using herbs
Herbal Medicine, Aztec Style

“The good physician is a diagnostician, experienced – a knower of herbs, of stones, of trees, and of roots.”- “The Physician”, Florentine Codex, Book 10: The People.

Working with ‘maticeuac’, a small herb ‘required as a cure by one who has the nose-bleed, who cannot stop it.’ Florentine Codex, Book XI.

A well-known predilection towards human sacrifice has darkened our retrospective portrait of the Aztecs, because we observe them though a distorting veneer of blood. However, there was a far more human and recognizable side to Aztec daily life. Sixteenth century manuscripts of Mexico represent a vast resource of medicinal potential that is still largely underappreciated in Europe. The Leicester School of Pharmacy and Phyto-Research Ltd in Loughborough are working towards deeper understanding of the uses of Aztec herbs.

Cover and first page of the Badianus Manuscript (original in the Vatican Library)

Two manuscripts – codices – produced in 16th Century Mexico, just after the Spanish Conquest of the Aztec empire, stand out and form the basis of the research. 

The Badianus Manuscript (also known as The Codex Barberini). 

After the fall of the Aztec Empire, the Colegio de Santa Cruz de Tlatelolco was founded for the Catholic education of the “natives”. The head of the College commissioned a young Aztec man, who had taken on the name of Martin de la Cruz and was an expert in the medicinal use of native plants, to write an herbal textbook that would impress upon Spanish royalty the great progress that was being made by the combination of native experience and Catholic education. 

The result, the “Libellus de Medicinalibus Indorum Herbis”, completed in 1552, was the first herbal and medical textbook to be produced in the New World. It was originally written in Nahuatl, the language of the Aztecs, but later translated into Latin by a professor at the college, the Aztec nobleman Juan Badiano. The book is often referred to as the “Badianus Manuscript”. Upon completion, the Badianus Manuscript was sent to the Spanish Court, but later found its way to the Barberini Library in the Vatican. The obscure manuscript once known only as “Codex Barberini, Latin 241” was rediscovered in 1929, and from thereon given the prominence it deserves.
Martin de la Cruz organized his herbal remedies according to body part – beginning, logically enough, with “the curation of the head”, and proceeding via “lousy distemper” and the “rumblings of the abdomen” on towards “signs of approaching death”.

‘Curation of the head’ - the first of Martin de la Cruz’s herbal prescriptions, Badianus Manuscript

The Florentine Codex

Because the manuscript was intended to impress an important Spanish audience, the work was influenced by European medical opinion of the time, which was not so far removed from magic. As a result, another manuscript by Friar Bernardino de Sahagún, who went to Mexico from Spain in 1529, is preferred by those who wish to make a serious study of Aztec herbal medicine. Sahagún, who learned Nahuatl so that he could speak directly to Aztec elders, documented the lives of the Aztecs in the hope of protecting something of their culture from the crushing weight of Spanish occupation. Sahagún’s monumental General History of the Things of New Spain – or the Florentine Codex – is almost an Encyclopaedia Britannica of Aztec Mexico. 

The Florentine Codex in its present home, the Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, Florence

Book 11 (“Earthy Things”) of the Florentine Codex is devoted to everything that lives or occurs in the Earth – from “four-footed forest dwellers” to the metals of the soil. The Aztecs’ devotion to herbal medicine is illustrated by the sheer space devoted to this in the book – the 2nd largest chapter in Earthy Things is given to herbs. (Only “Serpents and other poisonous animals”, are given more space.) 

Use of ‘tlatlanquaie’ a shrub used to treat stomach disorders, Florentine Codex Book XI 

The Aztec elders who informed Sahagún’s Florentine Codex classified herbs as being hallucinogens (“those which perturb one”), blossoms, “all the different herbs”, and “the medicinal herbs”. The latter alone covers 142 distinct species with botanical descriptions, habitat, and detailed indications.

The entry for ‘cacaloxochitl’, Florentine Codex, Book XI

Hot and cold

Like Europeans of the time, Aztecs believed that plants were “hot” or “cold”, and could be used to correct excess heat or cold in the body. Excess cold in the body was concomitant with the retention of water, and cold/watery illnesses like gout ( coacihuiztli, which literally translates as “the stiffening of the serpent”) would be remedied with the application of a hot herb. Interestingly, many of the hot herbs, such as yauhtli(Tagetes lucida), act as diuretics, removing excess water from the body. Yauhtli was frequently used together with the hot herb iztauhyatl (Artemisia mexicana), the leaves of which were ground in water and drunk. Conversely the root of the Tlalmizquitl (Prosopis juliflora, the mesquite tree) is “required by him whose body is very hot…it is the proper drink to cool his body”.

