Lavender is a well known and versatile herb. Its scent invokes calmness, relaxation, and peace. This herb is great for cleansing, clearing, and protection. It helps to remove blockages in your chakras and auric field. In Spain, lavender was placed on church floors to ward off evil. In England, Queen Elizabeth placed lavender on the palace floors as a symbol of purity. She also drank lavender tea for headaches. In Ancient Egypt lavender was used in rituals while embalming the deceased. During the Middle Ages, it was believed if you sprinkled lavender water over your lovers head it would keep them faithful. They also washed their clothes with lavender to protect against illness. Lavender not only helps promote restful sleep, it also wards off nightmares. Because of its calming effect and its ability to open the crown chakra, it is a great aid for meditation and divination.
Lavenders health benefits are just as wide ranging as its metaphysical uses. It is known to aid in reducing stress, anxiety, and depression. It's antibacterial and antiseptic, so the people in the Middle Ages were on to something when they used it to ward off illness! Due to its antiseptic and anti inflammatory properties, it is great at soothing sore muscles and healing burns. Lavender is also great for tension headaches because of its relaxing affect. It also helps in reducing fine lines and blemishes of the skin. In Ancient Greece, it was added to communal baths because they believed it helped beautify their skin. Again, our Ancestors were on to something!
Mugwort is named after the Greek Goddess Artemis. She is a Goddess of the moon, the wild hunt, wilderness, chastity, and child birth. She is known as a protector of young women. Mugwort is also known as Cronewort. Like a grandmother, this ancient herb is full of wisdom and has a strong connection to the spirit realm. It is the go to herb for lucid dreaming, astral projection, and dream recall. It helps calm the nerves and stimulate the third eye for meditation and divination. This herb is closely tied to the New Moon. In Ancient Norse culture, mugwort was burned before and after rituals for clearing and protection. It is one of the sacred herbs in Odin's Nine Herb Charm.
Mugwort has a wide variety of health benefits. Metaphysically, it is tied to the moon and women. Likewise this herb is great for promoting menstrual flow, cramping, hot flashes, and easing labor pains. It is also great for gastrointestinal complaints, such as gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, and colic. Mugwort is also a powerful nervine, calming anxiety, depression, and insomnia.
Health Benefits- Jasmine is a natural remedy for depression, anxiety, stress and insomnia. It’s also great for digestive health because it is rich in antioxidants that interact with gastrointestinal enzymes to facilitate better nutrient absorption and promote healthy bowel function. It functions to promote the growth of good bacteria in the gut and has been found to eliminate harmful bacteria. Jasmine is also a natural aphrodisiac and is known to help regulate hormones and improve PMS symptoms. It is not recommended for use in pregnant women because it may induce contractions.
Metaphyical Use- Jasmine is known as the “Queen of the Flowers”. In the symbolism of flowers, Jasmine represents purity, simplicity, modesty and strength. It is used for love, friendship, lunar magic, and divination. Jasmine’s heady fragrance evokes feelings of passion. It’s a great addition to workings involving love. Its calming and sensuous properties affect the mind, stirring sensuality and opening partners up to the divine beauty all around. Jasmine is also the perfect tool to use in rituals involving prophecy and predictions. Spiritual workers and root doctors rely on the scent to enhance their relaxation and improve the clarity of their visions. Jasmine by your pillow helps with inducing prophetic dreams. It helps open the crown chakra for meditation and divination.
Rosemary is one of my most used herbs. It truly is a jack of all trades! This herb is rich in ancient lore. An old saying goes “Where Rosemary flourishes, the Woman rules.” It is also recommended to plant by your front door for protection. Christian lore says that rosemary will grow for 33 years until it reaches the hight of Christ, then it will grow no more. This incredible herb is great for clearing, protection, and drawing in positive energy. It is associated with Aphrodite and Mother Mary. It is used to draw love and promote fidelity. Rosemary is great to use for memory and focus, making it great for students or rituals to stay on track. It helps with dream recall and dispelling nightmares. Rosemary is also an herb of remembrance, used to honor our ancestors and crossed over loved ones.
Rosemary is full of health benefits. It is antibacterial, antiviral, anti fungal, and full of antioxidants. It is great at enhancing memory and focus when ingested or used in aroma therapy. Studies have shown it to support brain health by preventing the death of brain cells. It even helps improve your mood and reduce stress and anxiety. It helps improve blood circulation and lower blood sugar levels. Plus it's anti inflammatory to boot! Rosemary is also known to help promote hair growth.
Butcher's Broom was traditionally made into brooms to clean butcher blocks, hence the name. They believed it cleared away any negative spirits after processing animals. Later it was discovered the plant was also antibacterial, helping to keep their butcher blocks clean. This herb is powerful for protection. If sprinkled around your home or added to a floor wash, it is said to protect your home from hatred and ill-wishes. When burned it is known to have a calming affect on the people and animals in the home. It is great to fortify personal boundaries and for banishing unwanted energies or entities.
Medicinally, butchers broom is usually made into a decoction using the roots. It is rich in flavonoids, ruscogenen and neoruscogenin. It is antibacterial and anti inflammatory. Butcher's broom is great for blood circulation and is used in the treatment for varicose veins, edema, and hemorrhoids. Traditionally it has been used as a diuretic and laxative.
Cedar has been used for spiritual purification and protection for thousands of years. Churches, Temples, coffins, and boats frequently were built from cedar wood. Some would say this is because cedar is known for its durability. It is naturally insect repellent, water resistant, and decay resistant. There are several Native American legends that tell of a powerful spirit that lives in the cedar tree that will protect the people. Native Americans also burned cedar as a smudge for protection, banishing, and purification for those who had recent contact with the dead.
