Whispering Woods Herbal Grimoire
The Information presented here is for research and reference only. The use of herbs in any manner is an individual decision. I do not encourage the use of herbs in any way, form or fashion. "Crick"
Section O, P and Q
O - Oak, Oats, Onion, Orchid, Oregano, Oregon Grape
P, Q - Pansy, Passion Flower, Parsley, Pennyroyal, Peony, Periwinkle, Persimmon, Pine, Plantain, Pleurisy root, Pokeweed, Poplar, Purslane, Queen Anne's lace
The technical name of the Oak is said to be derived from the
Celtic quer (fine) and cuez (tree).
Medicinal Uses: The bark and acorns are astringent. They are used in the treatment
of intertrigo, impetigo and eczema.
Any galls produced on the tree are strongly astringent and can be used in the treatment of
haemorrhages, chronic diarrhoea and dysentery. The distilled water of the oak leaf bud can
be taken internally or used externally to relieve minor inflammations. Bruised oak leaves applied externally to wounds and haemorrhoids will also help reduce and ease inflammation. As a decoction it has a strong astringent and bitter taste with a slightly aromatic odour. To make it, collect some bark (best in the spring April or May) from some young trees and dry it in the sun before chopping it. Use 1 oz. of bark in a quart of water and boil it down to a pint. It can then be taken in a wineglass measure or dose, and used as a gargle mouthwash for chronic sore throats, or applied locally to bleeding gums and piles. Also used in hot baths for chilblains and frostbite or as a hot compress for inflamed glands, hernias and haemorrhoids. A stronger decoction taken by the spoonful is useful in chronic diarrhoea and dysentery.
Oak bark when finely ground and powdered makes a remedial snuff that can be inhaled to arrest nosebleeds. It has also proved beneficial in the early stages of consumption. Sprinkled onto bed sheets it will help to alleviate bedsores. A pinch of powered oak bark mixed with honey and taken in the mornings will help and aid with menstrual problems. Ground and powdered acorns taken with water was considered a useful tonic for diarrhoea, and a decoction of acorns and oak bark made with milk, was used as an antidote to poisonous herbs and medicines.
The bark is a good substitute for Quinine in intermittent fever, especially when given with Chamomile flowers.
Magickal Uses: Carrying a small piece of oak will bring about a sense of security and well-being as well as protection from harm. Two twigs of oak tied together with red thread to form an equal armed cross is an age old talisman that can be worn or hung up in the home for protection, strength and security against evil. Acorns placed on window-ledges will guard against lightening strikes.
Before going on a long journey, soak your feet in a footbath infusion of oak bark and leaves. This will not only relieve weary feet, but also guide you on your journey and ensure a safe return.
To catch a falling oak leaf will bring you luck and prosperity, and you shall suffer no colds throughout the winter. Carrying an acorn is thought to guard against illness and pain, it is also thought to aid longevity and preserve youthfulness. The acorn is used in love magick and fertility rites, for which use phallic shaped wands were made and tipped with an acorn (Priapius wand). In olden days young women would place two acorns in a bowl of water to find out if she had found true love, if they moved together “yes” if they moved apart “no”.
The ancients and druids of old used the oak tree for divination purposes when planning the next seasons farming work. By carefully studying the leafing sequences of different trees, they could determine when to plant the next seasons crops. An old proverb relating to this has been passed down through the centuries and is still used to predict the weather:
“If the Oak's before the Ash,
Then you'll only get a splash;
If the Ash before the Oak,
Then you might expect a soak.”
Another more precise method of divination is the use of “oak galls” or “oak apples” as they are commonly known.
“Galls were broken into at specific times of the year (probably spring and autumn) and what was found in them foretold the sequence of the coming seasons. If an ant was found inside the gall it foretold plenty of grain to come, if a spider, there would be “a pestilence among men”, if a white worm or maggot, there would be a “murrain” of beasts or cattle. If the worm flew away (presumably found at its metamorphic stage of becoming a gall-wasp or flying insect), it signified war, if the worm crept, it foretold scarceness of harvest, and if it turned about, it foreshadowed the plague. Such a record also gives us an indication of the harsh concerns of earlier times.”
Properties: Tonic, astringent and antiseptic. The primary chemical constituents of Oak Bark include tannins (phlobatannin, ellagitannins, gallic acid), and quercetin. Galls are even higher in tannins than the bark. White Oak also contains the minerals manganese, calcium, iron, and zinc.
Growth: There are over 400 hundred species of Oak. Oak bark is grey-brown in colour and distinctly gnarled and furrowed. Depending on seasonal conditions, tufts of pale green leaves appear on short stalks (English or Common oak) during April or May, which by June turn dark green and thick with a strong central vein and deeply lobed edges. In April together with the leaves, the flowers of the oak form in clusters of male and female catkins. By May the males have grown in size to 1 - 3 inches, becoming long and pendulous and filled with pollen. At this stage the female catkins open as upright flowers awaiting pollination from the males. Each has cup-shaped scaly involucres containing the seed vessels which produce as fruit an acorn 1/2 to 1 inch long. The acorn ripens in the autumn changing colour from green to pale yellow to dark olive brown.
Medicinal Uses: Oat gruel is a mild nutritious aliment, of easy digestion in inflammatory
cases and fevers. It is found useful also as a demulcent enema and boiled into a thick
paste makes a good emollient poultice.
Magickal Uses: Oats are used in money and prosperity spells.Oats are feminine and its
planet is Venus. It is associated with the Element of Earth.
Properties: Nervine, stimulant, antispasmodic, diuretic; emollient; refrigerant. Oats contain starch, gluten, albumen and other protein compounds, sugar, gum oil, and salts. Oat grains are high in carbohydrates and contain about 13 percent protein and 7.5 percent fat. They are a source of calcium, iron, vitamin B1, and nicotinic acid.
Growth: Annual growing to 1.5m. The wild oat was first found in western Europe, apparently as a weed mixed with barley. It is in flower from June to July, and the seeds ripen from August to October. The flowers are hermaphrodite and are pollinated by Wind.