‘Cococxiuuitl’ - a rather fierce Aztec answer to constipation… Florentine Codex, Book XI

The Aztec pharmacopoeia

This is medicine from the people who gave the world chocolate, and some Aztec remedies sound attractive whether you’ve been taken ill or not. Sweet-smelling flowers – the Aztec word for flower is ‘xochitl’ - were considered to be medicinal. De la Cruz describes an attractive remedy for the relief of fatigue, requiringeloxochitl (Magnolia dealbata), izquixochitl(Bourreria humilis), cacaloxochitl (Plumeria mexicana, a frangipani described as being of “exceeding beauty”) and mecaxochitl (Vanilla planifolia). Together with a few other “sweet summer flowers”, a fragrant water is made which will give “gladiatorial strength to the body” of the patient who bathes in it.
The Aztecs’ love of sweet flowers is illustrated by the contempt they show for those that are not fragrant – poor old Tlalcacaloxochitl (Plumeria acutifolia); it may be a very popular frangipani now, but to the Aztecs it was “useless, without fragrance, it disappoints one”. It’s even worse for Tzompanquauitl (Erythrina americana), the naked coral tree – “nowhere pleasing, nowhere required, nowhere desired – they are sorry things”, which seems a bit harsh.

Using ‘toloa’, a ‘fever medicine’ to relieve gout, Florentine Codex, Book XI

Diarrhoea and wounds occupied a great deal of the Aztec physician’s attention. The latter is unsurprising for a people always at war, but given that the Aztecs had aqueducts for fresh drinking water and separate waste disposal systems, the incidence of diarrhoea seems odd. It has been suggested that this symptom was a response to the high levels of repressed anxiety that must have existed in such a violent society.

Given as treatments for digestive troubles are the cotztomatl (Physalis costomatl - incidentally the Aztec word “tomatl” is the root of our “tomato”); mecaxochitl, “for internal ailments”; memeya (a Euphorbia), good for “one whose abdomen goes resounding”; and the cococxiuitl (Bocconia frutescens), used for constipation. Apparently the latter cannot be eaten or drunk, but must be inserted in, shall we say, the other end of the alimentary canal. Sahagún’s informant warned, “It burns like chilli”. Fortunately he added that “not much is required”, for which the patient must have been grateful.

For the ever-present gout the Aztec herbalist applied picietl (Nicotiana rustica, a wild tobacco) – also good for relieving tiredness.

Respiratory illnesses don’t appear all that frequently in the Aztec literature, but recommended for a chesty cough is the Tlaquequetzal (Achillea millefolium, or yarrow). 

The activities of the Aztec warriors kept the healers busy. For “him who is pierced by an arrow”, the leaves and bark of the waxy chapolxiuitl (Pedilanthus pavonis) are applied to the wound, as it a preparation of zayolitzcan (Buddleia americana). The combination of agave sap and salt is a very regular occurrence in wound remedies - agave sap, when mixed with salt, forms a solution that kills bacteria by dehydrating them.

The Nahua

Although the Aztec Empire did not survive the Conquest, the Nahuatl-speaking indigenous people of Mexico still practice a medicine based almost entirely on plants, many of which were also used by their Aztec ancestors. Together with the Aztec manuscripts, the skills of the Mexican healers could help to educate us about new sources of plant-based medicine – indeed, many ethnobotanists are keen to learn from Nahuatl herbalists, as Sahagún was in his day. But care must be taken to perform this sort of research in a way that respects the people and traditions of rural Mexico – so that the good physician would be happy to share his experience with us.

Need a tonic? Try this recipe. Take the sap of the yellow-leafed maguey (Agave atrovirens), and cook it together with some yellow chilli and tomato juice, and ten gourd seeds. Take after eating.
After that you may need some Aztec toothpaste. Take the root of the tlatlauhcapatli (Geranium carolinianum), together with some salt and chilli, and make a paste. Rub the paste into your teeth, if you dare. And for a mouthwash, try an infusion of iztauhyatl (Artemisia mexicana).


If you are on medication or have health problems, PLEASE don’t use any herbs unless you have asked your doctor if it will be safe to take. St Johns Wart is wonderful for depression, but mixed with certain medicines can cause serotonin syndrome. Ginseng is absolutely great, but certain stomach conditions can make it feel like you swallowed nails instead of a nice tea. Green tea is awesome, but it can cause diarrhea in people with ibs and Crohn’s disease. Make sure that what you take internally isn’t going to hurt you.

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Deity Related (not Pantheon specific)


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Witch Tips

TSO Class: Witches on a Budget

Here at the Spiral Oak Grove, we hold classes every Wednesday night on our FB page at 8 PM ( and I figured I would start blogging about them if I get the chance just as an aside.

Tomorrow’s class is on Budget Witchcraft and thriftiness in the craft. I am sure that a lot of you don’t have buckets of money to afford all the pretty tools on Etsy or order herbs in bulk, or buy expensive oils and incense from mass producers, so I am going to go over a few ways to practice your craft with little to no money.

