Herbal Superstitions A to Z

Jun 25, 2008
“Superstition is one of the mainsprings of human behaviour,
generating hopes of defeating the forces of evil, and of influencing
one’s own fate.” —Iona Opie and Moira Tatem, A Dictionary
of Superstitions.
It was once believed that an acorn placed on a windowsill guarded a house against fires and damage caused by lightning strikes. This superstition can be traced back to the old Norse
legend that the great god Thor once sheltered from a thunderstorm under a mighty oak tree.

Adder’s Tongue
The British once believed that adder’s tongue gathered during the waning of the moon possessed the power to cure adder bites and, according to David Pickering’s Dictionary of
Superstitions, countered “other evils associated with snakes.”

According to a rhyme found in a medieval medical manuscript, “If it [agrimony] be leyd under a man’s head, he shall sleep as if he were dead. He shall never drede nor waken, till from under his head it be taken.”

According to the ancient Roman author Pliny, the eating of five nuts from an almond tree before drinking wine will work to prevent drunkenness! If success in your business ventures is what you desire, one way to attain this (in addition to hard work) is to climb to the top of an almond tree, so sayeth an old legend from Asia.

Associated with Saint Michael the Archangel, angelica was once thought to dispel lustful thoughts and protect against sorcery, the Black Death, attacks by rabid and venomous beasts,
and a wide variety of illnesses.

Apple Tree
If the sun shines on Christmas morning and rain falls on Saint Swithin’s Day (July 15th), these are both a good omen that the apple orchards will yield a bountiful crop the following season. To ensure that an apple tree bears fruit for many years, an old custom from Germany is for the first fruit of the season to be consumed by a woman who has bore many children. There exist a number of death omens related to apple trees. For instance, if there should be a single apple left on a tree after the rest of the crop has been picked at harvesting time and it does not fall to the ground before the arrival of the following spring, the family upon whose land the apple tree stands will lose one of its loved ones to the Angel of Death. Interestingly, it is an old Pagan custom in some parts of the world to deliberately leave one apple on the tree at harvesting time as an offering to the spirits. Beware of apple trees that blossom out of season (particularly in the fall), for they are said to presage a death in the family. Unicorns, according to Pagan folklore, often dwell beneath apple (and ash) trees. Every so often, one or more of these magnificent magickal creatures can be observed eating or wandering about in an apple orchard, especially in the wee morning hours when the countryside is shrouded in a ghostly mist. Other apple superstitions are as follows: Eating an apple a day is said to “keep the doctor away.” Wassailing apple trees on Twelfth Night keeps all manners of evil spirits at bay. Cutting down an apple orchard is said by some to bring bad luck, and many Pagan folks in Norway once believed that by eating apples they could attain “immortality through wisdom.” According to an issue of Notes and Queries from the year 1862, “a good apple year is a great year for twins.” Rubbing an apple before eating it is an old method to ensure that the fruit will be free of any evil spirits or demonic entities. Some superstitious folks still believe that if you eat an apple without first rubbing or washing it, you invite the devil to dine with you.

The wood of an ash tree is wonderful to make magickal wands from. Ash wands are good for healing and general solar magick. Put fresh ash leaves under your pillow to stimulate psychic dreams. Gather ash leaves and take them to a place outdoors where you can work undisturbed. with your athame, (dagger or sword set aside for works of magick) scratch a circle around you on the ground. Face East holding ash leaves in both hands and say "Elements of the East, rulers of Air, bring me knowledge and inspiration" throw a few leaves to the East. Turn to the South and say "Elements of the South, rulers of fire, bring me energy and change." throw a few leaves to the South. Turn to the West and say "Elements of the West, rulers of Water, bring me healing and love." throw a few leaves to the West. Turn to the North and say "Elements of the North, rulers of earth, bring me prosperity and success." throw a few leaves to the North. Stand in the center of the circle with both hands raised and say "Blessings to all who come to my aid. Between friends is this bargain made." Rub out the cut line.
Also known as: Bishopwort, Wood Betony, Purple Betony.
This was a very magickal herb to the Druids as it has the power to expel evil spirits, nightmares, and despair. It was burned at Midsummer Solstice for purification and protection. Sprinkle near all doors and windows to form a protective barrier. If troubled by nightmares, fill a small cloth pillow and place it under your regular pillow.


