Acacia – (Acacia Senegal) Folk Names: Cape Gum, Egyptian Thorn, Gum Arabic Tree|
The Acacia is a tall tree with dark stems and branches with bright yellow flowers. The pods with their characteristic indentions are up to 15cm long and contain 30% tannin.
Ritual Uses: In India, the wood is used as fuel in scared fires, and also in building temples.
Magickal Uses: Place a sprig of the tree over the bed to ward of evil. To stimulate psychic powers, burn with sandlewood. Use in spells for money and platonic love.
Aconite –(Aconitum Napellus) Folk Names: Monkshood, Wolfbane Caution: This plant is poisonous! A small amount taken internally can cause death, and its juice was once applied to arrow tips to kill wolves.
Herbal Uses: Add to salves for its painkilling effect on rheumatism, neuralgia, and lumbago. A tincture given in one-drop doses for heart failure, high fevers, pneumonia, pleurisy and tonsillitis. Because of its deadly nature, herbal aconite should be avoided.
Homeopathic Uses: Homeopaths use Aconitum Napellus for conditions of mental and physical restlessness; fear and shock; a great fear of death; acute, sudden, and violent fevers; conditions brought on by dry, cold weather and winds; and influenza. Homeopathic aconite, being very diluted, can be antidote by large amounts of Vinegar.
Magickal Uses: Protection from werewolves and vampires. It is also a classical ingredient in flying ointments, which usually also contain henbane, belladonna, hemlock, and soot. “Without the angel of death, no new life would be possible, and so we honor death and the dead by burning aconite as funeral incense and by planting it on a loved one’s grave.
Acorns – (Quercus spp.) (See also Oak)
Pliny says that acorns were roasted and/or dried, then ground into flour to be made into bread. They were also valued as fodder for pigs. Certain species of acorns are bitter and must be leached in water before processing.
Homeopathic Uses: Quercus glandium spiritus (a tincture of acorns) is used for edema, splenetic dropsy, liver problems, gout, and to take away the craving for alcohol.
Magickal Uses: Acorns bring fertility and abundance to every sphere of life. Carry one for good fortune, wear them, and use them to decorate the alter and home.
Adam and Eve roots – (Orchis spp.)
Magickal Uses: To attract love, carry the two small roots in a small bag, at all times. To be free from amatory competitors, sew them into the bag. Give them to a couple to ensure continued happiness.
Adder’s Tongue – (Erythronium americanum) Folk Names: American Adder’s Tongue, Serpent’s Tongue, Adder’s Mouth.
Magickal Uses: Soak adder’s tongue in cold water then apply it to a wound or bruise (wrapped in a piece of cloth) until the herb grows warm. Bury the wet herb in a muddy area and the wound will heal.
Adder’s Tongue Fern – (Ophioglossum vulgatum)
Homeopathic Uses: Take fresh as a juice of the leaf for internal injuries, and use also in salves.
African Violet – (Saintpaulia ionantha)
Magickal Uses: To promote spirituality within your home grow the purple-colored flower. They are also slightly protective when grown.
Agaric – POISON (Amanita musscaria) Folk Names: Death Angel, Death Cap, Magic Mushroom, Redcap Mushroom, Sacred Mushroom.
Ritual Uses: Speculation is that at least some of the mystery religions have centered their secret rituals around the use of amanita.
Magickal Uses: To increase fertility, place in the bedroom or on the alter. Remember, the amanita is so virulently poisonous that it is unwise to use it.
Agrimony – (Agrimonia eupatoria) Folk Names: Church Steeples, Cocklebur, Garclive, Philanthropos, Sticklewort, Stickwort.
Magickal Uses: Use in all protection spells and sachets, and to banish negative energies and spirits. It protects against goblins, evil and poison. Has long been used for reversal spells. It not only breaks hexes, but it also sends them back to the hexer. According to ancient lore, place under the head to make one sleep as if dead, but don’t do this for insomnia: the sleeper will not awaken until it is removed.
Ague Root – (Aletris farinose) Folk Names: Ague Grass, Bitter Grass, Black-Root, Crow Corn, Stargrass, Starwort, True Unicorn Root, Unicorn Root.
Magickal Uses: To keep evil at bay, sprinkle around your house or carry in a sachet. Used in hex-breaking and uncrossing rituals and mixtures.
Alfalfa – (Medicago sativa) Folk Names: Buffalo Herb, Lucerne, Purple Medic.
Magickal Uses: To protect from poverty and hunger, keep it in your home in a small jar placed in the cupboard or pantry. Burn alfalfa and scatter the ashes around your property for this same purpose. Use also, in money spells.
Alkanet – (Anchusa spp.)
