Magick Herbal Correspondences: Cardamom to Flax
All about herbs used in magic, their botanical names, what part of the plant is used, and Herbal Lore. Magical Use describes the correspondence in Spellwork or as a Talisman. Some herbs are commonly used in Aromatherapy. Many herbs have historical value as used for homeopathic medicinal use- please take care to follow any guidelines indicated and talk to your pharmacist.
CARDAMOM: (Elettario cardamomum) This perennial bears violet-striped white flowers and aromatic green fruits on erect or trailing racemes. The seed pods are an expensive spice, sold as whole green, bleached, or sun-dried cardamom. The seeds are digestive, stimulant, and antispasmodic, and rhizome is given for fatigue and fever. The essential oil from almost-ripe fruits is used in liqueurs and perfumes. Cardamom seeds are a symbol of hospitality.
Parts Used: Seed
Magical Use: Deliciously spicy, cardamom essential oil brings a nice jolt of energy to live and sexually oriented formulas. Burn for love spells or use in love sachets. The ground seeds are added to warmed wine for a quick lust potion. They are also baked into apple pies for a wonderful amatory pastry.
Aromatherapy Use: Nausea, Coughs, Headaches, Aches, as a Digestive and Tonic, Dyspepsia, Mental Fatigue, Nervous Strain, Halitosis, Anorexia, Colic. Key Qualities: Cephalic, Aphrodisiac, Warming, Comforting, Refreshing, Uplifting, Penetrating, Soothing.
CARNATION: (Dianthus caryophyllus) Also called Pink , Clove Pink or Gilly Flower. This short lived perennial has blue-green grass like foliage and spicy, fragrant long-lasting flowers in the summer. This “Flower of Divinity” and symbol of betrothal, woven into garlands is the parent of cultivated carnations, although is seldom available in its true for. Fortunately, the petals of any clove-scented Pink, with the bitter white heel removed, can be added to fruit dishes, sandwiches, soups, and sauces, or used to make floral syrup, vinegar, liqueur, or wine. This was Chaucer’s “sops in wine” and is still enjoyed as a nerve tonic today. The strong-sweet spicy scent is used in soaps and perfumes. Worn during Elizabethan times to prevent coming to an untimely death on the scaffold.
Parts Used: Flower petals
Magical Use: Altar offering for the Goddess, Anointing, Protection, Strength, Health and Healing, Energy, Power, Magical Power, Blessing, Consecration. Can be used in all purpose protective spells.
CATNIP: (Nepeta Catoria) A Druid sacred herb. The root and leaf scent, mint with cat pheromone overtones, intoxicates cats and repels rats and flea beetles. The tender leaves are added to salads and flavor meat. They can also be brewed as tea and were used before China tea was imported. The leaves and flowering tops treat colds, calm upset stomachs, reduce fevers, and soothe headaches and scalp irritations. When smoked, leaves give mild euphoria with no harmful effects.
Parts Used: Leaf
Magical Use: Chewed by warriors for fierceness in battle. Large dried leaves are powerful markers for magic books. Give it to your cat to create a psychic bond. Used in spells to promote beauty, happiness, love. Use in all Cat Magic Spells.
CASSIA: (Cinnamomum aromaticum var. cassia) This is the highest grade of Cinnamon. See Cinnamon.
Magical Use: Purification
Aromatherapy Use: See cinnamon
CEDARWOOD: (Cedrus libani or Cedrus spp.) A Druid sacred herb. Also known as Cedar, Tree of Life, Arbor Vitae (Thuja occidentalis) or Yellow Cedar (T. occidentalis). Ancient Celts on the mainland used cedar oil to preserve the heads of enemies taken in battle. The wood of the Atlas Cedar subspecies is distilled to produce the essential oil. Yellow cedar is used by herbalists to treat bloody cough and heart weakness. Simmer two teaspoons per cup for twenty minutes and take it cold in one-tablespoon doses, three to six times a day. It is used internally and externally as an anti-fungal (the dry powder is excellent for Athlete’s foot).
