Whispering Woods Herbal Grimoire
Section H, I and J
The following information is intended for reference only.
Herbal Descriptions: H - Hawthorn, Hazel, Heather, Hemlock, Henbane, Holly, Honeysuckle, Hops, Horehound, Horseradish, Horsetail, Hyssop
I - Indian Pipe, Indian Strawberry
J - Jasmine, Jewelweed, Jobs Tears, Joe Pye Weed, Juniper
(Crataegus oxycantha) Berries, leaves and flowers
Dedicated to Hymen, the god of marriage, the hawthorn was used as a symbol of hope at weddings in Greece; bridal attendants wore its blossoms while the bride carried an entire bough. Also, in both Greece and Rome, torches carried in wedding processions were made of hawthorn. The Romans put hawthorn leaves in the cradles of newborn babies to ward off evil spirits.
Medicinal Uses: Hawthorn is effective for curing insomnia. Hawthorn is used to prevent miscarriage and for treating nervousness. Hawthorn has been used for centuries in treating heart disease, as regular use strengthens the heart muscles, and to prevent arteriosclerosis, angina, and poor heart action. Hawthorn normalizes blood pressure by regulating heart action; extended use will usually lower blood pressure. It is good for heart muscle weakened by age, for inflammation of the heart muscle (myocarditis), for softening the arteries in arteriosclerosis, helps strengthen blood
vessels, cures giddiness, reduces palpitations, angina pectoris, weak heart, vascular insufficiency, blood clots (embolism, phlebitis), and for nervous heart problems. People under stress and strain from pressures of the job can benefit from hawthorn tea, aids in digestion. The tea is also a good remedy for other nervous conditions, particularly insomnia. Dilates coronary vessels, to restore the heart muscle wall, and to lower cholesterol levels. Used to treat skin sores. Relieves abdominal distention and diarrhea, food stagnation, abdominal tumors, and is good for dropsy, drives out splinters and thorns.
Magickal uses: The leaves are used to make protection sachets. They are also carried to ensure good fishing. In Europe, Hawthorn was used to repel witchcraft spells. Bringing branches of it into the home is supposed to portend death. It is incorporated into spells and rituals for fertility. It will protect the home from damaging storms. Hawthorn branches carried at weddings ensure fertility. Place the leaves under a mattress or around the bedroom to ensure chastity. Place in a bassinette to protect a baby from evil. Druid sacred tree and Fairy tree. Wands of the wood have power. Used in marriage rituals to promote fertility. Hawthorn is the seat of Wild Magic and decorated May Poles.
Properties: Astringent, antispasmodic, cardiac tonic, carminative, diuretic, sedative, stimulant, vasodilator. Contains anthocyanin-type pigments, choline, citric acid, cratagolic acid, rich in bioflavonoids, flavonoid glycosides, tannins, glavone, glycosides, inositol, PABA, purines, saponins, sugar, tartaric acid, minerals and vitamins B1, B2, B3, B5, B6, B9, B12, and C.
Growth: Hawthorn, a compact, deciduous tree, grows as either a shrub or a tree, to 15 feet; its trunk or stems have hard wood, smooth and ash-gray bark, and thorny branches. The small, shiny leaves are dark green on top, light bluish-green underneath, and have 3 irregularly toothed lobes. The frail white flowers, known as "may", have 5 round petals and grow in terminal corymbs, spreading clusters, during May and June. In some varieties the blossoms may be pink or deep red. The fruit, or haw, is 2-3 seeded, egg-shaped, freshly pome, scarlet on the outside, yellowish and pulpy on the inside. The berries or fruit hang in small bunches from the thorny shrub, each berry has 1-5 seeds. Berries remain on the tree after the leaves fall off in autumn. Found in England and continental Europe; in England it is widely grown as a hedge plant. Found by the roadside or in the meadows, along streams, in bottomlands and open woods from Nova Scotia to North Dakota and south to Alabama and Texas. Native to Asia, Africa and Europe. Naturalized to the United States.
Medicinal Uses: Eating hazelnuts can benefit obese people in losing weight.
It causes a person to be satiated for a longer period of time.
Magickal uses: Hazel's forked branches are used for divining, and the wood makes wonderful wands. Hazel nuts hung in the house will bring luck, and can be carried to cause fertility. Eaten, the nuts bring wisdom. Hazel is an ancient Celtic tree of wisdom, inspiration and poetry. Dian Cecht, the god of healing, invented a porridge that would cure colds, sore throats, and worms. According to legend, it consisted of hazel bubs, dandelions, chickweed, sorrel, and oatmeal. It was to be taken in the mornings and evenings. The nuts are strung and hung in the house for good luck. Give this to a bride to wish her luck in her home. The nuts are often eaten for wisdom and fertility especially before divination. Hazel crowns have been used for granting wishes and invisibility. To protect your home from lightning place the twigs in the window frames, driving three pins of hazel wood into your home will protect it from fire. Forked hazel branches are used by dowsers and hazel in general make fine all purpose wands.
Properties: Hazel nuts are rich in phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, and copper.
Growth: Hazelnuts grow on bushes 1.8 to 3.6 meters high. One species in Turkey and another in China are large trees. The nut itself grows in a very bristly husk that conspicuously contracts above the nut into a long neck. The different species vary in this respect as to size and shape. Hazelnuts are found over wide areas in the United States, especially the eastern half of the country and along the Pacific coast. These nuts are also found in Europe where they are known as filberts. The hazelnut is common in Asia, especially in eastern Asia from the Himalayas to China and Japan. The hazelnut usually grows in the dense thickets along stream banks and open places. They are not plants of the dense forest.
(Calluna spp.) blossoms
Medicinal Uses: A tea made of heather blossoms is used to suppress coughing, and
as an aid for sleeplessness. A stronger infusion is used to treat urinary tract infections.
