Herb of the Day
Socrates drank the juice of poisonous hemlock in order to commit suicide.
Medicinal Uses: The whole plant has been used as a traditional folk cancer remedy, narcotic, sedative, analgesic, spasmolytic, anti-aphrodisiac. Hemlock has been used as an antidote for strychnine poisoning. The antidotes for Hemlock are emetics of zinc, castor oil, mustard, tannic acid and stimulants such as coffee.
Poison hemlock is a deadly poison. Ingestion can be lethal. Contact can cause dermatitis; juice is highly toxic. The young poison hemlock plant closely resembles Osha root.
Magickal uses: Once used to induce astral projections and to destroy sexual drives. Rub the juice (be sure to protect your hands) onto magickal knives and swords to empower and purify them before use. Hemlock is ruled by Saturn and associated with the Goddess Hecate.
Properties: astringent, diaphoretic, diuretic. Contains the poison alkaloid, coniine, conhydrine and methyl-coniine.
Growth: A species of evergreen plant; the volatile oil extracted from dried, unripe fruit of Conium maculatum, poison hemlock or a poison made from the hemlock. A European plant with compound umbels of small, white flowers and finely divided leaves. A branched perennial, 2-6 feet tall. Stems are hollow, grooved; purple-spotted. Leaves are carrot-like, but in overall outline more like an equilateral triangle, and with more divisions; leaves ill-scented when bruised. Leafstalks are hairless. Flowers are white, in umbels; May to August. Similar in appearance to caraway, valerian, Queen Anne’s lace, wild carrot, etc. Care should be taken in identifying the hemlock plant; Poison Hemlock is found in waste ground in most of the United States. A good way to distinguish the plant is by the fetid mouse-like smell it emits and by the dark purplish spots that pepper the stem.
Website: The Whispering Woods