The Herbs, Roots, and Bark Library

Herbs beginning with the letter D


A bed of Daffodils a close up of the flower
Daffodils (Narcissus Pseudonarcissus, also known as Narcissus, Lent Lily, and Jonquil) get their latin name from the Greek Narke, which means numbness. (the bulb contains toxic alkaloids that can cause paralysis of the central nervous system, leading to death) The common name Daffodil comes from the Greek Asphodelos, which was a flower that the Greeks thought bloomed in the afterlife. Daffodils were grown by the Egyptians and Greeks and brought into English gardens by the 1500s.

Magickal Uses:

Daffodil is an herb of countermagick, an herb of purification, and an herb of protection. Daffodils are used to keep negative energy away from the home. In The Master Book of Herbalism the following instructions are given: "Collect the root of the Yellow Daffodil on Tuesday beneath the waxing Moon. The other colors are ruled by Venus and may be gathered on a Friday, or beneath any Full Moon. The root should be dried, finely ground, and this powder worked into Magickal balms". I'd advise against this course of action due to it's toxic nature, rather I would use the flowers to decorate the temple and thereby vanquish negative forces.

Medicinal and Other Uses:

Herbalists of old used dried, powdered Daffodil to induce vomiting in poisoning cases...the poor patients! (Give a poison for a poison?) They also used it as an antispasmodiac in the treatment of epilepsy and hysteria. Modern herbalists no longer employ the Daffodil because of the dangerous toxins. It is still grown as both a Spring and Fall flower, and a bed of Daffodils is a sight to behold.

Daisy- English Daisy a close up of the flowers
When daisies pied and violets blue

And lady-smocks all silver-white

And cuckoo-buds of yellow hue

Do paint the meadows with delight

"Love's Labour's Lost" by William Shakespeare

Daisie's (Bellis Perrenis, also known as English Daisy, Bairnwort, Lawn Daisy, Common Daisy, and Bruisewort) name is derived from the Latin "bellus" meaning pretty or charming. Their common name is a corruption of the old English name "day's-eye". They were used in the Middle Ages to decorate grave sites as a symbol of rebirth. In Scotland it is the "Bairnwort", testifying to the joy of children in gathering it for daisy-chains.

Magickal Uses:

Daisies are an herb of protection and their Invocatory is Freya. Modern practices include the growing of Daisies as an herb to further attract the Devas and the Fae. Grieve's "A Modern Herbal" suggests there may be an association between Daisies and a Dryad (a woodland nymph) named Belidis. Dryads are often associated with elemental Earth, and Daisies may be used ritually to help one commune with this element. Decorate your temple or home with Daisies for Midsummer's Eve. There is also a Magickal association with babies and newborn infants. The Daisy may be incorporated into baby blessings and Wiccanings, or used to bring protective Magick into the baby's sleeping area.

Medicinal and Other Uses:

Daisy is an expectorant and is used for coughs, catarrh, and bronchitis. Renowned Homepathy doctor Eileen Nauman has done test studies regarding using Daisy for treatment of shock. It has reputed value for treating liver and kidney disorders, and it is also useful treating arthritis and rheumatism. Due to its astringency its used to treat diarrhea. The same astringency makes Daisy useful in the treatment of inflammation and wounds.


Damiana Aphrodisiaca a close up of the flower Damiana (Turnera Aphrodisiaca, also known as love leaf) is best know for its aphrodisiacal usage. Long before western medicine had a pill to give you, indigenous people from all over the Earth were taking natural plants. The Chinese, the Africans, the Indians, and of course the Native Americans have all relied on things that grow in a "full circle". Damiana has been used as an aphrodisiac for centuries by both sexes.

Magickal Uses:

Damiana is an herb of love and a visionary herb. Its a good herb to use for any love or sexual Magick. Solitary practitioners work with Damiana to open their chakras and increase their psychic abilities in their quest for a heightened vision. It is believed that Damiana should be stored with a quartz crystal in its container.

Medicinal and Other Uses:

Damiana has been used as an aphrodisiac for centuries. Its also used as an astringent, to aid with dysmenorrhea, as an expectorant, laxative, stimulant, and a tonic. Its an excellent strengthening remedy for the nervous system. The pharmacology of this plant suggests that the alkaloids could have a testosterone-like action. As a useful anti-depressant, Damiana is considered to be a specific in cases of anxiety and depression, and to this end it may be used to strengthen the male sexual system.


Dandelion in bloom a close up of the flower Dandelion (Taraxacum Officinale, also known as Lion's Tooth, Priest's Crown, Pu Gong Ying, Swine's Snout, Pissenlit, and Telltime) is a European herb that migrated to New England with the Pilgrims. The name apparently was invented by a 15th century surgeon, who compared the shape of the leaves to a lion's tooth, or "dens leonis". In the West we separate the leaves and root, but the Chinese use the entire plant which they call "Pu Gong Ying".

Magickal Uses:

Dandelion is linked to Slyphs, or air spirits. An old custom tells of blowing upon Dandelion seeds, and as they drift into the wind they will carry your wishes to your lover. Use Dandelion when working with elemental Air. Some use the root to evoke Hecate, and its even been sliced into pieces which are dried and strung to form a necklace of ritual beads when calling upon this Goddess.