Alkanet is about 30cm high. It has a thick root with purplish root bark. The principle use of this herb and its roots is as a source for red dye. With oil or alcohol as a mordant it produces a red dye, but with the addition of alum the color becomes gray-green.
Homeopathic Uses: It is also employed as an antiseptic ointment. The unguent to treat an inflammation is powdered carob pod, powdered beans, alkanet, a resin, moringa oil and ‘pure oil’.
All~heal – See Self~heal, Valerian
Allspice – (Pimenta dulcis)
Magickal Uses: Use to promote healing. Burn as an incense to attract money or luck, also add to such mixtures.
Almond – (Amygdalus communis)The almond tree is native to central Asia.
Herbal Uses: It is emollient, demulcent, and laxative. Chew well and slowly. The raw almond has been described as a cancer preventative. Arabs crossing the desert live on only almonds, dates, and water. One once can be soaked in four ounces of water, overnight, then blended in the morning to make a milk substitute. Peeled almonds relieve heartburn. Grind almonds to make a facial scrub. Almond oil relieves coughs and hoarseness. Diabetics are advised to use the butter and flour because they have very little starch. Caution! Almonds contain hydro cyanic acid and can be toxic if eaten in larger amounts (over fifty kernels for an adult, ten for a child).
Homeopathic Uses: Amygdalus amara (bitter almond) is used in a fresh infusion or as a tincture for painful tonsils, difficulty swallowing, vomiting, and a cough with sore chest. Use in a massage to bring about perspiration. Essential oil of bitter almond is poisonous, containing prussic acid.
Magickal Uses: The leaves wood and nuts are used in prosperity and money spells. Climbing an Almond tree ensures success in business ventures. Eat almonds to cure or combat fevers as well as give wisdom. Eat five almonds before drinking to prevent intoxication. Magick wands are made of almond (Air). In the Greek tradition, Phyllis was deserted by her lover Demophoon and died of grief. The gods changed her into a barren almond tree. When Demophoon returned and embraced the tree, it burst into leaf and flower – a symbol of true love transcending death. Placing almonds in your pocket will lead you to treasure.
Aloe - (aloe vera, A. spp.) Folk Names: Burn Plant, Medicine Plant. Aloe is a succulent with clusters of fleshy leaves, prickly at the margin and tip. May produce a woody stem up to 15m tall. It has spikes of yellow, orange and red flowers. Native to the south and east of Africa. In the Bible, the plant was known as ahaloth and was used as a perfuming agent (e.g. John 19:39-40).
Homeopathic Uses: The juice contains a volatile oil and aloins which are a purgative. It is used as a soothing and moisturing ingredient in skin care, and to heal skin inflammation, sores and burns, Because of its purgative effect, it should not be used for pregnancy or hemorrhoids.
Magickal Uses: The aloe is protective. It guards against evil and prevents accidents. In Africa, aloe is hung over doors to keep evil away, as well as bring good luck. In Mexico, large wreathes of garlic bulbs are festooned with pictures of saints, sachets of magickal herbs, lodestones, rock salt, pine nuts and clumps of freshly cut aloe. They are hung in the home for luck, money, protection and so forth.
Aloes, wood – (Aqyilaria agallocha) Folk Names: Lignum Aloes
Magickal Uses: In ancient Egypt it was use to attract good fortune. During the Renaissance it was burned as an incense in magickal avocatory rites. It has high spiritual vibrations and, if worn, will attract love. Modern magickal herbalists add it, in a small amount, to other mixtures to intensify their powers, as it is a strengthening herb.
Althea – (Althaea officinalis) Folk Names: Marshmallow, Mortification Root, Sweet Weed, Wymote.
It is an erect perennial, growing up to 1.25 m, with hairy leaves and stem, with white or pink flowers with five petals.
Herbal Uses: It is soothing, healing herb. Often a decoction of the root is prescribed for asthma, bronchitis, hoarseness (the famous althaea sweets), and to relieve inflammations and gastritis. The flowers, leaves and seeds are used in infusions. Theophrastus mentions mixing the root with sweet wine for coughs.
Magickal Uses: Althea is used in protection rites and as a psychic power stimulator by burning as an incense or carrying in a sachet. In Voodoo practice it is known as a good “spirit-puller”, i.e. it brings good spirits in during rituals when placed on an alter.
Alyssum – (Alyssum spp.) Folk Names: Alison, Madwort.
Magickal Uses: Dioscorides recommended Alyssum as an amulet, for its power to ‘ex-pel charms’. Hang in the house to protect against fascination (also known as ‘glamour’). Placed in the hand or on the body, it will cool down an angry person. It is rumored to even cure hydrophobia (rabies).
