Agrimony contains tanin and a volatile, essential oil. Like most samples, the uses to which it is put are remarkably varied. The English use it to make a delicious "spring" or "diet" drink for purifying the blood. It is considered especially useful as a tonic for aiding recovery from winter colds and fevers. As agrimony also posses an astringent action, it is frequently used as an herbal mouthwash and gargle ingredient, and is applied externally in the form of a lotion to minor sores and ulcers. It has also been recommended, as a strong decoction, to cure sores, blemishes, and pimples.
This toast comes from
Devonshire, England, where the toast was repeated three times on Christmas Eve,
or the Eve of Epiphany during a fertility rite - asking for a good harvest. The
men and boys often fired guns and pistols, with the women and children shouting.
This is known as "wassailing". The rite still takes place in some
remote areas of Devonshire.
Also called Cassia is used to raise very high spiritual and passionate vibrations. Use in healing incenses and burn to stimulate clairvoyance. Add to prosperity mixtures and mix with myrrh for a good incense for general working.
Ginseng stimulates and increases endocrine activity in the body. Promotes a mild increase in metabolic activity and relaxes heart and artery movements. Stimulates the medulla centers and relaxes the central nervous system. There are several way to prepare and use Ginseng, more than I have in my Grimoire, I'm sure. The ones I am familiar with follow:
1) Chewed as a root, raw, about a pencil's thickness and 1" long is best.
2) As a Tea, 1 teaspoon of root filaments in a pint of boiling water for 10 minutes (chew & swallow the pulp). Sip tea very slowly.
3) KaoLiang : this is a very expensive Chinese wine, aged at least 3 years. It has a strength level of vodka in alcohol content. Makes an excellent nightcap.
4) French Love Wine: two parts Chablis, crush in an ounce of vanilla bean, ounce of cinnamon chips, one dried Rhubarb and one of ginseng. Leave stand 2 weeks & stir it daily. Strain thru cheesecloth and add amber for color (if wanted).
Ginseng is said to be highly good for the metabolism, and promotes general well being. It has a reputation as an aphrodisiac, but this seems to be totally based on the fact that it relaxes the overly tense person a bit. If you suffer from back pain or TMJ adding this to a tea of Catnip and slippery elm may help. It is also presumably useable as an ingredient in a Meade or magewine.
Wormwood is a classic herb for the Samhain season. In October the wheel of the year stops for a magical 3 day interlude before the feast of Samhain, which ushers in the death and rebirth of the seasonal wheel of the year. At Samhain we place gifts of food on our altars, and out-of-doors, extending hospitality to the disembodied ancestors who are surely among us. We light dark candles and call our dear departed, especially those most recently dead. Wormwood, when added to herbal incense, is an aid in opening the psychic centers. When these centers are open and receptive, we may better communicate with those who have "passed over". Its been written that wormwood and sandalwood (an herb of purification and high spiritual energy) burned together near a gravesite will summon the spirit of the departed. Wormwood is a banishing herb, used to rid a person or an area of anger and negativity. In ancient Mexico, women enacted a ritual dance in honor of the Goddess of Salt where they wore garlands of wormwood in their hair. To divine the face of your future lover, take dried marjoram, thyme, and wormwood, grind them to a powder and cook them gently with honey and vinegar to make a paste. Anoint your third eye center with the mix and ask three times that a vision of your lover's face be granted to you in your sleep. Wear the mixture to bed. Wormwood is strewn behind furniture, under pillows and in corners to repel fleas. It is laid among woolens and furs to repel moths. On Samhain strew it in your ritual fire as a protection against malevolent spirits.
