The Herbs, Roots, and Bark Library

Herbs beginning with the letter C

Calamint- Calamintha Officinalis in bloom

Calamint (Calamintha Officinalis, also known as Basil Thyme, Mountain Balm, and Mountain Mint) is an ancient herb. A poem attributed to Orpheus states that Basil Thyme (Calamint) was once a tall fruit tree, until it offended Mother Earth and was shrunk to it's present form as punishment. The name Calamint comes from the Greek name Kalaminthe which means "beautiful mint".

Magickal Uses:

Calamint may be used as a tea or as a bathing herb. It is known for it's ability to soothe one's sorrows, and help a person recover from emotional pain. This herb can increase joy and restore a bright outlook on life.

Medicinal and Other Uses:

Calamint has a warm peppery smell, similar to peppermint. Calamint is an expectorant, anti flatulant, and when used as a medicinal tea relieves colic. Modern herbalists recommend a decoction of Calamint for inducing prespiration to break a fever. It is used as an anodyne, diuretic, odontalgic, rubefacient, and stomachic. In addition, it is used for sciatica, neuralgia, toothache, fever, jaundice, snake bite, and insect stings. Calamint is also used in aromatherapy.

Camphor- Yasuyori-Shrine in Moritou of Kamojima Town has an ancient Camphor is said that this tree is over nine hundred years old a close up of the leaves

Camphor (Cinnamomum Camphora) is used in burial rituals and embalming in East Asia. It's wood is used for masks for ritual theater preformed in Buddhist temples. Almost everyone has smelled Camphor at one time or another because it is found in many cosmetics, deodorants, lotions, cold remedies, moth repellants, paint solvents, soaps, and perfumes. The tree you see here is said to be over nine hundred years old, and it is found in the Yasuyori-Shrine in Moritou of Kamojima Town.

Magickal Uses:

Camphor is an herb of consecration, and purification. It is a funeral herb, and also a visionary herb. Camphor is ruled by La Luna, The Moon. Camphor is known for it's cleansing properties against dark, unwanted energies. It is ideally suited for ritual cleansing prior to moving into a new home or setting up your altar. Use it to cleanse ritual tools by either burning Camphor on incense, or rubbing them with it's oil. Camphor also has divinatory properties when burned upon charcoal with one's meditations in a quest for prophetic dreams. Camphor may be added to water used for scrying.

Medicinal and Other Uses:

Camphor, readily absorbed through the skin, produces the sensation of warmth and slight local anesthesia, and this quality makes it a good natural bug bite reliever. Caution should be used with children, Camphor in it's pure oil state can be poisonous if you use too much of it or use it for a prolonged period. Use common sense, a dab here & there won't hurt. A few drops of Camphor Oil into a hot bath soothes the body and helps clear the sinus. Camphor is used to protect clothes from silverfish and moths. (If you see the chemical 2-bornanone in your moth repellant-it's Camphor Crystals) In the old days Camphor was used for colds, bruises, sprains, gout, hysteria, epilepsy, respiratory and heart problems. That was before prolonged use or contact was found to be toxic. It's wood is used in many areas. It's also found in film lacquer, and explosives. **WC**Camphor has become an introduced invasive plant that is causing many problems in the Southeastern U.S. I don't hestiate to remove sproutings when I find them because they are crowding & shading out our native flora. (I can't get them out of my yard from birds dropping seeds, and I have never even had a Camphor planted here!) Crush a leaf, there's no mistaking it's aroma.

Caraway- Caraway Blooming a close up of Caraway Seed Tops

Caraway (Carum Carvi) seed is believed to have been cultivated and used in Europe longer than any other condiment. The seeds themselves have been found in a pile of 5,000 year-old debris left by primitive Mesolithic lake dwellers in Switzerland. It was used in the feasts farmers threw for their laborers in the form of Caraway Seed Cakes. Old tales tell of using Caraway Seeds to keep animals and lovers from straying.

Magickal Uses:

Caraway is an herb of consecration, protection and love. It is used in recipes as a Greene Herbe. It is said Caraway prevents lovers from straying and is a favorite ingredient in love potions. It is a good herb to use for consecrating ritual tools. Cakes and cookies made with Caraway are ideal for the ritual feast at either Lammas or the Autumn Equinox in celebration of the Harvest Festival.

Medicinal and Other uses:

In culinary use the leaves may be used in salads and soups, the seeds in baked goods (Caraway seed gives rye bread it's characteristic flavor), dumplings, cream cheese and meat dishes such as goulash and pork casserole. The roots can be boiled as a vegetable and served with a white sauce. Caraway seed is used as a tincture or infusion for medicinal use to ease stomach cramping, flatulence, diverticulitis, menstrual pain and labor pains. It also stimulates the flow of breast milk. It is used against indigestion, colic, and nausea. Additionally, it has been employed as an antispasmodic, carminitive, emmenagogue, expectorant, stomachic, and stimulant. In combination with other herbs, it eases a cough and sooths sore throats and laryngitis (used as a gargle). Caraway is also found in perfumes and soaps. Dutch Caraway is considered the premium seed.

Catnip Catnip in Bloom a close up of it's bloom

Catnip (Nepeta Cataria, also known as Cat's Play, and Catmint) is best known for how it's oil and phermones attract and excite our feline friends. The ironic thing is, the same oil that attracts cats is actually made by the plant as a protective "defense mechanism" against insects. There are false rumors that Catnip will also affect humans as a mild hallucinogen-this is bogus misinformation. Catnip is actually a member of the mint family and is used both in medical and culinary ways by various cultures.