Also known as: Lady of the Woods, Paper birch, White birch.
Carefully gathered strips of the birch tree's bark is used in love magic.


Also known as: Snakeweed, Dragonwort, Sweet Dock.
Carry a peice of dried Bistort root to conceive.

In England, it was once believed that bad luck would befall anyone who dared to pick the fruit of the blackberry plant after the 11th day of October (the old date of the Christian’s Feast of Michaelmas). Legend has it that on this day many eons ago the devil fell into a thorny blackberry thicket and laid a curse upon the plant.

Also known as: Scotch Broom, Irish Broom
The broom has long been regarded as a plant of ill omen, and unluckiest during the month of May. To sweep the house with blossomed broom in May (or even to bring it into the house) is said to “sweep the head of the house away.” In England, it was once believed that the whipping of a young boy with a branch of green broom would result in the stunting of his growth. Burning the blooms and shoots calms the wind.

Also known as: Cocklebur, Beggar's Buttons.
Steep a handful of this herb in a bucket of water for washing floors. This wards off negativity, purifies and protects.

Also known as: Catnep, Catmint
Chewed by warriors for fierceness in battle. Large dried leaves are powerful markers in magical books. Give it to your cat to create a psychic bond with it.

Also known as: Tree of life, Arbor Vitae, Yellow cedar
Ancient celts on the mainland used cedar oil to preserve the heads of enemies taken in battle. To draw Earth energy and ground yourself, place the palms of your hands against the ends of the leaves.

Also known as: Tetterwort, Swallow Herb, Figwort, Pilewort
To prevent unlawful imprisonment, wear a red flannel bag filled with the herb next to the skin. Replace the herb every three days.

Also known as: Wild Chamomile, Roman Chamomile, Ground Apple
Roman Chamomile smells like fresh apples and is the most enjoyable to use. A tea mado of two teaspoons of the herb steeped for five minutes in a cup of boiling water is a gentle sleep-inducer. It can be burned or added to prosperity bags to increase money.

Also known as: Slippery Root, Knitbone, Blackwort.
Teas, tinctures and compresses of comfrey leaves or roots speet the healing of cuts, rashes and broken bones. To ensure the safety of your luggage while traveling, tuck a peice of the root into each bag.

If the very first daffodil you lay your eyes upon in the spring or summer hangs its head towards you, this is said to be an omen of bad luck for the remainder of the year. This herbal superstition, which is centuries old, continues to live on in many parts of Great Britain.

Deadly Nightshade
Also known as: Belladonna, Devil's Cherries, Naughty Man's Cherries, Divale, Black Cherry, Devil's Herb, Great Morel, Dwayberry.
The flowers appear in June and July and continue blooming until early September.
Belladonna is supposed to have been the plant that poisoned the troops of Marcus Antonius during the parthian wars. The name Belladonna is said to record a superstition that at certain times it takes the form of an enchantress of exceeding loveliness, whom it is dangerous to look upon, though the more generally accepted view is that the name was bestowed on it because its juice was used by the Italian ladies to make there eyes "shine" the smallest quantity having the effect of dilating the pupils of the eye

Also known as: Ellhorn, Elderberry, Lady Elder.
This is a sacred tree. Sacred to the White Lady at Midsummer Solstice. The Druids used it to both bless and curse. Standing under an elder tree at Midsummer, like standing in a Fairy Ring of Mushrooms, will help you see the "little people." Elder wands can be used to drive out evil spirits or thought forms. Music on pan pipes or flutes of elder have the same power as the wand.

Uncurled fronds of male fern were gathered at Midsummer, dried and carried for good luck.
All ferns are powerful protective plants. Burned indoors, they produce a very strong wall of protection. Burned outdoors they produce rain.

Also known as: Featherfoil, Flirtwort.
Travelers carried it as a ward against sickness or accident during their journeys.

