- GALANGAL: (Alpinia officionalis or A. galanga) Also known as Low John the Conquerer or Siamese Ginger. Galangal has dark green, sword-shaped leaves, white flowers with pink veins, round red seed capsules, and a rhizomous rootstalk that smells of ginger and camphor. The rhizome has a spicy, gingerlike flavor used in Southeast Asia soups and curries. The young shoots and flowers are eaten raw and the flowers can be boiled or pickled. The rhizome yields an essential oil, essence d'Amali, used in perfumes.
Magical Uses: Use tincture for luck, money, protection, exorcism and psychic development. Ginger can be substituted.
- GARDENIA: (Gardenia jasmenoides) This evergreen shrub or small tree has exquisitely scented white double flowers and orange-red fruits, with glossy, dark green leaves.
Parts Used: Flower
Magical Uses: Health, Healing; Love; Peace; Psychic Awareness; Spirituality. Place fresh blossoms in sick rooms or on healing altars to aid the process. Add dried petals to healing mixtures. Dried gardenia is scattered around a room to induce peaceful vibrations. Add to Moon incenses. Gardenias are used in love spells, and to attract good spirits during rituals. They have very high spiritual vibrations.
- GARLIC: (Allium sativum) Garlic has a clustered bulb made up of several bulblets (cloves) enclosed in a papery tunic. It has a single stem with long, thin leaves and an umbel of edible, rose-tinted white summer flowers and a bulb whose flavor increases the more it is sliced or crushed. Cooking with fresh ginger prevents the slight nausea some experience with Garlic. Garlic repels insects and can be applied to their bites and stings. The cloves add flavor to savory dishes, especially in hot countries where the plants develop the best flavor. Garlic purifies the blood, helps control acne, and reduces blood pressure, cholesterol, and clotting. Tests confirm antibiotic activity against samples of candida, cholora, staphylococcus, salmonella, dysentery, and typhus: and a mild antifungal action. Garlic clears phlegm, thus providing treatment for colds, bronchitis, pulmonary tuberculosis, and whooping cough. New tests suggest it has a role in treating lead poisoning, some carcinomas and diabetes. It's said that growing garlic around potatoes reduces potato blight.
The garlic bulb is one of the great herbal "polycrests" - herbs of many uses. Fresh garlic is a preventative and a cure for intestinal worms. It is generally taken in one-teaspoon doses, three to six times a day, with some grated fresh ginger root. Garlic is a natural antibiotic for internal and external use. Mash it and use as a wound dressing. For a sore throat, lightly roast unpeeled cloves in a dry frying pan, peel them when they grow soft, and eat them. For pinworms, a slightly smashed fresh clove can be inserted into the rectum with olive oil. For vaginal infections, smash a few cloves and wrap them in cheese cloth. Insert directly into the vagina. Fresh raw garlic is more effective than the powdered and extracted forms available for sale. Garlic has been shown to be more effective than tetracycline as an antibiotic.
CAUTION: Pregnant women and persons with "hot and fiery" temperaments should avoid overuse of garlic.
Parts Used: Bulb
Magical Uses: In the home, braids of garlic guard against evil, repel thieves, and turn away the envious. And of course, garlic protects against vampires. It is a very effective blessing for a new home. Garlic was eaten on festival days to Hecate and was left at a crossroads as a sacrifice in Her name. Garlic was once worn to guard against the plague. It is still used to absorb diseases. Simply rub fresh, peeled cloves of garlic onto the afflicted part of the body then throw into running water. An old spell utilized garlic in protecting against hepatitis. To do this, simply wear thirteen cloves of garlic at the end of a cord around the neck for thirteen days. On the last day, in the middle of the night, walk to a corner of an intersection of two streets, remove the necklace, throw it behind you and run home without looking back
Garlic is also extremely protective. Sailors carry some while on board ship to protect against its wrecking. Soldiers wore garlic as a defense in the middle ages, while Roman soldiers ate it to give them courage.
Worn, garlic guards against foul weather (mountaineers wear it) as well as monsters, and it also shields you from the blows of your enemies.
When evil spirits are about, bite into garlic to send them away, or sprinkle powdered garlic on the floor (if you don't mind smelling it for some time.) Garlic is placed beneath children's pillows to protect them while asleep, and brides once carried a clove of garlic in the pocket for good luck and to keep evil far from her on her big day. Rubbed onto pots and pans before cooking, it removes negative vibrations which might otherwise contaminate the food.