Parts Used: Twig and leaf
Magical Use: Cedar smoke purifies the home. Use it in smudge sticks, incense and sweat lodges. The scent is said to enhance psychic powers. I use it in a simmering pot which smells much better than the burning herb, it makes the whole house smell clean and sweet. Use for: Purification, Health and Healing, Luck, Good Fortune, Happiness, Banishing, Releasing, Exorcism, Money and Riches, Justice, Protection, Harmony, Peace.
Aromatherapy Use: Bronchitis, Catarrh, Acne, Arthritis, as a Diuretic, Sedative, Antiseborrhoeic.
CHAMOMILE: (Chamaemelum nobile or Anthemis nobilis) Also called Roman chamomile, English chamomile, Perennial Chamomile, Wild Chamomile, and Ground Apple. A Druid Sacred Herb, this aromatic evergreen has feathery, apple-scented leaves and white flowers with conical golden centers. The flowers make a digestive, soothing and sedative tea, which is used for soothing restless children, helps prevent nightmares and insomnia, and suppresses nausea. The flower compounds have shown anti-tumor activity in laboratory tests. In the garden it is a “physician plant” reviving nearby ailing plants. The essential oil is a beautiful blue color turning yellow as it ages. This herb has an affinity for the solar plexus area of the human body. Colic, upset stomachs, and fevers are benefited by the tea of the fresh or dried flower. Use two tablespoons per cup, steep for twenty minutes, and take a quarter cup four times a day. Women with menstrual cramps can try adding a few thin slices of fresh ginger root to the tea. Chamomile is an antibacterial. Sores, wounds, itches, and rashes respond to external applications. Use the tea as a wash or add the herb to salves and poultices. The oil is rubbed into swollen joints. Chamomile calms the nerves and brings on sleep. Use it in baths and gargles. Add the tea to a vaporizer to help asthmatic children. The classic tea for cranky, teething babies, it is given in the bottle or through a mother’s breast milk.
Parts Used: Flower
Magical Use: Yellow chamomile brings the power of the sun to love potions, money spells and rites of purification. Use in incense for the God. When sprinkled around the house it removes hexes, curses and spells. It can be burned or added to prosperity bags to increase money. Use for: Love, Luck, Fortune, Justice, Prosperity, Purification, Meditation, Rest.
Aromatherapy Use: Nerves, Migraine, Acne, Inflammation, Insomnia, Menstrual Problems, Dermatitis, Analgesic, Tension Headache, Stress.
CHERRY: (Prunus serotina) A Druid sacred tree, chips of the wood or bark were burned at Celtic festivals especially Sabbaths. Also known as Black Cherry, Wild Cherry or Chokecherry (P. virginiana). Chokecherry bark tea is used to clear the throats of singers and public speakers, the powdered berries were once used to improve the appetite. If you’ve never tried chokecherry jelly, you’ve missed a real treat. CAUTION: The stone is poisonous.
Parts Used: Fruit, bark and wood
Magical Use: (Wood and Fruit Juice) Creativity, Healing, Long been used to attract Love, Cherry juice is used as a substitute for blood in old recipes.
CINNAMON: (Cinnamomum verum or zeylanicum) A tropical evergreen tree up to 50 feet tall. Cinnamon sticks are quills from the inner bark and the essential oil is distilled by water or steam from the leaves and twigs.
Parts Used: Bark
Magical Use: (Herb and Oil) Meditation, Defense, Creative Work, Divination, Energy, Power, Protection, Success, Astral Projection, Health and Healing, Love Lust, Money and Riches, Purification.
Aromatherapy Use: (Oil) Lice, Scabies, Wasp Stings, Poor Circulation, Childbirth (stimulates contractions), Anorexia, Colitis, Diarrhea, Dyspepsia, Intestinal Infection, Sluggish Digestion, Spasm, Flu, Rheumatism, Warts, Coughs, Colds, Viral Infections, Frigidity, Infectious Disease, Stress Related Conditions, Tooth and Gum Care, Nervous Exhaustion. Key Qualities: Warming, Reviving, Tonic, Strengthening, Aphrodisiac, Restorative, Uplifting.
