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HERBS; Medicinal, Magical & Metaphysical

The study of herbs could take many lifetimes and there are a lot of sub categories and "herbal adjacent" things to study besides how they heal physically. As with life itself, the physical, mental and spiritual can all be healed and enhanced using herbs and there are a wide variety of ways, from teas and tinctures to Rootwork in the Hoodoo or in the Gypsy tradition and even to the use of entheogens, to explore.\r\nThis zone is meant to be open to ALL of those avenues of study and discussion.\r\nDISCLAIMER\r\nNone of the information presented here is meant to replace medical treatment. Only use herbs as medicine if you know what you are doing, not if you just THINK you know what you’re doing, if you’re wrong there can be negative side effects. Improper use of herbs, just as improper use of prescription drugs, can harm or kill. Remember, natural doesn't always mean safe.\r\nCross reference at least three reliable sources of information before taking an herb. Be sure about dosage and...
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    Mistletoe will grow and has been found on almost any deciduous tree preferring those with soft bark, most commonly, old apple trees. It is also found on Ash, Hawthorne and Lime to name a few. It is an evergreen parasitic plant and grows on the branches of its host forming pendent bushes 2 to 5 feet in diameter. It has a woody stem with small leaves growing in pairs and flowers that are usually found in threes and have both female and male parts. When storing mistletoe it is recommended to remove the berries and store them separately as they are far more toxic than the leaves.

    Mistletoe has been used in the treatment of high blood pressure and hardening of the arteries. It is said to calm the convulsions of epilepsy and other nervous disorders and to treat hemorrhage, severe headache and menstrual difficulties particularly excessive bleeding and painful cramps. It also improves circulation.  The berries have been used externally to make a wash used in treating oily skin and acne. The berries aren’t recommended or internal use as they are highly toxic. Mistletoe is also being used in the treatment of cancer.

    There is wonderful lore surrounding this herb, particularly among the Druidic priesthood. It is a fertility herb, an aphrodisiac, an herb of protection and a visionary herb. It is also associated with immortality and rebirth. The wood has been used in the making of wands and to fashion the handle for ritual knives. Since mistletoe is thought to banish evil and negativity it was often hung over the doorway to protect and bring harmony to the home. It is thought that the best time to gather this herb if the intention is to use it magically is Midsummer and household amulets are hung at Midwinter. To Druids the plant was so sacred they gathered it with a gold blade. They would spread white cloth on the ground so the trimmings would not come into contact with the ground. Because it retained its fresh green color it acquired its association with fertility and immortality.

    As a fertility herb it can be used to bring fertility for either a would-be child or for a personal project of creativity.  The berries represent sexual potency and are used with frequency in amulets for heightened sexual experiences. Kissing under the mistletoe is likely the most well known tradition related to this herb. This tradition was not meant to get out of hand. To prevent abuses the original custom held that a man might steal a kiss under the hanging branch but when he did he was to remove a berry from the plant. Once the berries were gone, the kissing charm of the branch was spent. As a magical herb mistletoe can be used in any positive working.