Amaranth - (Amaranthus hypochondriacus) Folk Names: Flower of Immortality.Huauhtli (Aztec), Love-Lies Bleeding, Red Cockscomb, Velvet Flower.
Ritual Uses: This flower was used in pagan burial rites. The Spanish colonial authority in Mexico outlawed it because the Aztec used it in their rituals.
Magickal Uses: To speed healing, were a crown of Amaranth. To make sure that you are never struck with a bullet, pull up a whole plant (including roots) on a Friday during the full moon. Leave an offering to the plant, and then fold it, roots and all, in a piece of white cloth. Wear this against your breast to be ‘bullet-proof’. Dried flowers are used to call forth the dead and carried to mend a broken heart. Wear a wreath for invisibility.
Anemone – (Anemone pulsatilla) Folk Names: Meadow Anemone, Pasque Flower, Passe Flower. Wind Flower.
Magickal Uses: Gather the first blossoms of spring and wrap them in a red cloth and wear to prevent disease. Grow red anemones to protect both your garden and home. Use the blossoms in healing rituals.
Angelica – (Angelica Archangelica) Folk Names: Archangel, Masterwort. A famous French treat is candied angelica stems.
Herbal Uses: Caution: Heart, blood pressure and respiration may be affected if indicated amounts are exceeded. Used as a tincture or infusion the herb will raise body temperature and promote digestion. It will start menstruation. Use it to induce sweet and warm the body for colds and influenza. To remove the taste for alcohol use as a decoction using teaspoons of the dried root simmered for two minutes in two cups water for twenty minutes. Drink one cup twice daily. For skin problems and rheumatism use as a salve.
Magickal Uses: Scatter the leaves to purify an area. Use in the ritual challis and bath. Add to incense for protection and exorcism. Some American Indian tribes carried a talisman of this root for luck in gambling. It is sometimes added to herbal “tobacco” formals (it is said to cause visions).
Anise – (Pimpinella anisum) Folk Names: Anneys, Aniseed.
During Roman times, the seeds were baked into the wedding cake and served at the end of the wedding feast.
Herbal Uses: The seeds will help move gas out of the intestines. Used as a tea or lozenge for hard coughs. For tea, steep one teaspoon in one cup boiled water for ten minutes. The dose is up to one and a half cups daily. A tincture can also be made of the seeds by using two ounces to one half quart of brandy and lemon peel. Let this sit for twenty days, and then take one teaspoon as needed. These seeds are what make the liquor Anisette, which when mixed with hot water is a remedy for bronchitis and asthma. Sweeten the tea with honey and give for lung colds. Epilepsy, smoker’s cough and colic can be treated with anise seeds. Simmer one teaspoon in one half pint of milk for ten minutes, strain and drink hot. Use the oil as a natural insecticide.
Magickal Uses: To dispel nightmares, fill a pillowcase with seeds and sleep on it. Used for protection and meditation the leaves are placed around the magick circle for protection from evil spirits. Add to the purification bath with bay leaves. “A sprig hung on the bedpost will restore lost youth.”
Apple – (Pyrus spp.) Folk Names: Fruit of the Gods, Fruit of the Underworld, Silver Branch, The silver Bough, Tree of Love. In Greece, August 13th was the festival of Diana (Venus in Rome). Apples (most likely the variety Court Pendu Plat), still hanging on the bough, were part of this ritual meal. The Bible names it tappuah and is mentioned by Theophrastus, Pliny and Dioscorides with Prospero Alpini mentioning it as part of the Egyptian diet.
Ritual Uses: For rites of love, healing and immortality, burn the blossoms as incense, wear the perfume and make them into candles. Altars are often adorned with apples on Samhain (sometimes known as the ‘Feast of Apples’). A Silver Bough, branch bearing the fruit, buds and flowers, is a symbol of immortality allowing the possessor to enter the land of the Gods. In an English ballad, Thomays the Rymour (Thomas the Rhymer), Mab, the Queen of the Fairies, warns him about eating the apples and pears which are in her garden,” for to eat the food of the dead ensures there will be no return to the world of the living”. In some traditions it represents the soul and are buried on Samhain for those to be reborn in the spring to have food during the winter months.
Magickal Uses: To give life to a freshly plowed garden, pour cider just before planting. Also do this just before tree rituals. If you are growing apples, to insure a good harvest next year, bury thirteen leaves after this years harvest. Apple wood is good for wand for use in emotional magick and the cider may be used in place of blood. Fashion the wood and the apples into poppets for use in spells. It is said that Unicorns live underneath apple and ash trees. On a quiet and misty day you might be able to see on munching on an apple.
Apricot – (Prunus Armeniaca)
Magickal Uses: For love spells and potions (of course) use the juice, and add the leaves and flowers to sachets. Carry the pit to attract your love and eat one for a sweeter disposition.