Also known as: Fairy Gloves, Fairy Fingers, Dead Men's Bells, Witches Gloves, Bloody fingers, Fairy caps, Fairy Thimbles.
Foxglove bears many purple, pink or white bell-shaped flowers which bloom in June and July.This herb is associated with fairies and the "little people." The Foxglove derives its common name from the shape of the flowers resembling the finger of a glove. The name was originally folksglove- the glove of the "good folk' or fairies. There is a legend that "bad" fairies gave these blossoms to the fox that he might put them on his toes to soften his tread when he prowled among the roosts. The mottlings of the blossoms, like the spots on butterfly wings were said to mark where elves had placed their fingers. Tradition has it that Foxglove is a plant of women and of the Goddess Diana. Also, flowers are said to be used as thimbles when Witches mend their clothing. Digitalis has been used from early times for its properties on the heart and circulation. Its first action is to increase blood pressure due to contraction of the heart and arteries. The pulse slows and regulation of an irregular pulse.

The legendary power of garlic to keep bloodthirsty vampires
and all evil spirits at bay is known throughout much of
the world. However, some say that only garlic gathered in the
month of May can be truly effective for this purpose.
According to an old legend popular among Christians,
the first garlic sprang up in the spot where the Devil’s left foot
stepped when he left the Garden of Eden. In the spot where
his right foot stepped, sprang the first onion.
Garlic is said to be able to absorb the diseases of both man
and beast, as well as to trap and destroy negative vibrations and
evil influences within cursed or haunted dwellings. (Interestingly,
onions are accredited with having the same powers.)

Also Known as: Herb Bennet, Spotted Corobane, Musquash Root, Beaver Poison, Poison Hemlock, Poison Parsley, Spotted Hemlock, Kex, Kecksies, hagthorn (due to its long association withWitches), the hawthorn is a very magickal tree that is said to be sacred to the Pagan deities Cardea, Flora, and Hymen. In England it was once believed that the hawthorn was one of the  three trees most sacred to the fairy-folk (the others being the oak and the ash).
It is customary for many modern Witches to decorate their Beltane altars and May poles with hawthorn. In ancient times, many a superstitious soul believed that hawthorns were actually Witches in disguise. Many Witches were thought to have been able to transform themselves into trees at will by means of magickal spells, or (according to Christians) through the aid of the devil. Others were said to have danced so wildly around the hawthorns in their frenzied rites that they permanently became as one with the tree. Take care not to sit beneath the boughs of a hawthorn tree on Halloween (the time of year when the invisible veil between the human and supernatural realms is thinnest), otherwise, you may fall under a fairy enchantment. Cutting down a hawthorn tree is said to greatly anger the fairies, and therefore brings the worst of luck to the one who fells it. There exist contradicting legends concerning the bringing of hawthorn blossoms into the house. One holds that the blossoms are beneficial, offering the household protection against evil, sorcery, and lightning. Another claims that they are extremely unlucky and may even bring about a death in the family.

Since medieval times, it has been believed that bad luck awaits those who pick the black hellebore. White hellebore flowers, on the other hand, were once believed to cure madness,
promote intelligence, and protect against epileptic seizures, leprosy, miscarriages, and attacks by rabid animals. Long ago, many farmers blessed their cattle with hellebore to protect them against sorcery, and it was for this purpose that the plant was dug up with certain mystical rites. In The Complete Book of Herbs by Kay N. Sanecki, it is said that “a circle was described with the point of a sword around the plant, and then prayers were offered while the black roots were lifted.” Some farmers still believe that a good harvest is portended whenever a hellebore plant bears four tufts. However, it is believed to be an extremely bad sign should it bear only two.
This portends a crop failure in the near future.

Also known as: Common Henbane. Hyoscyamus. Hog's-bean. Jupiter's-bean. Symphonica. Cassilata. Cassilago. Deus Caballinus.
It is supposed that this is the noxious herb referred to by Shakespeare in Hamlet:
'Sleeping within mine orchard, 
My custom always of the afternoon 
Upon my secure hour thy uncle stole, 
With juice of cursed hebenon in a vial, 
And in the porches of mine ear did pour 
The leprous distillment.'

