Saturday, August 11, 2012

Import Blog Herbs Halloween

Blog EntryOct 23, '08 7:27 AM
for everyone

Halloween Herbs
This following article by Care 2

The  traditional image of a cauldron of bubbling and boiling magical potion
being  stirred by a witch originates from the large containers in which herb
women  boiled their ingredients to produce simples. Simpling was the brewing and
distilling of herbs, practiced by women in most households in order to keep
a  very necessary supply of medicinal remedies on hand. Throughout the
medieval  period, the arts of herbalism, alchemy, and magic were difficult to
separate,  and the herb women often added the role of spell-caster to their role of 
dispenser of home-brewed herbal therapies.
Herbs with Sinister Names
Many of  these herbs could have been the actual ingredients the witches were
brewing in  their cauldron in Shakespeare´s Macbeth. For educational purposes
I have  listed the folkname followed by the modern-day common name followed by
the  Latin name.
Folk Name  Common Name  Latin Name   bat's wings  holly  Ilex aquifolim  
bird's foot  fenugreek  Trigonella foenum-graecum   blood  dragon's blood 
Daemonorops   bull's blood  horehound  Maaubium vulgare   bull's foot  coltsfoot 
Tussilago farfara   capon's tail  valerian  Valeriana officinalis   devil's eye 
periwinkle  Vinca minor   devil's dung  asafoetida  Ferula assa-foetida  
devil's flower  bachelor's buttons  Centaurea cyanus   devil's guts  dodder 
Cuscuta glomurata   devil's milk  celeandine  Chelidonium majus   devil's nettle 
yarrow  Achillea millefolium   duck's foot  mayapple  Podophyllumm peltatum  
eyes  English daisy  Bellis perenis   flesh & blood  tormentil  Potentilla
erecta   fox tail  club moss  Lycopodium clavatum   hare's foot  avens  Geum
urbanum   hound's tongue  deerstongue  Liatris odoratissima   lion's ear 
motherwort  Leonurus cardiaca   lion's tooth  dandelion  Taraxacum officinale  
mother's heart  shepherd's purse  Capsella bursa-pastoris   serpent's tongue 
adder's tongue  Erythronium americanum   sparrow's tongue  knotweed  Polygonum
aviculare   white man's foot  plantain  Plantago major   wolf's milk  spurge 
Euphorbia spp. 

Magical Flying Ointment  Halloween AKA All Hallows Eve or Samhain is an
ancient festival  day marking the end of summer and the beginning of winter. It was
a time to  look back and remember those who had died during the past year
while at the  same time looking forward trying to divine what the new year may
bring. It was  the time of year when witches would `fly´ in order to divine the
future. The  word witch translates from the old European word, wytche which
means wise one.  The word witchcraft literally means the craft of the wise
ones. These people  were the healers, teachers and the leaders of the ancient 
The  narcotic and hallucinogenic properties of many herbs were exploited in 
witchcraft and magic rituals during ancient and medieval times. Many of these 
herbs were made into ointments by adding the herbs to melted fat and then 
rubbing the ointment into the skin. These magical ointments created symptoms 
such as irregular heartbeat, tingling, numbness, delirium, weightlessness, and 
hallucinations which would make one feel like they were flying. 
The  following herbs have been traditionally added to witches magical flying 
ointments which were used to facilitate astral projection. The astral plane
is  where all spirits move after death after leaving the physical body. It is 
possible to temporarily depart the body and visit the astral plane when in a 
trance or sleep-like state. The astral bodies of both the living and the dead 
are to be found on the astral plane thus it is possible for the spirits of
the  living to meet there with the spirits of the dead. After the effects of
these  herbs wore off the visions the witches had would be interpreted for clues 
about what the future held.
Beaver  poison - poison hemlock - Conium maculatum
Christmas  rose - black hellebore - Helleborus niger
Devil´s  trumpet - jimsonweed - Datura stramonium
Hog´s  bean - henbane - Hyoscyamus niger
Sorcerer´s root - mandrake - Mandragora officinarum
Witch´s  berry - deadly nightshade - Atropa belladonna
Witch´s  herb - basil - Ocimum basilicum
Wolf´s  bane - aconite - Aconitum napellus
Celery  (Apium graveolens) - celery seed was consumed by witches before
flying on  their brooms so they wouldn´t become dizzy and fall off.
Poplar  (Populus tremuloides) - added to flying ointments to facilitate
astral  projection.
Ragwort  (Senecio spp.) AKA fairies horses - witches were said to ride upon
ragwort  stalks at midnight.

