- 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 Uses: 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 Uses: (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 Uses: 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 fro 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 elderflower, 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 Uses: 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.
- EUCALYPTUS: (Eucalyptus spp.) Perhaps the ultimate healing oil. The Eucalyptus genus 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 Uses: Add to all healing blends. Apply (undiluted) to the body to relieve colds. Also used in purification mixtures. For protection, carry the leaves.
Aromatherapy Uses: 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; Leukorrhea; 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 semiparasitic 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 Uses: 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 Uses: 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 Uses: Bruises; Dull, Oily, Mature Complexions; Cellulitis; 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 Uses: 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 Featherfoil or Flirtwort. Semievergreen 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 apéritifs. 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 Uses: Travelers carries it as a ward against sickness or accidents during their journeys. Protection; Purification; Defense; Cleansing.
- 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 Strassburg 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 Uses: 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 exectorant 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 sied 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 Uses: the chld 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.
- FOXGLOVE: (Digitalis purpurea) Also known as Fairy Gloves, Fairy Fingers, or Dead Men's Bells. A Druid sacred herb associated with the "little people".
Caution: This plant is poisonous and should be used by qualified personnel only.
Magical Uses: Grow in a garden for protection of house and yard.
- FRANKINCENSE: (Boswellia carteri) A small tree or shrub, with pinnate leaves, and white or pale pink flowers. It yields a natural oleo-resin gum, which is used to make a healing incense, which induces a meditative state. Frankincense essential oil is also useful in promoting spirituality and meditative states. Dilute before applying to the skin as it may be irritating. Pliny claimed that Frankincense was an antidote to hemlock poisoning. Avicenna advocated its use for tumors, fevers, vomiting, and dysentary. Chinese herbalists use it in powder form and in teas for rheumatism and menstrual pain, and externally as a wash for sores and bruises. The dose is three to six grains in a glass of wine; or twenty drops of the tincture. Frankincense is highly antiseptic and the scent is said to calm and clear the mind.
Caution: Prolonged use of resins can damage the kidneys.
Parts Used: Resin
Magical Uses: Sacred to the Sun God Ra, frankincense is buned in rites of exorcism, purification, and protection. It is said to accelerate spiritual growth. Rosemary may be used as a substitute. (Oil)Anoint tools, sachets or the body. Use for spirituality, exorcism, purification, luck and protection rites. (Resin)burn for protection, exorcism, spirituality, love, consecration, blessing, energy, strength, visions, healing, meditation, power and courage.
Aromatherapy Uses: (Oil) Blemishes; Dry and Mature Complexions; Scars; Wounds; Wrinkles; Asthma; Bronchitis; Colds; Coughs; Flu; Laryngitis; Cystitis; Anxiety; Nervous Tension; Stress-related Conditions. Frankincense has the ability to slow down, and deepen the breath - very conducive to prayer and meditation.
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© 1998 Joelle Miller