The Herbs, Roots, and Bark Library

Herbs beginning with the letter A

Acacia Acacia rigidula (Blackbrush Acacia) grown in a domestic setting Close up of Acacia Bloom

Acacia (Acacia species, also known as Gum Arabic, Egyptian Thorn, Cape Gum) are thorny trees and shrubs with gnarled bark, and they are native to the subtropics (Africa, Amazon, etc) and Australia. Remember those misshaped, windswept trees you see in movies containing scenery of Africa? That's Acacia! They are found in Austrailia, but there they are called "Wattles". The resin of Acacia nilotica and Acacia senegal are a source of gum arabic. The False Acacia found in America is called the Locust Tree and has been used for shipbuilding because of it's extreme hardness and close grain.*Warning* The False Acacia is Poisonous, and not the same plant family.

Magickal Uses: If one can find sufficient supply Acacia is an excellent choice for chests or boxes to hold ritual tools. For those who are able to obtain only small amounts it can be powdered and used to consecrate the containers. The dried gum can be burned as incense; the leaves or wood may be infused to create sacred water for aspurging. Acacia is an herb for blessing any sacred space. It is also used for protection and to asist clairvoyance. Burn with Sandalwood during meditation to seek illumination, and to develop psychic powers. Acacia is used as a binder in the form of Gum Arabic in many magickal incenses sold today.

Medicinal and Other Uses: The leaves of some species (A. catechu and A. farnesiana) yield acacia vera, an astringent. More medicinal varities include: A. bivenosa, A. ancistrocarpa, A. trachycarpa, A. wayi, A. holosericea, A. monticola, and A. tetragonophylla. Decoctions are used for diarrhea, and chronic mucus. Mucilage of Acacia is used as a soothing agent for inflammed areas. A. farnesiana contains insecticidal components. Aboriginal tribes use Acacia for many cures such as headaches, sore gums, digestion, and nose bleeds. Gum Acacia (Acacia nilotica and Acacia senegal) is highly nutritious. During the time of the gum harvest, the Moors of the desert are said to live almost entirely on it, and it has been proved that 6 oz. is sufficient to support an adult for twenty-four hours. Gum Arabic is also used as an adhesive. A. victoriae is grown by the Bush Corporation, and its pods are ground into a coffee substitute called "wattlecino". A. senegal produces the finest quality resin known as "Kordofan gum", and Sudan produces 85% of the worlds crop.

Aconite Aconitum Napellus

Aconite, (Aconitum species, also known as Monkshood, Friar's Cap, Blue Rocket) is an extremely powerful and potentially toxic herb. It is an extremely potent central nervous system poison! The Aconitum family consists of about 100 species of tuberous perennials. According to Greek myth, A. napellus was created by Hecate from the foaming mouths of Cerebus (the three-headed dog that guarded the gates of hell). A. carmichaelii was first mentioned in Chinese medical literature in 200 AD.

Magickal Uses:

A very important herb for use as a magickal wash for ritual tools and sacred space. It brings protection against negative energies. Aconite is burned as an offering to Hecate for those wishing to explore the mysteries of death and the underworld.

Medicinal and Other Uses:

Aconite is occasionally used in very low doses by modern homeopathic practitioners as a treatment for colds, influenza, rheumatism, acute tonsillitis, and congestion. Due to its extremely potent effects on the central nervous system, Aconite has also been prepared as a liniment or ointment for the treatment for neuralgia, sciatica, rheumatism, arthritis, and other pain conditions. Even in the form of a liniment for topical application, Aconitine can be extremely toxic. Because it is Poisonous we do not recommend any use of this unless you consult a professional. **WC** The roots should be collected in the autumn, after the stem dies down, but before the bud that is to produce the next year's stem has begun to develop.

Agrimony Agrimonia Eupatoria a close up view of the leaves
Agrimony, (Agrimonia eupatoria and rosaceae, also known as Garclive, Church Steeples, Sticklewort, and Cocklebur) is a counter-magick herb, and an herb of protection. The English brew and drink it as a "Spring Drink" to provide cleansing and renewal. Some believe the name Agrimony comes from "Argemone", the Greek word for plants which were healing to the eyes, and Eupatoria refers to Mithridates Eupator, a king who was a skilled herbalist. Others contend its name is derived from the Latin "agri moenia", meaning defender of the fields. Another species, A. pilosa, has been used in Chinese medicine since at least the 14th century. Agrimony is a good blood clotting agent, as it is high in vitamin K.

