses: Use in sachets to ease the pain of childbirth. Protects from nightmares. Smelling its fragrance relieves grief and depression. Used as a protective charm in negative influences.
HYDRANGEA: Hydrangea arborescens
Parts Used: Dried rhizome, roots
Other Uses: Diuretic, cathartic, tonic. The decoction is said to have been used with great advantage by the Cherokee Indians, and later, by the settlers, for calculous diseases. It does not cure stone in the bladder, but, as demonstrated to the medical profession by Dr. S. W. Butler, of Burlington, N.J., it removes gravelly deposits and relieves the pain consequent on their emission. As many as 120 calculi have been known to come from one person under its use.
HYSSOP: Hyssopus officinalis
Masculine, Jupiter, Fire.
Origin: Evergreen herb native to southern Europe and Mediterranean region; naturalized in U.S.A.
Part Used: Leaves, flower, essential oil.
Uses: Consecration, healing, prosperity, protection, psychic, purification.
Other Uses: Most widely-used purifier. Dragons and dragon work. Biblical herb.
Origin: Mountains and plains of Midwestern
Parts Used: Flower.
Other Uses: Toxic to livestock, causes keratine imbalances.
IRIS:Jasminum offic inales, J.
Feminine, Moon, Water.
Origin: Over 150 species growing in warmer regions of China, India and western Asia. Later introduced to Britain and U.S.A.
Part Used: Flowers, essential oil.
Uses: Anointing, astral projection, balance, prophetic dreams, fertility, happiness, justice, love (spiritual), luck, lust, meditation, peace, prosperity, protection, psychic, sleep, success, weddings, purification and wisdom.
Other Uses: Used to charge quartz crystals. Burn to lift spirits. Associated with the night. Hindu name translates as "moonlight of the grove". Associated with the Virgin Mary.
IRISH MOSS: Chondrus crispus
Origin: A perennial thallophyte common at low tide on all the shores of the North Atlantic, but remarkable for its extreme variability, the difference
being mainly due to the great diversity in the width of the segments.
Parts Used: Plant, dried.
Uses: Spells for money, luck, and protection.
Other Uses: Carry some with you or place in your home to increase luck and to ensure a steady flow of money into your house or pocket. Place it under rugs or above door ledges for these purposes. Helps to curb unnecessary spending.
IVY: Hedera helix.
Feminine, Saturn, Water.
Origin: Found all over Europe and northern and central Asia.
Part Used: Leaves.
Uses: Healing, newlyweds, protection (home).
Other Uses: A Druid sacred herb. Fairy work.
Sabbat: Yule, Beltane.
Masculine, Sun/Jupiter, Fire.
Origin: Over 40 species of evergreen tree and shrub. Found throughout the northern hemisphere.
Part Used: Berries, wood, essential oil.
Uses: Animals, anti-theft, exorcism, fertility, health, hex-breaking, love, lust, potency, protection, psychic powers, purification, to keep secrets, strength.
Other: Women would burn the branches during childbirth so faeries would not spirit away the newborn and leave a changeling in its place. A Druid sacred tree.
Origin: The bottle tree of the family Malvaceae is native of Tropical Australia. Its grossly swollen trunk gives it a
remarkable appearance and gives rise to the name.
Parts Used: Gum
Uses:Fertility and Gain.
Other Uses: It is used as a thickener, emulsifier and laxative in foods, and as a denture adhesive. As a food additive it has E number E416.
Kava Kava: Piper methysticum
Origin: An indigenous shrub several feet high, leaves cordate, acuminate, with very short axillary spikes of flowers, stem dichotomous, spotted. The natives prepare a fermented liquor from the upper portion of the rhizome and base of the stems; it is narcotic and stimulant and is drunk before important religious rites. The root of the plant chewed and mixed with the saliva, gives a hot intoxicating juice; it is mixed with pure water or the water of the coco-nut. Its continued use in large doses causes inflammation of the body and eyes, resulting in leprous ulcers; the skin becomes parched and peels off in scales. Commercial Kava rhizome is in whitish or grey-brown roughly wedge-shaped fragments from which the periderm is cut off about 2 inches thick; the transverse section usually shows a dense central pith, surrounded by a clean ring of vascular bundles, narrow and radiating, separated by broadish light-coloured medullary rays. Fracture starchy, faint pleasant odour, taste bitter, pungent, aromatic;
it yields not more than 8 per cent of ash.
Parts Used: The peeled, dried and divided rhizome.
Uses: Visions, Protection and luck.
Other Uses: In the islands of the South Pacific, kava kava is used as a ritual beverage for ceremonial purposes. Also well known for its sedative qualities, for alleviating urinary tract infections, and as a pain reliever or muscle relaxant. Kava kava is also a great remedy for pre-menstrual syndrome (PMS) and menstrual cramps.
Kelp: Nereocystis luetkeana
Origin: Kelp are large seaweeds, belonging to the brown algae and classified in the order Laminariales. Despite their appearance they are not grouped with the normal aquatic or land plants (kingdom Plantae), but instead are included in either kingdom Protista or Chromista. There are about 30 different genera; sometimes members of the order Fucales are also considered kelp. Kelp grows in underwater forests (kelp forests) in clear, shallow, oceans, requiring nutrient rich water below about 20°C, it offers a protection to some sea creatures, or food for others. It is known for its high growth rate - the genus Macrocystis grows up
to 30 cm per day, to a total length of over 60 metres.
Parts Used: Blades.
Uses: Wind spells, protection and psychic powers.
Other Uses: Kelp ash is calcined and rich in iodine and alkali. In great amount, kelp ash can be used in soap and glass production. Alginate, a kelp-derived carbohydrate, is used to thicken products like ice cream, jelly, salad dressing, and toothpaste, as well as in manufactured goods.
Khus Khus (Vetiver):
Origin: Vetiver is native to the Indian subcontinent, but is widely cultivated in Indonesia, the West Indies, Africa
and Polynesia. Large producers include India, Java, Haiti and Réunion.
Parts Used: Roots, made into oil.
Uses:Love, wealth, negativity, luck, increases the power of spells, protection, success and virility.
Other Uses: The leaves are used in basketry and mat weaving and also make an excellent roof thatching. The fragrant roots are woven into screens and fans and other household items. An essential oil is steam-distilled from the dried, chopped roots. The oil is known as Vetiver or Vetivert and Khus khus, Khas khas, or Oil of Tranquility in India. It is thick and amber in color. It is much used as a fixative in perfumery. The scent is deep, earthy and woody with an almost lemony overtone and is very tenacious. It is used in aromatherapy to help relieve stress and to promote relaxation.
Origin: The Knotgrass is abundant everywhere, a common weed
in arable land, on waste ground and by the roadside.
Parts Used: Whole herb
Uses: Binding, Health
Other Uses: The plant has astringent properties, rendering an infusion of it useful in diarrhoea, bleeding piles and all haemorrhages; it was formerly employed considerably as a vulnerary and styptic.
AKA Lion's Foot,
Stelleria, Nine Hooks
Origin: The Lady's Mantle and the Parsley Piert, two small, inconspicuous plants, have considerable reputation as herbal remedies. They both belong to the genus Alchemilla of the great order Rosaceae, most of the members of which are natives of the American Andes, only a few being found in Europe, North America and Northern and Western Asia. In Britain, we have only three species, Alchemilla vulgaris, the Common Lady's Mantle, A. arvensis, the Field Lady's Mantle or Parsley Piert, and A. alpina, less frequent and only found in mountainous districts.
Parts Used: Herb, root.
Uses: Animals, beauty, compassion, love, gentleness, modesty and weddings.
Other Uses: The Lady's Mantle has astringent and styptic properties, on account of the tannin it contains. It is 'of a very drying and binding character' as the old herbalists expressed it, and was formerly considered one of the best vulneraries or wound herbs.
Origin: American Valerian is one of the names given to the Yellow Lady's Slipper (Cypripedium). The roots of several varieties, the principal being Cypripedium pubescens and Cyprepedium parviflorum, are employed in hysteria, being a gentle, nervous stimulant and
antispasmodic, less powerful than Valerian.
Parts Used: Root.
Other Uses: American Valerian is official in the United States Pharmacopoeia for the production of a fluid extract. Cypridenin is a complex, resinoid substance, obtained by precipitating with water a concentrated tincture of the rhizome.
LAMMIN (Peppermint): Mentha piperita
Origin: The plant is found throughout Europe, in moist situations, along stream banks and in waste lands, and is not unfrequent In damp places in England, but is not a common native plant, and probably is often an escape from cultivation. In America it is probably even more common as an escape than Spearmint, having
long been known and grown in gardens.
Parts Used: Herb.
Uses: Love, purification, psychic powers and healing.
Other Uses: Peppermint oil is the most extensively used of all the volatile oils, both medicinally and commercially. The characteristic anti-spasmodic action of the volatile oil is more marked in this than in any other oil, and greatly adds to its power of relieving pains arising in the alimentary canal.
LARCH: Pinus larix
Origin: 'Larix' was the name given to Pine resin in the time of Dioscorides, and the term has been kept for these lofty trees. The leaves, bright green in spring, grow in small, spreading tufts like brushes. The male catkins, 1/2 inch long, are sessile and ovoid, with a cup of persistent bracts and inner, resinous, fringed, brown scales. The female cones, 3/4 inch long,
grow on short stalks, with hard, greyish-brown scales.
Parts Used: The bark, deprived of its outer layer.
Uses:Protection. Anti theft.
Other Uses: Stimulant, diuretic, astringent, balsamic and expectorant. As an external application it has been found useful in chronic eczema and psoriasis. Its chief official use is as a stimulant expectorant in chronic bronchitis, with much secretion. Its action is that of oil of turpentine.
Origin: The Field Larkspur grows wild in cornfields throughout Europe. Though a doubtful native, it is found occasionally in England in considerable quantities in sandy or chalky cornfields, especially in Cambridgeshire.
Parts Used: Seed.
Uses: Spells for Health and protection.
Other Uses:Use to keep away ghosts, the flowers will also frighten off scorpions or venomous creatures. A folk tradition states that if one looks through a bunch of larkspur at midsummer it will preserve one's eyesight for another midsummer.
Lavendula officinalis and other species.
Masculine, Mercury, Air.
Origin: Indigenous to mountainous regions of Mediterranean countries; later introduced into France, Italy and by the Romans to Britain and as far north as Norway. Early colonists brought it to America. Best quality is from England. Spike Lavender is said to have originated in the Mediterranean area and N. Africa.
Part Used: Flowers, essential oil.
Uses: Anointing, balancing, chastity (with Rosemary), clairvoyance, consecration, divination, exorcism, grieving, happiness, healing, inspiration, longevity, love, luck, lust, meditation, conscious mind, offertory, peace, prosperity, protection, psychic, purification, to keep secrets, sleep, to see spirits.
Other Uses: Invokes the wisdom of Hecate. Use to increase the duration of spells.
Sabbat: Midsummer, Ostara.
LEEK: Allium ampeloprasum
Origin: The leek is a vegetable belonging, with onion and garlic, to the Alliaceae, the onion family. Also in this species are two very different vegetables: The elephant garlic (Allium ampeloprasum var. ampeloprasum) grown for its bulbs, and kurrat which is grown for its leaves in Egypt and elsewhere in the Middle East. The
leek is also sometimes classified as Allium porrum (L.)
Parts Used: Leaves and roots.
Uses: Love, protection and exorcism.
Other Uses: Food.
LEMON: Citrus limon.
Feminine, Moon, Water.
Origin: Indigenous to Asia, India and later to Mediterranean countries. Over 45 species.
Part Used: Peel, essential oil, leaves.
Uses: Beauty, fidelity, healing, longevity, love, lust (leaves), strength.
Other Uses: To increase power of spells, Full Moon.
LEMON BALM: Melissa
Feminine, Moon/Jupiter, Water/Fire.
Origin: Mediterranean area, later Europe, Asia, N. America and N. Africa.
Part Used: Leaves, essential oil.
Uses: Animal healing, compassion, endings, fertility, happiness, healing, longevity, love, mental, prosperity, psychic, release, success, youth.
Other Uses: Used to see faeries. Named for Greek nymph, Melissa, who is the bee goddess - bees love this plant.
Origin: Chili and Peru. Later cultivated in Mediterranean, Kenya and China.
Part Used: Leaves, essential oil.
Uses: Creativity, dreams, exorcism, happiness, hex breaking, love, to prevent nightmares, peace, power, protection, psychism, purification, sleep, success.
Other Uses: Druidic women wore garlands of this herb. Increases strength of mixtures.
citratus, C. species.
Masculine, Mercury/Sun, Air/Fire.
Origin: Asia, western India and Africa. Several species in Sri Lanka.
Part Used: Leaves, essential oil.
Uses: Clairvoyance, divination, fidelity, honesty, lust, psychic, purification, strength.
Other Uses: Used by ancient Egyptians to enhance psychic abilities. Biblical oil used in consecration.
LETTUCE: Lactuca sativa
Origin: Lettuce is a temperate annual or biennial plant most often grown as a leaf vegetable. In Western countries, it is typically eaten cold and raw, in salads, hamburgers, tacos, and several other dishes. In some places, including China, lettuce is typically eaten
cooked and use of the stem is as important as use of the leaf.
Parts Used: Flower and Stems.
Uses: Chastity, Protection, Love, Divination, Sleep, Luck.
Other Uses: Food
LICORICE: Glycyrrhiza glabra
Origin: Liquoice is the root of Glycyrrhiza glabra, from which a sweet flavour can be extracted. The liquorice plant is a legume (related to beans and peas) and native to southern Europe and parts of Asia. It is a herbaceous perennial, growing to 1 metre in height, with pinnate leaves about 7–15 centimetres (3–6 inches) long, with 9–17 leaflets. The flowers are 0.8–1.2 centimeters (1/3 to 1/2 inch) long, purple to pale whitish blue, produced in a loose inflorescence. The fruit is an oblong pod, 2–3 centimetres (about 1 inch) long, containing
Parts Used: Root.
Uses:Use for matters of lust, love, fidelity.
Other Uses: Is an aphrodisiac. Ancient Egyptians used licorice for treating coughs and lung disease. Traditional Chinese medicine recommends licorice as an antacid, and it is suggested for treatment of the spleen, liver and kidney. Licorice can also relieve coughs and bronchial spasms.
LIFE-EVERLASTING: Antennaria dioca
AKA:Cat's Foot, Sweet Balsam, White Balsam Origin: Europe, Asia, America to the Arctic regions, abundant in
Great Britain, often to the coast level.
Parts Used: Whole herb
Uses: Healing, heath, longevity, animals, secrets, memory and retention.
Other Uses: Discutient and used for its astringent properties, as a cure for quinsy, and mumps, said to be efficacious for bites of poisonous reptiles, and for looseness of bowels.
LILAC: Syringa vulgaris.
Origin: Native to Persia and mountainous regions of eastern Europe. Introduced to Britain during reign of Henry VIII.
Part Used: Flower, wood, essential oil.
Uses: Clairvoyance, creativity, divination, happiness, love, memory, modesty, peace, prosperity, psychic, reincarnation.
Other Uses: To help recall past lives. Protection from vampires. To draw Sprites to your garden.
Origin: The Lilies belong to a genus consisting of less than 100 known species, occurring in all parts of the Northern Hemisphere. They are mostly found growing in fairly good soil in association with shrubs and other plants which shade their roots and help to keep the bulbs cool and in a uniform state as regards moisture. Parts Used: Whole plant. Uses:Protection and using in Breaking Love spells. Other Uses: Plant in gardens to keep away evil, worn they will stop love spells and will avert the evil eye. Bury an old piece of leather with some lilies and a criminal shall become known. The first white lily of the season will bring luck to whoever finds it.
LILY OF THE VALLEY: Convallaria magalis
AKA Jacob's Ladder, May Bells, Our Lady's Tears)
Origin: It is a native of Europe, being distributed also over North America and Northern Asia, but in England it is very local as a wild flower. In certain districts it is to be found in abundance, but in many parts it is quite unknown. It is rare in Scotland and doubtfully native and only naturalized in Ireland. It grows mostly in the dryer parts of woods - especially ash woods - often forming extensive patches, and is by no means peculiar to valleys, though both the English and botanical names imply that it is so.
Parts Used: Flowers, leaves, whole herb.
Uses: Gentleness, happiness, modesty and protection. Mental Powers.
Other Uses: Lily-of-the-Valley is valued as a cardiac tonic anddiuretic. The action of the drug closely resembles that of Digitalis, though it is less powerful; it is used as a substitute and strongly recommended in valvular heart disease, also in cases of cardiac debility and dropsy. It slows the disturbed action of a weak, irritable heart, whilst at the same time increasing its power. It is a perfectly safe remedy. No harm has been known to occur from taking it in full and frequent doses, it being preferable in this respect to Digitalis, which is apt to accumulate in the blood with poisonous results.
LIME: Citrus acida
Origin: West Indies, especially
Montserrat. A native of Asia.
Parts Used: The juice, the fruit.
Uses: Healing, Love and Protection.
Other Uses: Antiscorbutic. Used in dyspepsia with glycerine of pepsin.
LINDEN (lime tree): Tilia Europoea
Origin: This tree will grow to 130 feet in height and when in bloom perfumes its whole neighbourhood. The leaves are obliquely heart-shaped, dark green above, paler below, from 2 1\2 to 4 inches long and sharply toothed. The yellowish-white flowers hang from slender stalks in flattened clusters. They have five petals and five sepals. The original five stamens have each developed a cluster, and there is a spoon-shaped false petal opposite each true one.
Parts Used: The flowers, the charcoal.
Uses: Protection, use the leaves and flowers for immortality, good fortune and insomnia.
Other Uses: Good for matters of love, dreams, luck, sleep, weddings and youth, conjugal love and longevity.
LIQUIDAMBER: Liquidambar species.
Masculine, Sun/Mercury, Fire/Earth.
AKA: Styrax, Storax, and Sweet Gum.
Origin: Large tree native to Asia Minor. An American species ranges from the eastern U.S. to Mexico and Central America. Related to Witch Hazel.
Part Used: Gum, seedpods, bark, essential oil.
Uses: Anti-hex, consecration, exorcism, protection, strength.
Other: Use to increase power of spells. Used as a fixative. Used by Roman Catholic Church as an altar incense.
LIVERWORT: Anemone hepatica
Origin: The name of the genus may be derived from epatikos (affecting the liver) or from epar (the liver), from a likeness in its appearance to that organ. The Hepaticas are distinguished by having carpels without feathery tails and by the involucre of three simple
leaves being so close to the flower as to resemble a calyx.
Parts Used: Leaves and flowers.
Uses: Protection and love.
Other Uses: Demulcent, tonic, astringent, vulnerary. It has been described as 'an innocent herb which may be taken freely in infusion and in syrup.' It is a mild remedy in disorders of the liver, indigestion, etc., and possessing pectoral properties it is employed in coughs, bleeding of the lungs and diseases of the chest generally
LOCUST (American Acacia): Robinia pseudacacia
Origin: R. pseudacacia, the False Acacia or Locust Tree, one of the most valuable timber trees of the American forest, where it grows to a very large size, was one of the first trees introduced into England from America, and is cultivated as an ornamental tree in the milder parts of Britain, forming a
large tree, with beautiful pea-like blossoms.
Parts Used: Roots and Inner Bark.
Uses: Use for gain, harmony, to increase the power of a spell, meditation, money, peace, protection, psychic development and tranquility.
Other Uses: The inner bark contains a poisonous proteid substance, Robin, which possesses strong emetic and purgative properties. It is capable of coagulating the casein of milk and of clotting the red corpuscles of certain animals.
LOOSESTRIFE: Lythrurn salicaria
Origin: Europe, including Britain.
Russian and Central Asia. Australia. North America.
Parts Used: Herb, root.
Uses: Purple for harmony and peace and protection.
Other Uses: Although scarcely used at present, Loosestrife has been highly esteemed by many herbalists. It is well established in chronic diarrhoea and dysentery, and is used in leucorrhoea and blood-spitting. In Switzerland the decoction was used successfully in an epidemic of dysentery. It has also been employed in fevers, liver diseases, constipation and cholera infantum, and for outward application to wounds and sores.
LOTUS: Nelumbo nucifera
Origin: This plant is an aquatic perennial, but if its seeds are preserved under favorable circumstances, they may remain viable for many years. In ancient times N. nucifera, along with the closely-related Sacred Blue Lotus of the Nile
(Nymphaea caerulea), was common along the banks of the River Nile in Egypt.
Parts Used: Flowers, seeds, leaves, roots.
Uses: Protection, Lock-Opening.
Other Uses: The flowers, seeds, young leaves and rhizomes are all edible. In Asia, the petals are sometimes used for garnish, while the large leaves are used as a wrap for food. The rhizome (called ? in Chinese; pinyin: ou) is a common soup or stir-fry ingredient and is the part most commonly consumed. Petals, leaves, and rhizome can also all be eaten raw, though transmission of parasites should be a concern (e.g. Fasciolopsis buski). The stamens can be dried and made into a fragrant herbal tea. The lotus seeds or nuts are quite versatile, and can be eaten raw or dried and popped like popcorn. They can also be boiled down until soft and made into a paste. Combined with sugar, lotus seed paste is a common ingredient in pastries such as mooncakes, daifuku and rice flour pudding. Lotus roots (called bhe in some parts of India and Pakistan) are used as a vegetable. Various parts of the sacred lotus are also used in traditional Asian herbal medicine. The distinctive 'dried seed heads' resemble watering-cans, are widely sold throughout the world for decorative purposes and for 'dried flower' arranging.
