* Grains of Paradise
* Job’s Tears
** SEXUAL ENERGY
* Cohosh, Black
* Dragon’s Blood
* Palm, Date
The Baneful Herbs
Belladonna = Also known as deadly nightshade, Belladonna is a source of the poisonous drug atropine. In minute quantities, atropine, in the form of a sulfate, is used to dilate the pupils of the eye, to relieve pain, to diminish secretions, and to relieve spasms. In greater quantities, it was used to kill. Belladonna was believed to have been used in flying potions.
Cinquefoil = In folklore, cinquefoil was used in flying potions. Found in many old recipes & Grimores.
Deadly Nightshade = Deadly nightshade was ingested by those who wished to foresee the future.
Foxglove = Many of the common names of this plant pertain to its toxic nature (Witches’ glove, Dead Man’s Bells, Bloody Fingers). Foxglove belongs to the Figwort family (Scrophulariaceae) and the whole plant is toxic. It contains various cardiac glycosides. Foxglove also went by the names Goblin’s Gloves (in Wales), Throttle-wort, Thimble Flower, Finger Flower, Ireland it was also known as Fairy Cap, Lunsmore, and the Great Herb. Foxglove was also considered dear to faeries. If a plant was harmed, the faeries would bring retribution.
Hemlock= Hemlock is an extremely poisonous cousin of parsley. The juice from hemlock’s tiny white flowers was believed to be used to make men impotent. “The plant was an ingredient in many Witches’ Ointments…. According to German folk tradition, the hemlock was home to a toad, which lived beneath it and sucked up its poisons.
Hemp = Hemp was used in many old spells and Incense. I do not consider this plant poisonous, and believe it is quite a magical plant when the female flowers are smoked. Mother earth gave us this plant for a reason. Not to mention what we could do with the fibers and just about every other part of this plant. We could feed and cloth the world.(end rant).
Mandrake = Another plant with a narcotic effect, mandrake or the mandragore (Mandragora officinarum L.) was thought to be a potentially lethal herb to harvest from the earth. For this reason, great caution was used in gathering these magical roots. Many people believed that the mandrake shrieked when harvested and that anyone hearing the piercing cry would die. The root of the mandrake resembles a phallus or a human torso, and for this reason was believed to have occult powers. In some areas of Europe, possession of the root was punishable by death. The crushed root was purported to have caused hallucinations followed by a death-like trance and sleep. The root was also said to have caused insanity and was believed to have been used in flying potions Mandrake root makes a powerful addition to any “Binding spell” and works as a great “Witches” protector.
Tools Necessary for Herbalism
1) A Good mortar and Pestile, one of stone or metal is
prefered. If wood is used you will need two, one for
inedibles and one for edibles – make sure they do not
look identical, as you do not want to accidentally
2) Containers. Although you can buy dried herbs over the
counter in many places these days, do not store them
in the plastic bags they come in, as these are usually
neither reuseable nor perfectly airtight. Rubbermaid
style plastic containers are good, but expensive. I
have used glass coffee and spice jars/bottles to good
effect, as well as some medicine bottles. The more you
recycle the better ecologically, just make sure they
have been thoroughly washed and dried before placing
anything inside them.
3) Labels. This is vital! None of us in this day and age
can possibly recognize each herb in its various forms
simply by sight. Always label your containers as you
fill them, and if possible date them when they were
filled so you don’t keep spoiled stock on the shelf.
4) Tea Ball. A good metal teaball of the single cup
size can be very useful in the longrun when your are
experimenting, and when you are making single person
doses of teas and tonics.
5) CheeseCloth : Useful for straining a partially liquid
mixture and occasionnally for the making of sachets.
6) A Good sized teakettle. Preferably one that will hold
at least a quart of water.
7) A Good teapot for simmering mixtures. I use one from
a chinese import store that has done me well.
8) A good cutting board and a SHARP cutting knife for just
9) A notebook of some sort to record the information in
as you go, both successes and failures. Always record
anything new you try that may or may not work, and
also and research information you get from various
sources (like this echo!)
10) An eyedropper.
11) White linen-style bandages. Some ace bandages are also
useful in the long run.
12) A metal brazier of some sort, or a metal container
that can withstand heavy useage and heat from within
or without, useful for several things including the
making of your own incenses.
13) Reference sources. Shortly you should see a list of
books that I have read from in the past that I
consider useful, build from this as a starting point
to others and to your teachers help.
Thats it to start, you’ll pick the rest up as you go. Take your time studying, take lots of notes, compare your sources and your own personal results on each herb and on herbal mixtures of any kind.
* Bergamot, Orange
* Blue Flag
* Cascara Sagrada
* Golden Seal
* Grains of Paradise
* High John the Conqueror
* Horse Chestnut
* Irish Moss
* Lucky Hand
* May Apple
* Oak Oats
* Oregon Grape
* Rattlesnake Root
* Snakeroot, Black
Plant Kingdom Helps and Hints
The fresher a plant (or a plant preparation) is the better it responds to magical energy, unless you leave that item where it will receive constant charging.
Dry plants and plant parts are fine for convenience, but they don’t have the magical vitality fresh ones do because the vital oils (and life energy) are also “dry.” Mind you, there are cases when the dry quality may help your magic, such as when performing a good-weather spell!
The essential oil from a plant is a perfectly good substitute for fresh parts. Just be careful–these oils can be harsh on the skin, and some are toxic to pets.
Growing your own magical plants and harvesting them at a traditional tie (e.g., Midsummer’s Day) does seem to boost the magical energy within.
If you have to buy plants from a supplier, organic plants have the best magical potential (chemicals can obscure magical intention). Also, find a supplier you can trust. One green leafy thing looks a lot like another, and not all companies are honest in their packaging.
Along the same lines, as you collect plants for magical work make sure to carefully label everything both inside and outside the container. Always trust this rule: If you’re not sure what it is, don’t use it!