Monday, February 18, 2019

Herbarium: Magical and Medicinal Uses of Wormwood

Magical and Medicinal Uses of Wormwood. Includes free BOS page!
Gender: Masculine
Planet: Mars
Element: Fire
Powers: Love, Protection, Psychic Powers, Spirit Communication
Magical Uses and History: Artemisia absinthium, commonly known as wormwood, derives its name from the goddess Artemis and from the word absinthum meaning "unenjoyable," referring to its bitter taste, as found in the old proverb, "As bitter as wormwood." The common name, wormwood, however, comes from its historic medicinal use of curing intestinal worms. Fun times!

During the 19th century, wormwood was used to flavor absinthe which is now banned due to its toxicity but is still used to flavor vermouth. However, absinthe, an alcoholic and highly-addictive drink, was commonly associated with love, and wormwood is still used in love potions today. Wormwood also appears in old love charms, as seen in the charm below:
"On St. Luke's Day, take marigold flowers, a spring of marjoram, thyme, and a little Wormwood; dry them before a fire, rub them to powder; then sift it through a fine piece of lawn, and simmer it over a slow fire, adding a small quantity of virgin honey, and vinegar. Anoint yourself with this when you go to bed, saying the following lines three times, and you will dream of your partner "that is to be.":
"St. Luke, St. Luke, be king to me,
In dreams let me my true-love see."
(Found in Folk-Lore of British Plants, Article VI, by James Mason in The Dublin University Magazine: A Literary and Political Journal, Volume 83 page 181)
In Russia, wormwood was commonly used to protect the wearer from Rusalki, water spirits who roamed forests and rivers with sharp claws and an hate for humans. Furthermore, Thomas Tusser, in 1577, wrote the following poem regarding wormwood's use in protecting against fleas and lice:
"While wormwood hath seed get a handful or twaine
To save against March, to make flea to refraine:
Where chamber is sweeped and wormwood is strowne,
What saver is better (if physick be true)
For places infected than wormwood and rue?
It is a comfort for hart and the braine,
And therefore, to have it, is not in vaine."
Today, it can be carried for protection against vengeful spirits, bewitchment, and harm in general, or hung from the rear-view mirror of your car to protect from accidents. Wormwood also has a strong association with snakes, as it is said that it was the first plant to grow from the path of the serpent as it exited the Garden of Eden. According to Culpepper, wormwood could be used to treat snakebites, as well as bee, wasp, and scorpion stings.

Wormwood is burned or worn to increase psychic powers or to summon spirits. According to Cunningham, it can be mixed with sandalwood and burned in a graveyard to summon the spirits of the dead. Wormwood is also used as an offering to spirits and can bind them to our realm if you know what you are doing.

Wormwood can be used in a number of spells including:
     Love Spells
     Spirit Work
     Hedge Riding
     Protection Magic

Medicinal Uses: One of wormwood's common names is green ginger, a name it was given as an allusion to its medicinal properties in common with ginger. Historically, wormwood has been used to treat a host of ailments, many of which have been vindicated through science. Its best use is as a bitter for digestive issues, including indigestion, gas, bloating, and worms, particularly roundworms and pinworms. It can also be used to reduce fevers and fight general infections, the same way ginger can be used.

Preparation and Dosage: Wormwood can be taken internally as an infusion or tincture. To make an infusion, pour 1 cup boiling water over 1-2 teaspoons of dried herb and leaves. Allow it to infuse for 10-15 minutes. Drink up to 3 times daily. For a tincture, take 1-4 milliliters of tincture up to three times a day. Externally, wormwood essential oil, if properly diluted, can be used as an insect repellant. Do not take wormwood oil internally. Wormwood is toxic, and should not be taken for more than 2 weeks at a time. Wormwood has been historically used to induce labor and as an abortion drug, so pregnant women who wish to remain pregnant or women attempting to become pregnant should not use wormwood. If you develop any of the following symptoms, reduce or discontinue use of the herb: nausea, vomiting, insomnia, excessive thirst, restlessness, vertigo, dizziness, trembling, numbness of the extremities, delirium, paralysis, convulsions, and/or seizures. As always, consult your doctor before using herbs.

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  1. Hi, I am using your website for herbology, and I would just like to acknowledge your hard work on this website.

  2. Amazing TY. I'm learning herbalism and plant medicine.

    1. Don't mention it! I wish you the best of luck on your journey!

  3. Thank you so much for providing these awesome and beautiful description of herbs


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