LOVAGE: Levisticum officinale
Origin: It is not considered to be indigenous to Great Britain, and when occasionally found growing apparently wild, it is probably a garden escape. It is a native of the Mediterranean region, growing wild in the mountainous districts of the south of France, in northern Greece and in the Balkans.
Parts Used: Root, leaves, seeds, young stems.
Uses:Psychic Sleep, energy, and purification. aphrodisiac, consecration, love, money, protection, psychic protection.
Other Uses: Used as a tea for psychic dreams before bedtime or as an energy booster before exams or when clear thinking is needed. Use in a bath for cleansing. Added to other love herbs, it enhances the outcome.
LOVE SEED: Cardiospermum halicacabum
Origin: moist thickets of
Eastern North America.
Parts Used: Whole Plant.
Uses: Love and friendship.
Other Uses: Diaphoretic; Diuretic; Emetic; Emmenagogue; Laxative; Refrigerant; Rubefacient; Stomachic. The whole plant is diaphoretic, diuretic, emetic, emmenagogue, laxative, refrigerant, rubefacient, stomachic and sudorific. It is used in the treatment of rheumatism, nervous diseases, stiffness of the limbs and snakebite.
LOW JOHN THE CONQUEROR
(Galangal): Alpinia officinarum
Origin: The genus Alpinia was named by Plumier after Prospero Alpino, a famous Italian botanist of the early seventeenth century. The name Galangal is derived from theArabic Khalanjan, perhaps a perversion of a Chinese word meaning 'mild ginger.'
Parts Used: Dried rhizome.
Uses: health, protection, money, breaking hexes, Consecration, divine intervention, exorcism, increases the power of a spell, law, luck, love, psychic protection, psychic powers, spell breaking.
Other Uses: The root contains a volatile oil, resin, galangol, kaempferid, galangin and alpinin, starch, etc. The active principles are the volatile oil and acrid resin. Galangin is dioxyflavanol, and has been obtained synthetically. Alcohol freely extracts all the properties, and for the fluid extract there should be no admixture of water or glycerin.
Origin: Most of the Orchids native to this country have tuberous roots full of a highly nutritious starch-like substance, called Bassorin, of a sweetish taste and with a faint, somewhat unpleasant smell, which replaces starch as a reserve material. In Turkey and Persia this has for many centuries been extracted from the tubers of various kinds of Orchis and exported under the name of Sahlep (an Arabian word, corrupted into English as Saloop or Salep), which has long been used, especially in the East, for making a wholesome and nutritious drink of the same name. Before coffee supplanted it, it used to be sold at stalls in the streets of London, and was held in great repute in herbal medicine, being largely employed as a strengthening and demulcent agent. The best English Salep
came from Oxfordshire, but the tubers were chiefly imported from the East.
Parts Used: Root
Uses: An aphrodisiac. Use in workings for beauty, exorcism, luck, money, psychic protection, spell breaking and success.
Other Uses: Orchid Root is very nutritive and demulcent, for which properties it has been used from time immemorial. It forms a diet of especial value to convalescents and children, being boiled with milk or water, flavoured and prepared in the same way as arrowroot. A decoction flavoured with sugar and spice, or wine, is an agreeable drink for invalids. Sassafras chips were sometimes added, or cloves, cinnamon and ginger.
LUNARIA (Perennial Honesty): Lunaria
Origin: Perennial Honesty is a tall (height about 1 m), hairy-stemmed perennial found throughout Europe in damp woods, and on lime. It has large, pointed oval leaves with marked serrations. The common name "Honesty" arose in the sixteenth century and may be due to the translucent seed-pods which are like flattened pea-pods and borne on the plant through winter.
Parts Used: Whole Plant.
Uses: Lunaria is known as the money plant.
Other Uses: Lunaria scattered around a bedroom will get rid of assorted monsters, and could be a cure for the "Monsters under my bed syndrome" of children." Take the leaves of Lunaria and places them below a green candle, then burn the candle down.
Origin: Jave, New Guinea, West Indies.
Part Used: Outer covering of the Nutmeg. essential oil.
Uses: Divination, fertility, love, luck, mental, prosperity, protection, psychic.
Other: Used in mojo bags for love and money.
Origin: Alyssum is a genus of about 100-170 species of flowering plants in the family Brassicaceae, native to Europe, Asia, and northern Africa, with the
highest species diversity in the Mediterranean region.
Parts Used: Flower, Root, Leaves
Uses: No Medical Uses Known
Other Uses: Protection, Power to exspell charms, Hung in house for protection against 'glamour', Calms anger.
MAGNOLIA: Magnolia acuminata, Magnolia virginiana
Origin: North America.
Parts Used: Bark of stem and root.
Uses: Use in matters of fidelity, beauty and wisdom.
Other Uses: A mild diaphoretic, tonic, and aromatic stimulant. It is used in rheumatism and malaria and is contra-indicated in inflammatory symptoms. In the Alleghany districts the cones are steeped in spirits to make a tonic tincture.
Origin: The Century Plant or Maguey is an agave originally
from Mexico but cultivated worldwide.
Parts Used: Leaves and juice.
Other Uses: If the flower stem is cut without flowering, a sweet liquid called agua miel ("honey water") gathers in the heart of the plant. This may be fermented to produce the drink called pulque, which may then be distilled to produce mezcal. The leaves also yield fibers, known as pita, which are suitable for making rope, matting, coarse cloth and are used for embroidery of leather in a technique known as piteado. Both pulque and maguey fibre were important to the economy of pre-Columbian Mexico. Production continues today to a much lesser extent. Agave syrup (also called agave nectar) has recently been marketed as a healthful natural sugar substitute. Tequila is made from a different species, Agave tequilana (also called Blue Agave or Tequila Agave).
MAIDENHAIR: Adiantum Capillus-veneris
Five finger Fern, Venus's Hair
Origin: Southern Europe. Southern and Central Britain.
Parts Used: The herb.
Uses: Aphrodisiac, peace, modesty, beauty, harmony, love, gentleness, and tranquility.
Other Uses: Has been used from ancient times medicinally, being mentioned by Dioscorides. Its chief use has been as a remedy in pectoral complaints. A pleasant syrup is made in France from its fronds and rhizomes, called Sirop de Capillaire, which is given as a favourite medicine in pulmonary catarrhs. It is flavoured with orange flowers and acts as a demulcent with slightly stimulating effects. Narbonne Honey is generally added to the syrup.
MALE FERN: Dryopteris
Felix-mas, Aspidium Filix-mas
Origin: The common Male Fern, often known as Dryopteris Filix-mas (Linn.), and assigned by other botanists to the genera Lastrea, Nephrodium and Polypodium, is one of the commonest and hardiest of British Ferns and, after the Bracken, the species most frequently met with, growing luxuriantly in woods and shady situations, and along moist banks and
hedgerows. In sheltered spots it will sometimes remain green all the winter.
Parts Used: Root.
Uses: Luck and Love.
Other Uses: The liquid extract is one of the best anthelmintics against tapeworm, which it kills and expels. It is usual to administer this worm medicine last thing at night, after several hours of fasting, and to give a purgative, such as castor oil, first thing in the morning. A single sufficient dose will often cure at once. The powder, or the fluid extract, may be taken, but the ethereal extract, or oleoresin, if given in pill form, is the more pleasant way of taking it.
Origin: The large and important family of Mallows are most abundant in the tropical region, where they form a large proportion of the vegetation; towards the poles they gradually decrease in number. Lindley states that about a thousand species had been discovered, all of which not only contain much mucilage, but are totally devoid of unwholesome properties.
Parts Used: Leaves, root, flowers.
Uses: Peace, happiness and femininity.
Other Uses: Use as a tea to appreciate the small things and beauty in life. Used in magick for Love protection and exorcism. Set a bouquet of mallow outside of the window to bring a lover back. A salve of Mallow can be used to protect against black magick and "the devil".
MANDRAKE: Mandragora officinale.
Origin: Native of southern Europe, Himalayas and Palestine.
Part Used: Root, leaves.
Uses: Animals, exorcism, fertility, healing, image magick, love, lust, prosperity, protection, virility.
Other Uses: Associated with Hecate. Mandrake roots were found in Tutankhamun's tomb. American Mandrake is the May apple, an entirely different plant, although magickal properties are the same. May be used as a substitute.
CAUTION: Both plants are poisonous!
Masculine, Jupiter, Air.
Origin: Over 100 species native mainly to N. America, northern India and Japan. Only one species is indigenous to United Kingdom.
Part Used: Leaves, wood.
Uses: Love, longevity, prosperity.
MARIGOLD: Calendula officinalis
Origin: The Common Marigold is familiar to everyone, with its pale-green leaves and golden orange flowers. It is said to be in bloom on the calends of every month, hence its Latin name, and one of the names by which it is known in Italy - fiore d'ogni mese - countenances this derivation. It was not named after the Virgin, its name being a corruption of the Anglo-Saxon merso-meargealla, the Marsh Marigold. Old English authors called it Golds or Ruddes. It was, however, later associated with the Virgin Mary, and in the seventeenth century with Queen Mary.
Parts Used: Flowers, herb, leaves.
Uses:Marriage spells, clairvoyant dreams, protection, psychic powers, luck, happiness, memory, peace of mind, prosperity, success, legal matters, love.
Other Uses: Has anti-fungal properties. Marigold blooms added to the bath water will help you to win respect and admiration. Carrying marigolds will help justice come into one's life. Marigolds belong in one's garden simply because they are such an old planet. Added to other herbs in sachets, amulets and incense for attracting a new love or add new life to a present relationship. Place above the bed for psychic dreams. Marigolds picked at noon were said to strengthen and comfort the heart. Garlands of marigolds were strung up to stop evil from entering a house and to prevent nightmares. Burning incense is said to help you to see a thief, or to discover who has robbed you. If a girl touches the petals of the marigold with her bare feet she will be able to understand the birds.
Sabbat: Use garlands of it for Samhain, for it was believed that the dead could only see the color orange when they passed on such nights, or on the night of the funeral.
MARJORAM: Origanum majorana, O. vulgare.
Feminine, Saturn, Fire.
Origin: Native to Portugal. Wild Marjoram (O. vulgare) is widely grown in Asia, Europe and N. Africa, probably originally from Greece or Sicily.
Part Used: Leaves, essential oil.
Uses: Animals, grieving, healing, love, newlyweds, peace, prosperity, protection, psychic, and purification.
Other: Thought to help the dead sleep in peace. A gentle herb, used by Greeks at weddings and funerals.
MARSH MALLOW: Althaea
Origin: Marsh Mallow is a native of most countries of Europe, from Denmark southward. It grows in salt marshes, in damp meadows, by
the sides of ditches, by the sea and on the banks of tidal rivers.
Parts Used: Leaves, root, flowers.
Uses: Protection and psychic powers.
Other Uses: Commonly used to soothe and stabilize the digestive tract.
MASTIC, GUM: Pistacia lentiscus, P. atlantica.
Origin: Shrub found over Mediterranean region, Spain, Greece, France, and tropical Africa. Grown in England since mid 1600's.
Part Used: Resin.
Uses: Divination, lust, manifestations, mental, psychic.
Other: For divination, use with Cinnamon, Juniper, Patchouli and Sandalwood. Adds potency and power to the mixture.
MAYAPPLE: Podophyllum peltaltum.
Masculine, Mercury, Fire.
AKA: American Mandrake.
Origin: They are usually found in shaded, damp locations, with a sub-cosmopolitan range throughout most of the Northern Hemisphere and also south to southern Africa and tropical South America, but
absent from Australasia.
Parts Used: Fruit.
Other Uses: The Blackfoot tribe made a tea of seeds for chest pains. The fruits were used to spice pemmican, dried meat and broths. The Bella Coola chewed the root and swallowed the juice for headache, eye trouble and sore legs, and to loosen phlegm and improve blood circulation. The Thompson Indians made a poultice of mashed roots to be applied to open wounds. The fruits were kept as a household and clothing deodorant and often crushed and mixed with paint for robes. The seeds and leaves were also placed among clothing or other possessions as an insect repellant.
MEADOWSWEET: Spiraea Ulmaria
water. AKA Gravel Root, Trumpet Weed
Origin: The fragrant Meadowsweet is one of the best known wild flowers, decking our meadows and moist banks with its fernlike foliage and tufts of delicate, graceful, creamy-white flowers, which are in blossom from June to almost September. The leaves are dark green on the upper side and whitish and downy underneath, much divided, being interruptedly pinnate, having a few large serrate leaflets and small intermediate ones; the terminal leaflets are large, 1 to 3 inches long and three to five lobed. The stems are 2 to 4 feet high, erect and furrowed, sometimes purple. The flowers are small, clustered close together in handsome irregularly-branched cymes, and have a very strong, sweet smell. The whole herb possesses a pleasant taste and flavour, the green parts partaking of the aromatic character of the flowers.
Parts Used: Herb.
Uses: Love, happy energy, money, peace, happiness, love, tranquility, luck, and harmony.
Other Uses: Arrange fresh flowers on altar when mixing love charms or performing love spells. A subtle but beautifully aromatic herb this is used for the symbol of love when mixing up your potions. Burn the dried herb to relieve disharmony in the home or to relieve tensions when the in-laws are coming. Meadowsweet contains the analgesic substance "salicin," which provides the basis for aspirin.
Sabat: Wear garland at Lammas to join the essence of the Goddess.
Saturn, air. AKA Hay Flowers, Sweet Clover, King's
Origin: The Melilots or Sweet Clovers - formerly known as Melilot Trefoils and assigned, with the common clovers, to the large genus Trifolium, but now grouped in the genus Melilotus - are not very common in Britain, being not truly native, though they have become naturalized, having been extensively cultivated for fodder formerly, especially the common yellow species, Melilotus officinalis.
Parts Used: Herb.
Uses: Animals, opposition, luck, happiness, psychic protection, release, strength and endings. Memory enhancing and healing. A bath, heals and soothes.
Other Uses: The herb has aromatic, emollient and carminative properties. It was formerly much esteemed inmedicine as an emollient and digestive and is recommended by Gerard for many complaints, the juice for clearing the eyesight, and, boiled with lard and other ingredients, as an application to wens and ulcers, and mixed with wine, 'it mitigateth the paine of the eares and taketh away the paine of the head.'
Origin: Shimoyama has asserted that menthol has been known in Japan for more than 2000 years, but in the west it was not isolated until 1771, by Gambius. (Menthol (also called l-menthol or (1R,2S,5R)-menthol) occurs naturally in peppermint oil (along with a little menthone, the ester menthyl acetate and other compounds), obtained from mentha x piperita. Japanese menthol also contains a
small percentage of the 1-epimer, neomenthol.
Parts Used: Oil
Uses: Endings, exorcism, increases power of all spells, psychic development, and spell breaking.
Other Uses: Menthol has local anesthetic and counterirritant qualities, and it is widely used to relieve minor throat irritation.
MESQUITE: Prosopis spp.
Origin: Prosopis is a genus of about 45 species of leguminous spiny trees and shrubs found in subtropical and tropical regions of the Americas, Africa and southwest Asia. They often thrive in arid soil and are resistant to droughts, on occasion developing extremely deep root systems. Their wood is usually hard, dense and
durable. Their fruits are pods and may contain large amounts of sugar.
Parts Used: Wood, pods, and leaves.
Other Uses: Mesquite trees grow quickly and furnish shade and wildlife habitat where other trees will not grow. Being a legume, it fixes nitrogen in the soil where it grows, although this is rather newly discovered and is still a poorly understood part of its life cycle. Mesquite wood is hard, allowing it to be used for furniture and implements. As firewood, it burns slowly. When used to barbecue, the smoke from the wood adds a distinct flavor to the food. Mesquite leaves were once used medicinally; water infused with the leaves can be used as eye drops. The bean pods of the mesquite can be dried and ground into flour, adding a sweet, nutty taste to breads, or used to make jelly or wine.
Origin: The Marian, or Milk Thistle, is perhaps the most important medicinally among the members of this genus, to which all
botanists do not, however, assign it, naming it Silybum Marianum.
Parts Used: Whole herb, root, leaves, seeds and hull.
Uses: Milk thistle is one of the most powerful herbs for healing, detoxifying and strengthening the liver.
Other Uses: The seeds of this plant are used nowadays for the same purpose as Blessed Thistle, and on this point John Evelyn wrote: 'Disarmed of its prickles and boiled, it is worthy of esteem, and thought to be a great breeder of milk and proper diet for women who are nurses.'
Origin: Mimosa is a genus of about 400 species of herbs and shrubs, in the subfamily Mimosoideae of the legume family Fabaceae, with evenly bipinnate leaves. The best-known species is Mimosa pudica, which is also known as the sensitive plant or sleeping grass because of the way it folds its leaves down when touched; many others also fold their leaves in the evening. It is native to southern Mexico and Central America but is widely cultivated elsewhere for its curiosity value, both as an indoor plant in temperate areas, and outdoors in the tropics. Outdoor cultivation has led to weedy invasion in
some areas, notably Hawaii.
Parts Used: Leaves.
Uses:Protection, love, prophetic dreams and purification.
Other Uses: Mimosa fragrifolia is an acrid astringent. M. linguis is a diuretic astringent. M. humilis, Brazilian Mimosa or Sensitive Plant, so called because the leaves close at the least contact. Tincture of the leaves is used by homoeopaths for swelling of ankles. Cassia nictitans, or Wild Sensitive Plant, is used for certain forms of rheumatism.
MINT: Mentha spp.
Masculine, Mercury, Air.
Origin: Thought to be a native of Mediterranean region and brought to Britain by the Romans.
Part Used: Leaves, essential oil.
Uses: Exorcism, healing, lust, prosperity, protection, travel.
Other: A Druic sacred herb. See also
MISMIN: Mentha viridis
Origin: This common garden mint is not a native of these islands, though growing freely in every garden, but is originally a native of the Mediterranean region, and was introduced into Britain by the Romans, being largely cultivated
not only by them, but also by the other Mediterranean nations.
Parts Used: Herb.
Uses: Healing, love, sharpens mental powers.
Other Uses: Spearmint is chiefly used for culinary purposes. The properties of Spearmint oil resemble those of Peppermint, being stimulant, carminative and antispasmodic, but its effects are less powerful, and it is less used than Peppermint, though it is better adapted for children's maladies. From 2 to 5 drops may be given on sugar, or from 1/2 to 1 teaspoonful of spirit of Spearmint, with 2 tablespoonsful of water. Spearmint oil is added to many compounds on account of its carminative properties, and because its taste is pleasanter and less strong than Peppermint. A distilled water of Spearmint will relieve hiccough and flatulence as well as the giddiness of indigestion. For infantile trouble generally, the sweetened infusion is an excellent remedy, and is also a pleasant beverage in fevers, inflammatory diseases, etc. Make the infusion by pouring a pint of boiling water on an ounce of the dried herb; the strained-off liquid is taken in doses of a wineglassful or less. It is considered a specific in allaying nausea and vomiting and will relieve the pain of colic. A homoeopathic tincture prepared from the fresh plant in flower has been found serviceable in strangury, gravel, and as a local application in painful haemorrhoids. Its principal employment is for its febrifuge and diuretic virtues.
MISTLETOE: Viscum album, Phoradendron
Masculine, Sun, Fire.
Origin: An evergreen parasitic plant growing on branches of trees (mainly Ash, Poplar and Apple, occasionally on Oak). Found throughout Europe and S. Africa.
Part Used: Leaves, berries.
Uses: Animals, consecration, exorcism, fertility, healing, hunting, immortality, invisibility, love, luck, protection, renewal, success, virility.
Other: Used by Druids to see beyond the cycle of rebirth. It is the most sacred "tree" of the Druids. Use in floor wash to attract patrons to a business. An herb of the Underworld in Greek and Roman mythology. Used in Fairy magick when picked on Midsummer. CAUTION: Poisonous.
Sabbat: Yule, Midsummer, and Lughnasadh.
Origin: Moonworts are seedless vascular plants of the genus Botrychium, sensu stricto. They are small, with fleshy roots, and reproduce by spores shed into the air. Some species only occasionally emerge above ground and gain most of their nourishment from
an association with mycorrhizal fungi.
Parts Used: Roots
Uses: Divination, love and prosperity.
MOSS: class Bryopsida
Origin: Mosses are small plants that are rarely taller than 2 inches (50 mm). They typically grow close together in clumps or mats in damp or shady locations. They do not have flowers and their simple leaves cover the thin wiry stems. At certain times mosses produces spore capsules which may appear as
beak-like capsules borne aloft on thin stalks.
Parts Used: Whole plant
Uses: Luck and money.
Other Uses: There is a substantial market in mosses gathered from the wild. The uses for intact moss are principally in the florist trade and for home decoration. Decaying moss in the genus Sphagnum is also the major component of peat, which is "mined" for use both as a soil additive and in smoking malt in the production of Scotch whisky. There are growing concerns in parts of the world where this trade is growing, that significant environmental damage may be caused by the activities of commercial moss harvesters. In World War II, Sphagnum mosses were used as a sort of a band-aid on soldiers' wounds, as these mosses are highly absorbant with mild antibacterial properties. Some early people used it as a diaper due to its high absorbency.
MOTHERWORT: Leonurus cardiaca
AKA Lion's ear Origin: Motherwort, the only British representative of the genus Leonurus, is a native of many parts of Europe, on banks and under hedges, in a gravelly or calcareous soil. It is often found in country gardens, where it was formerly grown for medicinal purposes, but it is rare to find it truly wild in England, and by some authorities it is not considered indigenous, but merely a garden
Parts Used: Herb
Uses: Animals, compassion, fertility, happiness, gentleness, harmony, love, peace, sleep, dreams, and tranquility.