In particular it is a good urinary antiseptic and diuretic, disinfecting the urinary tract
and mildly increasing urine production. The flowering shoots are antiseptic, astringent,
cholagogue, depurative, diaphoretic, diuretic, expectorant, mildly sedative and
The plant is often macerated and made into a liniment for treating rheumatism and
arthritis, whilst a hot poultice is a traditional remedy for chilblains.
An infusion of the flowering shoots is used in the treatment of coughs, colds, bladder
and kidney disorders, cystitis etc.
A cleansing and detoxifying plant, it has been used in the treatment of rheumatism,
arthritis and gout. The flowering stems are harvested in the autumn and dried for later use.
Magickal uses: Heather is carried as a guard against rape and violent crime. In potpourri, it adds protection. When burned with fern, it will bring rain. Burn to open the portals between this world and the next. Make an offering of heather on Beltane to induce the Fae to come to your garden. This feminine herb is associated with Water and is ruled by the planet Venus. It is sacred to Isis and Osiris.
Properties: Antiseptic; Bach; Cholagogue; Depurative; Diaphoretic; Diuretic; Expectorant; Sedative; Vasoconstrictor.
Growth: Heather prefers rocky or sandy soils and full sun. It is an evergreen shrub that grows 1 - 2 feet tall. Found in open woodlands, moors, and marshy grounds.
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.
(Hyosycamus niger) The leaves and flowering tops; occasionally the fruits
Medicinal Uses: Henbane stops pain, and lessens perspiration. A poultice of leaves is used
briefly to remove pain from wounds. It is used extensively as a sedative and pain killer and
is specifically used for pain affecting the urinary tract, especially when due to kidney stones.
Its sedative and antispasmodic effect makes it a valuable treatment for the symptoms of
Parkinson's disease, relieving tremor and rigidity during the early stages of the disease.
This species is the form generally considered best for external use, whilst the white
henbane (H. albus) is considered the most appropriate for internal use. The plant is used internally in the treatment of asthma, whooping cough, motion sickness, Meniere's syndrome, tremor in senility or paralysis and as a pre-operative medication. Henbane reduces mucous secretions, as well as saliva and other digestive juices. Externally, it is used as an oil to relieve painful conditions such as neuralgia, dental and rheumatic pains.The leaves should be harvested when the plant is in full flower and they can then be dried for later use.
Henbane is very toxic, so it should not be used by pregnant women or the weak or children, and should be used in only extremely small amounts for external use only, and not on a regular basis.
Magickal uses: Henbane is sometimes thrown into the water to bring rain. A love-bringing herb when worn. In olden times, it had many more uses, but is seldom used today due to its poisonous nature. Ruled by the planet Saturn, this feminine herb is associated with the element of Water.
Properties: antispasmodic, anodyne, sedative, mydriatic, anthelmintic; antitumor; diuretic; febrifuge; hallucinogenic; hypnotic; narcotic.
Growth: Henbane grows wild throughout temperate North America. Due to its toxic nature, it is not advisable to grow in the home garden. Hyoscyamus is a slightly sticky, hairy annual or biennial. A rosette of basal leaves grows in the first year, followed in the second year by an erect, simple or slightly branched stem, up to 80cm tall and covered with sticky hairs. The alternate leaves are oval, deeply toothed and lobed-pinnate to indented. The lower leaves are stalked, the upper semi-enclosing. Sessile flowers grow from the axils of the upper leaves and have a bell-shaped, glandular hairy, markedly veined calyx running into five sharply pointed tips and a funnel-shaped, dirty yellow, externally hairy corolla with violet veins and a reddish-violet mouth. The fruit capsules contain up to five hundred grayish-brown seeds. The plant grows in waste places and disturbed ground in Britain and Europe, mainly on lowlands. Over-wintering plants flower in May and June, the annuals in July and August. All parts of the plant are poisonous.
(Ilex paraguariensis) leaf, berries, root
Medicinal Uses: The leaf is dried and used as a tea for fevers, bronchitis, bladder problems, and gout. Steep half an once of the chopped leaf in boiled water for twenty minutes; take one tablespoon per day. Holly can be used as a substitute for quinine. Homeopaths use Ilex aquifolium for intermittent fevers, spleen pain, and eye symptoms, especially when the symptoms are better in winter. An infusion, or tea, of the leaves was believed to promote sweating and hence was given for malaria and other intermittent, or recurring fevers. The juice of the berries, although highly toxic, was a common remedy for jaundice.
Holly is rarely used today. Its leaves are diuretic, fever-reducing, and laxative, and they have been employed to treat fevers, jaundice, and rheumatism.
Holly berries purge the bowels and cause vomiting if taken in large doses. They have been used in the treatment of dropsy and as a powder they have been used as an astringent to check bleeding. The root has been used as a diuretic, though there are more effective diuretics available.
Magickal uses: The Druids and other ancient European peoples bedecked their dwellings with holly leaves and berries at the time of the winter solstice. Romans exchanged holly branches during the December festival called "Saturnalia", a tradition adopted by early Christians. To “deck the halls with boughs of holly,” from the Christmas carol, was most likely adopted from the Roman Saturnalia. According to Roman folk belief, the holly’s white flowers would turn water into ice.
Holly, with its warrior-like bristles, is known as an herb of protection. Holly guards against lightning, poison and evil spirits. Grown around the home it protects from mischievous sorcerers. Throw at wild animals to cause them to quietly lie down and leave you alone. “Holly water” (water in which holly has been soaked, especially if left under a full moon overnight) is sprinkled on newborns to protect them and keep them happy. Carried by a man, it promotes good luck (holly is a ‘male’ plant, use Ivy for this for women) and hang in the home at Yule for luck. On a Friday, after midnight and in total silence, gather nine holly leaves from a non-spiny plant. Wrap in a white cloth using nine knots to tie the ends together. Place beneath your pillow to make your dreams come true. Holly is one of the evergreens brought into the home by Druids. It symbolizes a willingness to allow the nature spirits to share one’s abode during the harsh, cold season. Planted outside the home, it will also afford protection. Sprinkle holly water on newborn babies to protect them.
