* 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!
Any fresh Herbs can be dried. They should be picked and tied in small bunches. Hang them in the kitchen or a well-ventilated shed to dry. As soon as they are dried out, they should be crumbled into jars and stored in a dark place–they might look decorative hanging up, but will soon become dusty and begin to deteriorate.
A SIMPLE HERBAL LIST
I’ve compiled a short list of some very beneficial herbs to keep in your Witches’ Cupboard if you have one, or if you want to start one.
I’ve also listed “The Witches’ 3 X 3” – a list of nine healing herbs, indicated by an (***) sign.
Pain reliever, heals skin – lips, nose, burns. Sacred to the Godess, used in full moon rituals as an offering to the Goddess, purification, promotes celibacy, heightens physical energy.
treats colds, reduces fever, aids indigestion, curbs flatulence. Strengthens the psychic bond between humans and animals; for courage, true love, lasting happiness.
Very important first aid herb. Does not burn the skin or inner tissues, but feels hot. Helps coagulate blood, internally and externally. Can be sprinkled directly onto a bleeding cut. Good for heart disease.
Soothing to the body & mind, sedative before bed as a tea, mind pain reliever as a compress/ For good luck or changing your luck, prevents lightning strikes to your house or person, prosperity, meditation aid.
Eases toothache pain, calms stomach pain, relieves gas. Banishes hostility or negative energy, increases personal gain, clears a cloudy mind, increases friendship or love.
Pain relief, allergy & cough suppressant. Used in spells for wealth, prosperity & love.
Very nutritious. Sooths the stomach, heals sprains, strains, fractures, sores, arthritis. Used in protection spells and safety when travelling.
Aphrodisiac, improves digestion, relieves cough. Use in sex magick spells, for clairvoyance, divination.
Protection, luck, for a raise or new job; invisibility.
Aids digestion, can be chewed or brewed to tea for weight loss, gas relief, halitosis. Imparts strength & sexual virility. Prevents curses.
Cleanses system internaly. Take at the onset of colds or flu. Doubles money in gambling, use to win in court. Sex magick, hex breaking, aids psychic powers.
Good for hair, skin, digestion, lungs, blood health. Lowers cholesterol & blood pressure. Good for ear infections. Heals colds, flu. Tincture by steeping in olive oil. Use for magickal healing, protection, exorcism.
Relaxing stimulant! Use after large meals to settle stomach, induces perspiration while sweating out a fever, aids the liver. Powerful aphrodisiac when sprinkled in steeping raspberry leaf tea.
Rejuvenates & promotes longevity. Andi-depressant. Use with St. John’s Wort. Equalizes blood pressure & digestion. For use in love spells, beauty & healing spells.
All purpose healing. Gargle with cold brew for a sore throat, use as a poultice for cuts, abrasions, minor contusions. Use in spells for success in gambling.
Anti-spasmodic. Remedy for itchy-skin or mild hives. Apply fresh brew or tonic to skin. Sweetens breath. Attracts love. Use for dream work or divination.
HIGH JOHN THE CONQUEROR
To conquer any situation. To win at gambling, in court. For good luck, money, love, health, protection. To find lost items.
Calmes nervous tic, use as a poultice for snakebite. Attracts money & love. For use in divination, charging crystals, moon magick.
Powerful when used as an aphrodisiac. Potion to induce visions, use in astral travel work, for protection in travelling.
ALL PURPOSE. Stomach problems, nausea & vomiting (used as a tonic) healing, inner peace, peace of mind, anti-stress, finding love, money, protection, attracting good spirits & faeries, purification, peaceful sleep, headache relief, menstrual cramp relief (when inhaled).
~~POISONOUS – USE EXTREME CAUTION~~ FOR USE IN SMALL DOSES ONLY!
Anti-spasmodic, anti-convulsive for epileptic seizures or temper tantrums. Calms pain in small doses, muscle spasms, tension headaches, menstrual cramps. Helps to end addictions & sooth withdrawls symptons.
Appetite stimulant, digestive aid. Visions, dreams, clairvoyance, protection, strength in travelling. To consecrate divination tools, to add or boost power in tools of scrying.
Reverses spells, peacefully gets rid of trouble makers. Use in clairvoyance, divination, sex magick. Use to manifest & draw money.
~~CAUTION – USE IN SMALL DOSES ONLY~~
Repels insects, calms skin itch or nervous itch. Treats & soothes nausea, treats colds & flu. Use in consecration rituals, exorcism.
Soothes nausea & upset stomach, heartburn, colds, flu. Calming, good for motion sickness. Promotes peaceful sleep, visionary dreams. Boosts psychic abilities.
