Whispering Woods Herbal Grimoire

The following information is strictly for reference only.

Section M and N

Herb Description list - Maidenhair Fern, Marjoram, Marsh Mallow, Meadow Sweet, Milk Thistle, Milkweed, Mint (various), Mugwort, Mullein, Myrrh
N - Nettle, Nutmeg                              

Maidenhair Fern

(Adiantum pedatum)


Medicinal Uses: An oil is extracted from the rhizome of this Fern, which, as far back as the times of Theophrastus and Dioscorides, was known as a valuable vermifuge. A tea or syrup is used in the treatment of nasal congestion, asthma, sore throats etc. A decoction of the root was massaged into rheumatic joints. The N. American Indians chewed the fronds and then applied them to wounds to stop bleeding.
A strong infusion of the whole plant was has been used as an emetic in the treatment of ague and fevers[ The liquid extract is one of the best anthelmintics against tapeworm, which it kills and expels. This extract is taken just prior to bedtime and several hours after last dining, and to give a purgative, such as castor oil, first thing in the morning. A single dose will often suffice.
Maidenhair fern is used to detoxify the liver and to ease the passing of kidney stones.

Many ferns also contain thiaminase, an enzyme that robs the body of its vitamin B complex. In small quantities this enzyme will do no harm to people eating an adequate diet that is rich in vitamin B, though large quantities can cause severe health problems.

Magickal Uses: Break the first frond of spring for good luck. Throw on hot coals to exorcise evil spirits. The root is added to love potions and the fronds eaten by those embarking on quests of love.

Properties: The whole plant is considered to be antirheumatic, astringent, demulcent, emmenagogue, expectorant, febrifuge, haemostatic, pectoral and tonic.
The chief constituents are about 5 % of Filmaron - an amorphous acid, and from 5 to 8 % of Filicic acid, which is also amorphous and tends to degenerate into its inactive crystalline anhydride, Filicin. The Filicic acid is regarded as the chief, though not the only active principle. Tannin, resin, colouring matter and sugar are also present in the rhizome.

Growth: Maidenhair ferns have wiry, purple-brown petioles and feathery, circular fronds that grow outward in a flat, fan-like position. They are found in rich woodlands, often on limestone soil.

Marjoram - sweet marjoram

(Origanum majorana)

Leaf and flower

Medicinal Uses: When drank as a aromatic tea, Sweet Marjoram aids digestion, relieves flatulence, colds and headaches, soothes nerves and encourages menstruation. The tea provides relief from symptoms of hay fever, sinus congestion, indigestion, asthma and stomach pain.
Externally, Marjoram leaves can be ground into a paste (add hot tea or water, and a little oatmeal for consistency), and use for rheumatism and sprains.  The leaves can be made into an oil for relief of toothache, drop a few drops of the oil on the affected tooth.
Marjoram essential oil is distilled from the leaves and flowering tops. It is antioxidant, reduces skin aging, antiviral, eases spasms, and stimulates local circulation.

Magickal Uses: An infusion of marjoram, mint and rosemary can be sprinkled around the house for protection. This also works for protecting specific objects. Marjoram brings happiness to a depressed person. Violets and Marjoram, mixed together, are worn during the winter months as an amulet against colds. It is often used in herbal sleep pillows. Use Marjoram in love charms. The ancient Greeks placed it on graves to bring joy to the deceased. Marjoram is masculine, and ruled by the planet Mercury. It is associated with the Element of Air.

Properties: Antioxidant, carminative, antispasmodic, stimulant, diaphoretic. Majoram contains flavonoids, caffeic acid, phenylpropanoids, essential oil (oleum majoranae), tannic acid, mucilage, bicyclic monoterpene alcohol  and saponins.

Growth: Marjoram grows to approximately 2 feet high. It has stems with many branches filled with oval gray-green leaves that cascade down in the shape of a mound.  As the stems touch the ground, they root, making the mound  gradually bigger. Generally planted from seeds, Marjoram rarely survives even mild winters.

Marsh Mallow

(Althaea officinalis)

Leaves, root, flowers.
The leaves are picked in August, when the flowers are just coming into
bloom. They should be stripped off singly and gathered in the morning,
after the dew has been dried off by the sun.

