Sacred Plants in Folklore, Religions, Myths and Magick

Utnapishtim said to him, to Gilgamesh:
Gilgamesh, you came here;
you strained, you toiled.
What can I give you as you return to your land?
Let me uncover for you, Gilgamesh, a secret thing.
A secret of the gods let me tell you.
There is a plant. Its roots go deep, like the boxthorn;
Its spike will prick your hand like a bramble.
If you get your hands on that plant,
you'll have everlasting life.

The Epic of Gilgamesh, 1600 B.C.E.
(Gardner-Maier Translation)

Acacia
Acacia Acacia has been connected to a reverence for the dead, resurrection and immortality in many religious traditions and magical contexts. Egyptians burned acacia wreath ...
Acai Berry
Acai Berry The genus is named after the muse Euterpe of Greek mythology. ...
Agrimony
Agrimony ...
Alfalfa
Alfalfa

Alfalfa is believed to have the power to bring good fortune in matters of money, business and good luck in gambling. This symbolism may stem from its use as a hig ...

Allspice
Allspice ...
Aloe Vera Gel
Aloe Vera Gel Bitter aloes powder is used to stop gossip, slander, and backbiting in African root magick. 1 ...
Angelica root
Angelica root

Angelica was associated with many Pagan festivals, and after the introduction of Christianity, the plant became linked with some angelic lore as well. According t ...

Anise Seed
Anise Seed

Anise is said to increase psychic abilities and ward off the Evil Eye in magical practices. Anise seed can be burned as incense or drunk as a tea to aid in the in ...

Apple
Apple The apple is featured in many love spells ...
Arnica
Arnica

Arnica was strewn in the wheat fields at midsummer to protect the crops from the Norse demon Bilwis. He placed the "wolfwort" around the fields to protect the gra ...

Ashwagandha root
Ashwagandha root Ashwaganda is a Hindi name meaning "horse's smell." The term refers not only to the smell of a horse, but also to a horse's strength. ...
Astragalus root
Astragalus root Astragalus was known in the time of first century Greek physician Dioscorides, and the word itself is even more ancient, deriving from a Greek word meaning "anklebon ...
Avocado
Avocado Avocados were known by the Aztecs as "the fertility fruit". ...
Barberry
Barberry
“Among the Italians, the Barberry bears the name of Holy Thorn, because it is thought to have formed part of the crown of thorns made for our Savio ...
Basil
Basil Basil brings prosperity and happiness when planted in the garden. In Europe, they place basil in the hands of the dead to ensure a safe journey. In India, they plac ...
Bay Laurel
Bay Laurel The Delphic priestesses are said to have made use of the leaves. That it is a tree of the Sun, and under the celestial sign Leo, and resisteth witchcraft very pote ...
Bay Rum Oil
Bay Rum Oil ...
Bee Balm, Wild Bergamot
Bee Balm, Wild Bergamot Many North American tribes used this plant in healing and spiritual ceremonies. It is known in some parts as "Oswego Tea" because an infusion of its your leaves is u ...
Black Pepper
Black Pepper Pepper was used as a currency during the siege of Rome in AD 408 and "peppercorn rents", now meaning very low rents, were commonly paid to landlords. It is said that ...
Black Seed oil
Black Seed oil The Arabic and Aramaci name is kazha. Black seed is mentioned in the Bible, but this herb may be even more important to the Muslims. An Arab proverb says In th ...
Burdock root
Burdock root

Burdock was considered to be sacred to the "heavenly bear", Thor by the early Celts and Germanic peoples. Since Thor reigned over the summer storms the plant was ...

Cacao
Cacao In Mexico during the time of the Aztec kings the small seeds were utilized as coins twelve approximating to the value of 1d., the smallest actual coin in use then be ...
Calamus root
Calamus root The Hebrews used the oil pressed from Acorus, along with oils of olive, cinnam ...
Calendula
Calendula

Marigolds are called after the Virgin Mary. In Macer's Herbal it is stated that only to look on Marigolds will draw evil humours out and strengthen the eyesight. ...