First off, you don’t necessarily need ANYTHING to perform Magick other than yourself. The energy and intent resides in you and you deem how you use it But if you are like me, you like having things (I love things, all things lol) but you may not necessarily have the extra cash to spend on a brand new cast iron cauldron or a shiny athame, but there are ways to get around that and make things simple, or produce your own.

Basic Tools of Witchcraft and Mundane Items to Replace Them:

Athame: You can use a butter knife! Or an old pocket knife, or a some sort of knife that means something to you (could be an antique passed down from generations or just something you picked up at the flea market, remember to cleance it before using it)

Cauldron: A bowl, any bowl! It could be one pulled from the kitchen cabinet or a pretty crystal candy dish, or something you picked up at the thrift.

Wand: It doesn’t have to be fancy! You can wander through the woods and find a pretty stick that calls to you. Wrap it in ribbon, affix a crystal point to the top, paint symbols on it, woodburn it. Make it your own.

Chalice: You can use a basic cup or you can find a wine glass at the dollar store. Paper cups obviously work too in a pinch.

Besom: Everyone should have a broom…nuff said :P

Bell: You can get bells just about anywhere. Even if it is the little tinkly kind you use for crafts or, like I said, the thrift store may have something.

Incense Burner: You can get these at Walmart for about 98 cents. It may not be what you want, but you can always repaint things.

Altar Pentacle: This can be as simple as drawing one on a piece of paper or cardboard, or make one out of clay or wood.

Altar: This could be ANYTHING! I shelf in your bookcase, a window sill, an end table, any place that you can create sacred space in that won’t be disturbed.

The Magickal Grocery List of Basic Supplies:

Herbs: You can get your basic herbs at the grocery store. Things like Basil, Rosemary, Bay Leaves, Oregano, Thyme, Clove, Garlic, Anise, even Lavender can be purchased here. Though this is a good route to go if you don’t have a local metaphysical store or can’t order online, in the long run this can be more expensive. Granted, they are culinary grade and great for making tinctures, teas, and drinkable potions, but they tend to be a bit pricier for a smaller amount. (There is a brand called Badia that I know they sell at Publix, however. They sell some of their spices in little packets for about a $1 a piece)

If you have a green thumb, or know someone that does, you can also grow your own and dry them out for your herb cabinet OR forage for plants and herbs in nature. Just make sure you know what you are looking for so that you don’t mistake something poisonous for something edible.

Oils: I make a lot of oils from dried herbs, essential blends, and even crystal infusions. Any carrier oil will essentially work, but I use Olive Oil for EVERYTHING. It is easy to obtain at grocery stores, even though it can get expensive, but places like Aldi’s and even Trader Joes (if you have one), can have pretty cheap olive oil. I also watch the sales at Kroger and buy it there too. Olive oil was traditionally used in the Jewish Temple as a way to anoint one’s self before prayer or entering the Holy of Holies. It does have a scent to it, especially if you don’t purchase EVOO, but it still retains the smell of whatever you steep in it… the longer the better. This oil is also good for the skin and generally doesn’t cause any sort of reaction (unless you are allergic to Olives, of course). Another route for oil is coconut oil, which is everywhere now a days. The only issue with that is that this oil is a solid under 70 degrees Fahrenheit, so you either have to keep it in a warm place or turn your oil in to more of an anointing salve, which I have done. This is also another great one for the skin all around and is great for cosmetic magick or just natural remedies.

If you have the money you can also buy jojoba, grapeseed, almond, and others that are just a bit fancier, but also cost more.

Powders: I love to make magickal powders and really fell in love with them while researching the Voodoo tradition. I tend to use corn starch for this as it is super fine and easily mixes with herbs, natural powdered pigments, and even oils. Make sure to mix it thoroughly if you are adding oil as anything liquid makes it clump up quick. You can also use rice flour, arrowroot powder, or even flour if that is what you have. Remember that all of these powders have different properties too.

CORN: Protection, luck, divination.

WHEAT: Fertility, money spells, divination.

RICE: Money, sex, fertility, protection 

ARROWROOT: Good Fortune, Shows Opportunity, Purification, cleansing, healing

Incense: I mostly make loose blends with herbs and resins, but occasionally I get creative. There are plenty of tutorials on Pinterest and Youtube for how to make your own cones and even sticks, but this usually calls for added supplies that you may not have the funds to purchase at the moment. If you don’t, either go the loose route, or get some cheap scents from your local gas station, Dollar Store, or Walmart. Before making ANYTHING that is burnable, PLEASE make sure that it is safe for you to do so. Some things are only good in well ventilated areas (Like Wormwood) and some can severely harm or kill you if inhaled. DO YOUR RESEARCH!

Salt: This is self explanatory. If you cook AT ALL, you probably have salt around the house. Salt is one of those necessary staples for spells and rituals and is used to protect, cleanse, and consecrate. You don’t have to have fancy pink Himalayan salt or salt from the Dead Sea; I just purchase the Kroger brand canisters for 59 cents and stock up when I can. If you want, or need, Black Salt, you can always easily make this with scrapings from your cauldron or by adding burnt powdered Rue to your salt (though this usually results in a gray salt unless you use a TON of Rue) Here at TSO, we make our own with ash from the ritual fire.