Medicinal Uses: Marsh Mallow is useful in inflammation and irritation of the alimentary canal, and of the urinary and respiratory organs. The dry roots boiled in water give out half their weight of a gummy matter like starch. Decoctions of the plant, especially of the root, are very useful where the natural mucus has been abraded from the coats of the intestines.
The decoction can be made by adding 5 pints of water to 1/4 lb. of dried root, boiling down to 3 pints and straining: it should not be made too thick and viscid.
It is very useful in painful complaints of the urinary tract, exerting a relaxing effect upon the passages. This decoction is also effective in curing bruises, sprains or any ache in the muscles or sinews. In cases of hemorrhage from the urinary tract and in dysentery, it has been recommended to use the powdered root boiled in milk. The action of Marsh Mallow root upon the bowels is unequaled by any other astringency. Mallow is a very soothing demulcent. It can be used internally as a cough preparation.
The flowers, boiled in oil and water, with a little honey and alum, have proved good as a gargle for sore throats.
Teas made from marsh mallow may be taken up to three times a day. Marsh mallow leaf tea may be made by adding 2 to 5 teaspoons of dried leaf to about 5 ounces of hot but not boiling water, allowing it to soak for 10 minutes, and then straining out the solid particles. For marsh mallow root tea, place 2 to 5 teaspoons of the dried powdered root in about 5 ounces of warm water and let it soak for at least an hour before straining out the solids. The resulting tea may be heated or consumed cold. Drink three to five cups a day.
For use on the skin, shredded or powdered marsh mallow root may be mixed with enough warm water to form a thick paste, which may be spread onto a soft cloth. The resulting poultice may be heated or simply applied to irritated skin as often as needed. If the skin at the area where marsh mallow is applied blisters or becomes more irritated, the marsh mallow preparation should be washed off with warm water and it should not be re-applied.

Marsh Mallow may possibly reduce blood sugar levels, individuals with diabetes should be careful when taking it.

Magickal Uses: Place a bouquet of mallow in a vase in your window to attract a straying lover.

Culinary Uses: The mallow root was used to make the French candy, pâté de guimauve, which is the original "marshmallow." The root is also good lightly steamed and then fried with butter and onions. Add the tender young leaves to salads.

Properties: Demulcent, anti-inflammatory and emollient.  Marsh Mallow contains starch, mucilage, pectin, oil, sugar, asparagin, phosphate of lime, glutinous matter and cellulose.

Growth: Marsh Mallow is a very hardy perennial. It likes moist, light soil with a neutral pH in full sun. The Marsh Mallow plants consist of tall, thick stems with broad leaves that are covered in soft hairs.

Meadow Sweet - Bridewort

(Filipendula ulnaria)

Root, leaf and flower

Meadow Sweet is a forerunner of aspirin as salicylic acid was first synthesized from
Meadowsweet in 1835 CE.

Medicinal Uses: Meadow Sweet flower tea is used for stomach ulcers and headaches, as an antiseptic diuretic, and for feverish colds, diarrhea, and heartburn. Simmer the flowers in wine to treat fevers and to cure depression.
A distilled water of the flowers makes an eyewash to treat burning and itching eyes. Meadowsweet is a classic for diarrhea, especially for children.
Meadowsweet contains methyl salicylate, making it a good herb for rheumatic complaints and flus. It is astringent and helps with indigestion. It has diuretic properties, which make it helpful in edema. The tea has been used for respiratory tract infections, gout, and arthritis. It can help bladder and kidney problems, epilepsy, and rabies.
To prepare the root, simmer two tablespoons of the dried root in one cup of water for twenty minutes. Take one cup a day. The leaf is placed in claret wine to enhance the taste, and it was at one time added to mead.

People with sensitivity to aspirin should avoid the use of meadowsweet. It should not be used to lower fevers in children as it may possibly lead to Reye’s syndrome.
Meadow Sweet should not be taken with bismuth subsalicylate (a nonprescription drug used to relieve indigestion without constipation, nausea, and abdominal cramps) or Ticlopidine (a platelet inhibiting drug).

Magickal Uses: Meadowsweet is useful in love spells. Use fresh flowers to decorate the altar during love spells, use the dried petals in love mixtures. Strew about the house to maintain peace. Meadow Sweet is considered to be a sacred herb of the Druids.
Place meadowsweet on the altar when making love charms and conducting love spells to increase their potency.  Meadow Sweet is feminine and ruled by the planet Jupiter. It is associated with the Element of Water.