Caraway Seed
Caraway Seed ...
Catnip
Catnip ...
Cedarwood, Atlas
Cedarwood, Atlas

King Solomon's temple was said to built entirely from cedar from Lebanon. Only a few hundred trees survive of the once vast forests of the Lebanon cedar Cedru ...

Centaury
Centaury The name of the genus to which it is at present assigned, Erythraea, is derived from the Greek erythros (red), from the colour of the flowers. The genus was formerly ...
Chamomile
Chamomile Chamomile soothes the spirit and can be a magnet for gentle nature spirits. It attracts prosperity and love, and the tiny flowers are enjoyed by flower fairies. ...
Chaste Tree
Chaste Tree The Athenian matrons in the sacred rites of Ceres used to string their couches with the leaves of Chaste Tree, because of the seeds reputation for securing chastity. ...
Chickweed
Chickweed Chickweed water is an old wives remedy for obesity. ...
Cinnamon
Cinnamon One of the first known spices, Romans believed cinnamon's fragrance to be sacred and burned it at funerals. ...
Club Moss
Club Moss Wolf's claw is an ancient magical plant of the Celtic druids. The oily, yellow spore dust was known as druids flour, it explodes with a bright flash when thrown onto ...
Coca, cocaine
Coca, cocaine Coca was also a vital part of the religious cosmology of the Andean tribes in the pre-Inca period as well as throughout the Inca Empire (Tahuantinsuyu). Coca was his ...
Coconut oil
Coconut oil Traditional healers hold the coconut in such high regard that the coconut is commonly given the title "Tree of Life" in the Philippines. ...
Cornflowers
Cornflowers The Latin name, Cyanus, was given the Cornflower after a youthful devotee of the goddess Flora (Cyanus), whose favourite flower it was, and the name of the genus is ...
Cubeb
Cubeb Cubeb was thought to be repulsive to demons in Europe as it was in China. Ludovico Maria Sinistrari, a Catholic priest who wrote about methods of exorcism in the lat ...
Cumin
Cumin During the Middle Ages it was believed that cumin kept chickens and lovers from wandering. It was also believed that a happy life awaited the bride and groom who car ...
Damiana
Damiana Damiana was sometimes burned ceremoniously to enable participants to "see visions". For thousands of years, Latin American cultures have ritualistically used Damiana ...
Dill
Dill In Drayton's Nymphidia are the lines:
Therewith her Vervain and her Dill,
That hindereth Witches of their Will.
...
Elderberry
Elderberry

It was thought the Elder could not be hit by lightning, and so should be planted near the house. In the sixteenth century it was believed that the leaves of the e ...

Elecampane
Elecampane The Greeks named it Inula for Helen, wife of Meneluas, who was believed to have had an armful of the plant when Paris abducted her to Phrygia. ...
Epimedium
Epimedium The name of the herb in Mandarin, yin yang huo, roughly corresponds to "weed for licentious goat." Legend has it that a goat herder discovered the properties of epim ...
False Unicorn Root
False Unicorn Root The long trailing roots of False Unicorn root, so the legend goes, possessed not only extremely beneficial healing properties, but extraordinary magic. This so anger ...
Fennel Seed
Fennel Seed In medieval times, Fennel was employed together with St. Johns Wort and other herbs as a preventative of witchcraft and other evil influences, being hung over doors ...
Fenugreek
Fenugreek Tukankhamen was entombed with seeds from this ancient herb ...
Flax seed
Flax seed The Latin name for flax means "most useful" and describes this herb well. It's fibers formed the white sails of Homer's Odyssey. The plant is under the protection of ...
Fo-Ti Root
Fo-Ti Root A Tang dynasty legend about a man named He Shou-wu is the basis for the common name of this member of the bindweed family. He Shou-wu was credited for remarkable vig ...
Fumitory
Fumitory The name is said to be derived either from the fact that its whitish, blue-green colour gives it the appearance of smoke rising from the ground, or, according to Pli ...
Galangal Root
Galangal Root Magical conjurers consider galangal a root of power, especially relating to court cases; Known as Chewing John, Little John Chew and court Case root,it is used in ...
Garlic
Garlic

Garlic was placed by the Greeks on the piles of stones at cross-roads as a supper for Hecate, and according to Pliny, garlic and onion were invocated as deities ...