Moon Water or Lustral Water: I see this being sold ALL the time on places like Etsy and other New Age stores, but I feel like it is silly to buy something that you can make for FREE! Bottle your water, put it in a mason jar, even fill up a cup and place it under the Full Moon…BAM! MOON WATER!. You can get fancy with it and boil salt and/or crystals in the water before placing it out in the moon for an added punch.

Food: Sometimes food is all you need to perform a spell or to use in a ritual. All foods have magickal connotation from bread to fruits and veggies, even meat. You can also buy fresh herbs at your grocery store too.Here is a good site that gives you magickal correspondences in the kitchen.

Other Magickal Tools/Items That You Don’t Need to Spend an Arm and a Leg to Buy:

These sorts of things cost more than what is detailed above, but being frugal with other tools and items may afford you the money to splurge a little with other things.

Crystals: Everyone loves crystals, but let’s face it…they can get SUPER expensive. I like to spend my money on things like this since they are harder to obtain for free or on a budget, but it can be done! Sites like eBay and crystal wholesalers can be a good place to pick up some quart points and other small chunks of mineral goodness. There are also gems shows and flea markets, as well as some metaphysical stores that sell these for a reasonable price. There is one Metaphysical store near us that has a “Treasure Chest” of small crystal chips that you can scoop in to a bag for a varied mix, or sift through them one by one like I do. I use these in crafting, elixirs, spells, and charm bags too. If you know what you are looking for, you can also forage for these sorts of things…quartz is EVERYWHERE.

Divinatory Tools: These can also be on the pricey side. A new Tarot or Oracle deck can run as low as $20 and sometimes as high as almost $50 depending on what you are looking at. This is another thing that I spend my money on instead of other things, but you don’t always have to. You can trade with others for a deck, have it gifted to you for a birthday or Sabbat, or you can make your own! Making a deck will take some time, but think of the power that it will hold since it was handcrafted BY YOU.

Pendulums are another thing that I just love, but can also be really expensive depending on what it is made of. But you can make a pendulum out of just about anything that can swing: a ring, a wire wrapped crustal, clay, Sculpey, anything that has weight and a nice shape that isn’t too bulky. You can hang it from a chain, ribbon, yarn, etc.

Scrying is another good tool that doesn’t require much depending on the type of scrying you are doing. You can stare in to the fire, use a dark colored bowl filled with water, read the tea leaves after a nice cuppa,or even paint the glass black in an old photo frame and make your own scrying mirror!

Runes, Ohgam, and other casting type divination can also be easily made. I have made runes on wood and salt dough, painted ogham on fancy Popsicle sticks, and some people even use bones and other lots to divine. ,

Ouija boards and Witch boards are also another divinatory tool, but a lot of people don’t like to consider them and don’t condone their use either. This is up to your discretion, but I use them and have made several on my own too. Sometimes that personal touch can aid you in your work.

Candles: Candles tend to be super important for the witch. We use them as a barrier in circle, to scry, in candle magick, and to give us light so we can see what we are doing! Candles are another one of those things that can cost a lot of money depending on how often you use them to practice. Walmart is always a cheap route to go when looking for candles and they usually have a variety of colors in taper AND votives for under a few dollars. Dollar Tree and stores like that have small bags containing 25 tealights which are always good to have on hand, and sometimes varied colors of tapers and votives as well. You can watch the sales at places like Hobby Lobby and Michael’s too, but I have found that my favorite is IKEA. You can get a bag of 100 tea lights for under $4 as well as an array of colored tea lights, pillars, and votives for really cheap considering the average cost of candles. If you don’t have the room to stock up ( I have an extensive collection that I have been amassing for years ) you can always buy chime candles which tend to run about 20 cents a piece at most places and get the cute little holders that go with them (I have small metal star ones that cost me 67 cents a piece wholesale) In a pinch, I have even used different colored birthday candles which is what I store in my altar boxes.

Essental/Fragrance Oils: This may be something that you choose to spend the money that you have saved on other supplies for. Essential oils are usually EXPENSIVE and you have to really hunt around and do your research to make sure that what you are getting is actually essential oil and not something labeled as EO with a shit ton of fillers ( like Young Living or doTerra) I have gotten good ones off sellers on eBay, but my favorite place to get them is Mountain Rose Herbs ( They use all wildcrafted herbs, all organic, and have a wonderful business. They can be on the cheaper side, but even then there are still going to be some oils that are just crazy expensive regardless. Fragrance oils can be a better route if you are just wanting the scent, but may not have the magickal properties that you are looking for. You can always make your own EO too, but this requires a lot of setup, supplies, time and money so it may not work for the true witch on a budget.