It is recorded that the whole of the inmates of a monastery were once poisoned by using the roots instead of chicory. The monks partaking of the roots for supper were all more or less affected during the night and following day, being attacked with a sort of delirious frenzy, accompanied in many cases by such hallucinations that the establishment resembled a lunatic asylum.
The herb was used in magic and diabolism, for its power of throwing its victims into convulsions. It was employed by "witches" in their midnight brews, and from the leaves was prepared a famous sorcerer's ointment.
Anodyne necklaces were made from the root and were hung about the necks of children as charms to prevent fits and to cause easy teething. In mythology, we read that the dead in Hades were crowned with it as they wandered hopelessly beside the Styx.

Known by many names, including “bat’s wings” and “Christ’s thorn,” the holly is a plant strongly connected to the Yuletide season and highly valued by Witches for its magical and divination powers. It was once believed to safeguard a house and its inhabitants against lightning strikes, evil entities, hauntings, and black magic when planted near the dwelling. Carrying a wand or walking stick made of holly wood will prevent you from falling victim to all hexes and bewitchments, according to occult folklore. To avoid bad luck, be sure never to bring holly into your house prior to Christmas Eve. However, not having holly in your house at all on Christmas Day is said to conjure the worst of luck for all members of the family. It is supposed to be very unlucky to step on a holly berry, cut down a holly tree, sweep a chimney with holly, or burn discarded holly boughs, which some folks believe invites the Angel of Death to claim a member of the family. The so-called “male” variety of holly (with prickly leaves) brings good luck to all persons of the male gender; while the “female” variety (with smooth leaves) brings good luck to all of the fairer sex. An old Christian legend holds that the cross on which Jesus Christ was crucified was made of holly wood, and it was the blood of Christ that gave the holly berry its deep red color. It is said that lightning will never strike a holly tree nor anyone who stands under the branches of one during a storm. It was a widespread belief in the Middle Ages that the holly possessed miraculous curative powers. Pricking or thrashing the feet with holly and then walking barefoot in the snow was once thought to cure chilblains (an inflammatory swelling caused by cold and poor circulation). Another old method for treating chilblains was to rub the ashes of burnt holly berries upon the afflicted areas. To prevent a fever, scratch your legs with a holly branch; and to ease a whooping cough, drink a bit of fresh milk out of a cup or bowl made of holly wood.

In many parts of Great Britain it is still believed that houseleeks growing on the outside walls and/or roof of a house bring phenomenal good luck to all inhabitants of the dwelling. However, should you purposely or accidentally cut down a houseleek, you will suffer a streak of bad luck, especially where your house is concerned. Houseleeks are also said to protect a house against lightning strikes, fire, and tempests. For this reason, it is traditional for many folks upon moving into a new home to plant them as close to the house as possible before doing anything else. It is also very common for many Welsh families who dwell within thatch-roofed cottages to plant houseleeks upon their rooftops for good luck.

A pillow stuffed with dried hops aids sleep and healing.

According to old English folklore, the hydrangea is an unlucky plant for young ladies who wish to find a husband. Persons who allow the plant to grow near their houses (especially close to the front door) are said to curse their daughters with a lonely life of spinsterhood.

Some people believe that bringing an ivy plant into the house also brings in bad luck. Picking a leaf from an ivy plant growing on the wall of a church will cause you to fall ill. Even worse, should the ivy growing on the wall of a house suddenly wither and die for no apparent reason, this is said to indicate that a death will occur in that household within a very short time.

It's berries were used with thyme Druid and Grove incenses for visions. Juniper grown by the door discourages thieves. The mature berries can be strung and hung in the house to attract love.

Lady's Mantle
Also known as: Lion's Foot, Bear's Foot, Nine Hooks, Stellaria
Lady's Mantle has been used throughout history to reduce heavy menstrual flow. It is said to aid conception ingested for twenty straight days in the tea form. The leaves can be chopped and steeped in water for about fifteen minutes then cooled and strained. Use this as an astringent for acne and large pores. Lady's Mantle is also a powerful herb used in love spells and sachets. The name "alchemilla" is derived from the Arabic word Alkemelych meaning alchemy. The dew that is captured on the hairs on the leaves is said to possess magickal properties and is used in many magickal potions.