Ginseng root
Ginseng root The roots are called, by the natives of China, Jin-chen, meaning 'like a man', in reference to their resemblance to the human form. The American Indian name for gins ...
Ginseng Root, American
Ginseng Root, American ...
Gotu Kola
Gotu Kola Gotu kola got the nickname tiger's herb because injured tigers often rub against it to heal their wounds. Gotu Kola features in both Chinese and Indian myths and fol ...
Hawthorn Berry
Hawthorn Berry The tree was regarded as sacred, probably from a tradition that it furnished the Crown of Thorns. It adorns the family crest of English royalty, the Oglives, chosen ...
Hemp Oil
Hemp Oil The famous heretical sect of Mohammedans, who, by murderous attacks upon the Crusaders, struck their hearts with terror, derived their name Hashashin from the drug, ...
Henbane
Henbane

The powerful hallucinogen henbane was the most important ritual plant of the ancient Germanic peoples and was connected to the prophetic gods of the Celts, Greeks ...

Henna
Henna The earliest text mentioning henna in the context of marriage and fertility celebrations comes from the Ugaritic legend of Baal and Anath , which has references to w ...
Hibiscus
Hibiscus The Hibiscus is used as an offering to Goddess Kali and Lord Ganesha in Hindu worship. ...
Holy Basil
Holy Basil Hindus believe holy basil is pervaded by the essence of Vishnu and his wife Lakshmi, and is itself worshipped daily as a deity. The plant is considered especially a ...
Horehound
Horehound The Egyptian priests called horehound the "Seed of Horus", or the "Bulls Blood", and "The eye of the Star". It was a principal ingredient in the negro Caesars's anti ...
Jambul
Jambul According to Hindu tradition, Rama subsisted on the fruit in the forest for 15 years during his exile from Ayodhya. Because of this, many Hindus regard Jambul as a ' ...
Jasmine Flower Oil
Jasmine Flower Oil This night blooming fairy vine encourages the magic of the evening - mystery, love, psychic dreams, and enchantment.The Hindus string the flowers together as neck ga ...
Lady's Mantle
Lady's Mantle Like many flowers, this plant was associated with the Virgin Mary in the Middle Ages. (hence the name Lady's not Ladies Mantle). Many believed that alchemical virtu ...
Lavender
Lavender It is plentiful in Spain and Portugal and it is used as a rule for strewing the floors of churches and houses on festive occasions, or to make bonfires on St. Johns ...
Lemon Balm
Lemon Balm
“Formerly, a spirit of balm, combined with lemon peel, nutmeg, and angelica-root, enjoyed a great reputation as a restorative cordial under the n ...
Linden
Linden For pre-Christian Germans it was an object of worship since the lime-tree was associated with Freya, the guardian of life and goddess of fortune, love and truth. The ...
Lotus
Lotus The lotus has been a sacred icon of Buddhists, Hindus, and Egyptians, considered the symbol of beauty,perfection and purity, because the beautiful blossom floats cle ...
Maitake mushroom
Maitake mushroom The word maitake is literally translated from Japanese as "dancing mushroom." According to herbal folklore, it was so named because in ancient times people who found ...
Marjoram,Sweet
Marjoram,Sweet Marjoram is incorporated into charms and spells to draw love and fertility. It is rumored to help keep a married couple happily together. ...
Meadowsweet
Meadowsweet This sweetly scented flower commonly named "bridal wort" was popular in bridal bouquets, thought to bring love, joy, a beautiful wedding day, and a happy marriage. ...
Milk Thistle Seed
Milk Thistle Seed Mary, it is said, sat among green thistles to nurse the infant Jesus and spilled milk on the leaves ...
Milkweed
Milkweed The milkweeds (Asclepias)were named for Aesculapius, who is said to have learned his knowledge of healing from an apprenticeship to Cheiron, the centaur whose ...
Mistletoe
Mistletoe

Kissing under the mistletoe is one of the most widely known holiday traditions. Some trace this custom to the Greek who used mistletoe in the Saturnalia festival. ...