Bottles, Jars, & Bags: These are essential if you are going to be keeping dried herbs on hand, making your own oils and tinctures, or creating charm bags. My herb cabinet is not streamline whatsoever; I buy jars from EVERYWHERE to make sure that I get the best price for the quantity. Mason jars from the local grocery store are always a good go to. You can get anywhere from 12 to 24 jars depending on size for about $8. I also watch the sales at the craft stores and snatch up the cute little jars with hinges and pretty shapes, or World Market has little spice jars from 99 cents to $2.99 depending on size.

Bottles are another thing that I use a lot of. I order mine in bulk from places like eBay, Azure Green, and wholesale bottle suppliers like and You can also get pretty larger ones at the craft stores and cool novelty ones around Halloween just about everywhere during that season.

Bags can be purchased fairly cheap at your local metaphysical store or ordered online, but I like to make my own out of scrap fabric, collect them from party favors, and even find them in the party section of a store (like for weddings or baby showers)

Art Supplies: If you are crafty, artsy, or just want to try your hand at crafting, get yourself some art supplies. Acrylic paint, paint brushes, Sculpey, a wood burner, whatever! You can use these things to paint up your altar, wood burn an altar pentacle, make talismans and pendants out of polymer clay, find little wooden craft supplies like blocks and disks to make divinatory tools…the options are endless when you align your creative mind with the magickal. I feel like hand crafted and hand made tools hold much more power than something that can be bought already made.

For Everything Else, The Thrift Store Is Your Friend

Seriously…the thrift store is a GODSEND when it comes to needing altar supplies, ritual garb, magickal knick-knacks, and what-nots. You can get used jewelry or cigar boxes to make a power box, find old pieces of cloth or sheets and table runners to use as an altar cloth (or you can go get a yard of cheap fabric at JoAnn’s or Hobby Lobby), you can find statuary to decorate your sacred space (I have bought things and repainted them to suit my needs), you can find special clothing that can’t be bought new and turn it in to your ritual dress or even a jacket or cloak to wear during spell work, you can find fancy wine glasses to use as a chalice, bowls or pots for your cauldron (I actually found several brass cauldrons at one Goodwill AND a crystal ball stand), and I  even purchased my nifty little altar from my local thrift! We just have to remember to cleanse these sorts of things before using them magickally (which I sometimes forget to do) but just because it isn’t brand new or initially made for your intended purpose, doesn’t mean that one man’s trash can’t be another witch’s treasure. You can find tons of things to repurpose, reclaim, and make your own at these places as well as your local flea market, yard sales, and sometimes even antique shops have reasonably priced goodies for you to use in your spiritual journey.

I think that just about covers everything! Now take your thrifty self out in to the world and build a magickal haven from every day resources and used items that other people thought were worthless. Just like with magick, make something beautiful out of seemingly nothing.

Feel free to ask questions or add your input if there is anything that I missed!

~Emilee Moon

10 Ways to Enchant Your Breakfast: Everyday Witchcraft

✨Use herbs that match your intent for the day in an omelette or scram: basil for harmony and warding, parsley for protection, Rosemary for matters of the heart, etc.

✨Sigil infused Pancakes. This can be done a number of ways. If you’re fancy, you can cook it into the pancake by doing pancake art with the batter in a piping bag, or you can cook it in with chocolate chips or berries. You can also simply do the sigil afterwards with some syrup or other toppings.

✨Enjoy a magical tea with your morning meal. Bonus, read the leaves to see how your day will go, and anything to look forward to or watch out for.

✨Keep something constant in your meal each morning, whether it be making the same order at a coffee shop, or sitting in the same place to eat, and use the familiarity and constance of that to ease stress and bring about stability during the rest of your day

✨Find a food that makes you feel great and use it to aid glamours when you want to feel more beautiful or confident.

✨Do you have a lucky number or number correspondences that match your intention for the day? Try cutting your food into that many pieces, dividing it up into groups of that many pieces, or chewing each bite that many times as you focus on your intention.

✨Use some color magic by choosing brightly colored fruits that match your intention: strawberries for vitality, oranges for self expression, blueberries for tranquility, and so on.

✨Share some food with your deities. It can be easy to rush and get stressed in the morning, but if you can make some time to talk to your deities in the morning, it can really brighten up your day. Offer a little of your food to them as well, if that’s something they like.

✨If you’re someone who likes to make tinctures or other preserves, you could try canning some magical jam and jelly mixtures to use on the daily.

✨Just have time for some cereal or toast? Sprinkle a little cinnamon sugar on top to sweeten your words during the day and get people to listen to you. Use salt and pepper the same way for protection through the day.

Herbal Hair Rinses

Pick the ones that you need :

Chamomile: Softens hair, soothes the scalp, lighten and conditions (people use it with honey to bring out natural highlights). Chamomile is also known to stimulate growth.

Nettle: conditions, improves texture, helps with dandruff, irritated scalp, and dry scalp.

Catnip: Promotes healthy hair growth.

Lavender: Stimulates hair growth.