Properties: Astringent; bach; diaphoretic; diuretic; emetic; expectorant; febrifuge; purgative. Contains ilicin (a bitter principle), ilexanthin, theobromine (only in the leaf), and caffeic acid. Theobromine is a caffeine-type alkaloid, used to treat asthma.
Growth: Evergreen bush or tree growing to 15 feet with shiny, deep green leaves edged with spines, clusters of small white flowers June-July, and round red berries on the female trees. It is hardy to zone 6 and is frost tender. It is in leaf all year, in flower from May to June, and the seeds ripen from November to March. The scented flowers are dioeciously and are pollinated by Bees. The plant not is self-fertile. It is noted for attracting wildlife. Holly grows throughout much of Europe, western and central Asia, and North Africa. It is found in woods in North Africa.
(Lonicera Spp) Flowers
Medicinal Uses: The flowers have a broad-spectrum antimicrobial effect against salmonella, staphylococcus, and streptococcus. The leaves & flowers are rich in salicylic acid, so may be used to relieve headaches, colds, flu, fever, pain, arthritis & rheumatism. Chinese herbalists have long recognized honeysuckle as an antibiotic herb for colds, flu, and fevers. At the onset of a cold, honeysuckle should be taken in combination with chrysanthemum flowers. Sore throats, conjunctivitis, and inflammations of the bowel, urinary tract and reproductive organs have been treated with it. It is said to be useful in treating cancer. Combine it with seeds of Forsythia suspensii, the well-known yellow flowering shrub, or Echinacea augustifolia or E. purpura for maximum antiviral and antibacterial effect. Steep two teaspoons per cup for twenty minutes. The dose is a quarter cup, four times a day. Used by Native Americans to treat fever, tuberculosis, menstrual difficulties, kidney stones, dysuria, venereal disease, and worms; and used as a cathartic, diuretic, and as an emetic "to throw off effects of love medicine".
Honeysuckle works well against internal infections, and it can also be used externally for skin irritation and infections. Honeysuckle has been found useful in alleviating rashes ranging from skin diseases to poison oak. For these types of skin ailments, honeysuckle is best used as a poultice. For cuts and abrasions that may become infected, a honeysuckle infusion can be applied externally. It is in treating skin infections that the stems of honeysuckle are used.
Although the berries of some species are known to be edible; generally, ingestion of the fruit causes mild to moderate nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea; death is unlikely.
Magickal uses: Add to incense or spells for divination or increased mental abilities. Honeysuckle is a masculine herb that is ruled by the planet Jupiter and is associated with the element of Earth. Honeysuckle in the home draws prosperity. Rub lightly crushed flowers on the forehead to heighten psychic power. Growing the plant in your yard will bring good luck, over the door it keeps fevers from the occupants.
Properties: detoxifier, alterative, antipyretic
Growth: Woody vine with perfoliate leaves at twig tips; yellow-orange trumpet flowers at twig tips followed by orange-red berries.
(Humulus lupulus) Strobiles (female flowers, leafy cone-like catkins) Fruit
The word hops is taken from the Anglo-Saxon hoppen meaning "to climb" because the
twining perennial plant attached itself to neighboring objects and grows to a great height.
Pillows stuffed with hops are traditional cure for insomnia: King George III and
Abraham Lincoln used such pillows in the search for much-needed rest.
Medicinal Uses: Hops steeped in Sherry wine makes an excellent stomachic cordial. Hops is a sedative. Therefore, it is useful in treating insomnia and nervous tension. It has been used to decrease the desire for alcohol. Relieves delirium tremens. Hops has a calming effect on the nervous system. Hop tea is recommended for nervous diarrhea, neuralgia, and restlessness. Helps stimulate appetite, dispel flatulence, boils, headache, toothache, earaches, pain, nervous tension and stress, jaundice, kills worms, mucus colitis, gonorrhea, ulcers, poor circulation, blood purifier, inflamed rheumatic joints, muscles cramps, neuritis, neuralgia, shock, and relieve intestinal cramps.
Combined with valerian (for antispasmodic properties) for coughs. A cold tea, taken 1 hour before meals, is particularly good for digestion. Hops also have diuretic properties and can be taken for various problems with water retention and excess uric acid.
Externally, a poultice can be used for inflammations, boils, ringworms, tumors, painful swellings, and old ulcers. It is mild and safe. It is used in brewing beer and ales. Hops is also used for treating coughs, bladder ailments, and liver ailments. Externally it is used to treat itching skin rashes and hives. It also removes poisons from the body.
Magickal uses: Hops is used in healing incenses. Sleep pillows often include hops to induce sleep and pleasant dreams.
Properties: Anodyne (relieves pain), anthelmintic, diuretic, febrifuge, hypnotic, nervine, sedative, soporific, tonic, anaphrodisiac, stomachic. Contains Asparagine, choline, humulene, inositol, lupulin, lupulinic acid, lupulon, manganese, essential oil, valerianic acid, tannins, estrogenic substances, bitter principle, flavonoids, PABA, picric acids, resin, and vitamin B6.
Growth: Hops prefers full sun, and will adapt to many soils. The portion of the plant used in healing are the dried flowers. The hop vine is a perennial fast-growing, twining, climbing plant. Many angular, rough, prickly, stems grow up to 20 feet long from a branched rootstock. The leaves are rough, opposite, chordate, serrate, and 3 to 5 lobed. The flowers are yellowish-green, the male arranged in hanging panicles, the female yellow flowers in catkins. The name hops usually refers to the scaly, cone-like fruit that develops from the female flowers; they enlarge to become pale yellow-green "hops" with papery bracts. Found wild in many places in the world but mostly cultivated in the United States. Found wild in woods from Nova Scotia to Manitoba and Montana, south to North Carolina and Arizona.
Horehound: Bull’s Blood, Eye of the Star
(Marrubium vulgare) Dried leaves and flowering tops
Its Latin name is thought to have come from the Romans who named it after an
ancient town, but it may also have derived from the Hebrew "marrob", meaning
bitter herb, as it is still eaten during Passover.