CINQUEFOIL: (Pontentilla reptans) Also called Five Fingered Grass, Creeping cinquefoil, and Five Leaved Grass. The rootstock was cooked as a vegetable by the Celts and Native Americans. Applied to sore areas, the fresh plant relieves pain. A root decoction is used in anti-wrinkle creams. A wash reduces skin redness, freckles, and sunburn. The powdered root and leaf are used to stop internal hemorrhaging. The powder also makes an astringent for mouth sores and treats diarrhea. Taken with honey, it relieves sore throats, coughs, and fever. Take one-quarter to one-half teaspoon at a time, or twenty to forty drops of the tincture. The leaves can be steeped using two teaspoons per cup of water for twenty minutes, or one ounce of the root can be simmered in one and a half cups of water for twenty minutes. The dose is a quarter cup four times a day.
Parts Used: Root and leaf
Magical Uses Use the infusion in ritual baths and for purification rites. Cinquefoil bestows eloquence and protection to the wearer, bring it to court. Love, power wisdom, health, and abundance are symbolized by its five petals. Prick a hole in an egg, drain it and fill it with cinquefoil. Tape the egg shut, and your home and property are protected. Bathe in the infusion every seven days to ward off evil influences. Prosperity, Protection, Defense, Purification, Anointing, Divination Dreams, Energy, Strength, Luck, Fortune, Justice, Healing, Inspiration, Wisdom, Love,. Hang at the door for protection. Add to pacificator bath sachets.
CLOVE: (Syzgium aromaticum) Cloves are the sun-dried unopened flower buds of a dense evergreen tree, they have a strong spiciness that flavors foods and prevents nausea. The flowers are used to soothe aching eyes. Clove oil, from the distillation of leaves and flower buds, is an antiseptic numbing agent for toothache and indigestion. It is added to cosmetics, perfumes, and cigarettes. There are now Clove-based anesthetics.
Parts Used: Leaf and flower bud
Magical Use: Use for: Divination, Love, Lust, Banishing, Releasing, Inspiration, Wisdom. Burn for Wealth, Purification, to ward negative thoughts, or to stop others from gossiping about you.
Aromatherapy Use: Nausea, Flatulence, Asthma, Bronchitis, Arthritis, Rheumatism, Toothache, Diarrhea, Infections, as an Analgesic and Antiseptic, Insect Repellent (Mosquitoes). Key Qualities: Tonic, Stimulating, Revitalizing, Aphrodisiac, Warming, Comforting, Purifying, Active.
CLUB MOSS: (Lycopodium selago or clavatum) Also called Selago, Foxtail, Lycopod, Vegetable Sulpher, Wolf Claw or Stag’s Horn Moss. This toxic, evergreen, moss like herb has trailing stems, upright branches and developing cones encasing the ripe spores. The spores were once used for gastric and urinary disorders, as an antispasmodic sedative and to coat pills. Blackfoot Indians knew of the spores’ blood-stanching, wound-healing and moisture-absorbing properties and inhaled them for nosebleeds and dusted them on cuts. They are still used on wounds and eczema. The spores are explosive when set alight, and used to create theatrical lightening and added to fireworks. Magicians once used them to create “lightening flashes” and other pyrotechnics as needed. These effects were originally intended as a form of sympathetic magic -of evocation by emulation – not simply (or deceptively) as stage effects. The club mosses are found in North America, northern Europe, Asia, and the southern hemisphere. The plants are several inches in height and resemble moss. They creep by means of prostrate stems, which branch upward at intervals, with crowded, linear, simple leaves. Large two valve spore cases product the medicinally active spores. While the whole plant was used by the ancients as a cathartic, the spores were used as a diuretic in edema, a drastic (a forceful agent of cure) in diarrhea and dysentery, a nervine for rabies and spasms, a mild laxative in cases of gout and scurvy, and a corroborant (strengthening agent) for rheumatism. The dose is ten to sixty grains of the spores. The spores also make a dusting powder for skin diseases and diaper rash. CAUTION: Selago can be an active narcotic poison when overused. For this reason it is probably better to use only the spores, which are non-toxic. The whole plant can be used externally, however, as a counterirritant – made into a poultice, it will keep blisters open and kill lice.
Parts Used: Above-ground portions of the herb, and spores.
Magical Use: Druids respected the plant to such a degree that it was gathered only under strict ritual guidelines. One of the Ovates would dress in white, bathe both feet in free-running water and offer a sacrifice of bread and spirits, and then with white robe wrapped around the right hand, using a brass hook, would dig up the plant by the roots. When properly gathered, the herb becomes a charm of power and protection. Wear it, add it to incense, and use it to commune with the Gods and Goddesses.
