Updated: Jul 13
Throughout history people have believed in the magical mystery of the plants around them. During this traditional month of spookiness, let's explore some of the lore behind some of our very common herbs.
In times of the past before Science explained all of the mystery away, people believed that tragedy, sickness, and bad luck were the work of the gods or that you might be cursed. They believed that you could counter or break these curses with plants. Some plants were also used for the curses. Let's start with some common ones that we might have in the garden.
Mint~ We all know that mint helps to heal the digestive system and pain, but before we understood how the body works and how plant medicine affects the body there were traditions passed down about rubbing the fresh leaves against the head to help a headache. If you made a bracelet out of mint springs it would ward off illness. Poppets are the voodoo dolls of the healing world, if you stuff the stomach of the poppet doll with mint, it was said to heal the stomach of the person it represented. Mint is kept in the home for protection and worn on the body to be safe while traveling. Mint is probably best known in the magical world for prosperity. Place a few leaves in the wallet or rub the fresh leaves where money is kept.
Chamomile~ Used for sleep and meditation as an intense. Also put the tea into a bath to attract love.
Chamomile is also a purification and protection herb. When sprinkled around the property, it is said to remove any curses against you.
Dandelion ~ Remember blowing the seeds off of a dandelion puff ball? The number of seeds left after either equaled the number of years you would live, how many children you would have, or (these days) how many cell phones you will go through in your lifetime. Dandelion is a tool of divination. Ask it any question that involves a number, blow the seeds off and you have your answer. Sometimes they used a tea made from the root to increase your psychic abilities. To send a message to a loved one, you would blow the seeds of the dandelion in their direction and visualize the message.
Basil~The scent of Basil is said to cause sympathy between two people and calm tempers. Basil is also strewn on floors to get rid of any evil in the area and is used for exorcising evil. It is also used for protection. Basil, given as a gift, brings good luck to a new home.
Need some extra courage? Carry some Thyme, Borage or Yarrow. Need to stop gossip? Burn some cloves. Need some extra happiness in the household? Catnip, Lavender, Hawthorn, Meadow Sweet, Morning Glory, and St John's Wort might help. Need some good luck? Try carrying some Nutmeg, Rose, Violet, or Acorns.
Many people turn to herbal superstitions when it comes to money and love. To attract the almighty dollar try sticking some of these in your wallet: Basil, Chamomile, Dill, Clove, Snapdragon, Patchouli, Honeysuckle, Pine, and Horse Chestnut.
Happy Gathering and Herbal Fun!
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