Blood detoxifier for treatment of poison ivy, snakebite, bee stings, mosquito bites, etc. Apply juice of crushed leaves to bites & stings. Reapply often, drink brew of leaves made into tea, eat & chew on fresh leaves.
for kidney strength, infections. Diarreah, nausea, colds and flu. Calming to the nerves as a tonic. Promotes peaceful sleep. Use for visionary work, protection, love spells.
Nerve stimulant, digestive aid. Aids memory, soothes headache, eases depression when inhaled. Use for protection, exorcisms, purification, healing, stimulate lust. Powerful fumitory.
Very nutritious, high in Vitamin C. Take for colds or flu, reduces fever. Mild laxative, good for acne. For spells concerning good luck, use to summon good spirits.
Use as an antiperspirant, healing to wounds. Aids digestion, relieves muscle and joint pain. Gargle to heal sores of the mouth & gums. Healing to colds & flu, reduces fever, preservative. For use in spells for wisdom, healing, money, protection, longevity, powerful fumitory for ritual.
Use a poultice for bruises & minor contusions, reduces fever. For use in clairvoyance & protection spells, purification, meditation. Burned in rituals, aids in magickal work, stimulates sexual urges, aids in healing spells.
Tranquilizer & anti-insomniatic. Sedative (mild to moderate) Eases nervous tension, drug & alcohol withdrawl symptoms, eases menstrual symdrome. Use for fidelity, commitment. Relieves anxiety. Promotes relaxation & peaceful feeling.
ST. JOHN’S WORT
Wound healing, immune system booster. Anti-insomniatic, headache relief, eases menstrual cramps. Powerful anti-depressant. Use for protection, exorcism, courage, divination rituals.
~~CAUTION! USE EXTERNALLY!~~
For guud luck, draws money, attracts material desires. Wish magick.
Calms nerves, sleep aid. Treats nervous conditions. Antispasmodic. Reduces blood pressure. Use in love magick, purification, divination, black magick.
For minor pains and headache, tooth ache, arthritis, other inflammations. For restful sleep, calming nerves. For protection, purification, consecration, potions for love, creativity.
Because so many herbs are potentially poisonous in various amounts, take extreme caution when dealing with a plant or herb you’re unsure of. Consult a physician, pharmacist or horticulturist before ingesting anything you are uncertain of!
Some spells & concoctions were writtern with out modern facts we have learned a great deal over the years. Though many of the old ways are superior to some new science. This list should be a help to you to discover how to protect yourself from some mistakes. This is not a complete list but a good start. I will add to it as the info comes my way. BEWARE! Aconite Ilex
CAUTIONS ABOUT HERBAL MEDICINE
by Camilla Cracchiolo
There is nothing about herbs that automatically makes them non-toxic just
because they are natural. Ever hear of deadly nightshade or poisonous mushrooms?
They are drugs, like other drugs and should be approached with the same caution.
This means, for example, that pregnant women should be as careful about
medicinal herbs as they are about conventional medicines. Some medicinal herbs
are clearly linked to birth defects. People on certain medications, like anti-
coagulants or psychiatric drugs, can have serious problems from interactions
between the herb and the medicine they’re taking. In the US, herb labels do not
list information about side effects, dangers and contraindications on the label
(which I think they should). Many physicians are not well informed about herbs,
and so you cannot always rely on your doctor to know about potential problems.
And if you have or suspect you have a serious illness, it is very important to
be under a doctor’s care. Self diagnosis is not always accurate and self
treatment doesn’t always work.
I believe it is vital for any person who wishes to try herbs to be very well
read before attempting them. I strongly recommend The Honest Herbal by Varro
Tyler to anyone who is considering or using herbal medicines. It is the one
herb book that I have ever found that relies solely on scientific studies
instead of anecdotes and which provides references. Tyler himself has
impressive credentials, being a tenured professor of pharmacognosy (the branch
of pharmacy that deals with herbal medicine) in the school of pharmacy at Purdue
University. The ISBN # is 1-56024-287-6 and it is published by the Haworth
Press, 10 Alice Street, Binghamton NY 13904-1580. It is in print, costs about
$20 and I got mine through a regular bookstore which special ordered it for me.
I personally regard herbal medicine as useful primarily in two situations:
* when a basically healthy person uses an herbal compound for a short, self
limiting condition such as a cold or the flu, where over-the-counter remedies
would normally be appropriate.
* in the case of serious illness, where no effective standard treatment exists
and where there is some evidence from the scientific literature that a
particular herbal compound may help.
