. Mace - (Myristica fragrans)
Mace is the outer hull (covering) of the Nutmeg.
Magickal Uses: Include in incense to increase psychic power.

Madder - (Rubia tinctorum) Folk Names: Dyer’s Weed
This plant, a perennial, may grow to a height of eight feet; yet it produces stems so weak that it often lies on the ground. The stalks are prickly, and the leaves, arranged in whorls, have spines on the midrib along the underside. The paired pale-yellow flowers appear after the second or third year, and are followed by small black berries. The root of this plant contains a red coloring matter, which is used in dyeing. Madder is found in southern England and in Europe and Asia Minor.
Herbal Uses: The part used is the root, which is gathered when the plant is three to six years old. It is especially useful in urinary tract afflictions in which the system has become alkaline. Madder stops bleeding and inflammations and cleanses the blood. It has been used to hasten the healing of broken bones, for diarrhea, and for fevers. It colors milk and urine red when ingested as a tea, and helps bring on the menses. Steep one teaspoon of the fresh or dry root in one cup of water for twenty minutes. Take up to one and a half cups per day. Madder has a marked effect on the liver and has been found useful in jaundice. Skin conditions benefit from the root, which is used fresh or dry in infusions. Two ounces of the root can be boiled in six quarts of water and added to the tub to make a bath will heal the skin. Madder is used to dye wool, cotton, linen, silk, and leather. Different mordents will bring out different shades of crimson. Alum is used to bring out a lacquer red; chrome gives the dye a garnet color; alum and tannic acid together create red. Tin produces orange, and iron, brown.

Homeopathic Uses: Homeopaths use Rubia tinctorum (the tincture of madder) for spleen ailments.

Magickal Uses: Make a gift to a young woman of skeins of wool or a garment of natural cloth dyed with madder, for her coming-of-age ceremony. Madder is an herb of Mars.

Maguey - (Agave spp.) Folk Names: Agave
Magickal Uses: Add as an ingredient in lust potions.

Magnolia - (Magnolia grandifolia) Folk Names: Blue Magnolia, Cucumber Tree, Swamp Sassafras
Magickal Uses: To ensure faithfulness in a relationship, place magnolias near or beneath the bed.

Mahogany, Mountain - (Cercocarpus ledifolius)
Magickal Uses: Traditional a piece of this tree is worn or carried to protect from lightning strikes, especially by mountain climbers.

Maidenhair - (Adiantum pedatim) Folk Names: Maidenhair Fern
Magickal Uses: For grace, beauty and love, immerse in water. Then remove and keep in the bedroom.

Maidenhair Fern - (Adiantum capillus-veneris)
Herbal Uses: Use for lung conditions in tea or syrup and to help the liver in jaundice. Useful in cases of kidney stones, it is also said to restore fallen hair.

Male Fern - (Dryopteris felix-mas)
Herbal Uses: 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.

Homeopathic Uses: Homeopaths use Aspidium filix-mas for tapeworm with constipation, blindness, and inflammations of the lymphatic glands.

Magickal Uses: Male fern is carried to ring luck and to attract women. Burn it outdoors to bring rain. The fiddleheads are dried over the Midsummer fire and used as protective amulets.

Mallow - (Malva spp.)
Magickal Uses: Carry to attract love. If after you have broken up with your love, you wish them to think of you (and maybe return to you), place a bouquet in a vase outside your door or in the window. A magickal ointment that will protect from black magick or case demons out is to steep the leaves and stems in vegetable shortening, and then strain. Rub into the skin after it has cooled.

Mandrake - (Mandragora officinalis, M. vernalis, M. autumnalis) Poison Folk Names: Alraun, Anthropomorphon, Baaras, Brain Thief, Circeium, Ciroea, Galgenmannchen, Gallows, Herb of Circe, Hexenmannchen, (German: Witche’s Mannikin), Ladykins, Mandragen, Mandragor, Mannikin, Raccoon Berry, Semihomo, Wild Lemon, Womandrake, Zauberwurzel (German; Sorcerer’s Root)

Not poppy, nor mandragora,
Nor all the drowsy syrups of the world,
Shall ever medicine thee to that sweet sleep
Which thou ow’dst yesterday.

Othello, Act III, scene III

Mandrake is a perennial, almost stemless, plant on a thick root, with long leaves and greenish-yellow or purplish flowers and orange, fleshy many seeded fruit. Ancient Greeks, Egyptians, and Arabs used this herb. A native of southern Europe, it figures prominently in the Western European magickal traditions. We know that the early Greek temples of healing used henbane (Hyoscyamus niger) and mandrake to induce a healing sleep.

Because of the high level of commerce between ancient peoples and the evidence that Druids visited Greece in the time of Pythagoras, it is highly likely that the knowledge of this plant was widely disseminated.

One of the most fascinating uses of mandrake seems to have been its ability to engender shamanic trances. M. officinalis, M. vernalis, and M. autumnalis produce chemicals that are trance inducing. Egyptian papyri and tomb decorations show priest-shamans guiding the living and the dead, often accompanied by depictions of mandrake.

An Egyptian fresco from the fourteenth century B.C.E. shows Meriton, consort of Semenkhara (who is ill and leaning on a crutch), offering him two mandrakes and a water lily (N. caerulea). Meriton wears the sacred asp of Thoth on her forehead to indicate that she is a healer.

The Cairo collection of objects from Tutankhamen’s tomb includes a jar showing a face of Hathor, Goddess of healing, wearing a necklace of water lilies and a mandrake fruit. Opioid residues were found in another of the jars. It is possible that blue water lily, mandrake, and opium could be conducive to the “little death,” whereby a shaman leaves the physical body and communicates with beings on other planes.

The priestly casts are known to have invoked the trinity Ra-Horus-Osiris through the trance ecstasy brought on by the blue water lily and mandrake.

A chest from Tutankhamen’s tomb, now in the Cairo Museum, shows the ailing king leaning on a crutch. His wife Ankhesenamun offers him his narcotic blue water lilies and opium-poppy fruits. She wears mandrake fruits on her head. Two female servants pick mandrake fruits for the couple.

