Herbal lore in witchcraft
Many witches most of whom were women were often consulted by others that would ask them to concoct a spell or potion to ward off others, bring them love or heal a problem or illness. The witch's use of herbs and plants were common knowledge and this herbal lore is still present today as a form of alternative medicine.
Some societies today still have what are know as medicine men who know the secrets of plants and herbs and these are seen in Australia, new guinea and Africa. Many plants used today in herbal cures are still linked to the witch and witchcraft, plants such as the foxglove for example is also known by the name of witchesglove.
This plant gives us digitalis and this is a drug which has saved many lives in those suffering from heart conditions, it was accredited to a Dr William Withering who acknowledged his debt to herbal witchcraft.
The full moon has always been associated with the witch and witchcraft and it is thought that at this time when the moon was full in the dead of the night witches collected the herbs and plants they used in their magic. The reason they did this was thought to be because at night plants have the highest content of drug in them.
Common plants used in herbal witchcraft
This plant is more commonly known as the deadly nightshade and is commonly found on old waste grounds and in old ruins. Folk lore of the past associated this plant as being the devils plant and the root of the plant is the principle source when preparing potions and tinctures. The berries of the plant are also used and these contain atropine which is used to alleviate spasms and to help with pain and inflammation.
This plant is more commonly know as the woody nightshade and is found in hedgerows, the drug solamine comes from this plant and solamine acts as a narcotic. Woody nightshade was commonly used for ailments such as fever, inflammation and jaundice and is also thought to guard against evil forces.
This plant is more commonly known as monkshood and was used for its poisonous effects where arrowheads were coated with it before going into battle, this plant is also thought to have been used widely in the concoction of black magic.
This plant is commonly known as hemlock and is found in meadows, hedgerows and on banks. The plant is easily distinguishable by its blood red markings on the stem and roots and it produces a drug called conium which is a powerful narcotic and sedative. When taken in large doses it is poisonous and this is the plant which is thought to have been used to poison the Greek philosopher Socrates.
Herbal lore in witchcraft
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