Sunday, 13 January 2013

Herbal Folklore...

I have been reading a few books this weekend about plant folklore, myths and legends.

All very interesting, if a little funny at times.

My family tree has a mixture of Irish, Russian and Polish origins and most women in the family are 'green fingered' and have many thoughts on what plants represent.

Some of my earliest memories about this sort of thing include always rubbing an apple before eating it to release any bad spirits that may be hidden inside, carry a sprig of lavender around or put under your pillow if you have a headache (I still do this when I feel a headache coming on) and never pick a pansy on a fine day or you will encourage a rain storm.

So following on from my previous post about the language of flowers, here is an A-Z of Herbal folklore and meanings taken from a few books, online research and sayings in my family.

Angelica - protection from evil
Ash - invincibilty/heals a broken heart
Balm Melissa - healing powers for mind and soul
Borage - carrying the flowers in pocket provides courage
Briar Rose - protects you from the bite of a dog or snake
Clover - brings good luck/provides clairvoyant powers
Daisy - put flower under pillow to dream of your true love
Elder - brings wisdom and joy
Elm - keep some in room to help with easier childbirth
Fennel - bestows strength and courage
Hawthorn - happy marriage/fertility
Hazel - fertility/immortality
Heather - brings luck (especially white Heather)
Honeysuckle - fidelity/affection. Wear in hair to attract suitors Bring into home after a fight with loved ones to restore peace and happiness
Hyssop - purifying/cleanses the air after a death in family
Jasmine - attraction/keep a flower in pocket to attract suitors
Lavender - cures headache/promotes relaxation. Plant in garden to keep evil away
Lilac - love/luck
Lily of the Valley - counters spells/attracts fairies
Majoram - peace/happiness/joy
Mint - sharpens the mind/place a sprig over doorway to stop bad thoughts from visitors
Mistletoe - energy/fertility/immortality
Mulberry - cures headaches
Mullein - protection from sorcery
Nettle - protection from evil spirits and demons
Oak - protection by the Gods/carry an acorn in pocket to promote long life
Onion - protection from lung illness,colds and flu if boiled and eaten whole
Poppy - a charm against those bewitched into love with you
Primrose - helps you see fairies/soothes a troubled mind
Rosemary - improves memory/give a sprig to someone you want to be friends with/keep a sprig in pocket if going on a journey for protection
Rue - promotes good luck/protection from evil eye/freedom
Sage - longevity/prosperity but do not cut with metal blade - break from plant with uncovered hands
Snowdrop - the passing of sorrow and welcoming of joy
St Johns Wort - considered by many cultures to be the most potent of all herbs for driving away evil from home or soul
Sweet Pea - good fortune/place in room to calm down overexcited children
Thyme - relieves nightmares
Walnut - relives an itchy scalp/repels spiders/robs a witch of all mobility
Willow - keep some in room where you sleep to get over a lost love
Yew - protection from evil/immortality but never cut from tree - gather from ground

I best get myself some Borage or Fennel for my trip to the dentist next week...


  1. I've loved reading the list of herbal folklore, fascinating. Do you know much about modern flower remedies used for massage therapy? There's definite crossover with some of the old ways listed here.

    By the way Mici, I have now written my response to your Liebster award questions, thanks so much for involving me and I look forward to staying in touch via our lovely little blogs :)

  2. Wow this is such an interesting post! I never realised how much information there is about herbal folklore. Thanks for sharing! I hope you will visit my blog! Angelina xx