Magickal Uses:

Catnip is ruled by Venus, use it to bring fertility to your Magick. It is a visionary herb, and is invoked by Bast or Sekhet. Catnip corresponds with all four Nine cards in the Tarot's Minor Arcana. Catnip Tea can enhance your ability to interpret these archetypes. Mix Catnip with Dragon's Blood as an incense to be used to rid one's self of a behaviorial problem or bad habit.

Medicinal and Other Uses:

Catnip is an antispasmodic, carminative, tonic, and diaphoretic. It can induce perspiration to fight a cold. Chewing Catnip leaves is an old folk remedy for toothache. It's also used for intestinal cramps, colic, gas pains, and it's juice is said to stimulate menstrual flow. It is documented in non-feline animals to be a mild sedative for the relief of insomnia. It has proved efficacious in nervous headaches.

Cedar- a young specimen a close up of the bark of an older specimen

Cedar (Thuja Occidentalis, also known as American Arborvitae, and Northern White Cedar) is considered by many to be the Tree of Life. (the Latin term Arbor Vitae means "Tree of Life") Cedars are very sacred in many cultures, for they can live to be hundreds of years old. (there are recorded trees well over 300 years old) This section addresses only the White Cedar, for what many call a "Red Cedar" is in actuality Juniperus Virginiana (a Juniper).

Magickal Uses:

Cedar is an herb of consecration, and a visionary herb. Frazer cites a Hindu practice in which an oracle is invoked when the seer breathes in the smoke of burning Cedar until she is overtaken with prophecy. Cedar is known for it's fragrance, and it is often powdered and added to incense. It is an excellent incense for use in the consecration of a Magickal Wand. Either a wand carved of Cedar or a Cedar blend incense may be used to invoke Odin. This incense may also be used in Wiccanings and baby blessings. Being an ancient herb Cedar is well known to be associated with Summer Solstice, but today it is used when celebrating Midsummer. As a protected tree in many cultures, to harm a Cedar is to invoke misfortune. Cedar is associated with Amethyst and Sapphire and a Cedar box is appropriate for storing these gemstones. It is believed carrying a small piece of Cedar in your wallet (or near your money) will attract money.

Medicinal and Other Uses:

In modern medicine Thuja Occidentalis is used to treat amenorrhea, cervical polyps, thrush, uterine cancer, and vaginitis. It is also used as an anti-inflammatory, astringent, diuretic, emmenagogue, expectorant,as a uterine stimulater, and as a uterine vasodilator. Cedarleaf Oil is commonly used in aromatherapy.

Celandine- Greater Celandine a close up of the flowers

Celandine (Chelidonium Majus, also known as Chelidonium, Garden Celandine, Greater Celandine, Tetterwort, Killwart, Wartflower, Jacob's Ladder, Wartweed, Felonwort, Cockfoot, Devil's Milk, Jacob's-ladder, and Swallowwort) is a plant many confuse by name. (Three unrelated flowers share the name Celandine: Greater Celandine, Lesser Celandine, and Celandine Poppy) When I refer to Celandine, assume I mean Greater Celandine. The name Celandine comes from Chelidon, the Greek word for swallow. The Greeks believed that the plant flourished with the swallow's Spring arrival and withered with their Fall departure.

Magickal Uses:

Celandine is an herb of protection, and some use it for protection in legal matters. It is used by some practitioners as an herb to integrate in seasonal rituals to celebrate and represent the waxing of the Sun. Working with Celandine is appropriate when seeking victory. It also assists in increasing one's self-confidence when facing adversaries

Medicinal and Other Uses:

Celandine is used for gallbladder disorders (it's a cholagogue useful for insufficient bile), hepatitis, jaundice, uterine stimulant, some cancers, it helps prevent gall stone formation, and it is used externally for warts. Celandine has a marked anti-viral activity against retrovirus. It's used in the production of some yellow dyes for wool. **WC** When bruised this plant has an very unpleasant odor, and can be potentially toxic (It's stem juice can be highly irritating to the skin and mucous membranes, it may cause paralysis, and it is a central nervous system depressant)

Centaury in the wild a close up of the flower

Centaury (Erythraea Centaurium, also known as Bitter Herb, Lesser Centaury, European Centaury, and Feverwort) is a patron herb of herbalists. It was a noted Magickal Herbe during the medieval era. It was used by witches who were said to mix it into their incenses to increase their psychic powers and produce trace-like states.

Magickal Uses:

Use Centaury to add power to any Magick mixture. This is a useful herb when working with meditation or visualization. It can be used to repel anger and other hurtful energy. This is one of the more effective herbs for protecting the modern practitioner against unwanted energies.

Medicinal and Other Uses:

A tea brewed from the dried flowers acts as an appetite stimulant, and it can aid digestion by easing heartburn and gas pains. It is helpful with anorexia, dysmenorraghia, menorrhagia, dyspepsia, suppressed menstruation, anemia, emetic, febrifuge, muscle spasms, and as a tonic. (it stimulates the activity of the salivary, stomach, and intestinal glands, thereby relieving constipation, gas and promoting proper digestion) It is also used for hypertension, morning sickness, and used as a bitter, an appetizer, hepatic, cholagogue, and diaphoretic. It's said that used externally, a lotion made from Centaury removes skin blemishes like freckles and spots. Some claim that taken over a long period, it tends to help in taking off weight. It is used as an ingredient of Vermouth.

