The Herbal Encyclopedia


Aloe Vera

MEDICINAL: The gel of the inner part of an aloe leaf is used to treat burns,

skin rashes, and insect bites, as well as chafed nipples from breastfeeding,

when applied to the affected area externally. Internally it can be used to keep

the bowels functioning smoothly, or when there is an impaction, although it can

cause intestinal cramping when taken internally, and there are other herbs that

do this job better. It aids in healing wounds by drawing out infection, and

preventing infection from starting. The fresh gel is best to use, rather than

"stabilized" gels found in the stores. The fresh gel was used by Cleopatra to

keep her skin soft and young.

MAGICKAL: Growing an aloe vera plant in the kitchen will help prevent burns and

mishaps while cooking. It will also prevent household accidents, and guard

against evil.

GROWING: Best grown indoors in pots. Those living in the deep South, as in

southern Texas or southern Florida, can grow aloe outdoors. Remember that Aloe

is a succulent, not a cactus, so it needs water to keep the leaves fleshy and



MEDICINAL: Amaranth is used to battle stomach flu, diarrhea, and

gastoenteritis. It was used by Native Americans to stop menstruation and for

contraception. Applied externally, it can reduce tissue swelling from sprains

and tick bites. Not to be used by pregnant or lactating women.

MAGICKAL: Amaranth is used to repair a broken heart. It is also associated

with immortality, and is used to decorate images of gods and goddesses. It is

sacred to the god Artemis. Woven into a wreath, it is said to render the wearer

invisible. Also used in pagan burial ceremonies.


MEDICINAL: Angelica is a good herbal tea to take for colic, gas, indigestion,

hepatitis, and heartburn. It is useful to add in remedies for afflictions of

the respiratory system. Angelica should not be used by pregnant women or


MAGICKAL: Grow it in your garden as a protection for garden and home. The root

is often used as a protective amulet, and has been used to banish evil by

burning the leaves. It is also used to lengthen life, and is used in protection

against diseases. Adding it to a ritual bath will break spells and hexes.

GROWING: Angelica needs rich, moist garden soil in partial shade. It prefers wet

bottomlands and swamps. Prefers the cooler northern regions to grow best. It is

a perennial that can reach up to 6 feet tall.


MEDICINAL: Another good herb for colic, gas, and indigestion. It can also be

used in herbal remedies for coughing, as it aids in loosening phlegm. It is the

mildest of the herbs used for these purposes.

MAGICKAL: Anise mixed with bay leaves provides an excellent bath additive prior

to ritual. Using anise in potpourri around the house wards off evil, and anise

in your sleeping pillow at night will chase away the nightmares. The essential

oil is used in ritual baths prior to any divination attempts. It is believed

that hanging an anise seed head on your bedpost will restore lost youth.

GROWING: Anise likes warm, sunny areas with well-drained, rich sandy soils. It

is suitable for all areas of North America. It is an annual, and grows 1-2 feet

high. It needs 120 days to produce fully ripened seed heads.


MEDICINAL: Apples are used to treat constipation. The pectin in fresh apples can

help to lower cholesterol levels, an aid in treating heart disease. Crushed

apple leaves can be rubbed on a fresh wound to prevent infection.

MAGICKAL: Apple blossoms are used in love and healing incenses. An apple

should be given to a lover as a present - you should eat one half, the over the

other. It is given as an offering on Samhain to the dead, since it is a symbol

of immortality. Apple wood is used to make magickal wands. Pouring apple cider

on the ground in your garden before you plant gives the earth life.

GROWING: Apple trees grow over most of North America. They need a cool winter

period, making them unsuitable for low desert or tropical regions. Check with

your local nursery for varieties best suited to your area and growing



MEDICINAL: Astragalus strengthens metabolism and digestion, raises metabolism,

and is used in the healing of wounds and injuries. It is often cooked with

broths, rice, or beans for a boost tot he healing energies during those

illnesses that prevent one from eating normally.