Rosemary: Acts as a tonic and conditioner, one of the best herbs to use, gives luster and body, stimulates growth, helps with dandruff, and brings out dark highlights in the hair.

Saw Palmetto: good for thinning hair and hair loss

After you’ve decided which herb(s) will get the job done, follow the steps below :

Step 1- Place the herb(s) in a pitcher (glass is ideal).

Step 2- Pour boiling water over the herb(s), cover, and steep for 10-20 minutes.

Step 3- Strain the mixture and allow the liquid to cool.

Step 4- Pour over your head after your regular shampoo, condition, and detangling session. Do not rinse.

Source :



Thought I’d do a sort of master post/herb and plant info post here for you all lol 😊
All the information I’m about to share is from my good ol’ Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs by Scott Cunningham 😊 as always, please feel free to add anything I may have left out, or if something I’ve posted is incorrect, kindly post the correct information please 😊❤


Scientific name (s) : Betula pendula, B. Pubescens, B. Lenta, B. Alba

Folk names: Beithe, Bereza, Berke, Beth, Bouleau, Lady of the Woods

Gender: Feminine

Planet: Venus

Element: Water

Deity: Thor

Used for: Protection, exorcism, purification

Magical uses: Birch twigs have been used to exorcise spirits by gently striking possessed people or animals, dince the birch is a purificatory or cleansing herb. The tree is also used for protection, and Russians used to hang a red ribbon around the stem of a birch to rid themselves of the evil eye. The birch also protects against lightening. The traditional broom of the Witches was made of birch twigs, and cradles were once manufactured from birch wood to protect their helpless charges.”

(Page 56 of Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs)

Also, if you want to level up your French and Italian cooking, add your herbs and spices along with your chopped vegetables. The ones you cook in oil or butter. Don’t add them at the end.

Someone once pointed out that the most stupid thing Emril Lagasse ever did was those spice blends that he puts on the food after its done cooking. Raw spices are gross, don’t do that.

Some cooks will use the term “bloom” to describe cooking the spices in fat.

Some cooks will also say you should never use dried herbs, but I disagree. Some herbs dry perfectly well. A rule of thumb is to think of the type of plant the herb comes from. If it’s woody, it will dry well. (Rosemary, sage, oregano, thyme.) other herbs will lose all their flavor when dried. (Parsley, cilantro.) I’m personally on the fence about basil. For me it depends on what I’m putting it in. Spaghetti sauce gets dried basil, if I have it. Basically everything else gets fresh.

If you’re cooking something with herbs for a long time, and there’s a lot of other strong flavors, it kind of doesn’t matter if they’re fresh or dry.

Ok! So this post is for @hexingwhiledriving, @childofthemoon0801, and @ultimatebretrayal and anyone else who wants another list of witchy reference books!

Witchy Reference Books!

For Herbs: I use a mixture of The Herb Book by John Lust, The Master Book of Herbalism by Paul Beyerl, and Magic and Medicine of Plants published by Reader’s Digest. 

For General Reference: I use Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health by Rosemary Gladstar, and Mrs. B’s Guide to Household Witchcraft by Kris Bradley

For Cooking: I use a mixture of favorite cook-books, and amend the recipes as needed for magical workings. My favorite is actually a private cookbook used by all the women in my family for several generations now. But I use others too. Really any cookbook can be turned magical with some basic food correspondences (I have a post here, some of which is based on Bubble, Bubble, Toil &Trouble – Mystical Munchies, Prophetic Potions, Sexy Servings, and Other Witchy Dishes by Patricia Telesco)

Books I liked But Don’t Own: Garden Witch’s Herbal by Ellen Dugan, Garden Witchery, Magick from the Ground Up by Ellen Dugan, Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs by Scott Cunningham

Books on my To Be Read List Because They’ve Been Recommended to Me or I Like the Author: First, The Witches Cupboard and The Sisters’ Grimmoire by Bree Nicgarran and Anna Zollinger because I love Bree’s blog here, and found it amazingly helpful ( @breelandwalker). Also, Encyclopedia of 5000 Spells and The Element Encyclopedia of 1000 Spells by Judika Illes, and The Way of the Green Witch by Arin Murphy-Hisock.

I’m not sure how good any of those last are, but they’ve been recommended many times by people whose opinions I respect, and they’ve seemed to fit what I was looking for, so I put them on here. Also, some of the others listed may have some religious stuff in it, but it’s easier to ignore because they’re geared more toward encyclopedia or dictionary style reference. 

Hope this is helpful! ^_^

Spell/Witch Jar to Enhance Magickal Powers

This is a spell that is designed specifically for those witches struggling with their own magickal power. It uses herbs and crystals and sigils to help your suppressed powers come to the surface. This is the first of my own spells I’ve posted, so bear with me :)


Glass jar (obviously)

Bay or bay leaves



Dragon’s blood (in any form, powder works best though)

Lemon grass




Vetivert (aka Khus Khus)

Labradorite/Quartz/ or any crystal you feel is important to you or has channeling properties (personally, i used a labradorite). It has to be carried with you, so something small and portable or something wearable.