"Bunches were hung on doors to ward off the plague, typhoid, and
cholera in medieval Europe"
The ancient Egyptians worshipped onions as they believed
that the spherical shape and layers of flesh symbolised eternal life.
Medicinal Uses: Wild onion is very high in vitamin A, and are used for colds, colic, croup and
fever. A poultice of the plant may be applied to the chest for respiratory ailments or rubbed
over the body as an insect repellant. When added to the diet on a regular basis they help
reduce blood cholesterol levels, act as a tonic to the digestive system and also tonify the
Blackfeet mothers drank a wild onion tea to pass the medicinal properties on to their babies. They also treated colds, headaches, and sinus trouble by inhaling smoke from a smudge made from the bulb. They used snuff made from the dry bulb to open sinuses.
The Cheyenne made poultices to treat carbuncles. After one came to a head and opened, a tea of boiled plant parts was poured into the cavity to loosen and clear out the pus.
Onions can cause digestive upsets in some people if too many are eaten raw at one time.
Magickal Uses: An onion placed beneath the pillow is used to produce prophetic dreams. Place cut onions in a sick persons room to absorb the illness. Leave them overnight and dispose of them in the morning. Onions are Masculine and ruled by the planet Mars. They are associated with the Element of Fire.
Properties: Antiallergenic, antimicrobial, antiasthmatic, decongestant, diaphoretic, expectorant, inhibits thrombocyte aggregation (prevents blood clotting) and lowers blood pressure. Wild onion contains volatile oil with sulfurous constituents, sulfur-containing compounds, flavonoids, penolic acids and sterols.
Growth: The bulbulb grows to 0.5m. It is in flower in July. The flowers are hermaphrodite and are pollinated by Bees and insects. Wild onions are found in open, sunny areas throughout the temperate regions. They are bulbous perennials that are closely related to garlic, having hollow stems and leaves, white or purple flowers, and bulbs of varying sizes.
In Greek tradition, Orchis, the son of a nymph and a satyr, was
killed for insulting a Bacchanalian priestess. His father then turned
him into a flower, orchid, which bears his name.
Medicinal Uses: The hyacinth orchid is an important wound herb in China, where it has been
used medicinally for over 1,500 years. The root is antibacterial, anti-inflammatory,
antiphlogistic, demulcent, pectoral, skin, styptic and vulnerary. It is taken internally in the
treatment of hemorrhages of the stomach or lungs, uterine bleeding and nose bleeds. It is particularly effective against the endotoxin produced by Haemophilus pertusis in whooping cough. Externally, it is mixed with sesame oil and applied as a poultice to burns, cuts, abscesses and sores
Magickal Uses: The dried root can be used in potions and elixirs which would cause the object of desire to fall in love with the practitioner. The tuber may be dried whole and carved into an amulet or talisman to represent love and romance. Burn with musk oil for sexual passion.
The powdered root is considered by many as an aphrodisiac, capable of increasing sexual potency.
Properties: Antibacterial; Antiinflammatory; Antiphlogistic; Demulcent; Pectoral; Skin;
Styptic; Vulnerary. The most important constituent is mucilage, amounting to 48 per cent. It also contains sugar 1 per cent), starch (2.7 per cent), nitrogenous substance (5 per cent), and when fresh a trace of volatile oil. It yields 2 per cent of ash, consisting chiefly of phosphates and chlorides of potassium and calcium.
Growth: The orchid grows on grassy slopes in foothills. Also in sandy soils amongst grassy patches on cool mountain slopes and in margins of woods and thickets. It is in flower from May to June. The flowers are hermaphrodite and are pollinated by Insects.
Medicinal Uses: Oregano is high in antioxidant activity, paticularly due to a high content of phenolic acids and flavonoids. Additionally, oregano has demonstrated antimicrobial activity against foodborned pathogens such as Listeria monocytogenes. A tea made with Oregano is used for indigestion, bloating, flatulence, coughs, urinary problems, bronchial problems, headaches, swollen glands, and to promote menstruation. It has also been used to relieve fevers, diarrhea, vomiting, and jaundice. Unsweetened tea can be used as a gargle or mouthwash.
Externally, Oregano leaves can be pounded into a paste (add small amounts of hot water or tea to reach the desired consistency. Oatmeal may also be added for consistency purposes. This paste can then be used for pain from rheumatism, swelling, itching, aching muscles, and sores. For tired joints and muscles, put a handful of Oregano leaves in a coffee filter, mesh bag, or cheesecloth bag and run steaming bath water over it. Allow it to steep in the tub with you. An oil can be made with Oregano leaves to use for toothache pain. Put a few drops on the affected tooth for relief.
Magickal Uses: Make a Tea or burn as an incense for happiness, tranquility, good luck, health, and protection. Plant Oregano around your home for protection, and scatter it inside the house for added protection. Carry it in a sachet or charm to bring good luck and good health. It is also said to protect and promote psychic dreams when worn on the head during sleep.
Properties: The essential oil (max. 4%) may contain variable amounts of the two phenols carvacrol and thymol also a variety of monoterpene hydrocarbons (limonene, terpinene, ocimene, caryophyllene, β-bisabolene and p-cymene) and monoterpene alcohols (linalool, 4-terpineol).
Growth: Several species of genus Origanum are native to the Mediterranean though it is generally distributed over Asia, Europe and North Africa. The leaves are opposite, petiolate, about an inch long, almost entirely hairy beneath. The flowers are in corymbs, with reddish bracts, a two-lipped pale purple corolla, and a five-toothed calyx, blooming from the end of June, through August. Oregano grows to a height of one to two feet, depending on species.
Medicinal uses: Oregon Grape serves as an excellent alternative, it
contains the immune-stimulating, infection-fighting antiseptic
constituent, berberine. Oregon grape root is used in the treatment of bacterial diarrhea, intestinal parasites, and eye infections. It has a sedative effect on the smooth muscles lining the digestive tract and can relieve stomach cramps and abdominal pain. Oregon grape root contains tannins that ease inflammation, irritation, and itching of the skin and digestive tract. An ointment made from Oregon grape can be effective for the treatment of mild to moderate psoriasis. Due to its content of alkaloids and podophyllins, Oregon grape is reputed to have anticancer properties.