Properties: Mild antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory and sedative. Meadow Sweet contains essential oil (salicyladehyde, methylsalicylate, hyperoside), salicylic acid, spireine, gaultherine, spiraeoside, flavonoids (rutin, spiraeoside), vanillin, glycoside, mucilage, tannin, coumarins, and vitamin C.

Growth: Meadow Sweet is a perennial, that grows from 3 feet to 6 feet tall. Its foilage is alternate, 4-8" long, pinnately compound with 7-9 leaflets, crinkled texture, white tomentose below; some species with sessile, long narrow leaves. It has numerous small flowers in panicles with 5-6 petals per flowers, white to pink, early to mid-summer.

Milk Thistle

(Silybum marianum)

Seeds for powdered or liquid extract

Medicinal Uses: Milk Thistle has been used in Europe as a remedy for liver problems for thousands of years. It is used for varicose veins, menstrual difficulty, and congestion in the liver, spleen and kidneys. Milk thistle has also been taken to increase breast-milk production, stimulate the secretion of bile, and as a treatment for depression.
Milk thistle nutritionally supports the liver's ability to maintain normal liver function. It has shown positive effects in treating nearly every known form of liver disease, including cirrhosis, hepatitis, necroses, and liver damage due to drug and alcohol abuse. Milk thistle has been proven to protect the liver from damage, it assists regeneration of liver tissue.
The active chemical component in the herb is silybin, which functions as an antioxidant and is one of the most potent liver protective agents known. Even the poisons most dangerous to the liver, those contained in the Deathcap mushroom, can be effectively detoxified with Milk Thistle extract.
Helps common skin conditions related to poor liver function.
For liver disease and impaired liver function, research suggests the use of 420–600 mg of silymarin per day from an herbal extract of milk thistle standardized to 80% silymarin content.16 According to research and clinical experience, improvement should be noted in about eight to twelve weeks. For people with chronic liver disease, milk thistle extract may be considered a long-term therapy.
Peppermint increases the effectiveness of milk thistle tea and improves its taste. When making the tea, add 1 tbsp. of peppermint leaves to the mixture.

Milk thistle can produce allergic reactions, which tend to be more common among people who are allergic to plants in the same family (for example, ragweed, chrysanthemum, marigold, and daisy).

Magickal Uses: Milk Thistle is an herb of protection and vitality. Carry it for strength and energy. A bowlful placed in a room strengthens the spirits and renews vitality.
Throwing them into a fire will keep lightning away from your home. Use a Poppet stuffed with thistle to break spells. Often used in healing spells.
A method of calling spirits is to boil some thistle. After removing it from the heat, be seated next to the bowl and begin meditating. As the steam rises, so will your questions and their answers will be heard.
Milk Thistle is masculine and is ruled by the planet Mars. It is associated with the Element of Fire.

Properties: Milk Thistle is highly effective as an antioxidant herb, particularly with its ability to protect the liver from free radical damage. Its component Silymarin is at least ten times more potent as an antioxidant than Vitamin E. The dried fruit of milk thistle contain a flavonoid complex known as silymarin. This constituent is responsible for the medical benefits of the plant. Silymarin is made up of three parts: silibinin, silidianin, and silicristin. Silibinin is the most active and is largely responsible for the benefits attributed to silymarin.

Growth: Milk Thistle is a member of the aster or daisy family. Growing as high as 5 feet, milk thistle has large thorny leaves with striking light-green and white markings and bright pink flowers. Milk thistle is native to the Mediterranean region but has been introduced to Europe and the US.


(Asclepias, various)

flowers, bud, sap, root

                                                           Named by Carolus Linnaeus to commemorate
Asklepias, Greek God of Medicine

Milkweed is the host plant for Monarch butterflies 

Medicinal Uses: The root is anodyne, diaphoretic, diuretic, emetic, expectorant and
purgative. It has been used in the treatment of asthma, kidney stones and venereal
The Omahas and Poncas ate the raw root of the butterfly milkweed (Asclepias tuberosa) for bronchial and pulmonary troubles. The Dakotas used the butterfly milkweed as an emetic. An infusion of the pounded roots has been used by the women of some native North American Indian tribes to promote temporary sterility.
The milky latex from the stems and leaves is used in the treatment of warts. The latex needs to be applied at least daily over a period of up to a few weeks to be effective.
The stems can be cooked and applied as a poultice on rheumatic joints. Milkweed is also a great diaphoretic.
Asclepias tuberosa, called "pleurisy root", to relieve inflammation of the lining of the lungs and thorax, and to relieve bronchial and pulmonary trouble.  Pleurisy root is a stimulant to the vagus nerve, producing perspiration, expectoration, and bronchial dilation.  As its name signifies, it is useful for pleurisy and mild pulmonary edema, increasing fluid circulation, cilia function, and lymphatic drainage. 

