Hawthorn - (Crataegus oxacantha) Folk Names: Bread and Cheese Tree, Gaxels, Hagthorn, Halves, Haw, Hazels, Huath, Ladies’ Meat, May, Mayblossom, May Bush, Mayflower, Quick, Thorn, Tree of Chastity|
On Beltaine, young women wash their faces with the dew of the hawthorn blossoms while petitioning the God or Goddess to give them beauty. The blossoms were also used to decorate the May pole if the tree itself was not used. At one time it was believed that the trees were actually witches.
Herbal Uses: The berry is a superior heat 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 the 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. As a tincture, take ten to twenty drops four times a day. The flowers are taken as 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.
Homeopathic Uses: Homeopaths use hawthorn as a heart tonic for irregular heartbeat, myocarditis, insomnia, edema, arteriosclerosis, and juvenile diabetes.
Magickal Uses: Hawthorn is the classic flower to decorate a maypole. An herb of fertility, it finds its place in weddings, May Day decorations, and ritual groves. Beltaine was once reckoned as the day the hawthorn first bloomed. Conversely the leaves may be place under the mattress to ensure chastity or celibacy. When carried it ensures good fishing and promotes happiness in those who are depressed or sad. It will protect the home from lightning, storms and evil ghosts. Hawthorn is part of the fairy tree triad of Britain (Oak, Ash and Thorn), making it sacred to fairies. Where all three are found growing together it is believed that fairies may be found.
Hazel - (Corylus spp.) Folk Names: Coll
Herbal Uses: Hazel nuts are rich in phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, and copper. Culpeper 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 to form a paste, which is eaten several times a day in tablespoon doses. Add pepper to discharge phlegm.
Magickal Uses: Hazel is an ancient Celtic tree of wisdom, inspiration and poetry. Diancecht, the god of healing, invented a porridge that would cure colds, sore throats, and worms. According to legend, it consisted of hazel bubs, dandelions, chickweed, sorrel, and oatmeal. It was to be taken in the mornings and evenings. The nuts are strung and hung in the house for good luck. Give this to a bride to wish her luck in her home. The nuts are often eaten for wisdom and fertility especially before divination. Hazel crowns have been used for granting wishes and invisibility. To protect your home from lightning place the twigs in the window frames, driving three pins of hazel wood into your home will protect it from fire. Forked hazel branches are used by dowsers and hazel in general make fine all purpose wands.
Heart-of-the-earth - See Self-heal
Heather - (Calluna spp. Erica spp.) Folk Names: Common Heather, Heath, Ling, Scottish Heather
Herbal Uses: 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 the cup; the dose is one-half cup per day.
Magickal Uses: Heather is a goddess herb associated with the planet Venus and sacred to Isis. White heather, when carried, guards against rape and other violent crimes and bring good luck. When burned outside, along with fern, it attracts rain. Dipping heather and fern into water and sprinkling it around will also conjure rain. Also use to conjure ghosts.
Heliotrope - (Heliotropium europaeum or H. arborescens) Poison Folk Names: Cherry Pie, Turnsole
Magickal Uses: Heliotrope induces prophetic dreams when placed beneath the pillow. Use in exorcism incenses and mixtures or healing sachets. To increase your prosperity place in your pocket or purse or ring green candles with it and burn down to the socket. For invisibility, wear or carry a small horn filled with heliotrope. Your actions and movements will not draw attention.
Hellebore, Black - (Helleborus niger) Poison Folk Names: Melampode
At one time it was used in exorcism rituals and to induce astral projection but because of its poisonous nature it is considered to dangerous to use.
Magickal Uses: Powdered hellebore scattered before you will cause you to be invisible.
Hemlock - (Conium maculatum) Poison Folk Names: Beaver Poison, Herb Bennet, Keckies, Kex, Musquash Root, Poison Hemlock, Poison Parsley, Spotted Corobane, Spotted Hemlock, Water Parsley
Once used to induce astral projections and to destroy sexual drives.
Magickal Uses: Rub the juice (be sure to protect your hands) onto magickal knives and swords to empower and purify them before use.