Paper or parchment

Combine the herbs into the jar, and place the crystal, buried in the herbs. On the parchment or paper, write:

Through the moonlight and sunshine, My powers will ignite and the flame will grow as I feed and fuel it

Rip the paper and place the shreds into the jar as well.

Seal the jar and on the seal, draw this sigil in purple:

(Sorry for bad quality)

Leave in windowsill, or somewhere the jar will sit in sun and moonlight, for an entire moon cycle. From new moon to new moon.

After the moon cycle, remove the crystal and carry it with you everywhere you go. At night, place the crystal under your pillow.

You can save the jar for as long as needed. Place the crystal back into the jar with the herbs and leave in the jar overnight whenever you feel like you need a little oompf for your powers.

So there you have it! Thanks for reading!

Good Luck and Clear Skies to All!


Hey Fran Hey x Soul Retrieval Wellness Retreat 2016

My wellness retreat took place in Santiago, Dominican Republic - from August 3rd-7th. I’d been wanting to add this resource to my brand for years and to finally see it manifest has been a dream come true!

The two pictures at the top are of the home, STI Guest House, we have officially partnered with for what is now an annual retreat for Hey Fran Hey readers/listeners/viewers!

The 3rd picture is of Yeradmi- owner of the guest house, Yin Yoga teacher and Reiki Practitioner. She helped us learn how to use calming breathing techniques to help us get through chaotic times - and stretches to release old trauma causing mental health blocks and stagnant energy in our physical form. Hasnaa (also pictured) led guided meditations to help us remove destructive/negative thought patterns holding us back. She also taught us eastern recipes of herbs and oils as natural ways to combat emotional fatigue, heaviness and depression. And I was there to lead conversations to help the women confront old pain that keeps replaying in the mind, fears, concerns and emotional walls - by sharing advice and tools on how to shift their entire perspective towards one that will help them open up, clear it all out and thrive. And then there was the social media break, the freshly cooked food 3 times a day, the sun, the beach, the nature and all of the good island vibes.

It was a dream come true to create a safe space for women to cry, laugh, heal, support, love, breathe and most importantly…just be. Thankful. Thank you to the 11 women who trusted us with their hearts. I love you forever.

I hope you’ll join us for the next one!

Email for the waiting list, updates + more info.


- Fran

Pumpkin Seed Pesto

Pesto is a condiment that can be used for so many things! From a sumptuous spread or fresh dip, a meat marinade or a tantalizing pasta sauce! Pesto has no rules and has no limits! It can be made with a mixture of herbs and cheeses or simply with one specific herb. We like to mix it up a little and use bunches of different herbs from our garden! Regardless of which herbs you choose, you can never go wrong with a good Pesto!

Use enough fresh herbs to fill your food processor. Make sure that the herbs are well washed and any rough stems are removed. In this mix we have bunches of each Greek basil, thyme, parsley, sage, mint, rosemary and vietnamese coriander.
The juice of 1 lemon
1 cup of roasted and salted pumpkin seeds
1 cup of Parmesan cheese
1 - 2 cups of Olive Oil (Use a good quality olive oil as it will help bring out the flavors of the herbs)
1 garlic clove
fresh ground pepper

In a food processor, add all your herbs, put the cover on a begin to process on low. While the processor is running, slowly begin to pour in one cup of olive oil. Add the lemon juice and process until the mixture is still slightly lumpy. Add the pumpkin seeds and process again, but this time until smooth. Add the Parmesan cheese and process again adding more olive oil as needed until everything is the consistency of a spread.

Use to spread on fresh bread, burgers or sandwiches. Use as a dip for fresh veggies or chips. Use as a marinade for meats or as a sauce for your favorite pasta.

To conserve, seal in airtight jars or containers and store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. The pesto can also be frozen for up to a year.


anonymous asked:

Pidge and Hunk working together in the kitchen (Cause its mostly Pidge's herbs Hunk uses anyway) Inside jokes between them that Pidge calls kitchen memes (silly little tech witch), Lance coming in to taste test and the back of his hand getting smacked with a wooden spoon. Hunk drawing sigils into pie crust for happiness, and luck. Pidge using bay leaves as often as possible for prosperity. Keith sometimes steals the bay leaves himself to burn for rituals, his room always smells afterwards.

this is so cute and good I love this so much…….

How to Cook for college students (and people who just live on their own and need some pointers):


Potatoes are extremely versatile. Yes, you’ve done the butter, salt, sour cream thing before I’m sure. That’s a good thing to do when you’re strapped for time. However, there’s a lot of cool things you can do. 

If you have a collection of spices and herbs, use those on your baked potatoes along with butter, cheese, or sour cream. 

Put a fried egg on a baked potato. Pop that bad boy over it and take in its yellow gooey goodness. It’s a great pop of protein too. 