Other Uses: Diaphoretic, antispasmodic, tonic, nervine, emmenagogue. Motherwort is especially valuable in female weakness and disorders (hence the name), allaying nervous irritability and inducing quiet and passivity of the whole nervous system.
MUGWORT: Artemesia vulgaris, A. ludoviciana
Feminine, Venus, Earth/Air.
AKA: Western Mugwort or White Sage (Artemesia spp.) is American.
Origin: Probably native to Europe. Found in temperate zones. American version is found in western United States and Mexico.
Part Used: Leaves, essential oil, flowers.
Uses: Anti-theft, astral projection, banishing, clairvoyance, consecration, divination, longevity, prophetic dreams, fertility, hex-breaking, lust, protection (physical), psychic, release, sanity, scrying, sleep, strength, safe travel, visions.
Other Uses: A Druid sacred herb. Once known as "Mother of Herbs" because it could drive off imps and devils. Often used in dream pillows. Used to exorcise spirits of disease. A branch kept under the doorstep will keep away annoying visitors. A Chinese protective herb.
Sabbat: Midsummer, Mabon.
MULBERRY: Morus nigra
Origin: The Common or Black Mulberry is not one of our native trees, but with several other members of its genus - which contains a dozen or more species - can be grown without protection in the south of Britain. There they are small bushy-headed trees, with large alternate, deciduous, toothed and often variously lobed leaves. It is by no means unusual for a Mulberry tree to produce leaves of several different shapes, or differing considerably in outline. As a rule, abnormalshaped leaves are produced from stem-shoots or sucker growths, and frequently by very vigorous young branches. The Chinese White Mulberry (Morus alba, Linn.), cultivated in other countries as food for the silkworm, is even more variable in leafage than the Common Mulberry, and quite a score of different forms of leaf have been gathered from a single tree and several from one shoot. Both species contain in every part a milky juice, which will coagulate into a sort of Indian rubber, and this has
been thought to give tenacity to the filament spun by the silkworm.
Parts Used: Berry
Uses: Protection and strength.
Other Uses: The sole use of Mulberries in modern medicine is for the preparation of a syrup, employed to flavour or colour any other medicine. Mulberry Juice is obtained from the ripe fruit of the Mulberry by expression and is an official drug of the British Pharmacopoeia. It is a dark violet or purple liquid, with a faint odour and a refreshing, acid, saccharine taste. The British Pharmacopceia directs that Syrupus Mori should be prepared by heating 50 fluid drachms of the expressed juice to boiling point, then cooling and filtering. Ninety drachms of sugar is then dissolved in the juice, which is warmed up again. When once more cooled, 6.25 drachms of alcohol is added: the product should then measure about 100 drachms (20 fluid ounces). The dose is 2 to 1 fluid drachm, but it is, as stated, chiefly used as an adjuvant rather than for its slightly laxative and expectorant qualities, though used as a gargle, it will relieve sore throat.
MULLEIN: Verbascum thapus.
Feminine, Saturn, Fire.
Origin: Widespread - Europe and temperate Asia, N. America (especially the eastern states), and U.K. (except northern Scotland). Also common in N. Africa.
Part Used: Flowers, leaves.
Uses: Determination, courage, exorcism, fertility, healing, longevity, love, protection, purification, sleep, travel.
Other Uses: A Native American herb. Used as a substitute for graveyard dust. Often an important ingredient in many potions.
MUSK: Moschus chrysogaster
Origin: Oil extracted from the glandular sack of Himalayan musk deer.
Uses: Apply to 3rd eye during meditation to open chakras to divine wisdom. Love incenses, prosperity, courage, fertility.
Other Uses: Since animals must die to provide this oil, please use a substitute: Musk Ambrette seed (Hibiscus abelmoschus) from the musk mallow. Or a Calif. musk plant (Mimulus moschatus). Either of these can be used instead. Magickal properties are the same.
MUSTARD: Brassica alba, Brassica nigra
Origin: The Mustards, Black and White, are both wild herbs growing in waste places in this country, but are cultivated for their seeds, which are valuable medicinally and commercially. They were originally treated as members of a small genus of frequently cultivated European and Asiatic herbs named Sinapis, from the Greek sinapi (mustard), a name used by Theophrastus, but they are now generally included in
the Cabbage genus, Brassica.
Parts Used: Seeds.
Uses: Health, protection, fertility, exorcism, fertility, love, passion, success, virility, wealth, and mental powers.
Other Uses: Irritant, stimulant, diuretic, emetic. Mustard is used in the form of poultices for external application near the seat of inward inflammation, chiefly in pneumonia, bronchitis and other diseases of the respiratory organs. It relieves congestion of various organs by drawing the blood to the surface, as in head affections, and is of service in the alleviation of neuralgia and other pains and spasms.
Feminine, Moon/Sun, Water/Fire.
Origin: Bush native to Arabia, Somaliland.
Part Used: Resin, essential oil.
Uses: Animal healing, anointing, banishing, blessing, compassion, consecration, endings, exorcism, happiness, healing, hex-breaking, luck, meditation, peace, prosperity, protection, purification, release, success.
Other Uses: Lifts vibrations. Use to drive and bind spells. Used as a fixative in perfumery and potpourri. The bush is a Christian symbol of continence. An Egyptian embalming ingredient. Burned in liturgical rites throughout the ancient world. Hebrew women used it for purification.
Sabbat: Imbolc, Mabon.
Origin: The only species of a useful family that is regarded as official, Myrica cerifera grows in thickets near swamps and marshes in the sand-belt near the Atlantic coast and on the shores of Lake Erie. Its height is from 3 to 8 feet, its leaves lanceolate, shining or resinous, dotted on both sides, its flowers unisexual without calyx or corolla, and its fruit small groups of globular berries, having numerous black grains crusted with greenish-white wax. These are persistent for two or three years. The leaves are very fragrant when rubbed.
Parts Used: The dried bark of the root. The wax.
Uses: Compassion, prosperity, fertility, happiness, longevity and love.
Other Uses:The wood is used to make magickal charms and other tools. Add also to friendship wishes for true friends. Sacred to Venus. Grown indoors, brings good luck. Carry leaves to attract love, or the wood to preserve youth. Make magick charms from the wood.
Origin: The Nettle tribe, Urticaceae, is widely spread over the world and contains about 500 species, mainly tropical, though several, like our common Stinging Nettle, occur widely in temperate climates. Many of the species have stinging hairs on their stems and leaves. Two genera are represented in the British Isles, Urtica, the Stinging Nettles, and Parietaria, the Pellitory. Formerly botanists included in the order Urticaceae the Elm family, Ulmaceae; the Mulberry, Fig and Bread Fruit family, Moraceae; and that of the Hemp and Hop, Cannabinacece; but these are now generally regarded as separate groups.
Parts Used: Herb, seeds.
Uses: Exorcism, healing and lust. Petty problem resolutions.
Other Uses: Stuff a poppet with nettles to send bad vibes or curses back to the sender. Carry for courage. Use in protection charms. Make a tea from the flowers, sprinkle it on yourself, others (with their permission) and around your house to remove petty jealousies. Use to end gossip and envy. Use in banishing spells. An anti-toxin.
NIGHTSHADE, BLACK: Solanum nigrum.
AKA: Garden Nightshade, Henbane.
NIGHTSHADE, DEADLY: Atropa belladonna.
AKA: Belladonna, Dwale.
Origin: Native to central and southern Europe, southern and western Asia. Later cultivated in England, France and N. America. Rare in Scotland.
Parts Used: Berries.
Uses: Astral projection, banishing, visions.
Other Uses: Sacred to Hecate. CAUTION: All parts are Highly Poisonous!
NIGHTSHADE, WOODY: Solanum
Masculine, Mercury, Air.
Origin: Native to Europe, Britain and N. America.
Parts Used: Berries.
Uses: Healing, protection, to forget lost love.
Other Uses: CAUTION: Poisonous!
NUTMEG: Myristica fragrans.
Masculine, Jupiter, Fire.
Origin: Malaya, Molucca Islands.
Parts Used: Seed, essential oil.
Uses: Clairvoyance, divination, dreams, fidelity, fertility, healing, invisibility, justice, love, luck, lust, meditation, prosperity, protection, psychic, sleep.
Other Uses: Used to activate love spells.
NUTS: Order Fagales
Origin: A nut in botany is a simple dry fruit with one seed (rarely two) in which the ovary wall becomes very hard (stony or woody) at maturity, and where the seed remains unattached or unfused with the ovary wall. Most nuts come from pistils with inferior ovaries (see flower) and all are indehiscent (not opening at maturity). True nuts are produced - for example - by some plants-families of the order Fagales. Note that not all true nuts are edible; some (e.g. birch, alder, hornbeam, wingnut) are too small to be worth eating, while others (e.g.
tanoak) are too bitter to be edible.
Parts Used: Fruit
Uses:Fertility, prosperity, love and luck.
Other Uses: Food.
Masculine, Sun/Jupiter, Fire.
Origin: Found throughout northern hemisphere.
Parts Used: Leaves, acorns, wood.
Uses: Commanding, confidence, courage, fertility, healing, longevity, luck, power, prosperity, protection, purification, to keep secrets, strength, success, virility.
Other Uses: A Druid holy tree, the Oak was the king of trees in a grove. Connected with the Dagda, Herne, Zeus, Hecate, Pan, Blodeuwedd, Cerridwyn, Cernnunnos. A Native American tree. Associated with the Thunder gods of many cultures due to the fact it attracts lightning more than other trees. Midsummer fire is Oak, and the need fire usually kindled in a Oak log. Believed to provide safety to the Fairy Folk.
Sabbat: Yule, Mabon, Samhain, Lughnasadh, and Midsummer.
OAKMOSS: Evernia prunastri
Origin: A lichen that grows mostly on Oak trees in Europe and N. America.
Parts Used: Whole plant, essential oil.
Uses: Clairvoyance, divination exorcism, hex breaking, inspiration, prosperity, wisdom.
Other Uses: Used as a fixative. To invoke the elementals.
OATS: Avena sativa
Origin: There are about twenty-five varieties cultivated. The nutritive quality of Oats is less in a given weight than that of any other cereal grain. In the best Oats it does not exceed 75 per cent. Avena sativa, the Common Oat, has a smooth stem, growing up to 4 feet high, with linear lanceolate, veined rough leaves; loose striate sheaves; stipules lacerate; panicle equal, loose; spikelets pedunculate, pendulous, twoflowered, both perfect, lower one mostly awned; paleae cartilaginous, embracing the caryopsis; root fibrous, annual. The Naked or Pilcorn Oat differs slightly from the other: calyces three-flowered, receptacle exceeding the calyx; petals awned at the back; the third floscule awnless; and the chief difference lies in the grains, which when ripe quit the husk and fall naked. The grains as found in commerce are enclosed in their pales and these grains divested of their paleae are used for medicinal and dietary purposes; the grains when separated from their integuments are termed groats, and these when crushed are called Embden
groats. Oatmeal is ground grain.
Parts Used: Seeds.
Other Uses: Nervine, stimulant, antispasmodic. Oats are made into gruel. This is prepared by boiling 1 OZ. of oatmeal or groats in 3 pints of water till reduced to 1 quart, then straining it, sugar, lemons, wine, or raisins being added as flavouring. Gruel thus is a mild nutritious aliment, of easy digestion in inflammatory cases and fevers; it is very useful after parturition, and is sometimes employed in poisoning from acid substances. It is found useful also as a demulcent enema and boiled into a thick paste makes a good emollient poultice. Oatmeal is unsoluble in alcohol, ether, and the oils, but the two first move an oleoresinous matter from it. It is to be avoided in dyspepsia accompanied with acidity of the stomach. The pericarp of Oats contains an amorphous alkaloid which acts as astimulant of the motor ganglia, increasing the excitability of the muscles, and in horses causes excitement. A tincture is made by permeating 4 OZ. of ground oatmeal to 1 pint diluted alcohol, keeping the first 5 1/2 OZ. (fluid), and evaporating the remainder down to 1/2 fluid ounce, and adding this to the first 5 1/2 fluid ounces. The extract and tincture are useful as a nerve and uterine tonic.
Masculine, Sun, Fire.
AKA: Sweet oil.
Origin: Native to Asia Minor and Syria. Cultivated in Mediterranean region, Chili, Peru and southern Australia. Very long-lived tree.
Parts Used: Oil.
Uses: Anointing, fertility, healing, luck, lust, peace, potency, protection.
Other Uses: Excellent base to distill other essences. Sacred to Minerva, goddess of wisdom.
ONION: Allium cepa
Origin: Onion in the general sense can be used for any plant in the Genus Allium but used without qualifiers usually means Allium cepa, also called the garden onion. Onions (usually but not exclusively the bulbs) are edible with a distinctive strong flavor and pungent odor which is mellowed and sweetened by cooking. They generally have a papery outer skin over a fleshy, layered inner core. Used worldwide for culinary purposes, they come in a wide variety of forms and colors.
Parts Used: Bulb.
Uses: Protection, exorcism, banishing, purifying, healing, money, prophetic dreams and lust.
Other Uses: An onion cut in half and placed in the corners of the room will absorb illnesses then bury or burn the onion. Rub your magickal tools on a piece of onion to clean them. The onion is sacred to the moon. Use in any wish involving Moon energies. Burn the flowers for banishing any bad habits and negative influences.
ORANGE: Citrus sinesis, Citrus species.
Origin: India and China.
Parts Used: Peel, flowers, essential oil.
Uses: Balancing, beauty, divination, fertility, happiness, healing, love, luck, peace, prosperity, purification, weddings.
Other: Use flowers in love incenses. Signifies a long, happy marriage. Chinese symbol of luck and prosperity.
Origin: Most of the Orchids native to this country have tuberous roots full of a highly nutritious starch-like substance, called Bassorin, of a sweetish taste and with a faint, somewhat unpleasant smell, which replaces starch as a reserve material. In Turkey and Persia this has for many centuries been extracted from the tubers of various kinds of Orchis and exported under the name of Sahlep (an Arabian word, corrupted into English as Saloop or Salep), which has long been used, especially in the East, for making a wholesome and nutritious drink of the same name. Before coffee supplanted it, it used to be sold at stalls in the streets of London, and was held in great repute in herbal medicine, being largely employed as a strengthening and demulcent agent. The best English Salep came
from Oxfordshire, but the tubers were chiefly imported from the East.
Parts Used: Root.
Other Uses: Orchids are among the most highly prized of ornamental plants. In Mexico the flowers are used symbolically by the natives; each one conveys a sentiment associated with different ceremonies or religious figures. From the time that orchids were first imported from the Bahamas to Britain (in the early 18th cent.) these flowers have been cultivated for their commercial value and have been successfully hybridized and variegated. Many orchids are now propagated by tissue culture methods. Hawaii has become a major center for commercial orchid culture. A species of the Vanilla genus of tropical America is important economically as the source of natural vanilla flavoring.
OREGON GRAPE: Berberis vulgaris
Origin: The Common Barberry, a well-known, bushy shrub, with pale-green deciduous leaves, is found in copses and hedges in some parts of England, though a doubtful native in Scotland and Ireland. It is generally distributed over the greater part of Europe, Northern Africa and temperate Asia. As an
ornamental shrub, it is fairly common in gardens.
Parts Used: Bark, root-bark.
Uses: Money and prosperity.
Other Uses: Tonic, purgative, antiseptic. It is used in the form of a liquid extract, given as decoction, infusion or tincture, but generally a salt of the alkaloid Berberine is preferred.
ORRIS: Iris florentina.
AKA: Yellow Flag Iris.
Origin: Eastern Mediterranean area, northern India and N. Africa.
Part Used: Root.
Uses: Creativity, divination, exorcism, to stop gossip, hex breaking, love, protection.
Other: Used as a fixative. Sacred to Hera.
Origin: Arecaceae (sometimes known by the legitimate alternative name Palmae or the illegitimate name Palmaceae), the Palm Family, is a family of flowering plants belonging to the monocot order, Arecales. There are roughly 202 currently known genera with around 2600 species, most of which are restricted to tropical or subtropical climates. Of all the families of plants, the Arecaceae is the most easily recognizable as distinct by most persons. Most palms are distinguished by their large, compound, evergreen leaves arranged at the top of an unbranched stem. However, many palms are exceptions to this statement, and palms in fact exhibit an enormous diversity in physical characteristics. As well as being morphologically diverse, palms also inhabit nearly every type of habitat within their range, from rainforests
Parts Used: Fruit, stems, oil.
Uses: Fertility and potency.
Other Uses: Human use of palms is almost as old as human civilization itself, starting with the cultivation of the Date Palm by Mesopotamians 5000 years ago. Date wood, pits for storing dates, and other remains of the Date Palm have been found in Mesopotamian sites. The type member of Arecaceae is the Areca palm, the fruit of which, the betel nut, is chewed with the betel leaf for intoxicating effects. Also belonging to the family are the Date Palm, harvested for its edible fruit; Rattans, whose stems are used extensively in furniture and baskets; and the Coconut. Palm oil is an edible vegetable oil produced by the oil palms in the genus Elaeis. Several species are harvested for heart of palm, a vegetable eaten in salads. Palm sap is sometimes fermented to produce palm wine or toddy, an alcoholic beverage common in parts of Africa, India, and the Philippines. The Palm Sunday festival uses palm leaves, usually from the Date Palm, hence the name. Dragon's blood, a red resin used traditionally in medicine, varnish, and dyes, may be obtained from the fruit of Daemonorops species. Coir is a coarse water-resistant fiber extracted from the outer shell of coconuts, used in doormats, brushes, mattresses, and ropes. Some indigenous groups living in palm-rich areas use palms to make many of their necessary items and food. Sago, for example, a starch made from the pith of the trunk of the Sago Palm Metroxylon sagu, is a major staple food for lowland peoples of New Guinea and the Moluccas. Palm leaves are also valuable to some peoples as a material for thatching or clothing.
PANSY: Viola tricolor, V. species.
Origin: The Pansy or Pansy Violet is a cultivated garden flower. It is derived from the wildflower called the Heartsease or Johnny Jump Up (Viola tricolor), and is sometimes given the subspecies name Viola tricolor hortensis. However, many garden varieties are hybrids and are referred to as Viola × wittrockiana. The name "pansy" also appears as part of the common name of a number of wild flowers belonging, like the cultivated Pansy, to the violet genus Viola. One or two unrelated flowers such as the Pansy Monkeyflower also have "pansy" in their name.
Parts Used: Flower
Uses: Love, rain magick.
PAPAYA: Carica papaya
Origin: Originally from southern Mexico, Central America and northern South America, the papaya is now
cultivated in most tropical countries.
Parts Used: Fruit, seeds.
Uses: Love and protection.
Other Uses: Papaya is rich in an enzyme called papain (a protease which is useful in tenderizing meat) and other proteins. Its utility is in breaking down the tough meat fibers and it has been utilized for thousands of years in its native South America. It is included as a component in powdered meat tenderizers. Papaya enzyme is also marketed in tablet form to remedy digestive problems. The black seeds are edible, and have a sharp, spicy taste. They are sometimes ground up and used as a substitute for black pepper.
PAPYRUS: Acorus calamus
Origin: Found in all European countries except Spain. Southern Russia, northern Asia Minor, southern Siberia, China, Japan, northern United States of America, Hungary, Burma, Ceylon and
Parts Used: Root.
Other Uses: Calamus was formerly much esteemed as an aromatic stimulant and mild tonic. A fluid extract is an official preparation in the United States and some other Pharmacopceias, but it is not now official in the British Pharmacopceia, though it is much used in herbal medicine as an aromatic bitter. On account of the volatile oil which is present, it also acts as a carminative, removing the discomfort caused by flatulence and checking the growth of the bacteria which give rise to it. It is used to increase the appetite and benefit digestion, given as fluid extract, infusion or tincture. Tincture of Calamus, obtained by macerating the finely-cut rhizome in alcohol for seven days and filtering, is used as a stomachic and flavouring agent. It has a brownish-yellow colour and a pungent, spicy taste. The essential oil is used as an addition to inhalations.
PARSLEY: Petroselinum crispum
Masculine, Venus/Saturn, Air/Earth.
Origin: Native of eastern Mediterranean regions (especially Greece), Turkey, Algeria and Lebanon. Brought to Britain during the 1600's. Over 40 species.
Part Used: Leaves, root, essential oil.
Uses: Clairvoyance, death, divination, fertility, happiness, lust, meditation, protection, psychic, purification, reincarnation.
Other Uses: In middles ages it was thought that to transplant Parsley would bring disaster to the house. Symbol of death in ancient Greece and Rome.
PASSIONFLOWER: Passiflora incarnata, P.
Feminine, Venus, Water.
Origin: Native to American tropics.
Part Used: Flower.
Uses: Blessings, friends, passion, peace, sleep.
PATCHOULI: Pogostemon cablin, P.
Feminine, Saturn/Venus, Earth.
Origin: Native to E. and W. Indies, Paraguay, tropical Asia.
Part Used: Leaves, essential oil.
Uses: Banishing, clairvoyance, commanding, creativity, divination, exorcism, fertility, happiness, hex-breaking, love, lust, memory, physical energy, peace (in home), prosperity, protection, release.
Other Uses: A fixative. A substitute for graveyard dust. To break off love affairs. Power of the Gnomes. The Horned God.
PEA: Pisum sativum
Origin: A pea is the small, edible round green bean which grows in a pod on the leguminous vine Pisum sativum, or in some cases to the immature pods. This legume is cooked as a vegetable in many cultures. Several other seeds of the family Fabaceae, most of them round, are also called peas; this article deals with the species Pisum sativum and its cultivars. In the South of the United States, "pea" refers to cowpeas, and Pisum sativum is distinguished by calling it green pea or garden
pea. The pea plant is an annual plant, with a lifecycle of a year.