Medicinal Uses: Horehound is used in children's cough remedies, as it is a gentle but effective expectorant. It acts as a tonic for the respiratory system and stomach.
Horehound has long been used to treat respiratory infections, including colds and asthma, and to help heal the membranes. Horehound is valuable in the treatment of bronchitis where there is a non-productive cough. It combines the action of relaxing the smooth muscles of the bronchus whilst promoting mucus production and thus expectoration. Because of the bitterness of the herb, it is used mainly in the form of a syrup.
As a bitter tonic, horehound can be made into decoctions, infusions, and tinctures to increase the appetite and support the function of the stomach. It is most beneficial in influenza cases where the patient has lost the desire to eat. It is used to treat liver and gallbladder complaints, dyspepsia, appetite loss, and intestinal worms. It is also used to normalize heart rhythm and improve regularity.
Externally, infusions and decoctions help heal skin conditions. Horehound is also used externally to promote the healing of wounds.
Horehound has also been used in the fields of gynecology and obstetrics as it as an alternative effect on the menstrual cycle, as well as expelling the placenta after birth. This is achieved by taking a strong infusion or decoction immediately after the birth. Black horehound is not used as much today as its medicinal effect is inferior to horehound, but it can still be substituted for horehound when nothing else is available. It is perhaps the most useful when nausea stems from disorders of the inner ear as opposed to those of the digestive system.
In large doses it acts as a laxative. To use as an expectorant or cough soothing medication, take 1 teaspoon of Horehound leaves and pour 1 cup of boiling water over them. Keep covered and take 1 tablespoon at a time as needed. Horehound tea can also be made and used to ease the symptoms of a common cold. As a wound cleanser, crush Horehound leaves, boil them in a pan of lard, let cool, and use as an ointment on the wound. Depending upon the specific needs, it combines well with Coltsfoot, Lobelia, Elecampane, Wild Cherry Bark and Mullein.
Horehound can cause irregular heartbeat in large quantities, so use with caution.
Magickal uses: Use in protective sachets and carry to guard against sorcery and fascination. It is also an exorcism herb. Drinking an infusion of the herb will clear the mind, promote quick thinking and strengthen the mental powers. Mix with the leaves of ash in a bowl of water for the healing properties and keep in the sick room. In magick, Horehound is bound to the Earth and to Mercury. It's name is a derivative of Horus, the Egyptian God of sky and light.
Burned as an incense, Horehound is believed to honor Horus, the God of sky and light, and to increase protection from evil forces.
Properties: Horehound: antiseptic, expectorant, heals wounds, stimulates bile flow, stabilizes heart rhythm. Black Horehound: antispasmodic, antiemetic (relieves vomiting), stimulates bile flow. Contains marrubim, a diterpene lactone, with premarrubim, diterpene alcohols: marruciol, marrubenol, sclareol, peregrinin, dihydroperegrinin, volatile oil, containing a-pinene, sabinene, limonene, camphene, p-cymol, a-terpinolene, alkaloids; traces of betonicine and its isomer turicine, choline, alkanes, phytosterols, and tannins. Marrubiin is a strong expectorant and bitter. As an expectorant, it is believed to be responsible for thinning and loosening airway mucus making it easier to cough up.
Growth: Horehound likes dry sandy soils and full sun. It is a perennial (except in very cold climates) that reaches to 3 feet tall. It is a vigorous grower and can become a pest if not carefully controlled. It needs little water, tolerates poor soils, and does best in full sun. It blooms during its second year. It is indigenous from the Mediterranean region to central Asia, horehound has since become established in central Europe and introduced into America, South Africa, and Australia, flourishing in dry, bare, or open areas. A member of the mint family, it is a square-stemmed perennial, growing to about twenty inches and having toothed, downy grayish leaves and a long woody stem that bears rings of double-lipped, white flowers that evolve into a burr containing a few brown or black seeds. Horehound is gathered in the spring.
Black horehound is considered a weed in Europe, thriving in open areas, pavement cracks, by roadsides, and mostly near human habitation. It was intentionally introduced to the US, but it also grows in Asia. Black horehound is a straggling, strong-smelling perennial, growing to about three feet and having oval, toothed leaves and pinkish-purple flowers in whorls at the base of the upper leaves. It is harvested when in flower in the summer. All parts of the plant are used medicinally.
Horehound cough syrup: steep 1 ounce of leaves (fresh or dried) in a pint of boiling water. Cover, and allow to steep for 10 minutes. Strain out the leaves, and then measure the quantity of water remaining. Add honey to equal twice the remaining water, mix well, and bottle. Take 1 teaspoon as needed up to four times per day.
Infusion: pour a cup of boiling water onto l/2 - l teaspoonful of the dried herb and leave to infuse for 1-=15 minutes. This should be drunk three times a day.
Tincture: 1-2ml of the tincture 3 times a day.
(Armoracia lapathifolia) Root
Horseradish and chicory are used at the Passover seder as bitter herbs,
commemorating the misery of the Jewish slaves in Egypt.
Medicinal Uses: Grind some of the fresh root, combine it with a carrier oil, and use
it to massage away muscular aches, and help loosen chest congestion. It can be used
to warm a cold body, and to clear up drippy sinuses.
The diuretic properties of fresh horseradish make it useful for gouty and rheumatic
problems and also bladder infections. For the latter, take 3-4 tbsp. a day of grated
horseradish with wine vinegar and some grape sugar, (dextrose). For colitis and
intestinal problems due to putrefaction, 15-20 drops of juice taken 3 times a day
between meals will help. For catarrhal lung problems, coughs, and asthma, take
horseradish combined with honey and raw sugar. Used to treat disorders of the renal system, kidney stones, and dropsy.
Externally, it is used as an irritant to stimulate blood flow; fresh horseradish can be made into a poultice, add a little cornstarch to the grated herb, for rheumatism, poultice for bronchitis, and into a bath additive for chilblains. Stimulates the appetite and acts as a tonic to the whole system. Has been useful in regenerating blood vessels, especially the arteries, and reduce the blood pressure.