Sacred to Hekate and a very Saturn-like preoccupation with borders, like other baneful herbs, hemlock likes to grow along roads, ditches, trails, or the edges of fields. This baneful herb is used for magickal work involving astral travel and for purifying ritual swords and knives. The flowers are used in spells to cause impotence in men, and the plant is good for ritually paralyzing a situation. In Europe, it is considered one of the quintessential witching plants and an essential in any witch's garden. It has been cultivated there since at least the Middle Ages.
This is not a North American native plant. Despite its high toxicity, it was brought over to North America as an ornamental and has made itself at home here, naturalizing widely.
As its name indicates, this plant is quite poisonous. Symptoms of hemlock poisoning include nervousness, trembling, un-coordination, dilated pupils, weak heartbeat, cold extremities, coma, and death caused by respiratory failure. Because of the scent (poisonous plants find harmless ways of letting us know they are poisonous), animals generally leave this alone unless they are herbivores and have nothing else to eat.
The warmer the weather, the higher the alkaloid (poisonous) content, although heating or boiling destroys the toxin. The highest concentration of alkaloids generally follows an upward path through the season (roots > stem > leaves > seeds), but toxicity varies with climate, soil, and even with the time of day. Be wary of this plant--0.5% by weight is enough to kill a person, and people have died from eating as few as 8 leavesYou can absorb its chemicals through your skin. Respiratory muscles are paralyzed, and you suffocate. Hemp - (Cannibis sativa) Folk Names: Chanvre, Gallowgrss, Ganeb, Ganja, Grass, Hanf, Hash, Hashish, Kif, Marijuana, Mary Jane, Keckweede, Pot, Reefer, Tekrouri, Weed
An herb once widely used in magick but since the 1930’s, when laws were enacted that restricted its use and sale, may of the old practices have stopped.
Herbal Uses: The seeds have none of the intoxicating effects of the leaves and flowers. The seeds are used as a laxative for people in a weakened state (such as, the elderly, post-partum women, the anemic, and those with high fevers). One once of the ground seed is simmered in one quart of water until the liquid is reduced to a pint; three doses (one third pint each) a day are given. The leaf is used to allay the nausea associated with chemotherapy, as a tranquilizer, and for glaucoma. Smoke it or make a tea of two teaspoons per cup of water, steeped for twenty minutes. Take on-fourth cup four times a day. Painful urinary conditions, gonorrhea, and painful menstruation have been treated by it. One to three drops of the tincture of the herb, taken every three hours, has been claimed to cure gonorrhea.
Homeopathic Uses: Homeopaths use Cannabis sativa for stuttering, confusion of thought and speech, cataracts, burning urine, bad dreams, and oppressed breathing that is better when standing up.
Magickal Uses: An old love spell, called the “Hempseed Spell”, is to take a handful of hempseeds to a church at midnight on the summer solstice, sprinkling the seeds as you walk and reciting the following:
Henbane - (Hyosycamus niger) Poison Folk Names: Black Nightshade, Cassilago, Cassilata, Deus Caballinus, Devil’s Eye, Hebenon, Henbells, Hogsbean, Isana, Jupiter’s Bean, Jusquiame (French), Poison Tobacco, Symphonica
Magickal Uses: Henbane is till used sometimes as a love-bringing herb. To bring love, a man should gather henbane naked, early in the morning, while standing on one foot. Worn it will bring love. When burned outdoors it brings rain but due to the poisonous fumes this would cause it is best to substitute fern for this operation.
Henbane was a common admixture to witches brews. The Priestesses of Delphi was thought to have used Henbane for prophetic purposes. Hyoscyamus niger was used in magic infusions to produce clairvoyant trance states. In the middle ages the dried herb and seeds were smoked as cigarettes.
Hyoscyamus niger (Henbane) plants, like other solanacea plants, contain tropane alkaloids and should be regarded as poisonous.
Henna - (Lawsonia inermis)
Magickal Uses: Place on the forehead to relieve headaches. To attract love wear near the heart, also when carried it protects from illness and the evil eye.
Hibiscus - (Hibiscus spp.) Folk Names: Kharkady (Arabic)
Magickal Uses: In Egypt, women are forbidden to drink the tea made from red hibiscus because of its lust inducing powers. The blossoms are used in love incenses and sachets and in the tropics; the blossoms are placed in wreaths in marriage ceremonies. The Dobu of the Western Pacific place the blossoms in wooden scrying bowls.