Parts Used: Seed.
Uses: Money and love.
Other Uses: Food.
Origin: The Peach is included by Hooker and other botanists in the genus prurnus, its resemblance to the plum being obvious. Others have classed it with the Almond as a distinct genus, Amygdalus, and others again have considered it sufficiently distinct to constitute it a
separate genus, persica.
Parts Used: Bark, leaves, fruit.
Uses: Love, exorcism, longevity,. fertility and wishes.
Other Uses: The leaves, bark, flowers and kernels have medicinal virtue. Both the leaves and bark are still employed for their curative powers. They have demulcent, sedative, diuretic and expectorant action. An infusion of 1/2 OZ. of the bark or 1 OZ. of the dried leaves to a pint of boiling water has been found almost a specific for irritation and congestion of the gastric surfaces. It is also used in whooping cough, ordinary coughs and chronic bronchitis, the dose being from a teaspoonful to a wineglassful as required.
Origin: Pears are trees of the genus Pyrus and the juicy fruit of that tree, edible in some species. The English word pear is from Common West Germanic *pera, probably a loanword of Vulgar Latin pira, the plural of pirum, which is itself of unknown origin. See also Peorð. The place name Perry can indicate the historical presence of pear
Parts Used: Fruit, wood
Uses: Lust, and love.
Other Uses: Food, and used to make wood instruments.
Origin: The Pecan is a species of hickory native to southeastern North America, from southern Iowa and Indiana south to Texas and Mississippi. It is a deciduous tree, growing to 25–40 m in height, and can be grown approximately from USDA hardiness zones 5 to 9, provided summers are also
hot and humid.
Parts Used: Nuts, wood.
Uses: Money and Employment.
Other Uses: Food, wood used for furniture and for burning.
Masculine, Mars/Venus, Fire/Air.
Origin: Native of Europe and Asia.
Part Used: Leaves, essential oil.
Uses: To aid business deals, endings, love, peace, protection, purification, release, and strength.
Other Uses: CAUTION: Essential oil is highly toxic. American Pennyroyal (Hedeoma pulegiodes AKA Squaw Mint) is used the same way as the European.
PEONY: Paeonia officinalis
Origin: The peony is among the longest-used flowers in ornamental culture. Along with the plum, it is a traditional floral symbol of China, where it is called ?? (mu dan). In 1903, the Qing Dynasty declared the peony as the national flower. Currently, the Republic of China on Taiwan designates the plum blossom as the national flower, while the People's Republic of China has no legally designated national flower. In 1994, the peony was proposed as the national flower after a nationwide poll, but the National People's Congress failed to ratify the selection. In 2003, another selection process has begun, but to date, no choice has been made.
Parts Used: Root.
Other Uses:A great all-purpose protection herb. Use the dried root in charms including dream pillows. Burn for ridding negative influences. Used to attract Faeries.
PEPPER, BLACK: Piper genus.
Masculine, Mars/Sun, Fire.
Origin: Native to southern India, China; later cultivated in the E. and W. Indies, Malay and Siam.
Part Used: Fruit, essential oil.
Uses: Binding, courage, cursing, exorcism, hex breaking, lust, protection.
Other Uses: Adds piquancy to a relationship. May use Turmeric as a substitute.
PEPPERMINT: Mentha piperita.
Masculine, Mercury/Venus, Fire/Air.
Origin: Native to Japan, China and Egypt.
Part Used: Leaves, essential oil.
Uses: Animals, balancing, consecration, prophetic dreams, ecology, endings, excitement, changes, happiness, healing, hexing, justice, love, luck, lust, mental, partnership, prosperity, protection, psychic, purification, release, renewal, sleep, visions.
Other Uses: Used to raise vibrations. Laws of Karma.
PERIWINKLE: Vinca minor
Origin: The well-known Periwinkles - both Greater and Lesser - familiar plants of our woods and gardens, are members of the genus Vinca, so named by Linnaeus, which includes five in Europe, and the Orient, and three species native to the East Indies, Madagascar and America, assigned by a later botanist, Reichberg, to a separate genus, Lochnera, as they differ from Vinca in the stamens and head of the style not being hairy, though the main characteristics are the same. Parts Used: Whole plant
Uses: Mental Powers, Protection. When gazed upon, it restores lost memories. Will increase one's passions when carried or sprinkled under the bed. Hang in the house for protection. Carried, a piece of the plant will attract money, use to protect against the evil eye and spirits.
Other Uses:*POISON* Periwinkle should be gathered according to the strictest procedure to be of any benefit in magick. Gather periwinkle when one is clean of every uncleanness. This should be on a night when the Moon is one, nine, eleven or thirteen days old. Say the following incantation while picking the plant:
"I pray thee, vince pervinca, thee that art to be had for thy many useful qualities, that thou come to me glad blossoming with thy mainfulness, that thou outfit me so that I be shielded and prosperous and undamaged by poisons and water".
PERSIMMON: Diospyros kaki (kaki persimmon), D. digyna (black sapote), D. discolor (velvet apple), D. lotus (date plum), D. texana (Texas persimmon), D. virginiana
Origin: The word persimmon comes from an
Algonquian language of the eastern United States, meaning "a dry fruit."
Parts Used: Fruit.
Uses: Healing and luck.
Other Uses: Persimmon fruits are eaten both fresh and dried. In Korean culture, a punch called sujeonggwa is made from dried persimmons. In some Chinese cultures, dried persimmon leaves are used for tea (????). Persimmon Pudding is a traditional American dessert using fresh persimmons.
PIMENTO: Capsicum annuum
Origin: The Pimento or Cherry Pepper is a variety of large, red, heart-shaped chile pepper (Capsicum annuum) that measures 3 to 4 inches long and 2 to 3 inches wide
Parts Used: Fruit, Seeds, Juice.
Other Uses: The flesh of the sweet pimento is sweet, succulent and more aromatic than that of the red bell pepper. These pimentos are the familiar red stuffing found in green olives. Some varieties of the pimento type are hot including the Floral Gem and Santa Fe Grande varieties.
Origin: The Scarlet Pimpernel grows on the roadside in waste places and on the dry sandy edges of corn and other fields; it is widely distributed, not only over Britain, but throughout the world, being found in all the temperate regions in both hemispheres.
Parts Used: Leaves, herb.
Uses: Protection and health. Wear to detect falsehood and to prevent others from lying to you.
Other Uses: Diuretic, diaphoretic and expectorant. The ancient reputation of Scarlet Pimpernel has survived to the present day, especially in dealing with diseases of the brain. Doctors have considered the herb remedial in melancholy and in the allied forms of mental disease, the decoction or a tincture being employed.
Masculine, Mars/Saturn, Air/Earth.
Origin: Many species widespread.
Part Used: Needles, cones, wood, essential oil.
Uses: Animals, anointing, binding, clairvoyance, cleansing, compassion, consecration, divination, exorcism, fertility, grounding, healing, hex-breaking, peace, prosperity, protection, purification, strength.
Other Uses: Burned in winter to purify. Sacred to the Druids; one of the 7 chieftain trees of the Irish. Amerindian tree. Used to cleanse the aura.
Sabbat: Yule, Mabon, and Midsummer.
PINEAPPLE: Ananas comosus
Origin: The pineapple is
a tropical plant and fruit, native to Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, and Paraguay.
Parts Used: Fruit.
Uses: Luck, money, chastity
Other Uses: Pineapple is commonly used in desserts and other types of fruit dishes, or served on its own. Fresh pineapple is often somewhat expensive as the tropical fruit is delicate and difficult to ship. It will not ripen once harvested, so must be harvested ripe and brought to the consumer without delay. Pineapple is therefore most widely available canned. The pineapple juice has been fermented into an alcoholic beverage commonly called pineapple wine which is a type of fruit wine, most commonly produced in Hawaii. Pineapples are also occasionally used as topping for American pizza.
PISTACHIO: Pistacia vera
Origin: native to mountainous regions of central and southwestern Asia such as
the Kopet Dag mountains of Turkmenistan southwest to northeastern Iran.
Parts Used: Seeds.
Uses: Breaking Love Spells
Other Uses: When the fruit ripens, the shells split open partially (see photo). This happens with an audible pop, and legend has it that lovers who stand under a pistachio tree at night and hear the nuts popping open will have good luck.
Origin: The Common Broad-leaved Plantain is a very familiar perennial 'weed,' and may be found anywhere by roadsides and in
Parts Used: Root, leaves, flower-spikes.
Uses: Healing, protection and strength
Other Uses: Refrigerant, diuretic, deobstruent and somewhat astringent. Has been used in inflammation of the skin, malignant ulcers, intermittent fever, etc., and as a vulnerary, and externally as a stimulant application to sores. Applied to a bleeding surface, the leaves are of some value in arresting haemorrhage, but they are useless in internal haemorrhage, although they were formerly used for bleeding of the lungs and stomach, consumption and dysentery. The fresh leaves are applied whole or bruised in the form of a poultice. Rubbed on parts of the body stung by insects, nettles, etc., or as an application to burns and scalds, the leaves will afford relief and will stay the bleeding of minor wounds.
Origin: A plum is a stone fruit tree in the genus Prunus, subgenus Prunus. The subgenus is distinguished from other subgenera (peaches, cherries, bird cherries, etc) in the shoots having a terminal bud and the side buds solitary (not clustered), the flowers being grouped 1-5 together on short stems, and the fruit having a groove running down one side, and a smooth stone.
The subgenus is divided into three sections:
Parts Used: Fruit, oil.
Other Uses: Plum fruit is sweet, juicy and edible, and it can be eaten fresh or used in jam-making or other recipes. Plum juice can be fermented into plum wine; when distilled, this produces a brandy known in Eastern Europe as Slivovitz. Dried plums are known as prunes. Prunes are sweet and juicy, and they have a very high dietary fiber content, so prune juice is often used to help regulate the functioning of the digestive system. They also contain several antioxidants that may slow aging.
Origin: native to Central America, Mexico and Venezuela,
produces flowers ranging from yellow to pink depending on form or cultivar.
Parts Used: Oil, Flower.
Other Uses: They are now common naturalised plants in southern and southeastern Asia, and in local folk beliefs provide shelter to ghosts and demons. In Hawaii they are used for making leis. They are associated with temples in both Hindu and Buddhist cultures though Hindus do not use the flowers in their temple offerings.
Origin: Indigenous to North America. Common in
Parts Used: Dried root, berries.
Uses:Courage, and Hex Breaking
Other Uses: A slow emetic and purgative with narcotic properties. As an alterative it is used in chronic rheumatism and granular conjunctivitis. As an ointment, in the proportion of a drachm to the ounce, it is used in psora, tinea capitis, favus and sycosis, and other skin diseases, causing at first smarting and heat.
Masculine, Mars, Fire.
AKA: Poke Root, Inkberry.
Part Used: Root, berries.
Uses: Courage, hex-breaking.
Other Uses: Use at New Moon to break curses. CAUTION: Poisonous!
Origin: Western Asia. Now grows widely in Mediterranean
countries, China and Japan.
Parts Used: The root, bark, the fruits, the rind of the fruit, the flowers.
Uses: Divination, luck, wishes, wealth and fertility.
Other Uses: The seeds are demulcent. The fruit is a mild astringent and refrigerant in some fevers, and especially in biliousness, and the bark is used to remove tapeworm.
POPLAR: Populus tremuloids.
Feminine, Saturn, Water.
Origin: Over 35 species of trees in N. America and Canada. Does not grow well in Britain.
Part Used: Leaves, wood, resinous buds.
Uses: Astral projection, prosperity.
Other Uses: Two species do not have resinous buds - they are the Big tooth Aspen and the Quaking Aspen. Another species (P. balsamifera) is commonly called Balm of Gilead. Sometimes added to flying ointments.
Feminine, Moon, Water.
Origin: Asia Minor, China, southeastern Europe.
Part Used: Seeds, seedpods, flowers.
Uses: Clairvoyance, commanding, compassion, divination, dreams, fertility, invisibility, love, luck, peace, prosperity, psychic, sleep.
Other Uses: Used to invoke faeries into dreams, to break love spells. Red Poppy is a symbol of fallen warriors. Sacred to Demeter and Artemis. Alleged to draw large amounts of money fast. CAUTION: Opium Poppy (P. somniferum) is not only illegal, it is toxic. Also, do not ingest Poppy seeds of any kind before undergoing a drug test - you will test positive.
POTATO: Solanum tuberosum
Origin: The Potato is nearly related to the Nightshades, belonging to the same genus, Solanum. Its flowers are very similar in form, but larger and paler in
colour than those of Solanum Dulcamara.
Parts Used: Edible tubers.
Uses: Image magic and healing
Other Uses: Linnaeus for some time objected to the use of the Potato on account of its connexion with the Deadly Nightshade and Bittersweet. Solanine, the poisonous active principle contained in the stalks, leaves and unripe fruit, is very powerful, and has not yet been fully investigated. It is also present in the peel of the tuber, but is dissipated and rendered inert when the whole potato is boiled and steamed, and is decomposed by baking.
PRIMROSE: Primula vulgaris
Origin: The plant is abundant in woods, hedgerows, pastures and on railway embankments throughout Great Britain, and is in full flower during April and May. In sheltered spots in mild winters it is often found in blossom during the opening
days of the year.
Parts Used: Root, herb.
Uses: Protection and love.
Other Uses: Antispasmodic, vermifuge, emetic, astringent.
Parts Used: Wood of trunks and branches.
Other Uses: Quassia, found in the shops in the form of chips or raspings, has no smell but an intense bitter taste, which will always distinguish the pure drug from adulterations; the infusion of these by persalt of iron gives a bluish-black colour, but as the blue Quassia chips contain no tannic acid, no result is produced in the infusion. Quassia wood is a pure bitter tonic and stomachic; it is also a vermicide and slight narcotic; it acts on flies and some of the higher animals as a narcotic poison.
QUINCE: Pyrus cydonia
Origin: The Quince has been under cultivation since very remote times. It is a native of Persia and Anatolia and perhaps also of Greece and the Crimea, though it is doubtful if in the latter localities the plant is not a relic of former cultivation. It is certain that the ancient Greeks knew a common variety, upon which they grafted scions of a better variety, which they obtained from Cydon in Crete, from which place the fruit derived its name of cydonia, of which the English name Quince is a
Parts Used: Seeds, fruit.
Uses: Protection, love and happiness.
Other Uses: Pliny, who speaks at length of the medicinal virtues of the Quince, says that the fruit warded off the influence of the evil eye, and other legends connect it with ancient Greek mythology, as exemplified by statues on which the fruit is represented, as well as by representations in the wall-paintings and mosaics of Pompeii, where Quinces are almost always to be seen in the paws of a bear.
Origin: Europe, especially Britain, and temperate Asia. A native of China, Cochin-China and
Parts Used: Root, seed-pods.
Uses: Protection and lust
Other Uses: Radishes are an excellent food remedy for stone, gravel and scorbutic conditions. The juice has been used in the treatment of cholelithiasis as an aid in preventing the formation of biliary calculi. The expressed juice of white or black Spanish radishes is given in increasing doses of from 1/2 to 2 cupfuls daily. The 2 cupfuls are continued for two or three weeks. then the dose is decreased until 1/2 cupful is taken three times a week for three or four more weeks. The treatment may be repeated by taking 1 cupful at the beginning, then 1/2 daily, and later, 1/2 every second day.
Origin: The plant is a perennial and abundant in most parts of the country, on dry roadsides and waste ground and pastures, often growing in large patches and flowering in July and August. It is distributed over Europe, Siberia and North-West India. In the Highlands it is found at a
height of 1,200 feet above sea-level.
Parts Used: Whole plant.
Uses: To attract love.
Other Uses: In olden days it was supposed to be 'a certaine remedie to help the Staggers in Horses,' whence one of its popular names, Staggerwort. One of its other names, Stammerwort, probably indicates a belief in its efficacy as a remedy for impediment of speech.
Feminine, Venus, Water.
Origin: Native to N. America and Europe.
Part Used: Leaves.
Uses: Love, protection.
ROOT: Prenanthes altissimus
Origin: Eastern N. America - southwards
Parts Used: Root.
Uses: Protection, Money
Other Uses: The plant is used as a poultice. A poultice of the crushed roots has been used to treat rattlesnake bites.
ROSE: Rosa spp.
Origin: Believed to be native to Persia and the Orient. Found in temperate regions throughout both hemispheres. Introduced to S. Africa and S. America.
Part Used: Petals, essential oil.
Uses: Annointing, balance, banishing, beauty, blessings (house), clairvoyance, compassion, consecration, creativity, divination, happiness, healing, longevity, love, luck, lust, memory, peace, prophetic dreams, protection, release, to keep secrets, transformation, and weddings.
Other Uses: In Greece, Rose oil with the supreme offering to Aphrodite. Used as all-purpose anointing oil. To invoke Isis. To increase personal magnetism. Associated with Rose Quartz. The petals smell like burnt leaves in incense, so use sparingly.
Sabbat: Ostara, Beltane, Midsummer, Lughnasadh, Mabon.
ROSEMARY: Rosmarinus officinalis.
Masculine, Sun, Fire.
Origin: An evergreen shrub indigenous to the Mediterranean region.
Part Used: Leaves (needles), essential oil.
Uses: Animal healing, anointing, anti-theft, blessings, confidence, consecration, courage, death, determination, exorcism, fidelity, inspiration happiness, healing (with Juniper), longevity, love, luck, lust, meditation, memory, mental powers, newlyweds, to banish nightmares, peace, protection, psychic, purifying, release, remembrance, sleep, strength, youth, wisdom.
Other Uses: Truly an all-purpose magickal herb of great power. Have very powerful purifying vibrations. Used in rituals for the dead and as a symbol of remembrance at funerals. Used to attract good spirits and repel evil ones. Is an ingredient of many Celtic recipes. Use to attract the Fairy Folk.
Sabbat: Yule, Imbolc.
ROSEWOOD: Aniba roseadora.
Origin: Native to the
Part Used: Wood, essential oil.
Uses: Powdered wood is an excellent incense base. This is one of the trees that are being felled in the clearing of the rainforest.
ROWAN: Sorus aucaparia, S. americana.
Masculine, Sun, Fire.
AKA: Mountain Ash.
Origin: Northern Europe, Mt. Ash is native to N. America.
Part Used: Wood, leaves.
Uses: Binding, divination, healing, inspiration, luck, protection, protection from storms, wisdom.
Other Uses: A Druid sacred tree and sacred to goddess Brigit. Magickal tree used for wands and amulets. A very magickal tree used in almost all forms of magick.
RUE: Ruta graveolens.
Masculine, Mars/Saturn, Fire/Earth.
Origin: Native of southern Europe and the Mediterranean. Introduced to Britain by the Romans.
Part Used: Leaves, essential oil.
Uses: Banishing, blessing, consecration, exorcism, healing, inspiration, longevity, love, luck, mental, protection, psychic, purification, renewal, wisdom.
Other Uses: Ancient Celts considered Rue an anti-magical herb - a defense against spells and dark magick.
Origin: The true Saffron is a low ornamental plant with grass-like leaves and large lily-shaped flowers, inhabiting the European continent, and frequently cultivated for the sake of the yellow stigmas, which are the part used in medicine, in domestic economy and in the arts.
Parts Used: Flower pistils.
Uses: Clairvoyance, Burned, worn, carried or drank, Saffron helps to develop and strengthen your psychic awareness.
Other Uses: Use liberally when working with the chakras. A substitute for Orange. Also used with other herbs for healing.
Masculine, Jupiter/Mercury, Air/Earth.
Origin: Mostly a native of the Mediterranean region (common garden Sage). Over 500 species, some common to N. America and Mexico. White Sage (Salvia apiana) is a native to hot dry areas of North and Central America.
Part Used: Leaves, essential oil.
Uses: Clairvoyance, consecration, divination, healing, immortality, inspiration, longevity, love, lust, peace, prosperity, protection, psychic, to keep secrets, spirituality, weddings, wisdom.
Other Uses: A Roman sacred herb. The Amerindian herb is not the same, but is an Artemesia.
Sabbat: Mabon, Samhain, Ostara, Yule.
It is a coarse, hardy silvery-grey bush with yellow flowers and grows in arid sections of the western United States. It is the primary vegetation across vast areas of the Great Basin desert. Along rivers or in other relatively wet areas, sagebrush can grow as tall as 3 m (10 feet), but is more typically 1-2 m tall. Parts Used: Leaves and oil.
Uses: Purification and exorcism.
SAINT JOHN'S WORT: Hypericum
Masculine, Sun, Fire.
Origin: Throughout Europe and Asia, Britain and N. America. Part Used: Leaves, flower, essential oil.
Uses: Animals, banishing, confidence, courage, exorcism, fertility, happiness, healing, hex-breaking, love, luck, protection, psychic, purification, release, strength.
Other Uses: Used to increase power of spells. A Druid sacred herb; the Celts passed it through the smoke of the Summer Solstice fire, then wore it in battle for invincibility. Used in Need fires (along with Ivy, Mugwort, Milfoil, Vervain, Elder, Fennel, Melilot, Chamomile, Plantain, Hawthorn, Lavender and Fern).
Sabbat: Beltane, Midsummer.
Feminine, Moon/Mercury, Water/Air.
Origin: Small tree native to India.
Uses: Animal healing, anointing, bind spells, clairvoyance, concentration, consecration, divination, exorcism, healing, luck, lust, manifestation, meditation, protection, psychic, purification, reincarnation, spirituality, wishes.
Other: One of the oldest known aromatic herbs, at least 4000 yr. of use. Mysore Sandalwood is considered the best. Use to anoint divination tools to bring fast, accurate answers. Dab oil on 3rd eye for past life recall. A fixative.