Milkweed species, as a group, are known to contain cardiac glycosides that are poisonous both to humans and to livestock. The older leaves are poisonous if eaten in large quantities.
Milkweed should not be used during pregnancy, by nursing mothers, children under three, or seniors. It also should not be used by anyone with high blood pressure or a heart condition. Milkweed is also contraindicated for anyone taking MAO inhibiting drugs.
Symptoms of poisoning by the cardiac glycosides include dullness, weakness, bloating, inability to stand or walk, high body temperature, rapid and weak pulse, difficulty breathing, dilated pupils, spasms, and coma.

Magickal Uses: If Milkweed is planted in a garden, faeries will be drawn to the area. The silky tassels of the Milkweed pods can be added to a dream pillow to help you dream of fairies. In the summer when the pods are bursting and the fluffy seeds are flying across the fields, a wish is granted for each seed that is caught and then released again.

Properties: Anodyne; Contraceptive; Diaphoretic; Diuretic; Emetic; Expectorant; Homeopathy; Purgative; Warts. Milkweed contains Asclepiadin (the emetic principle), volatile oil, two acrid resins, an alkaloid, fixed oil, albumen, pectin, starch and  glucose.

Growth: Milkweeds grow in clumps beside roadways, on abandoned farmlands, and in other open areas throughout the United States. Butterfly milkweed grows on sandy, loamy, or rocky limestone soils of prairies, open woodlands, roadsides, and disturbed areas similar to other milkweed species. Asclepias tuberosa is a perennial herb 3-9 feet tall with woody rootstocks. Butterfly milkweed stems are hairy, erect, and grow in numerous clumps.  There is a watery sap within the stems and leaves.  The leaves are alternate, simple, crowded, lance-shaped, 5-10 cm long, shiny green, smooth above and velvety beneath.  The flowers are in showy, rounded to flat-topped groups near the ends of branches.  Each flower has 5 petals, bent downward, orange to red or sometimes yellow, topped by a crown of 5 erect hoods, each one containing a short horn.  Fruits are hairy, spindle-shaped pods 8-15 cm long.  The numerous seeds each have a tuft of long white hairs at the tip.

Mint (various)

Medicinal Uses: The infusion of the Mint herb has been used for diarrhea and as an
emmenagogue (it brings down the menses). It is great for colds and influenza,
especially when mixed with elder flower (this remedy will induce sweating). Stomach
flu is helped by a mint, elderflower, and yarrow combination in a standard infusion of
two teaspoons per cup steeped for twenty minutes and taken in quarter-cup doses.
Mint is helpful in stomach complaints, but a strong infusion will become a emetic. Mint
tea eases colic and depression. The menthol in peppermint soothes the lining of the
digestive tract an stimulates the production of bile, which is an essential digestive
fluid. It relieves earaches when the fresh juice of a few drops of the essential oil are
placed in the ear.
Mint tea with honey soothes a sore throat. A classic cold remedy that will unblock the sinuses is two drops of mint essential oil, two drop eucalyptus essential oil and the juice of half a lemon in a cup of hot water. The mix is first inhaled and then drunk when warm.  Nervous headaches can be relieved if you lie in a dark room with fresh peppermint leaves on the forehead.
A few drops of the oil in water, applied with a cloth, help burning and itching, heat prostration, and sunburn. Apply it directly to an itchy skin condition or sunburn. For heat prostration place the cool fomentation on the forehead and wrists. Peppermint oil is the most extensively used of all the volatile oils.
For insomnia try the following:
1 oz. Peppermint herb, cut fine, 1/2 oz. Rue herb, 1/2 oz. Wood Betony. Well mix and place a large tablespoonful in a tea cup, fill with boiling water, stir and cover for twenty minutes, strain and sweeten, and drink the warm infusion on going to bed. Peppermint is an excellent breath freshener. When using peppermint tea as a breath freshener, increase the effectiveness by adding a pinch of anise, caraway or cinnamon.
Wild Mint (Mentha sativa) is considered to have emetic, stimulant, and astringent qualities, and is used in diarrhea and as an emmenagogue. The infusion of 1 oz. of the dried herb to 1 pint of boiling water is taken in wineglass full, doses.
Rub pennyroyal on the skin as an insect repellent.