Magickal Uses:

Agrimony enjoys a reputation for enhancing Magickal "healing". It can be used as either a wash or oil to increase the effectiveness of all forms of ritual healing, psychic healing, or any method which employs energy at a distance. One of it's most useful aspects is it's ability to encourage sleep. Soothing to emotional discomfort, helping ease the thoughts and inner voices which seem to chatter throughout the night, Agrimony is best used sewn into a Dream Pillow. For this purpose it works well with Mugwort.

Medicinal and Other Uses:

Constituents: Tannins, silica, essential oil, bitter principle flavonoids, minerals, vitamins B, K. Actions: Astringent, diuretic, tissue healer, stops bleeding, stimulates bile flow, some anti-viral activity reported. (A. Pilosa variety also is antiparasitic and antibacterial) It's name dates back to the ancient Greeks, reflecting it's remedial use in healing problems with the eyes. Our ancestors used Agrimony for battle wounds. (It was recently found that it's ability to assist in healing wounds was due to it's high silica content). It's most important medicinal action is as an astringent, for this makes it an good gargle for sore throat. Because of it's "astringency" it can be used as a remedy for diarrhea, as it's action is very mild. It is highly valued today as a healing herb for mucous membranes. It also has a "bitter tonic" action on the liver (it primarily assists the liver in healing itself) and is useful for digestive disorders and jaundice. It's relative in China is known as Xian He Cao. Infuse 1 teaspoon dried agrimony root, leaves, or flowers in 1 cup of boiling water for 15 minutes. Strain and flavor with honey, you can add a little spearmint if desired. **WC** Always gather Agrimony before and during early flowering in Summer for medical use; but for dye it is best gathered after September as it's coloration is stronger then. (You can get a good yellow dye from this plant) The French healing lotion "eau d'arquebusade" contains good old Agrimony.

a close up of the bark a close up showing it's fruits
Alder (Alnus Glutinosa, also called Black Alder and Fearn) was a sacred tree and figures prominently in Celtic Lore in the early centuries of the British Isles. The name Alder is derived from the Old English Ealdor, meaning chief. It is also the tree for the first month of Spring. European Alder was introduced to Eastern North America in colonial times. **GT** Alders grow well in moist soil near ponds and other wet ground, and won't thrive in shallow, alkaline soils.

Magickal Uses:

The bark of the Alder may be used in most Magickal workings to promote protection, and powdered bark or wood can be added to incense. Alder is said to have the ability to enhance divinatory skills. Alder may be included in rituals of death and dying as a means of providing protection for the beloved. (This can be taken one step further by planting an Alder at the grave site) Alder buds are set in spirals, a symbol of resurrection. Alder has a strong association with the elements, for it provides natural dyes. The red represents elemental fire; the green represents elemental water; and the brown represents elemental earth. Green dye is made from alder flowers, brown from the twigs, and red from the bark. (The red is called Aldine Red and is a favorite of the Celts) One of the many "fairy trees" (known as Fearn to the Celts), it is said the Alder's green dye is used by the Fae Folk to dye their clothing.

Medicinal and Other Uses:

The leaves are decocted in folk remedies for cancer of the breast, duodenum, esophagus, face, pylorus, pancreas, rectum, throat, tongue, and uterus. The bark and/or roots is used for cancers and inflammatory tumors of the throat. Reported to be alterative, astringent, detersive, diuretic, sudorific, tonic, and vermifuge. Black Alder is a folk remedy for cancer, fever, foot ailments, tumors, and worms. The bark decoction is taken as a gargle for angina and pharyngitis, and as an enema in hematachezia. The bark is used to some extent in small tanneries in southeastern Europe and Turkey for tanning leather. The bark contains 9 to 16% or more tannin, while the dried "fruit" yields about 16% tannin. The wood, elastic and soft, fairly light and easily worked, is used for cigar boxes, pumps, wooden carvings, shoes and slippers. Alder is used by some in aroma therapy. **WC** Gather fresh bark and fruits before the first autumnal frost.

Alfalfa Sprouts are a good source of Protein and Vitamin C, and Alfalfa is a good money herb alfalfa flowering
Alfalfa (Medicavo Sativa, also known as Buffalo Herb, Lucerne, Purple Medic, Chilean Clover, Buffalo Grass), is considered an herb of protection, and in modern folklore it's commonly used for Money Magick. Ancient Chinese physicians recognized and prescribed sprouts for curing many disorders over 5,000 years ago!