Chamomile- Chamomile a close up of the flowers

Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis, also known as Roman Chamomile and English Chamomile) is a patron herb of gardens. It was Chamomile Tea that Peter Rabbit's mother administered to him after he had overindulged in Mr. McGregor's rabbit! It's name comes from the Greek "khamaimelon" which means ground apple. (The plant creeps along the ground and it's flowers have an applelike aroma) Don't confuse this Chamomile with German Chamomile which is Matricaria Chamomila...Anthemis Nobilis is a low-growing perennial, where Matricaria is a tall, erect annual)

Magickal Uses:

Chamomile has a strong association with the Sun, and it is used as either incense or ritual drink to assist a priest's call upon the Sun god or any of the solar dieties. Some use it at Midsummer to give honor to the Father of Nature. Chamomile is often incorporated into Yule traditions. It can be used as a bathing herb or incense. Use it for the Magick of success, money, and love.

Medicinal and Other Uses:

The relaxing aroma of Chamomile, sometimes described as like "apples and straw", has relaxing, sedative-like properties. The oil eases anger, restlessness and impatience. Chamomile is useful in the treatment of aches and pains in muscles and joints, and it is also used for indigestion, upset stomach, menstrual cramps, an anti-inflammatory, and antispasmodic. It's tea is often used to combat insomnia. Chamomile tea hair rinses are still quite popular to accentuate natural blonde highlights, and commercially it's found in bath and skin lotions. Chamomile's oil will repell flies and other pests, and it's a natural disinfectant. **WC** If you are allergic to Ragweed, Chrysanthemums, or other plants in these families, be careful when trying Chamomile tea, you could have a reaction. **GT** Chamomile makes a good companion planting due to it's natural insect repellent.

Cherry- a close up of Wild Cherry Bloom Wild Cherry Bark produces a sedative action on the cough reflex

Cherry (Prunus Serotina, also known as Wild Cherry, Black Cherry, Cabinet-Cherry, Rum Cherry, Whisky-Cherry, Bitter Cherry, Pin Cherry, and Virginian Prune-Bark) is ruled by Venus, somehow that seems so appropriate. It amazes me at times how people wander right past this tree without a second glance, while I usually stand there enveloped in the wonderment of what this tree offers us! It's bark gives us medicine, the wood is a valuable commodity, the fruit feeds a multitude of wild animals and is also utilized by humans, and on top of all that... it brightens our scenery with not only beautiful yellow to red Fall color, but delicate white blossoms in Spring.

Magickal Uses: Wild Black Cherries

Gather Wild Black Cherry bark when you wish to revitalize the Magickal energy needed to complete an old, unfinished project. Cherry blossoms or bark may be used as an incense to assist a novice in the pathworking when the time of initiation draws nigh. Cherry is an herb of consecration.

Medicinal and Other Uses:

Wild Cherry bark is well known for it's cough relieving agents, and it's a good medicine for Cold-Cough, Asthma and Bronchitis sufferers. (Wild Cherry Bark produces a sedative action on the cough reflex) It is also a digestive, a sedative, and an anti-tussive. The cold infusion of the bark may help as a wash in cases of inflammation of the eyes. The leaves of Wild Cherry are poisonous when wilted because of the prussic acid contained in them, however, the pea-sized Black Cherries are quite edible although slightly bitter. Wild Cherries are used in jelly, wine, and other alcoholic beverages. Black Cherry bark should not be kept longer than one year, because it deteriorates with age. Black Cherry lumber is one of the most valuable, per board foot, of all the hardwoods in the United States. **WC** Be VERY careful when gathering Cherry; another type: "Prunus Virginiana", also called "Choke Cherry" is on the the Dangerous-Poisonous Toxic Plant List because it contains toxic chemicals that can cause serious illness or death. I mention this because this tree is also called "Wild Cherry".

Chervil- Chervil in bloom

Chervil (Anthriscus Cerefolium, also known as French Parsley, Anise Chervil, British Myrrh, Sweet Cicely, and Sweet Fern) is an ancient herb, for remains of it were found in a container in King Tut's tomb. This herb is traditionally used in Europe as a Spring tonic.

Magickal Uses:

Chervil is a funeral herb, an herb of immortality, and it is used as a Greene Herbe. An elixir of the herb, or it's use as incense in a ritual will bring the user a greater sense of those parts of the self which will exist beyond life. It is a superior herb for placing one's self in touch with one's divine, immortal spirit. When working ritual to assist the deceased beloved, it provides help in making contact, and helping them reach those astral temples which were established during the incarnation as a gathering place for those of both worlds.

Medicinal and Other Uses:

Chervil is similar to parsley, and has a delicate Anise flavor...with a hint of Myrrh. It is used to flavor salads, soups, and is also used in salsa and other Mexican dishes. Chervil is one of the five components of the French "fines herbes", a composition of fresh herbs used in French cuisine. It contains Vitamin C, Carotene, Magnesium and some minerals. (The leaves will quickly loose their flavor and should be added to a dish just before serving) It's root can be eaten as a vegetable. The leaves can be infused in water and used as a skin freshener, and infusions made with Chervil are also used to lower blood pressure. Chervil infusion is also used to treat eczema, as a digestive aid, diuretic, stimulant, and for menstrual cramps. **WC** Be cautious gathering it in the wild, as it looks a LOT like poisonous hemlock. **GT** Keep Chervil unmulched to deter snails and earwigs who love to defoliate it.

Chickweed- Chickweed is a delicate plant a close up of the flowers

Chickweed (Stellaria Media, also known as Starweed, Satin Flower, Starwort, Winterweed, Hairy Chickweed, Smooth Chickweed, Star Chickweed, and Mouse-ear Chickweed) is ruled by La Luna, The Moon. Chickweed is non-indigenous and was introduced to America from Europe. It was first used as a tonic for caged birds until humankind found it's beneficial qualities.