A scene from the Amara period shows Akhenaton and Nefertiti in a similar mode. The same plants appear repeatedly in the imagery.

King Tutankhamen’s personal jewelry included carnelian mandrakes hanging from white water lily flowers. Lapis lazuli and green glass were used in a motif of blue water lilies and the sacred scarab, image of the Sun God.

The large brown root of the mandrake resembles a parsnip and can grow to three to four feet underground. The root can be single or branched. The leaves are about a foot long, are sharp-pointed, and emerge directly from the root. They have an unpleasant smell and lie open upon the ground when mature. The bell-shaped purple and white flowers resemble primroses and develop on separate stalks three to four inches high. The flowers are followed by a round fruit about the size of a small apple with an apple like scent and a yellowish-orange color.
Herbal Uses: The leaves are used in poultices for ulcers and in salves. The fresh root is emetic and purgative and the dried bark is emetic. The ancients as a soporific and an anesthetic for operations used this plant. Caution: The root is fairly violent in its action and should be used only by persons with strong constitutions. It is not recommended for home use. Orthodox modern medicine teaches that the history of anesthesia began on October 16, 1846, at Massachusetts General Hospital when William Thomas Green Morton demonstrated the effectiveness of ether. Pliny states, however, in his Historia Naturalis that in C.E. 77, it was common to drink the juice of mandrake before operations of any kind, and that even the smell of it was sufficient to put some to sleep.

Dioscorides, a Greek surgeon in Nero’s army who worked in the first century C.E., tells us in De Materia Medica that mandrake was used for insomnia, great pain, surgery, and cauterization. He also says that the scent of the apples could be enough to put someone to sleep.

In the Middle Ages, doctors used a spongia somnifera (soporific sponge) consisting of a fresh sea-sponge soaked in opium, hyoscyamine (henbane), mulberry juice, lettuce seed, hemlock, mandrake, and ivy and then dried in the sun. When it was needed for pain killing, it was reconstituted with water and inhaled or dripped into the mouth. Fennel root or vinegar was the antidote used to revive the patient. Another formula for spongis somnifera was a combination of mandrake, poppy, hops, henbane, latuca (wild lettuce), and mulberry. Caution: Please do not try this at home. These herbs can be very dangerous, if not fatal, when ingested!

Gilbertus, author of Compendium Medicinae, describes the use of a confectio soporifera, a wet towel soaked in various herbs, to cover the patient’s face. The herbs were Papaver somniferum (poppy), the juice of which was obtained by making slits in the cortex of its seed-bearing capsule; Hyoscyamus (henbane), the narcotic and analgesic juice of which was derived from the leaf, seed, and flower; M. officinalis (mandrake) juice, taken from roots, leaves, and apples; Rubus (blackberry), possibly added to flavor and color the other juices; Senecio (ivy), which was tonic and diuretic; Cuscuta (dodder, golden thread), a close relative of the morning glory family; and Atropa belladonna, the juice of whose leaf and root is narcotic and antispasmodic, stimulating to the respiration and the heart, and was used by the ancients as an antidote to opium poisoning. Gilbertus adds that the patient was awakened by inserting vinegar in the mouth.

As to more modern efforts, the Medical Journal of Australia reported in 1971 that the Ipswich General Hospital performed a double-blind trial of the hypnotic effects and side effects of “Mandrax” (mandrake in pill form) and found it “safe and satisfactory.” No dangerous side effects were noted. In statistical analysis, its hypnotic potency was equal to two hundred milligrams of pentobarbitone sodium, and there was no statistically significant difference in the rate of onset of sleep relative to those taking pentobarbitone sodium.

Homeopathic Uses: Homeopaths use Mandragora for restless excitability, bodily weakness, epilepsy, hydrophobia, and a great desire for sleep.

Magickal Uses: Mandrake is an herb of Mercury. It is said to protect against demonic possession (possibly because it was used by ancient herbalists to sedate manics). Old herbals recommend avoiding “contrary winds” while digging the root. The mandrake root is supposed to resemble the human form, male or female, and so has been used as a poppet. Due to the high cost of the root, other roots, such as ash root sand the root of the Briony, or fruits (the apple and the American may-apple) have been used instead. Mandrake is placed in the mantle to bring prosperity, fertility and happiness to the home. It is worn to attract love and repel diseases. To activate a dried root, one must display it prominently in the home for three days, after which it is soaked in water overnight. The water can then be sprinkled on entryways, windows, and people to purify them. The root is now ready for magickal use. To prepare the root for exorcism rites, place the root in a vessel of water and expose it to one lunar cycle (new moon to full). Use it to asperge celebrants and altar. To be able to travel without being noticed, have four masses said over the root, and then carry it with you wrapped in black silk. Hung on the headboard for protection while sleeping. It is said that money placed beside a mandrake root (especially silver coins) will double. Mandrake was once held to be a cure for impotence and sterility. It was so respected as a magickal aid that the first being to touch the root was said to die. Consequently dogs were used to pull the root by enticing them with food after tying them to the herb. When the dog sprang for the food the root came out.
Caution: Mandrake should not be taken internally for magickal workings!

Maple - (Acer spp.)
Herbal Uses: Calcium, necessary for bones, teeth, and blood-clotting, healthy muscles and nerves, enzymatic processes, and fluid secretions, is found in abundance in maple syrup. Iron to build red blood cells is found in smaller but significant amounts. Maple syrup is a good sugar substitute, being less sweet and having more yang qualities. The bark of Acer rubrum, the red maple, is simmered to make an eyewash. To make the wash, simmer two teaspoons of bark per cup of water and strain carefully through a cheesecloth or coffee filter to protect the eyes. The immature leaves of maple are edible in the early spring. Two tablespoons of maple syrup, the juice of half a lemon, and a pinch of cayenne pepper, taken with eight ounces of water several times a day, makes a good fasting beverage to clear the body of toxins.

Magickal Uses: The branches of the maple has been a traditional source for wands. To help a child achieve a long life, pass them ritually through the branches of a maple tree. Use the leaves in love spells and money rituals.