When eaten, garlic acts as a lust-inducer, and when a magnet or lodestone is rubbed with garlic it loses its magical powers.
- GINGER: (Zingiber officinale) Ginger has an aromatic rhizome, erect stems of two ranks, lance-shaped leaves, and spikes of white flowers. The rhizome is used fresh, dried, pickled and preserved. Essential to Asian dishes. Crystalized or infused Ginger suppresses nausea. Ginger tea eases indigestion and flatulence, and reduces fever.
the root is warming to the body, is slightly antiseptic, and promotes internal secretions. Chop about two inches of the fresh root, cover with one cup of water, and simmer for about twenty minute, or one-half teaspoon of the powdered root can be simmered in one cup of water. Add lemon juice, honey, and a slight pinch of cayenne. A few teaspoons of brandy will make and even more effective remedy for colds. This preparation treats fevers, chest colds, and flu. A bath or a foot-soak in hot ginger tea is also beneficial. The tea without additives helps indigestion, colic, diarrhea, and alcoholic gastritis. Dried ginger in capsules or in juice is taken to avoid carsickness and seasickness. Use about one half teaspoon of the powder. It works well for pets and children!
Parts Used: Root
Magical Uses: Powerfully spicy, Ginger essential oil is useful in sexuality; love; courage; and money attracting blends. Eating Ginger before performing spells will lend them power, since you have been "heated up" by the Ginger; this is especially true of love spells. Ginger is also used in Success spells, or to ensure the success of a magical operation.
In the Pacific the Dobu islanders make much use of ginger in their magic. They chew it and spit it at the "seat" of an illness to cure it, and also spit chewed ginger at an oncoming storm, while at sea, to halt it.
Aromatherapy Uses Arthritis; Fatigue; Muscular Aches and Pains; Poor Circulation; Rheumatism; Sprains; Strains; Catarrh; Congestion; Coughs; Sinusitis; Sore Throat; Diarrhea; Colic; Cramp; Flatulence; Indigestion; Loss of Appetite; Nausea; Travel Sickness; Chills; Colds; Flu; Fever; Infectious Disease; Debility; Nervous Exhaustion. Key Qualities: Tonic; Aphrodisiac; Stimulating; Warming; Cephalic; Comforting
- GINSENG: Oriental(Panax ginseng) or North American Ginseng (Panax quinquefolium) roots older than two years are a famous yang stimulant (North American less so than Oriental). Rather than treating specific problems, Ginseng strengthens the body by increasing the efficiency of the endocrine, metabolic, circulatory, and digestive systems. It reduces physical, mental, and emotional stress by increasing oxygen-carrying red blood cells and immune strengthening white blood cells and eliminating toxins. Warning-Ginseng should not be taken continuously.
Parts Used: Root
Magical Uses: Lust; Creative Work; Love; Wishes; Beauty; Protection; Can be substituted for Mandrake. The root is carries to attract love, as well as to guard one's health, to draw money, and to ensure sexual potency. Ginseng will also bring beauty to all who carry it.
- HAWTHORN: (Cratageus spp.) Also known as May Tree, May Blossom, or White Thorn. A Druid sacred tree, this deciduous, thorny shrub has serrated, lobed leaves, dense white flower clusters in late spring, and red false fruits (haws). The flowers consist of five white petals, sacred to the Goddess. During World War I, young Hawthorn leaves were used as substitutes for tea and tobacco, and the seeds were ground in place of coffee.
The berry is a superior heart tonic, useful for almost any heart condition. Cholesterol problems and valvular diseases are benefited. The berries also strengthen the appetite and digestion. Extended use lowers blood pressure. Hawthorn berry is a good remedy for the nerves and for insomnia. The berries are simmered or tinctured. Simmer two teaspoons of berries per cup of water for twenty minutes. The dose is a quarter cup four times a day. Take ten to twenty drops of tincture four times a day. The flowers are taken as a tea to benefit the heart. Steep two teaspoons of flowers per cup of water for twenty minutes; the dose is a quarter cup four times a day.
Parts Used: Berry and flower
Magical Uses: Hawthorn is the classic flower to decorate a maypole. An herb of fertility, it finds its place in weddings, May Day celebrations, and ritual groves. Beltaine was once reckoned as the day the hawthorn first bloomed. Wands made of hawthorn have great power. The blossoms are highly erotic. Use for Fertility magic; Protection; Defense; and Chastity. Hawthorn is sacred to the fairies, and is part of the tree fairy triad of Britain "Oak, Ash and Thorn" and where all three trees grow together it is said that one may see fairies.