Magickal Uses:

This gentle herb is useful when working with Lunar Magick. Many centuries have enhanced the belief that Chickweed is an ideal herb associated with birds. Chickweed is a suitable patron herb for those who work with animal Magick, particularly the healing of birds.

Medicinal and Other Uses:

Chickweed's leaves are boiled and eaten like Spinach. Chickweed contains Vitamins A, B and it's very high in Vitamin C and fatty acids. An infusion from Chickweed is used for sores, insect stings and bites, skin affections, coughs, hoarseness, and is beneficial in the treatment of kidney complaints and blood disorders. It's used as an anti-inflammatory, antipyretic, antirheumatic, appetite suppressant, blood purifier, bulk laxative, demulcent, diuretic, expectorant, and anti-ulcer medicine. It is reported to help with asthma. Traditional Chinese herbalists used a tea made from Chickweed for nosebleeds. Chickweed enhances nutrient absorption, and it's a fat emulsifying agent. It is said to help remove plaque in arteries, and serve as weight loss aid. For such a delicate little plant Chickweed has a powerful impact on our commercial agricultural industry. It can mat and clog equipment, and has been known to dominate domestic plantings by over taking them and covering them.

Chicory- Chicory in bloom a close up of the flower

Chicory (Cichorium Intybus, also known as Blue-sailors, Coffeeweed, and Succory) can almost be used as a botanical clock, for it's sky-blue flowers can be counted upon to open and close at precisely the same time every day. The use of roasted Chicory roots as a coffee substitute dates back to the 17th century. One popular member of this Chicory is Belgian Endive. (It's roots are dug up, replanted in a dark cellar, and let grow without benefit of Sun until the small, pale leaf heads reach a height of several inches, and voila! have Belgian Endive)

Magickal Uses:

Chicory is a good herb to use when one is seeking to remove negativity and obstacles in the energy flow. This herb may be integrated into healing and Magick in order to promote a more positive outlook on life, and to improve one's sense of humor. Place the fresh flowers on your altar or burn Chicory as an incense.

Medicinal and Other Uses:

Chicory's roots contain a high quantity of root inulin, as well as fructose sugar. Chicory leaves are used as a salad in many cultures. Chicory is an important salad vegetable in Europe but not in the U.S... it is most popular in France, Belgium and Holland. In Europe these greens are known as "Witloof". Chicory root is brewed into a digestive tonic that increases bile flow and decreases inflammation. It is used for cleansing the urinary tract, and as a mild laxative.

Cinnamon- Cinnamomum Zeylancia The inner bark of Cinnamon

Cinnamon (Cinnamomum Zeylancia, also called Cinnamon Sticks and Cider Sticks) was used by the Egyptians 3500 years ago, and it was utilized by wealthy Romans as perfume and others as an aphrodisiac. Nero burned all that was in Rome when one of his wives died. It comes from the bark of the tree C. Zeylancia and shouldn't be confused with C. Cassia which is what is considered Cinnamon in China. (I mistakenly bought powdered Cassia some years back, and upon simmering it in water to freshen the house, I found it turned into something so slimey I won't go into details. Real Cinnamomum Zeylancia doesn't do this)

Magickal Uses:

Cinnamon is an herb of consecration, a Green Herbe, an herb of purification, a visionary herb, and an herb of love. Cinnamon is a popular herb to use in money charms to draw prosperity. Use it for Magickal healing, and to help clairvoyance. Burn it as incense or add it to any charm to draw money. It helps increase concentration, so it would be an ideal herb for those having trouble focusing. Cinnamon is associated with Tourlamine, and it would be good for consecrating any ritual tool in conjunction with this gemstone. The Magick of this herb is said to be peaceful, thus enabling the correct mind-set for ritual work. It can be used to enhance one's skill with prophecy through channeling, working with an oracle, or through divanation.

Medicinal and Other Uses:
The leaves are very pretty a close up of the fruit of the Cinnamon Tree Cinnamon sticks are often used in hot drinks such as mulled wine, cider, hot chocolate, and coffee to add a zing on a cold night, or festive occasion. The real Cinnamon is Zeylancia, but some folks do prefer the Cassia because it has a stronger scent. Cinnamon oil used in a diffuser can help kill infectious airborne bacteria in the home. It is used as an analgesic, antibacterial, antiseptic, carminative, digestive, expectorant, stimulant and vermifuge. The leaf oil can used in tonics, antiseptics, and in remedies for intestinal gas, nausea, colds, and hypertension. Because can it cause sweating it is good for use to break fevers. Cinnamon is also used for menorrhagia (heavy menstruation) and for yeast infections. Cinnamaldehyde and Cinnamon oil vapors are extremely potent antifungal compounds. Preliminary human evidence confirms this effect in studies of AIDS patients with oral candida (thrush) infections that improved with application of Cinnamon oil. **WC** Cinnamon oil is extremely potent and should be used with caution regardless of the species used. I will warn you in advance go lightly because the pure oil produces a burning sensation on the skin. It should NOT be administered during pregnancy as it has been linked to possible miscarriages. (it is a possible uterine stimulant) I'd also suggest not using the pure oil on children as they are more susceptible.

