Herbs: A -Z List (Ancient-Wisdom.com)

(…The Medicinal, Spiritual and Magical Uses of…)

The following information is for reference only. Herb-lore is an art which must be respected, and several herbs can be as equally dangerous as beneficial if not used correctly.

  • Aloes:

General: Aloes are indigenous to East and South Africa, but have been introduced into the West Indies (where they are extensively cultivated) and into tropical countries, and will even flourish in the countries bordering on the Mediterranean. The drug Aloes consists of the liquid exuded from the transversely-cut bases of the leaves.

Medicinal Use: The drug Aloes is one of the safest and best warm and stimulating purgatives to persons of sedentary habits and phlegmatic constitutions. An ordinary small dose takes from 15 to 18 hours to produce an effect. Its action is exerted mainly on the large intestine, for which reason, also it is useful as a vermifuge. Its use, however, is said to induce Piles. From the Chemist and Druggist (July 22, 1922):

‘Aloes, strychnine and belladonna in pill form was criticized by Dr. Bernard Fautus in a paper read before the Chicago branch of the American Pharmaceutical Society. He pointed out that when given at the same time they cannot possibly act together because of the different speed and duration of the three agents. Aloin is slow in action, requiring from 10 to 12 hours. Strychnine and Atropine, on the other hand, are rapidly absorbed, and have but a brief duration of action.’

Aloes was employed by the ancients and was known to the Greeks as a production of the island of Socotra as early as the fourth century B.C. The drug was used by Dioscorides, Celsus and Pliny, as well as by the later Greek and Arabian physicians, though it is not mentioned either by Hippocrates or Theophrastus.

Spiritual Use: The word Aloes, in Latin Lignum Aloes, is used in the Bible and in many ancient writings to designate a substance totally distinct from the modern Aloes, namely the resinous wood of Aquilaria agallocha, a large tree growing in the Malayan Peninsula. Its wood constituted a drug which was, down to the beginning of the present century, generally valued for use as incense, but now is esteemed only in the East. The Mahometans, especially those in Egypt, regard the Aloe as a religious symbol, and the Mussulman who has made a pilgrimage to the shrine of the Prophet is entitled to hang the Aloe over his doorway. The Mahometans also believe that this holy symbol protects a householder from any malign influence. In Cairo, the Jews also adopt the practice of hanging up the Aloe. In the neighbourhood of Mecca, at the extremity of every grave, on a spot facing the epitaph, Burckhardt found planted a low shrubby species of Aloe whose Arabic name, saber, signifies patience. This plant is evergreen and requires very little water. Its name refers to the waiting-time between the burial and the resurrection morning.

  • Angelica:

General: Is used for healing, protection, to prolong life, for divine and creative inspiration and magic.

Medicinal Use: It is generally used as a stimulating expectorant, combined with other expectorants the action of which is facilitated, and to a large extent diffused, through the whole of the pulmonary region. It is a useful agent for feverish conditions, acting as a diaphoretic, though it should not be given to patients who have a tendency towards diabetes, as it causes an increase of sugar in the urine.

Magical Use: If you need a muse, call upon the essence of angelica.Grow in the garden as a protection from spirits. Burn the dried leaves in exorcism rituals.

  • Anise:

General: Anise seeds promotes digestion, stimulates appetite, helps with cramps/nausea; relieves flatulence and colic, helps promote lactation, insomnia. (Note: Do not take internally).

Magical Use: Its magical properties are: sleep on anise seeds to ensure sleep free from nightmares; fresh anise leaves protects the magic circle and ward off evil.

  • Arnica:

General: Other Names: Mountain Tobacco. Leopard’s Bane. Parts Used: Root, flowers. Habitat: A perennial herb, indigenous to Central Europe, in woods and mountain pastures. In countries where Arnica is indigenous, it has long been a popular remedy. 

Medicinal Use: The tincture is used for external application to sprains, bruises, and wounds, and as a paint for chilblains when the skin is unbroken. Repeated applications may produce severe inflammation. It is seldom, (if ever) used internally, because of its irritant effect on the stomach.

A homoeopathic tincture, X6, has been used successfully in the treatment of epilepsy; also for seasickness, 3 X before sailing, and every hour on board till comfortable. For tender feet a foot-bath of hot water containing 1/2 oz. of the tincture has brought great relief. Applied to the scalp it will make the hair grow. Great care must be exercised though, as some people are particularly sensitive to the plant and many severe cases of poisoning have resulted from its use, especially if taken internally. British Pharmacopoeia Tincture, root, 10 to 30 drops. United States Pharmacopoeia Tincture, flowers, 10 to 30 drops.

