Radish - (Raphanus sativus) Folk Names: Rapuns|
A 20-30 cm tall plant with lilac flowers and a bulbous root, which is the part purchased in the grocery stores. Its juice has been known to treat gallstone, kidney complaints and breathing disorders. It is laxative, slightly narcotic and stimulates the appetite, and it may be used for headaches and rheumatism.
Magickal Uses: Carried, radishes protect from evil and negativity. In Germany, a variety of wild radish was used to locate sorcerers. It is said to increase lust when eaten.
Ragweed - (Ambrosia spp.)
Magickal Uses: The root is used to keep fear at bay by chewing on it.
Ragwort - (Senecio spp.) Folk Names: Cankerwort, Dog Standard, Fairy’s Horses, Ragweed, St. James’s Wort, Staggerwort, Stammerwort, Stinking Nanny, Stinking Willie
Magickal Uses: The ancient Greeks used ragwort in amulets to ward off charms and spells that may have been cast on them. Legend cites the stalks being used by Witches during the Burning Times. Supposedly they rode upon them at midnight.
Raspberry - (Rubus idaeus) Folk Names: European Raspberry, Red Raspberry
Magickal Uses: Hang the branches (brambles) at the doors and windows for protection. It is also part of the funerary décor of the home, done to prevent the deceased from re-entering the home once it has left. Raspberries, when eaten, induce love. During pregnancy carry the leaves to help alleviate the pains of childbirth.
Rattlesnake Root - (Polygala senega)
Magickal Uses: Some Native Americans carry the root to be protected from rattlesnake bites. An infusion of the root is also rubbed on the hands and feet to guide one to money. The infusion is also added to the bath and to the rinse water of laundry for protection from harm caused by others.
Rhubarb - (Rheum spp.)
Magickal Uses: Serving rhubarb pie to your mate will help insure their fidelity. A piece of the root worn on a string around the neck will protect from stomach ailments.
Rice - (Oryza sativa) Folk Names: Bras, Dhan, Nivara, Paddy
Magickal Uses: This is an herb or protection and prosperity. The Brahmins carry a rice amulet to guard against evil. Placed on the roof or near the entrance to the home it prevents all misfortunes. Rice is thrown at weddings to insure the couples fertility and prosperity. Add it to money spells. When thrown in the air, it brings rain.
Magickal Uses: Any root, when worn around the neck, protects the wearer from wild animals. Superstition has it that a root dug from sacred ground, such as a church or cemetery, will bestow longevity to the procurer as long as they wear it. A tradition in Southern magickal lore is for a person, or their teacher, to ascertain what their magickal abilities will be by pulling up a weed, root and all in the middle of the night. The amount of root and soil that still adhere will indicate the amount of power and skill the student will achieve.
Rose - (Rosa spp.)
For the Summer Solstice I make a rose-pistachio ice cream. This last solstice, I sort of took the easy way by using an Ice Cream mix. I followed the directions on the package, and then added rosewater (do not use the alcohol based ones) to taste, and pistachio nuts. The ice cream turned out to be somewhere in-between ice cream and sherbet. It was much more pleasing and delightfully accompanied all the fresh fruits.
Herbal Uses: Rose petal syrup can be made by adding twice the petals’ weight of sugar and infusing in hot water. Alternately, the fresh petals can be ground with a little boiling water and strained, and the liquid combined with honey. The resulting liquid is a natural laxative and a tonic for the stomach. The rose hips should be gathered after the first frost. They will be red and ready for drying or making into jam. The jam or jelly is used for coughs. The dried hips are opened, the seeds and hairs removed, and the skins used for an excellent sore throat tea; use two teaspoons per cup of water and simmer for ten minutes. An infusion of the petals, one ounce to one pint of water, makes a soothing eye lotion; strain it first through cheesecloth.
Homeopathic Uses: Homeopaths use Rosa damascena (damask rose) for hay fever involving the Eustachian tubes, for deafness, and for ringing in the ears.