Magical and Anti-magical Uses of Herbs  
Apple  (Pyrus spp.) - AKA fruit of the underworld. Considered to be one of
the  foods of the dead, before eating any apple rub it to remove any demons or
evil  spirits which may be hiding inside.
Bay  (Laurus nobilis) - place bay leaves under your pillow at night to induce
prophetic dreams, burn the leaves to cause visions. The leaves were hung up 
around the house to prevent poltergeists from working their  mischief.
Birch  (Betula pendula) - gently strike possessed people or animals with
birch to  exorcise demonic spirits. The traditional broom of the witches was made
out of  birch twigs.
Borage  (Borago officinalis) - borage tea was  supposed to induce psychic
Eyebright  (Euphrasis officinalis) - a cloth soaked  in an infusion of
eyebright and applied to the eyes was supposed to induce  clairvoyance.
Hawthorn  (Crataegus oxacantha) - place the wood  of hawthorn in the house to
ward against ghosts.
Hazel  (Corylus spp.) - wear a hazel crown or wreath to become  invisible.
Heliotrope (Heliotropium arborescens) - used for  exorcisms and to become
Holly  (Ilex spp.) - plant holly plants around the house to protect from 
sorcerers, lightning, poison, and evil spirits.
Ivy  (Hedera helix) - ivy was sacred to Osiris, the Egyptian god of the dead.
Growing ivy against the wall of a house was supposed to be a safeguard
against  witches. 
Juniper  (Juniperus communes) - juniper planted  beside the front door was
supposed to keep out witches; the only way for a  witch to get past the plant
and enter the house was by correctly counting its  needles.
Mallow  (Malva spp.) - an ointment made with mallow and rubbed onto the skin
casts  out devils as well as protects against the harmful effects of black 
Mistletoe  (Viscum album) - used in immortality spells, wear mistletoe around
the neck to  become invisible. It also acted as a protection against sorcery
and  witchcraft.
Mullein  (Verbascum thapus) - AKA Graveyard  dust, regarded as the most
potent safeguard against evil spirits and  magic.
Parsley  (Petroselinum crispum) - picking it  while uttering an oath against
another person would have that person dead  within the week.
Periwinkle (Vinca major) - it was believed  unlucky to remove the plant from
a graveyard, to do so would incur the wrath  of the ghosts which haunted the
Rue (Ruta  graveolens) - during the middle ages rue was considered a reliable
defense  against witches and their spells.
St.  John´s Wort (Hypericum perforatum) - hung near  windows to keep ghosts,
necromancers, and other evil doers from entering the  house, it was also
burned to banish spirits and demons. 
Thistle  (Carduus spp.) - wizards in England used to select the tallest
thistle in the  patch to use as a magical wand or walking stick.
Willow  (Salix alba) - burn crushed willow bark during the waning moon to
conjure  spirits

Posted: Saturday October 11, 2008, 5:28 pm

and here too from Suite 101 flowers and herbs for halloween
If you are leery about the witches, ghosts, spirits, goblins, trick or treaters and other dangers possibly lurking about on Halloween night, you might try using a few old fashioned flowers and herbs to protect and calm yourself. Over the ages, herbalists and gardeners have identified many plants that help keep you safe and healthy, soothed and calm, protected and out of harm’s way. The following tongue in cheek suggestions, with thanks to that old standby A Modern Herbal by Maude Grieve, include assorted snippets of the lore and history of flowers and herbs and might or -- might not -- work for you this Halloween night.

