SOCIAL MEDIA

Monday, August 29, 2016

Herbarium: Magical and Medicinal Uses of Bay

Magical and Medicinal Uses of Bay. Includes FREE BOS Page!

Folk Names: Baie, Bay Laurel, Daphne, Sweet Bay
Gender: Masculine
Planet: Sun
Element: Fire
Powers: Healing, Protection, Psychic Powers, Purification, Strength, Wisdom
Magical Uses and History: Bay is a fairly common herb used in witchcraft. It was perceived as a symbol of immortality by the Ancient Greeks and Romans where it later became a symbol of nobility and victory. The leaves were worn on the brow of every triumphant Roman general as he rode his chariot through the city in celebration. It is believed this tradition stems from Apollo, one of the many gods associated with bay. There are many speculated reasons for this, the first being because of his conquests in the natural world where he would deflower a virgin then turn her into a flower or tree as a symbol of his victory. Other myths suggest bay became associated with high achievements after Daphne, a nymph and from which the plant derives its Greek name dhafni, fled from Apollo's advances after he was struck by Eros's love arrow. Drunk on his victory over the great serpent Pytho and driven mad with desire from Eros's arrow, Apollo chased after Daphne who had no wish to be married. Right before being captured, Daphne turned into a bay tree. Other stories suggest Daphne was turned into a bay laurel by her father to protect her from Apollo. Either way, Apollo, enamored with its beauty, claimed the laurel as his own and designated its leaves to only be given to those most worthy. He took the laurel back to Delphi, where he had just killed Pytho, and erected his own temple, and created the Pythian Games (named after Pytho) where bay laurels were awarded to the victors. Even today Grand Prix winners are given bay laurel wreaths to celebrate their accomplishments, just like the winners of the Pythian Games and Olympic games of old. As such, bay can be used in spells to ensure triumph, worn during an athletic event to ensure victory, or used in spells to bring strength and courage.

Despite the downfall of Asclepius, who was struck down by Zeus while wearing a crown of bay leaves, bay is traditionally viewed as having protective powers, especially against lightning. It was hung in Roman homes to protect those within and is commonly used in protection spells and rituals today. It was such a popular protective herb that even the Ceasars decreed it so, and used it to protect against accidents and conspiracies during their reign. Later, herbalist Nicholas Culpeper claimed bay would protect against witchcraft and the devil. It can be worn as an amulet to ward off negativity and evil or burned to purify your home and prevent poltergeists from working any mischief. A sprig is often used to sprinkle water during purification rituals to add an extra punch. While a healthy tree grants protections, a withering or diseased bay laurel tree is considered a sign of disaster to come.

Furthermore, bay is said to have prophetic or psychic properties, allowing the famous Pythia, Oracle of Delphi, and the seer of Apollo, to see into the past, present, and future. Delphi was said to chew on the leaves or burn the branches to inhale the smoke while inhaling geothermal fumes in order to reach these trances. In large quantities, bay is a narcotic and stimulant, so it makes sense it was used to reach an altered state of consciousness. Use in bay brews or burn as an incense to induce a prophetic state or place beneath your pillow to induce prophetic dreams. Bay can also be burned to aid in hedge riding and other forms of astral travel or to enhance spirit communication.

Bay is also associated with wisdom and poetry, other attributes of Apollo, and hence where the name Poet Laureate and even baccalaureate (laurel berries) comes from. Like victorious commanders, poets and doctors were said to wear crowns of bay laurel to improve brain function, promote wisdom, and enhance memory. Have writers' block? Burn bay to enhance your creativity and dispel writers' block.

Bay can be used in a number of spells including:
     Protection Magic
     Prophetic Dreams
     Divination
     Healing Spells
     Creativity Spells

Medicinal Uses: Bay leaves can be used either in whole leaf form or as an oil to treat a variety of ailments. The leaves can be used as a diuretic or to induce vomiting if something toxic has been consumed. It is also commonly used as a tea to settle upset stomachs, irritable bowel syndrome, or to help lessen the symptoms of Celiac disease. Bay leaf essential oil can be mixed with a salve and applied to the chest to alleviate respiratory conditions such as coughing, wheezing, bronchitis, or asthma. Inhaling the vapors has a similar effect. Bay also works as an anti-inflammatory to reduce joint swelling and can be used to lessen the symptoms of arthritis. Finally, bay has been connected with lower blood sugar and is often used to treat/manage diabetes.

Preparation and Dosage: Bay can be taken internally as an infusion or cooked within food. To make an infusion, pour a cup of boiling water onto 1-2 teaspoons of dried leaves and let infuse for 10 minutes. Drink this solution up to three times a day. If using bay leaf oil, please follow the directions listed on the box/bottle. Each one is different and therefore should be treated as such. Externally Bay Leaf oil can be mixed into a salve and applied to the chest overnight.


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