Magickal Uses: Rose buds are added to bath water to conjure a lover. Place some in a red cloth bag and pin it under your clothes. Rose hips worn as beads attract love. Add red rose petals to healing formulas and spells. The rose is a Goddess her belonging to Venus and the Water element. The rose is an herb of love. A chaplet of roses or a single rose on the altar is powerful additions when performing love rituals. A tea made from the buds, which is drunk before bed will bring prophetic dreams. To answer the question, “which one”, take the green leaves from a rose. Inscribe the name of each of your lover on the leaves. The leaf that stays green the longest is the right one. Use in healing rituals. A cloth soaked in rosewater and placed on the temples will relieve headaches. Add to mixtures and potions for luck to add speed. Carry or place in the home for protection, peace and to calm personal stress. Planted in the garden they attract fairies. It is also said that stolen rosebushes grow the best.
Rosemary - (Rosemarinus officinalis) Folk Names: Compass Weed, Dew of the Sea, Elf Leaf, Guardrobe, Incensier, Libanotis (Greek), Polar Plant, Sea Dew
”Any home where rosemary thrives is a home where the mistress rules.” One of the most fragrant and beautiful herbs. It is a strong antiseptic, and good in shampoos and hair rinses. With narrow, needle-like leaves and lovely blue flowers, it makes a beautiful addition to the garden. There are a number of different types of rosemary, differing in growth habit and sometimes flower color. They differ slightly in culinary and medicinal value. The blue flowers are said to have come from the Virgin Mary’s cloak when she laid it over a rosemary bush. The ancient Greeks and Romans burnt the leaves as incense. In the language of herbs, rosemary is for remembrance and friendship. The name comes from the Latin ros, “dew”, and maris, “ocean”, meaning “dew of the sea”.
Herbal Uses: The leaf and flowers are stimulating to the liver and the digestion. For this reason, rosemary is a classic herb for migraine headache when associated with liver or stomach torpidity. Rosemary increases the circulation and slightly raises the blood pressure. To make the tea, steep two teaspoons of the dried flowering tops in one cup of water for twenty minutes. Take one-fourth cup four times a day. Caution: When used as a tea, the dose should not exceed one cup per day. Overdose can cause fatal poisoning. Use rosemary in salves for eczema, wounds, and sores. The tea makes a mouthwash for bad breath. The oil benefits stomach and nerves. Steep the herb in white wine for a week and strain. Rub the rosemary wine into gouty or paralyzed limbs. Taken internally, the wine quiets the heart and stimulates the kidneys, brain, and nervous system. Rosemary tea relieves depression. Rosemary and coltsfoot are smoked as herbal tobacco to relieve asthma and lung conditions.
Homeopathic Uses: Homeopaths use Rosemarinus for conditions of premature menstruation, violent pains followed by uterine hemorrhage, a feeling of heaviness and drowsiness in the head, chills, icy coldness in the lower extremities, and thirstlessness followed by heat.
Magickal Uses: Rosemary is an herb of consecration and purification from disease. As an herb of purification, rosemary can be a substitute for frankincense. Add it to incense and to the ritual chalice and distributed to guests. Burning it before performing magick will rid the area of negativity. It is carried in the hand during funerals and cast into the grave, as the coffin is lower into it. Rosemary or rosemary with juniper berries is burned as a protection from disease. Stuff healing poppets with rosemary for increased healing strength. Rub the hands with an infusion before beginning the healing process. Place it in books and drawers to repel moths. Place under the pillow or bed for restful sleep and protection from nightmares. Hang at the doors to repel thieves and disease. Wearing a chaplet improves the memory. The aroma of the wood preserves youth. Add it to the bath for this and its purifying qualities. Add to mixtures for love or lust. An answer may be divined by inhaling the smoke of rosemary. Wrap the powdered leaves in a piece of linen and wear on the right arm to be rid of depression and to generally improve the emotions. It is said that rosemary grown in the garden attracts elves.