Hickory - (Carya spp.)
Magickal Uses: After burning a hickory root, mix the ashes with cinquefoil and place in a box which is hung over the door. This will ensure that you will not have trouble with the law.
High John The Conqueror - (Ipomoea Purga or I. Jalapa) Poison
Magickal Uses: To attract money, carry a root anointed with mint oil in a green sachet. It is also carried to stop depression, bring love, success, protect from and destroy all hexes and curses. To make all-purpose anointing oil, take three roots. Make small cuts into then with a knife and place in a bottle of vegetable, olive, or mineral oil. Let the oil rest for several weeks. The roots may be left in the oil if desired and use to anoint candles, sachets, etc.
Holly - (Ilex aquifolium or I. Opaca) Folk Names: Aquifolius, Bat’s Wings, Christ’s Thorn, Holy Tree, Holm Chaste, Hulm, Hulver Bush, Tinne
Herbal Uses: The leaf is dried and used as a tea for fevers, bronchitis, bladder problems, and gout. Steep half an once of the chopped leaf in boiled water for twenty minutes; take one tablespoon per day. This is the familiar holly of Christmas decorations.
Homeopathic Uses: Holly can be used as a substitute for quinine. Homeopaths use Ilex aquifolium for intermittent fevers, spleen pain, and eye symptoms, especially when the symptoms are better in winter.
Magickal Uses: Holly, with its warrior-like bristles, is known as an herb or protection. Holly guards against lightning, poison and evil spirits. Grown around the home it protects from mischievous sorcerers. Throw at wild animals to cause them to quietly lie down and leave you alone. “Holly water” (water in which holly has been soaked, especially if left under a full moon overnight) is sprinkled on newborns to protect them and keep them happy. Carried by a man, it promotes good luck (holly is a ‘male’ plant, use Ivy for this for women) and hang in the home at Yule for luck. On a Friday, after midnight and in total silence, gather nine holly leaves from a non-spiny plant. Wrap in a white cloth using nine knots to tie the ends together. Place beneath your pillow to make your dreams come true. Holly is one of the evergreens brought into the home by Druids. It symbolizes a willingness to allow the nature spirits to share one’s abode during the harsh, cold season.
Hollyhock - (Althaea rosea)
Herbal Uses: Hollyhock flowers are gathered in July and August when they are in full bloom. Their actions are cooling and soothing to the mucous membranes. Mouth and throat irritations and inflammations of the neck or the bladder are helped. Steep two teaspoons of the flowers per cup of water for twenty minutes. Take one-fourth cup four times a day.
Homeopathic Uses: Homeopaths use a relative of hollyhock, Althaea officinalis (marshmallow) for irritable bladder, throat and bronchi.
Magickal Uses: Hollyhock flowers attract money, success and material wealth of all kinds. They are favored by the fairies who bring luck to the home.
Honesty - (Lunaria spp.) Folk Names: Lunary, Money Plant, Silver Dollar
Magickal Uses: When carried or scattered about will chase away all ‘monsters’. Use in spells for prosperity. Carry in the pocket or purse or place under a green candle and burn to the socket.
Honeysuckle - (Lonicera caprifolium) Folk Names: Dutch Honeysuckle, Goat’s Leaf, Woodbine
Herbal Uses: Properties are cited for the common flower that grows wild, rather than the ornamental varieties. The flowers have a broad-spectrum antimicrobial effect against salmonella, staphylococcus, 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. purpura for maximum antiviral and antibacterial effect. Steep two teaspoons per cup for twenty minutes. The dose is a quarter cup, four times a day.
Homeopathic Uses: Homeopaths use Lonicera pericylmenum for irritability of temper with violent outbursts and Lonicera xylosteum for convulsions and coma with a red face, cold temperature, and perspiration.
Magickal Uses: Honeysuckle in the home draws prosperity. Rub lightly crushed flowers on the forehead to heighten psychic power. Growing the plant in your yard will bring good luck, over the door it keeps fevers from the occupants.
