~U - Z~
- VALERIAN: (Valeriana officinalis) Also known as Garden Heliotrope, Vandal Root, and St. George's Herb. Valerian has compound leaves with a fresh pea pod scent, and clusters of honey scented flowers in midsummer. Both have unpleasant fetid undertones. Their musky root is used in stews and perfumes and unskinned root is a tranquilizer. The herb treats headaches, muscle cramps and irritable bowel syndrome and is used topically for wounds, ulcers, and eczema. Laboratory tests show anti-tumor activity. Composted leaves are rich in minerals. Do not take large doses or continuously. Although the root of the herb has a strong pungent scent, some cats love it more than catnip. (Mine do!!)
Parts Used: Root
Magical Uses: A sprig of the plant pinned to a woman's clothing will cause men to 'follow her like children'. Valerian Root is added to Love Sachets. Put in pillows to promote deep rest. Use
in spells for: Protection; Purification; Harmony; Peace; Happiness; Love; Creative Work; Money and Riches.
Aromatherapy Uses: Insomnia; Nervous Indigestion; Migraine; Restlessness; Tension States. Key Qualities: Sedative; Depressant of the Central Nervous System; Mildly Hypnotic; Regulator; Calming; Soothing; Grounding.
- VERVAIN: (Verbena officinalis) Also known as Enchanters Herb, Holy Herb, Verbena, Blue Vervain, and Holy Wort. A Druid sacred herb, common in their many rites and incantations, this hardy perennial has deeply cut lower leaves and smooth upper leaves with small dense spikes of pale lilac-pink flowers. An ancient sacred herb of purification, visions, and love potions, it was included in liqueurs and aphrodisiacs. Vervain was so highly regarded by the Druids that offerings were placed on altars.
"Vervain" is a derivative of the Celtic fer (to drive away)and faen (stone), given to it because of its ability to purge calculi (gravel) from the bladder. A tea of the herb helps to increase breast mild and is helpful in lowering fever, especially of the intermittent type. It will benefit eczema and other skin eruptions, as it is a kidney and liver cleanser. Jaundice, whooping cough, edema, mastitis, and headaches fall under its sphere. To make the tea, steep one tablespoon of the herb per cup of water for twenty minutes.
Externally, vervain is used in poultices for ear infections, rheumatism and wounds. Vervain is an emmenagogue (brings down the menses) and soothes the nerves. It is reputed to have aphrodisiac properties. It is a powerful lymphatic detoxifier and has a cleansing effect on the female organs.
Blue Vervain (Verbena hastata), the American variety, is a natural tranquilizer and is helpful with colds and fevers, especially when the upper respiratory tract is involved. It will eliminate intestinal worms and is used externally for wounds. It is distinguished from the European vervain by its deeper blue flowers and denser, bristly flower spikes. Blue vervain is also prepared in a standard infusion or tinctured in alcohol.
Parts Used: Above ground portions of the herb.
Magical Uses: Vervain is a profoundly magical herb belonging to the sphere of Venus. Roman priests and priestesses used it as an altar plant - it was tied in bundles and used to ritually "sweep" and purify the altar. Druids placed it in water that was sprinkled on worshipers as a blessing.
Vervain was picked at the rising of the Dog Star, at the dark of the moon, just before flowering. It was taken from the earth with the sacred sickle and raised aloft in the left hand. After prayers of thanksgiving were spoken the Druid or Druidess left a gift of honey to recompense the Earth for her loss.
Vervain was once infused in wine and worn on the body to ward off the stings of insects and serpents. It is used in the bath as a protection from enchantments and to make dreams come true.
Wearing or bathing in vervain places one under the influence of Diana. After washing your hands in the infusion, it will be possible to engender love in the one you touch.
To dispel fears, light a candle daily and surround it with vervain. Speak aloud a prayer to the Gods and Goddesses asking for release from your fear. Do this as long as necessary.
On the night of the full moon, go outside with a chalice filled with water, vervain and salt. Take also a candle and a piece of petrified wood. Dip the stone into the water mixture and then pass it through the candle flame. Touch the stone to your feet, hands, shoulders, and head. As you do this ask for the blessings of youth and beauty. Repeat the process seven times.
Vervain is worn as a crown during Druidic initiatory rites and as protection for those who are working magic. Sprinkle throughout the home for protection and to bring peace. Keep some in the bedroom to bring tranquil dreams. Keep it in the home to attract wealth and to keep plants healthy. Sprinkle some on the garden as an offering to the elementals and other nature spirits. Drinking the juice of fresh vervain is said to cut sexual desire. Burn it to banish the pangs of unrequited love. Vervain is worn to recover stolen articles. Tucked into a child's cradle, the plant brings joy and a lively intellect. When burned, Vervain is powerful for warding psychic attack, but it is also used in spells for love, purification and attracting wealth. It is a powerful attractant to the opposite sex. Use for Anointing; Banishing; Gather and burn at Litha; Altar Offering; Creativity; Energy; Strength; Power.
