- PARSLEY: (Petroselinum sativum also crispum) Parsley is a taprooted biennial with solid stems, triangular, toothed and curled leaves divided into three segments, umbels of tiny cream summer flowers, and aromatic "seeds". Grown near roses, it improves their health and scent. Leaf infusions are a tonic for hair, skin and eyes. The leaves, root, and seeds are diuretic, scavenge skin-aging free radicals, and reduce the release of histamine. The second-year roots, the leaf, and the seed are used. Parsley is diuretic and helpful for gravel and stone as well as for edema, jaundice, and kidney problems. The root is the most powerful part. The oil of the seed (five to fifteen drops) has been used to bring on menstruation. The seed, when decocted, has been used for intermittent fevers. Steep one teaspoon of leaf per cup for twenty minutes or simmer one teaspoon of the root or seed for twenty minutes. The dose is one-fourth cup, four times a day. Parsley leaves (with violet leaf and figwort herb when possible) are used in poultices for cancer. A parsley poultice will help insect bites, stings, and sore eyes. Parsley tea is used for asthma and coughs.
CAUTION: Persons with weak kidneys should avoid this herb.
Parts Used: Root, leaf and seed
Magical Uses: Parsley was used in funeral rites by the Greeks; it was held sacred to Persephone. It was wound into funeral wreaths and used to decorate tombs. Though the plant has associations with death and is often regarded as evil, the Romans tucked a sprig into their togas every morning for protection. It is also placed on plates of food to guard it from contamination. Parsley is used in purification baths, and those to stop all misfortune.
Aromatherapy Uses: Accumulation of toxins; Arthritis; Broken Blood vessels; Cellulitis; Rheumatism; Sciatica; Colic; Flatulence; Indigestion; Hemorrhoids; Amenorrhea; Dysmenorrhea; To aid Labor; Cystitis; Urinary Infection. Key Qualities: Refreshing; Stimulating; Warming. Avoid during Pregnancy.
- PATCHOULI: (Pogostemon patchouli or heyeanus) This tender, aromatic herb has upright, square stems with soft oval leaves and whorls of whitish flowers on spikes. The leaves, placed among clothes to deter insects, give Indian shawls their characteristic fragrance. Patchouli gave the distinctive scent to original India ink and Chinese red ink paste.
Parts Used: Leaf
Magical Uses: Patchouli smells like rich earth, and so has been used in money and prosperity mixtures and spells. It is sprinkled onto money, added to purses and wallets, and placed around the base of green candles. Also, owing to its earthiness, Patchouli is used in fertility talismans and is also substituted for 'graveyard dust'. Patchouli is added to love sachets and baths. Patchouli is used to attract people and to promote lust. Burn as incense for: Drawing Money; Fertility; Protection; Defense; Lust; Banishing; Releasing; Love; Earth; Underworld.
Aromatherapy Uses: Acne; Athlete's Foot; Cracked and Chapped Skin; Dandruff; Dermatitis; Eczema; Fungal Infections; Hair Care; Impetigo; Sores; Oily Hair and Skin; Open Pores; Wounds; Wrinkles; Frigidity; Nervous Exhaustion; Stress Related Conditions. Key Qualities: Stimulant in small amounts; Sedative in large doses; Aphrodisiac; Nerve Tonic; Appeasing; Calming; Uplifting.
- PEPPERMINT: (Mentha piperita) See Mint.
Magical Uses: This familiar scent is excellent when used for purification. Though slow-growing the results are worth the wait. Rub against furniture and walls and floorboards to cleanse them of evil and negativity. Smelled it compels one towards sleep and placed beneath the pillow it sometimes offers one glimpses of the future in dreams. Burn as Incense for: Exorcism; Health; Healing; Lust; Money and Riches; Changes; Psychic Awareness; Purification.
Aromatherapy Uses: See Mint
- PINE: (Pinus spp.) Sacred to the Druids, the pine was known as one of the Seven Chieftain Trees of the Irish. Dry distillation of Scotch Pine (Pinus sylvestris) needles, twigs, and cones gives the best quality pine oil for perfumes and for expectorants in inhalations for bronchitis and colds. The root tar is included in some hair growth stimulation products.