These are just a very small sampling of some of my favorite herbs. Here is an in depth reading list if you would like to read more about herbalism:
Anderson, M. and Savary, L.: Passages A Guide for Pilgrims of the Mind, Harper and Row. New York 1973
Bethel, May: The Healing Power of Herbs, Wilshire Book Co. 1968
Beyerl, Paul: The Master Book of Herbalism, Phoenix Publishing,1984
Buchman, Dian Dincin: Herbal Medicine, Gramercy Pub., NY 1980
Caldwell, W.: Organic Chemistry, Houghton Mifflin Co, 1943
Christopher, Dr. John R. : School Of Natural Healing, BiWorld Pub. 1976
Conway, D. : Magic, An Occult Primer, Bantam Books 1973
Conway, D. : The Magic Of Herbs, E.P. Dutton & Co. 1976
Crow, W. : The Occult Properties of Herbs, Samuel Weiser Inc 1969
Culling, L. : The Complete Magick Curriculum of the Secret Order
G:.B:.G:., Lewellyn Publications, 1971
Culling, L. : A Manual of Sex Magick, LLewellyn Publications 1971
Culpeper, Dr. Nicholas: Complete Herbal, W. Foulsham & Co., Ltd.
Cunningham, Scott: Magical Herbalism, Llewellyn Pub. 1982
Cutting, W. : Handbook of Pharmacology, Meredith Corp, 1972
Douglas N. and Slinger, P : Sexual Secrets, Destiny Books NY 1979
Emboden, W. : Narcotic Plants, The Macmillian Co. NY 1972
Evola, J. : The Metaphysics of Sex, Inner Traditions, NY 1983
Frascone J. and Davide M : Aphrodisiac Cook Book, Candle Productions 1975
Fulder, S. : The Tao of Medicine, Destiny Books, NY 1982
Gerard, John: The Herbal or General History of Plants, Dover Pub. 1975
Gottlieb, F.: Sex Drugs and Aphrodisiacs, Level Press, CA 1974
Grieve, Mrs. M.A., A Modern Herbal, Dover Pub. 1971
Hansen, H. : The Witch's Garden, Unity Press, Santa Cruz CA 1978
Hartman, Franz : Occult Science in Medicine, Whitstable, 1975
Heffern, R. : The Complete Book of Ginseng, Celestial Arts, 1976
Hendrickson, R.: Lewd Food, Chilton Book Co. 1974
Hurley, Phillip: Herbal Alchemy, Lotus 1977
Huson, Paul: Mastering Herbalism, Stein & Day, 1974
Huxley, Anthony: Plant and Planet, Viking Publishers 1974
Leek, Sybil : Sybil Leek's Book Of Herbs, Thomas Nelson Inc 1973
Liebowitz, M.: The Chemistry of Love, Little Brown & Co. Boston 1983
Meyer, Joseph E.: The Herbalist, USA 1918
Miller, R. : The Magical and Ritual Use of Herbs, Destiny Books 1983
Miller, R. : Magical Mushroom Handbook, Homestead Press, Seattle 1977
Miller, R. : The Magical and Ritual Use of Aphrodisiacs, Destiny Books 1985
Pratt, R and Youngken, H.: Pharmacognosy, JB Lippincott Co London 1951
Riva, A.: The Modern Herbal Spellbook, International Imports 1974
Rose, Jeanne : Jeanne Rose's Herbal, Grosset & Dunlap 1972
Schulte, R and Hofmann, A.: The Botany and Chemistry of Hallucinogens
Charles Thomas Publishers, Springfield IL 1973
Stark, R. : The Book of Aphrodisiacs, Stein and Day, NY 1980
Superweed, M.J.: Herbal Aphrodisiacs, Stone Kingdom Syndicate 1971
Superweed, M.J.: Herbal Highs, Stone Kingdom Syndicate 1971
Twitchell, Paul: Herbs - The Magick Healers, Illumined Way Press 1971
Veninga, L. : The Ginseng Book, Ruka Publishing, Santa Cruz CA 1973
Walton, A.: Aphrodisiacs, Paperback Library, NY 1958
Wren, R.C.: Potter's Potter's New Cyclopedia of Medicinal Herbs and Preparations, Harper and Row, 1972