- VETIVERT: (Vetivera zizanioides) Also called Khus-khus. This perennial grass grows in dense clumps of stout stems with long leaves and has an aromatic rhizome and roots. The distilled root essential oil flavors Asian sherbets and sweets, fixes perfumes, and scents quality soaps, cosmetics and aftershaves. The scent is a deep yet refreshing, woody, resinous mixture of myrrh and violets.
Parts Used: Root
Magical Uses: Vetivert root is burned to overcome evil spells. It is also used in love powders, sachet and incenses and is added to the bathwater in a sachet to make yourself more attractive to the opposite sex. Vetivert is also used in money spells and mixtures, placed in the cash register to increase business, carried to attract luck, and burned in anti-theft incenses.
Aromatherapy Uses: Acne; Cuts; Oily Skin; Wounds; Arthritis; Muscular Aches and Pains; Rheumatism; Sprains; Stiffness; Debility; Depression; Insomnia; Nervous Tension. Known as the "Oil of Tranquillity". Key Qualities: Sedative; Soothing; Calming; Tonic; Grounding; Uplifting; Protective.
- VIOLET: (Viola odorata) Also called Heartsease, Little Faces, and Viola. This stemless perennial has scalloped, heart-shaped leaves and violet or white, sweetly scented flowers from winter to spring. The crystallized flowers flavor sweets and liqueurs and are tossed in salads with the leaves. The root treats bronchitis The leaves are a folk remedy for breast and lung cancer. The flower syrup is antiseptic and a mild laxative, and with the leaves treats coughs, headaches, and insomnia. Ancient Greeks wore the violet to calm tempers and to induce sleep
The whole plant is used, fresh or dry. The leaves can be eaten as a type of wild spinach, and the flowers are used in salads and desserts. High in iron, the fresh leaf is used internally and externally for cancer, especially of the colon, throat, and tongue. For this purpose, the fresh laves should be infused daily and taken as tea; using one teaspoon of plant parts to a half cup of water, steep and take a quarter cup four times a day. The tea can be applied externally as a fomentation. The flowers are laxative; the roots and stems are emetic and purgative. The fresh leaves are used in salves and poultices for wounds.
Parts Used: Whole Plant
Magical Uses: violet crowns are said to cure headache, bring sleep, and calm anger. Violets are mixed with lavender, apple blossoms, yarrow, and roses in love potions. The leaf is a protection from all evil. Use for: Protection; Luck; Love; Lust; Wishes; Peace; Healing. Mixed with Lavender, the flowers are a powerful live stimulant and also arouse lust. Violets and Periwinkle are used to decorate the graves and corpses of children.
- WILLOW: (Salix alba) Also known as White Willow, European Willow, Tree of Enchantment, and Witches Aspirin. One of the Seven Sacred Trees of the Irish. A Druid sacred tree, the willow is a Moon tree sacred to the White Lady. It's groves were considered so magical that priests, priestesses and all types of artisans sat among these trees to gain eloquence, inspiration, skills, and prophecies. The stem bark is a painkiller, a fever-reducer, and an original source for salicylic acid for aspirin. The infused leaves make a tea for nervous insomnia and are added to baths to ease rheumatism. The Salix species provide the best-quality artists' charcoal, branches are used for weaving, and the White Willow var. caerulea is the source of wood for cricket bats. The genus name Salix comes from the Celtic sal-lis, "near water".
Black willow (S. nigra) bark is used to treat gonorrhea and ovarian pain. The white willow contains salicin, the active constituent from which Aspirin was first synthesized. White willow bark is used for rheumatic complaints, arthritis and headaches as well as diarrhea and dysentery. Fevers, edema, and the aftereffects of worms are treated with willow bark. To make the tea, steep three teaspoons of the bark in on cup of cold water for two to five hours, boil for one minute, and strain. Willow is also available as a powder. The dose is one teaspoon, three times a day in tea or capsules. The tincture can be taken in ten- to twenty-drop doses four times a day.
Parts Used: Bark, collected in the Spring.
Magical Uses: Willows are commonly found near ancient British burial sites. The willow is a guardian tree, said to protect from evil influences. The willow tree has a healing aura that blesses all it touches. All parts of the willow guard against evil and can be carried or placed in the home for this purpose. Burn bark with sandalwood for divination and love. Magical brooms, especially Witch's brooms, are traditionally bound with a willow branch.
- WITCH HAZEL: (Hamamelis virginiana) Also called Spotted Alder, and Winter Bloom, Witch Hazel, a distillation from the leaves and flower-bearing twigs, is included in skin products for its disinfectant and astringent properties. It is used on chapped and sunburned skin, bruises, swellings, and rashes; to stop bleeding; and to reduce varicose veins and hemorrhoids. The seeds are edible and the leaves can be brewed for a warming tea. Commercially distilled witch hazel contains 14 percent alcohol. It must not be confused with tincture of Witch Hazel, which may be much more astringent and could disfigure skin.
Parts Used: Leaf and young twigs
Magical Uses: Witch hazel has long been used to fashion divining rods, hence the common name. The bark and twigs are also used to protect against evil influences. If carried, witch hazel helps to mend a broken heart and cool the passions.
