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Copyright ) 1999 Volute, All Rights Reserved.


Thirteen Herbs For a Witch's Cupboard


Armed with these thirteen herbs, you will easily be able to handle most situations

that arise, from dis-ease to magickal needs. This will give you a nice foundation to

build on, or it can stand alone as a fully functional Witch's pharmacopoeia or

apothecary. Following in the tradition of permaculture, each herb has been

selected for its multi-faceted uses. They can each be used medicinally and

magickally; they can all be grown easily; and many of them can be used in cooking.

Each herb description will be expanded as time permits.


The "Add-ons" at the end of the list of thirteen herbs are to help you develop your

herbal in specific areas. A sampling of particularly helpful herbs in specific areas

are listed such as those for healers, general magickal practitioners, love spell

workers, etc.


X Please Read the Disclaimer before you utilize any of this information.


The Thirteen Herbs


1) Comfrey Symphytum officinale


Alternate names: knitbone, knitback, black wort, consound, consolida, bruisewort,

slippery root, wallwort, boneset, miracle herb, healing herb, gum plant, ass ear,

yalluc (Saxon) The botanical name, Symphytum, means "grown together". The name

comfrey might be from the Latin conferva "knitting together".


Habitat and Growth: Member of the Forget-me-not and Borage covens,

Boraginacea. Comfrey has deep tap roots like huge carrots. This allows it to live in

most soils, as it will seek out the water and nutrients needed. Deep water is

preferred as it is fairly common throughout England and is native to Europe and

parts of Asia. Try to plant in a wet spot, a low spot, or a place with a high water

table if possible. She also likes partial shade.


Magickal Attributes: All parts used. Healing. Protective in the loving ways of a

mother. Used for money spells, especially because of its prolific nature and deep

emerald green leaf color. Used for safety during travel and has many "grounding"

qualities, especially of the root. Comfrey is associated with the feminine, Saturn,

and Water.


Physical Attributes: Roots and Leaves used. Comfrey contains a nitrogenous

crystalline substance known as allantoin (from 0.6 to 0.8 percent). This substance

has the ability to promote cell growth. As you can see from the alternate names,

healing is comfrey's strongest talent. Allantoin is prescribed in medicines to aid in

knitting bones back together, or accelerated healing of deep cuts and puncture

wounds. It is also used in ointments for skin problems and psoriasis. This substance

has come under attack in recent years. There is some questionable evidence that it

may cause cancer or liver damage if taken internally over an extended period of

time. The FDA announced December 1995 that it may have "serious adverse



Whether you believe that this is a conspiracy by the American Medical Association

to again take power away from 'normal' people and natural healers, and put in into

the hands of over paid physicians, OR whether you believe that it is better to be

safe than sorry, it is best to never use any herb over a long period of time.

Everything must be kept in balance, and herbal remedies are no exception. This

could also mean taking regular breaks from any herbal supplements or teas and if

you prefer, use poultices and washes of comfrey instead. These are quite effective

for healing.


Comfrey also contains large amounts of a mucilage (especially the root), similar to

marshmallow. It will thicken potions, and is soothing when applied to inflammations

and sore throats. This mucilage also makes it easy to use the herb in compresses,

as the paste sticks together. Comfrey also contains tannins and starch. It is highly

nutritious and is used as fodder for livestock (it contains 35% protein).


My chickens love it, especially the flowers. It is an instant cure for soft shells and

makes egg yolks deep yellow-orange. This color reflects healthy chickens and

increased vitamin content in the eggs. My rabbits love the leaves, and it has helped

them with bowel problems, sore or bleeding nipples from lactating, and reduces

their consumption of highly processed, expensive, non-organic rabbit pellets. (no, I

don't kill the bunnies and chicks for food, see the chicken page for info on that)


2) German Chamomile Matricaria chamomilla

or Roman Chamomile Anthemis nobilis


Choose either "German" or "Roman" by looking over the information for each.


Alternate names for German Chamomile: Wild chamomile, camomile, Hungarian


Alternate names for Roman Chamomile: Maythen (Saxon), Whig Plant, Manzanilla

(Spanish for a little apple), Kamai melon (Greek for on the ground, and an apple),

camomyle, ground apple, Heermannchen (German, they also regarded it commonly

as "Alles zu vertraut" meaning completely trustworthy.) chamaimelon


Habitat and Growth: This sun loving flower needs fertile and well drained soil. The

best locations for both varieties in my garden have eastern or south-eastern

exposure to the sun and part shade in the afternoon. She seems to enjoy greeting

the sun every morning by lifting her petals up to catch his rays.


Magickal attributes: Scott Cunningham lists this herb as masculine, and there is a

tradition for this. Early Teutonic tribes dedicated it to their sun-God as did the

Egyptians. However, because of the energy of the plant, and because of its

medicinal uses, it seems to be feminine in some ways. Either way, there is a good

balance here between masculine and feminine energies. Truly with chamomile, earth

meets sun and sky.


Physical attributes: You may find it interesting that true essential oil of chamomile

is blue! If you are purchasing essential oils and are presented with yellow

chamomile oil, it is either diluted with a carrier oil, has oxidized and aged to

yellow, or is an artificial interloper. More to come...


3) Red Raspberry Rubus idaeus


Alternate names: Hindberry, Hindbeer (Saxon), Hindbur (German)


Habitat and Growth: In the wild, they like to grow in ditches or waste areas such

as fence rows. Think of an area that would receive at least 4-6 hours of sunlight

each day and would not dry out very frequently. Raspberries come in all varieties

now so check with your local nursery or a dependable mail order catalogy to find

one that would like to live where you do. They are beautiful and easy to grow,

especially if pruned and mulched well.


Magickal attributes: Protective in a 'mothering' way.


Physical attributes: Great for diarrhea, general nutrition, pregnant and lactating

women. Often recommended for pregnant women because it is said to make the

process of childbirth easier and to strengthen the uterus. It is a good (and proven)

antispasmodic and eases painful menstruation. A strong tea will soothe cold



This rest of this section may take some time to complete. For now, here are the

rest of the herbs that will be explained in detail as soon as possible.


4) Fennel Foeniculum vulgare Lavendar


5) Lavendula officinale or vera (English Lavender) spica and latifolia (Spike

Lavender) stoechas (French Lavender)


6) Garlic Allium sativum and others


7) Wormwood Artemisia absinthium


8) Rose Rosa gallica if available, resources to come, or other Roses


9) Catnip


10) Rosemary


11) Capsicum species, especially habanero, cayenne, purira, jalapeno, etc.


12) Ginger Zingiber officinalis


13) Peppermint




Additional Materials Recommended for the General Practitioner: Lemon Balm, Bee

Balm, Elderberry, Sagebrush, horseradish


Additional Materials Recommended for the Healer: Papaver somniferum where

available/legal X, Echinacea, Thyme, Hyssop Hyssopus officinalis, Sage, Cranberry,

White Willow Bark, Cannabis Sativa or Indica (or hybrids) where available/legal X,

Eucalyptus Eucalyptus globulus


Additional Materials Recommended for the Love Magick Worker: Tonka Bean X,

Apple Seeds, Vanilla Bean, Patchouli, Dragon's Blood, Rose


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