Magickal Uses:

Use Alfalfa to help stimulate and increase the flow of resources and money coming into your life. A small quantity of Alfalfa should be harvested at an auspicious moment (such as when the moon waxes Full). Dried carefully in one's temple, the herb should be burned in one's cauldron which has been set in the center of a ritual circle. The ashes from this Alfalfa are then placed into a ritually constructed and consecrated amulet. It is said to be excellent for protection from hunger and poverty.

Medicinal and Other Uses:

Alfalfa is an herb belonging to the legume family, closely related to beans and peas. Alfalfa is also promoted as a detoxifier, able to cleanse the liver and bloodstream. Claims link Alfalfa with enhanced pituitary functions, as well as treating high fevers, inflamed prostate, varicose veins, and alleviating allergic reactions related to plants and grasses. Alfalfa sprouts have been proven to possess antioxidant capabilities. They are used to treat endometriosis, varicocele, and are general fertility promoters. They are very high in many nutrients, chlorophyll and digestive enzymes. Considered useful for the pituitary gland, reducing toxins in the liver, aiding in the digestion of protein, fats and carbohydrates, and they may help in reducing cholesterol and plaque deposits. They are a natural antihistamine and can be useful for arthritis, ulcers or sinus congestion. Alfalfa sprouts are a good source of protein and Vitamin C. (one-half cup of almost any sprouted seed provides as much Vitamin C as six glasses of orange juice!) Studies in humans, animals and cell culture systems suggest that dietary phytoestrogens play an important role in prevention of menopausal symptoms, osteoporosis, cancer and heart disease. Broadly defined, phytoestrogens include isoflavones, coumestans, and lignans. Alfalfa sprouts, soybeans, clover and oilseeds (such as flaxseed) are the most significant dietary sources of isoflavones, coumestans, and lignans, respectively. The next time you make a sandwich try Alfalfa Sprouts instead of (nutritionally useless->) lettuce...I think you'll be pleasantly surprised how good it tastes! CAUTION: Alfalfa should NOT be used by anyone with Lupus or if pregnant.

Alkanet in full bloom Another variety called Italian Bugloss

Alkanet (Alkanna species, also known as Anchusa, Dyer's Bugloss, Orchanet, Spanish Bugloss) is an herb of prosperity. Some 25-30 species occur from Southern Europe to Iran. In many countries it is an important dye plant. (Alkanna derives from the Spanish "Alcanna", which, in turn derives from the Arabic word for henna). It can be found in blues, reds, pinks, and flesh tones. It was used as a colorant in ancient Greek and Roman times, and Egyptian texts have been found containing references to it circa 3rd century AD.

Magickal Uses:

Bugloss is an herb of purification and prosperity. It is burned as an incense to purify an area of negativity, and is used to attract prosperity in all forms. It protects an area by replacing negativity with positive influences. It is supposed to protect one from snakebite, and it is said it can help one deal with the fear of snakes.

Medicinal and Other Uses:

Before using any species of this plant read up on it. Some species contain a liver damaging pyrrolizidine alkaloid. Root decoction has blood cleaning properties. It has been used as a diuretic. An infusion can be made from 1 ounce of dried leaves to one pint of water and is said to relieve headaches, nervous complaints, and alleviate fevers. The plant is said to be an expeller of poisons and venoms. Some use Alkanet as a natural dye for adding red color to their hair. It has been used to make red dye in the cosmetic industry. **GT** Propagation is by division in spring or fall or by root cuttings or seed.

a close up of Allspice in bloom
Allspice (Pimento Diocia, also known as Jamaica Pepper) is a tropical evergreen tree of the myrtle family, and is native to the West Indies and Central America. It is valued for it's berries, the source of a highly aromatic spice. Allspice was so named because the flavor of the dried berry resembles a combination of cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Jamaican Allspice has been considered superior because it has a higher oil content and better appearance and flavor than any other.

Magickal Uses:

Allspice is a good herb for Money, Luck and Healing spells and charms. It is very vitalizing, and gives added determination and energy. Don't confuse this plant with "Carolina Allspice" which is an entirely different flora.