Aromatherapy Uses: Distilled witch hazel is one of the basics in any home first aid kit. It is useful for stings, bruises, cuts, scrapes, sprains, tissue swelling, and many other minor conditions. It is also useful in skin care regimes.
- WOOD ALOE: (Aquilaria agallocha) The prized elusive scent of Wood Aloe exists only in resin-saturated diseased wood.
Magical Uses: Wood Aloe possesses high spiritual vibrations. Will bring love if worn. Use in incense for Love, Protection, Money and Riches, and Spirituality.
- WORMWOOD:(Artemisia absinthium) Also known as Absinthe. A Druid sacred herb, Wormwood is very magical and sacred to Moon deities. An accumulative poison if ingested. Wormwood is a bitter herb used to flavor vermouth and the now-banned liqueur absinthe. A leaf and flowering top infusion is a tonic for the digestive system, liver, gallbladder, and blood, reducing inflammation and clearing impurities. The plant treats fever, expels worms, and reduces the toxicity of lead poisoning. As a companion plant, it acts as a deterrent against several insect pests. Toxic in high doses!
The leaves and flowers are used in a light infusion to help digestion, flatulence, and heartburn. Wormwood improves circulation and stimulates the liver. The tea is said to relieve labor pains. Use one teaspoon per cup and steep for twenty minutes; take a quarter cup up to four times a day; or use as a tincture, eight to ten drops in water up to three times a day. A fomentation of the leaves and flowers soothes bruises and sprains. The oil relieves arthritis.
CAUTION: The oil is for external use only! Prolonged use of wormwood can lead to nerve damage.
Parts Used: Leaf and flower
Magical Uses: The scent of wormwood is said to increase psychic powers. Burned with incenses on Samhain to aid evocation, divination, scrying and prophecy. Especially good when combined with Mugwort. Strengthens incenses for exorcism and protection. Hung from a rear-view mirror, wormwood protects vehicles from accidents on treacherous roads. Use in spells for: Binding; Psychic Awareness; Evocation; Love; Clairvoyance.
- YARROW: (Achillea millefolium) Also known as Seven Year's Love, Milfoil, and Woundwort. The flowering tops are a digestive and cleaning tonic and a diuretic and are used to reduce high blood pressure. Fresh leaves arrest bleeding and are applied as a poultice to wounds or are placed on shaving cuts. One of the true treasures of the earth, Yarrow essential oil is naturally blue and possesses an incredible scent. The oil treats colds , flu, and inflamed joints.
This is a classic herb for flu, especially the intestinal variety. Try a mixture of elderflower, peppermint, and yarrow to bring down a fever and induce perspiration. The tea benefits the kidneys. Yarrow is used in salves for hemorrhoids and in poultices to stop bleeding and help heal wounds. Cramps and rheumatism are treated with the tea, as are intestinal gas, diarrhea, anorexia, and hyperacidity.
Parts Used: Above-ground portions of the herb
Magical Uses: Large patches of yarrow growing in a field indicate a very grounded energy spot. Sit there to center and relax. Yarrow is used to exorcise evil and negativity from a person, place or thing. A bunch of dried yarrow hung over the bed or yarrow used in wedding decorations ensures a love lasting at least seven years. Use in spells for: Divination; Love; Happy Marriage; Wards Negativity; Defense; Protection; Gather at Litha; Psychic Awareness; Banishing; Releasing; Clairvoyance.
Aromatherapy Uses: Acne; Burns; Cuts; Eczema; Hair Rinse; Inflammation; Rashes; Scars; Wounds; Arteriosclerosis, High Blood Pressure; Rheumatoid Arthritis; Thrombosis; Varicose Veins; Constipation; Cramps; Flatulence; Hemorrhoids; Indigestion; Amenorrhea; Colds; Fever; Flu; Cystitis; Hypertension; Insomnia; Stress Related Conditions. Key Qualities: Balancing; Restorative; Tonic; Strengthening; Opening; Grounding; Revitalizing; Mildly Stimulating.
- YLANG-YLANG: (Cananga odorata) Ylang-ylang has glossy leaves and masses of perfumed, greenish-yellow (sometimes mauve or pink) flowers with narrow petals that resemble witch hazel flowers but appear during two flowering periods. The essential oil is distilled by steam from freshly picked flowers and is featured in many perfumes, soaps, skin lotions, and to balance sebum in Macasser hair oil. Use in moderation, since the oil's heady scent can cause headaches or nausea. Ylang-Ylang means "flower of flowers".
Magical Uses: (Oil) Useful for Peace, Love and Sex Spells. It can be worn on the body or included in mixtures for these purposes.
Aromatherapy Uses: (Oil)Acne; Hair Growth; Hair Rinse; Insect Bites; Irritated and Oily Skin; General Skin Care; High Blood Pressure; Palpitations; Depression; Frigidity; Impotence; Insomnia; Nervous Tension; Stress Related Disorders. Key Qualities: Powerfully Sedative; Soothing; Calming; Regulating; Euphoria-inducing; and narcotic when used in large quantities; Aphrodisiac.
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© 1998-2002 Joelle Miller