Sabbat: Lughnasadh, Yule.
SANDALWOOD, RED: Pterocarpus santalinus
Origin: Sandwich Island and western Australia. Part Used: Wood.
Uses: Fidelity, honesty, love, protection.
Other Uses: This is not truly Sandalwood, but often used as such.
Origin: Eastern United States, from Canada to Florida, and
Parts Used: Bark-root and the root, pith.
Uses: Health and money.
Other Uses: Aromatic, stimulant, diaphoretic, alterative. It is rarely given alone, but is often combined with guaiacum or sarsaparilla in chronic rheumatism, syphilis, and skin diseases. The oil is said to relieve the pain caused by menstrual obstructions, and pain following parturition, in doses of 5 to 10 drops on sugar, the same dose having been found useful in gleet and gonorrhoea. The oil can produce marked narcotic poisoning, and death by causing widespread fatty degeneration of the heart, liver, and kidneys, or, in a larger dose, by great depression of the circulation, followed by a centric paralysis of respiration.
SAVORY: Satureia hortensis, Satureia montana
Origin: Several species have been introduced into England, but only two, the annual Summer or Garden Savory and the perennial, Winter Savory are generally grown. The annual is more usually grown, but the leaves of both are employed in cookery, like other sweet herbs, the leaves and tender tops being used, with marjoram and thyme, to season dressings for turkey, veal or fish.
Parts Used: Herb.
Uses: Savory strengthens the mind when worn.
Other Uses: Savory has aromatic and carminative properties, and though chiefly used as a culinary herb, it may be added to medicines for its aromatic and warming qualities. It was formerly deemed a sovereign remedy for the colic and a cure for flatulence, on this account, and was also considered a good expectorant.
SENNA: Cassia acutifolia
Origin: Egypt, Nubia,
Parts Used: Dried leaflets, pods.
Other Uses: Purgative. Its action being chiefly on the lower bowel, it is especially suitable in habitual costiveness. It increases the peristaltic movements of the colon by its local action upon the intestinal wall. Its active principle must pass out of the system in the secretions unaltered, for when Senna is taken by nurses, the suckling infant becomes purged. It acts neither as a sedative nor as a refrigerant, but has a slight, stimulating influence. In addition to the nauseating taste, it is apt to cause sickness, and griping pains, so that few can take it alone; but these characteristics can be overcome or removed, when it is well adapted for children, elderly persons, and delicate women. The colouring matter is absorbable, and twenty or thirty minutes after the ingestion of the drug it appears in the urine, and may be recognized by a red colour on the addition of ammonia.
SESAME: Sesamum indicum
Origin: The precise natural origin of the species is unknown, although its closest relatives occur in Africa. It is widely naturalised in tropical regions around the world and is cultivated for its edible seeds. It is an annual plant growing to 50-100 cm tall, with opposite leaves 4-14 cm long with an entire margin; they are broad lanceolate, to 5 cm broad, at the base of the plant, narrowing to just 1 cm broad on the flowering stem. The flowers are white to
purple, tubular, 3-5 cm long, with a four-lobed mouth.
Parts Used: Seeds
Uses: Money and lust.
Other Uses: Sesame is grown primarily for its oil-rich seeds. The small, cream-white sesame seed is used whole in cooking for its rich nutty flavour (although such heating damages their health-giving poly-unsaturated fats), and also yields a cooking oil. Sesame seeds are sometimes added to breads, including bagels and the top of hamburger buns. Sesame seeds are baked into crackers, often in the form of sticks. Sesame oil is used for massage and health treatments of the body in the ancient Indian ayurvedic system with the types of massage called abianga and shirodara. Ayurveda views sesame oil as the most viscous of the plant oils and as such good at pacifying the health problem associated with vata aggravation.
SHALLOT: Allium cepa
Origin: Onion in the general sense can be used for any plant in the Genus Allium but used without qualifiers usually means Allium cepa, also called the garden onion. Onions (usually but not exclusively the bulbs) are edible with a distinctive strong flavor and pungent odor which is mellowed and sweetened by cooking. They generally have a papery outer skin over a fleshy, layered inner core. Used worldwide for culinary purposes, they
come in a wide variety of forms and colors.
Parts Used: Bulbs.
Other Uses: Antiseptic, diuretic. A roasted Onion is a useful application to tumours or earache. The juice made into a syrup is good for colds and coughs. Hollands gin, in which Onions have been macerated, is given as a cure for gravel and dropsy.
Origin: Scutellaria is a genus of about 300 species of plants commonly known as skullcaps. The genus is widespread in temperate regions and on tropical mountains.
Parts Used: Roots, flower, whole plant.
Uses: Meditations and Clear Thinking Drink a tea infusion before meditation.
Other Uses: Use in a bath for calming the aura of tensions and stress. Burned for relief of disharmony and disruptive situations. Skullcap is considered to be a sedative and nerve tonic. The herb also used to be used as a folk remedy for rabies
Origin: United States.
Parts Used: Seeds, root.
Uses: Legal Matters
Other Uses: Antispasmodic, diaphoretic, expectorant, narcotic. Large doses cause nausea, vomiting, headache, vertigo and dimness of vision. It has been used with alleged success in asthma, chronic catarrh, chronic rheumatism, chorea, hysteria and dropsy. It is said to be helpful in epilepsy, and convulsions during pregnancy and labour. It is an ingredient in well-known herbal ointments and powders. Externally, as an ointment, it stimulates granulations, eases pain, etc.
Origin: The Slippery Elm is a small tree abundant in
various parts of North America.
Parts Used: The inner bark.
Uses: Stops gossip
Other Uses: Demulcent, emollient, expectorant, diuretic, nutritive. The bark of this American Elm, though not in this country as in the United States an official drug, is considered one of the most valuable remedies in herbal practice, the abundant mucilage it contains having wonderfully strengthening and healing qualities.
Origin: The Central and Southern United States
Parts Used: Dried rhizome and roots.
Uses: Luck, Money
Other Uses: Stimulant, tonic and diaphoretic, properties resembling those of valerian and cascarilla. Too large doses occasion nausea, griping pains in the bowels, sometimes vomiting and dysenteric tenesmus. In small doses, it promotesthe appetite, toning up the digestive organs. It has been recommended in intermittent fevers, when it may be useful as an adjunct to quinine. In full doses it produces increased arterial action, diaphoresis, and frequently diuresis. In eruptive fevers where the eruption is tardy, or in the typhoid stage where strong stimulants cannot be borne, it may be very valuable. An infusion is an effective gargle in putrid sore-throat. It benefits sufferers from dyspepsia and amenorrhoea.
SNAPGRAGON: Antirrhinum magus
Origin: Snapdragon is closely allied to the Toadflaxes. It is really not truly a native herb, but has become naturalized in many places, on old walls and chalk cliffs,
being an escape from gardens, where it has been long cultivated.
Parts Used: Leaves.
Other Uses: The plant has bitter and stimulant properties, and the leaves of this and several allied species have been employed on the Continent in cataplasms to tumours and ulcers.
SOAPWORT: Saponaria officinalis
Origin: Central and Southern Europe.
Grows well in English gardens.
Parts Used: Dried root and leaves.
Uses: Used in cleansing rituals.
Other Uses: A decoction cures the itch. Has proved very useful in jaundice and other visceral obstructions. For old venereal complaints it is a good cure specially where mercury has failed. It is a tonic, diaphoretic and alterative, a valuable remedy for rheumatism or cutaneous troubles resulting from any form of syphilis. It is also sternutatory. Should be very cautiously used owing to its saponin content.
SOLOMONS SEAL: Polygonatum multiflorum
Origin: A close relative to the Lily-of-the-Valley, and was formerly assigned to the same genus, Convallaria. It is a popular plant in gardens and plantations; a native of Northern Europe and Siberia, extending to Switzerland and Carniola. In England it is found, though rarely, growing wild in woods in York, Kent and Devon, but where found in Scotland and Ireland is regarded as naturalized. The Dwarf Solomon's Seal is found in the woods of Wiltshire.
Parts Used: Root.
Uses: Cleanses and Protections. Burn for cleansing rooms and yourself of negativity. Carry in an amulet for protection.
Other Uses: Astringent, demulcent and tonic. Combined with otherremedies, Solomon's Seal is given in pulmonary consumption and bleeding of the lungs. It is useful also in female complaints. The infusion of 1 OZ. to a pint of boiling water is taken in wineglassful doses and is also used as an injection. It is a mucilaginous tonic, very healing and restorative, and is good in inflammations of the stomach and bowels, piles, and chronic dysentery.
SORREL WOOD: Oxalis
Origin: The Sour Docks or Sorrels, cultivated for pot-herbs, Rumex acetosa (Common Sorrel) and R. scutatus (French Sorrel), as well as the smaller R. acetosella (Sheep's Sorrel) and Oxyria reniformis (Mountain Sorrel), owe the grateful acidity of their herbage to the presence of a special salt, binoxalate of potash, which is also present in Rhubarb. This, however, is absent in the common Docks. We find it to a marked degree in the WOOD SORREL (Oxalis acetosella), which indeed receives its name on this account, and not for any similarity in the structure of the plant, which is in no way related to
the Sorrels and Docks.
Parts Used: Leaves and herb.
Other Uses: It has diuretic, antiscorbutic and refrigerant action, and a decoction made from its pleasant acid leaves is given in high fever, both to quench thirst and to allay the fever. The Russians make a cooling drink from an infusion of the leaves, which may be infused with water or boiled in milk. Though it may be administered freely, not only in fevers and catarrhs, but also in haemorrhages and urinary disorders, excess should be guarded against, as the oxalic salts are not suitable to all constitutions, especially those of a gouty and rheumatic tendency.
SOUTHERNWOOD: Artemisia abrotanum
Origin: The Southernwood is the southern Wormwood, i.e. the foreign, as distinguished from the native plant, being a native of the South of Europe, found indigenous in Spain and Italy. It is a familiar and favourite plant in our gardens, although it rarely if ever flowers in this country. It has finely-divided, greyish-green leaves. It was introduced into this country in 1548. An ointment made with its ashes is used by country lads to promote the growth of a beard. St. Francis de Sales says: 'To love in the midst of sweets, little children could do that, but to love in the bitterness of Wormwood is a sure sign of our affectionate fidelity.' This refers to the habit of including a spray of the plant in country bouquets presented by lovers to their
Parts Used: Herb.
Uses: A protective herb. Its attractive and aromatic foliage guards against trouble.
Other Uses: Tonic, emmenagogue, anthelmintic, antiseptic and deobstruent.
SPANISH MOSS: Tillandsia
Origin: It ranges from the southeastern United States to Argentina, growing wherever the climate is warm enough and has a relatively
high average humidity.
Parts Used: Plant.
Other Uses: Charleston, South Carolina, has told the story of a Cuban who came to the area with his Spanish fiancée in the 1700s to start a plantation near the city. Among other features mentioned for the bride-to-be was her beautiful, flowing raven hair. As the couple was walking thorugh the forest to reach the location of their future plantation, they were attacked and killed by an army of the Cherokee tribe, who were not happy to have these strangers on their land. As a final warning to stay away from the Cherokee nation, they cut off the long, dark hair of the bride-to-be and threw it up into an oak tree. As they came back day after day, week after week, they noticed that the hair had shriveled and turned grey and had also spread throughout the tree. Wherever the Cherokees went, the moss followed them and would eventually chase them out of their homeland of South Carolina. To this day, if one will stand under a live oak tree, one will hear the moaning of the woman and will see the moss jump from tree to tree.
SPEARMINT: Mentha spicata
Origin: Thought to be a native of the Mediterranean region.
Part Used: Leaves, essential oil.
Uses: Animal healing, consecration, dreams, happiness, healing, love, luck, lust, mental, prosperity, protection, psychic, release, sleep.
Other Uses: A Voodoun protection oil for body and home. Use with Sandalwood for a house blessing. A favorite Medieval strewing herb.
SPIDER WORT: Tradescantia spp.
Origin: Native to the
New World from southern Canada south to northern Argentina.
Parts Used: Whole Plant.
Other Uses: Though sometimes accounted a weed, spiderwort is cultivated for borders and also used in containers. Where it appears as a volunteer, it is often welcomed and allowed to stay.
SPIKENARD: Aralia racemosa
Origin: North America, New Zealand,
Parts Used: Root.
Other Uses: Stimulant, diaphoretic, alterative for syphilitic, cutaneous and rheumatic cases, and used in same manner and dosage as genuine Sarsaparilla. Much used also for pulmonary affections, and enters into the compound syrup of Spikenard. Fluid extract, 1/2 to 1 drachm. Infusion of 1/2 OZ. to a pint of water in wineglassful doses.
SQUILL: Urginea scilla.
Masculine, Mars, Fire.
AKA: Sea Onion.
Origin: Mediterranean countries, Canary Islands, Cape of Good Hope.
Part Used: Root.
Uses: Hex-breaking, prosperity, protection.
Other Uses: CAUTION: Poison!
STAR ANISE: Illicum verum.
Masculine, Jupiter/Mercury, Air.
Origin: Evergreen tree from China, Japan and India.
Part Used: Star-shaped fruit.
Uses: Clairvoyance, consecration, divination, fertility, love, luck, banishing nightmares, prosperity, protection, psychic.
Other Uses: Use to empower magickal objects. More fragrant then regular anise, though not related.
Origin: Straw is an agricultural byproduct, the dry stalk of a cereal plant, after the nutrient grain or seed has been removed. Straw makes up about half of the yield of a cereal crop such as wheat, oats, rye or barley. In times gone by, it was regarded as a useful by-product of the harvest, but with the advent of the combine harvester, straw has become more of a burden, almost
a nuisance to farmers.
Parts Used: Stalks.
Uses: Luck and Image Magic
Other Uses: Biofuels, Bedding humans or livestock, Feed for livestock, Thatching, Packaging, Paper, Archery targets, Horse collars, Construction material: bricks / cob, Rope, Straw plait for the hatting industry, Basketry, Horticulture, Decoration
STRAWBERRY: Fragraria genus.
Feminine, Venus, Water/Earth.
Origin: Found all over the northern hemisphere, except in tropical areas.
Part Used: Leaves, oil.
Uses: Beauty, clairvoyance, divination, fertility, love, luck.
Other Uses: Faeries like offering of the oil. To get a strawberry scent, use the essence - the leaves smell like leaves. The leaves are a symbol of foresight.
SUGAR CANE: Saccharum spp.
Origin: About 107 countries grow the crop to produce 1,324 million tonnes (more than 6 times the amount of sugar beet produced). The largest producer is Australia, the sugur
cane grown there acounting for more than 50% of world production.
Parts Used: Juice, stalks.
Uses: Love and Lust
Other Uses: Direct consumption of raw sugarcane cylinders or cubes, which are chewed to extract the juice, and the bagasse is spit out. Freshly extracted juice (garapa, guarab, guarapa, guarapo, papelón, or caldo de cana) by hand- or electrically operated small mills, with a touch of lemon and ice, makes a delicious and popular drink. Molasses, used as a sweetener and as a syrup accompanying other foods, such as cheese. Rapadura, a candy made of flavored solid brown sugar in Brazil, which can be consumed in small hard blocks, or in pulverized form (flour), as an add-on to other desserts. Sugarcane is also used in rum production, especially in the Caribbean.
SUNFLOWER: Helianthus annuus
Origin: The common Sunflower is a native of Mexico and Peru, introduced into this country in the sixteenth century and now one of our most familiar garden plants.
Parts Used: Whole Plant.
Uses: Used in magick for fertility, wishes, health, and wisdom.
Other Uses: Reflection, brings back memories of childhood and things that are lost If you cut a sunflower at sunset your wish will come true. Women who wish to conceive should eat sunflower seeds. Sleeping with a sunflower under the bed will allow you to know the truth. Anoint yourself with the juice of a sunflower stem to be virtuous.
Origin: Native to the eastern Mediterranean region
from Sicily east to Crete.
Parts Used: Flowers, oil.
Uses: Friendship, chastity, courage and strength.
Other Uses: Sweet peas have been cultivated since the 17th century and a vast number of cultivars are commercially available. They are often grown by gardeners for their bright colours and the sweet fragrance that gives them their name.
SWEET WOODRUFF: Asperula
Mars/Fire. Origin: The Sweet Woodruff, a favourite little plant growing in woods and on shaded hedgebanks, may be readily recognized by its small white flowers (in bloom in May and June) set on a tender stalk, with narrow, bright-green leaves growing beneath them in successive, star-like whorls, just as in Clivers or Goosegrass, about eight leaves to every whorl. Unlike the latter, however, its stems are erect and smooth: they rarely exceed a foot in height, their average being 8 or 9 inches. The plant is perennial,
with creeping, slender root-stock.
Parts Used: Herb.
Uses: Used in spells to promote money, riches, and favors, for protection, and for attuning to the powers inherent within the month of May.
Other Uses: It's signs are Aries and Scorpio. Woodruff was much used as a medicine in the Middle Ages.
SWEETGRASS: Hierochloe odorata.
Part Used: Leaves.
Uses: Amerindian herb for calling the spirits.
Origin: India; tropical Africa;
cultivated in West Indies.
Parts Used: The fruits freed from brittle outer part of pericarp
Other Uses: Cathartic, astringent, febrifuge, antiseptic, refrigerant. There are no known constituents in Tamarinds to account for their laxative properties; they are refrigerant from the acids they contain, an infusion of the Tamarind pulp making a useful drink in febrile conditions, and the pulp a good diet in convalescence to maintain a slightly laxative action of the bowels; also used in India as an astringent in bowel complaints.
TAMARISK: Tamarix spp.
Origin: Native to drier areas of Eurasia and Africa, has become an invasive plant in North
Parts Used: Wood.
Uses: Exorcism and Protection.
TANSY: Tanacetum vulgare.
Feminine, Venus, Water.
Origin: Europe, later in North America. Related to Feverfew, Marigold and Daisy.
Part Used: Flower, leaves, essential oil.
Uses: Healing, immortality, invisibility, longevity.
Other Uses: One of the bitter herbs of the Bible. CAUTION: Considered toxic by some.
Sabbat: Imbolc, Ostara.
AKA: Little Dragon.
Origin: Southern Europe, S. America and Asia. Seldom found in U.K.
Part Used: Leaves.
Uses: Animals, anti-theft, confidence, courage, love, protection, to keep secrets, strength.
Other Uses: Dragons.
Origin: It was formerly supposed that black and green tea were the produce of distinct plants, but they are both prepared from the same plant. Green tea is prepared by exposing the gathered leaves to the air until superfluous moisture is eliminated, when they are roasted over a brisk wood fire and continually stirred until they become moist and flaccid; after this they pass to the rolling table, and are rolled into balls and subjected to pressure which twists them and gets rid of the moisture; they are then shaken out on flat trays, again roasted over a slow and steady charcoal fire, and kept in rapid motion for an hour to an hour and a half, till they assume a dullish green colour. After this they are winnowed, screened, and graded into different varieties. With black tea, the gathered leaves are exposed to the air for a longer period, then gathered up and tossed until soft and flaccid, and after further exposure, roasted in an iron pan for about five minutes. After rolling and pressing, they are shaken out, exposed to the outer air for some hours, re-roasted for three or four minutes, rerolled, spread out in baskets and exposed to the heat of a charcoal fire for five or six minutes and then rolled for the third time and again heated, and finally dried in baskets over charcoal fires, from which process they become black in colour. China is the great tea-producing country, over four million acres of ground being devoted to its
cultivation. In India also it is a very important product.
Parts Used: Dried leaf.
Other Uses: Stimulant, astringent. It exerts a decided influence over the nervous system, generally evinced by a feeling of comfort and exhilaration; it also causes unnatural wakefulness when taken in quantity. Taken moderately by healthy individuals it is harmless, but in excessive quantities it will produce unpleasant nervous and dyspeptic symptoms, the green variety being decidedly the more injurious. Tea is rarely used as a medicine, but, the infusion is useful to relieve neuralgic headaches.
THISTLE: Carduus species.
Masculine, Mars, Fire.
Origin: Many species native to Europe, Asia and Mexico.
Part Used: Flower.
Uses: Exorcism, healing, hex-breaking, protection, strength.
Other Uses: Holy Thistle (Carduus benedictus) is a Druid sacred herb.
Sabbat: Yule (Blessed Thistle), Mabon.
THYME: Thymus vulgaris.
Origin: Mediterranean countries and Spain. Another species is native to Britain. Also found in the Middle East.
Part Used: Leaves, essential oil.
Uses: Clairvoyance, confidence, concentration, consecration, courage, death, divination, healing, love, meditation, memory, to banish nightmares, protection, psychic, purification, sleep.
Other Uses: A Druid sacred herb. Used in rituals for the dead and to ease grief at funerals. An ingredient of holy water. Represented chivalry during the middle ages. A Faery herb, used to see Faeries.
TOBACCO: Nicotiana genus.
Masculine, Mars, Fire.
Origin: Native to N. America, later cultivated in most sub-tropical countries.
Part Used: Leaves.
Uses: Healing, offerings, purification.
Other Uses: Amerindian herb. To call upon gods and make them appear. Used in shaman, Voodoo and Macumba incenses. Conducive to trance work. It is best to use pure, organically-grown tobacco if possible. What you find in cigarettes has been adulterated with many chemicals.
TONKA: Coumarouma odorata.
Feminine, Venus, Water.
Origin: Large tree native to S. America. Later cultivated in W. Africa.
Part Used: Beans, oil.
Uses: Courage, healing, love, luck, prosperity, wishes.
Other Uses: Fast luck. Used as a fixative. CAUTION: Poison!