COMFREY: (Symphytum officonale) Also known as Slippery Root, Knit bone or Black wort. Teas, tinctures and compresses of comfrey roots or leaves speed healing of cuts, rashes, and broken bones.
Parts Used: Root and leaf
Magical Uses: Root or leaves for healing. Carry for safe travel. To ensure the safety of your luggage while traveling, tuck a piece of the root into each of your bags.
COPAL: (Bursera odorata) Copal is a white, pale yellow or yellowish-orange gum resin. When smoldered on charcoal it produces a rich, delicious, piney-lemony fragrance. Copal is North America’s equivalent of Frankincense. While it lacks some of frankincense’s bittersweet odor, it is a fine substitute. When frankincense if left smoldering on charcoal for some time it eventually emits a very bitter scent. Copal, however, never varies as it burns. It is native to Mexico and Central America, and has been used as incense in religious and magical ceremonies for untold hundreds of years, beginning, perhaps, with the Mayans or even prior to the days of that fables people. The finest copal is a pale to dark yellow color with an intense resinous-citrus odor. It is usually sold in chunks and may contain leaf fragments.
Parts Used: Resin
Magical Use: Burn for protection, cleansing, purification, to promote spirituality, and to purify quartz crystals and other stones before use in magic. May be substituted for Frankincense. A piece of copal may be used as the heart in poppets.
CORIANDER: (Coriandrum sativum) The whole of this annual is pungently aromatic. The seed is a mild sedative, aids digestion, reduces flatulence, and eases migraines. The spicy essential oil, distilled from the seeds, is used in perfumes and incense, flavors medicines and toothpaste, and is added to massage oil for facial neuralgia and cramps. The seeds are strengthening to the urinary system. The leaf and seed are infused to treat bladder infections. The tea helps with stomach problems such as gas and indigestion. Steep two teaspoons of the dried seed per cup of boiled water fro twenty minutes, and take up to one cup a day. The powdered seed and the oil are used to flavor other herbal preparations and to ease griping in laxative formulas. Use one-fourth to one-half teaspoon at a time. Coriander is a common ingredient of Indial curries.
Parts Used: Seed and leaf
Magical Use: Coriander oil works well in love and healing mixtures. The seeds are used for healing, especially easing headaches and are worn for this purpose. Add the powdered seeds to warm wine to make an effective lust potion. Put some in the chalice for a hand fasting ritual.
Aromatherapy Use: Eating Disorders, Colic, Diarrhea, Dyspepsia, Measles, Migraine, Neuralgia, General Infections, Indigestion, Influenza, Fatigue, Rheumatism, Flatulence, Nervousness, as an Analgesic, Stimulant, Aphrodisiac. Key Qualities: Aphrodisiac, Stimulating, Soporific (In excess), Refreshing, Warming, Comforting, Revitalizing, Strengthening, Purifying, Soothing, Active.
CYPRESS: (Cupressus sempervirens) This tall evergreen tree has gray-brown bark, and tiny, dark green leaves. It bears yellowish male cones and green female cones, which ripen to brown. Cypress Oil, distilled from the leaves, branches, and cones, has a refreshing, camphor-resinous scent.
Parts Used: Leaf, twigs, fruit, bark, wood, resin and essential oil.
Magical Use: Burn for Happiness, Harmony, Peace, Inspiration, Binding, Wisdom, Releasing, Defense, Longevity. Cypress Oil is used for Blessing, Consecration, and protection. The unique scent stimulates healing and eases the pain of losses of all kind.
Aromatherapy Use: Skin Care, Perspiration, Wounds, bruises, Hemorrhoids, Varicose Veins, Cellulites, Muscular Cramps, Edema, Poor Circulation, Rheumatism, Asthma, Bronchitis, Spasmodic Coughing, Dysmenorrhea,, Menopausal Problems, Nervous Tension, Stress-related Conditions, Treats inflamed/bleeding gums, Insect Repellent. Key Qualities: Refreshing, Purifying, Relaxing, Warming, Reviving, Restorative, Comforting, Protective, Soothing.
