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And now a little bit about herbs, magickal and medicinal, that have been used by mankind since the dawn of time....

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Magickal: Peeled garlic cloves placed in each room is said to ward off disease and is hung in new homes to dispel negativity and evil. It's also said to ward off vampires if you think there are any in your neighbourhood. An extremely powerful protective herb, a clove slipped under the pillow of sleeping children will protect them during the night. Medicinal: Garlic is excellent for treating colds and infections as it is a powerful natural antibiotic which has also been known to reduce blood pressure in some hypertensive people. If you can't get hold of odourless Garlic, chewing on a sprig of Parsley immediately afterwards will freshen your breath a little.

Magickal: Ginger is used in love spells, to "heat up" a relationship. It's also used in success spells, and to ensure the success of spells. Medicinal: Excellent for strengthening and healing the respiratory system, and for fighting off colds and flu. It removes congestion, soothes sore throats, and relieves headaches and body aches. It is also very effective in combating motion sickness and is recommended during pregnancy for treating morning sickness and digestive problems.

Gingko Biloba
Magickal: Gingko is held or carried to help improve the memory. A mild tea before bed is said to help you remember your dreams. Medicinal: Because its properties enable the opening of the smaller veins, helping to improve circulation to all organs and especially the brain and heart, Gingko is often used to treat head injuries and memory loss (especially in the early stages of Alzheimer's), tinnitus, circulatory problems, impotence, and asthma.

Magickal: Carry Ginseng to guard your health and to attract love - it is also said to increase sexual potency. Ginseng can be successfully substituted for Mandrake in all spells. Medicinal: Ginseng stimulates the body and is used to lower blood pressure, increase endurance, relieve depression, and as a sexual stimulant. The dried root is used for healing purposes. It has been used since ancient times in combination with other herbs for treating all sorts of illnesses, including cancers, digestive troubles, and memory. It is used to tone the body during stress and to overcome fatigue. During menopause it aids in balancing hormones and in regulating hot flashes.

Magickal: Goldenseal is used in prosperity spells, as well as in healing spells and rituals. Medicinal: Goldenseal is another natural and powerful antibiotic, however it should not be used by pregnant women. The herb goes straight to the bloodstream, eliminates infection in the body and enabling the liver to recover. When used with other herbs Goldenseal will boost their properties.

Gotu Kola
Magickal: Gotu Kola is generally used in meditation incenses. Medicinal: Gotu Kola is an excellent mental stimulant. It relieves mental fatigue and senility, and aids the body in defending itself against toxins.

Magickal: The leaves may be used to make protection sachets as it is said to repel negative spells. Bringing branches of it into the home is supposed to foretell death. Hawthorn blossom is also incorporated into spells and rituals for fertility. Medicinal: Hawthorn has been known to be effective in curing insomnia and has been used to prevent miscarriage. Hawthorn has also been used for centuries in treating heart disease - regular use can strengthen the heart muscles, and help to prevent arteriosclerosis.

Magickal: The forked branches are used for divining, and the wood makes wonderful wands. Hazel nuts hung in the house will bring luck, and can be carried to cause fertility. Eaten, the nuts bring wisdom. Medicinal: Unknown…

Magickal: Henbane is sometimes thrown into the water to bring rain. In olden times, it had many more uses, but is seldom used today due to its poisonous nature. Medicinal: Henbane relieves pain and lessens perspiration, however Henbane is very toxic and should not be used by pregnant women, the weak, or children. It should be used in only extremely small amounts for external use only, and not on a regular basis. A poultice made from the leaves may be used briefly to remove pain from wounds.

Magickal: Holly is used as a protective plant, and also as a decoration during the Yule season. Planted outside the home, it will afford protection. Sprinkle holly water on newborn babies to protect them. Medicinal: Unknown…

Magickal: Horehound is used in exorcisms and incenses for protection. Medicinal: Horehound is used as a gentle and effective expectorant in children's cough remedies. It can act as a tonic for the respiratory system and stomach, but in large doses it acts as a laxative.