The Western Red Cedar is extremely healing. It's anti inflammatory properties make it a great remedy for arthritis. It is also used for cough medicine, tuberculosis and fevers. Cedar infused into a salve makes a great anti-fungal for skin and nail fungus. It is an immune booster and remedy for colds and the flu.
Roses are a timeless symbol of love. Associated with the Goddesses Venus, Isis, Freya, and Aphrodite, they also symbolize beauty, romance, and passion. Pink and pale colored roses are a symbol for friendship. Yellow roses are a symbol of joy. White roses symbolize purity and love. Roses are also used for protection, just think of their thorny stems.
Rose hips in particular are packed with vitamin c, making them a great immune booster. Rose hip oil works wonders for skin, having anti aging effects and soothing irritation. Roses are also antibacterial and are a remedy for coughs, colds, and upset stomachs.
Cypress is associated with Hecate, Hades, Apollo, and Artemis. It has long been associated with grief, mourning, and the underworld. In Greek mythology, Cyparissus had a pet deer that he loved deeply. One day while he was out hunting he killed a deer with his javelin only to discover that he had killed his own beloved pet. Apollo took pity on him and transformed him into the Cypress tree. Sacrifices made to Hecate and Hades were often made under a cypress tree. Garlands of cypress were placed about homes to indicate that those within were in mourning. Funeral pyres and coffins were frequently made from cypress. It is also a symbol of longevity and eternity and was carried to promote a long life. This protective herb is great to work with during Samhain to honor ancestors and deceased loved ones.
Cypress is anti inflammatory and great for easing sore muscles, joint pain, and cramps. It is also antibacterial and aids in wound healing. This astringent plant is great for toning skin and clearing up acne. It promotes blood circulation. Cypress is great for easing tension and anxiety when used in aromatherapy.
Palo Santo is known as "Holy Wood". This South American tree has been the center of controversy regarding its status as endangered. There are two types of Palo Santo trees. The Bursera Graveolens, which is not endangered and is harvested for smudging and medicinal purposes. The Bulnesia Sarmientoi was listed as endangered due to logging and ranching, but was removed from the endangered list in 2021. There are strict laws for harvesting this Shamanic Holy wood. It must die naturally and be left to cure on the forest floor. During this process, the essential oils develop within the wood. Interestingly, this chemistry does not occur in wood that has been cut and there is nearly no scent within the cut wood. It is believed that there are spirits within the Palo Santo tree that cause this reaction and that they stay within the wood long after the tree has died. Another special characteristic about Palo Santo is that there are both male and female trees. Female trees have darker colored wood and male trees, which are more rare, have a light, almost white, colored wood. Palo Santo is known to drive out negative energy and entities. It is purifying and uplifting, drawing in calming and loving energies. It is historically burned to ward off illness.
Palo Santo is rich in limonene, which works as an insect repellant and when inhaled acts as an analgesic. Inhaling limonene can ease pain, headaches, and reduce stress and anxiety. In a tea, it is used as a digestive aid. It is full of antioxidants and terpenes, giving it cancer fighting properties. It improves blood circulation and boosts the immune system, helping it fight off colds and flus.
Bayberry is also called Wax Berry, Wax Myrtle, and Candle Berry. During colonial times, it was frequently used to make candles because it didn't become rancid like lard. Bayberry candles are traditionally burned on Christmas Eve and the New Year to invite in a prosperous and blessed New Year. There is an old saying, "A bayberry candle burned to the socket brings joy to the heart and gold to the pocket." Native Americans also used Bayberry to protect against the dead.
While Bayberry berries are used for wax in candle making, the root bark can be used medicinally. Although it must be used sparingly, as too much causes vomiting. It is astringent and drying, making it a good remedy for colds and flus. It has anti parasitic qualities and has been used to ease colitis and diarrhea.
Mistletoe has long been associated with Yule / Christmas. The Druids saw it as a sacred plant of the Sun. It was associated with the Mighty Oak it grew on, a chieftain in the Celtic Ogham. They viewed it as a symbol if immortality because it lived throughout the winter. In Norse lore it is a symbol of love, friendship, and fertility. Frigg, the Goddess of Home and Hearth, Motherhood and Childbirth and the wife of Odin was also known for her gift of prophesy. Though, she was known to never tell others of the visions she received. One night she had a vision of her son Baldr, the God of Light, being killed. Baldr was loved by all but Frigg was not about to take any chances. So she asked every living creature and plant to promise not to harm Baldr. While she was doing this she spotted a small, frail mistletoe. She thought it so harmless that she didn't bother asking it not to harm her son. Unfortunately, Loki, the God of Mischief, was spying. Satisfied with herself, Frigg called a huge gathering and challenged everyone to attempt to kill Baldr. Stones, arrows, and blades were thrown at him but they all bounced off, leaving him unharmed. Sly Loki noticed Hodr, the Blind God and Baldr's brother, not partaking in the games. When he asked Hodr why he wasn't playing Hodr replied because he cannot see were Baldr stands. So Loki offered to help point his arrow in Baldr's direction, but before he did so, he dressed Hodr's arrow with mistletoe. When the mistletoe laced arrow hit Baldr, he fell and died. It was said the entire world wept at his loss and Odin begged Hel to allow Baldr to come back, yet she refused. Frigg then announced mistletoe would now be known as a plant of love and light all all who pass under it would kiss.
All parts of the Mistletoe plant are toxic. Although, Ancient Druids viewed it as a heal all. It has been used to treat hypertension and circulatory issues. It is also known to help stimulate menstruation and contractions to induce childbirth. Due to toxicity, it is not recommended for use.