Magickal uses: The gender of Oregon Grape is feminine and its Element is Earth. Oregon Grape is used for money and prosperity spells.
Properties: Oregon Grape is anti-diarrheal, antipyretic, antifungal, antibacterial, anticancer, anti-parasitic, anti-inflammatory, astringent, digestive (cholagogue, bitter), hypoglycemic and laxative (in larger doses). Oregon grape contains isoquinoline alkaloids (including berberine, berbamine, and hydrastine).
Growth: Oregon grape is a member of the barberry family. It is a woody perennial shrub that is native to the United States, it exists in three forms: upright, dwarf, and creeping. The typical Oregon grape, is 90 cm (3 feet) or more tall and is native to the Pacific coast of North America. The Oregon grape shrub can grow to almost 6 feet in height, though average height is about 3 to 4 feet. It doesn't mind sun or shade and is best with regular water but drought tolerant. It has edible berries that can be made into jam. The flower color of the Oregon Grape is yellow.
Oregon Grape should not be used by pregnant women, and individuals with chronic medical conditions. Those folks taking prescription medications should check with their health care providers prior to using Oregon grape.
The Wild Pansy may be collected any time from
June to August, when the foliage is in the best condition.
Medicinal Uses: For a compress, use 1/2 cup boiling water and 2 tsp. wild pansy flowers. Steep 10 minutes. As an expectorant, it is used in the treatment of various chest complaints such as bronchitis and whooping cough, whilst its diuretic action makes it useful for treating rheumatism, cystitis and difficulty in passing urine. It is also used as an ointment for treating eczema and other skin complaints and is also useful in cases of rheumatism, bed-wetting. The plant is harvested from June to August and dried for later use.
Do no use if pregnant.
Magickal Uses: Pansy is used in Love spells, Rain Magick, and to enhance Divination work. Pansy is Feminine and ruled by the planet Saturn. It is associated with the Element of Water.
Properties: The herb is anodyne, antiasthmatic, anti-inflammatory, cardiac, demulcent, depurative, diaphoretic, diuretic, emollient, expectorant, laxative and vulnerary. The root is emetic. Wild Pansy contains Violine (a substance similar to Emetin, having an emeto-cathartic action), salicylate glycosides, saponins, flavonoids, odoratine (an alkaloid) and mucilage.
Growth: Wild pansy petals are violet, yellow, pink or white with face markings. Found on grassland, uncultivated areas and gardens. The flower protects itself from rain and dew by drooping its head both at night and in wet weather. Pansy is a very widely distributed plant.
It is in flower from April to September, and the seeds ripen from June to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite and are pollinated by Bees.
Root, seeds, leaves
Medicinal Uses: The oil extracted from the seeds, the Apiol, is considered a safe and
efficient emmenagogue. Parsley is valued as a breath-freshener, due to its high
concentration of chlorophyll. Use parsley tea for kidney stones, bladder infection, and
jaundice medications, as well as digestive aids. One cup of parsley to 1 quart of water
makes a strong tea. The root is more effective then the leaves.
than the leaves. A few sprigs provide 2/3 the vitamin C of an orange, vitamin A, and amino acid histidine, which is a tumor inhibitor.
Externally, make an oil out of parsley leaves and roots and use to repel head lice. Pound the leaves into a paste and mix with a little water and use to ease symptoms from bug bites and stings. A little oatmeal can be added to this mixture for better consistency. Dip a cloth in unsweetened parsley tea and place over closed eyes for 10 minutes to reduce fatigue and swelling of the eyes.
Magickal Uses: Make a tea out of dried parsley by adding a teaspoon of the dried herb to a cup of boiled water. Sprinkle or spray the parsley water in a clockwise direction in your house to raise your money. Carry a sprig of parsley for protection. Use parsley Parsley in purification baths. Parsley is masculine and ruled by the planet Mercury. It is associated with the Element of Air.
Properties: Carminative, diuretic, tonic and aperient. Parsley root contains starch, mucilage, sugar, volatile oil (myristicin, limonene, eugenol, and alpha-thujene) and flavonoids (apiin, apigenin, crisoeriol, and luteolin).
Growth: Parsley is widely distributed. This plant is thought to have originated in Sardinia. It has cream-coloured flowers and aromatic seeds. Parsley is a biennial plant and grows easily in indoor pots or in the garden.
Medicinal Uses: Passionflower is used in the treatment of insomnia, nervous tension,
irritability, neuralgia, irritable bowel syndrome, premenstrual tension and vaginal
discharges. An infusion of the plant depresses the motor nerves of the spinal cord,
making it very valuable in the treatment of back pain. The infusion is also sedative,
slightly reduces blood pressure and increases respiratory rate. The herb contains
alkaloids and flavonoids that are an effective non-addictive sedative that does not cause drowsiness. As a sleep aid use 1 tbsp. dried herb to 1 cup of boiling water, steep for 10 min. drink at bedtime. It relieves headache pain due to stress and helps one end addiction to tranquilizers. It is also used in cases of epilepsy. It has also been used to support treatments of female anxiety during menses, childbirth and menopause.
A poultice or juice has been used for burns and wounds.
Do not use during pregnancy. Large doses may cause nausea and vomiting.
Magickal Uses: Place a passion flower under the pillow to ensure a night of peaceful dreams. Carried in a pouch it can bring you popularity and friendship.
Properties: Antispasmodic, astringent, diaphoretic, anodyne, anti-inflammatory, hypnotic, narcotic, sedative, vasodilator and also used in the treatment of women's complaints. The primary chemical constituents are known to be alkaloids (harman, harmine, harmaline, harmol, harmalol), flavonoids (apigenin, luteolin, quercitin, rutin), flavone glycosides, sterols, sugars, and gums.