Hops - (Humulus lupulus) Folk Names: Beer Flower, Flores de Cerveza
Magickal Uses: Stuff a pillow with dried hops for a restful sleep. Also use hops in incenses and sachets for healing.
Horehound - (Marrubium vulgare) Folk Names: Bull’s Blood, Eye of the Star, Haran, Hoarhound, Huran, Llwyd y cwn (Welsh), Marrubium, Maruil, Seed of Horus, Soldier’s Tea, White Horehound
Remember those awful horehound cough drops you were given as a child? Well, here’s the culprit. A potent expectorant, it was first introduced as a cough remedy in ancient Egypt. It is thought to be one of the bitter herbs of Passover. Develops pretty white flowers in the summer.
Magickal Uses: Use in protective sachets and carry to guard against sorcery and fascination. It is also an exorcism herb. Drinking an infusion of the herb will clear the mind, promote quick thinking and strengthen the mental powers. Mix with the leaves of ash in a bowl of water for the healing properties and keep in the sick room.
Horse Chestnut - (Aesculus spp.) Poison Folk Names: Buckeye
Magickal Uses: Buckeyes are carried to ward of rheumatism, backaches, arthritis, chills, to guard against giddiness, and for success in all things. Wrap a dollar around a buckeye and place in a sachet and carry to increase your prosperity.
Horseradish - (Cochlearia armoracia)
Magickal Uses: Dried and grated or ground root should be sprinkled around the home to make all evil powers leave and diffuse any spells cast against you.
Horsetail - (Equisetum spp.) Folk Names: Bottle Brush, Dutch Rushes, Paddock Pipes, Pewterwort, Shave-Grass
Magickal Uses: Use horsetail in fertility mixtures and keep in the bedroom. When a whistle is made from the stems they are used to call snakes.
Houndstongue - (Cynoglossum officinale) Folk Names: Dog-Bur, Dog’s Tongue, Gypsy Flower, Sheep Lice, Tongue of Dog, Woolmat
Magickal Uses: This herb is known to keep dogs from barking at you when you have it placed in your shoe.
Houseleek - (Sempervivum tectorum) Folk Names: Hen and Chickens, Sengren, Welcome-Home-Husband-Though-Never-So-Drunk, Welcome-Home-Husband-Though-Never-So-Late
Magickal Uses: Brings good luck and protection from lightning when grown on the roof. Wear as a love bouquet to attract love, refresh every few days.
Houttuynia - (Houttuynia cordata) Folk Names: Díêp Cá, Vap Ca
A very unusual Asian herb. Beautiful 2-3 inch heart shaped leaves with green, red and cream variegation. The leaves have a cilantro-citrus-fish sauce flavor.
Huckleberry - (Gaylussacia spp.)
Magickal Uses: The leave are lucky when placed in sachets and carried. They keep evil away and break hexes and curses. To make your dreams come true, burn the leaves in the bedroom for seven days.
Hyacinth - (Hyacinthus orientalis)
Magickal Uses: Use the dried flowers in love mixtures. Sachets made with hyacinth ease the pain of childbirth. The plant growing the bedroom prevents nightmare. Smell the fresh flowers to relieve grief and depression and to dispel fascinations.
Hydrangea - (Hydrangea arborescens) Folk Names: Seven Barks
Magickal Uses: The bark is carried, scattered around the house or burned to break hexes.
Hyssop - (Hyssopus officinalis) Folk Names: Hyssop Herb, Isopo, Ysopo, Yssop
A very old and traditional English herb with a refreshing aromatic scent. It has a slightly bitter sage-mint flavor. The lovely purple flowers are excellent for attracting bees and butterflies. Hyssopus is the name used by Hippocrates, derived from the Hebrew ezob, “holy herb.” This is not the hyssop of the Bible, that is believed to be oregano. Hyssop was a holy herb of the ancient Greeks, used to cleanse sacred spaces.
Herbal Uses: 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. Alternatively, a tincture can be made; the dose is ten to thirty drops, four times a day.
Magickal Uses: The most widely used purification herb in magick. Added to baths by sachet, infused and sprinkled or hung in the home to cleanse and rid it of evil and negativity. Hyssop can be burned as incense or added to the chalice. Use a bunch to ritually “sweep” the altar as a preparation for a ceremonial rite.