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Archiver > FOLKLORE > 1999-05 > 0925684531


From: Kath <>
Subject: [FOLKLORE-L] cont'd Celtic Herbs
Date: Sun, 02 May 1999 15:35:31 -0700


Marigold

Latin:
Chrysanthemum Segetum
Other Names:
Corn Marigold, Mary Gowles, Bigold, Buddle, Boodle, Ruddles,
Yellow Ox-eye

Medicinal Uses:
As a treatment for night sweats, fever, spasms, contusions,
wounds, simple sores and ulcers, chronic vomiting,
suppurative discharges and drainings, burns, and all
breaches of the skin surface.

Folklore:
The herb was used to make protective wreaths or magical
hoops.
Marigold is one of the herbs believed to strip a witch of
her will.

Other Uses:
Milkmaids churned marigold petals with their butter to
colour it.

Tested Properties:
Astringent, Aromatic.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Milkwort

Irish Gaelic: Gluinech

Medicinal Uses:
Employed against warts.

Folklore:
The herb was used to make protective wreaths or magical
hoops.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~`
Mistletoe

Latin: Loranthus Viscum
Other Names:
Mistilton, All-heal, Vogelleim, Gui, Thunder-beson, Herbe de
la Croix, Devil's fuge, Spectre's Wand

Medicinal Uses:
The dried young twigs and leaves are the principal medicinal
components, employed against epilepsy, convulsions, and
giddiness. It was thought to lessen reflex irritability and
provide a tonic for the heart (as it strengthens the
heartbeat). The berries, when chewed, provide immediate
relief from stitches, and are still used for this by country
folk.

Folklore:
Mistletoe is an evergreen parasite that grows on deciduous
trees; the plant most favoured by the druids attached itself
to the Oak (it was said that the mistletoe was the visible
soul of the Oak), and Oaks sporting mistletoe are most
sacred. Both its parasitic nature, and its bright colouring
in winter, were seen as evidence of its magical nature. It
was hung in houses for protection, and credited with
endowing fertility to all animals. Mistletoe was harvested
in a ritual fashion - those who meddled with it without
respect were said to be struck blind in one eye, or lame in
one leg, or to shortly suffer terrible injury to a limb.
Mistletoe is never to be seen in modern churches, with the
exception of a sculpted rendering of mistletoe in a tomb in
Bristol Cathedral.
Rites which involve holding a branch of mistletoe are
believed to compell a spectre to appear and speak.

Other Uses:
A bird-lime is made from the viscin. Thrushes are attracted
to mistletoe and are largely responsible for disseminating
the parasitic plant.

Tested Properties: Mucinaginous, Astringent, Aromatic,
Bitter.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Mistletoe

Latin: Loranthus Viscum
Other Names:
Mistilton, All-heal, Vogelleim, Gui, Thunder-beson, Herbe de
la Croix, Devil's fuge, Spectre's Wand

Medicinal Uses:
The dried young twigs and leaves are the principal medicinal
components, employed against epilepsy, convulsions, and
giddiness. It was thought to lessen reflex irritability and
provide a tonic for the heart (as it strengthens the
heartbeat). The berries, when chewed, provide immediate
relief from stitches, and are still used for this by country
folk.

Folklore:
Mistletoe is an evergreen parasite that grows on deciduous
trees; the plant most favoured by the druids attached itself
to the Oak (it was said that the mistletoe was the visible
soul of the Oak), and Oaks sporting mistletoe are most
sacred. Both its parasitic nature, and its bright colouring
in winter, were seen as evidence of its magical nature. It
was hung in houses for protection, and credited with
endowing fertility to all animals. Mistletoe was harvested
in a ritual fashion - those who meddled with it without
respect were said to be struck blind in one eye, or lame in
one leg, or to shortly suffer terrible injury to a limb.
Mistletoe is never to be seen in modern churches, with the
exception of a sculpted rendering of mistletoe in a tomb in
Bristol Cathedral.
Rites which involve holding a branch of mistletoe are
believed to compell a spectre to appear and speak.

Other Uses:
A bird-lime is made from the viscin. Thrushes are attracted
to mistletoe and are largely responsible for disseminating
the parasitic plant.