Origin: They are native to southern Europe, north Africa, and Asia from Anatolia and Iran (where the flower is suggested on the nation's flag) east to northeast China and Japan. The centre of diversity of the genus is in the Pamir and Hindu Kush mountains and the steppes of
Parts Used: Flower.
Uses: Tulip is worn to safeguard against poverty and bad luck. Used in love spells.
Other Uses: Tulip can also help to brighten someone's mood and are excellent for use in celebrations. Tulip is used in magick for prosperity, love and protection.
Sabbats: Midsummer and Beltane
TURMERIC: Cucurma longa
Origin: S. Asia.
Part Used: Root.
Uses: Confidence, courage, exorcism, hex-breaking, lust, purification, strength.
Other Uses: Hawaiian incense. May be used in place of black or cayenne pepper in incenses.
TURNIP: Brassica rapa
Origin: Turnips are notably popular in Europe, particularly in its colder parts, because they grow well in cold climates and
can be stored for several months after harvest.
Parts Used: Whole Plant.
Uses: Protection and ending relationships.
Other Uses: The benefits derived from turnip husbandry are of great magnitude; light soils are cultivated with profit and facility; abundance of food is provided for man and beast; the earth is turned to the uses for which it is physically calculated, and by being suitably cleaned with this preparatory crop, a bed is provided for grass seeds, wherein they flourish and prosper with greater vigor than after any other preparation.
Origin: The Bearberry (Arctostaphylos Uva-Ursi, Sprengel), a small shrub, with decumbent, much branched, irregular stems and evergreen leaves, is distributed over the greater part of the Northern Hemisphere, being found in the northern latitudes and high mountains of Europe, Asia and America. In the British Isles, it is common in Scotland, on heaths and barren places in hilly districts, especially in the Highlands, and extends south as far as Yorkshire; it grows also on the hills of the north-west of Ireland. In America it is distributed throughout
Canada and the United States as far south as New Jersey and Wisconsin.
Parts Used: Leaves.
Uses: Psychic Workings
Other Uses: In consequence of the powerful astringency of the leaves, Uva-Ursi has a place not only in all the old herbals, but also in the modern Pharmacopoeias. There are records that it was used in the thirteenth century by the Welsh 'Physicians of Myddfai.' It was described by Clusius in 1601, and recommended for medicinal use in 1763 by Gerhard of Berlin and others. It had a place in the London Pharmacopoeia for the first time in 1788, though was probably in use long before. It is official in nearly all Pharmacopceias, some of which use the name Arbutus.
Origin: The Common Walnut, a large and handsome tree, with strong, spreading boughs, is not a native of Britain. Its native place is probably Persia. Other varieties of Walnut, the Black Walnut, the various kinds of Hickory, etc., are mostly natives of North America.
Parts Used: Leaves, bark.
Uses: Carry to promote fertility and strengthen heart.
Other Uses: The bark and leaves have alterative, laxative, astringent and detergent properties, and are used in the treatment of skin troubles. They are of the highest value for curing scrofulous diseases, herpes, eczema, etc., and for healing indolent ulcers; an infusion of 1 OZ. of dried bark or leaves (slightly more of the fresh leaves) to the pint of boiling water, allowed to stand for six hours, and strained off is taken in wineglassful doses, three times a day, the same infusion being also employed at the same time for outward application. Obstinate ulcers may also be cured with sugar, well saturated with a strong decoction of Walnut leaves.
Origin: Hoya is a genus of 200-230 species of tropical climbing plants in the family Apocynaceae, native to southern Asia (India east to southern China and southward), Australia, and Polynesia. Common names for this genus are waxplant, waxvine, waxflower or simply hoya. This genus was named by botanist Robert Brown, in honour of his friend, botanist Thomas
Parts Used: Whole plant.
Origin: Wheat is a grass that is cultivated worldwide.
Parts Used: Seeds, stalks
Uses:Fertility and Money
Other Uses: Wheat grain is a staple food used to make flour for leavened, flat and steamed breads; cookies, cakes, pasta, noodles and couscous; and for fermentation to make beer, alcohol, vodka or bio-fuel. The husk of the grain, separated when milling white flour, is bran. Wheat is planted to a limited extent as a forage crop for livestock and the straw can be used as a ruminant fodder component or as a construction material for roofing thatch.
WILLOW: Salix spp.
Origin: Over 100 species native to central and southern Europe and eastern U.S.A.
Part Used: Wood, bark.
Uses: Anti-theft, clairvoyance, compassion, consecration, divination, exorcism, fertility, healing, hex-breaking, love, to prevent nightmares, protection, release, to conjur spirits.
Other Uses: To conjure spirits; burn with Sandalwood at the waning Moon. One of the seven sacred trees of the Irish and a Druid sacred tree. Connected to Hecate. An Amerindian tree. Symbolizes death and the Underworld. A tree of enchantment, sacred to the Moon Goddess.
WINTERGREEN: Gaultheria procumbens
Origin: Northeastern U.S.A. and Canada.
Part Used: Berries, leaves, essential oil.
Uses: Animals, healing, hex breaking, luck, prosperity, and protection.
Other Uses: CAUTION: Essential oil is poisonous!
WINTER'S BARK: Drimys winteri
Origin: Woodland, Dappled Shade, and Shady Edges in Brazil; Chile; Mexico; Turkey; and
Parts Used: Essential Oil; Wood; and Bark.
Other Uses: Antidandruff; Antiscorbutic; Aromatic; Febrifuge; Parasiticide; Skin; Stimulant; Stomachic.The bark is a pungent bitter tonic herb that relieves indigestion. It is antiscorbutic, aromatic, febrifuge, skin, stimulant and stomachic. An infusion of the bark is used in the treatment of indigestion, colic, dandruff and scurvy. It is also used as a parasiticide. The bark is harvested in the autumn and winter and is dried for later use. The powerfully aromatic bark contains resinous matter and 0.64% of aromatic essential oil. Wood - not durable, heavy (it sinks in water) - interior of houses, boxes etc. It burns badly with a smell.
WITCH GRASS: Panicum capillare
Origin: Panicum is a large genus of about 450 species of grasses native throughout the tropical regions of the world, with a few species extending into the north temperate zone. They are large, perennial grasses, growing to 1-3 m
Parts Used: Whole plant.
Uses: Happiness, Lust, love and exorcism.
WITCH HAZEL: Hamamelis virginiana
Eastern United States and Canada.
Parts Used: Bark, dried; leaves, fresh and dried.
Uses: Protection and Chastity
Other Uses: The properties of the leaves and bark are similar, astringent, tonic, sedative, valuable in checking internal and external haemorrhage, most efficacious in the treatment of piles, a good pain-killer for the same, useful for bruises and inflammatory swellings, also for diarrhoea, dysentery and mucous discharges.
WOLFSBANE: Aconitum napellus.
Feminine, Saturn, Water.
AKA: Aconite, Monkshood.
Origin: Himalayas through Europe to Great Britain.
Part Used: Flowers, seeds.
Uses: Invisibility, protection.
Other Uses: Sacred to Hecate. Used in flying ointments. CAUTION: Highly poisonous!
WOODRUFF: Asperula odorato.
Masculine, Mars, Fire.
AKA: Woodde rowffe.
Origin: Northern Europe.
Part Used: Leaves.
Uses: Consecration, prosperity, protection, purification, release, transformation.
Other Uses: A Druid sacred herb. Success in battle. Used as a strewing herb.
WOOD ROSE: Dactylanthus taylorii
Origin: The plant is cryptic, and hence hard to survey, but there are unlikely to be more than a few thousand in existence. Most of these are in the North Island, including Northland, Coromandel Peninsula, East Coast and central regions, but there are a few on Hauturu/Little Barrier Island. It is likely that many sites are known only to collectors, as the woody growth has
Parts Used: Whole plant.
WORMWOOD: Artemisia absinthium.
Masculine, Mars, Fire.
Origin: Native to Eurasia and N. Africa.
Part Used: Leaves, essential oil.
Uses: Animals, binding, divination, exorcism, hex-breaking, love, protection, psychic, calling spirits.
Other Uses: To call spirits, burn with Sandalwood. A Druid sacred herb; very magickal and sacred to Moon deities. CAUTION: Toxic. Sacred to Isis.
Feminine, Venus/Saturn, Water/Earth.
Origin: Native to Europe and possibly N. America.
Part Used: Flower, leaves, essential oil.
Uses: Animals, banishing, clairvoyance, consecration, courage, divination, exorcism, fertility, friends, hex-breaking, longevity, love, luck, newlyweds, protection, psychic, release.
Other Uses: Lasting love. Amerindian herb.
YEW: Taxus baccata
Origin: Tree native to Europe, N. Africa and western Asia.
Part Used: Berries, wood.
Uses: Clairvoyance, compassion, divination, memory, peace, protection.
Other Uses: A Druid sacred tree. Sacred to the deities of death and rebirth. Once used to raise the dead.
Collection : The root is collected in the autumn of its first year. If it is very thick it can be cut longitudinally to speed its drying. The leaves should be collected in June.
Part Used : Roots and leaves are used medicinally, the stems and seeds are used in confectionery.
Constituents : Volatile oils obtained mainly from the root and seeds, have a similar composition
consisting of a range of terpenes, mainly b-phellandrene, with b-bisabolene, b-caryophyllene, a-phellandrene, a- and b-pinene, limonene, linalool, borneol, acetaldehyde, menthadienes and nitromenthadienes. Macrocyclic lactones including tridecanolide, l2-methyl tridecanolide, pentadecanolide. Phthalates such as hexamethylphthalate. Coumarins, especially furocoumarin glycosides such as marmesin and apterin. Angelicin and byakangelicin derivatives, osthol, umbelliferone, psoralen, bergapten, imperatoren, xanthotoxol, xanthotoxin, oxypeucedanin and more. Misc. sugars, plant acids, flavonoids and sterols.
Indications : This herb is a useful expectorant for coughs, bronchitis and pleurisy, especially when they are accompanied by fever, colds or influenza. The leaf can be used as a compress in inflammations of the chest. It content of carminative essential oil explains its use easing intestinal colic and flatulence. As a digestive agent it stimulates appetite and may be used in anorexia nervosa. It has been shown to help ease rheumatic inflammations. In cystitis it acts as a urinary antiseptic. Angelica is used frequently as a flavoring; in liqueurs such as chartreuse and benedictine, in gin and vermouth; the leaves as a garnish or in salads; and the candied stalks in cakes and pudding.
Combinations : For bronchial problems it combines well with Coltsfoot and White Horehound; for indigestion, flatulence and loss of appetite with Chamomile. In Musculo-skeletal problems it may be used with herbs such as Black Cohosh, Willow Bark and Bogbean.
Preparations & Dosage : Decoction: put a teaspoonful of the cut root in a cup of water, bring it to the boil and simmer for two minutes. Take it off the heat and let it stand for l5 minutes. Take one cup three times a day. Tincture: Take 2-5 ml of the tincture three times a day.
Habitat : Native to Europe, Siberia and North West N. America.
Collection : The flowers are collected between June and August.
Part Used : Flower heads.
Constituents : Sesquiterpene lactones, including the pseudoguanolides arnifolin, the arnicolides, helenalin, and the recently isolated 6-0 isobutyryl- tetrahydrohelenalin and 2 b-ethoxy-6-0-isobutyryl-2,3-dihydrohelenalin. Flavonoids such as eupafolin, patuletin, spinacetin and the less common aciniatin, and methylated flavonoids including betuletol and hispidulin. Volatile oil, containing thymol and various ethers of thymol. Mucilage and polysaccharides. Misc. substances such as resins, bitters (arnicin), tannins, carotenes etc.
Actions : Anti-inflammatory, vulnerary.
Indications : Whilst this herb should not be taken internally as it is potentially toxic, it provides us with one of the best remedies for external local healing and may be considered a specific when it comes to the treatment of bruises and sprains. The homeopathic preparation is entirely safe to take internally, especially when taken according to homeopathic directions. The herb itself, used externally, will help in the relief of rheumatic pain, the pain and inflammation of phlebitis and similar conditions. It may in fact be used wherever there is pain or inflammation on the skin, as long as the skin is not broken. Arnica has been shown to be an immuno-stimulant, as both the sesquiterpene lactone helenalin and the polysaccharide fraction stimulate phagocytosis. Sesquiterpene lactones are known to have anti-inflammatory activity and their biological effects appear to be mediated through immunological processes. As helenalin is one of the most active, this might help account for the use of Arnica for pain and inflammation. Ellingwood considered it specific for bruised, sore, lacerated and contused muscular structures. In addition he recommends it for the following pathologies: muscular soreness, pain, soreness of the breasts, severe injury, old sores, abscesses.
Combinations : For a lotion it may be combined with distilled Witch Hazel.
Preparations & Dosage : You can prepare your own tincture of this herb as follows: pour 1/2 liter (one pint) of 70% alcohol over 50 grams (two ounces) of freshly picked flowers. Seal it tightly in a clear glass container and let it stand for at least a week in the sun or in a warm place. Filter it and it is ready for use. To store it, put the tincture in a sealed container and keep it out of direct sunlight.
Constituents : o Glycosides, Polysaccharides, choline, betaine, rumatakenin, b-sitosterol
Actions : Immunomodulator
Indications : Used since ancient times in Traditional Chinese Medicine, it has become an important remedy in the west since its effects upon the immune system came to light. As the power of immunological research is focussed on medicinal herbs a whole new array of effects are being discovered. The polysaccharides in Astragalus have been shown to intensify phagocytosis of reticulo-endothelial systems, stimulate pituitary-adrenal cortical activity and restore depleted red blood cell formation in bone marrow. Astragalus is also one of the herbs known to stimulate the bodies natural production of interferon. The therapeutic potential offered is very exciting. For more details please refer to pages 3-285 to 3-292. The conclusion being drawn by most western herbalists is that Astragalus is an ideal remedy for any one who might be immuno-compromized in any way. This can range from someone who easily catches colds to someone with cancer.
Preparations & Dosage : Decoction: put l teaspoonful of the root into a cup of water, bring to boil and simmer for l0-l5 minutes. This should be drunk three times a day.
Tincture: take 2-4 ml of the tincture three times a day.
Cough remedy - doubtless due to the mucilagen, though because of it's other affects I don't think that I'd personally use it for a cough. The side effects, on an otherwise healthy female system, could
outweigh the benefits.
Mental depression - 1 tsp. plant with one cup
water, one cup a day, one mouthfull at a time.
Skin rashes/ eczema - the seed oil is used, since it contains essential fatty acids needed for healthy skin tissue. Used as a simple. Seed oil used 3g a day in capsule form as a
PMS - Contains gamma-linolenic acid for prostaglandin production. It's supposed to ease general PMS symptoms and breast tenderness. 250-500mg
in capsules a day.
The FDA has not approved Evening Primrose for use in American medicines. Short-sighted
to my thinking given the amount of foreign study done, but there it is.
Personal Use notes:
I pick Evening Primrose petals to use in a tincture. It's quite volatile and will have rather dramatic effects within about 48 hours. Pack a 1/2 pint full of the washed petals. Add Everclear to cover and place in sun for 2-3 days. Use 6-8 drops in a cup of regular tea with any sweetner 2x a day. This tincture will do one of two things. It will make the case radically better, or radically worse. (grin) There is always a change in a short period of time. Not to be used by a novice and certainly with care by all. This is simply my own recipe and posted as a point of interest. NOTE: when the case is worse, I stop using it! Another note of interest, the medical studies with Evening Primrose all use Evening Primrose OIL as opposed to
Valerian is an excellent herb to use, in combination with other herbs, or used alone. The active constituents are the volatile oil (isovalerianic/enic acid) and valepotriates. Valerian depresses the central nervous system, similar to GABA (which occurs naturally in the brain and inhibits nerve inpulse transmission.) There are no cons to taking valerian other than if you use it other than in a capsule it can smell up your house as
Or if you have cats they may may rub up and down your leg (they like it, similar to catnip) while you are drinking you tea, causing you to stumble and fall, spilling hot liquid all over yourself. For Valerian to be effective you must take it in sufficient quantities to work eg. 1-2 tsp of the
tincture (alcohol extract) before bed, or 6-10 capsule of the dried plant.
Onset is typically 1 hour. You may awaken a little muddleheaded, which is quickly relieved as soon as you move about. For a daily dose, 5 ml (1 tsp) of
the tincture 3 times a day between meals is the standard dose.
Enzymatic Therapy puts out an excellent product, though this is an extract which is much stronger. 2 capsules will usually work well enough, although I myself have taken four when I was really frazzled and enjoyed a continuous restful sleep
with no morning grogginess.
About 20% of the pop'n respond to Valerian as a stimulant, so if you take it and have insomnia or buzzed out, try hops, chamomile, passionflower, scullcap or avena, which are all excellent
herbs to relieve stress, anxiety and insomnia.
BREAST TENDERNESS: Caffine should be avoided. Supplemental vitamin E may help. The following herbs are mentioned to be consumed - Black Currant, Borage, Dong Quai, Feverfew. The application of
Evening Primrose oil is also suggested.
CRAMPS : Avoid consuming Alchol and fatty foods. Supplements of Magnesium and calcium is suggested. The Following herbs are suggested - Black Currant, Borage, Chamomile, Chaste Berry
Tree, Cramp Bark, Dong Quai, Feverfew, Motherwort, Scullcap and wild yams.
EMOTIONAL UPSETS: Avoid Fats and sweets, increase the intake of carbohydrates. Supplements of Magnesium, Vitamin B complex, Vitamin B6. Herbs Suggested - Chamomile, Chaste Tree Berry, Dong Quai, Feverfew, Motherwort,
Sarsaparilla, Scullcap and Wild Yams. Exercise may also be helpful.
WATER RETENTION : Avoid salts. The following herbs are suggested - Chamomile,
Chaste Tree Berry, Dandelion, and Wild Yams.
A cut onion
near a sick person will absorb germs and illness.
Rosemary oil dabbed on
the temples a third eye will end most headaches.
Myrtle - Only a woman should plant myrtle - and when she has she should stand over it, spread her skirts over it with dignity, look 'right proud' and the plant will
receive the blessings of the Goddess.
Parsley - to encourage good luck,
pull some of the parsley root up yourself, and give as a gift to a friend.
Rosemary - Linked with the matriarch of the family, it's name means ' dew of the sea' and it represents fidelity and rememberence. Give a gift to newlyweds of rosemary sprigs. If they each dip a spring in the wine that they toast their union with at their wedding reception, love will always flourish
Vervain - Blesses the house
Ivy - If it grows upon the wall it gives protection from malice and misadventure. Wear a garland of
ivy around your head to prevent hairloss.
This introduction concerns WESTERN medical herbs and their clinical use. Some herbal agents are common to different traditions but the indications and methods of
use may vary between eg TCM, Ayurvedic and Western practices.
The purpose of these notes is to provide a general understanding of the actions of herbal medicines, and hence a background for understanding questions of safety and toxicity - NOT to provide a list of problematic herbs. A brief bibliography gives sources of reliable information on the safety of herbal medicine and
Conventional medicine considers that if a drug is to be effective, it will inevitably have side effects. The medical establishment considers herbal medicines as drugs, and as such, they must either have side
effects - or ergo be ineffective.
Paradoxically tens of thousands of people every year turn to herbal medicine because they regard plant remedies as being free from undesirable side effects. Herbal medicines are considered to be generally safe AND effective agents. Although there is a spectrum of viewpoints in western herbal medicine, most herbalists reject the view that plant medicines are naturally occurring analogues of the pharmaceuticals used in orthodox clinical medicine i.e. drugs. This is ultimately a rejection of the dominant paradigm of orthodox clinical science. It is necessary to outline the elements of the alternative paradigm shared by most herbalists, before questions of toxicity and safety can be discussed in context of clinical herbal
therapeutics, rather than of orthodox medical science.
I. MEDICINAL PLANT ACTIONS CANNOT BE REDUCED TO THE EFFECTS OF THEIR ISOLATED ACTIVE
There ARE a few plants that are almost drug like and whose action approaches that of pharmaceuticals. Digitalis is the classic example. Herbalists use these plants in near allopathic treatment strategies if at all, and in some countries e.g. UK, their availability is restricted by law. The
number of herbs in this category is relatively few.
The vast majority of medicinal herbs contain dozens of different compounds, often of great complexity, mucilages, tannins, polysaccharides etc. that buffer, modulate and modify the effects of any active principles. Study after study has shown that effects produced by extracts of whole plants cannot be mimicked by administering isolated purified constituents of the plant. (It is ironic this proposition even has to be asserted given that biological sciences have for some time used a systems theory model in which the whole being greater than the sum of the parts is axiomatic - this simply reflects the inherent conservatism of the medical establishment. However for most herbalists the view of the whole
being greater than the parts is derived from vitalism, not systems theory!)
II. MEDICINAL HERBS ACT MULTI-SYSTEMICALLY
Pharmaceutical drugs are designed to elicit very specific reactions. Their associated side effects are undesired actions, usually traded as a risk against the benefit of the primary effect. Herbs tend to have several broad actions on a number of whole physiological systems at the same time. These actions are usually oriented in the same general therapeutic direction, and are usually complementary or synergistic, often non-specific, and very rarely adverse. Herb actions cannot be adequately described using the vocabulary of drug action terms, e.g. diuretic etc. - they are too complex. The clearest example of this is the coining of the term adaptogenic used to describe the multiple non-specific
effects of herbs such as Ginseng.
III. HERBS ACT ON THE HEALING
PROCESSES IN THE BODY.
A pharmaceutical drug addresses symptoms caused by specific disease mechanisms as understood by scientific pathology. Herbal medicines are directed towards aiding the body's own healing processes. These approaches are diametrically opposed. Herbal medicines act gently, usually attempting to nudge or support systems and processes that have become deficient or help remove excesses that have become preponderant. Symptom relief is only a component of herbal therapeutic strategy. This is a crucial difference. For example, serum arthritic conditions are conventionally treated
with steroid anti-inflammatory drugs.