Do not take large quantities of horseradish at one time. Stop taking it if diarrhea, vomiting, or night sweating occurs.
Magickal uses: Horseradish is part of the Jewish Passover ritual. It also repels evil around the home and property. Dried and grated or ground root should be sprinkled around the home to make all evil powers leave and diffuse any spells cast against you.
Properties: Diuretic, rubefacient, stomachic, stimulant, laxative. Contains essential oil with mustard oil, enzymes, glycosides, vitamin B, asparagin and thiocyanogen compounds. The the roots are high in vitamin C.
Growth: Horseradish is a perennial plant that is cultivated throughout the world for its long, tasty root. It is a perennial hairless plant; the very long, white, cylindrical or tapering root produces a 2-3 foot high stem in the second year. The large basal leaves are lanceolate with scalloped edges; the stem leaves are much smaller, sessile, lanceolate, and serrate to entire. A panicle of numerous white flowers appears during June and July. The fruits are round pods on long, upright stalks. The root has a biting-hot taste. Native to southeastern Europe and western Asia, and occasionally found wild but usually cultivated in other parts of the world.
Plant at corners of a potato patch to deter potato bug.
Only un-dried (fresh or bottled) horseradish is effective. The root can be preserved fresh for months in a refrigerator or packed in damp sand and kept in a cool place.
Vinegar: cover finely grated horseradish with vinegar and let stand for 10 days. Take 1 tsp., 2-3 times a day, well diluted with water. This can also be applied externally.
Poultice: spread fresh, grated root on a linen cloth. Lay on the affected area, with cloth against the skin, until a burning sensation is felt.
Syrup: steep 1 tsp. root in 1/2 cup boiling water in a covered pot for 2 hours. Strain and add sugar until a syrupy consistency is reached.
(Equisetum arvense) stems, leaves (grass)
The above ground parts of horsetail (fresh or dried) are used.
Medicinal Uses: Horsetail is a descendent of huge, tree-like plants that thrived 400 million
years ago during the Paleozoic era. Horsetail is used in treating urinary tract infections. It
aids in coagulation and decreases bleeding. It will also help broken bones heal faster, and
will help brittle nails and hair, due to its high silica content. It has also been used as part of
a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis. The plant alone, boiled in water, makes an effective
foot soak for tired feet, or for the treatment of athlete's foot.
The plant's stems are rich in silica and silicic acids, which help mend broken bones and form
collagen, an important protein found in connective tissue, skin, bone, cartilage, and ligaments. Horsetail is also used as a diuretic, a treatment for kidney and bladder complaints, and an external therapy for bleeding wounds. Horsetail is also useful for water retention. It is also invaluable in the treatment of incontinence and bed wetting in children. It is considered a specific in cases of inflammation or benign enlargement of the prostate gland.
Do not use if pregnant or nursing. You should not take horsetail if you have edema (excessive fluid in body tissue) associated with heart or kidney problems or excessive dryness or frequent urination.
Magickal uses: Whistles made from the stalks of Horsetail are used to call the spirits.
Properties: In addition to silicon, horsetail contains large amounts of potassium as well as aconitic acid, equiaitinee, starch and many fatty acids. Included are alkaloids, including nicotine, palustrine and palustrinine, flavonoids such as isoquercitrin and equicetrin, sterols including cholesterol, isofucosterol, campesterol, silicic acid, a saponin equisitonin, dimethylsulphone, thiaminase and aconitic acid.
Growth: Horsetail needs swamps and damp places to grow, in full sun to partial shade. It grows to 1 - 2 feet tall. Closely related to ferns, horsetail is a non-flowering weed found throughout parts of Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and North America. The plant is a perennial (returns each year) with hollow stems and shoots that look like asparagus. As the plant dries, silica crystals that form in the stems and branches give the plant a scratching effect, thus accounting for its historic use in polishing metal, particularly pewter.
Horsetail can be taken daily as a tea at 1-4 grams per day.
Infusion: pour a cup of boiling water onto 2 teaspoonfuls of the dried plant and let infuse for l5-20minutes.. This should be drunk three times a day.
Bath: A useful bath can be made to help in rheumatic pain and chilblains. Allow l00 grams (3 l/2 ounces of the herb to steep in hot water for an hour. Add this to the bath.
Tincture: take 2-6 ml of the tincture three times a day.
Hyssop: Holy Herb
(Hysoppus officinalis) Above ground portion
Hyssopus is the name used by Hippocrates, derived from the Hebrew ezob, “holy herb.”
Medicinal Uses: The herb is used (often in combination with sage, which has similar properties, or horehound) for respiratory tract infections. Flu, sore throats, lung complaints, asthma, chronic bronchitis, gas, and bloating are treated by it.
Externally, it is used as a wound herb for bruises, injuries, and rheumatism. The green tops of the herb can be added to soups to benefit asthmatics. Hyssop baths are useful for rheumatic complaints. Make a standard infusion of the herb using two teaspoons per cup of water and steeping for twenty minutes. The dose is one-fourth cup four times a day. Alternatively, a tincture can be made; the dose is ten to thirty drops, four times a day. Hyssop is used in treating lung ailments. The leaves have been applied to wounds to aid in healing. The tea is also used to soothe sore throats. It has been used to inhibit the growth of the herpes simplex virus.
A cleansing herb, it relieves catarrh, cough, and reduces the secretion of mucus. Regulates blood pressure (high or low), clears the chest and calms the nerves. It promotes sweating, so this herb is useful when coping with fevered patients. Improves digestion and protects the body from infection. An excellent tonic. Hyssop is used in essentially the same way as sage, with which it is sometimes combined to make a gargle for sore throats. Hyssop tea can be used for poor digestion, breast and lung problems, expels worms, gravel in gall bladder, conjuncivitis, fever sores (fever blisters), chew dried leaves for toothache, used with horehound for bronchitis and asthma, coughs due to colds, nose and throat infections, consumption, mucous congestion in the intestines, laxative, cystitis, flatulence, scrofula, dropsy, and jaundice.