Cinquefoil- Potentilla Reptans Potentilla Erecta

Cinquefoil (Potentilla Reptans, and Potentilla Erecta, also known as Five Finger Grass, Synkefoyle, Witches Weed, Five Leaf, Tormentilla, Sunkfield, Bloodroot, Erect and Creeping Cinquefoil) is probably one of the best known herbes associated with Medievil Witchcraft. I will cover two varieties in one section here because they are very similiar in many ways. Potentilla Reptans is vine-like and runs along the ground while Potentilla Erecta is an upright plant. Both flowers and leaves are almost identical. Cinquefoil got it's name from an Old French word meaning Five Leaf (cinque for five and foil for leaf). The name Potentilla comes from the Latin for potency. Medievil knights vied to emblazen Cinquefoil's five-fingered leaf, symbol of the five senses of man, on their shields, because the right to use the heraldic device was given only to those who achieved self-mastery. Silverweed is also another type of Cinquefoil (Potentilla Anserina).

Magickal Uses: a close up of the bloom and leaves

Cinquefoil is a very powerful herb for both positive and negative workings. Because of the importance of this herb I feel it necessary to remind novices that it is best to keep your Karma positive, it's very hard, often impossible, to undo negativity or wrong sent unto another...what you sew you shall reap in multiple. It is an herb of protection, and a visionary herb. Cinquefoil is frequently found in spell Magick associated with romance. The best Cinquefoil is that which is gathered when the Moon waxes Full as a Wednesday night becomes Thursday morning. A perfectly formed five-fingered leaf should be gathered, dried, and pressed into one's Book of Shadows or diary. Such a leaf is considered solid Magick. A similiar leaf can bring protection to a friend or loved one who is taking a journey. Cinquefoil is associated with the maternal Goddess as she permeates all of nature. Burn it as incense to use it in divination to dream of one's intended mate. Some consider this a patron herb of fishermen. Cinquefoil is believed to contain the energy which can be used in ritual to manifest one's ideas. It is a most useful herb but should be used with care. It's religious properties are utilized through it's association with both Beltane and Midsummer.

Medicinal and Other Uses:

First, Potentilla Reptans: Since the time of Theophrastus (a student of Aristotle), Cinquefoil has been recognized for it's medicinal values. Through the ages herbalists have used decoctions of the root for fever, an analgesic for toothache, a gargle for mouth sores, a disinfectant, and an astringent. The bark of the root is also applied to stop nosebleeds and diarrhea. (the tannic acid in Cinquefoil accounts for it's astringent abilities to stop bleeding) Next, Potentilla Erecta: This plant was called "The Torment" by medievil physicans because they believed it would cure almost any pain. They prescribed it for fevers, syphilis, measles, smallpox, and warts. Modern herbalists prescribe a tea of it for fever-reducing, an external astringent, and an antihemorrhagic. (an agent capable of stopping the flow of blood) It's astringent action causes the skin and capillaries to contract. Because of the tannin in Potentilla Erecta it has been used in the tanning of leathers, and it has also been the source of some red dyes. **WC** To tell Potentilla Anserina (Silverweed) from Potentilla Reptans look on the underside of the leaves. Silverweed got it's name from the silvery color on the underside of it's leaves.

a Red Clover patch a close up of the flowers
Red Clover (Trifolium Pratense, also called Trefoil, Cleaver Grass, Marl Grass, Cowgrass, and Three Leaved Grasse) is best known for it's Lucky Four sectioned leaves, and a suit of playing cards was fashioned after the Clover...the Clubs. What do you get if you cross a four leaved Clover with Poison Ivy? A Rash of good luck! (ducking) *grin* Some think that it was Clover, and not the Shamrock, which St. Patrick held up before the Irish when he preached to them of the Trinity. There are three types of Red Clover: wild, early flowering, and late flowering.

Magickal Uses:
Red Clover is an excellent Money Drawing herb

Since ancient pagan times Clover has been credited with the ability to protect against evil spirits and negativity. Red Clover is an herb of consecration and is a visionary herb. Clover is a good money drawing and good luck herb. Some say four leaved Clovers help them see the Fae. (If you wish to see fairies, lay seven grains of wheat on a four-leaf Clover, and they may appear to you) One may offer a flower stalk when seeking a promise of fidelity from one's partner. If one agrees to monogamy a White Clover bloom may be given in exchange. For this purpose it is best to gather the Clover when the Moon is Full. In Ireland Clover is associated with the Vernal Equinox and may be used to celebrate Eostara. Clover is an excellent herb because of it's strong association with elemental Earth, and it is useful in the consecration of any ritual tools made of Copper. Clover should be included when ritually consecrating a Pentacle.

Medicinal and Other Uses:

Red Clover contains Vitamins C, and B, and the minerals: Magnesium, Zinc, Copper, Selenium, Chorine, and Calcium. Red Clover is used to combat muscle spasms, dysmenorraghia, endometriosis, fibroids, menorrhagia, metrorrhagia, fibrocystic disease of the breast, menstrual disorders, endocrine activity, and as a uterine tonic. (It is a general fertility promoter used as a uterine conditioner) It is being studied for it's actions with respect to: reproductive organs, an anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, for it's estrogenic activity, and as an expectorant. It contains large amounts of tocopherol, (a potent antioxidant form of Vitamin E) that has been shown to prevent tumor formation in animal studies. Red Clover is used as a cleansing herb for skin conditions, and the flowers are useful for coughs, bronchitis, and whooping cough. In the 1930s it's flowers became popular as an anticancer remedy and it is still prescribed to breast, ovarian, and lymphatic cancer sufferers. It is used as a diuretic, anti-inflammatory, and may affect estrogenic activity. Native Americans use it for sore eyes and as a salve for burns. Red Clover is used by farmers as hay and to enrich the soil. (Red Clover is planted with other plants because Red Clover pulls in an excess amount of nitrogen into the soil which other plants can use) **Caution: if you are taking anticoagulants don't use Clover.