- HAZEL: (Corylus avellana) Also called European Filbert. A Druid sacred tree, Hazel is a deciduous, suckering shrub with pendulous male catkins in spring and clusters of nuts in autumn. The leaves have served as a tobacco substitute.
Hazel nuts are rich in phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, and copper. Culpepper says that hazel nuts with mead or honey will cure a chronic cough. These are made into an "electuary". Grind the nuts in an electric blender, then add mead or honey or form a past, which is eaten several times a day in tablespoon doses. Add pepper to discharge phlegm.
Parts Used: Nut
Magical Uses: Hazel is an ancient Celtic tree of wisdom, inspiration, and poetry. Hazel nuts are eaten before divination. Diancecht, the god of healing, invented a porridge that would cure colds, sore throats, and worms. According to legend, it consisted of hazel buds, dandelions, chickweed, sorrel, and oatmeal. It was to be taken in the mornings and evenings.
Wands of Hazel symbolize white magic and healing. Forked sticks are used to find water or buried treasure. If outside and in need of magical protection quickly, draw a circle around yourself with a hazel branch. To enlist the aid of plant fairies, string hazelnuts on a cord and hang up in your house or ritual room.
Healing; Protection; Luck; Clairvoyance; Divination; Inspiration; Wisdom; Defense; Fertility; Wishes.
- HEATHER: (Calluna vulgaris) A Druid Sacred Herb, there are more than a thousand cultivars from this low-growing, evergreen species, which has scale like leaves and crowded racemes of flowers. Heather provides a support system for rural farmers, who use it for fuel, thatch, fodder, tea, and as a dye. Growing the plants increases the soils fertility.
The flowering shoots of heather are used for insomnia, stomach pains, coughs, and skin problems. Heather, used fresh or dry, strengthens the heart and slightly raises the blood pressure. Heather is slightly diuretic. Fresh or dried heather shoots are simmered, four teaspoons to a cup of water; the dose is one-half cup a day.
Parts Used: Flowering shoot
Magical Uses: Heather is a Goddess herb associated with the planet Venus and sacred to Isis. It is carried as a guard against rape and other violent crimes, or just to bring good luck. White heather is the best for this purpose. Heather when burned with fern outside attracts rain, or dip heather and fern in water and sprinkle around to conjure rain. Heather has also long been used to conjure ghosts. Red Heather is used for passion, to start or end an affair. Purple for spiritual development. White for cooling passions of unwanted suitors.
- HOLLY: (Ilex aquifolium) The American variety is Ilex opaca. A Druid sacred tree. Sacred to the Winter Solstice, when it is used for decorating. The leaf is dried and used as tea for fevers, bronchitis, bladder problems, and gout. Steep a half ounce of the chopped leaf in boiled water for twenty minutes; take up to one cup a day. The juice of the fresh leaf is helpful in jaundice; take one tablespoon per day.
CAUTION: the berries are poisonous!
Parts Used: Leaf
Magical Uses: Holly, with it's warrior-like bristles, is known as an herb of protection. Cast it about to repel unwanted animals and spirits. Sprinkle newborn babies with "holly water" (water in which holly has been soaked, especially if left under a full moon overnight) to keep them happy and safe. Holly is one of the evergreens brought into the home by Druids. It symbolizes a willingness to allow the nature spirits to share one'e abode during the harsh, cold season.
Planted near a house, holly repels negative spells sent against you. A bag of leaves and berries carried by a man increases his ability to attract women. Carry to promote good luck. Energy; Power; Strength; Protection.
After midnight on a Friday, without making a sound, gather nine holly leaves, preferably from a non-spiny plant. Wrap these up in a white cloth using nine knots the tie the ends together. Place this beneath your pillow, and your dreams will come true. The traditional crowns for the bride and groom are made of holly (a male plant) and ivy (a female plant), wreaths and altar decoration are made of these as well.
- HONEYSUCKLE: (Lonicera japonica) This evergreen or semi-evergreen vine has hairy leaves and fragrant spring to summer flowers that open white and turn yellow, followed by poisonous black berries.
Properties cited are for the common flower that grows wild, rather that the ornamental varieties. The flowers have a broad spectrum antimicrobial effect against salmonella, staphyloccus, and streptococcus. Chinese herbalists have long recognized honeysuckle as an antibiotic herb for colds, flus, and fevers. Sore throats, conjunctivitis, and inflammations of the bowel, urinary tract, and reproductive organs have been treated with it. It is said to be useful in treating cancer. Combine it with seeds of Forsythia suspensii, the well-known yellow flowering shrub, or Echinacea augustifolia or E. purpurea for maximum antivirul and antibacterial effect. Steep two teaspoons per cup for twenty minutes. The dose is a quarter cup, four times a day.