Magical Use: Thought to be especially potent on the summer solstice. Bunches are gathered and set on the corners of fields to spread the power of the corn spirit and to ensure a good harvest.

  • Basil:

Medicinal Use: As a tea for calming the nerves, settling the stomach, and easing cramps and good for the bladder. Use as a poultice on chest for bronchitis and chest colds. All basils are antibacterial and act as good insect repellents, and as Culpepper noted, ï¿½Being applied to the place bitten by venomous beasts, or stung by a wasp or hornet, it speedily draws the poison to it�. Basil, Ocimum sanctum, was originally a native plant of India and its use only spread outwards to Europe and the West in the sixteenth century. Ocimum sanctum, or Tulsi as it is known in Hindu, is used in traditional in religious ceremonies and in ayurvedic medicine for common colds, headaches, stomach disorders, inflammation, heart disease, various forms of poisoning, and malaria

Sacred Use: It is sacred to the Hindu god Vishnu and his avatar, Krishna. Magical herbals occasionally refer to it as St. Joseph’s Wort. Best known for its properties to aid and strengthen love. Although known to bring about prosperity, love spells are the general domain for basil. It is used to soothe communication and heal relationships between two people. Basil is originally native to India and other tropical regions of Asia, having been cultivated there for more than 5,000 years, reached Europe in the sixteenth century. Basil brings prosperity and happiness when planted in the garden. In Europe, they place basil in the hands of the dead to ensure a safe journey. In India, they place it in the mouth of the dying to ensure they reach God. The ancient Egyptians and ancient Greeks believed that it would open the gates of heaven for a person passing on.

  • Bay:

General: Parts Used: Leaves, Fruit, Oil.

Medicinal Use: Use as a poultice on chest for bronchitis and chest colds. Oil of bay, the fixed oil expressed from the berries, is used to treat arthritic aches and pains, lower back pain, earaches, and sore muscles and sprains. Bay leaves are the source of an essential oil with the same analgesic and warming properties. Bay laurel contains parthenolides, the same chemical in feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium) that is thought to prevent migraine headaches. Do not use Internally.

Spiritual Use: Bay leaves come from the laurel, and have a strong tradition as a Greek sacred plant. When the nymph Daphne wanted to avoid the passions of Apollo, she turned into the first laurel tree, which Apollo then adopted as his sacred tree. Wreaths were made from the leaves, which were also chewed and burned by Apollo’s prophetic priestesses at Delphi.

Magical Use: is used for purification, dreams, healing, protection, psychic dreams (place bay leaf under pillow at night), psychic powers, clairvoyance, good wishes, fame or glory and change. Bay leaves were worn as amulets to ward off negativity. Wishes can be written on bay leaves and then burned to make them come true.

  • Calendula:

Medicinal Use: Calendula is particularly good treatment for cuts, scrapes, bruises, insect bites and minor wounds. Calendula is also antifungal and so can help to cure thrush (Candida albicans). Mabey, pp46 The antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of calendula make it a good face wash for dry, irritated skin and acne. Fresh calendula petals can also be infused in boiling water and used to treat minor infections, conjunctivitis, and mouth sores. Calendula tinctures are also a concentrated and convenient way to treat sore or infected gums

Magical Use: Can bring about prophetic dreams when tucked under your pillow. Brings the ability to see fairies and for psychic powers. Work with calendula for help in making dreams come true, joy and remembrance. Calendula, called “Marygold” or “Sunbride” in the Middle Ages, was sacred to the Norse goddess Freya and was used for love magic. Claudia Muller-Ebeling, Wolf-Deieter Storl Witchcraft Medicine(1998) Marigolds are called after the Virgin Mary. In Macer’s Herbal it is stated that only to look on Marigolds will draw evil humours out and strengthen the eyesight.

  • Chamomile:

Household Use: Known as the “plant’s physician”; grow near ailing plants to perk them up. Make into an antifungal spray for tree diseases. Spray infusion on seedlings to prevent “damping off disease” and on compost to activate decomposition. Boil the flower for a yellow-brown dye. Wash blond hair with infusion for lightening. Use in potpourri and herb pillows.

Medicinal Use: Sedative, antifungal, antimicrobial, antispasmodic, anti-inflammatory. Relieves gas, heartburn and colic. Applied externally in teabags to heal burns and rest eyes. Ointment is used for eczema, and genital and anal irritation. Mouthwash heals mouth inflammation.

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