Dried Clove Buds
Cloves (Eugenia Caryophyllata, also known as Ding Xiang) are actually the unopened flower bud of the evergreen Clove Tree. The word Clove comes from the French "clou", meaning nail, which the buds resemble. In the 18th century, seeds of the Clove Tree were stolen from the Dutch by French traders to break the Dutch monopoly on the spice trade. (the Dutch had eradicated Cloves on all islands except Amboina and Ternate in order to create scarcity and sustain high prices) The island of Zanzibar (which is part of Tanzania) is the world's largest producer of Cloves.

Magickal Uses:

Clove is a visionary herb, and is also used as a Green Herbe. On certain islands in Indonesia the Clove Tree is considered very sacred. Cloves are very useful in bringing a sense of kinship to any social gathering. They are used in love charms and aphrodisiacs. Add them to incense to further one's ability to be psychically sensitive, as they are excellent for astral work. Use Cloves in any amulet or charm to drive away negativity.

Medicinal and Other Uses:

Cloves are used for nausea, flatulence, languid indigestion, wound infections, dyspepsia, and toothache (dentists have traditionally used Clove Oil for it's healing, soothing properties to ease pain) Clove Oil stimulates the production of gastric juices, aids digestion, improves appetite, and is used for colic. Clove oil is also highly antiseptic. It's a well known fact that the main active component of Cloves is Eugenol, which has long been known to help kill bacteria and viruses. (Studies show that the oil in Cloves can help kill several strains of staphylococcus bacteria and one strain of pseudomonas-organisms that can cause skin infections) Cloves will promote sweating with fevers, colds, and flu. Clove Oil is commonly used in aromatherapy, and is also used in flavorings and perfumes.

Coltsfoot Coltsfoot Coltsfoot Flowers

Coltsfoot (Tussilago Farfara, also known as Kuan Dong Hua, Coughwort, Clayweed, Dummyweed, British tobacco, Gowan, and Son-Before-the-Father) has a Latin name that means "cough dispeller". Because people thought the plant's leaf looked like a colt's hoof it was commonly named Coltsfoot. It has an unique way of flowering in early Spring before it's leaves even open (Thus the Son-Before-the-Father name). This plant has been used since the early Romans and Greeks discovered smoking it would help respiratory complaints. It is a questionable herb as to whether it helps or harms. (See the Medicinal section below)

Magickal Uses:

Coltsfoot is ruled by Venus, it is a visionary herb and a love herb. Many modern herbalists consider Coltsfoot as a patron herb; during the French apothecaire, a likeness of flowering Coltsfoot was painted on the sign to denote Magickal and medicinal herbalism. Coltsfoot is sometimes used to cause visions. Use Coltsfoot in charms as a love herb, or burn it in incense to bring positive energy to your workings.

Medicinal and Other Uses:

Coltsfoot is renowned for its use as a cough medicine. It contains a substance called mucilage, which soothes the respiratory tract. Even today many herbal cigarettes contain Coltsfoot. It is used to help general spasmodic cough, bronchitis, asthma, whooping cough, and smoker's cough because it is an expectorant. Coltsfoot contains trace sulphur and zinc, which is beneficial in treating skin disorders. Applied externally it can be used for insect bites. Coltsfoot also helps with the swelling in phlebitis. **GT** Coltsfoot is banned in Canada; however, the United States Food and Drug Administration classifies it as an herb with "undefined safety." **WC** Use Coltsfoot with caution: it contains pyrrolizidine alkaloids that can seriously damage the liver, and a Japanese study concluded that the flower buds may be carcinogenic (cancer causing). If you use it I'd suggest doing it in short periods. Don't use Coltsfoot if you are pregnant, nursing, or have liver disease. Never use Coltsfoot on small children!

Wild Red Columbine A Columbine Flower completely opened
Columbine (Aquilegia Vulgaris, also known as Granny's Bonnet and Culverwort) got its Latin name Aquila (meaning "eagle") because of its flower spurs resembling eagle claws. The common name, Columbine, is Latin "Columba" meaning Dove or Pidgeon, from the idea that the flowers resemble a flight of these birds. The first western written account of Columbine dates back to the 1500s. Columbine is even mentioned in Shakespeare's "Hamlet" (Act 5, Scene 2 and Act 4, Scene 5 for my fellow Shakespeare lovers). Depending on the variety, this flower comes in many colors including red, blue, and white. Columbine is Colorado's state flower.

Magickal Uses:

Columbine is the perfect plant to attract the Fae to your garden as it welcomes the Devas and brings joy with its beauty. It is an herb of courage for those needing that extra little boost in stressful situations. Some use Columbine in Love spells and charms. Practitioners of animal Magick, those working with the Eagle as a totem animal, and those wishing to invoke the protective spirit or divinity associated with the rhelm of birds may work with Columbine.

Medicinal and Other Uses:

In days of old Columbine was used as an astringent, cyanogenetic, diuretic, and narcotic. Today we know it is Poisonous. **GT** Columbine is great for attracting Hummingbirds to your garden. Columbines do best in partial sun or light shade, and they prefer a soil that stays somewhat moist, but drains well. Removing flowers as they fade helps prolong the bloom time, this is known as "dead-heading".

Comfrey- Comfrey a close up of its flowers

Comfrey (Symphytum Officinalis, also known as Knitbone, Ass-Ear, Blackwort, Bruisewort, Healing Herb, and Knitback) has been used as a healing herbe since ancient Greek and Roman times. The name Comfrey comes from the Latin "Conferva", which means knitting together. (from the plant's reputed power to make broken bones heal more quickly) In addition, Comfrey's botanical name, Symphytum, means "grown together".