The needles and young twigs of the white pine (Pinus strobus, Pinus alba) are made into infusions for coughs and as an antiscorbutic; use two teaspoons per cup of water and simmer for twenty minutes. Hight in vitamin C, they helped our ancestors get through the long winters. The knot of the wood is boiled with angelica, acathopanax, quince, and mulberry branches to make a bath for arthritis and rheumatism. Pine needles are simmered into massage oils. The oil is used externally to relieve rheumatic pain, chronic bronchitis, sciatica, pneumonia, and nephritis. Simply cover the needles with a good quality olive oil and simmer at low heat for twenty minutes, or place in a low (180°) oven overnight. The resin heals the kidneys, liver and lungs. The scent is calming to the lungs and nerves.
Parts Used: Needle, twig, and knot of the wood
Magical Uses Pine is the "tree of peace" of the Native American Iroquois confederacy. Burn pine to purify the home and decorate with its branches to bring healing and joy. Mix with equal parts of Juniper and Cedar, burn to purify the home and ritual area. The cones and nuts can be carried as a fertility charm. Placing pine needles in a loose-woven bag and running bathwater over this makes a good magical cleansing and stimulating bath. To purify and sanctify an outdoor ritual area, brush the ground with a pine branch. The oil is commonly added to purification, protection, money and healing mixtures. Burn as incense for, money, purification, healing and exorcism.
Aromatherapy Uses: (Scotch Pine) Cuts; Lice; Excessive Perspiration; Scabies; Sores; Arthritis; Gout; Muscular aches and pains; Neuralgia; Poor Circulation; Rheumatism; Asthma; Bronchitis; Catarrh; Colds; Coughs; Flu; Sinusitis; Sore Throat; Cystitis; Urinary Infection; Fatigue; Nervous Exhaustion; Stress Related Conditions. Key Qualities: Strengthening; Cleansing; Restorative; Reviving; Refreshing; Stimulant; Soothing.
- ROSE: (Rosa spp.) The Rose has aromatic, cosmetic, medicinal, culinary, and craft uses. Fresh petals and rosewater flavor sweet and savory dishes and are crystallized for decoration. Rosewater revives tired skin and eyes. Dog Rose (Rosa canina) is the major source of hips for jam, syrup, tea and wine. Associated with pure love and femininity, it is valued by aromatherapists for it's rejuvenating qualities.
Rose petal syrup can be make by adding twice the petals' weight of sugar and infusing in hot water. Alternatively, 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 read and ready for drying or making into jam. The jam or jelly is used or 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.
Parts Used:Flowers and hips
Magical Uses: The Rose is a Goddess herb belonging to Venus and the Water element. Rose is the accepted love scent. 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. True rose essential oil (known as Otto) and rose absolute are expensive but worth it, one drop has powerful properties. DO NOT use synthetics. Rose oil is used in formulas designed to attract love, confer peace, stimulate sexual appetites, and enhance beauty.
A tea of rosebuds drunk before sleep induces prophetic dreams. Rose petal and hips are used in healing spells and mixtures. Rose petals sprinkled around the house calm personal stress and household upheavals. Roses planted in the garden attract fairies and are said to grow best when stolen.
Burn as incense for : Healing; Health; Love; Luck; Creativity; Balance; Anointing; Divination; Clairvoyance; Protection; Psychic Awareness.
Aromatherapy Uses: Thread Veins; Dry, Mature and Sensitive Skin; Wrinkles; Eczema; Herpes; Palpitations; Poor Circulation; Asthma; Coughs; Hay Fever; Cholecystities; Liver Congestion; Nausea; Irregular Menstruation; Leukorrhea; Menorrhagia; Uterine Disorders; Depression; Impotence; Insomnia; Frigidity; Headache; Nervous Tension; Stress Related Conditions. Key Qualities: Aphrodisiac; Soothing; Comforting; Antidepressant; Sedative; Uplifting; Appeasing; Regulating; Heart Tonic.
- ROSEMARY: (Rosmarinus officinalis) Rosemary leaves are an ancient savory herb, especially popular in Italian dishes, and with shellfish, pork and lamb. The antiseptic, antioxidant leaves help preserve food, aid digestion of fat, and are included in several slimming compounds. The flowers can be used fresh as a garnish or crystallized as decoration. Distilled flower water makes a soothing eyewash.
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 blood pressure. To make the tea, steep two teaspoon of the dried flowering tops in one cup of water for twenty minutes. Take one-fourth cup four times a day. 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 an herbal tobacco to relieve asthma and lung conditions.
