- CAMPHOR: (Cinnamomum camphora) This white, intensely scented, crystalline substance is distilled from a tree native to China and Japan. The essential oil is steam-distilled from wood, rootstumps, and branches. For many years true camphor wasn't sold in the U.S. All "camphor blocks" and mothballs were made of synthetic camphor which is extremely poisonous.
Both the leaf and crystallized extract are used for wet lung conditions such as asthma and bronchitis. Camphor is useful in depression, exhaustion, and stomach cramps and to improve circulation. Use about two teaspoons of leaf per cup of water and steep for twenty minutes. Take one-fourth cup four times a day. Alternatively, use one teaspoon of the crystallized extract per two cups of water. Take it in one-teaspoon doses four times a day. The tincture is also available and is used in doses of five to ten drops four times a day. Camphor is incorporated into salves for external use to kill parasites and treat ringworm, scabies, and itch. The oil open the lungs, making breathing easier, and helps with muscular and joint pain, arthritis, and bruises (not for open wounds). The salve functions as a "smelling salt," and the herb has been used internally to revive those in coma or delirium. Camphor can be burned to purify the air or inhaled to open lung passages.
Caution: Do not use this herb if you are pregnant or if you are very weak and debilitated. Only natural plant extracts should be used, as chemical camphor is contaminated with industrial poisons.
Parts Used: Crystallized extract and leaf
Magical Uses: (Solid Form) Camphor is added in small amounts to Lunar and chastity type mixtures, (Eucalyptus or Lavender oil may be substituted). Divination; Prophetic Dreams; Psychic Awareness. Burn in the home to purify the air and to dispel disease.
Aromatherapy Uses: Coughs; Colds; Fevers; Rheumatism; Arthritis.
- CARAWAY: (Carum carvi) Caraway is a hardy biennial with finely cut feathery leaves, umbels of small flower heads in midsummer and capsules containing two curved narrow seeds. The seeds are a popular spice, especially in Central Europe. They enhance port, goulash, sauerkraut, cheese, and pickles and are added to cooking cabbage to reduce the smell. They flavor brads and cakes and are eaten raw or sugar-coated as Caraway comfits after a spicy meal. They sweeten the breath, aid digestion, and relieve flatulence. Chopped leaves are added to soups and salads, and the root is cooked as a vegetable. Essential oil, distilled from the seeds, flavors gin, candy, the liqueur Kümel, and mouthwashes, and scents soaps, and aftershaves. The seeds are antiseptic and a vermifuge. Caraway seeds have been used in cooking since the Stone Age.
The powdered seeds are taken in doses of one-fourth to one teaspoon to promote digestion and relieve gas. Caraway tea also relieves menstrual cramps, as it helps to bring on the menstruation. Caraway increases breast mile. To make the tea, steep three teaspoons of the ground seeds in one-half cup of water for twenty minutes (use a kitchen blender to lightly crush the seed). Take up to one and a half cups a day in one-fourth cup doses, or simply chew the seeds. One to four drops of the essential oil may be taken as a digestive aid. For colicky babies, soak one ounce of the ground seed in a pint of cold water for about six hours. The dose is from one to three teaspoons of the infusion, or boil three teaspoons of seed in one-half cup of milk for a few minutes, then steep for ten minutes. The powdered seeds are moistened to make a poultice for bruises and earaches.
Parts Used: Seed, leaf, root and essential oil
Magical Uses: Caraway is often added to love potions to keep lovers from being unfaithful. The seeds are placed in poppets and used in spells to find one's mate. They are said to inspire lust when baked into cakes or breads. Put some in your wedding cake, or use it instead of rice to throw at the bride and groom. Pigeons are very fond of it too!
- 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 Uses: Deliciously spicy, cardamon 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 Uses: 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 grasslike 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 Uses: 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, minty 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 Uses: 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 Uses: Purification
Aromatherapy Uses: 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 trat bloody cough and heart weakness. Simmer two teaspoons per cup for twenty minutes and take it ccold in one-tablespoon doses, three to six times a day. It is used internally and externally as an antifungal (the dry powder is excellent for Athlete's foot).
Parts Used: Twig and leaf
Magical Uses: 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 Uses: 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 benefitted 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, wonds, 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 Uses: 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 Uses: 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 Sabbats. 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 Uses: (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 Uses: (Herb and Oil) Meditation; Defense; Creative Work; Divination; Energy; Power; Protection; Success; Astral Projection; Health and Healing; Love Lust; Money and Riches; Purification.
Aromatherapy Uses: (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, powerm 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 purificatory 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 Uses: 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 Uses: 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, mosslike 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 ecxzema. 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 valved 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 agen 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 Uses: Druids respected the plant to sucha degree that it was gathered only under strict ritual guidlelines. 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, adn use it to commune with the Gods and Goddesses.
- COMFREY: (Symphytum officonale) Also known as Slippery Root, Knitbone or Blackwort. 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 Uses: 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 strangthening 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 minuts, and take up to one cup a day. The powdered seed and the oil are used to flavor other herbal prepartations 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 Uses: 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 handfasting ritual.
Aromatherapy Uses: 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; Comforitng; 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 Uses: 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 Uses: Skin Care; Perspiration; Wounds; bruises; Hemorrhoids, Varicose Veins; Cellulitis; 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.
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© 1998-2002 Joelle Miller