Parts Used: Flower
Magical Uses: Health-Healing; Love; Luck; Creativity; Prophetic Dreams; Protection; Psychic Awareness; Divination; Clairvoyance; Anointing; Balance. Lightly crush the fresh flowers and then rub on the forehead to heighten psychic powers. Ring green candles with honeysuckle flowers to attract money.
- HOPS: (Humulus lupulus) Also known as Beer Flavor. A Druid sacred herb, this herbaceous twining herb has large toothed leaves and flowers with a distinctive scent of beer. The young shoots are eaten as a vegetable and the leaves blanched for soups, but Hops are cultivated mainly for the brewing industry. The ripe, female flowers, called "strobiles," are added to beer to flavor, clarify, and preserve it. A pillow stuffed with dried hops aids sleep and healing.
Parts Used: Flower
Magical Uses: Use in exorcism incenses and mixtures, as well as healing sachets.
- HOREHOUND: (Marrubium vulgare) Horehound is a woolly herb with a faint scent of wormwood, crinkled hairy leaves, and flowering stems with whorls of small white blossoms. Navajo mothers were given a root decoction before and after childbirth. Horehound's woolly leaves were once used to clean milk pails, and the dried flower remains were floated on oil as candle wicks. The leaves are used in tonics, liqueurs, and ales, and are made into expectorant and antiseptic cough drops. An infusion relaxes muscles, and helps expel mucus, treating bronchitis, croup, and asthma. It destroys intestinal worms, and acts as a digestive and liver tonic and a laxative. The tea is used internally and externally to treat eczema and shingles.
Parts Used: Leaf
Magical Uses: Use in protective sachets and carry to guard against sorcery and fascination. Also scattered as an exorcism herb. Drink an infusion of the herb and it will clear your mind and promote quick thinking as well as strengthen the mental powers. Horehound, when mixed with ash leaves and placed in a bowl of water, releases healing vibrations, and should be placed in a sickroom.
- HYSSOP: Hysopus officinalis Hyssop is a semievergreen shrub or subshrub with aromatic leaves and spikes of blue, two-lipped, late-summer flowers. The leaf is added to liqueurs, adds bit to sweet and savory dished, and aids in the digestion of fatty meat. Once used for purifying temples and cleansing lepers, the leaves contain an antiseptic, antiviral oil. A mold that produces penicillin grows on the leaves. An infusion id taken as a sedative expectorant for flu, bronchitis, and phlegm. A leaf poultice treats bruises and wounds. The antiseptic, antiviral, but hazardous essential oil is used in perfumes and to treat cold sores, disperse bruises, and heal scars. Hyssop is added to potpourri and laundry rinses. Hyssop is used in companion to distract cabbage butterflies and planted near vines to increase yield. It should be avoided when pregnant and by those with hypertension and epilepsy.
The herb is used (often in combination with sage, which has similar properties, or horehound) for respiratory tract infections. Flu, sore throats, lung complaints, asthma, chronic bronchitis, gas, and bloating are treated by it. Externally, it is used as a wound herb for bruises, injuries, and rheumatism. The green tops of the herb can be added to soups to benefit asthmatics. Hyssop baths are useful for rheumatic complaints. Make a standard infusion of the herb using two teaspoons per cup of water and steeping for twenty minutes. The dose is one-fourth cup four times a day.
Parts Used: The above ground portions of the herb
Magical Uses: Hyssop was a holy herb of the ancient Greeks, used to cleanse sacred spaces. It is the most widely used purification herb in magic. Hyssop can be burned in incense, worn, used in decorations, and added to the chalice. Use a bunch to ritually "sweep" the altar as a preparation for a ceremonial rite. It is added to baths in sachets, infused and sprinkled on objects or persons to cleanse them, and hung up in the home to purge it of evil negativity.
Aromatherapy Uses Bruises; Cuts; Dermatitis; Eczema; Inflammation; Wounds; Low or High Blood Pressure; Rheumatism; Asthma; Bronchitis; Catarrh; Cough; Flu; Sore Throat; Tonsillitis; Whooping Cough; Colic; Indigestion; Amenorrhea; Leukorrhea; Anxiety; Fatigue; Nervous Tension; Stress related Conditions. Key Qualities: Tonic; Cephalic; Nervine; Warming; Calming; Purifying; Cleansing; Aphrodisiac; Mental Stimulant; balancing.