If the wind should blow leaves of any type into your house, this is said to be a very lucky omen. Catching a falling autumn leaf before it reaches the ground also brings good luck, and some people claim that for every leaf you catch you will have a day filled with good luck. Another superstition holds that if you secretly make a wish as you catch a falling leaf on Halloween, it will surely come true for you. And yet another leaf-catching superstition promises 12 consecutive months of good luck and happiness for those who catch 12 falling leaves in the month of October.

It was once believed that mandrake plants were inhabited by dark-skinned supernatural beings known as mandragoras (“man-dragons”), which were mischievous by nature and often called upon to aid sorcerers and sorceresses in the practice of their craft. A legend dating back to medieval times claims that when a mandrake plant is pulled from the ground, it emits an earpiercing scream and begins to sweat droplets of blood. Legend also has it that any person whose ears were unfortunate enough to hear the plant’s shriek would either be driven to madness or suffer an agonizing death. How this legend came to be is somewhat of a mystery, but it was nevertheless well known throughout Europe. The plant was fabled to grow under the gallows of murderers, and it was believed to be death to dig up the root, which was said to utter a shriek and terrible groans on being dug up, which none might hear and live. It was held, therefore, that he who would take up a plant of Mandrake should tie a dog to it for that purpose, who drawing it out would certainly perish, as the man would have done, had he attempted to dig it up in the ordinary manner.
One interesting theory concerning the origin of the shrieking mandrake legend can be found in Richard Lucas’ The Magic of Herbs in Daily Living:
“Tests conducted by Sir Janghadish showed that a plant pulled up by the roots suffers tremendous shock, comparable to that of a person beaten into insensibility. This immediately calls to mind the legend of the screaming mandrake. Perhaps the myth originated when some person here and there with mediumistic ability tore a mandrake from the ground and psychically sensed the plant’s torment and anguish. Such an experience would have excited profound emotions of horror in the mind of the psychic, especially if the person was a timid soul or one whose psychic faculties had just emerged for the first time. It is not difficult to understand that in some instances the shock could have caused insanity or heart failure.”
The leaves are quite harmless and cooling, and have been used for ointments and other external application. Boiled in milk and used as a poultice, they were employed by Boerhaave as an application to indolent ulcers. Mandrake was much used by the Ancients, who considered it an anodyne and soporific. In large doses it is said to excite delirium and madness. They used it for procuring rest and sleep in continued pain, also in melancholy, convulsions, rheumatic pains and scrofulous tumours. They mostly employed the bark of the root, either expressing the juice or infusing it in wine or water. The root finely scraped into a pulp and mixed with brandy was said to be efficacious in chronic rheumatism. The roots of Mandrake bear a resemblance to the human form, on account of their habit of forking into two and shooting on each side. In the old Herbals we find them frequently figured as a male with a long beard, and a female with a very bushy head of hair. Many weird superstitions collected round the Mandrake root. As an amulet, it was once placed on mantelpieces to avert misfortune and to bring prosperity and happiness to the house.

Also known as: Calendula, Holigold, Pot Marigold, Bride of the Sun
Marigold water is made from the blossoms. Rubbed on the eyelids, this liquid helps you see fairies. Flowers added to pillows give clairvoyant dreams.

In order to be effective in magical spells, mistletoe must be cut with a single stroke of a gold sickle on the Summer Solstice, the Winter Solstice, or the sixth day after the new
moon. Take care not to let the plant touch the earth, lest it be rendered magically impotent.
This old Pagan custom originated with the priestly caste of the Celts, who believed that mistletoe found growing on oak trees possessed the power to heal as well as to promote
fertility and protect against all manner of evil. The Druids believed that it was necessary to appease the gods by sacrificing a pair of white bulls during their mistletoe cutting ritual. Also known in earlier times as all heal, devil’s fuge, golden bough, and Witches’ broom, the mistletoe is said to be sacred to the Pagan deities Apollo, Freya, Frigga, Odin, and Venus.
According to old Pagan herb lore, mistletoe works well to ward off lightning strikes and storms when hung from the chimney or over the doors and windows of a dwelling. Fairies are also said to be repelled by the sight and smell of mistletoe, a belief that unquestionably gave birth to the old custom of placing a sprig of the plant inside a child’s cradle. With the protective power of the mistletoe working for them, parents who once feared that their children might be stolen by fairies and replaced with changelings could rest easier at night. In England it was once believed that if a young woman failed to be kissed beneath a sprig of yuletide mistletoe before her wedding day, she would be forever unable to bear children. Likewise, unable to father children would be the fate of any man who never kissed beneath the yuletide mistletoe while in his bachelorhood. Many people continue to cling to the old belief that cutting down any mistletoe-bearing tree is a most unlucky thing to do. Some individuals who have done so are said to have met with a violent death as a result. But whether such strange and
deadly occurrences are actually the effects of an ancient Druid curse at work or merely odd coincidences, we may never know for sure.
“Too superstitious…is their conceit…that it [mistletoe] hath
power against witchcraft, and the illusion of Sathan [Satan], and
for that purpose, use to hang a piece thereof at their children’s neckes.”
—J. Parkinson, Theatrum Botanicum, 1640.