Medicinal and Other Uses:

Allspice has been used in folk medicine as a poultice to relieve the pain of arthritis for, in fact, allspice does contain tannins that are mildly anaesthetic. (They can actually irritate the skin of some if they are in direct contact with it) Allspice berries have a long history in Caribbean folk healing. Jamaicans drink hot Allspice tea for colds, menstrual cramps and upset stomach. Costa Ricans use it to treat indigestion, flatulence and diabetes. Cubans consider it a refreshing tonic, and Guatemalans apply crushed berries to bruises and joint and muscle pains. (Most of these uses have been confirmed by modern science) Allspice owes its medicinal actions to eugenol, a chemical constituent of its oil. (Dentists use eugenol as a local anesthetic for teeth and gums, and the chemical is an ingredient in the over-the-counter toothache remedies Numzident and Benzodent) For toothache, apply allspice oil directly to the tooth, one drop at a time, using a cotton swab. Take care not to swallow it. Powdered allspice adds a great flavor to foods, but it's highly concentrated oil should never be swallowed! (As little as one teaspoon can cause nausea, vomiting and even convulsions) For a medicinal tea, use one to two teaspoons of allspice powder per cup of boiling water. Steep for 10 to 20 minutes and strain. Drink up to three cups a day. It is also used in aromatherapy.

an Almond grove in bloom is stunning

The almond, (Prunus Dulcis) is a medium sized tree of the rose family, and it is closely related to the Peach. It is an ancient plant and recently carbonized almond remains were found from the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 A.D. There are two basic types of almonds: sweet and bitter almonds. The sweet is used for eating purposes while the bitter is used for its oil , both as flavoring (for liqueurs and such) and in cosmetics. Today 99% of the almonds grown in the United States come from a 400-mile long stretch of land in California extending north from Bakersfield to Red Bluff.

Magickal Uses:

Almond oil, the symbol of wakefulness to the ancient Egyptians, is used in prosperity rituals (anointing candles, money, etc), and it is also added to money incenses. Almond has long been used to invoke the energy of deities. You can anoint yourself or ritual tools with Almond Oil, burn Almond Incense, and use it as a wash. It is an excellant herb to incorporate in Handfastings hand rituals of union. You might use Almond to provide magickal help for someone working to overcome alcohol dependancy. Almond is associated with divination, clairvoyance, wisdom, and money. Almond may be associated with Candlemas, the Spring Equinox, Beltane, and May Eve.

Medicinal and Other Uses:

Almonds can aid in reducing "bad" Cholesterol. The Cancer Research & World Cancer Research Fund states nuts can protect against some cancers based on the bioactive, health-promoting compounds contained in nuts including phytochemicals, vitamines, minerals and fiber. Almond Oil is used in a wide variety of ways medicinally. It is great for earaches, and is found in many skin care products including soaps, cosmetics and cremes. Sweet Almond Oil is an extremely popular oil sought after for it's rich concentration of oleic and linoleic essential fatty acids. Almond oil is used in the cosmetic industry for its penetrating, moisturizing and restructuring properties. It is also used as a massage oil and is valued as a carrier oil when used with essential oil for aromatherapy.

Aloe Vera is a succulent member of the cactus family Aloe Vera has both spiney and smooth types
Aloe (Aloeaceae species, also known as Barbados aloe, Aloe vera, and Curacao Aloe) Has about 325 species that vary in size and structure. Here I will focus on A. barbadensis and A. vera. The first written reports on Aloe Vera are more then 2000 years old. Alexander the Great used it for the wounds of his soldiers, and Cleopatra used it as a skin care product. There are many kinds of Aloe, ranging from tiny little one-inch plants to others as tall as a tree. Native Americans call Aloe "The Wand of Heaven", and believe anyone touched by the inner sap (what we call the gel) will be cured of their skin disorders. True Aloe is not to be confused with another plant, the Agave or American Aloe (Agave Americana).

Magickal Uses:

Aloe is an herb of protection. It is sacred among many followers of Mohammed, particularly those living in Egypt. Aloe is considered a funeral herb, and if planted upon a loved one's grave promotes peaceful energy. It is purported to relieve loneliness, assist with success, and protect.