Rowan - (Sorbus acuparia) Folk Names: Delight of the Eye, Mountain Ash, Quikbane, Ran Tree, Roden-Quicken, Roden-Quicken-Royan, Roynetree, Sorb Apple, Thor’s Helper, Whitty, Wicken-Tree, Wiggn, Wiggy, Wiky, Wild Ash, Witchbane, Witchen, Witchwood
Herbal Uses: Rowan is a close relative of Sorbus Americana (American Mountain Ash) and can be used in the same way herbally. The bark is decocted for diarrhea and for vaginal douches; simmer two teaspoons of the bark per cup of water for twenty minutes. The bark is tinctured in alcohol for eight days to treat fevers (especially intermittent fever). The berries are gathered when ripe and then dried or made into jam. The berries are very high in vitamin C and are useful for sore throats and tonsillitis. Take one teaspoon of the fresh berry juice or a quarter cup of the tea made by simmering one teaspoon per cup of water for twenty minutes. The ancient Welsh made an ale from rowan berries.
Homeopathic Uses: Homeopaths use Pyrus (Mountain Ash) for eye irritations, sensations of constriction around the waist, and “cold water in the stomach” (which is coldness extending up to the esophagus), neuralgia, gout, and spasms of pain in the uterus, bladder, and heart.
Magickal Uses: Rowan is primarily an herb of protection and healing. It is said to have come from the land of fairy. All parts of the tree are sacred. Wear a tiny equal-armed “solar-cross” of rowan wood somewhere in your clothing and to use as decoration or weave into wreaths. The branches make magick wands and dowsing rods. The leaf and berry are used in incense to increase psychic powers. Make a tea with a few of the ripe berries and add to the ritual chalice. Carrying the berries or bark will aid in recuperation from illness or injury and should be added to healing sachets and mixtures. Rowan is also useful in sachets for power, success and luck. Being protective it has been carried onboard ship for protection from storms, kept in the home to protect from lightning, and planted on graves to keep the deceased from returning to haunt.
Rue - (Ruta graveolens) Folk Names: Bashoush (Coptic), Garden Rue, German Rue, Herb of Grace, Herbygrass, Hreow, Mother of the Herbs, Rewe, Ruta
Called Herb of Grace from the tradition of sprinkling holy water during Mass with a brush made of rue. Rue was also used in ‘four thieves vinegar’ to protect thieves who plundered bodies of plague victims.
Herbal Uses: Caution: Some people may experience skin irritation when picking the fresh plant. It can cause allergic reactions and photodermatitis. The whole herb is used fresh or dry. It is taken warm to bring on menstruation. The infusion benefits coughs, cramps, and colic. Steep two teaspoons of the dried herb in a cup of water for twenty minutes. Take no more than one-half cup per day. The leaves are used in poultices and salves to relieve sciatica, gout, and rheumatic pains. The fresh leaves are placed on the temples to relieve headache. Fomentations of the tea are placed on the chest to help bronchitis. The juice or oil is placed in the ear to relieve earaches. Eaten in salads (a leaf or two only!), it clears the eyesight. The fresh juice can be mixed with honey as a preservative and applied to the eyes (one drop, two or three times a day) to sharpen vision and relieve over strained eyes. Mixed with hot water, the honey-rue combination can be used as a gargle or a tea for colds, flu, and stomach disorders. Use only one teaspoon of the fresh juice over the period of one day. Caution: This is a strong herb. Use in dosages only as indicated. Overdose will led to vomiting.
Homeopathic Uses: Homeopaths use Ruta graveolens for eyestrain, strained tendons, sprains (after arnica has been used), bruised bones, constipation, colon cancer, pain in the thighs upon stretching, and headache that follow eye strain. All symptoms are worse when the patient is lying down or in cold, wet weather. The tincture diluted with ten parts water can be used as a lotion for the eyes.
Magickal Uses: A powerful herb of purification. Rue water (made fresh rue juice and morning dew) is sprinkled around a ritual site, or a branch of rue is used to sprinkle salt water. Rue brings protection and clears negativity. Add it to the bath to rid yourself of all hexes and curses. It is a good addition to mixtures and incenses used for exorcisms. The Romans ate it as a protection from evil, and carried to be safe from poisons, werewolves, and general evil. Rue is also a healing herb; on the forehead it relieves headaches. Worn around the neck it aids in recuperation and prevents future complaints. Sniffing fresh rue will clear the head, in matters of love, and improve mental abilities. An interesting note: toads do not like rue, so they will stay out of your garden (or that area of it) if rue is planted.
Rye - (Secale spp.)
Magickal Uses: According to Romanian Gypsies rye bread served to your beloved will ensure their love.