Magickal Uses:

Comfrey is an herb of protection ruled by Saturn and Capricorn. A leaf of Comfrey is believed to provide safekeeping while traveling, bringing the traveler safely home from a journey. Comfrey is also a good herb to include in any Magickal healing.

Medicinal and Other Uses:

Comfrey is a muscilage, astringent, demulcent, and expectorant. Comfrey contains allantoin which encourages bone, cartilage, and muscle cells to grow. It also contains Calcium, Phosphorus, and Potassium. Its used on sprains, arthritic joints, and hemmorrhages. The root is used for gastric, duodenal, and vericose ulcers. It has been used with benefit in cases of bronchitis and irritable cough. It is used externally in ointments for psoriasis and other skin afflictions. Comfrey leaves have been used for livestock fodder because its leaves contain almost 35 percent protein. **WC** Caution: Comfrey can be confused with the poisonous Foxglove when not blooming. There is some question about using it internally because of *possible* (unproven in humans) carcinogenic properties. Comfrey is restricted in Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and Germany but sold widely in the U.S.

Coriander- Coriander in Bloom a close up of its flowers

Coriander (Coriandrum Sativum, also known as Cilantro, Chinese parsley, and Yee Sai) was used as early as 1550 B.C. (It is mentioned in early Sanskrit writings dating from about 1500 B.C.) for culinary and medicinal purposes. Remnants of Coriander have been found in archelogical digs of ancient Egypt and those from the tribes of the Israelites. The Chinese believed Coriander seeds could confer immortality, and the Egyptians used it as an aphrodisiac.

Magickal Uses:

Coriander is an herb of immortality, love, protection, and a Greene Herbe. If you have access to fresh grown Coriander it may be tied with a ribbon and hung in the home to bring peace and protection to the house. Coriander is a good seed to add to any love charm or spell. The seeds are also used to promote peace among peoples who are unable to get along. Coriander can be used in the ritual cup or the seeds may be ground and added to incense. Coriander is used to help one find romance and love, and it is an excellent herb to add to an elixer shared when the Great Rite is celebrated. In rituals of union, it may be strewn in lieu of rice or added to the Handfasting cake. Coriander seeds are slightly narcotic in effect.

Medicinal and Other Uses:

Coriander is a stimulant to help digestion, and it is effective as a dyspepsia and an antinausea. It aids the digestive system get rid of wind and eases the spasm pain (colic) that accompanies it. It will also work on diarrhea, especially in children. Its seed is a natural diuretic. Coriander's leaves, used as a spice known as Cilantro, are a common ingredient in Latin American and Asian cooking. They are used for salsas, many Mexican dishes, and Chinese, Indian, Egyptian, and Mediterranean dishes. Coriander's dried, powdered seeds are used in sweet breads, cakes, cookies, baked fruit, candies, cheeses, meats, sausage, and pickles. In England, Coriander seeds are sugar-coated to make "comfits," a popular confection which became "jawbreakers" in America. Its seeds contain an oil that is extracted and used in the preparation of some liqueurs. It is extensively cultivated in India and grown to some extent in Europe and Brazil, with only a few acres grown commercially in the United States. **GT** Coriander's flowers attract beneficial predatory insects such as ladybirds and lacewings into the garden. If you want a regular supply of Cilantro, sow the seed every two weeks through the summer, as plants bolt fairly quickly.

Cornflower- Cornflower a close up of the flowers
Cornflower (Centaurea Cyanus, also known as Bachelor Button, Hurtsickle, Bluet, Blue Cap, and Bluebottle) got its name, "centaurea", from the centaur Chiron. It originated in the Mediterranean, but the plant was so naturalized in England the farmers nicknamed it "Hurtsickle" because of its tough stem, which blunted their sickles with which they reaped their grain fields. It is the national emblem of the German-American community.

Magickal Uses:

Cornflower is a visionary herb associated with the Goddess Flora and her annual celebration, Floralia, which is centered around Beltane, beginning in late April and running into May. Cornflower is also associated with the centaur Chiron and may be considered one of the patron herbs of herbalists. Its beautiful, blue petals lend themselves to handmade ink, one which would be most pleasing for a Book of Shadows. Use Cornflowers to decorate your temple or altar. Cornflower is used to assist women in giving honor to the Mother of all nature. Its flowers may also be used in the ritual cup.

Medicinal and Other Uses:

Cornflower was used as a remedy of old to treat eye inflammations. In folk medicine the leaves or seeds were steeped in wine and taken as a cure for pestilential fevers. Juice from the leaves can be applied externally to wounds because of its astringent properties due to its tannin content. **GT** Cornflower tolerates drought conditions well. Deadhead the flowers to prolong blooming.

Cowslip- Cowslip is a pretty little plant, in or out of bloom a close up of the flowers

Cowslip (Primula Veris, also known as English Cowslip, False Primrose, Keyflower, Fairy Cup, Key of Heaven, European Cowslip, and Paigle) got its name from the Anglo-Saxon "Cu-slope", a reminder of the days when they bloomed in meadows among dairy herds. Shakespeare makes seven references to Cowslip in his works, for it is a flower so beloved by Englishmen that they consider it a favorite of the faeries.

Magickal Uses:

Cowslip is an herb of protection ruled by Venus. This member of the primrose family is held sacred to Freya, the Norse Goddess of love, and it was used in rituals giving honor to her. The flowers can be decorative or the herb can be infused into an elixer for any priestess desiring to invoke Freya, as this Goddess represents the second aspect of the Goddess (that of Mother). Cowslip may also be used in ritual work with any Goddess associated with love. It is believed to increase one's attractiveness and also bring an increase in romantic appeal. Cowslip can bring about internal changes which can stimulate the energy to attract that special partner. Many rural folk hold this herb sacred, and they gather bunches of the flowers to hang over doorways to bring protection. This is an excellent herb for increasing one's skills at keeping a mental focus while sustaining concentration during any ritual work. Use Cowslip to attract the Fae, for its blossoms provide them shelter from the rain.