Oatmeal and Grits: 

Oatmeal doesn’t have to be sweet. But if you want sweet oatmeal, substitute water with apple cider, put some cinnamon and nutmeg in it. Maybe throw some vanilla yogurt into it with some raisins. It tastes like apple pie. It’s AMAZING. When all my mom and I could afford were these things, she’d make this in the morning and it was extremely helpful. 

To make savory oatmeal or grits, cook your oatmeal in broth. Add salt, pepper, cheese, cream, green onions… you’re in business. Maybe even wilt some spinach into it. Put a fried egg on it…. oh my gosh. 

It’s so versatile. 

Peanut Butter: 

Good on everything. put it on everything. Ok… maybe not everything. It’s amazing for ramen especially. 

It’s an amazing thing for mornings. Dip a banana in it, it’s a quick run out the door breakfast. It’s filling and gives you energy for a short while. 


Boil them. If you don’t know how, just put them in water with a tablespoon of baking soda, and bring to a boil for five to seven minutes before turning the stovetop off. Let them sit for a little bit. Drain the water. 

They are insanely versatile and can get you through tough times. 

Lentils and dried legumes: 

Very cheap. 

Soak them overnight and then the fun can start. 

Puree chickpeas with salt, tahini (optional), lemon juice, olive oil, and cumin. you’ve got hummus. 

Lentils make good soup. Will give you clean amazing energy. They will fill you up. Dip bread into it also. It’s amazing. Making soups takes very little prep time and often times you can chop up everything, throw it in a pot with broth and spices and leave it with occasional stirring. Got a long day of classes? Get a crock pot. Leave it on during the day, you’ll come home to amazing soup. 

Some amazing video resources for students and those living on their own (These are all Brothers Green Videos because they have reasonable and practical tips and their videos have given me some amazing advice):

Sauce Hacks: How to make simple sauces for everyday cooking

Cooking Cheat Codes: How to make anything taste good

10 creative recipes using just an egg

10 creative recipes using just potatoes: Part I and Part II 

Cup Noodle Hacks

Ramen Noodle Hacks

Get Creative with Pancake Batter

Here’s the beginning of an Amazing Series for Vegans: How to live like a Vegan King on $50 a Week

How to Eat incredibly Well on just $3 a Day: Part I, Part II, Part III 

How to cook for a Week on a Budget: Beginner’s Guide 

How to Shop at the Market: Pantry Essentials

How to Shop: Veggies and Herbs

How to Shop: Dairy and Meat

Learn the Basics of Cooking

You might be wondering: How can I trust this post is best? Well, I have been in school for 10 years. I’m 27, I do all the cooking at home. And if you need a testimonial: @laxchulax2ya “She goes hard in the kitchen, guys…I know from personal experience lol. Yaaaas!”

Source: HERE

Healing Tea’s

These herbal uses and properties are only given for reference purposes.
I am not responsible for any actions or outcome of use of these remedies, taken by persons using these references.
Please be aware that like food a person may have a personal reaction to an herb that is not necessarily a toxic substance.
If not sure what the uses and dosages of herbs to be used are please consult a medical or holistic practitioner
Information provided is not designed to diagnose, prescribe, or treat any illness, or injury and is provided for informational purposes only.
Always consult a medical doctor, or other alternative medical practitioner when suffering from any disease, illness, or injury, or before attempting a traditional or folk remedy.
Keep all products away from children.
As with any natural product, they can be toxic if misused.

Keep reading

Healing energy Spell.

Items needed-

  • Salt
  • Lavender/flowers or herbs you wish to use
  • Quartz and Rose Quartz
  • Paper
  • Twine/string or ribbon
  • plate/tray
  • candle
  • pen

Remember, this is the way I do this spell, there is no real right or wrong as long as a spell you cast is filled with personal intent. This is what gives the spell that power!

If you want to use different herbs, layout etc. Do it your way. This is just to give some inspiration or direction. 

This spell is done best on a waning moon, the more full the moon, the more potent the power of your spell!

  1. First off I cleanse the space I am doing my spell in using incense. 
  2. light a candle and place it in the middle of a plate/tray
  3. Write down the person/people you want to send healing vibes to on the piece of paper with what you would like healing for. (As you do your spell visualise the persons you are sending healing energy to, visualise or feel the energy you intend to send.)
  4. Roll it up into a scroll and tie with string/twine/ribbon (whatever you fancy)
  5. sprinkle salt around the candle and place the scroll next to it.
  6. Add Lavender (Great for healing) or whichever herb you choose or even flowers (Maybe the persons favourite flower?)
  7. Place a charged piece of quartz and rose quartz next to the candle and leave to burn for at least an hour. ( I place my plate under the moonlight on the windowsill as extra power)

Light as many nights as you wish. When the person/persons are well again, burn the scroll or bury it in a dark place. Remember it is about listening to that “inner voice” letting it guide you in your craft.