DILL: (Anethum graveolens) Uniquely flavored, Dill offers culinary “seeds” and leaves, but the choicest flavor is in the fresh immature green seed heads. They give character to dill pickles, vinegar and potato salad. Distilled seed oil is colorless to pale yellow, with a light, fresh, warm-spicy scent and flavors drinks, food and infant gripe water for colic. The seeds aid digestion, and their infusion reduces flatulence, hiccups, stomach pains, and insomnia. A seed decoction gives a nail-strengthening bath.
Parts Used: Flower, leaf, stem, fruit, seeds, and essential oil.
Magical Use: Seeds draw money, Leaves for protection, Flowers for love and defense. Protective when hung at the door, no one ill-disposed or envious of you can enter your house. Smell Dill to cure hiccups.
Aromatherapy Use: (Oil) Colic, Constipation, Dyspepsia, Flatulence, Headaches, Indigestion, Nervousness, Amenorrhea.
DRAGONS BLOOD: (Draceana draco spp.) Dragon’s blood is the resin of the Draceana draco species. The common name of this plant is “dragon tree” hence the name.
Parts Used: Resin
Magical Use: Burn for love, protection, exorcism, and sexual potency. Use for Courage, Magical Power, Energy, Strength, Purification, Changes, Determination, Cleansing. A pinch of Dragon’s blood added to other incenses increases their potency and power.
ELDER: (Sambucus canadensis or nigra) Also known as Ellhorn, Elderberry, Lady Elder, and Black Berried Elder. A Druid Sacred Tree. Sacred to the White Lady and Midsummer Solstice. The Druids used it to both bless and curse. In Chinese medicine, the leaves, stems, and roots are used to treat fractures and muscle spasms. The flowers treat colds, sore throats, hay fever, and arthritis, and act as a mild laxative. Named the “country medicine chest” for its many health uses, the Elderberry is also rich in European folklore. The black elder (S. nigra) can be used as an insecticide in the garden or to repel insects from the face and body. A simple infusion of the fresh leaf is made for this purpose. It can also be poured down mouse and mole holes. The berries are used for jam, wine, pies, and syrups. Medicinally, they help coughs, colic, diarrhea, sore throats, asthma, and flu. A pinch of cinnamon makes the tea more warming. The leaves are added to salves for skin conditions. The flowers are infused for fevers, eruptive skin conditions such as measles, and severe bronchial and lung problems. A classic flu remedy is a mixture of elder flower, yarrow and peppermint teas. Keep the patient well covered, as the flowers promote sweating. Use two teaspoons of the herbs per cup of water, steep for twenty minutes, and take up to three cups a day.
Parts Used: Leaf, flower, and berry
Magical Use: Elder wands can be used to drive out evil spirits or thought forms. Music on panpipes or flutes made of elder have the same power of the wands. A Dryad “Elder Mother” is said to live in the tree, she will haunt anyone who cuts down her wood. Stand or sleep under an elder on Midsummer Eve to see the King of the Faeries and his retinue pass by. The flowers are used in wish-fulfillment spells. The leaves , flowers, and berries are strewn on a person, place or thing to bless it. Wood is NOT to be burned as it is sacred to Hecate. Flowers are used for altar offerings. Hung over doorways and windows, it keeps evil from the house. Carry Elder to preserve against the temptation to commit adultery. Use for: Money, Riches, Love, Blessings, Banishing, Releasing, Consecration, Cursing, Purification, Cleansing.
Gum Tree: Comprises over 500 species of aromatic trees and shrubs with deciduous bark. The most common species, Tasmanian Blue Gum (Eucalyptus globulus) has a blue-gray trunk, blue-green juvenile leaves, green adult leaves, and white flower stamens. Eucalyptus leaves, scented of balsamic camphor, are used by aboriginals to bind wounds, the flower nectar gives honey, and the oil, distilled from the leaves and twigs, is used in medicines, aromatherapy, and perfumes. Eucalyptus oil is antiseptic, expectorant, and anti-viral, treats pulmonary tuberculosis, lowers blood sugar levels, and is useful for burns, catarrh and flu. The roots of Eucalyptus trees secrete a poisonous chemical, inhibiting the growth of nearby plants.