No more than two drops of the essential oils should be taken at any time, and no more that two cups a day of the above mixture. Larger doses can be toxic to the kidneys.
Never eat pennyroyal, as it is toxic.

Magickal Uses: Mint is used in the home as a protective herb. It belongs to the sphere of Venus and has long been used in healing potions and mixtures. Mint worn at the wrist assures that you will not be ill. Mint is used in money and prosperity spells. Bergamot mint is sometimes rubbed on money to cause it to return to its owner.
Fresh mint laid on the altar will call spirits to be present and ready to assist you in magick, especially healing spells. Added to incenses it cleanses the house or ritual area. Mint is masculine, and ruled by the planet Mercury or Venus. It is associated with the Element of Air.

Properties: Anti-inflammatory, stimulant, carminative, antispasmodic and antiseptic. The chief constituent of Spearmint oil is Carvone. There are also present Phellandrine, Limonene and dihydrocarveol acetate. Esters of acetic, butyric and caproic or caprylic acids.
The chief constituent of Peppermint oil is Menthol, but it also contains menthyl acetate and isovalerate, together with menthone, cineol, inactive pineneand limonene.

Growth: The common types of mint are peppermint, pennyroyal, crinkle-leafed spearmint, spearmint, and applemint. Mint is a perennial herb that is propagated by root division or rooting cuttings in water. The plant is invasive and should be grown in pots or in lengths of plastic pipe buried in the ground. It enjoys a damp location, shaded from strong afternoon sun, and rich soil.


(Artemisia vulgaris)

Leaf and root

Medicinal Uses: The leaves are collected in August and dried and the root,
is dug up in autumn and dried.
An excellent herb for premenstrual symptoms, used in tea and the bath. Use a standard infusion of two teaspoons per cup of water steeped for twenty minutes, take one-fourth cup four times a day. It makes a good foot bath for tired feet and legs. Cleansing to the liver, it promotes digestion. Mugwort in an emmenagogue, especially when combined with pennyroyal, blue cohosh, or angelica root. It is helpful in epilepsy, palsy, and hysteria and is useful for fevers. is given in an infusion, which should be prepared in a covered vessel, 1 oz. of the herb to 1 pint of boiling water, and given in 1/2 teaspoonful doses, while warm. The infusion may be taken cold as a tonic, in similar doses, three times daily: it has a bitterish and aromatic taste.
As a nervine, Mugwort is valued in palsy, fits, epileptic and similar affections, being an old-fashioned popular remedy for epilepsy. The leaves, placed inside the shoes, are said to be soothing for sore feet.
When laid among clothing, mugwort repels moths.

Skin contact can cause dermatitis in some people. Mugwort should never be used by pregnant women, especially in their first trimester, since it can cause a miscarriage. Large, prolonged dosage can damage the nervous system.

Magickal Uses: Mugwort is burned with sandalwood or wormwood during scrying rituals, and a mugwort infusion is drunk (sweetened with honey) before divination. The infusion is also used to wash crystal balls and magic mirrors, and mugwort leaves are placed around the base of the ball (or beneath it) to aid in psychic workings. The fresh leaves rubbed on a magick mirror or crystal ball will strengthen divinatory abilities.
In China it is hung over doors to keep evil spirits for buildings. Mugwort is also carried to increase lust and fertility, to prevent backache, and to cure disease and madness. Placed next to the bed it aids in achieving astral projection. It is said to protect travelers from fatigue, sunstroke, wild animals, and evil spirits.  Mugwort is feminine, and is ruled by the olanetVenus. It is associated with the Element of Air.

Properties: Antiseptic; Antispasmodic; Appetizer; Carminative; Cholagogue; Diaphoretic; Digestive; Diuretic; Emmenagogue; Expectorant; Foot care; Haemostatic; Nervine; Purgative; Stimulant; Tonic.
Mugwort contains volatile oil, an acrid resin and tannin.

Growth: Mugwort is a tall-growing plant, the stems, which are angular and often of a purplish hue, frequently rising 3 feet or more in height. The leaves are smooth and of a dark green tint on the upper surface, but covered with a dense cottony down beneath; they are once or twice pinnately lobed, the segments being lanceshaped and pointed. The flowers are in small oval heads with cottony involucres and are arranged in long, terminal panicles; they are either reddish or pale yellow.