- IVY: (Hedera helix) A Druid Sacred Herb. An ancient plant, believed by the Greeks to treat intoxication, its toxic leaves are used as a poultice to soothe neuralgia, rheumatism, and sciatica, and in a tincture for toothache and whooping cough. They reduce fevers, expel worms and in a compress, reduce cellulite. They contain saponins and in solution, darken hair, blacken silk and taffeta. Ivy leaves kill some amoebas, fungi and mollusks.
Tender ivy twigs are simmered in salves to heal sunburn; follow the standard instruction for salves. The leaves are used as a douche for vaginal infections. Externally, ivy is used in poultices to heal nerves, sinews, ulcers, enlarged glands, boils and abscesses.
Parts Used: Twig and leaf
Magical Uses: Connected with the Winter Solstice when it is used for decorating. Ivy provides protection when growing on or near a house. Ivy is equated with fidelity and is woven into marriage wreaths. Use in charms to bind luck, love, and fidelity to your person. It is paired with holly, magically. Ivy is carried by women for good luck in general, and is worn by brides for the same reason. Traditional crowns for the bride and groom are made of holly (a male plant) and ivy (a female plant). Wreaths and altar decorations are made from these as well.
- JASMINE: (Jasminum officinale) Common Jasmine is a deciduous shrub with strongly scented, white summer flowers.
The flowers make a tea that calms the nerves and increases erotic feelings. Steep two teaspoons of flowers per cup of water for twenty minutes. The dose is a quarter cup,, four times a day. The oil of the leaf is rubbed on the head to heal the eyes. A syrup of jasmine flowers and honey will help with coughs and lung complaints. The essential oil of jasmine is said to help menstrual pain and lung problems.
CAUTION: The berries are poisonous.
Parts Used: Flower
Magical Uses: Symbolic of the moon and of the mysteries of the night. Jasmine essential oil is useful for sexuality, DON'T use synthetics! Dried Jasmine flowers are added to sachets and other love mixtures. They will attract a spiritual (as opposed to a physical)love. The flowers will also draw wealth and money if carried, burned or worn. Jasmine will also cause prophetic dreams if burned in the bedroom, and the flowers are smelled to induce sleep. Use for: Anointing; Balance; Luck; Fortune; Justice; Happiness; Harmony; Peace; Prophetic dreams; Meditation; Money; Riches; Astral Projection.
Aromatherapy Uses Aphrodisiac; Dry, greasy, irritated skin; Muscular spasms; sprains; Coughs; Hoarseness; Laryngitis; Frigidity; Labor Pains; Uterine Disorders; Depression; Nervous Exhaustion; Stress Related Conditions. Key Qualities: Intoxicating; Uplifting; Anti-depressant; Euphoric; Balancing; Warming; Tonic.
- JUNIPER: (Juniperus communis) A Druid sacred tree, Juniper is an evergreen tree or shrub with needle-like leaves in threes and berrylike cones that ripen to blue-black in their second or third year.
Primarily a diuretic, the berries help digestive problems, gastrointestinal inflammations, and rheumatism. The berries are taken as a tea (simmer two teaspoons per cup of water for ten minutes; take up to one cup four times a day), or taken as jam or syrup in water, mild, or herb tea. The dry berries can be chewed; three a day is sufficient.
CAUTION: Pregnant women and people with weak kidneys should not use juniper berry.
Parts Used: Berry and young twig
Magical Uses: Probably one of the earliest incenses used by Mediterranean Witches. Its berries were used with thyme in Druid and grove incenses for visions. Juniper grown by the door discourages thieves. The mature berries can be strung in the house to attract love. Men use the berries to increase potency. Burn Juniper as incense for: Exorcism; Protection; Healing; Love. The Essential oil is useful in protection, purification and healing blends.
Aromatherapy Uses Acne; Dermatitis; Eczema; Hair Loss; Hemorrhoids; Wounds; Tonic for Oily Complexions; Accumulation of Toxins; Arteriosclerosis; Cellulite; Gout; Obesity; Rheumatism; Colds; Flu; Infections; Anxiety; Nervous Tension; Stress Related Conditions. Key Qualities: Aphrodisiac; Purifying; Clearing; Depurative; Nerve Tonic; Reviving; Protective; Restorative.
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© 1998-2002 Joelle Miller