Growth: Passion flower is found growing in sandy thickets and open fields, roadsides, fence rows and waste places. It is a climbing vine renowned for its beautiful white flowers with purple, blue, or pink calyx crown blooms. The plant is native to North, Central, and South America. Passion Flower bears small berry-like fruit called granadilla.
PennyRoyal - Fleabane
Medicinal Uses: Pennyroyal will ease flatulence and abdominal colic due to wind.
It will relax spasmodic pain and ease anxiety. However, its main use is as an
emmenagogue to stimulate the menstrual process and to strengthen uterine
Pennyroyal is used as a household ant and flea repellent.
If used during pregnancy, pennyroyal may cause fetal death by liver and brain damage
as well as promote uterine contractions to expel the fetus.
Pennyroyal is not recommended for internal use, it contains pulegone, a toxic compound
notorious for causing abortion, and also leads to irreversible kidney damage.
People with liver failure or kidney failure, and all children, should avoid pennyroyal.
Signs and symptoms of pennyroyal toxicity include severe stomach pain, dizziness, seizures, vomiting, difficulty walking, and coma.
Magickal Uses: Pennyroyal is an herb of peace and protection when worn or carried. It is placed in ones shoes when traveling to prevent weariness and to add strength. It wards off evil and aids in business negotiations. Pennyroyal will cause a quarreling couple to stop fighting and prevents seasickness. Tied to the bedpost, it sharpens the brain and wits. Pennyroyal kept in a bowl brings peace to the household. It is used to bathe the body of the deceased to bring a peaceful transition to the next life.
Pennyroyal is feminine and ruled by the planet Venus. It is associated with the Element of Earth.
Properties: Carminative, diaphoretic, stimulant, emmenagogue. Pennyroyal contains volatile oil, consisting mainly of pulegone,isopulegone, menthol, isomenthone, limonene, piperitone, neomenthol and miscellaneous; bitters and tannins.
Growth: Pennyroyal is a perennial mint with a variable habit, ranging from low-growing, spreading plants to lanky, upright subshrubs. The pale or deeper pink, blue, or violet flowers are clustered in dense whorls at the upper nodes. The plant has a powerful and pungent minty odor. The stems are square in cross-section, ascending from rhizomes. Branches and simple leaves are opposite on stems.
Medicinal Uses: Peony root has been used to treat wounds, fungal infections, pain, and
spasmodic conditions. The most important ingredient medicinally in the root is paeoniflorin,
which has been shown to have a strong antispasmodic effect on mammalian intestines, it also reduces blood pressure, reduces body temperature caused by fever and protects against stress ulcers. It is taken internally in the treatment of menstrual disorders, injuries,high blood pressure, pre-menstrual tension and liver disorders. The roots are harvested in the autumn from cultivated plants that are 4 - 5 years old and are boiled before being sun-dried for later use.
The roots of wild plants are harvested in the spring or (preferably) in the autumn and are sun-dried for later use.
A tea made from the dried crushed petals of various peony species has been used as a cough remedy, and as a treatment for haemorrhoids and varicose veins.
The entire plant is poisonous if taken in large doses.
Magickal Uses: Peony is used to protect the body, spirit and soul. In the home it wards away evil spirits; in the garden, it keeps evil and storms away. The seeds and roots, called 'piney beads', are worn as a necklace for protection from mischievous fairies and imps. Combine the 'piney beads' with coral and flint to keep the Incubus away. Add it to exorcism rituals and carry the root to cure lunacy. The whole root can be carved into a talisman. Use Peony with Verbana for magick healing.
Peony seeds can be harvested and dried, while sitting in the direct light of a full moon, then thread them upon a white thread and wear as a necklace to bring protection against all forms of negative energy.
Peony roots are considered powerful. Harvest and clean them, then slice them into small ringlets while still fresh, then dry. These also may be made into a necklace.
Peony is masculine and ruled by the Sun. It is associated with the Element of Fire.
Properties: Antispasmodic, diuretic, sedative, and tonic. Peony contains a glycoside called paeoniflorin, as well as Cyanin, arginine, benzoic acid, calcium-oxalate, peonide, paeonol, resinic acid and tannin.
Growth: Peony is found in dry open rocky slopes, riverbanks and sparse woodland edges. Peony is a perennial plant having ternate or bi-ternate, large ovate leaflets growing 2-3 feet high. The plant bears large solitary, red or purple-red, flowers which strongly resemble roses. Flowering time is typically from May to August.
The seeds ripen in August. The scented flowers are hermaphrodite and are pollinated by Insects.
(Vinca major, Vinca Minor)
its Latin name, Vinca, is derived from the Latin word
vincere, meaning"to overcome."
Medicinal Uses: Periwinkle is an excellent all-round astringent.
Rosy Periwinkle is used against childhood leukemia, Hodgkin's Disease, testicular cancer and cancerous tumors, high blood pressure, and uncontrolled bleeding, not to mention the fact that it has powerful tranquilizing properties.
Externally, Rosy Periwinkle leaves can be bruised and applied directly to the affected
area for wasp stings, to relieve eye inflammation, and to stop bleeding. Alternatively, the leaves can be boiled and a cloth soaked with the liquid and applied to the affected area, or an ointment can be made using oils from the plant.
(Vinca Major, Vinc Minor) Internally the leaves have been used for improved oxygen and blood flow, especially in cerebral veins and arteries for improvement of cognitive function, tinnitus, depression, fatigue, problems associated with menopause, heavy menstruation, mild hypertension, headache, congestion, and as a gargle for sore throats. It also contains 'reserpine', which reduces high blood pressure, and the alkaloid 'vincamine', which is used as a cerebral stimulant and vasodilator.
Externally, a oil or ointment can be made, or the leaves can be bruised and applied directly for dermatitis, eczema, acne, bleeding gums, nosebleeds, mouth ulcers, and bleeding hemorrhoids. The fresh flowers are gently purgative, but lose their effect on drying.
It will combine well with Cranesbill and Agrimony. For menstrual problems it may be used with Beth Root.
Do not use when pregnant or breastfeeding or if you have kidney, liver, or lung disease. As a member of the Dogbane family, large quantities of this plant are poisonous.