Arabic, gum – (Acacia vera)Folk Names: Arabic, Egyptian Gum, Indian Gum.
Magickal Uses: Add to incense or smolder on charcoal for purification.
Arborvitae – (Thuja occidentalis) Folk Names: Yellow Cedar.
Magickal Uses: To purify the home and ritual area as well as to enhance psychic powers, use in smudge stick and incense.
Arbutus – (Arbutus unede)
The Romans used it to protect children and to chase evil away. The Greeks used it in exorcisms.
Arnica – (Arnica chamissonis)
Used by Homeopaths for wounds bruises. It stimulates the white blood cells so they clear away bacteria. Caution: may cause skin rash and must not be taken internally except in its homeopathic form.
Asafoetida /Asafetida – (Ferula foetida) Folk Names: Assyfetida, Devil’s Dung, Food of the Gods.
Herbal Uses: This herb has a very strong and odd odor (sometimes called horrid) and has been known to induce vomiting. Use the resin to treat stomach and intestinal flu, gas and bloating. (Add to beans as they cook, just a pinch though!) Good for cases of Candida albicans. Use for bronchitis and whooping couch and colic (newborns should get it through their mother’s milk). It may also be administered to infant’s rectually. Make an emulsion of four parts to one hundred parts water and insert.
Magickal Uses: Wear in a bag, with garlic, to dispel disease and evil. Throw into the fire during rites to destroy the manifestations of spirits.
Ash – (Fraxinus excelsior or F. americana) Folk Name: Nion. Snakes have an innate fear of Ash and will not cross over it. For your new born to be a good singer bury their first nail clippings under an ash.
Herbal Uses: the bark can be used as a substitute for quinine for intermittent fevers. To clear the spleen and liver simmer two tablespoons of the bark for twenty minutes in a cup of water, take a quarter cup four times daily. Gather the leaves before Midsummer and use as a laxative by steeping two teaspoons in one-cup water for twenty minutes. Take a fourth of a cup daily.
Homeopathic Uses: For uterine tumors and fibroids use Fraxinus americana. For gout and rheumatism use Fraxinus excelsior.
Magickal Uses: Ygdrasill (Ash) is the sacred tree of the world to the Teutons. Use to make protective and healing wands. Place a few ash leaves in a bowl of water by the bed, leave overnight, to prevent illness. This must be discarded every morning and repeat the ritual every night. Ash brings light into the hearth at the Winter Solstice, so burn as the Yule log. A solar cross carved out of ash brings protection against drowning. Also used in sea rituals because it represents the power of the sea. Wear a garter of the green bark to protect against magick. Scatter the leaves in the four directions for protection.
Aspen – (Populus spp.) Folk Names: European Aspen.
Plant in your garden or yard to protect against thieves.
Magickal Uses: For eloquence, place a leaf under your tongue.
Asphodel – (Asphodelus ramosus)
Herbal Uses: Promotes menstruation and is an antispasmodic. Simmer two teaspoons to a cup of water and take one fourth cup four times daily. Apply a poultice externally to swellings and infections.
Magickal Uses: The ancients considered white asphodel to be a favorite food of the dead and planted it on graves. (You can either roast in ashes and eat, or dried and boiled and added to bread.) Offerings were left on graves as a gift. The corpse was also ritually bathed in asphodel.
Aster – (Callistephus chinensis) Folk Names: China Aster, Michaelmas Daisy, Starwort.
Ritual Uses: Being sacred to all the gods, it was placed on alters for festivals by the Greeks.
Magickal Uses: For love, grow in your garden with a wish, carry the blossoms or put in sachets.
Avens – (Geum urbanum) Folk Names: Assaranaccara, Bennet, Blessed Herb, Clove Root, Colewort, Golden Star, Harefoot, Herb Bennet, Minarta, Pesleporis, Star of the Earth, Way Bennet, Yellow Avens.
Magickal Uses: Use in exorcism and purification rites by adding to incense, mixtures and sprinkling around ritual area. Protects against venomous beasts when worn as an amulet. American Indian males use it to gain love.
Avocado – (Persea americana) Folk Names: Ahuacotl (Aztec: Testicle Tree), Alligator Pear, Persea. Revered by the Egyptians.
Magickal Uses: Ancient Aztecs ate the fruit to be overtaken by lust. If you grow a plant from the pit it will bring love to your home and carry the pit to bring money.
Aztec Sweet Herb – (Lippia dulcis) Folk Names: Yerba Dulce. An expectorant for colds and coughs. Used as a sweetener for teas as the leaves contain hernandulcin, a compound 1000 times sweeter than sugar.