Marigold - (Caledula officinalis) Folk Names: Bride of the Sun, Calendula, Drunkard, Goldes, Holigolde, Husbandman’s Dial, Marybud, Marygold, Mary Gowles, Ruddes, Ruddles, Spousa Solis, Summer’s Bride
Herbal Uses: This is the “pot marigold,” not the African variety so common in American gardens. The flowers are a healing agent. Added to fomentations, poultices, and salves, they speed healing of wounds and of nerve damage. The infusion is given for intestinal problems and to clean lymph and blood. Useful in fevers, the herb can be used fresh, dry, or in tincture. For tea, steep two teaspoons of flowers per cup of water for twenty minutes; take one teaspoon per hour. Using tincture, take five to twenty drops four times a day.

Homeopathic Uses: Homeopaths use Caledula officinals as a local application to open wounds, to stop bleeding after dental work, and internally for cancer. It is indicated especially for excessive pain and a tendency to be chilled, especially in damp weather.

Magickal Uses: To strengthen and comfort the heart, pick marigolds at noon, when the sun is the hottest. To strengthen eyesight, gaze at marigolds. Garlands strung on doorposts will prevent evil from entering the home. Scattered under the bed or placed in the mattress, they will protect you when you sleep and encourage prophetic dreams. Carry in your pocket when in court (legal) for a fair and just ruling. A legend is that when a girl touches the petals of the marigolds with bare feet, she will be able to understand the language of the birds. Known as “summer’s bride,” the yellow calendula embodies the Sun’s fire and life-sustaining virtue.

Marjoram - (Origanum majorama or O. vulgare) Folk Names: Joy of the Mountain, Knotted Marjoram, Majorlaine, Mountain Mint, Pot Marjoram, Sweet Marjoram, Wintersweet
The grey-green leaves of sweet marjoram are an essential ingredient in Italian cooking and enhance the flavor of almost any meat, vegetable or stew. The highly aromatic leaves are an excellent addition to chicken.
Herbal Uses: The oil of marjoram is useful in killing pain. A drop can be placed on an aching tooth. Marjoram tea promotes perspiration and brings eruptive conditions such as measles to a head. The warm tea is helpful for spasms, colic, and upset stomach. A fomentation of the herb tea is used for swollen joints and rheumatism. A tea of the fresh herb relieves headaches. The tea has been used to bring on menstruation, and in baths and inhalations to clear bronchi and lungs. Make a standard infusion using two teaspoons of the herb per cup of water. The dose is one-quarter cup, four times a day.

Homeopathic Uses: Homeopaths use Origanum for nervous conditions and excessive sexual impulse, especially when there is an obsessive desire for exercise and running.

Magickal Uses: Marjoram was an herb of happiness to the ancient Greeks, who placed it on graves to bring joy to the deceased. It is woven into bridal wreaths to bring joy to the marriage. It is used in love spells and added to your love’s food to strengthen the relationship. Grown in the garden, placed around the house or carried, it shields from evil energies. During the winter make an amulet of marjoram and violets to guard against colds. Use to treat depression and add to money sachets and mixtures.

Marshmallow - (Althaea officinalis) Greek Name: άλθαία (=μαλαχη ή άγρια)

Marshmallow is an erect perennial with hairy leaves and stem, and white or pink flowers with five petals. The healing properties of marshmallow have been recorded since the ninth century BC. The roots were once used to make soft lozenges (pâté de guimauve), which were the original “marshmallows.” Used for numerous internal and external ailments. A decoction of the root may be prescribed for asthma, bronchitis, hoarseness and to relieve inflammation and gastritis. The flowers and leaves are used in infusions.

Masterwort - (Imperatoria ostruthium)
Magickal Uses: Masterwort grants strength, both physical and emotional. It reinforces the body and aids the will and calms the emotion when worn as an amulet. Use during exorcisms to make spirits appear.

Mastic - (Pistacia lentiscus) Folk Names: Gum Mastic, Masticke
Magickal Uses: Magicians and Witches in the Middle East dissolve it and add to lust potions. Burned as an incense it strengthens the blend and increase psychic power. Another herb to use during exorcism to cause the spirits to appear.

May Apple - (Podophyllum peltaltum) Poison Folk Names: American Mandrake, Duck’s Foot, Hog Apple, Mandrake, Racoon Berry, Wild Lemon
Although the may apple is not related to the true mandrake it is generally used as a substitute for the European mandrake, since its uses are almost identical.

Meadow Rue - (Thalictrum spp.) Folk Names: Flute Plant
Magickal Uses: Native American Indians wear this plant as an amulet for protection and to attract love.

Meadowsweet - (Spiraea ulmaria = Filipendula ulmaria) Folk Names: Bride of the Meadow, Bridewort, Dollor, Gravel Root, Lady of the Meadow, Little Queen, Meadwwort, Queen of the Meadow, Steeplebush, Trumpet Weed
A fragrant, white flowered meadow herb with delicate leaves, dark green on top and whitish beneath, interruptedly pinnate with larger terminal leaflets, one to three inches long, and three to five lobed. The stems grow up to four feet in height and are sometimes purple. The flowers grow in clusters and have a strong, sweet smell. The leaves smell like almonds. The plant was once popular for strewing on the floor.
Herbal Uses: Traditional herbalists simmered the flowers in wine to treat fevers and to cure depression. The fresh flower tops, taken in tea, promote sweating. Steep two tablespoons of the herb in one cup of boiled water for twenty minutes. Take one-quarter cup four times a day. A distilled water of the flowers makes an eyewash to treat burning and itching. Meadowsweet is a classic for diarrhea, especially valued for children. The leaf is added to wine to bring a “merry heart”—that is, to cure depression. Meadowsweet contains methyl salicylate, making it a good herb for rheumatic complaints and flus. It is astringent and helps with indigestion. It has diuretic properties, which make it helpful in edema. The tea has been used for respiratory tract infections, gout, and arthritis. It can help bladder and kidney problems, epilepsy, and rabies. The whole plant is used—roots, flowers, and leaves—with the root being more useful for fevers. To prepare the root, simmer two tablespoons of the dried root in one cup of water for twenty minutes. Take one cup a day. The leaf is placed in claret wine to enhance the taste, and it was at one time added to mead. A related herb is Spiraea filipendula (dropwort), which has more delicate foliage than S. ulmaria, pink buds, and whiter, scentless blossoms. The root is decocted in white wine and honey or taken as powder to help the kidneys. It will also benefit the lungs when wheezing, shortness of breath, hoarseness, and thick phlegm is a problem. Simmer two teaspoons of the root in one cup white wine or water for twenty minutes. Take a quarter cup four times a day.