Medicinal and Other Uses:

Cowslip is an excellent relaxing, sedative remedy that eases reactions to stress and tension. It also facilitates restful sleep. Cowslip may be used safely with bronchitis, colds, chills, and coughs due to its antispasmodic and expectorant attributes. Because it is a mild sedative it is useful for nervous headaches. Due to its astringent qualities herbalists make a skin cleansing lotion from this plant, and it is also a diuretic, anti-inflammatory, and a natural laxative. **WC** Please don't gather Cowslip wild unless there is an evident abundance; in recent times Cowslip has been subjected to overcollection and is now becoming increasingly rare. Caution: avoid the root if you are sensitive to aspirin, or are taking blood thinners. Do not use during pregnancy because Cowslip is a uterine stimulant.

Crowfoot in Bloom a close up of the flowers
Crowfoot (Ranunculus Acris, also known as Buttercup, Gold Cup, Grenouillette, Meadow Buttercup, Tall Crowfoot, and "Cearban Feoir"-which is Gaelic for Grass Rag) The scientific name of the genus Ranunculus, meaning "little frog", was given to it because they are so abundant in moist places frequented by frogs. It receives its Latin name of "Acris" from its supposed intensity of acridity. Crowfoot is the "Cuckow Buds of Yellow Hue" of William Shakespeare's writings.

Magickal Uses:

Crowfoot is an herb of love. Crowfoot is associated with Hymen, a Greek god who is a companion of Eros, the god of love. Crowfoot may be used in all rituals and ceremonies associated with Handfastings and marriage; with customs associated with asking for another's hand; in rituals which make commitments and vows sacred and binding.

Medicinal and Other Uses:

**WC** Warning: All parts of this plant are poisonous, but the toxins can be destroyed by heat or by drying. The plant has a strongly acrid juice that can cause blistering to the skin. **GT** Crowfoot prefers a habitat that has damp soil.

Cyclamen a color variation of the flowers
Cyclamen (Cyclamen Hederaefolium, also known as Groundbread, Sowbread, and Ivy-Leafed) are part of the family of Primulaceae, (the Primrose family) but thats where the similarity stops... they look nothing like a Primrose. In the wild, their distribution is centered on the Mediterranean, they are natives of Europe, western Asia and parts of North Africa. Some varieties flower every month of the year. Even more astounding is the fact that some blooms last from twelve to twenty four days.

Magickal Uses:

Cyclamen is an herb of love ruled by Mars. Older European Spell Magick shows this herb was believed to have the ability to make someone fall passionately (and permanently) in love with the practitioner. For those who are foolish enough to work herbal Magick to bend another's will to romance, this is a useful herb-but the price may be dear. It is better to use Cyclamen to reinforce the romance between consensual partners. It can be added to Handfasting or wedding cakes. (or bake it into a cake for a ritual to renew vows) A couple which works ritual together and shares the Great Rite could use this herb to further the astral nature of their work, and increase the potential of their union carrying into the next incarnation.

Medicinal and Other Uses:

Cyclamen's bulbs and rhizomes are poisonous, and I know of no medicinal or other use for Cyclamen other than to grow it for beauty's sake. **GT** Cyclamen will rarely succeed if the temperature goes above sixty-five degrees during the day and fifty degrees at night. Cyclamen said should be watered daily to keep the soil lightly moist, but never damp. (Ideally, they should be kept on top of a pebble fill tray of water) Single blooms may last anywhere from 12 to 24 days!

Bald Cypress My Father standing by nine foot high 'Cypress Knees' in Steinhatchee, Fla
Cypress (Cupressis Species) is a mystical tree that is usually found either growing directly in water, or close to it. The photo you see to the right is my Father standing beside nine foot high Cypress Knees. A Cypress Knee is part of the tree's root system that emerges above ground, and this stand of ancient virgin Cypress was our little secret for some time (we had to hike miles back into dense woods to get to it). It was in an area that was being rapidly developed by pulp wood corporations..grrr..and we fought hard to save it, in vain. These trees were so ancient you'd get a neckache just attempting to see their tops (many trees were over 120 feet tall). Nine foot Knees are NOT common and show the age of the stand. I will miss that ancient Cypress forest almost as much as I miss the greatest 'woodsman' and wildcrafter I ever knew, my Father.

Magickal Uses:

Cypress is an herb of immortality, protection, and consecration ruled by Saturn and Neptune. Cypress is one of the trees loved by the Fae. Cypress wood or incense is good for burning to consecrate ritual objects. Some hang Cypress in the home for protection. Cypress is an herb that can be used to establish a bonding with familiars which is capable of being carried into one's next reincarnation.

Medicinal and Other Uses:

Cypress is used in aromatherapy. Cypress is a very valuable wood, and in modern times humankind has "developed" a new type. The logging industry clear cut many forests in the early 1900'S. The trees were skidded and floated through the swamps and bayous to the lumber mills. Many logs were lost and sunk to the bottom of the waterways where they have lain until recent years. In Louisiana, Cajun laborers use piroques and or poles to locate these logs on the bottoms. The logs are called Sinker Cypress. Many have been in the water for over 100 years. These logs are retreived and hauled to staging areas where they are air dried for at least a year, then are sold to mills for lumber called "Sinker Cypress".

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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.