MEDICINAL: Basil is used to treat stomach cramps, vomiting, fevers, colds, flu,

headaches, whooping cough, and menstrual pains. It is also used to reduce

stomach acid, making it a valuable part of any treatment for ulcers, and a

valuable addition to any recipe using tomatoes for those with sensitive

stomachs. Externally, it can be used for insect bites, to draw out the poisons.

It has been used in other countries to eliminate worms from the intestines, and

the oil from basil leaves is applied directly to the skin to treat acne.

MAGICKAL: Basil protects from evil and negativity, and aids in attracting and

keeping love. It is used for purification baths, and in wealth and prosperity

rituals. Carrying a basil leaf in your pocket brings wealth, and if powdered

basil is sprinked over your mate while they sleep, it is supposed to eliminate

infidelity from your marriage.

GROWING: Basil will grow in any well-drained, fairly rich soil, and full sun.

It can be grown throughout most of North America. It is an annual, which

reaches 2-3 feet tall. Pinch off the tips to promote bushiness and flower buds

to maintain growth.


MEDICINAL: Bayberry, taken in small doses, increases the vitality of your total

body systems, improving circulation. It can also be used as a poultice over

varicose veins to strengthen the blood vessels. A douche made of the tea is used

for vaginal infections. Tea made of Bayberry is a good gargle for sore throat

and tonsillitis.

MAGICKAL: The oil of Bayberry will bring prosperity and luck.

Bay Laurel

MAGICKAL: The leaves are burned to enhance psychic powers and to produce

visions. Worn in an amulet, it will provide protection from evil and negativity.

The leaves are used as decorations during the Yule season, and placed in your

windo it will protect against lightning striking your house. Write a wish on a

bay leaf and then burn it if you want the wish to come true.

Sprinkling the crushed leaves in your cupboards will keep out cockroaches and

other insect pests.


MEDICINAL: Bistort root, when ground and mixed with echinacea, myrrh, and

goldenseal, is a great dressing for cuts and other wounds. It is also a

powerful astringent, used by mixing a teaspoon in a cup of boiled water, and

drunk several times a day, as a treatment for diarrhea and dysentery. The same

mixture can be used as a gargle for sore throats. Bistort is good to drive out

infectious disease, and is effective for all internal and external bleeding.


MAGICKAL: An amulet fashioned of the root of Bistort is carried when one wishes

to conceive.

GROWING: Bistort prefers damp soils, such as in cultivated fields. It is native

to Europe, but has been grown in Nova Scotia and as far south as Massachusetts.

It is a perennial that reaches up to 30 inches tall. Sprinkle an infusion of

bistort around your home to keep out unwanted visitors of the mischievous

variety, such as poltergeists, sprites, etc.

Black Cohosh

MEDICINAL: Black Cohosh is useful in all conditions dealing with arthritis. It

improves blood circulation, and is used in treating delayed and painful

menstruation, and is often used in conjunction with other herbs in treating

menopause symptoms. It should not be used during pregnancy. Black Cohosh can be

poisonous in large doses. It contains a chemical much like estrogen, so those

advised by their doctor's not to take the Pill shoud avoid using this herb.

MAGICKAL: Black Cohosh leaves laid around a room is said to drive away bugs, and

to drive away negativity.

GROWING: Black Cohosh grows in open woody areas. It needs good soil and partial

to mostly shade to do well. It has been grown as far south as Georgia, and as

far west as Missouri. It is a perennial which reaches 3 - 8 feet tall.

Blessed Thistle

MEDICINAL: Blessed Thistle is used to strengthen the heart, and is useful in

all remedies for lung, kidney, and liver problems. It is also used as a brain

food for stimulating the memory. It is used in remedies for menopause and for

menstrual cramping. Blessed Thistle should never be taken alone, nor should it

be used during pregnancy.

GROWING: Blessed Thistle is generally found along roadsides and in wastelands.