These have widespread and disturbing side effects, which at sustained high doses become intolerable and potentially dangerous if not lethal. The herbal approach to these conditions uses dietary modification of metabolism; facilitation of elimination via kidneys and hepatic/biliary routes; stimulation of circulation in the affected regions, moistening of dry synovia, etc. Topical treatments for acute joint pain or systemic anti-inflammatory herbs that help joint pain are used as
required, but this is not the thrust of the treatment strategy.
Lay persons often make the related mistake of seeking a natural alternative to a pharmaceutical they have been prescribed rather than challenging the diagnosis
and therapeutic strategy.
IV. HERBS ACT MULTI- DIMENSIONALLY
Herbal medicine is a wholistic therapy, it integrates mental, emotional and spiritual levels seamlessly into its understanding of both human function and of the plant remedy, while respecting the planetary and ecological dimensions of natural medicine provided by plants. Although subject to differing
interpretations this view is held in one form or another by most herbalists.
Life style, mental, emotional and spiritual considerations are part of any naturopathic approach, herbalism included. Flower essences, homeopathic preparations and drop doses of standard herb extracts all demonstrate that herbal agents can produce consistent and powerful effects at subtle levels in ways quite inexplicable by the pharmacokinetic model underlying orthodox
Centuries of medicinal plant usage overarch even the Graeco - Roman heritage of medical thought, itself already forgotten by its amnesiac infant technological medicine, extending into magical, esoteric and religious domains of prehistory. The great Asian systems of medicine have continued uninterrupted for thousands of years to today, integrated into profound cosmological and philosophical systems. From any serious study of the application of herbs to healing a perspective emerges that reveals modern doctors to be tragi-comically like educated peasants running around pretending
to be chiefs (Grossinger).
V. SIDE EFFECTS VS CONTRAINDICATIONS
Many herbalists would tend toward the radical homeopathic view that the side effects of orthodox medicine are in fact iatrogenic developments of the very disease for which the pharmacological intervention was intended. The symptoms simply change, and the real underlying dysfunction is further obscured - or driven further into the interior to manifest in deeper and more intractable
Notwithstanding this iatrogenic view of side effects, we have seen that the use of herbs anyway does not generally involve drug actions or adverse effects. Of course, if the body processes are nudged in the wrong direction for long enough, then imbalances can worsen rather than improve. Hence the need for informed knowledge of the effects of herbs as well as a clinical training to understand their appropriate medical application. Herbalists learn about the CONTRAINDICATIONS as well as the indications for using a herb. This term is
more useful and appropriate than side effects.
CONTRAINDICATIONS are incongruences between the metabolic/systemic predisposition (constitution) of the individual - and the spectrum of multi-systemic actions of a given herb agent or class of agents. Essentially, herbalists use their in depth knowledge to devise a mix'n'match prescription tailored precisely to fit an individuals unique profile. This approach is most sophisticated in the tonic energetics of the Oriental medical traditions, but is empirically applied by
Contraindicated remedies can account for apparently idiosyncratic bad reactions to a herb. Valerian is a classic example, its powerful autonomic effects can make it disagree with stressed adrenergically hyperactive individuals, who paradoxically are often those seeking sedative treatment for insomnia. Anyone experiencing such reactions to a herb for more than a couple of days should stop taking it and seek further advice. However a second and vital aspect of contraindications especially today is the question
of DRUG INTERACTIONS.
Many people seeking herbal medical treatment are already involved in pharmaceutical therapies. Herbal remedies may act either as agonists or potentiate some drug therapies, and an understanding of conventional drugs is an essential prerequisite for effective herbal therapueutics. In many cases, herbalists would not treat the primary presenting symptom undergoing drug treatment - be it ulcers treated with Zantac or cardiac arrythmia treated with Digoxin - but rather concentrate on supporting other
systems and functions stressed by the primary symptom.
This allows the body to recover its strength and healing potential so it can then direct these capabilities toward repairing the presenting condition. In other cases, it can be a priority to wean someone off drugs, eg steroids, in which case supportive
therapy to restore adrenal function is vital.
VI. SAFETY AND TOXICITY OF
The definition of *toxic* is a ultimately a matter of viewpoint. Many ordinary foods contain constituents that could be regarded as poisonous, such as the alpha gliadin produced by gluten in wheat oats and rye, the cyanogenic glycosides in many fruit seeds, the thiocyanates of the brassica vegetables, alkaloids of the Solanaceae and lectins of many pulses including soya and red kidney beans. Nonetheless these foods are generally regarded as safe. Similarly, both water and oxygen - can kill in excessive amounts, so quantity is often an important consideration. In practice however, three groups
of herbs can be identified from a safety point of view.
Firstly there are a handful of herbs that contain near pharmaceutical concentrations of poisonous constituents which should on no account be taken internally by unqualified persons except in homeopathic potencies. Examples are Atropa belladonna, Arnica spp, Aconitum spp, Digitalis spp. In many countries availability of these herbs is limited by law. Regulations vary from country to country and the appropriate regulatory authorities or Herb Organisations can be consulted for details. Wildcrafters should be unshakeably confident in their identification of the local variants of these species, and children warned to
avoid them. Fortunately this is a numerically tiny category.
Secondly, are herbs with powerful actions, often causing nausea or vomiting, (that usually were traditionally prized for this action). They are perfectly safe used under appropriate conditions. Some of these herbs are restricted in some countries but freely available in others. Lobelia and Eonymus spp are examples. There is some inconsistency here, for example Ephedra is restricted, perhaps
with justification, in the UK, but is freely available in the US.
Finally, there is an idiosyncratic grouping of herbs which have been alleged, with some scientific support, to exhibit specific kinds of toxicity. The best known is the hepatotoxicity of pyrrolizidine- alkaloid-containing plants such as Comfrey (Symphytum). Other examples are Dryopteris (Male Fern), Viscum (Mistletoe) and Corynanthe (Yohimbe). Although much of the evidence is contentious (see below), lay users would be advised to avoid internal
consumption of these herbs.
The vast majority of medical herbs are safe for consumption, but for those without specialised knowledge, it would be
prudent to follow simple but sensible guidelines in self treatment:
- Use only herbs recommended in respected herb books, especially in countries
like the US where there are few restrictions on availability.
- Avoid new or unproven *wonder remedies*.
- Do not persist with a remedy if no benefit or result obtains after a moderate period, and if adverse reactions take place, stop the treatment and seek experienced advice.
- Do not persist with a treatment that has brought improvement without testing to see if continued further consumption is necessary to maintain improvement.
- Do not engage in self treatment for complex conditions without experienced advice.
Drug interactions and contraindications must be considered on an individual basis and herbal treatment strategies are often involved and multifaceted. Unfortunately,training and licensing of herbalists is not internationally consistent. In the US the situation is especially complex - no recognised herbal licensing exists. ND's are licensed in a few states, but their herbal training could theoretically be less than that of an unlicensed but experienced herbal practitioner. In the UK, the NIMH accredits herbalists who have trained at approved courses: practitioners are recognised by MNIMH or
It is axiomatic that pregnancy should be a time of minimal medical intervention, and herbalists in particular regard pregnancy as a contraindication to taking herbal medicines. Nutritive food herbs such as nettle, and uterine tonics such as raspberry leaf are encouraged, and perhaps gentle treatments against typical symptoms such as constipation or morning sickness are in order. There is NO evidence of teratogenicity in humans arising from herbal remedies, but since such evidence would be hard to come by, erring on the side of caution is regarded as
VIII. UNDERSTANDING TOXICITY RESEARCH - POLITICS AND
Medical orthodoxy at best does not understand herbal medicine, and at worst, sees it as a threat which it attempts to rubbish, regulate or ridicule. Quackery has a fascinating role in the history of medicine and its institutions, but much of the hostility towards herbal medicine comes from its apparently greater proximity to orthodoxy than say acupuncture or homeopathy. This is the unfortunate political context in which toxicity and safety of herbal medicines are debated. Additionally, both professional herbalists and regulatory authorities exhibit differing degrees of education, organisation and
aptitude different countries.
In the United States, the situation is particularly lamentable, with scare mongering stories regularly aired in medical, scientific and popular press, whilst the lack of accredited professional herbalist training means that well intentioned self-appointed spokespersons for herbalism can cause more harm than good, and the quixotic federal regulatory stance on herbs as foodstuffs means that the potential of lay self-iatrogenesis with freely available OTC herbal products is a serious
Toxicity of herbal medicines needs to be seen in context however. As Paul Bergner, Editor of the journal Medical Herbalism and author of several articles on herbal toxicty recently pointed out: *Approximately 8% of all hospital admissions in the U.S. are due to adverse reactions to synthetic drugs. That's a minimum of 2,000,000. At least 100,000 people a year die from them. That's just in the U.S., and that's a conservative estimate. That means at least three times as many people are killed in the U.S. by
pharmaceutical drugs as are killed by drunken drivers.
Thousands die each year from supposedly safe over-the-counter remedies. Deaths or hospitalizations due to herbs are so rare that they're hard to find. The U.S. National Poison Control Centers does not even have a category in their database for adverse reactions to herbs.* Similar figures apply in the United Kingdom, and even hepatoxicty, where perhaps the stongest case against some herbs lies, the statistics are horrendously clear - over 80% of cases of fulminant hepatic failure presenting for liver transplant (or death) over ten years inthe UK were due to poisoning by freely available OTC non- prescription NSAID's, such as paracetomol and aspirin. Not one case was due to ingestion
of medicinal herbs.
For the lay person, analysis of so called scientific evidence about toxicity is clearly problematic. Some of the most useful sources of information are to be found in review presentations made by representatives of the herbalist community to regulatory authorities such as the FDA or MCA. Informative reviews of the literature in defence of Comfrey and Mistletoe have
been made in this way.
Herbalists justifiably point out that scientific studies with isolated compounds, on non human or even non mammalian organisms, or in vitro, with doses tens or even hundreds of times the equivalent medicinal dose, simply have no arguable extrapolation to the clinical situation using
whole herb at appropriate medicinal doses.
Lack of herbal knowledge knowledge by some scientific investigators (let alone journalists or self appointed defenders of the public) leads to often ludicrously misleading results - one of the commonest mistakes being the failure to verify the actual identity of plant material used in their experiments, let alone the detection
These points beg the question of what paradigm can be used for research into the safety and efficacy of herbal therapies. That shibboleth of orthodoxy - the double blind placebo controlled clinical trial is open to a range of criticsms from the paradigm employed by herbalists - but
that, as they say, is another story.
Synergistic and Iatrogenic Potentials when some herbs are used concurrent with Medical Treatment or Medical Health Care by Michael Moore, 1995, on line at
HERB INFORMATION RESOURCE:
The Information Source book of Herbal Medicine by David Hoffmann, Crossing Press 1994. This excellent book is reviewed at
An Introduction to the Toxicology of Common Botanical Medicines by Brinker F,
AMA Handbook of Poisonous and Injurious Plants AMA,
NAPRALERT database at UIC.
Example REVIEWS OF PROBLEMATIC HERBS:
In Defence of Comfrey: EJHM1.1.1994
The Case For Mistletoe:
EJHM1.1 1994 17-22
European Journal of Herbal Medicine
Planet Medicine, Richard Grossinger, North Atlantic Books 1990.
The Magical Staff, Matthew Wood North Atlantic Books, Berkely 1992.
GENERAL HERB BOOKS:
CRC Handbook of Medicinal Herbs.
C. Hobbs, many booklets.
The Herbal Handbook.
Out of the Earth: The Essential Book of Herbalism.
There are many reliable herbs for menopause that maintain a
healthy life without symptoms of menopause, but women should learn
which herb is the best for their specific case. Please take your time
to read carefully the following articles in which you will find
important information about the most used herbs for menopause
Understanding Menopause and hormonal imbalance
First off, in order to understand how herbs for menopause can
alleviate all the symptoms of menopause, you must know what menopause
is and the way it changes women lives.
Menopause is a natural process in which menstruation ceases forever
and a whole array of disturbing symptoms occur before and after it.
Menopause is mainly caused by a drop in levels of estrogen which is
the most important female hormone in charge of the overall body
functioning. This declination of estrogen occurs because women bodies
stop producing the right amounts of this hormone.
The main cause for menopause symptoms is estrogen hormonal imbalance.
Therefore, in order to relieve the symptoms of menopause, we have to
balance hormonal levels first
Doctors and medical researchers have found that some herbs can
efficiently balance hormone levels in human body resulting to the
relief of menopause symptoms. Please take your time to read below, to
learn everything about the best herbs for menopause symptoms relief;
in this way, be able to decide smartly about the herb for menopause
that best fits you.
Types of Herbs for Relieving Menopause Symptoms
There are basically two types of herbs for menopause symptoms relief:
Phytoestrogenic and Non-estrogenic herbs for menopause. The first one
contains phytohormones in it and the second one stimulates natural
production of hormones in your body.
Phytoestrogenic herbs for menopause are all the plants that contain a
type of chemical compounds called phytoestrogens which are a group of
herbal components that have chemical structures similar to those of
estrogen. Phytoestrogenic herbs for menopause work by providing the body the
estrogen it needs. In simple words, these herbs replace the natural
hormones the body produces with plant hormones (phytoestrogens) with
good results. However, the use of these herbs for menopause has been
recently questioned by doctors because some studies have shown that
there may be a relation between phytoestrogen and the development and
growth of breast cancer and other diseases.
Most popular Phytoestrogenic herbs for menopause:
Non Estrogenic Herbs
Unlike phytoestrogenic herbs, non-estrogenic herbs for menopause, as
its name suggests, don't contain any estrogen. These herbs for
menopause nourish the hormonal glands into producing more efficiently
body-own, natural hormones. This ultimately ends up in balancing
estrogen hormone levels reducing menopause symptoms. In other words,
non-estrogenic herbs for menopause stimulate a woman's own hormone
production, by inducing the optimal functioning of the pituitary and
The most common non-estrogenic herb for menopause is Macafem. In
fact, this is the only herb for menopause that has reliable studies
and researches that confirmed its great benefits. Due to this,
Macafem can be considered as the safest way to treat menopause
During menopause, you're at risk for osteoporosis when your
get older you need a calcium supliment, drink lots of water, chinese
theory associates Menopausal problems with a run down in the kidney's
Herbs like cinnamon and buchu which have a tonic effect on the kidneys
can be worth trying, there are a number of specialist Chinese tonic
herbs such as FoTi (polygonum multiflorum) which are now appearing in
over the counter menopausal products.
Many Herbs can be use to ease troublesome menopausal symptoms:
Sage and Golden Seal can help with hot flushes, Chaste-Tree will
regulate hormone production, while emotional ups and down can be
soothed with Skullcap, Borage, St Jon's Wort or Lemon Balm.
Hawthorn is useful for easing menopausal palpitations, while vaginal
dryness can often be helped with creams containing Vitamin E and
Plants that can help with Women's ailments:
Herbs for Menopausal Problems
(part used Root)
helps colloing hot flashes and night sweats, it has also been used to
stop post partum heamorrhage also good when used with Chaste-tree
(argue, fruit part used) which helps improve hormone production at
the menopause. Low doses about 10-20 drops higher does can cause
(part used: seed oil)helps ease menstrual and
menopausal problems. 3-5 g a day
(parts used leaves or fruits) helps with pain
(pats used leaves and essential oil) good for hormones and also
helps with night sweats.
(parts used: aerial parts) helps for menopausal
(part used: root) Natures tranquilliser, calming nervine
without side effects. Drink Valerian tea for tension headaches,
menopausal problems or to relieve bronchjila spasm and smoker's
cough. Also a strong maceration of the fresh root can be added to
bath water to make a extrememly relaxing bath when suffering from
(part used: fruit) impoves hormone production during
(Part used: seeds and aerial parts) anti depressant,
exhaustion, emotional upsets associated with menopause or debility
following the illness.
(part used: leaves, root, seed, and oil) iron, calcium,
potassium, and magnesium and more, the parsley leaf is often
recommended for fluid retention associated with pre-menstrual tension
associated with menopause.
Other uses: Bursitis, Rheumatism, Gout, Blood
Used to naturally ease anxiety, Kava can be taken during the day since it is nonsedating. Kava is helpful in breaking the cycle of pain/stress/more pain, etc. Suggested dosage: 250mg three times day with food. Look for standardized extracts with at least 30% kavalactones. Ginseng: Love, wishes, beauty, desire. Stimulant, tonic, an agent for prolonged life. Also a mild pain killer, and improves blood circulation. Reported to successfully treat asthma, bronchitis, cancer, flatulence, diabetes, weakness, fever, coughs and heartburn, and a mild stimulant. Relieves stress and moderate
Traditional use: Preparations or arnica flowers have long been a popular folk remedy, used externally in the form of creams, ointments or tinctures for the treatment of sprains, bruises and wound healing, once the wound is closed. Arnica is seldom used internally
because of potential toxicity.
Current use: often associated wit homeopathic topical products, arnica is widely used externally in Europe as an antiphlogistic, anti-inflammatory, mild pain reliever, and antiseptic for injuries, sprains, bruising, swelling related to bone fractures, insect bites, rheumatic pains, arthralgia and occasionally phlebitis. In short it's
Europe's number-one herbal first aid
Different forms of this disease
react in different ways. One thing for sure is that people with
arthritis should ensure they eat a balanced diet. Calcium rich
foods are important and those who have a lactose intolerance should
investigate the quinnoa grain. Devils claw used a decoction reduces
swelling in all forms of arthritis as well beanbog are important.
Wild yam, prickly ash work to reduce inflamation and for any
arthritis sufferer the lowly horsetail plant (yeah the one that is
everywhere in ditches and in your garden - that one!!) is rich in
silica that is helpful for active bone formation and for the
strength and elasticity of cartilage. Kelp and alfalfa also provide
a complete range of vitamins and trace elements needed for muscle
and bone repair.
These are just general comments but the thing to pay the most
attention to is that the sufferer has a FULL and COMPLETE diet.
Some forms of arthritis can be traced to deficiencies in the diet or
even food allergies. Using herbal treatments is as individual as
fingerprints so care must be taken in investigating all
There are many herbs to use for fighting colds and flu. The first category, the immune system boosters, are best taken at the first signs of a cold. When you're tired, or have been under a lot of stress, you're more susceptible to illness. The key is learning to recognize the signs of an oncoming cold and handle it then. It is much easier to get rid of a cold before you get it. The following are
some of my favorites.
Herbs that improve the Immune System:
Echinacea (purpurea or angustifolia)
Goldenseal (Hydrastis canadensis)
St.John's Wort (Hypericum perforatum)
St. Johnswort is included because of its antiviral properties. Several combinations of Echinacea and Goldenseal are available commercially. These combinations usually include Cayenne as an accelerator and work very well. I've found that for myself taking a combination of Echinacea, Golden Seal and Cayenne and getting plenty of rest will usually help me get rid of a cold before it really starts. If I can't
find the herbs, or a pre mixed version, I'll use the Pau d'arco.
These herbs can be taken in 2-3 00 gel caps, or you can make a tea (which is always nice when you're fighting a cold). Tinctures are available and do
work, but they taste nasty!
Tonic Herbs, helping your health in general:
Ginseng (Panax ginseng or quinquefolius); considered a male
Dong quai, considered a female tonic
Tea Mixture to stop a cold before it starts:
Take equal parts Lavender, Rosemary and White
willow bark and steep them in hot water. Sip the tea slowly and go to bed.
Or take 2 parts each of Lavender and Rosemary and make an infusion, and take 1 part of Willow bark and make a decoction. Add one tablespoonful decoction to
the infusion and sip slowly.
Herbs for reducing cold syptoms
Once you've come down with a cold rest is still one of the best things you can do for yourself. Herb-wise you'll want to take some things that
will ease the symptoms of your cold.
For sinus congestion you may want to use horseradish or mustard. Although not an herb, steam is one of the best things for easing sinus congestion. Using a camomile tea for the steam has also
been recommended, but I haven't had to try it yet.
Horseradish and mustard (hot, chinese style mustard works best) are irritants and help clear your sinus cavities. Take teaspoon to a tablespoon of either ground horseradish or mustard and eat it. (This method is fine, if you like the taste of either)
If not, here are some other options:
For the mustard, you can also make an infusion of mustard plant. This will not have the burning sensation you get from eating the mustard and takes a little longer, but as I've said earlier,
it is more palatable.
Horseradish is always best used fresh. According to the books I've read, adding sugar or honey will make the horseradish more tolerable. (I have no experience with this, since I, for one, like
horseradish straight, or as prepared commercially.)
Horseradish is also a favorite of mine because it has antibacterial properties that have been
proven effective against graham-positive and graham-negative bacteria.
For general cold complaints I've found these herbs to be a great help:
A tea of the mints or in the case of lemons, a hot lemonade is soothing to the throat and the steam is always helpful for the
Herbs that induce sweating:
For fever and aches:
White Willow - (Salix alba) (same cautions as aspirin)
Meadowsweet- (Filipendula ulmaria) (same cautions as aspirin)
Dogwood bark (Cornus florida) (used as a substitute for Peruvian bark (quinine))
For using any of the above, the best option is to make a decoction and drink no more than a
tablespoon at a time.