Magickal Uses: Hang Perriwinkle around doors and windows to protect against evil. enhancing the effects of any ritual, spell, or amulet. It is a protective herb, keeping evil at bay and eliminating negative energy.
Periwinkle is used often in love spells, and workings by making one feel more attractive, thereby opening the door for a lover to enter. If changes are needed in life or if you wish for money or prosperity, put some dried herb into an amulet and carry it with you.
Perriwinkle is feminine and ruled by the planet Venus. It is associated with the Element of Water.
Properties: Astringent, bitter, detergent, sedative, stomachic and tonic. Perriwinkle contains alkaloids (vincamine) and tannins.
Growth: Periwinkle is an evergreen perennial vine that sprawls along the ground, quickly making a thick, attractive purple, blue, or white-flowering mat with dark green shiny leaves. It is in leaf all year, blooms appear in April and sometimes again in fall.
Medicinal Uses: A decoction of the boiled unripe fruit is used to treat bloody stools. The
leaves are rich in vitamin C and are used as an antiscorbutic. A decoction of the inner-bark
is highly astringent. It has been used as a mouth rinse in the treatment of thrush and sore
Used externally as a wash for warts.
Magickal Uses: Persimmon is used in healing and good luck spells. Persimmon is feminine and ruled by the planet Venus. It is associated with the Element of Water.
Properties: Antiscorbutic; Astringent; Warts. Persimmon contains phenols, potassium, calcium, sodium, magnesium, manganese and iron.
Growth: Persimmon is a type of tree that usually grows in the tropics. It is made of especially hard wood and yields an orange-reddish fruit that can be eaten only when the fruit is completely ripe. The fruit is 3 inches oblong-shaped with orange colored skin and flesh. It has smooth jellylike texture which tastes like spicy apricots when fully ripe, but very astringent until ripened to the point of softness. Persimmon trees are found in dry woods, old fields and clearings. It is in flower in June, and the seeds ripen from October to November. The flowers are dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant so both male and female plants must be grown if seed is required) and are pollinated by insects and wind.
Medicinal Uses: Native Americans used pine extensively in the treatment of skin complaints,
wounds, burns and boils. It is also very beneficial to the respiratory system and is used in treating
coughs, colds and influenza. The turpentine obtained from the resin of all pine trees is antiseptic, diuretic, rubefacient and vermifuge. It is used internally in the treatment of kidney and bladder complaints and is used both internally and as a rub and steam bath in the treatment of rheumatic affections.
It is also very beneficial to the respiratory system and is used in treating diseases of the mucous membranes and respiratory complaints such as coughs, colds, influenza and tuberculosis.
An infusion was used as a treatment for colds and it is still used as an ingredient in commercial cough syrups, where it serves to promote the expulsion of phlegm. A tea made from the young needles is used to treat sore throats. It is a good source of vitamin C and is effective against scurvy. An infusion of the young twigs has been used in the treatment of kidney disorders and pulmonary complaints. The powdered wood has been used as a dressing on babies chaffed skin, sores and improperly healed navels.
Externally it is a very beneficial treatment for a variety of skin complaints, wounds, sores, burns and boils. And is used in the form of liniment plasters, poultices, herbal steam baths and inhalers. A poultice of pitch has been used to draw out toxins from boils and to reduce the pain. A poultice made from the pounded inner bark is used to treat cuts, sores and wounds. The wetted inner bark can be used as a poultice on the chest in treating bad colds. The powdered wood has been used as a dressing on babies chaffed skin, sores and improperly healed navels.
The wood, sawdust and resins from various species of pine can cause dermatitis in sensitive people.
Magickal Uses: Pinecones are carried to increase fertility. Burn pine needles inside during the winter months for purifying the home. Burn pine needles when reversing or redirecting a spell. Burn pinecones to cleanse the area of negative energy. Scatter pinecones about the ground to keep evil away. Pine trees are a symbol of long life and immortality. Pine is masculine and ruled by the planet Mars. It is associated with the Element of Air.
Properties: Antiscorbutic, demulcent, vermifuge, diuretic, expectorant, miscellany, pectoral, poultice, antiseptic and salve. The dried inner bark is demulcent, diuretic and expectorant. The dried inner bark contains 10% tannin, some mucilage, an oleoresin, a glycoside and a volatile oil.
Growth: Pine trees grow from 2 to 100 m tall, mostly evergreen (except Larix and Pseudolarix, deciduous). They are resinous, monoecious, with subopposite or whorled branches, and spirally arranged, linear (needle-like) leaves. The female cones are large and usually woody, 2-60 cm long, with numerous spirally-arranged scales, and two winged seeds on each scale. The male cones are small, 0.5-6 cm long, and fall soon after pollination; pollen dispersal is by wind. Seed dispersal is mostly by wind, but some species have large seeds with reduced wings, and are dispersed by birds.
Root, leaves, flower-spikes.
Plantain is considered to be one of the nine sacred herbs of the Saxons
Medicinal Uses: Plantain has been used in inflammation of the skin, malignant ulcers, intermittent fever and as a vulnerary. The fresh leaves are applied whole or bruised in the form of a poultice. A tea made from the leaves of plantain is effective as a general detoxifier in the body, and works very well as a remedy for colds, flu, asthma, emphysema, bronchitis, fevers, hypertension, rheumatism, bladder problems, gastritis, ulcers, irritable bowel, cystitis, sinusitis, coughs, kidney stones, intestinal complaints, goiter, PMS, regulating menstrual flow, hoarseness, congestion, hay fever, diarrhea, and as a blood sugar stabilizer in diabetics. The seeds can be dried and infused in water for a soothing eye lotion, as a laxative, and for intestinal worms in children.
Externally, it is effective on any kind of skin disorder when the leaves are bruised and simply rubbed on the skin. These skin disorders include rashes, wounds, ulcerations, cuts, swelling, sprains, bruises, burns, eczema, cracked lips, poison ivy, mosquito bites, diaper rash, boils, hemorrhoids, and blisters.Rub the leaves on parts of the body stung by insects or nettles as well. The leaves will afford relief and arrest the bleeding of minor wounds.