Molukka Bean
The Molukka bean (or nut) is a variety of nut native to the Molukka Islands, and popular as an amulet in the Western Isles of Scotland (where they often wash ashore). When worn about the neck, a white Molukka bean is said to turn black to indicate the presence of a sorcerer or a person possessing the evil eye. Some people believe that Molukka beans guard against
death in childbirth and drowning.

Also known as:Aconite
It has purple flowers that bloom in June. Monkshood is said to have been used in the potion Medea prepared for Thesus. It was used in combination with belladonna, water parsnip, cinquefoil, and soot to make an ointment which allowed medieval Witches to contact the other side. The ancient Greeks believed that monkshood sprouted from the spittle of the hellhound Cerberus. It is primarily used now to alleviate muscular and rheumatic pain.

In the Middle Ages, it was popularly believed among the peasantry of Europe that the fern known as moonwort possessed the power to open or break locks, loosen iron nails, and
unshoe horses that tread upon it. An even more curious superstition surrounding the moonwort holds that woodpeckers can acquire the strength to pierce iron if they rub their beaks upon a leaf of this plant. How this bizarre belief entered into the annals of herblore is a mystery.

Sacred to the Pagan goddesses Artemis and Diana, the mugwort is a significant magickal herb and one with many connections to occult folklore Rub the fresh herb on crystal balls and magic mirrors to increase their strength. The herb's powers are strongest when picked on the Full Moon. Soak one-quarter ounce Mugwort in a bottle of wine for seven days, begining on a New Moon. Strain out and drink a small amount to aid clairvoyance, divination and crystal reading. Gather at Summer Solstice for good luck..According to an ancient tradition, a mugwort plant must be picked on the eve of a Summer Solstice in order for its magickal properties to be properly activated. Christians in the Middle Ages seldom pulled a mugwort from the soil of the earth without first making the sign of the cross to ward off any evil spirits that might have taken up residence within the plant. A small “coal” (said to be actually “old acid roots”) found in the ground beneath the roots of a mugwort plant is reputed to be one of the most powerful of all natural amulets. However, occult tradition holds that unless the mugwort plant is uprooted at noon or midnight on St. John’s Eve, the “coal” found beneath it shall be without amuletic value.
For those lucky enough to unearth such a treasure, a mugwort’s “coal” will offer protection against all “venomous beasts,” ward off evil and sorcery, heal all ills (including madness
and the plague), inspire feelings of lust in the frigid, bring fertility to those cursed with barrenness, and induce prophetic dreams (especially pertaining to future marriage partners) when placed under a pillow at bedtime.
“If they would drink nettles in March,
And eat muggons [mugwort] in May,
So many fine maidens
Would go not to the clay.”
—An old Scottish rhyme.

Also known as: Hag's Taper, Candlewick Plant, Aaron's Rod, Velvet Plant, Sheperd's Club.
The powderd leaves are sometimes called "graveyard dust" and can be subsitituted for such.


It is a good luck sign to find a peapod containing nine peas, and an even luckier one to come across one containing a single pea. If you make a wish while throwing a pod of nine peas over your right shoulder, the chances are good that your wish will come true (but only if you do not repeat it to anyone). It was once believed that a wart could be cured by rubbing it with a pod of nine peas while reciting a special incantation.