Sore throat (demulcent):
Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra)
Slippery Elm (Ulmis fulva)
Horehound (Marrubium vulgare)
Licorice and Elm are best taken as a
decoction. Use about 1 tsp/1 cup of water. Doses are as follows:
Licorice - 1 cup per day
Slippery Elm - 1 tsp. every 30 minutes
Horehound on the other hand can be taken as an infusion (1 tsp / 1/2 cup of water), or as a syrup or candy (1 lbs. sugar / pint of infusion). Another demulcent, marshmallow (Malva sylvestris or rotundifolia) can be used to make an infusion (using only the fresh herb). Add 1-2 tsp. to 1/2 cup of cold water, let stand for 8 hours. Then warm the water, don't boil. Take
only about one teaspoon at a time.
Relaxants (drink as a tea):
Chamomile and Catnip are usually dried and stored that way. Lemon Balm, on the other hand, is best used fresh. If it is not available fresh, use a tincture prepared from
the fresh leaves.
For cleaning up sickrooms I've found something called 'Vinegar of the 4 thieves', that helps cleaning up sickrooms and their odor: Vinegar of the 4 thieves is made by mixing 2 tablespoons each of lavender, mint, rosemary, rue, sage and wormwood. Steep this mix in 2 quarts of applecider-vinegar in sunlight for 2 weeks. After two weeks strain and add
clove buds to the cider and steep for a few more days.
When you're ready to use it, dilute with 10 parts water per part vinegar. Use it to wipe
down walls, and clean the bathroom.
Unfortunately just about all of the
above are counterindicated during pregnancy, especially the following:
Some of the world's most effective medicines began their careers as herbal remedies: digitalis came from foxglove, aspirin from willow bark, and morphine from poppy blossoms. Potentially the newest plant to cross over from folklore to mainstream treatment is a member of the chyrsanthemum family known as common feverfew or, botanically, Tanacetum
The name 'feverfew' indicates the belief, dating from the middle ages, that the herb was a good treatment for fever and certain other ailments, including arthritis, psoriasis, and headaches. In modern England, eating feverfew leaves has become a familiar method for prevention migraine attacks, and there is now some reason to think that the folklore about
feverfew has a grain or two of truth to it.
Some people for whom the usual migraine treatments have not been very effective have turned to feverfew. The typical users eats 1-4 fresh leaves a day. Food is usually taken at the same time to mask the leaves' bitter taste. Tablets and capsules containing
dried feverfew have also begun to appear in...health food store shelves.
To evaluate the remedy, a group of British researchers designed a controlled study. However, they did not feel free to give feverfew to people who had never taken it, because the agent has not gone through animal studies, as is appropriate before a drug is tested in people. But they hit on a human test of feverfew that was both rigorous and ethical. Many of the patients seen in the City of London Migraine Clinic had already been dosing themselves with feverfew for long periods of time as a way to reduce migraine attacks. So, instead of setting up a test in which the drug was GIVEN to subjects, investigators from
the clinic set up a test in which feverfew was TAKEN AWAY.
The doctors identified patients who were dosing themselves with feverfew and asked them to participate in a study. During the research period, the subjects would take their medication either as freeze-dried herb or as a placebo (presented in identical-looking capsules). After a period on one preparation, they would
switch to the other, and then repeat the two stages again.
In this type of double-blind crossover test, neither researcher nor subject is told which treatment is being given. However, patients easily guessed when they were receiving placebo because the frequency of headache and nausea virtually tripled, and severity also increased markedly. These results support the claim that a daily dose of something contained in feverfew may be effective in
preventing migraine attacks.
The people studied had no serious ill effects while taking feverfew, but that was to be expected, as they had been taking the herb for some time. People who had tried the plant and then quit because they couldn't tolerate would have been excluded from this study. Feverfew is capable of producing rather marked allergic reactions; some people who try it develop sores in the mouth or, less commonly, a generalized
inflammation of the mouth and tongue.
This first test of the effectiveness of feverfew must be regarded as preliminary. It will no doubt lead to more thorough testing, as it should. Even if feverfew pans out as preventive medicine for migraine, it probably will not prove to be the ' answer.' But it may join the growing list of effective treatments for a
very unpleasant disorder.
looked up feverfew in
Medline and would like to report what I found there. If you aren't interested in medical experimentation as it applies to
herbs, you will probably not be interested in what follows.
The good news (for migraine sufferers): I found two double blind experiments looking at the effectiveness of feverfew on migraines: The first one used 72 migraine sufferers. Half got a capsule per day of feverfew, the other half got a placebo. There was a significant reduction in the mean number and severity of migraine attacks. The other experiment looked at 17 migraine sufferers who normally ate feverfew to control headaches. They gave placebos to some and continued the feverfew with others. The placebos increased frequency and
severity of migraines.
The bad news: Feverfew affects the smooth muscles of the body. These are muscles that control much of your involuntary muscular processes, such as the vascular system (blood vessels), digestive system, internal organs, aorta, etc. From what I can gather from some of the abstracts
Medline, feverfew PERMANENTLY affects the ability of these smooth muscles to contract and relax. Here are some snippets from the abstracts which
looked at this:
(Feverfew)...inhibits smooth muscle contractability in a time- dependent, non-specific, and irreversible manner. (Feverfew)...affects smooth muscles...may represent a toxic modification of post-receptor contractile function in the smooth muscle...effects are potentially toxic ...inhibition of eicosanoid generation is irreversible...irreversible loss of tone of precontracted aortic rings... inhibited ability of acetylcholine to induce endothelium dependent relaxation of
What does this all mean for the long term health of those who take feverfew? That does not seem to have been looked at yet; these articles were very recent. However, I think that people who take feverfew should know that they may be permanently affecting the smooth muscles in their bodies and may want to take this into account when deciding whether or not to
continue taking it.
I sent a copy of Julia Moravcsik's
Medline findings about feverfew to Reader's Digest (who published an article in
their Feb 1995 issue advising that feverfew can help prevent migraines.)
I've had a letter back from Elizabeth Craig, a RD researcher. She confirms that none of their sources when they researched the article (late 1994) showed any side-effects from feverfew. She also said that after she got my letter (dated 21 June 95) she contacted a migraine research scientist who is studying
the effects of feverfew. The researcher is familiar with
Medline and says that research has shown the dosage taken by migraine sufferers has no side
effects at all. Whew -- that's good. (Or maybe, feverwhew.)
It's not at all unusual for people interested in using herbs to replace over the counter medications with simple herbal counterparts. What has been unusual enough to generate headlines, though, is the conventional medical community's research and acceptance of a traditional European folk remedy, Feverfew, in
preventing migraine headaches.
Migraines are believed to be caused by an upset in serotonin metabolism, causing spasms of intracranial blood vessels, which then causes dilation of extracranial blood vessels. In the 1970s an English research group sought volunteers already using Feverfew before beginning a study of its efficacy. Their advertisement in a London newspaper brought more than 20,000 responses. Since then, several well-documented
double-blind, placebo studies in England confirm its value.
interesting one reported in
The Lancet (July 23, 1988; 2 (8604):189- 192) followed 72 volunteers. After a one-month trial using only a placebo, half of the group received either one capsule of dried Feverfew leaves a day (or a matching placebo) for four months. Neither the group nor the researchers knew which group was receiving the Feverfew. The group kept diary cards of their
migraine frequency and severity.
After four months, the groups switched medications, and the trial continued for an additional four months. 60 patients
completed the study, and full information was available on all but one.
The study found Feverfew to be associated with reducing the number and severity of attacks (including vomiting), with the researchers concluding that there had been a significant improvement when the patients were taking Feverfew. There
were no serious side effects.
Feverfew is currently classified as Tanacetum parthenium, a member of the Asteracea (or Compositae) family, and was formerly named Chrysanthemum parthenium, where you'll still find it listed in some references. Feverfew is a corruption of Febrifuge, based on its tonic and fever-dispelling properties. It's been called Maid's Weed, referring to its emmenagogue qualities, which are also reflected in its Greek
name, Parthenion ( girl ).
Its primary actions are anti-inflammatory, bitter, emmenagogue and a vasodilator. Aside from migraine relief, long-term users report relief from depression, nausea and inflammatory arthritic pain. Drunk in cold infusion, it can relieve the cold, clammy sweats associated with
Additionally, it's been used externally as an insect repellant, and topically for insect bites. Perhaps the insect-repelling quality accounts for the tradition of planting it around the house to ward off
illnesses and to purify the air.
The tea, drunk cold, has been used for sensitivity to pain, and for relief of face-ache or ear ache (all migraine-like symptoms). The Eclectic physicians of the 19th century called it one of the pleasantest of the tonics, influencing the whole intestinal tract, increasing the appetite, improving digestion, promoting secretion, with a decided action
on kidney and skin.
John Gerard's Herbal in 1663, said it to be "...good against summer headaches to inhale crushed Feverfew blossoms. Dried and taken with honey or sweet wine good for those as be melancholic, sad, pensive or without speech." Culpepper used in it poultice form for head
Feverfew in blossom is easily identified by its flat or convex yellow disk and numerous short, broad 2-ribbed white rays. The leaves are alternate, petiolate, flat, bi or tripinnate with ovate, dentate segments. It quickly escapes cultivation, and has become naturalized in many areas of the
U.S. and Europe, in some places regarded as a nuisance weed.
Among its constituents are a volatile oil, containing pinene and several pinene derivatives, bornyl acetate and angelate, costic acid, B-farnesine and spiroketal enol ethers; Sesquiterpene lactones, the major one being
parthenolide); and Acetylene derivatives.
Pharmacologists say it is likely that the sesquiterpene lactones in Feverfew inhibit prostaglandin and histimine released during the inflammatory process, preventing the vascular
spasms that cause migraines. It appears to regulate the serotonin mechanism.
To attain the maximum benefit from Feverfew, it should be taken daily as a preventive. For migraine prevention, parthenolide plays an important role. The parthenolide content in Feverfew is highly variable in different populations
grown in different locations or harvested at different times of the year.
Recent Canadian tests of U.S. Feverfew products found all of them to be low in parthenolide. Canada, which has recently recognized Feverfew products as official, over the counter drugs for migraine prevention and relief, will
require that they contain a minimum of 0.2% parthenolide.
So, this is one of the few cases where a standardized extract may be more desirable than the whole plant, with a lot to be said for fresh or freeze-dried preparations. If you want to use the fresh plant, the flowers have a higher parthenolide content than do the leaves. If you are picking the leaves, they are best just
In one of those magical bits of synergy that herbalists love, the isolated parthenolides used alone don't work on
migraines, nor does the whole plant with the parthenolides removed.
PRECAUTIONS: I know of nothing, whether allopathic or herbal medicine, that I would feel free in saying to have absolutely no unpleasant side effects. We' re all unique individuals when it comes to body chemistry. Some unfortunate
people are allergic to chamomile. They may also be allergic to Feverfew.
A few recent studies of parthenolide in vitro point to toxicity involving smooth muscle tissue. However, no side effect resembling this has ever been reported in human use. Feverfew's safety and usefulness are historic. Pregnant women should never take Feverfew. Its traditional use as an emmenogogue underlines the risk here. The bitter tonic qualities, so useful for indigestion, can cause gastric pain in people with gall stones or gall-bladder problems, by making the gall bladder try to empty. Likewise, the increased production of stomach acid would make it highly aggravating to anyone with a gastric ulcer or esophogeal reflux. Some people have developed mouth ulcers
from eating the fresh leaves.
DOSAGE: Feverfew is most effective fresh or freeze dried. Take the equivalent of 1 fresh leaf or 125 mg. freeze-dried herb once a day (0.2% parthenolides) 1-3 times daily (don't chew the leaf) .
In addition to Feverfew on its own as preventive herbal therapy, one would want to look at one's individual migraine triggers or pattern and add herbs whose actions complement Feverfew's anti-inflammatory, bitter and
vasodilator actions to support the affected body systems.
Eating feverfew leaves I learned this from a nursery woman here who grows herbs commercially was a nurse during WW2, and has suffered from migraines from years,
and is extremely sympathetic to herbal medicine.
She swears that the GREEN leaf is far more efficacious than the yellow or golden version. And she
takes one leaf a day for months at a time to keep the migraine at bay.
What she does is to make a bread pill with the feverfew leaf inside and squished into a tiny ball with a doughy bit of bread around it as a casing. Then the pill can be swallowed without the leaf coming into contact with the
lining of the digestive tract.
IMPORTANT: I recommend a patch test beforehand to make sure you are not allergic to any of the ingredients. Apply a little to an inconspicuous place, such as the inside elbow, and leave for 24 hours. If there is reddening, itching or other adverse effects, do not use. None of the recipes on this page
are intended for internal use.
DISCLAIMER: The information on this page is provided for personal interest only; any individual who uses these recipes does so of his or her free will, and I will not be held responsible for the effects of these recipes on other people. I myself have used most of these with
great success, but what works for me may not work for you.
A Quick Word About Beauty Care
I don't claim that any of these ideas will produce miracles. There is only so much a cream or scrub or mask can do for you, whether it's one you make yourself or one that comes out of a bottle for a hundred dollars. And no matter what you put on your skin or hair, beauty will always be affected by your diet, stress levels, the amount of sleep
you're getting and any number of environmental factors.
There will always be people who don't have the time or inclination to make their own products, or who'll just prefer the convenience of buying something off the shelf that looks pretty, smells pretty and doesn't need to be kept in the fridge, and that's fair enough. There will always be people like my friend who claims that expensive products feel so much nicer than cheap ones. Another friend of mine, who was using Chanel beauty products at the time, went to a dermatologist about an acne problem, and the dermatologist told her the best
thing she could use to moisturize and cleanse was plain Sorbolene cream.
My point is that the only thing a moisturizer can ever do is to hold the moisture in your skin longer; it can't erase wrinkles or make you younger, no matter what the commercials claim. The only thing a scrub can do is to remove dead skin cells from the face and cleanse it thoroughly. What I do believe is that these home-made recipes can perform those functions as
efficiently as those you can buy.
The Most Important Skin Care Advice of All
The most important and helpful thing you can do right now to stop your skin aging is to wear an SPF 15+ sunscreen every single day of the year. Most of what we consider damage due to old age - wrinkles, dry skin, etc - is in fact damage caused by the elements. Of course a skin that's been exposed to the sun and wind for seventy years is going to be more damaged than one which has had only twenty years of exposure. If you wear a sunscreen you will filter out most of the rays that cause this damage, and greatly lessen your chances of skin cancer
I haven't used soap on my face since I was twelve; soap dries the skin and disturbs its natural PH mantle. If you have oily or acne-prone skin, soap will make your sebaceous glands overproduce oil, and if you have dry skin, soap will make it feel drier and tighter. Instead of
using soap, try making your own cleanser from natural ingredients.
The All-Time Best Oily Skin Cleanser
Get a piece of unbleached calico, muslin or some other soft, fairly loose-weave material. Make a little drawstring bag about 2 inches square. Fill the bag with oatmeal and tie closed. Now, whenever you would normally wash your face with soap, use the oatmeal bag instead. Get it nice and squishy under warm water and rub it over your face as if it were a bar of soap. You'll get a milky lather from the oatmeal; massage this into your face well. Now rinse the oatmeal off using warm water. That's it. Oats are a gentle yet thorough cleansing agent and will remove the tiniest particles of dirt and oil while refining the pores and controlling the skin's production of oil. Be sure to empty your oatmeal bag and wash it well after every few uses, to make sure it's always fresh and clean. This, along with a few simple herbal infusions, got rid of my adolescent
Quince Gel Cleanser - for all skin types
Add 1 tsp quince seeds to an enamel saucepan containing 250 ml of distilled water or herbal infusion. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 15 minutes, stirring to prevent sticking. The mixture should thicken into a gel. Strain. To use, add enough finely ground oatmeal to the gel to make a smooth paste. Rub over the
face and neck, leave a few minutes, then rinse with warm water (not hot!)
Violet Milk Cleanser
Add 1 tsp violet petals to 1/4 cup milk. Heat gently until nearly simmering, and keep heating gently until the milk is strongly violet-scented. Strain, bottle, keep in the fridge and use
within three or four days. This makes a soothing oil- free cleanser.
Milk and Honey Cleanser
Mix 1 tsp warm runny honey with 1
tablespoon milk. Use immediately. Very soft and soothing.
TONERS AND LOTIONS
Simple Herbal Washes
The ultimate lazy person's hint for herbal face preparations: if you drink pure herbal tea (not the kind with added flavorings!), stroke the tea-bag over your face after you've taken it out of the cup and wrung the water out. No waste,
and no large quantity of infusion waiting to go off.
Peppermint: Fantastic for acne, especially the itchy underground type. In fact, it soothes itchy skin in general.
Chamomile: Soothing and healing.
Lime Flower (linden): Soothing and softening, refines skin texture. Also supposed to remove wrinkles.
Yarrow infusion makes a great problem skin wash. It's a good astringent, but do watch out because it has been known to cause
photosensitivity in some people. Test on the arm or something first.
The two infusions I used to get rid of my teenage acne were lemon balm and parsley (separately). I just applied one with a cotton ball several times per day, and
also used the oatmeal bag.
Oily Skin Refining Lotion
Peel very thinly oranges and lemons, being careful to get as little white pith on the peel as possible. Pack the peel into a glass jar and cover with water. Leave the peel to steep overnight. The next day, strain and filter the liquid, add a few drops tincture of benzoin (as a preservative) and keep in the fridge (label carefully!). The benzoin tincture will turn the lotion milky. Apply 2 or 3 times per day and leave on. This improves the texture of oily skin and clears dingy, dull skin, and the essential oils from the peel help heal and prevent
Sage Anti-Acne Lotion
Make a sage infusion and add half as much cider vinegar as you have infusion. Apply several times a
Herbal Pimple Lotion
Simmer 25 grams lavender flowers, the peel of half a lemon (no white pith), and 25 grams thyme in 200 ml distilled water. Add 10 drops each lavender oil and tea tree oil. Dab on spots
as needed. It should keep at least a week in the fridge.
Aloe has been a beauty treatment and wrinkle fighter since ancient
times. Cleopatra is said to have relied on aloe Vera to keep her skin
flawless. She massaged aloe gel into her face daily. Napoleons wife
added the gel to milk making a face lotion.
After visiting an aloe Vera manufacturing plant in Aruba, where I
learned first-hand about aloes ability to encourage skin regeneration
and all the other wonderful results the plant offers, I started using
aloe Vera every day. After a shower I apply aloe to my entire body.
It is a great moisturizer for the face and can be worn under make-up.
My husband loves to shave with aloe and I must admit I have seen a
difference in his complexion!
Aloe contains an enzyme, bradykininase that helps decrease swelling
and relieve pain. It also contains magnesium lactate an
antishitaminineso that may help relieve itching associated with some
types of swelling. Aloe also has mild antibiotic properties.
Many studies have shown that the gel inside the plants leaf relieves
burns. Burns caused by radiation treatments for cancer have also been
relieved with aloe. Because of aloes anti-inflammatory and
antimicrobial properties it helps stimulate the production of
connective tissue cells which helps the healing process after being
burnt. Aloe is thought to increase the blood flow to the area of the
burned tissue, relieve pain, reduce inflammation and decrease redness
and swelling. The juice from the aloe plant is also therapeutic and
can be purchased at health food stores. Aloe juice is known to help
constipation, heartburn and upset stomachs.
Here are some hints to include in your herbal first-aid medicine
Upset Stomach or Heartburn. Take 1 - 3 tsp of aloe juice daily.
Radiation-induced burns. Apply after showering. Re-apply a few more
times each day. Usually redness disappears in a day or two and the
skin does not peel.
Fungus - Mix 3 partstea tree oil essential and 1 part aloe gel. Rub
this mixture into the infected area until its absorbed. Apply twice
daily 6 - 8 weeks for best results.
Insect bites and stings - Dab aloe gel as needed to stop itching.
Sunburn - Sunburn spray.50 drops of lavender essential oil, 4 oz aloe
juice, 1 tsp Vitamin E, 1 tsp vinegar. May be store in the
refrigerator up to 4 months.
If you have a persistent problem or are taking prescription
medication for other conditions, please check with your health
professional prior to using any herbal remedy.
Use 1 lb of rose petals and infuse for a tonic and astringent tea, specifically good for coughs. Proven effective for oral inflammations, in Asian medicine, Rose flower tea is also used to treat cough, wounds, and excessive sweating. Make rosewater as an antiseptic tonic. The flower has astringent and antibiotic properties, drying and tightening the
tissues. The petals are often added to healing incenses and sachets.
Please do eat the daisies, and also feel free to chow down on the
roses, pansies and violets. Perhaps you have heard of candied
violets, but you may be pleasantly surprised to hear many other
flowers are not only a lovely visual addition to your dinner table,
but also a tasty one.
Edible flower history
The culinary use of flowers dates back thousands of years with the
first recorded mention was in 140 B.C. Many different cultures have
incorporated flowers into their traditional foods. Oriental dishes
make use of daylily buds, the Romans used mallow, rose and violets,
Italian and Hispanic cultures gave us stuffed squash blossoms, and
Asian Indians use rose petals in many recipes. Did you know
Chartreuse, a classic green liqueur developed in France in the
seventeenth century, boasts carnation petals as one of its secret
ingredients? And, dandelions were one of the bitter herbs referred to
in the Old Testament of the Bible.
Colorful and tasty
Yes, those flowers look beautiful as garnishes, but what do they
taste like? Bean blossoms have a sweet, beany flavor. Nasturtiums
have a wonderfully peppery flavor similar to watercress and their
pickled buds can be substituted for more expensive capers. Borage
tastes like cucumber, and miniature pansies (Johny-Jump-Ups) have a
mild wintergreen taste. Violets, roses and lavender lend a sweet
flavor to salads or desserts. Bright yellow calendulas are an
economic alternative to expensive saffron, though not quite as
pungent. Others may have a spicy or peppermint flavor. When in doubt,
taste, but first be sure it's not poisonous.