- SAFFRON:(Crocus sativus) The stigmas and style tops flavor and color liqueurs and many dishes, especially rice. Saffron is considered an aphrodisiac, but too much may be narcotic. It is given to reduce fevers, cramps, and enlarged livers, and to calm nerves, and is applies externally for bruises, rheumatism, and neuralgia. In India saffron is used ceremonially. Although water soluble, it is used cosmetically and as a sacred dye. Turmeric is mistakenly called saffron in Asia.
Parts Used: Stamens
Magical Uses: Saffron is added to love sachets as well as though aimed at raising lustful feelings. It is used in healing spells, and the infusion is used as wash water for the hands prior to healing rituals. Sheets were rinsed with a saffron infusion in Ireland so that the arms and legs would be strengthened during sleep, and the ancient Persians used Saffron to raise the wind. Use in spells for: Happiness; Health/Healing; Lust; Psychic Awareness; Wing Raising; Strength.
- SAGE: (Salvia officinalis) Sage leaf has a strong taste that increases when dried. Used sparingly to flavor and aid the digestion of fatty meats, it is popular in poultry stuffing and combines well with strongly flavored floors. The flowers are tossed in salads and are brewed for a light, balsamic tea, while the leaf tea is an antiseptic nerve and blood tonics. Sage contains hormone precursors that help irregular menstruation and menopause symptoms.
Sage is a drying agent for the body. The tea of the leaf will dry up night sweats, breast milk, and mucous congestion. It benefits the nerves and the menstrual cycle as well. Being astringent, it helps with diarrhea. Use it as a sore throat gargle and as a poultice for sores and stings. Use two teaspoons of the herb per cup of water, steep for twenty minutes and take a quarter cup four times a day. Tincture; fifteen to forty drops, up to four times a day.
Parts Used: Leaf
Magical Uses: Sage absorbs negativity and misfortune. It drives away disturbances and tensions, and lifts the spirits above the mundane cars of life. Burn it to consecrate a ritual space. Carry it as an herb of protection. Use it in the ritual bath and chalice. Tradition holds that those who eat sage become immortal in both wisdom and years. Sage is used in wish manifestations and to attract money. Smolder to promote healing and spirituality. Carry to promote wisdom. Use in spells for: Protection; Wisdom; Health; Money and Riches; Spirituality.
Aromatherapy Uses: (Clary Sage Salvia sclarea) Acne; Boils; Dandruff; Hair Loss; Inflamed Skin Conditions; Oily Skin and Hair; Ulcers; Wrinkles; High Blood Pressure; Muscular Aches and Pains; Asthma; Throat Infections; Whooping Cough; Colic; Cramps; Dyspepsia; Flatulence; Labor Pain; Irregular Menstruation; Depression; Frigidity; Impotence; Migraine; Nervous Tension; Stress Related Conditions. Key Qualities: Relaxing; Rejuvenating; Balancing; Inspiring; sedative; Revitalizing; Aphrodisiac; Intoxicating; Euphoric; Warming.
- ST. JOHN'S WORT: (Hypericum perforatum) A Druid sacred herb, the Celts passed it through the smoke of the Summer Solstice fire, then wore it in battle for invincibility. This herb has woody-based stems, with pairs of small, balsamic-scented leaves and clusters of lemon-scented, yellow summer flowers. The leaves are used in salads and to flavor liqueurs. Extract of the flowering tops is antiviral, astringent, and sedative; it treats inflammation, wounds, and diarrhea. Taken internally, it calms nerves and treats depression. It is under research for AIDS treatment. The flowers yield yellow and red dyes.
The herb is the part used for lung problems, bladder complaints, diarrhea, dysentery, depression, hemorrhages, and jaundice. Steep two teaspoons of the herb per cup of water for twenty minutes. Take one-half cup in the morning and one-half cup at bed time. Bedwetting is helped by a nightly cup of the tea. The oil and fomentation are applied externally the injuries, especially when nerve endings are involved (i.e. fingers and toes) and to soften tumors and caked breasts.