Homeopathic Uses: Homeopaths use Spiraea ulmaria (hardhack, meadowsweet) for persons who are “morbidly conscientious”—obsessive-compulsive—and for irritations of the urinary passages or the prostrate gland, epilepsy, and hydrophobia. It is used for burning and pressure in the throat and a feeling of contraction that is not made worse by swallowing.

Magickal Uses: According to Grieve, meadowsweet, water mint, and vervain were the three most sacred herbs of the Druids. An herb of Jupiter, meadowsweet is used in love spells. It is strewn to promote peace, and its scent cheers the heart. Meadowsweet should be included in the bridal bouquet, for who is “Bride” but Brighid, patroness of Druids and Bards. Use it for love, either dried in various mixtures or fresh on the altar. It brings peace to the home and cheers the heart. To gain knowledge about a theft, gather meadowsweet at the Summer Solstice. Place it on water and see if it floats or sinks. If it floats it is a woman, if it sinks, it is a man that is the thief.

Melilot - (Meliotus officinalis, Meliotus alba Folk Names: Yellow Sweet Clover
This plant grows wild in Europe, Asia and the USA, and is widely used as fodder. The flowering tops contain coumarin with a strong sweet almond smell, which is released on drying. It is used to flavor certain dishes, such as, sausages, marinades and beer, and also tobacco. The flowers attract bees, but repel moths. It has been used as a stewing herb. The leaves can be eaten as a vegetable, but they are rather bitter.
Herbal Uses: Yellow melilot is used in poultices and slaves for boils, swellings, arthritis, rheumatism, and headaches. To make a poultice put one-half ounce of the dried plant in a cloth bag, boil for one minute in water, steep for three minutes, and apply as hot as can be borne. The tea is used to wash sores and wounds and as an anti-inflammatory eye wash. Internally, it helps bronchitis, insomnia, neuralgia, stomach upset and colic. Steep one teaspoon of herb per cup of water for twenty minutes. Take up to one and a half cups a day. For headaches and joint pains, try making melilot into an herb pillow. White melilot (M. alba) is used in the same way.
Caution: This plant contains coumarin and is an anticoagulant. Those who bleed easily and by anyone about to undergo surgery should avoid it. Large doses can produce vomiting.

Homeopathic Uses: Homeopaths use Melilotus (yellow melilot or sweet clover) for hemorrhages, headaches, infantile spasms, epilepsy from a blow to the head, and joint pain. All symptoms are worse during rainy weather or approaching storms and at 4:00 P.M.

Magickal Uses: Melilot is an herb of protection when hung in the house, car or barn.

Mesquite - (Prosopis julifora) Folk Names: Mizquitl (Aztec)
Magickal Uses: Add to your magickal fires, healing incenses and mixtures.

Milk Thistle - (Carduus marianus, Sylybum marianum)
A handsome, large specimen plant with shiny, spined leaves mottled with white “milk.” According to legend, the white mottling was caused by the Virgin Mary’s milk as it ran down the leaves, hence the specific name marianum. Milk Thistle has outstanding purple flowers. All parts are edible, and the young leaves make good greens, once the spined edges are removed. A very important liver tonic, as the silymarin found in the plant is known for liver rebuilding properties.
Herbal Uses: Milk Thistle is known as a powerful liver cleanser and regenerator and has been used to save victims of mushrooms poisoning. The seeds are tinctured and the root is simmered in standard decoction to protect the liver; one-fourth cup of the decoction or five drops of the seed tincture are taken four times a day. The seeds are boiled to promote breast milk, and the poultice of the whole plant has been used externally for cancer. Milk thistle is one of the best herbs to cure depression. The young plant is eaten in spring as a blood cleanser.

Milkweed - (Asclepias syriaca)
Herbal Uses: The root is said to produce temporary sterility if taken as tea. The fresh, milky juice can be dropped onto warts to make them disappear. The young green flower buds can be eaten steamed or sautéed; they taste a little like broccoli. The powder of the root and the infusion of it have been used to relieve cough and pain in cases of asthma and typhus and are also used for scrofula (tuberculosis inflammation and ulceration of the lymph nodes). Mix equal parts of the root with marshmallow root (althea0, steep one teaspoon per cup of water, and take one-quarter cup four times a day.
Caution: This plant is poisonous if overused.

Homeopathic Uses: Homeopaths use Asclepias syriaca cornuti (silkweed or milkweed) for afflictions of the nerves and the urinary tract and for pressing down uterine pains. Asclepias tuberosa (pleurisy root) is used for bronchitis, the pain of pleurisy, and mucus-ridden dysentery with rheumatic pain over the whole body. It has a special affinity for the chest muscles.

Magickal Uses: In India, Asclepias acida, with its hallucinogenic juice, is considered an incarnation of Soma, a Vedic God. Soma is also the name of a sacred drink that is described in the Rig Veda. According to tradition, the Gods in heaven drink its juice, as do humans. It was the drink that influenced Indra to create Heaven and Earth. Soma is the king of plants, able to bestow health, long life, and immortality. Monarch butterflies and fairies are fond of milkweed. Place it in the garden to attract them.

Mimosa - (Acarcia dealbata)
Magickal Uses: Use in purifying spells by scattering around the area you are working in. Bath with mimosa (or sponge an infusion on yourself) to destroy hexes and curses now and in the future. Use in love and healing spells. For prophetic dreams, place mimosa underneath your pillow.