Medicinal and Other Uses:

In my humble opinion, Aloe Vera is one of the most under rated herbs on the market. I keep it in my locker to give to the rookies on my squad. They use it on the skin areas surrounding their eyes after they are "pepper-sprayed" in the face by the's *that* good. (The State of Florida law requires any officer carrying pepper spray to be sprayed in the face before being allowed to carry & use it). Among the uses for Aloe are acceleration of wound healing, use it on skinburns, moisturizing dry skin and it is taken internally for peptic ulcers or gastritis. The gel stimulates cell growth and as such enhances the restoration of damaged skin. It moisturizes the skin because it has a water holding capacity. This "moist on the skin" also has a cooling effect. As a drink it protects the mucous membrane of the stomach especially when irritated or damaged. It can help reduce inflammation at wound sites, relieve pain, speed wound healing by accelerating cell replication, improve vascular (blood) flow, inhibit the production of thromboxanes that interfere with healing, reduce scarring and, when properly applied over time, can lessen the unsightly "age spots" that appear on skin that has been over-exposed to sunlight.


a close up of an Amaranth Seed Head
Amaranth (Amaranthus species, including A. hypochondriacus, from the Greek for "never-fading flower") is sacred to Artemis, the Greek Goddess of the Moon, for it embodies her renowned ability at healing. Believed by the ancient Greeks to be a symbol of immortality it was incorporated into their burial rituals. There are about 60 species of this annual. Many people mistake Amaranth for a grain, but it is a true annual herb. (It is a relative of Lamb's Quarters) Amaranth was so important to the Aztecs that the Spanish conqueror, Hernando Cortez, destroyed all the Amaranth fields by leveling them out and burning them to the ground. This was all part of his strategy to help take over the Aztecs. (...Jerk!)

Magickal Uses:

Amaranth is an excellant herb to use for the ritual cup. One may choose to seek the mysteries of immortality in order to move deeper into the Universe. Those who revere Artemis as the ideal of the Divine Feminine may find Amaranth to be a wonderful and useful herb. Used for healing, protection, and invisibility.

Medicinal and Other Uses:

Amaranth is a nutrient-rich plant. For a grain-type, it is unusually high in protein (15 to 18 percent), and contains two essential amino acids: Lysine and Methionine. It is high in fiber and contains Calcium, Iron, and Vitamins A and C. The leaves taste like spinach, and the seed head has a pleasant fresh corn-like aroma and a woodsy flavor. It has slightly higher levels of oil and twice as much fiber as wheat. It is higher in Protein than Cow's Milk, Soybeans, Barley, Wheat, Peanuts, and Corn. No wonder the ancients prized it so!


Pulsatilla vulgaris Anemone Vulgaris Alba (alba always denotes white in botanicals)

Anemone (Anemone Pulsatilla, also known as Pasque Flower, Wind Flower, Meadow Anemone, Passe Flower, Easter Flower) . It has been used to color the Paschal eggs in some countries, this is where the English name of the plant is derived. (Pasque being another name for Easter)

Magickal Uses:

The association of this herb with Easter lends it's use to modern incorporation into Eostara, the celebration of the Spring Equinox.

Medicinal and Other Uses:

The plant has a strong excoriating and irritating effect on the skin and internal mucosa. It is recommended for certain diseases of the eye. It is antispasmodic, alterative and diaphoretic. The tincture of Pulsatilla is beneficial in disorders of the mucous membrane, the respiratory, and of the digestive passages. Anemone is used for relief of headaches and neuralgia. In homoeopathy it is used for measles, neuralgic toothache/earache, amenorrhea, endometriosis, low sperm count, and low sperm mobility. It is administered in indigestion and bilious attacks.

Anemone, Wood
Anemone Nemorosa
Wood Anemone's (Anemone Nemorosa, also called Crow Foot, Smell Fox, Wind Flower, Japonica, Zephyr Flower) name is derived from the Greek word for wind (anemos), and it has two facinating tales of origin associated with it. The first is that Adonis was killed by a wild boar, and the Anemones sprang up from droplets of his blood which fell to the soil. The second story is that Aphrodite, who deeply loved Adonis, was so striken by his death that she began weeping. Where her tears fell to the earth the Anemones began to grow to immortalize her love for Adonis. The Wood Anemone is one of the earliest spring flowers. Because of it's magickal properties in England it was recommended everyone gather in the spring the earliest Anemone they saw, and keep it as a charm against pestilence. It was carefully wrapped in silk and carried as an amulet or charm about the person. Wood Anemone is moderately poisonous.