Medicinal and Other Uses:

Dandelion is very nutritious, having more vitamins and minerals than some vegetables. Its rich in Vitamins A and C, and Potassium. The leaves also contain Vitmins B, D, and Iron. The young leaves and flowers are eaten raw in salads, and some ferment the flowers to make into wine. Medicinally, Dandelion is used as an anti-bilious, cholagogue, depurative, diuretic, hepatic, mild laxative, stomachic, and tonic. Its effective in treating endometriosis, cystitis, mastitis, and menstrual cramps. The fresh juice is used to fight bacteria and help heal external wounds. Some use it for the treatment of liver, gall bladder and urinary disorders, gallstones, jaundice, oedema associated with high blood pressure and heart weakness, chronic joint complaints, gout, and eczema. **WC** The roots are best gathered between early and late summer when they are at their bitterest.


Dill in bloom a close up of the flower heads Dill (Peucedanum Graveolens, also known as Dill Weed, Aneto, or Dill Seed) has been traced back 5000 years to the Egyptians who used it for a digestive aid. The name Dill may come from the old Norse word dilla (meaning to lull), referring to the plant's alleged carminative properties. (Dill water has often been used to induce sleep in babies) The ancient Greeks considered Dill to be a sign of wealth. Because American settlers gave children Dill seed to chew during long sermons, they called it "meeting seed." Most of the Dill seed consumed in the United States is imported from India, while Dill weed is generally grown domestically or imported from Egypt. In India it is one of the seeds offered to guests after dinner to aid in digestion.

Magickal Uses:

Dill is a greene herbe, and an herb of protection. Dill enjoys a long established reputation regarding its Magick. One can bring good fortune and a healthy outlook to ones guests by opening a meal by breaking and sharing Dill bread imbued with subtle Magick. Dill is often used in love and protection charms. Dill is very effective at keeping away dark forces, and it is well suited for the blessing of ones home. Dill is a good herb for those who pursue Magickal knowledge, for it keeps the mind clear between the realities of Magick and superstition.

Medicinal and Other Uses:

Dill is high in Calcium. Many herbalists recommend Dill to ease colic in infants in the form of "gripe water", and to promote the flow of milk in nursing women. Dill seeds are used whole or ground as a condiment for flavoring meats, sauces, stews, breads, vinegars, pastries, and vegetables. Dried and fresh leaves are used in sauces, salads, soups, stews, and vinegars. Dill is an important flavoring agent in the pickling of cucumbers. Some Dill oil is used in cosmetics and perfumes. Dried Dill foliage is commonly called Dill Weed. **WC** Dill can cause contact dermatitis in some people. The seeds should be collected when fully ripe, that is when they have turned brown. **GT** Don't plant Dill near Caraway, Fennel or Angelica as they cross pollinate and create off-flavors in the seeds.


A Young Dogwood in Bloom a close up of the flower Dogwood (Cornus Species, also known as Boxwood, Squawbush, and Virginia Dogwood) has many family members which I will cover here. The order to which the Dogwoods belong contains four families and about 150 species, about 100 of which are in the same family as Dogwoods. The word "Cornus" means horn and supposedly refers to its hard wood. Dogwood comes from the Sanskrit word "dag" for skewers. During the blockade of southern ports by the yankees in the Civil War, when cinchona bark (the source of quinine) was not obtainable for treating Malaria, Dogwood bark was a substitute. (This is one part of history I am well versed great, great grandfather was a blockade runner for the confederacy, and was responsible for smuggling Judah P. Benjamin out of the U.S. to freedom) No tree says "Southern" better than the flowering Dogwood. (It was adopted by the state of Virginia as their state flower)

Magickal Uses: Dogwood in fall color and berries
Dogwood may be used in the Lammas or Autumn Equinox rituals. Dogwood is useful in any meeting when those attending need to maintain confidence regarding the topics of discussion, and to help keep open minds. Dogwood may be used to keep ones writings private. It is a superior herb to guard ones Book of Shadows, diaries, or journals. Oil of Dogwood flowers is without peer in sealing letters and keeping the contents only for intended eyes. As it blooms in Spring, Dogwood may be brought into Spring rituals and celebrations. Use the powdered flowers or bark as incense in your temple.

Medicinal and Other Uses:

The main economic importance of Dogwoods stem from their valuable ornamental species, grown for their attractive flowers, flower bracts, fruits, twigs and stems, and colorful autumn leaves. In addition to the species already mentioned, others commonly found in cultivation include the Cornelian cherry, the red-osier Dogwood, the Japanese Dogwood, and certain sour gums. The fruit of the Cornelian cherry, a native of Europe, is used in France to make an alcoholic beverage, "vin de courneille", and it is also used in preserves. Oil extracted from the fruit of the blood-twig Dogwood is used in France for making soap. Cornus Kousa (Chinese Dogwood) has edible fruits. Dogwood is used to cure violent toothache, constipation, neuralgia and whooping-cough. It promotes sleep, is an appetite stimulant, and acts as an antispasmodic in asthma. It also dilates the pupil and is helpful with dysmenorrhea and nervous debility. Laboratory tests indicate that cornus may have an antibiotic effect on staphylococcus bacteria. In tests with animals, cornus increased urination and reduced blood pressure. In China, Dogwood is prescribed for kidney and bladder disorders and for menstrual irregularity. Cornus Alternifolia was used to make an eye medicine by the Chippewa. The bark was simmered in water and used on aching muscles and a bark tea was used to promote sweating and break a fever. The inner bark of Red Osier Dogwood was used in mixtures for red, black and yellow dyes. The hardness of the wood makes it good for carving durable items. The wood of several species is used in furniture. **WC** In some people Dogwood may cause gastric distress and nausea; overdoses produce toxic effects.

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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.