It is an annual, and reaches to 2 feet tall. Most folks consider this a pesky

weed, so cultivation is not common. Try gathering some for yourself from the


Blue Cohosh

MEDICINAL: Blue Cohosh is used to regulate the menstrual flow. It is also used

for suppressed menstruation. Native Americans used this herb during childbirth

to ease the pain and difficulty that accompany birthing, as well as to induce

labor. This herb should not be taken during pregnancy, and should be taken in

very small amounts in conjunction with other herbs, such as Black Cohosh.



GROWING: Blue Cohosh grows best in deep, loamy, moist woodlands. The berry of

this plant is poisonous, and the plant itself can irritate the skin. The root is

the part used in herbal medicine. It has a range from southern Canada, as far

south as the Carolinas, and as far west as Missouri. This herb is best purchased

from the stores, rather than cultivated.



MEDICINAL: Burdock Root is used to treat skin diseases, boils, fevers,

inflammations, hepatitis, swollen glands, some cancers, and fluid retention. It

is an excellent blood purifier. A tea made of the leaves of Burdock is also used

for indigestion.

MAGICKAL: Used to ward off all sorts of negativity, making it invaluable for

protective amulets and sachets. Add to potpourri in the house.


MEDICINAL: Caraway aids digestion, can help promote menses, can increase a

mother's milk, and is good to add to cough remedies as an expectorant.

MAGICKAL: Carry Caraway in an amulet for protection. Carrying caraway seeds

promotes the memory. It can also guard against theft. It is said to promote lust

when baked into breads, cookies, or cakes.

GROWING: Caraway can be found in meadows, woods, and rocky areas. It prefers a

rich soil. Native to Europe, Asia, and Africa, it also grows wild here in North

America. It is a biennial that reaches 1 1/2 - 2 feet high.


MEDICINAL: Catnip is effective alone or in herbal remedies for colds, flu,

fevers, upset stomach, and insomnia. Particularly good for children with upset

stomachs in a very mild infusion.

MAGICKAL: Use the large leaves, well dried, to mark pages in magickal books.

Use in conjunction with rose petals in love sachets. It will also create a

psychic bond between you and your cat. Grow near your home to attract luck and

good spirits.

GROWING: Catnip will grow in most soils, and tends to enjoy a bit of the dry

spells once it is established. It grows throughout North America, and is a

perennial reaching to 3 feet high.


MEDICINAL: Cayenne, also called capsicum, is very effective added to liniments

for all sorts of arthritis and muscle aches. It benefits the heart and

circulation when taken alone or added to other remedies. It is also used to

stimulate the action of other herbs. It will stop bleeding both externally and

internally, making it excellent for use with ulcers. It is used in antibiotic

combinations, for menstrual cramps, and as a part of treatment for depression.

MAGICKAL: Cayenne pepper scattered around your house will break bad spells.

Adding it to love powders will ensure that your love will be spicy, and can

inflame the loved one with passion.

GROWING: Cayenne pepper plants like a good, rich soil, plenty of water, and full

sun. The peppers are dried after ripening. For herbal use, the peppers are

usually ground into a powder and mixed with other powdered herbs in capsules.


MAGICKAL: Cedar chips used in rituals or burnt attracts money, and is also used

in purification and healing. It is a symbol of power and longevity. Hung in the

home it will protect against lightning. Juniper can be used in place of cedar.


MEDICINAL: Use the tea for nerves and menstrual cramps. The tea is also useful

for babies and small children with colds and stomach troubles. Also used to calm

the body for inducing sleep in insomniac conditions. It is also a good wash for

sore eyes and open sores.

MAGICKAL: Chamomile is used in prosperity charms to attract money. Added to

incense, it will produce a relaxed state for better meditation. Burned alone it

will induce sleep. Added to a ritual bath, it will attract love. Sprinkle it

around your property to remove curses and bad spells.

GROWING: Chamomile is an annual that adapts to most soils, likes lots of water

and full sun. It grows up to 20 inches tall.


MEDICINAL: Add cinnamon to remedies for acute symptoms, as this herb is a

stimulant to other herbs and the body, enabling herbal remedies to work faster.

It is also a blood purifier, an infection preventer, and a digestive aid. Do not

ingest cinnamon oil.