Mint - (Mentha spp.) Folk Names: Garden Mint
’Mint’ is the general term used for any member of the Mentha genus. Mint is one of the easiest and most enjoyable herbs to grow. There are many different mints, with great variation in scent and flavor. Peppermint and spearmint are among the world’s most popular flavors; the later has been the indispensable culinary mint since Roman times. The ancient Greeks believed that when the beauty of Menthe, a young nymph, enraptured Pluto his wife Prosperpine turned her into this herb (hence the name “mint”). Mint is a very common herb in northern Europe and Russian Asia. It grows to eighteen inches in height with ovate, serrated, hairy leaves. The lilac-colored flowers (except for the apple mint and the pineapple mint, which both have white flowers) cluster around the stem. Mint is found in shady moist locations such as river banks, stream beds, and marshes.
According to Grieve, mint was one of the Druid’s most sacred plants.
    Apple - (M. suaveolens) The soft gray-green leaves have a delightful sweet apple scent and flavor. Makes a great tea.
    Basil - (M. species) A very unusual, spicy mint with the scent of basil. Makes a unique mint sauce for lamb, and a very interesting “pesto” sauce.
    Chocolate - (M. x piperita) A very popular mint. The dark green leaves smell just like a peppermint patty.
    Egyptian - (M. nilaca) The large, fuzzy foliage of Egyptian mint is not as sweet and “mint-like” as other mints. It is best suited for Middle Eastern recipes like tabouli.
    Lavender - (M. x piperita he green and purple leaves of lavender mint have a delightful aroma of lavender and citrus. Makes a wonderful sauce for lamb.
    Lemon - (M/ aquatica) The round green, burgundy-edged leaves have a nice, clean lemon aroma. Makes a nice tea.
    Lime - (M. aquatica) The green leaves have a nice, distinctive lime aroma. Makes a nice tea.
    Orange - (M. aquatica) The round green leaves have a sharp orange scent.
    Peppermint - (M. x piperita) The dark green, purple tinged leaves of peppermint have an intense flavor and aroma. Makes a delicious, healthy tea. Used as a decongestant for colds and to relieve indigestion.
    Pineapple - (M. suaveolens ‘Variegata’) One of the most attractive mints with cream and green veriegation in the leaves. Has a delightfully sweet, pineapple fragrance.
    Spearmint - (M. spicata) Mint jelly. Mint juleps. Spearmint is the mint when recipes call for “mint.” The cool taste is a classic in many cuisines. A must for lamb, and a cool condiment to spicy concoctions. Bright green, shiney, quilted leaves.

Herbal Uses: The infusion of the herb has been used for diarrhea and as an emmenagogue (it brings down the menses). It is a classic for colds and influenza, especially when mixed with elder flowers—but be careful, as this remedy will make you sweat, and you must take care to keep well covered with blankets and woolens. Stomach flu is helped by a mint, elderflower, and yarrow combination in a standard infusion of two teaspoons per cup of water steeped for twenty minutes and taken in quarter-cup doses. Mint is helpful in stomach complaints, but a strong infusion will be emetic (cause vomiting). Mint tea eases colic and lifts depression. It relieves earaches when the fresh juice or a few drops of the essential oil are placed in the ear. A few drops of the oil in water, applied with a cloth, will help burning and itching, heat prostration, and sunburn. Apply it directly to an itchy skin condition or sunburn. For heat prostration place the cool fomentation on the forehead and wrists. Mint tea with honey soothes a sore throat. A classic cold remedy that will unblock the sinuses is two drops of essential oil of mint, two drops of essential oil of eucalyptus, and the juice of half a lemon in a cup of hot water. The mix is first inhaled and then drunk when warm.
Caution: No more than two drops of the essential oil should be taken at any time, and no more than two cups a day of the above mixture. Larger doses can be toxic to the kidneys.

Homeopathic Uses: Homeopaths use menthol (essential oil of Mentha) for neuritis, acute nasal catarrh, blocked eustachisn tubes, pharyngitis, laryngitis, itching, and vulvar itching. Compresses of the oil and water relieve frontal headache, sinus pain, pain in the eyeballs, and mental confusion. Asthmatic conditions with headache and dry smoker’s cough are benefited as well.

Magickal Uses: Mint is placed in the home as a protective herb. To rid an area of evil, bless it using salt water sprinkled about using a sprinkler made of the twigs of mint, marjoram and rosemary. It belongs to the sphere of Venus. It is sometimes used to provoke lust. Place it on the altar when working healing spells and use in healing potions and mixtures. To relieve a headache rub the fresh leaves across the forehead. Wearing it at the wrist protects from illness. For stomach trouble stuff a green poppet with mint and anoint with healing oils. Mint brings easy travel, attracts prosperity, and is placed in the wallet or purse to draw money.

Mistletoe - (Viscum album—European Mistletoe; Phoradendron flavescens—American Mistletoe) Poison Folk Names: All Heal, Birdlime, Devil’s Fuge, Donnerbesen, Golden Bough, Holy Wood, Lignam sanctae cruces, Witches Broom, Wood of the Cross

Ad viscum Druidae cantare solebant
(The Druids are wont to sing to the mistletoe)