Parts Used: Leaf, twigs, wood, sap and essential oil
Magical Use: Add to all healing blends. Apply (undiluted) to the body to relieve colds. Also used in purification mixtures. For protection, carry the leaves.
Aromatherapy Use: Blue Gum: Burns, Blisters, Cuts, Herpes, Insect Bites, Lice, Skin Infections, Wounds, Muscular Aches and Pains, Poor Circulation, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Sprains, Asthma, Bronchitis, Catarrh, Cough, Sinusitis, Throat Infections, Chicken Pox, Colds, Epidemics, Flu, Measles, Cystitis, Leucorrhoea, Nervous Debility, Headaches, Neuralgia, Insect Repellent. Key Qualities: Stimulating, Refreshing, Clearing, Purifying, Balsamic, Regulating. Lemon Eucalyptus: (E. citriodora) Athlete’s Foot and other Fungal Infections (such as Candida), Cuts, Dandruff, Herpes, Infectious Skin Conditions (such as Chicken Pox), Asthma, Laryngitis, Sore Throat, Colds, Fevers, Infectious Diseases, Insect Repellent. Key Qualities: Invigorating, Active, Stimulating.
EYEBRIGHT: (Euphrasia officionalis) A Druid sacred herb. This semi parasitic annual extracts its nutrients from the roots of certain grasses found in poor meadowland. It has tiny oval leaves and small, scallop-edged, white flowers with yellow spots and red veins, resembling a bloodshot eye. The slightly bitter leaves have been used in salads. A whole plant infusion or strained juice from crushed, fresh stems is a general eye tonic treating strain and infections, and is a popular cosmetic wash, giving sparkle to eyes. Its antiseptic, mildly astringent, inflammation-and phlegm-reducing properties ease the irritated eyes and runny nose of hay-fever and sinusitis.
Parts Used: Flower, leaf, and twigs
Magical Use: In a tightly covered pot gently brew a handful of the herb in a pint of boiling water. Allow to stand overnight. Strain out the herb, squeezing as dry as possible. Store the liquid in a tightly sealed container away from sunlight and heat but not in the refrigerator. Drink a half teaspoon in a half cup of spring water or psychic herb tea to promote clairvoyance, clear the mind and improve memory. Burn as incense for clairvoyance and divination. Carry when you need to see the truth in a matter.
FENNEL: (Foeniculum vulgare) Sacred to the God. This biennial or perennial herb has finely cut feathery foliage, umbels of midsummer flowers, curved, ribbed seeds and a thick root, all with a fresh anise seed flavor. The seeds are chewed to allay hunger and ease indigestion. They are brewed for constipation, to increase breast milk and regulate menstruation, with root extract, they are detoxifying and diuretic. Research indicates Fennel helps repair the liver after alcohol damage. Seed and leaf steam aids deep skin cleansing, and the essential oil is used in a muscle-toning massage. Fennel oil should not be used by epileptics or young children. To help with indigestion and gas, pour boiling water over crushed fennel seeds (one teaspoon seed to a pint of water). The seeds are simmered in syrups for coughs, shortness of breath and wheezing. Powdered fennel seeds repel fleas from pets’ sleeping quarters. Place fennel inside a fish when you cook it to make it more digestible. The seeds and root help clean the liver, spleen, gall bladder, and blood. The leaves and seeds when boiled with barley increase breast milk. The tea and broth of this herb are said to help in weight loss programs. Fennel is eaten in salads, soups, and breads. Fennel oil mixed with honey can be taken for coughs, and the tea is used as a gargle. The oil is eaten with honey to allay gas and it is applied externally to rheumatic swellings. The seeds are boiled to make an eye wash: use one half teaspoon of seed per cup of water, three times a day, and be sure to strain carefully before use.
Parts Used: Leaf, root and seeds
Magical Use: Hang over doors with St. John’s Wort at Litha to repel evil spirits. Carry fennel to influence others to trust your words. Use for: Protection, Healing, Health, Purification.
Aromatherapy Use: Bruises, Dull, Oily, Mature Complexions, Cellulites, Obesity, Edema, Rheumatism, Asthma, Bronchitis, Anorexia, Colic, Constipation, Dyspepsia, Flatulence, Hiccoughs, Nausea, Menopausal Problems, Insufficient Milk in Nursing Mothers. Key Qualities: Stimulating, Balancing, Restorative, Revitalizing, Purifying, Cleansing.