The decoction is said to help relieve inflammations, and it can also be used as a wash for burns, bruises, ulcers, or chronic catarrh. Apply the crushed leaves directly to bruises or to wounds to cure infection and promote healing.
Do not use continuously for extended periods. Equisetine, a chemical contained in horsetail, in large amounts is a nerve poison.
Magickal uses: Hyssop is the most widely used purification herb in magick. Added to baths by sachet, infused and sprinkled or hung in the home to cleanse and rid it of evil and negativity. Hyssop can be burned as incense or added to the chalice. Use a bunch to ritually “sweep” the altar as a preparation for a ceremonial rite. Hyssop is used to cleanse persons and objects.
Properties: Anthelmintic, aromatic, aperient, astringent, carminative, emmenagogue (stimulates menstrual flow), febrifuge, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, antispasmodic, expectorant, stimulant, diaphoretic, stomachic, sudorific, tonic. Contains volatile oil, tannin and glycoside (diosmine), flavonoids and marrubin.
Growth: Hyssop prefers dry conditions, tolerates most soils, and full sun. It is a member of the mint family. It is a perennial shrubby plant growing to 3 feet tall. The plant consists of several square, branched, downy stems which are woody at the bottom and bear opposite, entire (toothless) sessile, glabrous to hairy, linear-lanceolate leaves that have a peppery scent when stroked firmly. The rose-colored to bluish-purple flowers (1/2 inch) grow in successive auxiliary whorls at the tops of the branches and stems from June to October. Grows wild in warm countries, dry soils, and frequently cultivated. Introduced into the warmer parts of the United States from southern Europe. Native to Europe and temperate Asia.
Harvesting takes place when the first flowers are about to open. The oils and flavor off all herbs are in the leaves and green stems and not in the wooden parts. Drying usually completed in 2 days.
Hyssop tea is made by pouring a pint of boiling water over an ounce of the green tops and is considered excellent tasting.
Infusion: steep 1 tsp. dried herbs in 1/2 cup water. Take 1/2 to 1 1/2 cups per day, a mouthful at a time. For breast and lung problems, sweeten with honey if desired. Prepare a standard infusion of the leaves and diced stem. As a lotion, this brew relieves inflammation and bruising, being noteworthy for its beneficial effect on black eyes.
Decoction: use 1 tsp. herb with 1 cup water. Take 1 to 2 cups per day.
Poultice: soak the fresh herb in boiling water for 15 minutes and place on a cloth for application.
(Monotropa unifolora) The whole plant.
Indian Pipe gets it name from the small white clay pipe that Native Indians
sometimes used. ( Calumet Pipe )
Medicinal Uses: The fleshy plant was pulverized and mixed with water for an eye
lotion. The root of this plant is regarded as almost an infallible remedy for fits in
children and has been used with great success in St. Vitus dance. Instead of
employing opium for restlessness, pain, nervous irritability, etc, Indian Pipe is effective without any dulling properties. A triumphant gain over remittent and intermittent fevers and an excellent replacement for the tissue retentions of Quinine. The juice of the plant is an excellent remedy in gonorrhea and ulceration of the bladder, used as an injection.
Externally it is used for tired, swollen or sore eyes, saturate a piece of cotton in a tea made from equal parts of Bird's nest and Fennel seed, squeeze gently and apply to eyes; serviceable added to vaginal douche water.
Magickal uses: none
Properties: Antispasmodic, Tonic, Sedative
Growth: Found in North America from Maine to Carolina, and westward to Missouri, growing in shady, solitary places in rich moist soil composed of decayed wood and leaves. Also found south to Mexico and Columbia and in Japan and the Himalayas. The whole plant, including the stem and flowers is of a clear whit color and the jelly-like substance melts away when rubbed a little. It flowers from June to September. It is a small, five- to eight-inch wildflower. The nodding head makes it resemble a small pipe standing on its stem.
Dose: The powdered root, ½ teaspoonful, two or three times a day.
Indian Strawberry: Mock Strawberry
(Duchesnea indica) The whole plant
Medicinal Uses: The whole plant is used as a poultice or wash for boils, insect bites,
abscesses, ringworm, eczema, burns and rheumatism. Whole plant tea is used for
coughs, lung ailments and laryngitis. Flower tea is used to stimulate blood circulation.
Magickal uses: none
Growth: The Duchesnea is a small plant that has runners and three-parted leaves. Its flowers are yellow and its fruit resembles a strawberry. It is a member of the Rose family. Flowers April to July.
It is native to southern Asia but is a common weed in warmer temperate regions. Look for it in lawns, gardens, and along roads. Its fruit is edible but insipid.
Medicinal Uses: Jasmine tea is drunk for its calming affect, especially after dinner, as
well as for its aphrodisiacal qualities. Jasmine oil used in massage is soothing to the
skin, and reported to be an aphrodisiac. It is used in aromatherapy to treat depression
and nerve conditions, and as a massage oil for menstrual cramps. Jasmine essential oil
encourages cell growth and increases skin elasticity. It is used as an aid in the healing
of minor to moderate burns. It is also used to help with muscle spasms and sprains.
Magickal uses: Jasmine is used in love sachets and incenses. It is used to attract
spiritual love. A drop of the essential oil in almond oil, massaged into the skin, is said to
overcome frigidity. Carrying, burning, or wearing the flowers attracts wealth and money.
If burned in the bedroom, Jasmine will bring prophetic dreams.
Properties: The essential oil of J grandiflorum contains methyl anthranilate, indol, benzyl alcohol, benzxl acetate, and the terpenes linalol and linalyl acetate.
Growth: Jasmine is best grown indoors in pots. It is an evergreen vine. The blossoms, mostly white or yellow, are usually very fragrant. It likes bright light, but no direct sun, some support such as a trellis, lots of water, and occasional fertilizing.