Mullein - Candlewick Plant

(Verbascum thapsus)

Leaf and flower

Medicinal Uses: The honey-scented flowers flavor liqueurs and yield skin-softening
mucilage. The expectorant, soothing, and spasm-sedating properties of the leaf and
flowers are used to treat raspy coughs and are added to herbal tobacco. When smoked,
Mullein soothes inflamed or infected lungs, and prevents coughing until infection or
inflammation is broken. Externally, a poultice of the leaves is a good healer of wounds and is also applied to ulcers, tumours and piles. An infusion of the flowers in olive oil is used as earache drops, or as a local application in the treatment of piles and other mucous membrane inflammations. This infusion is also strongly bactericidal. A decoction of the roots is said to alleviate toothache and also relieve cramps and convulsions. A poultice made from the seeds and leaves is used to draw out splinters. A decoction of the seeds is used to soothe chilblains and chapped skin.
Any preparation made from the leaves needs to be carefully strained in order to remove the small hairs which can be an irritant.
Woolly leaf wraps preserve figs and are used as tinder and emergency bandages.

The leaves contain rotenone and coumarin, though the quantities are not given. Rotenone is used as an insecticide and coumarin can prevent the blood from clotting. Hairs on the leaves can act as an irritant. The seeds are slightly narcotic and also contain saponins.

Magickal Uses: In India, mullein is regarded as the most potent safeguard against evil spirits and magic, and is hung over doors, in windows and carried in sachets. It is also used to banish demons and negativity. At one time Witches and magicians used oil lamps to illuminate their spells and rites and the downy leaves and stems of the mullein often provided the wicks. Also used for cleansing and purifying ritual tools and altars. The powdered leaves are sometimes called "Graveyard Dust", and can be substituted for such.
Mugwort is masculine and ruled by the planet Saturn. It is associated with the Element of Fire.

Properties: Anodyne; Antiseptic; Astringent; Demulcent; Emollient; Expectorant; Homeopathy; Narcotic; Odontalgic; Vulnerary. Mullein contains approximately 3% mucilage and small amounts of saponins and tannins.

Growth: Mullein is native to much of Europe and Asia and is naturalized to North America. There are over 360 species of Verbascum with V. thapsus, V. phlomides, and V. densiflorum mentioned most often in herbal texts. Mullein is a biennial growing to 1.8 m. It is hardy to zone 3 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from June to August, and the seeds ripen from August to September. The flowers are hermaphrodite (have both male and female organs) and are pollinated by Flies and Lepidoptera (Moths & Butterflies). The plant is self-fertile.


(Comniphora myrrha)


Its name is derived from the Hebrew murr or maror, meaning "bitter."

Medicinal Uses: Especially valued as a disinfectant, myrrh is used as a wash for wounds. Use as a wound wash only after the wound has been well cleaned. It has the tendency to seal wounds once it is placed on them. Use the alcohol tincture in water or the tea as a wound wash.
Myrrh promotes circulation and increases heart rate and power. Said to move stagnant blood through the uterus, it has been used for menopause, menstrual irregularities , and uterine tumors. Myrrh benefits diabetes and obesity; the dose is one to fifteen grains. Combined with echinacea and mullein to one quarter part myrrh; steep two teaspoons per cup of water for twenty minutes; take a quarter cup every four hours. Myrrh, goldenseal, arnica, and cayenne can be soaked in rubbing alcohol for a few weeks to make a liniment for bruises and sprains.
Myrrh is used in mouthwashes to soothe mouth and throat irritations.

Prolonged internal use of myrrh (longer than a few weeks) can lead to kidney damage.

Magickal Uses: Myrrh , which is sacred to Isis, is burned to purify sacred space. Myrrh increases the power of any incense to which it is added. Myrrh is also used in healing incenses and sachets. Its smoke is used to consecrate and purify objects such as amulets, talismans, charms, and magickal tools. It also aids meditation and contemplation. The essential oil can be added to blends designed to enhance spirituality and meditation.

Properties: Antibacterial and antifungal. Myrrh contains volatile oil, resin (myrrhin), gum, ash, salts, sulphates, benzoates, malates, and acetates of potassa.

Growth: Myrrh grows as a  small tree or shrub. The bushes yielding the resin do not grow more than 9 feet in height. They are sturdy built, with knotted branches, and branchlets that stand out at right-angles, ending in a sharp spine. It is of the botanical family "Burseraceae".