Magickal Uses:

Associated with the wind diety Anemos, Anemone can be used to invoke elemental Air. Use the flowers as an offering, powdered wood can be used as incense, and it's juice can be extracted and used for dressing candles to burn in honor of the element of Air. During rituals of death and dying or any rite of passing the flowers may be tossed into the cauldron. The Wood Anemone is ideally suited for all forms of ritual healing. Anemone can be used as an oil or incense, or even placed into a tub where the person in need of healing takes a ritual bath. In sunshine the flower is opened wide, but at the approach of night it closes and droops it's graceful head so that the dew may not settle on it and injure it. In rain it does the same thing, receiving the drops upon it's back, where they trickle off harmlessly from the sepal tips. The way the sepals then fold over the mass of stamens and undeveloped seed-vessels in their center resembles a tent that country-folk say the fairies nestle in for protection. You gotta love that concept... :o)

Medicinal and Other Uses:

I haven't found much modern use of this herb, but older herbalists recommended application of various parts of the plant for headaches, tertian agues and rheumatic gout. **WC** Often found in swamp areas in moist mountain forests, and in high pastures. The long, thick root grows horizontally to the ground surface. (It stays alive throughout years, periodically sprouting the aerial parts of the plant when suitable weather arrives) **GT** A graceful little plant for shady spots where the soil is not too dry.

Angelica Archangelica flower heads

Angelica (Angelica species, including A. archangelica & A. polymorpha, also called Dong Quai & Masterwort) takes its name from the Medieval Latin "herba angelica". Its connection to the feast of the Annunication and the Archangel Michael, who recommended it's use during the times of plague, may indicate pagan origins taken over into Christian customs. In China its been known as "Dong Quai" since 200 AD. In Eastern Ayurvedic medicine it is called "choraka". It's roots and seeds are used to flavor herb liqueurs such as Benedictine, Gin, Absinthe, and Chartreuse. This flavoring is also used ice cream and candy.

Magickal Uses:

Angelica is considered one of the most valuable herbs of protection because it works in two ways: it creates a barrier against negative energy that is destructive, and it fills the user with an abudance of positive, radiant energy. It enhances one's aura and assists in allowing the internal, psychic self to be open and functional. Angelica may be used in ritual baths, self blessings, and rituals of purification. As a bringer of light Angelica may be used at Candlemas, the Feast of the Waxing Light.

Medicinal and Other Uses:

It is used as a treatment for flatulence, stomach pains, to promote menstrual flow and help regulate irregular menstrual cycles, and as a stimulant to invigorate circulation and warm the body. (Angelica tea is a stimulating tonic.. use it when an illness has left you feeling weak) Herbalists use it to aid in the elimination of toxins, the recovery from rheumatism and colds, urinary complaints, and colic. Also used as a stimulating diaphoretic and expectorant for colds, coughts, and pleurisy. It is added to remedies for rheumatism and kidney disorders. Angelica should not be used by pregnant women or diabetics, as it has a tendency to elevate blood sugar levels. (Angelica lessens the need for sweetener when making pies or sauces...add leaves to sour fruit such as rhubarb to neutralize acidity). Some folks can be allergic to the Angelicas because of the furocoumarins they contain (symptoms: photosensitivity, skin rashes, nausea). It is useful in treating anorexia nervosa, cystitis and bronchitis. Avoid excessive sun after using angelica oil. It is used as a flavoring agent for wines, liqueurs, and perfumes (its used to flavor Benedictine and Chartreuse). **WC** Angelica is a perennial that only flowers every two years. Be very careful because it can be confused with poisonous water hemlock! **GT** Once the plant flowers, it will not come back the next year. You can cut the flowering stem the first two or three years, but the fourth year will probably be it's last, so let it flower.

Pimpinella Anisum

Anise (Pimpinella Anisum, also known as Florence Fennel and Finocchio) has been used for thousands of years, as a flavoring, breath sweetener, digestive aid, cough suppressant, air freshener, mousetrap bait, and more recently as the scent on the artificial rabbit that is used in greyhound races. Not to be confused with Star entirely different plant.

Magickal Uses:

Anise burned as incense before bed will promote prophetic dreams. It is used to help one find romance. Anise is a prosperity herb, and brings happiness. It is also said it helps protect one from bad dreams, and helps protect you while you are moving through the astral plane.

Medicinal and Other Uses:

Anise is used in aromatherapy, for it has a distinctively licorice taste and smell. This carminative is known to relieve flatulence. It is an expectorant, anti-microbial, digestive aid, breath freshener, mild estrongenic, insecticide, anti-spasmodic, antiseptic, aromatic, and diuretic.