(Impatiens capensis) Leaves and stem juice
Medicinal Uses: The leaves and the juice from the stem of Jewelweed are used to cure poison ivy and other plant induced rashes. Jewelweed works by counter-reacting with the chemicals in other plants that cause irritation. Poultice from the plant is a folk remedy for bruises, burns, cuts, eczema, insect bites, sores, sprains, warts, and ringworm. Brew chopped jewelweed in boiling water until you get a dark orange liquid. Yellow Jewelweed will not yield orange color and may not be effective. Strain the liquid and pour into ice cube trays. When you have a skin rash, rub it with a jewelweed cube. It will keep in a freezer for up to a year.
You can also make jewelweed ointment by simmering a small amount of jewelweed in light vegetable oil (any vegetable oil except olive oil, which burns) 10-15 minutes. Use only a small handful of jewelweed stems per quart of oil, or bubbles of jewelweed juice will form in the ointment and go moldy. Strain out the herb, add a handful of beeswax to thicken it, and heat until melted. Take out a spoonful and let it cool to test the thickness, and add more oil or beeswax as needed. Add the contents of one oil-soluble vitamin E capsule, a natural preservative, and let it cool. Refrigerated, it lasts for months.
The seeds will pop into your hand, and you can eat them, discarding the coiled “springs.” They are walnut flavored.
Magickal uses: none
Properties: Aperient, diuretic, anti-inflammatory, fungicide. Jewelweed contains two methoxy-1, four napthoquinine.
Growth: Jewelweed is a smooth annual; 3-5 ft. Leaves oval, round- toothed; lower ones opposite, upper ones alternate. A bit trumpet shaped, the flowers hang from the plant much as a jewel from a necklace, Pale Jewelweed has yellow flowers, Spotted Touch-Me-Nots have orange flowers with dark red dots. The seeds will 'pop' when touched , that is where the name Touch-Me-Nots came from. Jewelweed blooms May through October in the eastern part of North America from Southern Canada to the northern part of Florida. It is found most often in moist woods, usually near poison ivy or stinging nettle. Jewelweed often grows on the edge of creek beds.
Job's Tears: (Coix seed; Chinese pearl barley)
(Salicadeae Populus) Root and seeds
Medicinal uses: Painful joints, rheumatism, edema, warts, eczema, chronic enteritis, diarrhea, lung abscess and acute appendicitis.
Magickal uses: Wish spell; place seven Jobs Tears in your pocket and carry them this way for seven days At the end of the seventh day, go to a place where there is running water, recite the 23rd Psalm (The Lord is my shepherd), pray for your Desire, and then throw the Jobs Tears into the water over the left shoulder, walk away, don’t look back and in seven days, your wish comes true. In charm and mojo bags, Jobs Tears are carried in quantities of three or seven seeds to attract luck, wishes and money. String the seeds into a necklace and wear as a wish necklace. Carrying three seeds will assist in finding a job.
Properties: Diuretic, Spleen invigorating, heat dispersing, easing joints, antiswelling, pus expelling, antioxidant, antimutagenic, general tonic. coixol (antiinflammatory, antihistaminic, muscle relaxant, fever reducing) and coixans (peptide-containing polysaccharides that have sugar-lowering properties). These nutrients include lipids (glycolipids, phospholipids, sterols, etc.), amino acids, adenosine, thiamine, and others. Grain starch is tonic.
The grain contains a protein , prolamin, with a high percentage of leucine, tyrosine, glutamic acid, and basic amino acids arginine, histidine, and lysine.
The Fruit is considered antiinflammatory, antipyretic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, hypoglycemic, hypotensive, vermifuge.
The Seed is considered antirheumatic, diuretic, tonic. They are nutritious, demulcent, cooling, perctoral and antihelmintic.
Growth: Perennial growing to 1m by 0.15m . It is hardy to zone 9. It is found in leaf from May to October and in flower from July to October. The seeds ripen from September to November. The flowers are monoecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but both sexes can be found on the same plant) and are pollinated by the wind. The plant prefers light (sandy), medium (loamy) and heavy (clay) soils. The plant also prefers acid, neutral and basic (alkaline) soils and can grow in very acidic soil. It cannot grow in the shade. It requires moist soil.
Joe Pye Weed: Gravel root, Kidney root
(Eupatorium purpureum) Rhizome and root
The plant is named after an American Indian named Joe Pye, who was said to
have cured typhus with it.
Medicinal Uses: Infuse dried root and flowers for a diuretic tea to relieve
kidney and urinary problems. Gravel Root is used primarily for kidney stones
or gravel. In urinary infections such as cystitis and urethritis it may be used with benefit, whilst it can also play a useful role in a systemic treatment of rheumatism and gout.
The tea is used to induce sweating and break a high fever. Also useful for rheumatism, gravel (gallstones), and dropsy (fluid retention). For kidney stones or gravel it combines well with Stone Root, Parsley Piert, Pellitory of the Wall or Hydrangea. Crushed leaves have an apple scent and are dried then burned to repel flies.
Magickal uses: To gain the favor and respect of those you come in contact with, carry a few leaves with you. A few leaves placed in your mouth before making advances to some one you love will ensure your success.
Properties: Diuretic anti-lithic, anti-rheumatic, stimulant, tonic, astringent, relaxant. Contains volatile oil, of unknown composition, flavonoids, including euparin, and resin.
Growth: Joe Pye Weed is a North American native perennial herb found in moist woods and meadows from southern Canada to Florida and west to Texas. The sturdy, hollow, purple stems are covered with whorls of 4 to 8 dark green, lance shaped, and serrated leaves, up to 1 foot long. Atop each stem is a rose pink to whitish domed cluster of flowers, about 1 foot in diameter, blooming in August and September. The root is woody, thick and purplish brown with cream colored flesh. Gather leaves anytime and entire plant in full bloom.
Root tea: To 1 pint boiling water add 1 oz. dried rootstock steep for 30 min. take in ½ cup doses 4 or 5 times a day.
Flower tea: To 1 cup boiling water add 1 tsp. dried flowers steep for 10 min. drink 1 to 3 cups a day.