Magickal: Whistles made from the stalks of Horsetail are used to call the spirits. Medicinal: Horsetail is used in treating urinary tract infections and decreases bleeding by causing coagulation. Because of its hight silica content it also helps brittle nails and hair and has been known to aid in the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis. Boiled in water, it makes an effective foot soak for tired feet, or for the treatment of athlete's foot. Do not use if pregnant or nursing.

Magickal: Used in purification baths and rituals, and to cleanse persons and objects. Medicinal: Hyssop is used in treating lung ailments, and the tea from Hyssop soothes sore throats. The leaves may be used to aid the healing of wounds. It has also been used to inhibit the growth of the herpes simplex virus.

Magickal: Ivy is grown to grow up the outside of the home to act as a guardian and protector and is worn by brides to bring luck to the marriage. Medicinal: The leaves have been used externally as a poultice to treat sores, ulcers, and other skin eruptions. Do not ingest (eat)! The leaves and berries are toxic!

Magickal: Jasmine is used in love sachets and incenses to attract spiritual love. A drop of the essential oil in almond oil, massaged into the skin, is said to overcome frigidity. Carrying, burning, or wearing the flowers attracts wealth and money. If burned in the bedroom, Jasmine incense will bring prophetic dreams. Medicinal: Jasmine tea is drunk for its calming affect, especially after a heavy dinner, and is said to have aphrodisiacal qualities. It is used in aromatherapy to treat depression, and as a massage oil for menstrual cramps.

Magickal: Juniper is used in incenses for protection and to protect from theft. Grown at your doorstep, it will offer your home protection as well. Medicinal: Juniper has been used to clear uric acid from the body. It is useful for all urinary infections and for water retention problems. Used externally it can be made into a compress to treat acne, athlete's foot, and dandruff.

Kava Kava
Magickal: Drink and also sprinkle Kava Kava tea around your home and property for good luck and protection against evil. Medicinal: Kava Kava is mostly used to treat insomnia and nervousness, but it can also relieve stress after a painful injury. Large doses can cause a build up of toxic substances in the liver.

Magickal: Lavender is used in purification baths and rituals and in healing incenses and sachets. Carrying the herb will enable the carrier to see ghosts. The essential oil will heighten sexual desire in men. Lavender water sprinkled on the head is helpful in keeping your chastity. The flowers are burned to induce sleep, and scattered throughout the home to maintain peaceful harmony within. Carrying lavender brings strength and courage. Medicinal: Lavender tea made from the blossoms is used as an antidepressant. A little lavender oil rubbed gently on the temples relieves headaches. Sprinkle a little lavender water on your pillow to cure insomnia and to bring restful sleep.

Lemon Balm
Magickal: Lemon Balm is used in healing spells, and spells to bring success. It is often used in spells to find love and friendship. Medicinal: Lemon Balm is used to treat both children and adults with fever, flu, and colds. It is also used to treat headaches, depression, menstrual cramps, insomnia, herpes simplex, and queasy stomachs. The crushed leaves are applied to wounds and insect bites to aid in healing. The essential oil, also known as Melissa, is used in aromatherapy to ease depression.

Magickal: Liquorice root was buried in tombs and caskets to help the soul pass easily into the Summerland. Chewing on a piece of the root will make you passionate, and is often added to love sachets as an ingredient to ensure fidelity. Medicinal: Liquorice should not be used by pregnant women as it can sometimes lead to high blood pressure with prolonged use. Liquorice Root is used for coughs and chest ailments and is an important herb to use when recovering from an illness, as it supplies needed energy to the system. It is commonly used as a remedy for stomach and heart problems, indigestion, and most respiratory ailments, and can act as a mild laxative for children.

Magickal: Lovage is added to baths to clean the psychic portion of the mind. Added to baths with rose petals will make you attractive to the opposite sex. Medicinal: Lovage root eases bloating and flatulence. It is also used with other herbs to counteract colds and flu.