Apple Blossoms

Before I start this section I have one statement to make: Eve Was Framed! *grin* The Apple (Pyrus Malus) has been around as long as humankind has. (Carbonized remains of apples have been found by archeologists in prehistoric lake dwellings in Switzerland, going back to the Iron Age)

Magickal Uses:

Apples may be incorporated into any ritual in which one wishes to give honor to a god or goddess of fertility. Dried seeds and bark may be powdered and burned as incense. Apples may be eaten, or the juice shared in the ritual cup when seeking knowledge through the Tree of Life, an act requesting wisdom from the deities. The Apple may also be used as a symbol of security. Apples are often associated with good luck. (If you cut an Apple in half horizontally and look where the seed cavity is you'll see it produces a five pointed star) The Apple is believed to improve one's spirits and elevate one's happiness.

Medicinal and Other Uses:

An apple in your bag of potatoes will help keep the potatoes from sprouting. If you cannot brush your teeth after a meal, eat an apple. (Eating a raw apple will cleanse your mouth of more than 95% of bacteria that cause tooth decay)...How's that for neat tips? Apples are a source of dietary fiber, and they contain pectin that may help maintain healthy cholesterol levels. The Apple contains a larger quantity of phosphates than any other vegetable or fruit. The main dietary value of apples lies in the malic and tartaric acids. These acids are of benefit to persons of sedentary habits, who are liable to liver derangements, and they neutralize the acid products of gout and indigestion. The bark may be used in decoction for intermittent and bilious fevers.

Maranta Arundinaceae
Arrowroot (Maranta Arundinacea, also called Bermuda Arrowroot, Maranta Indica Root) is best known for it's nutritious starch extracted from the roots. The Arawak, a people native to the Caribbean Islands, considered Arrowroot a dietary staple. They called it "aru-aru," meaning "meal of meals".

Magickal Uses:

It is believed that this herb may increase one's good fortune. It is also believed Arrowroot can make opportunity more visible on one's horizon. Arrowroot is gaining popularity among modern practitioners.

Medicinal and Other Uses:

Arrowroot is more easily digested than any other form of starch. Arrowroot and tapioca are very similar in source, manufacture and paste characteristics, and as a result they are often confused. Arrowroot stems are full of complex carbohydrates. The Weed Women of St. Croix (renowned herbalists) attribute Arrowroot with the uses of a teething aid by pounding leaves, and prescribe it as a tea for diarrhea. Many people suffering from autoimmune and inflammatory disorders are being recommended a diet free of gluten and other grains and starches that contain a high amount of lectins. To this end Arrowroot is an excellant substitute.

This pic was sent to me from a gentleman in India and I can't vouch for its authenticity Asafoetida (Ferula Foetida, also known as Narthex, Devil's Dung, and Hing) is derived from a species of giant fennel, and it has a unique smell and flavor. Recognized by its overwhelming odor which has given rise to at least one of its many popular names, "Devil's Dung". It is very popular in Eastern medicine.

Magickal Uses:

Asafoetida is a countermagick herb, an herb of protection, purification, and a visionary herb. There is an affinity between the black diamond and this herb, and some believe they should be stored together. It is used as an incense for rituals of a somber, ceremonial nature. It is also used to banish negativity, evil spirits, and demons. (It is associated with the Devil Card of the Major Arcana in Tarot) Used in meditations, it helps one discover how the mundane attractions in our lives have placed us in spiritual bondage. Use it for rituals of self-purification or cleansing to break free of negative desires. Asafoetida is an excellant herb for any student who has been accepted for training leading to initiation.

Medicinal and Other Uses:

Asafoetida is a nerve and cerebral stimulant, an antispasmodic, (it is also used for coughs and bronchitis), and low doses for a garlic-like flavoring. (It is used in Worcestershire Sauce) In ayurvedic medicine it has a hot energy, counteracting Kapha (mucoid) and Vata (neurological) conditions and aggravating to excess Pitta (fire-digestive) types. Middle Eastern Unani medicine classifies it as Hot 4th degree and Dry to the 2nd degree. It is a remedy for hysteria, nervous disorders, flatulence, weak digestion, asthma (smoked), whooping cough, chronic bronchitis, flatulent colic, spasmodic affections of the bowels, nervous palpitations, hypochondriasis, and a remedy for worms and other intestinal parasites. (An enema of Asafoetida is effective treating threadworms and other intestinal parasites) It is used as a poultice on wounds, to prevent colds, and to aid digestion. Asafoetida acts on the respiratory, digestive, circulatory and neurological systems and will increase sexual libido. It must be cooked before use as raw and uncooked Asafoetida will cause nausea and vomiting. **WC** The oldest plants are most productive, anything less than four years is considered virtually worthless. From March-April, just before flowering, the upper part of the carrot shaped root is laid bare and the stem is cut off close to the crown. The exposed surface is covered by a dome-shaped structure made from twigs and earth. After a few days the exudate is scraped off and a fresh slice of root is cut to gather more latex. This collection process may be repeated for up to 3 months or until there is no more exudate. Some plants have been known to yield as much as 2 lbs. or more of gum resin. Because it reduces blood pressure, and is an anticoagulant caution should be used with this herb.