FERNS: Especially Male Fern (Dryopteris filixmas), Maidenhair Fern (Adiantum pedatum), Bracken (Pteridium aquilinum), Lady Fern, Polypody, or Oak Fern (Polypodium vulgare). The Druids classified ferns as sacred trees. Uncurled fronds of Male fern were gathered at Midsummer, dried and carried for good luck. The mysterious regeneration of ferns led to the ancient belief that their seed could confer invisibility. The root was added to love potions and the fronds eaten by those embarking on love quests. Male Fern: The fall gathered root is a remedy for tapeworm. A few hours after it has been ingested, a purgative is given. Begin the vermifuge process by eating fresh garlic. Take one to four teaspoons of the liquid extract of the root, or of the powdered root, on an empty stomach and follow several hours later with castor oil. Caution: do not ingest alcohol while taking this herb. Overdose can result in blindness and death. The roots are added to healing salves for wounds and rubbed into the limbs of children with rickets.
Parts Used: Leaf and root
Magical Use: Fern “seeds” are said to render on invisible if gathered on Midsummer’s Eve. Ferns are also said to be an herb of immortality. Moonwort (Botrychium lunaria) is especially effective if gathered by moonlight. This fern aids in opening locks and breaking charms, is used in love spells and has the alchemical reputation of being an herb to convert quicksilver into silver. Use it to conjure money. Burned indoors, dried male fern fronds produce a very strong wall of protection. Burned outdoors they produce rain. Use for: Luck, Love, Banishing, Releasing, Exorcism, Defense.
FEVERFEW: (Tanacetum parthenum) Also known as Feather foil or Flirt wort. Semi evergreen Feverfew has pungent, divided, medium to yellow-green leaves and white daisy flowers appearing in summer. The leaves add a bitter tang to food and are found in digestive aperitifs. They relax blood vessels, reduce inflammation and are mildly sedative. Feverfew’s importance lies in its success in reducing some migraines. Chewed daily its accumulative effect is to reduce headache pains and inhibit the secretion of a compound implicated in migraine and arthritis, infused flowering tops are applied to ease headaches and arthritic swellings. A tea is taken for tinnitus and irregular periods. Warning: Fresh leaves can irritate the mouth.
Parts Used: Leaf, flower, essential oil
Magical Use: Travelers carries it as a ward against sickness or accidents during their journeys.
FIR, SILVER: (Abies alba) Also known as Birth Tree. A Druid sacred tree. The Silver Fir grows to a height of 180 feet. This was the original Christmas tree from central Europe, chosen for its long lasting, aromatic needles. The bark resin is distilled to make Strasburg turpentine. The buds and leaves are distilled to make the expectorant and antiseptic Silver Pine needle oil, which is used in cough drops and asthma inhalations, and to give pine scent to toiletries.
Parts Used: Leaf tips, bark, wood, seeds, and sap
Magical Use: The needles are burned at childbirth to bless and protect the mother and baby. Burn for Happiness, Harmony, Peace, Inspiration, and Wisdom.
FLAX: (Linum usitatissimum) Also called Linseed. Annual Flax has slender stems with linear green leaves, beautiful, flat blue flowers, and oily brown seeds. A teaspoon of the seed is placed in a quart of water and gently simmered down to one-half quart. The resulting liquid is given for constipation, for ulcerated sore throat, and as an expectorant for bronchitis in one-fourth cup doses throughout the day. To pass a gallstone, take one and a half to two tablespoons of linseed oil and lie on your left side for a half hour. The whole seeds (about two tablespoons) can be taken with plenty of water to relieve constipation. Follow with stewed prunes or prune juice. The cooked seeds are added to fresh grated carrots, and the mix is warmed to make a poultice to rheumatism and swellings.
Parts Used: Seed
Magical Use: the child who runs or dances in a flax field at the age of seven is assured of growing up to be attractive. Newborn babies are placed in a flax field to sleep for similar reasons. The blue flowers are worn as a preservative against sorcery. Sprinkle the altar with flax seeds while performing healing rituals or include it in healing mixtures. Use for: Protection, Psychic Awareness, Money.