Tested Properties:
Mucinaginous, Astringent, Aromatic, Bitter.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Pennywort
Irish Gaelic:
Corn'an Caisil, Lus Na Pingine

Medicinal Uses:
Brewed into a medicinal tea
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Purple Loosestrife
Irish Gaelic:
Lus na S'iochana, Earball Cait'in or Cr'eachtach

Medicinal Uses:
Medicinal tonics.

Folklore:
To banish discord in a house.

Other Uses:
Used for dyeing.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~`

Purple Orchis

Scottish Gaelic:
Lus An Talaidh
Other Names:
Herb of Enticement (in Scotland), Satyrion, Gethsemane, Long
Purples, Dead Men's Fingers, Cain-and-Abel, Ram's Horns,
Crake Feet, Keat Legs, Neat Legs

Medicinal Uses:
Thought to renew exhausted vigour and vitality; used to
allay hunger and to treat chronic diarrhea.

Folklore:
Considered to be a very magically endowed plant; used widely
in love charms. The plant has two roots (one large, one
small)
which were seen to represent a man and a woman. These roots
were used in divining the identity of a future spouse in at
least two ways. In the first; with the thought of someone
in your mind you picked the appropriate root before sunrise
while facing south, then if the root sank when placed
(immediately) in spring water the person in mind would
indeed become your spouse. In the second divinatory method
the root was ground up and placed under the pillow to bring
dreams of your future mate.

Other Uses:
A starchy product called Salep or Saloop was made from the
tubers and commonly drunk before the introduction of tea or
coffee.

Tested Properties:
Nutritive, Aromatic, Mucilaginous.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Plantain
Latin:
Greater Plantain Plantago major, Ribwort Plantain Plantago
lanceolata, and Water Plantain Alisma plantago.
Irish Gaelic:
Cop'og Ph'adraig
Scottish Gaelic:
Slanlus
Other Names:
Greater Plantain; Waybred, Waybread, Waybroad. Ribwort
Plantain; Ribgrass, Soldiers, Cocks-and-hens, Lamb's Tongue,
Hard-Heads, Fighting Cocks, Devil's Head. Water Plantain;
Greater Thrumwort. Known in Scotland as the Healing Plant

Medicinal Uses:
Applied externally for broken shins, toothache, and sores of
every kind. Taken internally for tubercular consumption,
fevers of the springtime, hemorrhages, bedwetting in
children, piles, vernal ague, swollen legs with dropsy, and
hydrophobia.

Folklore:
Used in divination (known in modern times to induce vivid,
meaningful dreams when brewed in a tea); if hung around the
neck of a child it would prevent abduction by the Sidhe.
Toads were thought to cure themselves by eating the leaves.

Other Uses:
The expressed oil of the seeds (a favourite food of birds)
is used in place of linseed oil; the root is sweet and has
great culinary use as a starchy vegetable.

Tested Properties:
Aromatic, Astringent, Bitter, Nutritive. Antiseptic and
expecorant.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Ragwort
Latin: Senecio Jacoboea

Irish Gaelic: Buachal'an Bu'i
Other Names:
St. James' Wort, Canker Wort, Flea Wort, Seggrum, Jacoby,
Yellow-top, Stagger Wort, Stammer Wort, Fairies' Horse

Medicinal Uses:
Used externally for sciatica and wasting disease; taken
internally it is credited with being a tonic. Thought to
cure the staggers in horses; used externally to cure fresh
cut young bulls.

Folklore:
In Ireland this plant is dedicated to the fairies, they are
supposed to gallop about on the blossoms at midnight.

Tested Properties: Astringent. Contains senecin.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~`

Ribgrass
Scottish Gaelic: Slanugad

Medicinal Uses:
Thought to purge the body of any lumps.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Rowan
Latin: Aucuparia
Other Names:
Mountain Ash, Quicken Tree, Quick Beam, Wiggen, Witcher

Medicinal Uses:
The unripe fruit and bark are used to check diarrhoea when
taken internally; externally they soothe the throat and
bowel in the form of lotions or poultices.