To make the oil, cover the flowers with good cold-pressed olive oil and leave the sealed preparation in the hot sun for twenty-one days or until it becomes a rich red. The oil is excellent for massages, as it affects the spine directly. Varicose veins, mild burns, inflammations, neuralgia, and rheumatism are helped by a poultice of it.
CAUTION: Malignant tumors must be treated with care. Never rub or massage a malignant growth, as cells may become detached and travel to other parts of the body.
Parts Used: Flower, leaf, and stem
Magical Uses: The Welsh called this plant "leaf of the blessed." It was understood to be an idea combination of water and fire, the ultimate healing essence. Fire symbolized the fruitful light-filled forces of summer, and water the gathering and settling forces of the dark season. Midsummer was the time of balance between these forces of light and dark. Burn at Litha to send away negativity, wear for invincibility, health and willpower. Gather at Litha or on a Friday and worn it will keep mental illness at bay and also cure melancholy. When placed in a jar and hung by a window, St. John's Wrote protects against thunderbolts, fire and evil spirits. Both flowers and leaves are used for this purpose.
At one time St. John's Wort was held to the mouth of accused Witches to attempt to force them to confess.
- SANDALWOOD: (Santalum album) Sandalwood is one of the most valuable woods in the world. All parts yields Sandalwood oil, particularly the heartwood and the roots, which yield about 6 percent essential oil. Recorded in Ayurvedic medicine and Egyptian embalming, the oil is now used as an inhalant for its expectorant and sedative effect on coughs and as a powerful antiseptic for lung and urinary tract infections. Sandalwood makes a popular incense, as its calming effect aids meditation. It is commonly used for funeral pyres in India, where devotees believe the scent protects places from evil spirits.
The fragrant heartwood is a classic for bladder infections. It is taken to help in the passing of stones, in kidney inflammations, and in prostatitis. The oil is cooling to the body and useful for fevers and infections when used as a massage. The scent is calming to the mind. Sandalwood has been used internally for chronic bronchitis and to treat gonorrhea and the urethral discharge that results. Simmer one teaspoon of the wood per cup of water for twenty minutes, and take up to two cups a day in quarter-cup doses.
Parts Used: Heartwood
Magical Uses: Lower grades of Sandalwood (light colored with little scent) are not recommended to use in magic. Sandalwood powder is burned during protection, healing and exorcism spells. When mixed with lavender it makes an incense designed to conjure spirits. This fragrant wood possesses very high spiritual vibrations and is mixed with Frankincense and burned at seances and Full Moon rituals. Powdered sandalwood can be scattered about a place to clear it of negativity. Sandalwood beads are protective and promote a spiritual awareness when worn. Sandalwood oil placed on the forehead aids in focusing the mind. The scent opens the highest spiritual centers and so makes an appropriate incense for rituals, exorcisms, and healings. The scents of frankincense and sandalwood have some of the highest vibrations inherent in any plant. They will resonate with aspects of ourselves or with Devic/Angelic beings of the highest order. Rose is another herb held to have that frequency, thus attracting or eliciting the highest spiritual vibrations from within ourselves and the cosmos. Sandalwood is used as an incense base for: Protection; Healing; Exorcise; Spirituality; Wishes; Full Moon Esbats; Wards Negativity; Astral Projection; Reincarnation; Spirit Offering.
Aromatherapy Uses: Acne; Dry, Cracked, Chapped Skin; After Shave; Greasy Skin; Moisturizer; Bronchitis; Catarrh; Coughs (dry, persistent); Laryngitis; Sore Throat; Diarrhea; Nausea; Cystitis; Depression; Insomnia; Nervous Tension; Stress Related Conditions. Key Qualities: Aphrodisiac, Soothing; Relaxing; Uplifting; Purifying; Warming; Grounding; Opening; Elevating; Sedative.