Magickal Uses: Brew a cup of Plantain tea for divination and vivid dreams. Place in a charm around the neck of a child for protection of that child. For healing and purification, place fresh or dried plantain leaves or roots in a mesh bag hung under the faucet for bathwater. Pinches of dried herb can be tossed into a fireplace or over the flame of a candle, or thrown into an easterly wind for healing wishes.
Burn the leaves or roots of plantain to enhance the magickal powers of other herbs. Plantain is ruled by the planet Mars. It is associated with the Element of Fire.
Properties: Refrigerant, diuretic, deobstruent and astringent. The major constituents in plantain are mucilage, iridoid glycosides (particularly aucubin), and tannins. Plantain is very high in beta carotene (A) and calcium. It also provides ascorbic acid (C), and vitamin K. Among the more notable chemicals found in plantain are allantion, apigenin, aucubin, baicalein, linoleic acid, oleanolic acid and sorbitol..
Growth: A perennial that can be found almost anywhere in North America and much of Europe. Plantain is a low-growing, green plant with oval, ribbed short-stemmed leaves. The leaves form basal rosettes which tend to hug the ground. The leaves may grow up to about 6" long and 4" wide, but tend to vary greatly in size depending on their soil and light conditions. Plantain sends up a leafless flower stock in summer/fall - the stalks can be up to ten inches tall.
There are over 200 species in the plantain family.
Dosage: 1/4–1/2 teaspoon (1–3 grams) of the leaf daily in the form of tea made by steeping the herb in 1 cup (250 ml) of hot water for 10–15 minutes (making three cups (750 ml ) per day).
The fresh leaves can be applied directly three or four times per day to minor injuries, dermatitis, and insect stings.
Syrups or tinctures, approximately 1/2 teaspoon (2–3 ml) three times per day, can also be used, particularly to treat a cough.
1/2–1 1/4 teaspoons (2–6 grams) of the fresh plant can be juiced and taken in three evenly divided oral administrations throughout the day.
Pleurisy Root - Butterfly weed
The root is harvested in the autumn and can be used fresh or dried.
Medicinal Uses: Pleurisy root is a bitter, nutty-flavoured tonic herb that increases
perspiration, relieves spasms and acts as an expectorant. Its main use is for relieving
the pain and inflammation of pleurisy. It has also been used internally in the treatment
of diarrhoea, dysentery and rheumatism. A poultice of the dried, powdered roots is used
in the treatment of swellings, bruises, wounds, ulcers and lameness. When used for pleurisy, combine with Angelica and Sassafras to promote perspiration and equalize circulation.
Combine with cayenne and lobelia for chest congestion. And combine with other respiratory demulcents such as bonset, cayenne, hyssop, and mullein.
Use as a poultice on open sores. The fresh leaf tea induces vomiting.
A strong infusion is made of dried root steeped for 1/2 hour. Take warm 1 cupful every hour will promote perspiration and expectoration.
A decoction is taken in doses of 1-2 oz.
The plant is poisonous if eaten in large quantities. Very large doses can cause diarrhoea and vomiting. Do not use if pregnant.
Magickal uses: Pleurisy root is used in protection, health and healing spells.
Properties: The root is antispasmodic, carminative, mildly cathartic, diaphoretic, diuretic, expectorant, tonic and vasodilator. Pleurisy root contains cardioactive glycosides and cardenolides, including Asclepiadin. Flavonoids, including rutin, kaempferol, quercitin, and isorhamnetin. Friedalin, amyrin, lupeol, viburnitol, choline sugars, and amino acids.
Growth: Pleursy root is a member of the milkweed family. It usually grows to about a foot in height, and every summer it produces deep yellow and orange flowers. Pleurisy Root gets its name from its use as a treatment for pleurisy by the Native Americans. The root is gray-brown and spindle-shaped with a knotty crown.
"The name Poke is derived from an Indian word "pocan", a name for any plant
that yields a red dye, and from "pak", meaning "blood". The United States
Constitution was written in Pokeberry ink.
Medicinal Uses: Pokeweed is used to stimulate the lymphatic system and treat tonsillitis,
mastitis, and mumps. Use it externally to treat skin disorders.
In large doses, Poke Root may produce gastro enteritis with concomitant vomiting and diarrhea. All parts of the fresh plant are toxic, as are the dried berries. It can cause fetal abnormalities if used during pregnancy. Reported adverse effects include nausea, diarrhea, protracted vomiting, hypotension, convulsions, dyspnea, and death.
Magickal Uses: Sprinkle an infusion of pokeweed around the house during a new moon to break hexes. Crush the berries and use their juice as a magickal ink. Pokeweed is masculine and ruled by the planet Mars. It is associated with the Element of Fire.
Properties: Pokeweed contains Alkaloids: Betanidine, betanine, phytolaccine, prebetanine, Lectins: (Lectins are the primary toxic principle in the world's deadliest seeds) Pokeweed mitogen glycoproteins, Saponins: Phytolaccosides, jaligonic acid, phytolaccagenic acid, aesculentic acid, Isoamericanin A, pokeweed antiviral protein (PAP), alpha-spinasterol and histamine.
Growth: Pokeweed is a robust perennial, native to the eastern United States. Pokeweed may grow to nine feet tall, with large, alternate leaves and a carrotlike taproot. Greenish-white flowers are produced in long clusters (racemes) that droop due to the weight of ripening fruit. The flattened berries change from green to shiny purplish-black.
Heracles is said to have bound his head in
triumph with poplar after killing the giant Cacus.
Medicinal Uses: The bark is a blood purifier and tonic stimulant. A paste of the
bark, mixed with the ash of cow dung, is used as a poultice to treat muscular
swellings. It is used especially in treating rheumatism and fevers, and also to
relieve the pain of menstrual cramps. Poplar is valued as an expectorant and
antiseptic tonic. It is made into a tea and used as a wash for sprains, inflammation
and muscle pains. The buds can also be put in hot water and used as an inhalant to
relieve congested nasal passages. A tea made from the inner bark is used as an eye wash and in the treatment of scurvy.