Sleeping Better with Herbs and Flowers for Sweet Dreams and Insomnia Cures

Whether you are worried or just too excited to sleep, try these tips. Place rosemary by the bed to prevent bad dreams and keep away evil spirits; sprinkle lavender petals and dried hops flowers to soothe, calm and help you sleep better. Bathe in lavender water to relax. Lavender deters insects, so hang a few lavender stems or a lavender wand nearby to keep those creepy Halloween spiders at bay.
A little peppermint (Menthe piperita) or chamomile or lavender flower tea will calm and relax you for the evening. Peony seeds in wine will help chase nightmares and bad dreams.

Too Much Candy? Herbs and Flowers as Stomach Ache Aids

Sipping fennel or dill (Peucedanum graveolens) seed tea soothes your tummy if you’ve eaten a little too much candy. If you need to cut down on sugar, try some sweet cicely (Myrris odorata.)

Too Much Screaming? Herbal Sore Throat Remedy

Use a little lungwort (Pulmonaria) or gargle with sage (Saliva officinalis) tea to soothe that throat made hoarse and sore by screaming in terror. Verbascum (Mullein) tea can soothe a throat, too.

Preventing Sore Feet Using Herbal Method

Prevent sore feet and keep them warm while trick or treating by lining your shoes with soft and wooly mullein (Verbascum) or lamb’s ear (Stachys byzantina) leaves.

General Safety Precautions Against Evil Spirits and other Troubles

Alfalfa ashes (if you do not grow alfalfa you might find alfalfa pellets at the pet store or alfalfa hay at the equine supply store) strewn about the yard can ward off evil spirits.
Hang a few sprigs of fennel and St. John’s Wort (just a whiff of this one causes evil spirits to fly away) over the door along with Angelica, a preservative against witchcraft as well as evil spirits. Ever handy, Snapdragon (Antirrhinum magus), scarlet pimpernel (Anagallis arvensis) and toadflax will guard against witchcraft, too.
To chase away evil spirits, burn some fennel to create smoke (Fumitory or Fumaria officinalis) and be sure to carry some Mullein. A pot or two planted up with Vinca major (the Sorcerer’s Violet) will exorcize spirits. For protection from all evil, take a lead from the Druids and use a little mistletoe (Viscum album.)
Dill was often used in charms against witchcraft as was woody nightshade (Solanum dulcamara.) Peony seed necklaces and Geum (or Avens) amulets can be worn for protection. Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) is useful as well, and may be woven into a crown.
Rue (Ruta graveolens) has very special powers, ranging from being antimagical to possibly giving second sight. The nearly all powerful wood betony (Stachys betonica) will protect both body and soul against evil spirits as well as despair and nearly whatever else ails you; wear it as an amulet or charm.

If Frightened on Halloween Night

Keep some lemon balm (Melissa officinalis, 2007 Herb of the Year) in store in case you do take fright. Lemon balm is a time honored cure for anxiety and phobias. For out and out hysteria, try tansy (Tanacetum vulgare).
If the fright is severe, a little yarrow (Achillea) might help lower your blood pressure.

Too Little Candy: Flower Solutions

If you were too scared to go out and trick or treat despite all of the handy tools listed above, or you received more tricks than treats, try a few edible flowers – candied sweet violets, maybe a few fried squash blossoms, lavender cookies, a little taste of honeysuckle.
These time tested safety tips and suggestions should not be taken literally, but they are wonderful additions to our understanding of the history, power and mystery of the many herbs and flowers in our gardens. For more Halloween-oriented articles, check out the Home and Garden Halloween Round Up. Happy Halloween!
more FLOWER GARDENS ARTICLES and FLOWER GARDENS BLOGS Copyright October 14 2007 Barbara Martin All Rights Reserved


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