- SPEARMINT: (Mentha spicata) Also called Garden Mint, Our Lady's Mint, Sage of Bethlehem, Erba Santa Maria and Lamb Mint. Spearmint is the most generally cultivated of the culinary mints. The leaves are almost or completely stalkless, lance-shaped bright-green and hairless. Mice hate the smell of mint and will avoid any place where the herb is scattered.
Magical Uses: Spearmint is used in all healing applications, especially in aiding lung diseases. Smelled, spearmint increases and sharpens mental powers. For protection while asleep, stuff a pillow or mattress with spearmint.
Aromatherapy Uses: See Mint
- STAR ANISE: (Illicium verum) All parts of this small, evergreen tree are aromatic; the smooth, gray-white bark, narrow to elliptic shiny green leaves; solitary yellow flowers; and glossy brown seeds. The distinctive seeds and pods are used as a spice in Asian cookery, notably as an ingredient of Chinese five-spice powder. The fruits and foliage yield an essential oil, used as a substitute anise seed flavoring, or, medicinally to relieve chest complaints, rheumatism, and flatulence. The oil appears in soaps, hair oils, and Asian perfumes.
Chew the seeds after a meal to help the digestion. Simmer the seeds to make a tea for colic and rheumatic complaints. Steep one teaspoon of the crushed seed in one cup of boiled water for twenty minutes and take up to two cups a day. Often added to other brews to improve taste, the tea of the seed will help cramps and nausea, promote menstruation, and increase breast milk. It also relieves insomnia. The seeds are simmered into salves for scabies and lice. The oil is a stomach tonic. The seeds can be tinctured in brandy (rather than the usual vodka, whiskey, or grain alcohol) with some lemon peel; the dose is one-fourth to one-half teaspoon.
Parts Used: Seed
Magical Uses: The powdered bark is used as an incense in Japanese temples. The tree is planted by the Japanese around temples and on graves as an herb of consecration and protection. The seeds are burned as incense to increase psychic powers, and are also worn as beads for the same purpose. Sometimes star anise is placed on the altar to give it power; one is placed to each of the four directions. It is also carried as a general luck-bringer, and the seeds make excellent pendulums. The tree is often grown near Buddist temples where it is revered.
Aromatherapy Uses: Couldn't find any reference to it's use in Aromatherapy, though it is widely used in homeopathy.
- SUNFLOWER: (Helianthus annuus) This fast-growing annual has a thick, tall, hairy stem, heart-shaped leaves, and large yellow flower heads in late summer. The nutritious seeds are eaten raw, roasted, and ground into meal or nut butter and were used by Native American warriors as "energy cakes." The flower buds give a yellow dye and are cooked like artichokes. The pressed seeds yield an all-purpose oil with culinary, cosmetic, and industrial uses. Medicinally, the seeds are used as a diuretic and expectorant and treat coughs, dysentery, and kidney inflammation. The root is a laxative and treats stomach pan. The stem pith yields potash and fibers for textiles and paper, and its cellular lightness is used for microscope slide mounts. The seed heads provide food for birds in winter.
Parts Used: flower, leaves, stalk, root and seeds
Magical Uses: In Aztec temples of the sun, priestesses carried sunflowers and wore them as crowns. As sun symbols, these flowers symbolize the healthy ego, the wisdom, and the fertility of the solar logos. Sunflower seeds are eaten by women who wish to conceive. To protect yourself against smallpox wear sunflower seeds around the neck, either in a bag or strung like beads.
If you cut a sunflower at sunset while making a wish, the wish will come true before another sunset - as long as the wish isn't too grand.
Sleeping with a sunflower under the bed allows you to know the truth in any matter.
If you wish to become virtuous, anoint yourself with juice pressed from the stems of the sunflower.
Sunflowers growing in the garden guard it against pests and grant the best of luck to the gardener.
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© 1998 Joelle Miller