The Magic of Herbs

Herbs, herbs everywhere. When it comes to cooking, this fiction writer is no stranger to using herbs. Rosemary and Thyme happen to be my two favorite herbs to cook with. But when I was goofing around on the Internet (a phenomenon that happens often) I stumbled upon an Internet site that sold herbal mixes for love potions.  It was strange to me that the ingredients listed looked like something I would season a chicken with.  But then I got to thinking (and yes, it made my head hurt), what are some other magical uses for herbs?

So I began writing down information collected from various websites and found that many herbs have more than one use.  This prompted me to set up an excel spreadsheet (an interesting challenge because I know nothing of excel or how to use it) so that I could organize these herbs.  And, I did all this for this blog post so that my faithful readers (all four of them) and any future readers would find this information useful.  I did not list every herb I found (your welcome), but at the end of this blog I’ve listed all the websites I used in my research which include a vast amount of herbs I didn’t go into here. Are you ready?  Here we go!

For Protection Use:

Lavender, Rosemary, Sage, Bay Leaves, Basil, Elder Flowers, Devil’s Shoe Strings, Spanish Moss, Ash, Blackberry, Fennel, Hawthorne, Hazel Twigs, Holly, or Marigold

For Money Use:

Mint, Basil, Sage and Mugwort

For Love Use:

Rosebuds, Rosemary or Basil

For Enhancing Psychic Powers Use:

Thyme, Bay Leaves, Bay Laurel, Celery Seed, Coltsfoot, Mugwort, Dandelion Root or Flaxseed

For Healing Use:

Thyme, Bay Leaves, Rosemary, or Rosebuds 
                                                                                      

Here are a list of websites where I found the above information:

www.alizons-psychic-secrets.com/herbs
http://magicalwitchspells.com/witchcraft.spells
http://ezinearticles.com/?Creating-and-Casting-Spells&id=2301404
http://wicca-witchces-spells-rituals.com/herbs
http://ringhistorian.hubpages.com
http://wingsforthespirit.com
http://www.moonsmuses.com/magicgarden.html
http://witcheslore.com/bookofshadows/herbology/plant-and-herb-magic-2/1174/

What I found most interesting from all this was some of the names of herbs I encountered.

For example:

Devil’s Shoestring.  What, I wondered, is the origin of the name, devils shoestring.  Well, according to Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary. Devil’s Shoestring refers to the dried leaves and stems of catgut.  Okay?  Not only did that query not answer my question but now I’m left with another one. What in the heck is catgut? So,  I tried again.

I queried Catgut and according to Wikipedia catgut is a type of cord that is made from a natural fiber found in animal intestines.  Somehow I don’t think that’s the same thing as what’s in Devil’s Shoestring.

So I did another query for Devil’s Shoestring.  And this is what I found:

According to the Teen Witch website: Devil’s shoestring is the common name for the plant species, Vibumum alnifolium.  Lucky Mojo’s website confirms this and goes on to say that Devil’s shoestring is a member of the honeysuckle family.  Finally, a name I recognize!!!

According to Lucky Mojo, Native American’s believed this plant could ward off the devil (I’m guessing that’s where the common name came from).  Have no fear, if you want to ward off the devil and don’t have Devil’s shoestring, according to the Teen Witch website, Rosemary makes a fine substitution.

Sigh.  That was a hell of a lot of work to do just to figure out the origin of an herb name.  It must be nice to sit around all day long and think of weird names for plants.  I’d really like a job where I can lounge around and make stuff up.  Oh, wait, I just remembered, I already have that job. I’m a fiction writer.

Happy Tuesday Everyone!

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