A revered herb of the Druids, especially the Oak mistletoe. Cut it either on the Summer Solstice day, or on the sixth day of the Moon. It is preferred to use one stroke from a golden sickle (brass, bone or a gold plated knife will work) and taking care to not let it touch the ground. Two white oxen were usually sacrificed for the harvest. If the Druids failed to have visions of the plant for a long time or if it fell to earth for any reason, it was considered a bad omen. Next to the oak tree, mistletoe is probably the plant most often associated with Druids. According to Pliny, the Druid priest or priestess would wear white to gather the herb. Viscum album grows from northern Europe to northwest Africa and east to Asia and Japan. Different varieties are found on hardwood and softwood trees, which include apple (the most common), elm, oak, spruce, pine, and popular. Druids consider that the mistletoe found on oak as the most potent and sacred.
The berries ripen in midwinter and have a further peculiarity in that the ripe berries, open flowers, green berries, and immature leaves can al be found on the same plant. Mistletoe does not adhere to the linear logic of most plants, with their budding, flowering, and seed production sequence. It also seems to ignore heliotropism and geotropism—it will grow upside down, sideways, or in any direction ti “chooses.” Another unique feature is that it germinates only in the light, unlike most plants, which require darkness to germinate. The flower buds form in May but do not open until February. The berries ripen the following winter. The entire process, from flower to fruit, can take almost two years. Even its name mistl (different) tan (twig) (from the Anglo-Saxon) reminds us of its peculiarities.
Mistletoe is a parasite plant, generally spread by bird droppings. It forms a globular mass that can reach up to three feet in diameter. There are male plants and female plants, and both derive their water and minerals from the host tree and produce their own carbohydrates via photosynthesis.
Mistletoes seems to hold itself aloof from the rhythms and laws of the earthly seasons, and in this way parallels the illogical and uncontrolled growth of cancerous cells in the body. As early as 1961, laboratory studies demonstrated that mistletoe, along with other immunostimulant plants (such as eupatorium, astragalus, echinacea, acanthopanax, chamomilla, and sabal), inhibited tumors in mice. Fermented mistletoe taken from oak trees (Iscador quercus) was shown to stimulate the activity of killer cells and showed an especially strong effect on rat hepatomas (liver cancers). Unfermented mistletoe showed a strong effect on human leukemia (Molt 4) cells. Korean mistletoe (Viscum coloratum) was found to be more active in inhibiting the growth of leukemia L1210, especially when used fresh. Mistletoe extracts have been shown to possess significant antitumor activity, not only against murine tumors but also in cases of Lewis’ lung carcinoma, colon adenocarcinoma 38, and C3H adenocarcinomas of the breast. The extracts are not toxic and may be administered in high doses. Twenty drops four times a day is the average dose.
Herbal Uses: Mistletoe is rich in phosphorus, magnesium, potassium and Sulphur. Its proteins, polysaccharides, and fat substances are strongly tumor inhibiting. Tumor inhibiting bacteria have also been found in the plant. Mistletoe seems to increase killer cells (a type of immune cell), increase cell-mediated cytotoxic activities, and augment levels of granular lymphocytes. Many nervous conditions such as convulsions, delirium, hysteria, neuralgia, urinary disorders, and heart conditions have benefited from the activity of mistletoe. It has also been used to temper the spasms of epilepsy. Mistletoe strengthens the heart and has been used as a heart tonic in cases of typhoid fever. It strengthens the glandular system and has helped with inflammation of the pancreas. It promotes hormonal balance when taken daily for six months. It is recommended for use after a stroke or when hardening of the arteries is suspected. It will stop pulmonary and intestinal bleeding caused by dysentery and typhoid. It helps to lower high blood pressure and to raise low blood pressure, and it has been used to ease heavy menstrual flow, heart palpitations, hot flashes, and the anxiety associated with menopause. The fresh juice has been said to increase fertility in barren women.
Anthroposophical medicine has produced a remedy, Iscador, which is available from anthroposophical physicians and pharmacies. Otherwise, one can take the dried leaf powdered, or in a tea, or as an alcohol tincture. The green plant can be simmered using a standard concoction of two teaspoons of the herb per cup of water and taken in tablespoon doses several times a day. Caution: The berries should not be used for internal consumption! They are used in salves and washes for wounds. Two ounces of the leave and twigs can be juiced, added to a half pint of water, and taken in tablespoon doses twice a day.
Caution: Large doses have been known to induce convulsions in children—a clear revelation of its homeopathic nature. Homeopathic medicines are based on the observation that similia similibu curentur, or “like cures like.” A substance that is capable of producing symptoms in a healthy individual will tend to eliminate those symptoms in someone who is ill.

Homeopathic Uses: Homeopaths use Viscum Album in low potency or in a non-potentized “mother tincture” for epileptic aura, petit mal seizures, heart conditions, asthma connected with gout or rheumatism, rheumatic deafness, chorea, metrorrhagia, and left sided ovarian pain. Homeopaths recommend five to ten drops of tincture, several times a day, as a dose. Mistletoe is especially oriented to complaints on the left side of the body.

Magickal Uses: Not quite herb, not quite tree, beyond the limitations of classification, freed from the restrictions of convention, and resembling a constellation of stars suspended in midair from the bough of a sacred tree—such is the “spirit” of this plant. It belongs to the in-between times of dusk and dawn, or the exact interval between two seasons. It is a gateway to something “other”.
In Italy, there is an old tale of a radiantly beautiful fairy who appeared to a certain knight with the image of the crescent moon and the Holy Grail at her feet. In her hands she held a sprig of mistletoe. She told the knight that the mistletoe was what kept her eternally young and beautiful.
In the Edda of Scandinavia, a legend is recounted of Baldur—the “shining” god, who was troubled by dreams of his impending death. Frigga, the mother of the Gods, then asked all living beings to swear an oath not to kill him. However, she forgot the mistletoe. Loki, one of the old Gods and by tradition a troublemaker, tried to sabotage Frigga’s efforts. He put a sprig of mistletoe into the hands of Hodur, who was blind, at a time when the Gods were making a game of throwing things at Baldur because it seemed that nothing could harm him. When Hodur hurled the mistletoe twig, Baldur was killed. The earth was plunged into mourning, as Baldur was the god who had given insight into the beauty of the shining spiritual world. At the death of Baldur the world sank into spiritual darkness, a “dark winter of the soul.” Eventually through the entreaties of all the Goddess and Gods, Baldur was returned to life, and the light of the spiritual sun shone on earth once again. Mistletoe was given into the keeping of the Goddess of love, and ever after people were enjoined to kiss under its branches to stay in love with each other.
Mistletoe is carried as an herb of protection or placed where needed. Hung over a cradle it prevents the theft of a child by fairies and replaced with a changeling. Amulets and jewelry can be made of its wood as talismans of protection and to speed healing. It will aid in hunting and in conception. Hang it in the bedroom to bring beautiful dreams and to unlock, through the dreams, the secrets of immortality. Add a few berries to the ritual cup at a handfasting, and hang it in the home to bring the blessings of the Goddess of love. Caution: Never handle mistletoe where children might swallow fallen berries or leaves. Mistletoe is an excellent all purpose magickal herb. Its wood is a good choice for wands and ritual implements. Place it around a “Hand of Glory,” a candle shaped like a hand that is burned to ward off thieves. According to Virgil, Aeneas could go down to Tartarus only when he carried a sprig of mistletoe in his hand as protection. Mistletoe is reputed to protect the bearer from werewolves. Burned it banishes evil. Mistletoe belongs to the sun and to Jupiter.