Magickal Uses: Polar is used in connection with astral projection, divination, and it represents rebirth. The Black poplar was a funeral tree sacred to the Goddess. Poplar is feminine and ruled by the planet Saturn. It is associated with the Element of Water.
Properties: The leaf buds are antiscorbutic, antiseptic, diuretic, expectorant, stimulant and tonic. The bark is cathartic and tonic. Poplar contains the glycosides salicin, salicortin, salireposide, and benzoate derivatives, including populin, temuloidin, and tremulacin; resins, n-alkanes, phenolic acids, chalcones, fatty acids, and aliphatic alcohols
Growth: Poplar is found in deep moist sandy soils of river bottomlands, stream banks, borders of lakes and swamps. It grows throughout Europe and North America.
Purple Loose Strife
Medicinal uses: Purple Loose strife is burned it to drive away insect pests. It is also used as a treatment for diarrhea and dysentery. It is sometime used to help arrest diarrhea in breast-feeding babies. Purple Loose strife may also be used to treat heavy menstrual bleeding. Externally, it is applied as a poultice or lotion to wounds, leg ulcers, and eczema, and used to treat excess vaginal discharge and vaginal itching. Purple loosestrife was once used to treat eye problems.
Magickal uses: The Greeks thought that garlands of the herb hung around the necks of oxen would encourage a team to plow a field in harmony. Placed in the corners of each room, this herb restores harmony and brings peace.
Properties: Purple loosestrife contains salicarin, a glycoside (vitexin), tannins, a volatile oil, mucilage, and plant sterols.
Purple Loose strife is anti-bacterial, anti-amoebic, astringent, demulcent, anti-inflammatory, anti- hemorrhagic, antihistamine and antispasmodic.
Growth: Purple Loose strife is an herbaceous, wetland perennial that grows in a wide range of habitats. This plant is a perennial herb that can grow to 5 feet tall. The stem is square shaped; the leaves are narrow and lance-shaped, and occur in pairs or in whorls of three. The flowers are rose to deep purple and flower from June to September, with four to six petals bloom in long spikes. One mature plant can produce more than 2 million seeds annually. It is found near riverbanks, in wet meadows, and in other marshy areas in the Atlantic Coast states and as far west as Minnesota.
Purple loosestrife is gathered when in flower, in summer.
Medicinal Uses: The leaves are a rich source of omega-3 fatty acids, which is thought to
be important in preventing heart attacks and strengthening the immune system. The fresh
juice is used in the treatment of strangury, coughs and sores. The leaves are poulticed and
applied to burns. The leaves and the plant juice are effective in the treatment of skin
diseases and insect stings. A tea made from the leaves is used in the treatment of stomach aches and headaches. The leaf juice is used to alleviate earaches. The seeds are used for dyspepsia and opacities of the cornea. Purslane is rich in pectin, which is known to lower cholesterol. It has been used as a hypolipidemic agent (lowers the fat content of blood) and in the healing of wounds and boils.
Magickal Uses: Purslane is used to enhance spells of Love, Luck, Protection and Happiness. Place a few leaves under the pillow or place in a dream pillow for a good night sleep. Purslane is feminine and ruled by the Moon. It is associated with the Element of Water.
Properties: The plant is antibacterial, antiscorbutic, depurative, diuretic and febrifuge. The seeds are tonic and vermifuge. Purslane is rich in vitamns Cand E as well as natural fatty acids, antioxidants, and glutathione. Minerals found in Purslane include phosphorus, zinc, silicon, copper, calcium, manganese, magnesium, iron and very high levels of potassium.
Growth: Purslane is in flower from June to September, and the seeds ripen from July to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite and are pollinated by insects. is a non-native succulent, it is a annual which can reach 16 inches in height. It has smooth, reddish, mostly prostrate stems. The leaves are alternate. Each succulent leaf is entire and the leaves are clustered at stem joints and ends.
The yellow flowers have 5 regular parts and are up to 1/4 inch in width. Blooms first appear in late spring and continue into mid fall. The flowers open singly at the center of the leaf cluster for only a few hours on sunny mornings.
Seeds are formed in a tiny pod the lid of which opens when the seeds mature.
Queen Anne’s lace: (Birds Nest Weed, Bees Nest, Devils Plague, Fools Parsley)
Queen Anne’s lace is the closest living relative to Silphion, which was picked and used by the Romans as a culinary spice and contraceptive until it became extinct in the first century CE. Apparently it was extremely effective. Supposedly Nero was given the last remaining root.
Medicinal uses: Queen Anne’s lace or wild carrot is an aromatic herb that acts as a diuretic, soothes the digestive tract and stimulates the uterus. A wonderfully cleansing medicine, it supports the liver, stimulates the flow of urine and the removal of waste by the kidneys. An infusion is used in the treatment of various complaints including digestive disorders, kidney and bladder diseases and in the treatment of dropsy.
An infusion of the leaves has been used to counter cystitis and kidney stone formation, and to diminish stones that have already formed. Carrot leaves contain significant amounts of porphyrins, which stimulate the pituitary gland and lead to the release of increased levels of sex hormones. A warm water infusion of the flowers has been used in the treatment of diabetes. The grated raw root, especially of the cultivated forms, is used as a remedy for threadworms. The root is also used to encourage delayed menstruation. A tea made from the roots is diuretic and has been used in the treatment of urinary stones.
An infusion is used in the treatment of edema, flatulent indigestion and menstrual problems. The seed is a traditional “morning after” contraceptive
The root of the wild plant can induce uterine contractions and so should not be used by pregnant women. Carrot seeds can be abortifacient and so should not be used by pregnant women.
Magickal uses: Ancient folk lore said that to cure epileptic seizures you should eat the dark colored middle flower of Queen Anne’s lace. The flower is also used in ancient rituals in spells, for women to increase fertility and for men to increase potency and sexual desire.
