There are herbs for every holiday and Halloween is no different. The uses might not be the same as everyday applications, but the herbs are still equally as important. This article is in response to a special request from my lady friends at the "Women’s Weekend Witches Society" (WWWS).
They asked me to write about a few of their favorite herbs used in potions, spells and remedies. I know the whole list of herbs used, but I asked the group to limit the request to only the most important ones most non-Wiccan folks might use. Well, when you get a bunch of Wicca women together this time of year, it can get pretty exciting. I managed to get their short list, but there’s not enough space to tell you about them all. I’ll run down a few and try to work in the uses for some of the herbs.
I must warn you, in all seriousness, consult a professional before using any of these herbs for any reason. Some of them can be deadly!
Allspice (Pimenta dioica), nutmeg (Myristica fragrans), cinnamon (Cinnamomum sp.) and patchouli (Pogostemon cablin) are traditionally used as scents or perfumes.
Broom (Genista monspessu-lana), on the other hand, has several uses. Having a strong scent, broom, I am so told, is used to tame wolves and horses.
I always enjoy visiting their meetings because the women smell like patchouli and their homes all have the spicy mystical scent of New Orleans in the wintertime.
Speaking of strong scents…. These witchy women really get me going sometimes. They use a powder made from the root of asafetida (Ferula assafoetida) to keep children and other mortals away while they work their magic or concoct potions. Raw asafetida has a most unpleasant odor when in its fresh state, but when infused in cooking oils, it has a more mellow scent and adds a pleasant flavor to soups and salads.
Mugwort or wormwood (Artemisia vulgaris) has many medicinal as well as spiritual uses.
Two very dangerous herbs in the Solanaceae family (same as potatoes and tomatoes) are deadly nightshade (Atropa belladonna) and mandrake (Mandragora sp.). The deadly nightshade is used to make flying ointment which is put on the witches’ brooms to help them fly.
Finally, let me mention a few herbal remedies some of you may want to employ.
If you’re having trouble sleeping: Make a tea using chamomile, peppermint and lavender. Sweeten it with local honey. It makes a soothing nighttime beverage.
To ward off evil spirits: Make a garland of fennel and garlic to hang on your door.
Sore feet from walking the kids around the neighborhood: Line sneakers with Lamb’s Ear.
Sore throat from screaming: Make a tea from mullein and local honey.
Eat too much Halloween candy? Make a tea using dill, fennel and catnip.
Enjoy the Holiday season.
Thanks for reading!
Be sure to find me on Facebook at: "Herb Farmer-The Herb Farm."