To get ready for your Halloween potion making, here’s a little history about the myth, magic and medicinal benefits associated with eight herbs and their associated essential oils. See the fun folklore guide for a quick reference on herbs and oils associated with: Love, Money Seduction & Attraction, Healing, Strength, Courage, Physic Development, and Spirituality.
Basil: Basil is a sensual, stimulating herb. It is associated with Love in Haiti, India and parts of Italy among other regions. In areas of rural New Mexico it is said to attract money and is used as a potion to keep ones husband faithful. Basil essential oil has a fresh herbaceous scent which can heighten focus, stimulate blood circulation and bring comfort to body and spirit. It can be used to help lift bad moods. This oil is great to use when studying, in an important meeting or interview, or anytime you want to remain sharp and alert. When properly diluted, it can help relieve muscle pain. It is said work as an aphrodisiac which may give some creed to its association with love.
Bergamot originated in Italy and has a history going back to the 16th Century. Some say that Columbus introduced bergamot to the new world from the Canary Islands. It's named after the Italian city, Bergamo. It is used to flavor Earl Grey Tea. In magic, it is considered to bring money and prosperity. It is difficult to trace the exact origin of these believes however it is used in pagan traditions. Bergamot essential oil has a spicy undertone and adds a fresh note to blends. Bergamot oil is employed to reduce anger, frustration, irritability, anxiety and depression. It is said to help with confidence, concentration, and cheer. It is used to help heal a variety of skin problems including acne, eczema, cold sores, and insect bites. It can sometimes boost the immune and nervous systems.
Black Pepper: Hot and fiery, this classic kitchen spice is often underestimated. It originated in the East. Both black and white pepper have been used medicinally for over 4000 years. It is said that the monks of India swallow several grains of black pepper each day to give them endurance. In lore, this spice is known for enhancing strength & courage and for protection. It used as an ingredient in potions to drive away evil people and spirits. Much of this lore originated in Southern Regions of the United States. In aromatherapy, Black Pepper Essential Oil is regarded as an aphrodisiac. It is said to help with stamina, endurance, motivation and memory giving merit to some of the mythology. It can also be used to reduce anger and confusion. It stimulates the circulatory system to improve muscle tone as well as warm and relax muscles when used in massage oils or liniments.
Cedarwood: Cedarwood goes back to biblical times and gets several mentions in the bible. These trees grow in many places including North and South America and parts of Africa. The Cedarwood is associated with the sun, money and love. It has also represented attraction, strength and courage. The North American Indians used cedarwood to cure respiratory ails. Cedarwood essential oil has been used historically for its soothing & purifying qualities. Its meditative qualities help the mind to focus and it can help bring balance to the body. The scent of Cedarwood oil can help facilitate deep breathing so it is excellent for meditation and yoga. It is used to counteract worry, fear, irritability, and gloomy thoughts. It also helps with a variety of skin issues including dermatitis and eruptions. Its scent keeps away many insects away and repels rats. (Don't use if you or your pets are pregnant.)
Ginger: At one time, ginger was considered a luxury only for the very wealthy. Throughout history, it has been regarded as having strong medicinal power. It has been used as a kitchen spice for over 1000 years, mainly in the East. It is associated with strength, courage, protection, and sexual allure. It's been used in potions for love & sex; as well as for defense from enemies & sickness. Ginger essential oil is spicy, hot and earthy; it energizes and warms. In liniments, it's helpful for easing sprains and lower back pain. It's scent often helps lessen nausea. Ginger is recognized as an aphrodisiac. It's very potent and best used in small amounts. Emotionally it is used to increase confidence, fortitude, focus, and positive feelings.
Parsley: This herb is native to Greece and other Mediterranean areas. In old lore, parsley is said to be the devil's favorite herb and has many negative associations. It has been used in as an aid to communicate with the dead. It has also been used in magic for good luck, protection, purification, fertility, reincarnation, health, strength, vitality, and happiness. Parsley essential oil is sometimes used to detoxify muscles and joints in massage oils. This oil is also reputed to break down cellulite. Its aroma is spicy, warm and herbaceous with woody undertones. It may also help with menstrual problems and uterine health.
Rose: Roses have been a cherished aphrodisiac since biblical times. They have been around for over 3000 years, yet they still hold mystery. The rose was first cultivated in ancient Persia. They grow well in many places including: the South Eastern United States, Italy, France, and China. The red rose is a universal symbol of passionate love. It is considered the most sexual of all flowers. The perfect blossom on the rose represents beauty, youth, perfection, and charm. Rose essential oil is exquisite. Deep, rich, and floral - the fragrance of true rose absolute oil is a famous aphrodisiac. It is also very comforting and can be of great aid during blue moments. In skincare, it is used to help repair broken capillaries, and to maintain a youthful complexion. Being very expensive, this oil is most often used in perfumery.
Rosemary: This is known as the herb of love and remembrance. It originated in the Mediterranean, but now grows in many regions, including here in New England. It is thought to be protective and is a symbol of friendship. It was once used in weddings, to represent love, and tossed into graves to show that the deceased would be remembered. The essential oil of Rosemary does indeed help with memory and is recognized as an aphrodisiac. It is said to strengthen both the brain and the nervous system. In skin care, it has been used to fade varicose veins. It has also been used to: help relieve fluid retention, aid the immune system in fighting infections, relieve headaches, fight nervous exhaustion, and bring relief to respiratory ailments. It may also stimulate hair growth when used in hair care products and stimulate blood circulation when used in massage oils.
Sage: This herb was used by the American Indians as a cleansing agent to banish evil spirits. Legend says that it is brings wisdom. It originated in the Mediterranean region and is now widely cultivated in the United States, Greece, Italy, Turkey, Albania and Yugoslavia. Sage essential oil brings a fresh, clean, herbaceous tone to blends. It can clear the mind, helping with focus and concentration. It is not recommended for skincare, but is great for diffuser use.
Fun folklore Guide:
Love: basil-clove-geranium-jasmine-juniper berry-lavender-lemon-myrtle-orange-patchouli-peppermint-rose-rosemary-ylang ylang
Money & prosperity: allspice-basil-benzoin-bergamot-clove-common sage-jasmine-myrtle-orange-patchouli-pine needle-vetiver
Seduction & Attraction: basil-black pepper-cedarwood-cinnamon-ginger-jasmine-neroli-patchouli-sandalwood
Healing: allspice-cinnamon-common sage-cypress-eucalyptus-geranium-lavender-parsley-peppermint-pine needle-rose-sandalwood-thyme
Strength & Courage: black pepper-cedarwood-ginger-juniper berry- parsley-pine needle
Psychic development: anise-benzoin-cinnamon-common sage-frankincense-geranium-lemon-lemongrass-parsley-peppermint-rose-juniper berry
Spirituality: cedarwood-cypress-eucalyptus-frankincense-hyssop-myrrh-sandalwood Protection: bergamot-common sage-cypress-frankincense-juniper berry-myrrh-parsley-pine needle-sandalwood-thyme
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