Mitsuba - (Cryptotaenia japonica) Folk Names: Japanese Parsley
The unusual, celery-parsley like flavor of mitsuba is a common ingredient in traditional Japanese cuisine. Leaves and leafstalks are used in soups, salads and fried foods.

Molukka - Folk Names: Fairy’s Eggs, Virgin Mary’s Nut
Magickal Uses: The white nuts are worn around the neck to both indicate and to banish hexes and curses. When they turn black, an evil spell has been adverted or broken.

Monkshood - See Aconite

Moonwort - (Botrychium spp.) Folk Names: Unshoe-Horse
According to an ancient tradition, horses (and humans also) who step (even accidentally) on Moonwort lose their shoes. Moonwort has fronds that are used like those of adder’s tongue.
Magickal Uses: Use in all types of money and love spells. Legend says that when placed in boxes and bags it will cause silver to appear. This fern is also reputed to open locks by inserting it into the keyhole and to break chains by toughing them.

Moringa - (Moringa pterygosperma, Moringa aptera)
Moringa is a tall tree, carrying pods with nut-like seeds of a bitter-sweet taste (behen nuts). M. pterygosperma is indigenous to Egypt. The oil (ben oil) is odorless, yellowish and with a sweet taste. It is favored for cosmetics, as it does not easily go rancid, and it is also used for cooking. Use either on its own or as a vehicle, with honey, for remedies incorporating other ingredients.

Morning Glory - (Ipomoea spp.) Poison Folk Names: Blindweed
Magickal Uses: The root may be used as a substitute for the herb High John the Conqueror root. Blue morning glories grown in the garden bring peace, happiness and joy to your home. To banish nightmares, place the seeds beneath your pillow.

Moss - Any type of moss that has be acquired from a gravestone will ensure good luck (especially financially) when carried. Moss is also a good stuffing for poppets. See specific moss name.

Motherwort - (Leonurus cardiaca) A traditional female tonic used from puberty to menopause, especially valuable for female weakness and disorders. Helps to calm the entire nervous system, and an old remedy for strengthening the heart.

Moujean Tea - (Nashia inaguensis) A beautiful little shrub with bright green, glossy leaves which smell of black tea and bergamot orange. Made into a delicious tea in Jamaica. The plant smells and tastes remarkably like Earl Grey tea, owing to its scent of bergamot orange.

Mugwort - (Artemisia vulgaris) Folk Names: Artemis Herb, Artemisia, Felon Herb, Muggons, Naughty Man, Old Man, Old Uncle Henry, Sailor’s Tobacco, St. John’s Plant
A pretty plant with deeply cut green leaves with gray undersides. The psychoactively recreational use of mugwort in ale by pagans prompted the German beer purity law in 1516. In Japan, the Ainus use Mugwort to exorcise spirits of disease (they hate the smell of it). In China, Mugwort is hung over doors to keep evil spirits from entering.
Herbal Uses: The classic herb for premenstrual symptoms, used in tea and the bath. Use a standard infusion of two teaspoons per cup of water steeped for twenty minutes, take one-fourth cup four times a day. It makes a good footbath for tired feet and legs. Cleansing to the liver, it promotes digestion. Mugwort is an emmenagogue, especially when combined with pennyroyal, blue cohosh, or angelica root. It is helpful in epilepsy, palsy, and hysteria and is useful for fevers. When laid among clothing, it repels moths.

Homeopathic Uses: Homeopaths use Artemisia vulgaris for petit mal epilepsy, somnambulism, profuse perspiration that smells like garlic, and dizziness caused by colored lights. It is especially effective when given with wine.

Magickal Uses: Mugwort is said to protect travelers from fatigue, sunstroke, wild animals, and evil spirits. A crown of it is worn at Midsummer. In the home, it prevents elves and ‘evil thynges’ from entering. A tea or a pillow of it brings vivid prophetic dreams and helps one to contact the astral realm. Keeping it next to the bed helps in astral projection. Use the tea (sweetened with honey) and incense (along with sandalwood or wormwood) to help in scrying. Use it as an infusion to wash magic mirrors and crystal balls. Placing Mugwort leaves around or underneath will also help. Mugwort is carried to increase lust and fertility, prevent backache, to cure disease and madness. In the shoes it promotes strength and endurance for long walks or runs. Pick it at sunrise and recite:
Tollam te artemesia, ne lassus sim in via.

Mulberry - (Morus rubra, M. alba, M. nigra )
Herbal Uses: Morus ruba, the red mulberry, is an American tree. The bark of the root is a remedy for tapeworms and a gentle laxative. Half a teaspoon of the powdered root can be taken with water for laxative effects, or two teaspoons of the bark can be simmered in one cup of water for twenty minutes and taken in quarter-cup doses as needed, up to one cup a day. The juice of the leaf is used by Native Americans to treat ringworm on the scalp. M. nigra, the black mulberry, a European tree, is used for tapeworm. Mulberries are made into drinks or fed whole to persons with fever. M. alba is a Chinese variety grown as an ornamental in the United States. The small branches of this tree are made into a decoction for rheumatic and arthritic pains. Simmer two teaspoons of the twigs per cup of water for twenty minutes and take quarter-cup doses, up to one cup a day. The fruit of M. alba is a good blood tonic for anemia, debilitating diseases, vertigo, premature graying of the hair, and sleeplessness. It helps with constipation in the aged. The leaf of M. alba treats colds, fevers, and influenza when taken as tea. Steep two teaspoons of leaf in one cup of water and take one-fourth cup four times a day. The bark of the root is anti-inflammatory to the lungs in cases of asthma, bronchitis, and wheezing and is especially useful when there is fever, thirst, and swelling of the extremities. Simmer two teaspoons of the root bark in one cup of water for twenty minutes and take one-fourth cup four times a day.
Caution: Avoid this plant if diarrhea or digestive weakness is present.