Mugwort
Mugwort

In the Middle Ages, the plant was known as Cingulum Sancti Johnnis, it being believed that John the Baptist wore a girdle of it in the wilderness. It was ...

Mullein
Mullein Both in Europe and Asia the power of driving away evil spirits was ascribed to the Mullein. In India it has the reputation among the natives that the St. John's Wort ...
Mustard
Mustard The kingdom of heaven is like unto a grain of mustard seed, which a man took and sowed in his field: which indeed is less than all seeds, but when it is grown, it is ...
Oak Bark
Oak Bark Of all the trees in prehistoric times the oak Quercus was the most widely venerated of all sacred plants because in the mythological belief of many ancient tr ...
Olive Oil
Olive Oil In Scriptural and classical writings the oil is mentioned as a symbol of goodness and purity, and the tree as representing peace and happiness. The oil, in addition ...
Oregano
Oregano Among the Greeks, if Marjoram grew on a grave, it augured the happiness of the departed, and among both the Greeks and Romans, it was the custom to crown young coup ...
Oxeye Daisy
Oxeye Daisy

Oxeye daisy, a midsummer flower known a marguerite, was used as an oracle. A daisy is the star flower of Gretchen in Goethe's Faust: "He loves me, he loves ...

Parsley
Parsley The herb was never brought to the table of old, being held sacred to oblivion and to the dead. It was reputed to have sprung from the blood of the Greek hero Arche ...
Passion Flower
Passion Flower Passion flower was named such by Spanish explorers because they believed the flowers represented the Crucifixion, or Passion of Christ. ...
PennyRoyal
PennyRoyal 'The booke of Secretes of Albertus Magnus of the vertues of Herbes, Stones and certaine Beastes' states that, by putting drowning flies and bees in warm ashes of Pen ...
Peppermint
Peppermint

Peppermint's generic name, Mentha, is derived from the mythological origin ascribed to it, and was originally applied to the mint by Theophrastus. Menthe w ...

Periwinkle
Periwinkle In the Caribbean, practitioners of voodoo magic sew Periwinkle leaves into the mattress to keep husband and wife forever in love, and the home peaceful. They are som ...
Plantain
Plantain Our Saxon ancestors esteemed plantain highly and in the old Lacnunga (a collection of miscellaneous medical texts,Lacnunga means 'remedies' in Old English) the Weybr ...
Pleurisy Root
Pleurisy Root The milkweeds (Asclepias) were name for Aesculapius, who is said to have learned his knowledge of healing from an apprenticeship to Cheiron, the centaur whose herbal ...
Pomegranate
Pomegranate Pomegranates are an ancient symbol of fertility and were one of the sacred plants of Hera/Juno, the Greek goddess of marriage, wife of Zeus. The fruit was eaten by c ...
Psyllium
Psyllium As Old English Wegbrade the plantago is one of the nine plants invoked in the pagan Anglo-Saxon Nine Herbs C ...
Ravensara Oil
Ravensara Oil The essential oil is referred to as "the oil that heals" and is is obtained by steam distillation from the leaf. It's fresh scent is smooth, slightly spicy, and e ...
Red Clover
Red Clover

Once used to ward off witches and other evil forces, finding a four leaved clover has always been considered a lucky charm. Tradition holds that clover is the fav ...

Rhodiola
Rhodiola ...
Rose
Rose

The rose plays a prominent role in Greek and Roman mythology In literature, ancient and modern, sacred and profane, no flower figures so conspicuously as the ro ...