Nettle - Stinging Nettle

(Urtica dioica)

The whole herb, collected in May and June

Medicinal Uses: High in vitamin C and iron and when in tea form can ease asthma and
increase energy levels. A tea made from the leaves has traditionally been used as a cleansing
tonic and blood purifier so the plant is often used in the treatment of hay fever, arthritis and anaemia. An infusion of the plant is very valuable in stemming internal bleeding. It is also used to treat excessive menstruation, hemorrhoids,
rheumatism and skin complaints, especially eczema.
Externally, the plant is used to treat skin complaints, gout, sciatica, neuralgia and hair problems.
The fresh leaves of nettles have been rubbed or beaten onto the skin in the treatment of rheumatism.
The juice of the Nettle is an antidote for its own sting, and being applied will afford instant relief.
The juice of the Dock, which is usually found in close proximity to the Nettle, has the same
beneficial action. The sting of a Nettle may also be cured by rubbing the part with Rosemary, Mint or Sage leaves.

Only young leaves should be used because older leaves develop gritty particles called cystoliths which act as an irritant to the kidneys. Nettle may cause mild gastrointestinal upset in some people. Nettle leaf is considered safe for use in pregnancy and breast-feeding.

Magickal Uses: Nettles are an herb of consecration. One of the traditional rites of consecration for an athame calls for Nettles to be added to the herbal wash into which the heated blade is plunged. Nettles are associated with the ability to dispel darkness. Nettle is used to break hexes, and to ward off evil. Nettle is also used to enhance lust.
Nettle is masculine, and ruled by the planet Mars. It is associated with the Element of  Fire.

Properties: Antiasthmatic; Antidandruff; Astringent; Diuretic; Galactogogue; Haemostatic; Hypoglycaemic; Stings; Tonic. Nettle contains formic acid, mucilage, mineral salts, ammonia, carbonic acid and water.

Growth: Nettle is widely distributed around the world. Nettles are covered with tiny, nearly invisible stinging hairs that produce an intense, stinging pain, followed redness and skin irritation. Perennial growing to 1.2m by way of rapid growth.  It is in leaf from March to November, in flower from May to October, and the seeds ripen from June to October. 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 Wind.  Look for them in rich soil, disturbed habitats, moist woodlands, thickets, along rivers, and along partially shaded trails.


(Myristica fragrans)

Dried kernel of the seed

Medicinal Uses: Nutmeg is used for Gas, indigestion, nausea, vomiting, and kidney
problems. Nutmeg is used for flatulence and to correct the nausea arising from other drugs, also to allay nausea and vomiting. Grated nutmeg mixed with lard makes an excellent ointment for piles.
Nutmeg is only weakly hallucinogenic; therefore one needs large dosage (typically, one half to one nut is used for a “trip”). The large dosage may give rise to very unpleasant side-effects caused by other components of nutmeg, which include prolonged extreme nausea and long-term hypersensitivity to nutmeg. The hallucinogenic phenylpropanoids themselves are hepatotoxins and far from harmless for frequent users.

Magickal Uses: Hollow out a nutmeg, and write a spell on a small piece of paper to place inside the seed. Seal the hole with wax, and then bury it under the light of a new Moon. Nutmeg is used to enhance clairvoyance and psychic power of visions. Nutmeg is feminine, and ruled by the planet Jupiter. It is associated with the Element of Air.

Properties: Nutmeg contains about 10% essential oil, which is mostly composed of terpene hydrocarbons (sabinene and pinenes; furthermore camphene, p-cymene, phellandrene, terpinene, limonene, myrcene, together 60 to 80%), terpene derivatives (linalool, geraniol, terpineol, together 5 to 15%) and phenylpropanoids (myristicin, elemicin, safrol, eugenol and eugenol derivatives, together 15 to 20%). Of the latter group, myristicin (methoxy-safrole, typically 4%) is responsible for the hallucinogenic effect of nutmeg.

Growth: Nutmeg is the seed of Myristica fragrans, an evergreen tree native to the Molucca Islands. Interestingly, the tree produces both Nutmeg and mace, and grows up to 60 feet tall.  Although the tree takes seven years to bear fruit, it may produce until the 90th year. Both spices come from the tree’s fruit, which splits into a scarlet outer membrane, mace, and an inner brown seed, Nutmeg. Nutmeg is grown in Indonesia and Grenada.

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