Magickal Uses: Mulberry is a magical tree of protection. Place the wood or a leaf somewhere near baby’s cradle. It will also protect your property from lightening. A good wood to make wands from.

Mullein - (Verbascum thapus) Folk Names: Aaron’s Rod, Blanket Leaf, Candlewick Plant, Clot, Doffle, Feltwort, Flannel Plant, Graveyard Dust, Hag’s Tapers, Hedge Taper, Jupiter’s Staff, Lady’s Foxglove, Old Man’s Fennel, Peter’s Staff, Shepherd’s Club, Shepherd’s Herb, Torches, Velvetback, Velvet Plant
Known as “hag’s tapers,” the old stems of mullein were once soaked in fat or wax and used as torches. In ancient grimoires the powdered leaf is a substitute for graveyard dust.

Herbal Uses: The leaf is a classic remedy for bronchitis (as well as other coughs) and burning urination. Simmer two teaspoons per cup and take a quarter cup four times a day. A tea of the flowers taken before bed brings sleep. A poultice of the leaves helps wounds and sores. The leaves steeped in vinegar and water will soothe inflammations, painful skin conditions, and hemorrhoids when used externally as a poultice. They may be used in tincture form, fifteen to forty drops every two to four hours.

Homeopathic Uses: Homeopaths use the oil of mullein flowers for earaches. Just cover the flowers in good olive oil and steep them in a closed container in the hot sun for twenty-one days. Strain out the flowers and place the oil directly in the ear. Pack with cotton.

Magickal Uses: To banish nightmares make a pillow stuffed with mullein, or place some under your pillow. Mullein is used to bring courage and prevent one from catching cold. It is carried as protection from wild animals and to gain the love of the opposite sex. Ozark men use it to know if he is loved by his heart’s desire. He will find a clearing where it grows wild; bend it down pointing in the direction that she lives. If she loves him, the mullein will continue growing, if not, it will die. In India, it is used to banish demons and negativity from the home by burning as incense. Hung over the door, carried as a sachet or placed in the window, it guards against magick and evil spirits.

Mustard - (Brassica spp.)
Some Hindus use mustard seed to travel through the air.
Magickal Uses: To increase a woman’s fertility, have her eat mustard seeds. Carry the seeds in a red sachet to prevent colds and increase psychic power. In Italy they are sprinkled on the doorstep for protection. Buried underneath the doorstep, they will prevent all supernatural entities from entering.

Mustard, White - (Sinapis alba L.)
Mustard is a branched annual; the stems are slightly hairy, the leaves oval and lobed. The flowers are yellow, and the seeds, set in pods, are yellowish. The plant is native to southern Europe and western Asia. It is cultivated commercially for culinary purposes. In medicine it is used as a stimulant, irritant and emetic. A variety of mustard was included in the Assyrian Herbal as HALDAPPÂNU. it was used to treat swelling, cough, jaundice and stomach ailments and toothache, and it was administered as an enema or used as a mouthwash. Dioscorides uses the word λαμψάνη for mustard and says that the Egyptians called it euthmoi. The Copts used two words for mustard, one taken from the Greek, the other obviously from the Assyrian designation, which also appeared in the late form of Egyptian called Demotic. The Copts used mustard to treat headaches.

Myrrh - (Commiphora myrrha) Folk Names: Gum Myrrh Tree, Karan, Mirra Balsom Odendron
In ancient Egypt, myrrh was burned at noon as an offering to Ra, and the temples of Isis were also fumigated with myrrh. It was also, at one time, used in their embalming mixtures.
Herbal Uses: Especially valued as a disinfectant, myrrh, a tree resin, is used as a wash for wounds. Caution: Use as a wound wash only after the wound has been well cleaned. It has the tendency to seal wounds once it is placed on them. Use the alcohol tincture in water or the tea as a wound wash. Myrrh promotes circulation and increases the heart rate and power. Improves stagnant blood through the uterus causing it to be used for menopause, menstrual irregularities, and uterine tumors. Myrrh benefits diabetes and obesity; the dose is one to fifteen grains. Combined with echinacea and mullein, the tea helps ear infections. Use equal parts of echinacea and mullein to one-quarter-part myrrh; steep two teaspoons per cup of water for twenty minutes; take a quarter cup every four hours. Myrrh, goldenseal, arnica, and cayenne can be soaked in rubbing alcohol for a few weeks to make a liniment for bruises and sprains.
Caution: Prolonged internal use of myrrh (longer than a few weeks) could cause kidney damage.

Magickal Uses: Myrrh is a Goddess plant of the Moon’s sphere, sacred to Isis. Burned, it purifies, increases vibrations and brings peace, healing, consecration and blessings. It also increases any other incense it is burned with. It is traditionally burned with frankincense or other resins. Add it to healing sachets to increase their power. Use as an aid for meditation and thought.

Myrtle - (Myrtus communis)
Myrtle is an aromatic evergreen shrub with glossy dark-green leaves, white fragrant flowers and later bluish berries. The fresh or dried leaves, flowers and fruit are astringent and antiseptic and are used as a condiment and in cosmetics. It is a plant of Venus, goddess of love, and brides sometimes wear it on their wedding day. In Coptic medicine essential oil of myrtle was used in prescriptions with fresh rue and a mineral for a number of skin ailments. The Assyrian Herbal prescribes myrtle for fumigation, poultices and beverages.
Magickal Uses: Traditionally viewed as a love herb, a chaplet of fresh leaves and flowers may be worn when performing love spells. Add to love sachets or spells when wishing to keep love ‘alive’ and exciting. Wear to increase fertility, but conversely brides, to keep from becoming pregnant to quickly after the wedding, wear it. Drinking a cup of tea, every three days, will preserve youthfulness. It will also preserve love when carried. Grow it on each side of your home for love, peace and prosperity.


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