White Ash Tree a Close Up of Fruits of the Ash
The Ash (Fraxinus Excelsior, also known as Common Ash, Weeping Ash,"Yggdrasil-the World Tree") There is a great legend associated with the Ash that comes from the Native peoples of Canada as to why Ash trees are covered in a mass of brilliant red berries: Legend relates that many years ago, even before Canada had a name, a severe and terrible winter set in. Snowdrifts formed in great heights and temperatures dropped to extraordinary degrees below zero.

While in search of food, the Native hunters became terrified when they came upon hundreds of birds and small animals lying dead on the frozen snow banks. Immediately, they banded together in great numbers and offered prayers to the Great Manitou, as they were frightened that the same evil spirits would destroy them also.

The Great-Spirit answered them by instructing them to take one drop of blood from every dead bird and small animal and smear it on the tree that meant life and death to their people. As the Mountain Ash was the tree from whence they fashioned bows and arrows for their means of survival, they chose it and set about as Manitou had made them do. The following morning every tree they had smeared bore thousands of berries. The birds and small animals that had survived were perched on the mountain Ash branches eating the life-giving food. The happy Natives danced late into the night, giving thanks to Manitou, who in return gave his promise that whenever a cold winter was approaching again, he would cover these trees with food. I hope you enjoy that story as much as I do. :)

Magickal Uses:

Ash is known for counter magick and protection. Ash can be used for removing spells and hexes. It is also an excellent divination herb. Ash is famed among many cultures and peoples. It's said that burning an ash log at Yule brings prosperity. In the Norse creation myth Odin divides day from night, bringing creation into dualism. Following this, the gods and goddesses used the Ash to create the Aske, the first man, and the Alder to create the first woman. One of the best wands is made from Ash. (It was Ash which the Druids chose to make their ritual wands out of) Use Ash for any Magickal or psychic healing technique. The leaf of this plant is said to assist bringing a traveler safely home.

Medicinal and Other Uses:

It is the one tree which produces the very unique and special wood needed for baseball bats and hockey sticks. It is known that Ash timber is so elastic that a joist of it will bear more before it breaks than one of any other tree. Ash bark is astringent and has been employed for tanning nets. Ash bark has been employed as a bitter tonic and astringent, and is said to be valuable as an antiperiodic. On account of its astringency, it has been used, in decoction, extensively in the treatment of intermittent fever. The leaves have diuretic, diaphoretic and purgative properties, and are employed in modern herbal medicine for their laxative action, especially in the treatment of gouty and rheumatic complaints, proving a useful substitute for Senna (having a less griping effect). The fruits of the Ash are regarded as somewhat more active than the bark and leaves. "Ash Keys" were held in high reputation by the ancient physicians who employed them as a remedy for flatulence.

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A Compendium of Herbal Magick by Paul Beyerl

A Modern Herbal by Maud Grieve (Vol 1 & 2)

Magickal Herbalism by Scott Cunningham

Edible Wild Plants by Thomas S. Elias & Peter A. Dykeman

Indian Herbalogy by Alma R. Hutchens

Sacred Plant Medicine by Stephen Harrod Buhner

Coyote Medicine by Lewis Mehl-Madrona, M.D.

Identifying and Harvesting Edible and Medicinal Plants by "Wildman" Steve Brill

The Complete Illustrated Holistic Herbal by David Hoffman

The Complete Medicinal Herbal by Penelope Ody

Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs by Scott Cunningham

Magic and Medicine of Plants by Inge N. Dobelis

Information given on this site is not intended to be taken as a replacement for medical advice. Any person with a condition requiring medical attention should consult a medical doctor. This information is given as reference only.