An example of this would be the use of silymarin (an extract from milk thistle)
in the treatment of chronic viral hepatitis. In this kind of situation, I
regard it as extremely important that the person be under the close supervision
of a physician well versed in the disease in question and who has reviewed the
available studies on the herb to be used.
Herbal medicine has some very big problems. The most important is probably that
herbs often have not been subjected to thorough testing. Even when an herb has
many studies published about it, almost always the studies are on animals; human
studies are quite unusual. Studies to determine whether the compound can cause
birth defects are vanishingly rare, as are studies to determine whether the
compound can cause cancer. Relying on traditional folklore is not much help;
very obvious or dramatic adverse effects may be caught this way, but it doesn’t
tell us much about either long term effects or problems caused in only a small
percentage of people.
Another major problem is that the amount of pharmacologically active ingredient
available varies widely from plant to plant, so accurately regulating dosage is
difficult. The pharmacologically active ingredient may also occur in conjunction
with other toxic compounds. Examples of toxic agents often found in herbs
include pyrrolizadine alkaloids (very toxic to the liver and cause both benign
and malignant liver tumors); coumarins (which decrease the ability of the blood
to clot); and allergens. The latter can be quite important to people who are
allergic to ragweed; some herbs in the ragweed family (chamomile and yarrow are
examples) can cause severe allergic reactions in these folks.) Most companies
do not list the source of their herbs or how they were grown. Pesticide
contamination is a possibility and heavy metal contamination of some herbs has
been reported in the scientific literature.
Because of the problems mentioned above, I believe it is often better to rely on
an extracted and standardized compound (conventional drugs) when possible.
However, some of the active ingredients of herbs cannot be found in this form.
Yet another problem is with herb labeling. Very few herbal medicines marketed
in the US have both the Latin name of the herb and an expiration date marked on
the bottle. Often, this is deliberate: fraud is rampant among companies
marketing herbs. One brand that does have good labeling is Nature’s Way.
Alternatively, if you live in a city with a large Chinese, Japanese or Korean
population, you can try the herb sellers in that district. I’ve personally
found the herb sellers in Chinatown here in L.A. to be very honest and
knowledgeable (although language is often a problem, alas. Gotta learn to speak
Chinese one of these days.) 🙂
If you decide, after your research, to try herbal medicines, you may wish to
consult a trained herbalist. Unfortunately, in the US anyone can hang out a
shingle and call themselves an herbalist. Lots of these people have no idea what
they’re doing. I have found practitioners of traditional Chinese medicine to be
the best trained. I don’t accept the model that traditional Chinese
practitioners use to explain the effects of herbs (yin/yang, hot/cold, damp/dry,
etc.). I also have problems with the amount of unsupported anecdotal info mixed
in with scientific studies. But traditional Chinese doctors treat herbs with a
lot of respect and caution. They are well up on the side effects and
And finally, very few herb books contain dosage information. I have a lot of
problems with Michael Tierra’s herb books. I don’t accept the medical models he
endorses (traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda). I also don’t like the
fact that Tierra doesn’t distinguish between scientifically validated
information and folklore. But Tierra’s books are among the very few herbal
medicine books that discuss dosage. Just making up a weak tea is usually not
enough to get a pharmacologically effective dose. Tierra is the author of The
Way Of Herbs and Planetary Herbology.
Warning: Tierra’s books should be used as supplemental sources only and never as
your primary source of information on herbs. I have spotted several places
where he has left out important information on toxicity.
The Magick Of Herbs In the Kitchen
Just stop and think about the Magickal properties of cooking…The Goddess and God energy that is in your kitchen…Well..if you haven’t given it a thought let me see if I can change your perspective about the chore of cooking! Let us start in your kitchen cabinets…What can be found upon these shelves? Herbs of course!
Every herb has magickal, medicinal, and cooking uses…For example:
#2) Pepper…South…The Wand…Fire…Inspiration…
#3) Garlic…Exorcism…Clearing a space…Protection…
#5) Sage (my favorite) East…Wisdom…Smudge with this herb to cleanse the auric field…Healing herb for the stomach…Colon…Sinuses and nasal passages…
Olive oil……West…Used as a cooking oil…(although any ail used to excess is bad for you) …Can be used to make massage oils or annointing oils as a base (just add any of your favorite herbs!)…It also breaks down cholesterol rather than producing it….So as you can see Magick is all around us…Even in our kitchens!….
Dominating Compound X 163
Orris Root 1/2 Ounce
Sandalwood 1/2 Ounce
Talcum P]ain 2 Ounce
Color to suit — Yellow
Cross Powder Compound X 113 1/2 Ounce
Orris Root 1/2 Ounce