Friday, May 12, 2023

Magical and Medicinal Properties of Strawberry

strawberry, herbalism, herbal remedy, magic, witchcraft, herb magic, green witchcraft, hedgewitch, herb magic, herb magick, magick, magic, occult, wicca, wiccan, pagan, neopagan
Gender: Feminine
Planet: Venus
Element: Water
Powers: Fertility, Humility, Love, Lust, Perfection, Purity, Righteousness, Romance
Magical Uses and History: Strawberries have been a part of the human diet for centuries, their flavorful flesh, vibrant red color, and willingness to propagate contributing to their spread across the globe. The common name 'strawberry' is believed to come from one of two possible origins. Some historians believe 'strawberry' is a corruption of 'strewn berry' while others think it's because the plant is commonly mulched with straw during the winter months. Even so, some historians argue it's a reference to young people selling strawberries impaled with straw or grass in the late spring/early summer months. While the origins of its common name remain a mystery, the strawberry's popularity is not.

Throughout antiquity, the strawberry has served as a symbol of love, lust, and romance. In Ancient Rome and Greece, the strawberry was the symbol of Venus and Aphrodite, both goddesses of love and beauty. In some versions of the story, it was believed the strawberry arose from Aprodite's tears and Adonis's blood after she failed to save him after he was gored by a boar during a hunting trip. As such, the strawberry is sometimes referred to as Aprodite's tears. According to Cherokee legend, the strawberry arose after the Sun tried to calm the First Woman's anger after she and her beloved, First Man, quarreled. The Sun tried to calm First Woman's anger with huckleberries, blackberries, raspberries, and even blueberries, but none of the berries grabbed her attention. Finally, the Sun grew strawberries beneath her feet, the new fruit with its bright red color and delicate fragrance caught her attention and as she took the first bite, her anger soothed and she returned to her love with an armful of the new fruit to share with him. Needless to say, the strawberry is deeply associated with love. It was placed as an offering to goddesses of love, used to attract a lover when baked into dishes or served raw, and even used to divine future loves. It is said that if you break a strawberry in half and feed the second half to the opposite sex that they will fall madly in love with you and you with them. As such, strawberries can be used in love spells, rituals, potions, teas, and kitchen recipes to attract love to you and yours. Leave as an offering to Aphrodite or Venus, add to baths to attract love, or draw strawberries on red candles to attract love.

By the 16th and 17th centuries, the strawberry grew in popularity. Stone masons began carving the plant and berries around altars, pillars, and doorways to churches and cathedrals to symbolize perfection and righteousness. According to Symbol-Fibel, the strawberry was believed to cure depression and therefore seen as the healing power of Christ leading us to eternal salvation. Furthermore, it was said that despite its bright color and fragrant smell, the strawberry was still humble as it bowed its head before God. This is a reference to the droop strawberries commonly have as the fruit grows and weighs down the stem. St. Francis de Sales reflected that "although it creeps along the ground, and is continually crushed by serpents, lizards and other venomous reptiles, yet it does not imbibe the slightest impression of poison or the smallest malignant quality, a true sign that it has no affinity with poison." He continues to say this reminds us of the virtuous man who is not influenced by the sin around him. Later, the strawberry became associated with the Madonna to symbolize the "fruitful Virgin," humility, and purity as the strawberry remains in flower while also producing fruit. As such, strawberries can also be used in spells for perfection, righteousness, purity, fertility, and humility. You can even adorn your Grimoire with strawberry artwork to protect it from prying eyes, or use them in spells to keep your intention "pure."

Finally, the strawberry was revered for its healing abilities. The Greeks and Romans believed that the strawberry could cure melancholy, depression, fevers, inflammation, kidney stones, gout, and throat and mouth infections, as well as a host of other diseases of the blood, liver, and spleen. Culpeper claimed it was good at curing many ills, saying its cold, dry, and binding nature was good for inflammation, fever, sore throat, and indigestion. This is due to the plant being a natural diuretic, astringent, and laxative. As such, strawberries can be used in healing spells and rituals, as well as a number of herbal remedies, particularly in tea form.

Strawberry can be used in a number of spells including:
    Healing Spells
    Love Spells
    Romance Magic
    Fertility Spells
    Purification Rituals

Medicinal Uses: The leaves, fruit, and roots of the strawberry can be used in herbal remedies. The root and leaves are a natural astringent and contain tannins, making them a strong digestive. The roots and leaves are most often used to treat diarrhea, dysentery, and other gastric issues such as bloating and cramps. The leaves and roots also contain ellagic acid, a compound that neutralizes cancer-causing substances and boosts the immune system, aiding in the fight against infections, especially those in the mouth. The fruit, however, contains salicylic acid and is a mild laxative, helping to relieve stomach, liver, and kidney ailments as well as mild gastrointestinal upset. The fruit can also be used to whiten teeth and lighten dark spots on the face due to it being high in alpha hydroxy acid. Strawberry leaf has also historically been used to induce labor, so if you are pregnant, use caution before drinking strawberry leaf/root tea.

Preparation and Dosage: Strawberry can be taken internally as an infusion or tincture. To create an infusion, combine 1 teaspoon of dried leaves or roots with 1 cup of boiling water. Steep for 10 minutes. Drink up to 3 times a day. This infusion can also be used as a mouthwash or gargle after it has cured. Use mouthwash up to three times a day. As a tincture, take 6-12 drops up to three times a day. Externally, strawberry leaves can be used as a poultice. Crush the leaves with a small amount of water until the mass is soft and moist. Apply to burns, eczema, ringworm, insect bites, and small cuts to reduce inflammation and prevent infection. To treat sunburns, a cloth can be dipped into the previously mentioned strawberry leaf infusion and applied directly to the burns as needed. The berries can be used as a skin cream to treat blemishes and wrinkles. Apply mashed strawberries directly to the impacted area and leave for 10 minutes before washing off.

Interested in learning more about the strawberry? Check out my previous posts on the subject.

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strawberry, herbalism, herbal remedy, magic, witchcraft, herb magic, green witchcraft, hedgewitch, herb magic, herb magick, magick, magic, occult, wicca, wiccan, pagan, neopagan

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