Magickal: Mandrake is used in the home as a powerful protection. It is carried by women to promote conception, and by men to promote fertility and cure impotency. Medicinal: Mandrake is most often combined with other herbs and is very toxic - do not use this herb without the proper guidance from a professional; pregnant women should not use this herb at all! In very small doses it can be used to treat skin problems, digestion, and chronic liver diseases.

Magickal: Marjoram is usually added to love charms, and a bit in each room will aid in protection of the home. Marjoram raises the spirits of those who are depressed or grieving. Medicinal: Marjoram is useful for treating asthma and coughs, and is often used with other herbs to cure headaches.

Magickal: Meadowsweet is used in love spells, and blossoms placed in the home will bring peace and tranquillity to those who live there. Medicinal: Meadowsweet is used to treat headaches, fever, arthritis, rheumatism, menstrual cramps, and flu. Use it in place of aspirin, or white willow.

Magickal: An infusion made of Mugwort is used to cleanse crystals and scrying mirrors or as an incense to aid divination; placed beneath your pillow it can aid astral travel. When carried it is said to prevent strokes. Medicinal: Mugwort, especially combined with cramp bark, is used to help induce menses and therefore should not be used by pregnant women. Fresh juice form the plant is used to treat poison ivy.

Magickal: Mullein can be used as a substitute for "grave dust", and is worn to give courage. The leaves are also carried to prevent animal attacks and accidents when in the wilderness. In a sleeping pillow it will guard against nightmares. Medicinal: Mullein is a narcotic herb that is not addictive or poisonous. It is used as a pain killer and to bring on sleep. It loosens mucous, making it useful for treating lung ailments.

Magickal: Myrrh is a standard magickal herb that should be included in everyone's tools. Burn Myrrh to purify, protect, and to bless and consecrate ritual tools. Medicinal: Myrrh is a powerful antiseptic, second only to Echinacea. It is a strong cleaning and healing agent, soothing the body and speeding the healing process. It is often used with goldenseal. It is most often used in mouthwashes, gargles, and toothpastes for preventing gum disease.

Magickal: Neem is a traditional Indian herb whose leaves were traditionally strewn on the floor of temples at weddings, to purify and bless the area and the couple, and the air was fanned with Neem branches during the ceremony. The bark was burned to make a red ash for religious decoration of the body in adulthood. Neem branches were used to cover the body at death, and the wood used to burn the funeral pyre. Neem is considered to be the Goddess Neemari Devi. Medicinal: Neem, known as "the village pharmacy" in India, has been used for at least 4000 years, and all parts of the plant are used. Neem has been used to treat just about everything, from wounds and burns to sexually transmitted diseases, as well as AIDS, cancer, diabetes, allergies, and as birth control for both men and women. Neem should not be used by internally by pregnant women. Neem should not be used for more than two weeks at a time - a schedule of two weeks on, one week off, is usual for chronic ailments. It is anti-bacterial, anti- viral, anti-septic, and strengthens the body's overall immune responses.

Magickal: Burn Nettle during ceremonies for exorcism, and sprinkle it around a room for protection. Used in a poppet and returned to the sender of a curse or a hex will end the negativity. Nettles gathered before sunrise and fed to cattle is said to drive out evil spirits. Medicinal: Nettle can be used for treating high blood pressure, gout, PMS, rheumatism, and ending diarrhoea, scurvy, liver and prostate problems. Externally it is used as a compress to treat neuralgia and arthritis. It is a very high source of digestible iron and is used to treat anaemia, fatigue, oedema, menstrual difficulties, and eczema. Use an infusion of Nettle as a hair rinse to treat dandruff and to stimulate hair growth.

Magickal: Nutmeg is said to help with clairvoyance, and to ward off rheumatism. It is included in prosperity mixtures, and whole Nutmegs are often carried as good luck charms. Medicinal: A small amount of nutmeg, about the size of a pea, can be taken once daily over a long period (6 months to a year) to relieve chronic nervous problems, as well as heart problems stemming from poor circulation. Added to milk, and baked fruits and desserts, it aids in digestion, and relieves nausea. Large doses can be poisonous and hallucinogenic. An overdose of Nutmeg may cause miscarriage for pregnant women.

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