Also known as: Pulegium. Run-by-the-Ground. Lurk-in-the-Ditch. Pudding Grass. Piliolerial.
Pennyroyal has purple flowers. It is probably the best known of the abortifacient herbs, since in 1970 two women died from taking the essential oil internally. The herb itself is safe to use internally, even though the essential oil is extremely toxic and should only be used externally. The oil can be used to stimulate menstruation. Pennyroyal is often found in cottage gardens, as an infusion of the leaves, known as Pennyroyal Tea, is an old-fashioned remedy for colds and menstrual derangements.
Pennyroyal Water was distilled from the leaves and given as an antidote to spasmodic, nervous and hysterical affections. It was also used against cold and 'affections of the joints.'

The pine was known as one of the seven chieftain trees of the Irish. Mix the dried needles with equal parts of Juniper and Cedar: burn to purify the home and ritual area. The cones and nuts can be carried as a fertility charm. A good magical cleansing and stimulating path is made by placing pine needles in loose-woven bag and running bathwater over this. To purify and sanctify an outdoor area, brush the ground with a pine branch.

Primrose has yellow flowers that bloom in April and May. It is astringent, and makes a good emetic and sedative. It is suggested to cure gout, nervous headaches, and paralysis. it can also be used for insomnia, restlessness, and skin wounds.The whole plant has somewhat expectorant qualities. Primrose in the garden will protect the gardener from adversity, in addition to attracting fairies.

Purple Loosestrife
Placed int the corners of each room, this herb restores harmony and brings peace.

Also known as: Herb of Grace
Ancient Celts considered Rue an anti-magical herb, that is a defense against spells and dark magic  A fresh sprig can be used to sprinkle sacred water for consecration  blessings, and healings. Burned in exorcism or purification incenses, it routs negativity and gets things moving.

It was once believed that to accidentally leave any earth unsown in a field brought upon a death in the family before the end of the year, or, depending on the local legend, before the crop is reaped. An old Scottish farming superstition holds that if the weather prevents the sowing of seed after a farmer has taken it out to the field, this is a grim omen.

Centuries ago, it was common in rural England for a live shrew-mouse to be imprisoned within the split trunk of an ash tree and left there to suffocate or starve to death, thus giving the tree incredible magical powers. Such a tree was known as a “shrew-ash” and its branches and leaves were believed to possess the miraculous powers to heal both man and beast of a wide variety of ailments, including shrew bites.

Solomons Seal
Also known as: Dropberry, Sealroot
This herb can be burned as a thank-you offering to the Elementals for their help.

Also known as: Agrimony, Church Steeples
This plant has small yellow flowers that bloom in June through September. In a poultice it is helpful for bruises. Medieval manuscripts contain many spells that use agrimony.Use this herb in sachets and in spells for protection. Put a sprig under your pillow to help you sleep. Agrimony was once used to detect the presence of witches.

St. John's Wort
St. John's Wort has small yellow flowers that bloom from May to September. It is highly regarded for its medicinal properties. Its oil has been taken for abdominal pains, colic, and worms, while an infusion can be used for depression, insomnia, and toothache. It can be used to reduce inflammation and swelling, in addition to keeping the skin soft and smooth. There are many ancient superstitions regarding this herb. Its name Hyperieum is derived from the Greek and means 'over an apparition,' a reference to the belief that the herb was so obnoxious to evil spirits that a whiff of it would cause them to fly. The Celts passed it through the smoke of the Summer Solstice fire, then wore it in battle for invincibility. It can be burned to banish and exorcise spirits.

Also known as: Marshmallow, Common Mallow, Mortification Plant
This plant is covered with large pink flowers in late summer. For pain, apply the softened root to the area, or add a strained decoction of the root to a foot bath or full bath. To make decoction, simmer a quarter pond of dried cleaned root in two quarts of water, and reduce it to six cups. Strain and add to bath. Sweetweed may be boiled in wine or milk, or made into a syrup for coughs. This herb is used in protection rites. It is also a good psychic power simulator  You may either burn this plant as an incense or carry it in a sachet. When placed on an altar, it brings "good" spirits during rituals. In medieval times if a person was accused of something, to prove innocence the accused had to hold a red hot iron bar. He/she was considered innocent if the person suffered no serious burns. Accounts from the middle ages state that anointing the palms with an ointment made from marshmallow would allow the accused, innocent or guilty, to remain burnt.