Decoction: Put 1 teaspoonful of the herb in a cup of water, bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes. This should be drunk three times a day.
Tincture: Take 1-2 ml of the tincture three times a day.
(Juniperis spp.) Berries and new twigs
Medicinal Uses: Juniper has long been associated with ritual cleansing. It was
burned in temples as a part of the regular purification rites.
There are several medicinal recipes that have survived in Egyptian papyri dating to 1550 BCE
Medicinal Uses: Juniper has been used to clear uric acid from the body. It is high in natural insulin, and has the ability to heal the pancreas where there has been no permanent damage. It is useful for all urinary infections and for water retention problems. Juniper is used externally as a compress to treat acne, athlete's foot, and dandruff. Juniper is normally taken internally by eating the berries or making a tea from them. It is useful for digestive problems resulting from an underproduction of hydrochloric acid, and is also helpful for gastrointestinal infections, inflammations, gout, palsy, epilepsy, typhoid fever, cholera, cystitis, urethritis, rheumatism, weak immune system, sciatica, to stimulate appetite, helps eliminate excess water, and cramps.
Relieves inflammation and sinusitis. Helps in treatment of pancreas, prostate, kidney, and gallstones, leukorrhea, dropsy, lumbago, hypoglycemia, hemorrhoids, scurvy, kills worms, treats snakebites, cancer, and ulcers. Regulates sugar levels. The lye made of the ashes will cure the itch, scabs, and leprosy. Used as a diuretic. Juniper berries (Fructus juniperi) are most effective when used in combination with other herbs such as broom, uva ursi, cleavers, and buchu. Dried berries are excellent as a preventative of disease and should be chewed or used as a strong tea to gargle the throat when exposed to contagious diseases. When juniper oil is used in a hot vapor bath, it is useful to inhale the steam for respiratory infections, colds, asthma, bronchitis, etc.
The pure oil should not be rubbed on the skin as it can be very irritating and cause blisters.
The first day, take 4 berries, all of them at once or over the course of the day (at the beginning of the treatment, either way is possible). From the second day on, take one more berry each day than you did the previous day, until the daily dose totals 15 berries. The more berries you take each day, the more important it is to distribute them over the course of the day. It is advisable to divide the berries into 3 or 4 daily doses, drinking at least 1 full glass of water with each dose. Once you have reached a daily total of 15 berries, reduce the amount by one berry per day until you finally reach the initial dose of 4 berries again. This will stimulate appetite and glands. It should be performed twice a year, each time for a period of 24 days.
As a spice, juniper is often used to enhance flavor, and counteract flatulence. Juniper oil, derived from the berries, penetrates the skin readily and is good for bone-joint problems; but the pure oil is irritating and, in large quantities, can cause inflammation and blisters. Breathed in a vapor bath, it is useful for bronchitis, consumption, and infection in the lungs.
May interfere with iron absorption and other minerals when taken internally. The pure oil should not be rubbed on the skin as it can be very irritating and cause blisters. In large doses, or with prolonged use it can irritate the kidneys and urinary passages; therefore it is not recommended for those with bladder and kidney problems. Also large and/or frequent doses may cause kidney failure, convulsions, and digestive irritation. Avoid if acute cystitis or acute kidney problems are present.
Not recommended during pregnancy nor nursing mothers, as it is a uterine stimulant. May be taken during labor and delivery.
Magickal uses: Juniper is used to protect from accidents and theft. Grown at your doorstep, it will offer your home protection. It is used in incenses for protection. Carried or burned, it helps the psychic powers and breaks hexes and curses, and drives off snakes. Add to love mixtures, and carry the berries to increase male potency. It guards against theft. Hung at the door it protects against evil forces and people, and is burned in exorcism rites. A sprig will protect the wearer from accidents and attacks by wild animals. It guards against ghosts and sickness.
Properties: Analgesic, antibacterial, antiseptic, carminative, diuretic, diaphoretic, disinfectant, rubefacient (causes redness of the skin), stomachic, tonic, uterine stimulant, anti-rheumatic. Contains alcohols, cadinene, camphene, flavone, flavonoids, glycosides, podophyllotoxin (an anti-tumor agent), vitamin C, volatile oils, resin, sabinal, sugar, sulfur, tannins, and terpinene
Growth: Juniper is an evergreen shrub which usually grows from 2 to 6 feet high in the United States, but may reach a height of 25 feet in Europe. Usually low-spreading or prostrate conifer. The bark is chocolate-brown tinged with red shredding off in papery peels. The needle-shaped leaves have white stripes on top and are a shiny yellow-green beneath. They occur on the branches in whorled groups of three and have two white bands on the upper side that are mostly broader than the green margins. Pale yellow or white flowers, appearing the second year, occur in whorls on one plant, green female flowers consisting of three contiguous, upright seed buds on another plant. Flowering time is April to June. The fruit is a small, fleshy, berry-like cone which is green the first year and ripens to a bluish-black or dark purple color in the second year. The bluish-black, rounded to broadly oval fruits (August to October) usually with 3 seeds. Found in dry, infertile, rocky soil in North America from the Arctic circle to Mexico, as well as in Europe, northern provinces of China, and Asia. Canada to Alaska, south to mountains in Georgia, eastern Tennessee, north to Illinois, Minnesota; west to New Mexico, California. They are found over a large part of the northern hemisphere.
Infusion: steep 1 tsp. crushed berries in 1/2 cup water for 5-10 minutes in a covered pot and strain. Take 1/2 to 1 cup per day, a mouthful at a time. If desired, sweeten with 1 tsp. honey (or raw sugar) unless used for gastrointestinal problems.
Tea: use 1 tbsp. crushed berries in 4 cups water, cover saucepan with a lid. Boil down slowly to 2 cups. Strain and drink 1 cup during the day and a second cup at bedtime.
Jam or Syrup: Adults take 1 tbsp., 2 times per day, in water, tea, or milk. Children take 1 tsp., 3 times per day, in water. Take an hour before meals as an appetizer.
Dried berries: Chew a few a day.