MAGICKAL: Burned in incense, cinnamon will promote high spirituality. It is also

used to stimulate the passions of the male. It should also be burned in incenses

used for healing. The essential oil is used for protection.


MEDICINAL: Red Clover is used as a nerve tonic and as a sedative for

exhaustion. It is used to strengthen those children with weak systems, and is

used with children for coughs, bronchitis, wheezing, as it is mild to their

systems. It is often used in combination with many other drugs in the treatment

of cancer. It is also used for skin eruptions (acne).

MAGICKAL: Clover brings luck, prsperity, and health. Carrying a three-leaf

clover gives you protection. Worn over the right breast it will bring you

success in all undertakings.

GROWING: Grow clover as you would lawn grasses. Clover is an excellent cover

crop, planted in fallow areas and turned under in the fall, it makes an

excellent fertilizer for poor soils.


MEDICINAL: Clove oil will stop a toothache when it is applied directly to the

cavity. It is very warm and stimulating to the system, and is very useful with

people who have cold extremities. Cloves will promote sweating with fevers,

colds, and flu. It is often used in remedies for whooping cough. Cloves are also

safe and effective for relieving vomiting during pregnancy.

MAGICKAL: Cloves worn in an amulet will drive away negativity and hostility,

and stop gossip. It is often carried to stimulate the memory, and can be added

to attraction sachets. Clove oil is also worn as an aphrodisiac, and the buds

when eaten are said to stir up bodily lusts. It is placed in sachets with mint

and rose to chase away melancholy and to help one sleep soundly. Carried, it can

also bring comfort to the bereaved and mourning.


MEDICINAL: A poultice of comfrey heals wounds, burns, sores, and bruises. It is

a powerful remedy for coughs, ulcers, healing broken bones and sprains, and is

used in treating asthma. Large amounts or dosages can cause liver damage, but

there are no problems with using it externally. Used internally, it is best and

safest to use a tea, rather than capsules.

MAGICKAL: Carrying comfrey during travel will ensure your safety. Put some in

your luggage to prevent it being lost or stolen. It will also bring luck to the


GROWING: Comfrey prefers well-drained soils and partial shade. It grows from

Canada to Georgia, as far west as Missouri, in the wild. It is a perennial that

grows to 3 feet high. It can be started form seed, but you wil be more

successful with cuttings. Once established, it will spread vigorously. Harvest

leaves when the flowers bud, and roots in the autumn after the first frost.


MEDICINAL: Juices from the stems of this plant are used externally to treat

wounds and cuts.

MAGICKAL: Cornflower is used to promote and enhance phsychic sight, as well as

normal eyesight.

GROWING: Cornflower is adaptable to many soils and conditions. It is an annual

that grows 1 - 2 feet tall.



Cramp Bark

MEDICINAL: Cramp Bark is one of the best female regulators in the herb world.

It is a uterine sedative, aiding in menstrual cramps and afterbirth. It helps to

prevent miscarriage, as well as internal hemmorhaging.


MEDICINAL: Damiana is used to regulate the female cycles. I t is also used to

stimulate the sexual appetite. It is good for urinary problems and nervousness,

as well as hypertension.

MAGICKAL: Damiana is used in infusions to incite lust, and is burned to produce



MEDICINAL: Dandelion benefits all aspects of the liver. It clears obstructions

and detoxifies poisons. It will also promote healthy circulation. The juice

froma broken stem can be applied to warts and allowed to dry; used for 3 days or

so it will dry up the warts. It is also used to treat premenstrual syndrome, as

it is a diuretic.

MAGICKAL: It is a sign of rain when the down from a ripened dandelion head falls

without wind helping it to do so. To blow the seeds off a ripened head is to

carry your thoughts to a loved one, near or far.

GROWING: Dandelion is a common yard, garden, and roadside weed. Do not gather

where chemicals have been used, and don't gather those near roadsides, as they

have been contaminated from exhausts.


MEDICINAL: Dill is used to treat colic, gas, and indigestion.

MAGICKAL: Dill is used in love and protection sachets. The dried seed heads