Thorn Apple
Also known as: Stramonium. Datura. Devil's Apple. Jamestown-weed. Jimson-weed. Stinkweed. Devil's Trumpet. Apple of Peru.
Thorn apple has tubular white flowers bloom from July to September, followed by the green seed capsules which resemble large walnuts. This plant has been used to induce hallucinogenic effects for millenia. It can be used as an anesthetic while setting bones or performing surgery. Today it is a major component of a common asthma medicine. The plant flowers nearly all the summer. The flowers are large and open in the evening for the attraction of night-flying moths, and emit a powerful fragrance. The poisonous properties of the seeds are well known in India, where the Datura is abundant, the thieves and assassins not infrequently administering them to their victims to produce insensibility. In early times, the Thornapple was considered an aid to the incantation of witches, and during the time of the witch mania in England, it was unlucky for anyone to grow it in his garden.

Also known as: Garden Heliotrope, Vandal Root, St. George's Herb
Use this herb in love spells, especially to reconcile troubled couples. Put in pillows to promote deep rest. Although the root of the herb has a strong pungent scent, some cats love the odor more than catnip.

Also known as: Enchanter's Herb, Holy Herb, Verbena, Blue Vervain
This herb was commonly used in Druid rites and incantations. It was also highly held that offerings of this herb were placed on altars. When burned, it is powerful for warding off psychic attack, but it is also used in spells for love, purification and attracting wealth. It is a powerful attractant to the opposite sex.

In some parts of England it is still believed that willow wood should never be burned on Bonfire Night. To do so invites bad luck. Driving a horse with a stick of willow brings on a stomach ache, while swatting a child or animal with one stunts their growth. Willow trees have long been valued for their natural ability to protect against sorcery and the evil eye, and some individuals believe that touching them ensures good luck. However, never reveal a secret beneath a willow, otherwise your secrets will be repeated by the wind.

Also known as: Aconite, Monkshood, Queen Mother, Friar's Cap
Add to protection sachets, it is a protector. It is said that werewolves use it to cure themselves of there affliction. If you wrap a seed in a lizard skin, it will allow you to become invisible at will according to lore. A Roman historian said "Aconite sprang out of the dog Cerberus when Hercules dragged him from the underworld." It grows on the hills of Aconitus where the fight took place. The dog guarded the entrance of Hades  The deadly poison of this plant is from the saliva of Cerberus dripping on the plant as the fight progressed. Hecate, the Greek goddess of magical arts and spells, poisoned her father with Aconite. Meda is said to have killed Thesus with it.

Wood Betony
According to Penelope Ody in The Complete Medicinal Herbal, wood betony was the most important herb among the Anglo-Saxons, who found at least 29 medicinal uses for it. She also suggests that wood betony was “possibly the most popular amulet herb, used well into the Middle Ages to ward off evil or ill humors.” A ninth century Saxon work called Herbarium
Apuleii says that wood betony “is good whether for a man’s soul or his body; it shields him against visions and dreams.” Other popular herbs in Saxon times were mugwort, plantain, vervain, and yarrow, which were used in numerous internal remedies, but most commonly employed as an amulet.

POISONOUS! if ingested this plant is a accumulative poison
Also known as: Green Ginger, Absinthe
Wormwood has small tubular yellow flowers that bloom in round terminal clusters from July to October. Since Egyptian times, wormwood has been valued for its medicinal qualities. It can be used to prevent seasickness, as an appetite stimulant, jaundice, as an aid to menstruation, and as a general tonic.
According to the Ancients, Wormwood counteracted the effects of poisoning by hemlock, toadstools and the biting of the seadragon. The plant was of some importance among the Mexicans, who celebrated their great festival of the Goddess of Salt by a ceremonial dance of women, who wore on their heads garlands of Wormwood. Burned with incenses on Samhain to aid divination and scrying.

Also known as: Woundwort, Seven Year's Love, Milfoil
This herb is a powerful incense additive for divination and love spells. It has the power to keep couples happily married.


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