CAUTION: When rosemary is used as a tea, the dose should not exceed one cup per day. Overdose can cause fatal poisoning.
Parts Used: Leaf and flower
Magical Uses: "Any home where rosemary thrives is a home where the mistress rules." Rosemary when burned, emits powerful cleansing and purifying vibrations, and so is smoldered to rid a place of negativity, especially prior to performing magic. It is one of the oldest incenses. Burn for protection, exorcism, purification, healing, to cause sleep, To restore or maintain youth; to bring love and to increase intellectual powers. Rosemary infusion is used to wash the hands before healing work, and the leaves mixed with juniper berries are burned in sickrooms to promote healing. Rosemary may be substituted for any other herb, in any spell or mixture. It is generally used as a substitute for Frankincense.
Aromatherapy Uses: Acne; Dermatitis; Eczema; Lice; Scabies; Hair; Scalp; Arteriosclerosis; Fluid Retention; Gout; Muscular Pain; Neuralgia; Palpitations; Poor Circulation; Varicose Veins; Rheumatism; Asthma; Bronchitis; Whooping Cough; Colitis; Dyspepsia; Flatulence; Hepatic Disorders; Jaundice; Dysmenorrhea; Leukorrhea; Colds; Flu; Infections; Headaches; Hypotension; Nervous Exhaustion; Stress Related Conditions. Key Qualities: Stimulant (nervous and mental); Analgesic; Tonic; Strengthening; Restorative; Purifying; Protective; Reviving; Refreshing.
- ROWAN: (Sorbus aucuparia) Also known as Mountain Ash, Witchwood, Witchbane, and Sorb Apple. A Druid sacred tree and sacred to the goddess Bride/Bridgit, Rowan bears clusters of spring flowers and bright red berries in autumn, when the leaves may turn red. The berries, rich in vitamin C, can be made into a tart jelly, Ground into flour, fermented into wine, or distilled into spirit. The seeds should be removed as they can contain hydrocyanic acid and are considered poisonous. Rowan is a traditional country charm against witchcraft.(!)
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 fevers). 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.
Parts Used: Fruit
Magical Uses: Rowan is said to have come from the land of Fairy and as such is a very magical tree used for wands, rods, amulets, and spells. All parts of the tree are sacred. Make a tea with a few of the ripe berries and add it to the ritual chalice. A forked branch can help find water. Wands are for knowledge, locating metal, and general divination. Fires made of Rowan serve to summon spirits, especially when facing conflicts. Incense of leaves and berries for divination. Grow for protection of home. Carrying Rowan wood increases psychic powers. Rowan carried on board whip will prevent its involvement in storms; kept in the house it guards against lightening strikes, and when planted on a grave Rowan keeps the deceased one from haunting the place. Rowans growing near stone circles are the most potent. The leaf and berry are used in incense to increase psychic powers. Wear a tiny cross of rowan wood somewhere in your clothing or protection.
- RUE: (Ruta graveolens) Also known as Herb of Grace. This evergreen subshrub has yellow summer flowers and deeply divided, bluish, aromatic leaves. Rue is a stimulant and abortifacient and strengthens capillaries. Its antispasmodic action treats high blood pressure, epilepsy and colic. A leaf wash treats tired eyes and was used by da Vinci and Michelangelo. Rue's round-lobed leaves inspired the symbol for the suit of clubs.
CAUTION: Some people may experience skin irritation when picking the fresh plant.
The whole herb is used, fresh or dry. It is taken warm to bring on menstruation. The infusion benefits coughs, cramp, 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 eaves 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.
CAUTION: This is a strong herb. Use in dosages only as indicated. Overdose will lead to vomiting.
Parts Used: Above-ground portions of the herb
Magical Uses: Ancient Celts considered Rue an antimagical herb, which is a defense against spells and dark magic. A fresh sprig can be used to sprinkle sacred water for consecration, blessings and healings. Burned in exorcism or purification incenses, it routs negativity and gets things moving. Used in altar oil, blessing, purifying, cleansing, consecration, protection, banishing, releasing, exorcism, inspiration, wisdom. Fresh Rue leaves placed on the forehead relieves headaches. Rue added to baths breaks all hexes and curses that may have been cast against you. Rue is another plant said to grow best when stolen, and indeed its presence in the garden beautifies and protects it. For some reason, toads have an aversion to Rue.
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© 1998 Joelle Miller