Properties: Queen Anne’s Lace is analgesic, anti-arthritic, antidepressant, antipsychotic, anti-schizophrenic, antidote, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anticonvulsant, anti-diabetic, Anti-estrogenic, anti-histaminic, antioxidant, antiseptic, antispasmodic, antiepileptic, anti-anxiety, relieves stress, anti-viral, cancer-preventive, expectorant, anti-fungal, immune-stimulant, MAO-Inhibitor, sedative and aphrodisiac. Queens Anne lace contains acetone, acetyl-choline, alpha-linolenic-acid, alpha-pinene, alpha-tocopherol, apigenin, arachidonic-acid, arginine, asarone, ascorbic-acid, bergapten, beta-carotene, beta-sitosterol, caffeic-acid, camphor, chlorogenic-acid, chlorophyll, chrysin, citral, citric-acid, coumarin, elemicin, esculetin, ethanol, eugenol, falcarinol, ferulic-acid, folacin, formic-acid, fructose, gamma-linolenic-acid, geraniol, glutamine, glycine, hcn, histidine, kaempferol, lecithin, limonene, linoleic-acid, lithium, lupeol, lutein, luteolin, lycopene, magnesium, manganese, methionine, mufa, myrcene, myricetin, myristicin, niacin, oleic-acid, pantothenic-acid, pectin, phenylalanine, potassium, psoralen, quercetin, scopoletin, stigmasterol, sucrose, terpinen-4-ol, thiamin, tryptophan, tyrosine, umbelliferone, xanthotoxin, and various vitamins and minerals.
Growth: Queen Anne’s lace is yellowish in color, spindle-shaped, slender, firm and woody; a pernicious weed in some areas. This plant is a biennial which grows, in its second year, from a taproot (the carrot) to a height of two to four feet. The stems are erect and branched; both stems and leaves are covered with short coarse hairs. It is edible when young but the root (especially the centre) soon gets tough and woody due to the high content of xylem tissue. The domestic carrot is a genetic variant that lacks most of this tissue.
The wild carrot has finely divided leaves like that of the domesticated carrot. The leaves, petioles and flower stems may be densely hairy or have no hair. The leaves on the stem are arranged alternately. Flowering wild carrot may grow four feet tall. At the end of the stem is a primary umbel (seed head) made up of numerous individual white flowers and possibly a purple flower in the center together with drooping, narrow bracts on the underside. Plants also may have many secondary umbels produced at any node on the stem below the primary umbel.
Each flower on the umbel produces two seeds. After seed set, the umbel closes upward. During the flowering period the head is nearly flat or slightly convex, but as the seeds ripen the form becomes very cup-like; hence one of the popular names for this plant is "bird's nest." Once the seeds have turned brown, they are mature. The roots of wild carrot are typically white. The characteristic odor of carrot is present when any part of the plant is crushed.
Spent umbels curl inwards forming a depressed cup. The fruits are covered in hooked spines, which aid dispersal by clinging to the fur of passing animals. The plant is harvested in July and dried for later use. Queen Anne’s lace is the wild progenitor of the domesticated carrot. Extreme caution must be used when collecting wild carrots; they closely resemble poisonous water hemlock (cicuta maculata), poison hemlock (conium maculatum) and fool's parsley (aethusa cynapium), all of which can be deadly. Both poison hemlock and fool's parsley smell nasty; just roll some leaves between your thumb and forefinger, and smell.
Wild carrot, especially the root, smells like carrots. Also, the stem of the wild carrot is hairy, and the stem of poison hemlock is smooth.
Queen Anne's Lace Jelly
18 large Queen Anne's lace heads
4 Cups water
1/4 Cup lemon juice (fresh or bottled)
1 Package powdered pectin
3 1/2 Cups + 2 Tbsp. sugar
Bring water to boil. Remove from heat. Add flower heads (push them down into the water). Cover and steep 30 minutes. Strain.
Measure 3 cups of liquid into a 4 - 6 quart pan. Add lemon juice and pectin. Bring to a rolling boil stirring constantly. Add sugar and stir constantly. Cook and stir until mixture comes to a rolling boil. Boil one minute longer, and then remove from heat.
Add color (pink) if desired. Skim. Pour into jars leaving 1/4" head space. Then process in a hot water bath for 5 minutes.
Makes about 6 jars
Wild Carrot Cake
Wild carrots are especially good in carrot cake because they provide more flavor than commercial carrots do, and they're still crunchy after cooking.
Two 19-ounce packages silken tofu, drained
3/4 cup dates, chopped
1/4 cup fresh lemon or lime juice
2 tablespoons arrowroot or kudzu
2 tablespoons fresh bread crumbs
1 tablespoon almond oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon liquid Stevia or 2 tablespoons honey, barley malt, or rice syrup
1/2 teaspoon orange extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 cups (19 ounces) sweet brown rice flour and 4 cups (1 pound) oat flour, or 35 ounces any whole-grain flour
1 cup arrowroot or kudzu
3/4 cup plus 3 tablespoons freshly ground flaxseeds (6 tablespoons seeds)
2 teaspoons freshly ground star anise
1 teaspoon freshly ground coriander seeds
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly grated nutmeg
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons apple juice
1 cup corn oil or other vegetable oil
1/4 cup fresh lime or lemon juice
1/2 cup lecithin granules
2 teaspoon liquid Stevia (herbal sweetener)
1 1/2 cups raisins
1 1/2 cups wild carrot taproots, grated
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
To make the icing in a food processor, combine the icing ingredients and process until smooth.
To make the cake, mix together the flour, arrowroot, ground flaxseed, spices, salt, and baking soda in a large bowl.
Within a blender, combine the apple juice, corn oil, lime juice, lecithin granules, and liquid stevia and process until smooth. Then mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients, being careful not to over mix. Stir in the raisins and grated wild carrots.
Divide the batter evenly between 2 oiled 12-inch round cake pans. Pour the icing over the cake batter in each pan. Bake the cakes until the bottom of each one is lightly browned, about 40 minutes. Let the cakes cool on wire racks before serving.
Makes 2 cakes