Rosemary
Rosemary Greek students would braid Rosemary into their hair to help them with their exams. Also known as the herb of remembrance, it was placed on the graves of English hero ...
Rue
Rue

The Greeks regarded it as an antimagical herb. In the Middle ages and later, it was considered a powerful defense against witches, and was used in many spells. ...

Sage
Sage

There is an old Arab belief that if your sage grows well you will live a long time. During the fourteenth century, three leaves a day were to be eaten to avoid th ...

Savory, Winter, Summer
Savory, Winter, Summer The genus Satureja is named for the satyrs, ancient Greek mythical demigods of the forest who where known for their lusty habits and half-man/half goat shape. ...
Sesame
Sesame In Hindu legends and beliefs sesame seeds represent a symbol of immortality ...
Spearmint
Spearmint Its generic name, Mentha, is derived from the mythological origin ascribed to it, and was originally applied to the mint by Theophrastus. Menthe was a nymph, who bec ...
Speedwell
Speedwell

An ancient tradition of the Roman Church relates that when Jesus was on His way to Calvary, He passed the home of a certain Jewish maiden, who, when she saw drops ...

St. John's Wort
St. John's Wort

There are many ancient superstitions regarding this herb. Its name Hypericum is derived from the Greek that means 'over an apparition', a reference to the ...

Stinging Nettle
Stinging Nettle In Hans Andersons fairy-tale of the Princess and the Eleven Swans, the coats she wove for them were made of nettles. Indeed nettle fibers, like hemp and flax have be ...
Tamanu Oil
Tamanu Oil Natives believed the Tamanu tree was a sacred gift of nature and that gods hid in its branches. It was their answer to skin protection from hot sun, high humidity a ...
Tansy
Tansy

The name is said to be a corruption of athanasia, derived from two Greek words meaning immortality. When some monks in reading Lucian came across the pas ...

Thyme
Thyme According to legend, any place where thyme grows wild is a place blessed by the fairies. The ancient Greeks burned thyme in their temples for consecration and purif ...
Turmeric
Turmeric For general protection from disease, carry turmeric root in your pocket, or tie it on a yellow silk thread around your neck ...
Valerian root
Valerian root Valerian is sedative to humans, but excites both cats and mice. In the legend of the Pied Piper of Hamlin, he baited the rodents with valerian to drive them out of t ...
Vervain
Vervain

Ages before Christians ascribed healing virtues to the vervain, found growing on Mount Calvary, the Druids had counted it among their sacred plants. Two of the mo ...

Violet Leaf
Violet Leaf

Folklore lists the humble and simple violet among the powerful forces against evil, which is perhaps why the Greek city of Athens considered the violet its token ...

Wild Cherry Bark
Wild Cherry Bark Buddhism teaches that Maya, the virgin mother of Buddha, was supported by a holy cherry tree during her pregnancy. In Danish folklore, a good crop of cherries was in ...
Wild Hyacinth
Wild Hyacinth Tradition associates the flower with the Hyacinth of the Ancients, the flower of grief and mourning, so Linnaeus first called it Hyacinthus. Hyacinthus was a charmin ...
Wild lettuce
Wild lettuce Pagans use wild lettuce as an incense aid for divination, especially when working with darker deities. ...
Witch Hazel
Witch Hazel The pliable branches of witch hazel were a favorite among dowsers. The flowers sometimes emerge on Halloween, another witchey connection. ...
Wood Betony
Wood Betony

Many extravagant superstitions grew up round Betony, one, of very ancient date, was that serpents would fight and kill each other if placed within a ring composed ...

Wormwood
Wormwood According to the Ancients, Wormwood counteracted the effects of poisoning by hemlock, toadstools and the biting of the sea dragon. The plant was of some importance a ...
Yarrow
Yarrow Yarrow stalks are still used by the Chinese for casting I Ching predictions. ...

Google+
Follow Me on Pinterest

Herbal Remedy Finder

Select by Condition

Hot Herbal Remedies

mountain rose herbs
bulk herbs
Bulk Herbs
bitters
Bitters & Syrups
herbal extracts
Herbal Extracts
encapsulated herbs
Herbal Health