Folklore:
The tree is believed to avert the evil eye. Crosses made of
the branches and tied with red thread were worn on the
clothing of Highland men; Highland women wore necklaces of
the berries strung with red thread (both charms were for for
protection).
Mystical secrets were believed to have been carved
exclusively upon this tree in the British Isles and in
Scandanavia. Planted at the door of a house the Rowan
afforded protection; twigs were also placed over the byre
door. This was a tree often beloved of the Sidhe (although
the location of a tree was important to the Sidhe folk; it
had to be growing within a rath or fairy ring, in a rocky
field of rough grass, or by a large boulder or spring);
anyone who harmed, or even disturbed a tree beloved of the
Sidhe risked their wrath (which often came in the form of
illness).

Other Uses:
The berries of the tree are eaten voraciously by birds, and
are used to bait bird-snares. The berries make a delicious
drink and jam.

Tested Properties:
Nutritive, Bitter, Astringent. The fruit contains malic and
citric acid when ripe. The leaves contain prussic acid and
are poisonous.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Scarlet Pimpernel
Latin: Anagallis Arvensis
Irish Gaelic: Rinn Ruisc, Falcaire Fi'an, Seamair Mhuire
Other Names: Burnet

Medicinal Uses:
Used for obstructions of the liver and spleen, melancholy
and asociated mental disease, hydrophobia, epilepsy, urinary
irritability, pulmonary consumption (in its early stages),
and rheumatism.

Folklore:
Used recreationally and possibly magically for its narcotic
properties; used magically to imbue second sight and/or
hearing in a person. It's usefulness in treating mental
disease may indicate that it was formerly used as a remedy
for enchantments.

Tested Properties: Astringent, Bitter.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Self-Heal
Latin:
Selfheal is a name given to several hedge plants, including
Wood Sanicle Sanicula Europoeia, Prunella/Brownwort/Brunella
Prunella Vulgaris, Bugle/Middle Comfrey Ajuga reptans and
Ladies' Mantle Alchemilla.

Irish Gaelic: Tae Na Ngarraithe, Du'ain'in An Tseanchais
Welsh: Lluellin

Medicinal Uses:
Often seen as a cure-all, but used specifically for internal
bleeding, sore throat (with swolen glands), cuts and wounds,
dysentric diarrhea, and stones in the bladder. Considered
soothing and comforting.

Other Uses:
Leaves were placed under the pillow to promote quiet sleep.

Tested Properties: Astrinent, Aromatic.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Speedwell

Latin:
Polychresta Herba Veronica
Irish Gaelic:
Seamar Chr'e
Other Names:
Farewell, Goodbye, Forget-me-not (ancient), Birds' Eyes,
Blue Eyes, Strike Fires, Mammy Die, Fluellin, Cat's Eye, the
Paul's Bettony, Prize of Honour

Medicinal Uses:
Used for scabby eruptions, gout, leprosy, coughs, asthma,
catarrhs, pulmonary consumption, to stimulte the kidneys, to
promote perspiration and reduce feverishness, against
itching, and in the longterm to overcome sterility.
Folklore:
The herb was sewn into the garments as a protective charm,
although there is an isolated folk belief that if the herb
is brought into a family the mother will die within a year.

Tested Properties:
Astringent, Bitter.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Sphagnum
Irish Gaelic:
Sus'an

Medicinal Uses:
Used for dressing wounds.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

St. John's Wort
Latin:
Hypericum Perforatum
Irish Gaelic:
Luibh Eoin Baiste
Other Names:
The Devil's Scourge, The Grace of God, The Lord God's Wonder
Plant, Witch's Herb, Amber, Hundred-Holes, Terrestrial Sun

Medicinal Uses:
Used for bedwetting in children, insanity, hypochondria,
bleeding, wounds, bruises, catarrhs, injuries of the spinal
cord and nervous system, to avert sickness in children,
baldness, bed-sores, ulcers, lockjaw, sciatica, broken
shins, scabbed legs, to ward off fever. Employed as a
sedative and pain reliever.

Folklore:
The sap is red and resembles blood. If anyone trod on the
plant after sunset a fairy-house would appear and carry them
about.
Used on Midsummer, when picked under certain conditions and
while uttering certain words, for divination. The herb was
also used to make protective wreaths or magical hoops; St.
John's Wort is on of the herbs able to strip a witch of her
will.

Other Uses:
Plant parts were used to dye fabric (yellow).

Tested Properties:
Astringent, Bitter, Aromatic, Diuretic.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

continued..................

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