An Altorian Herbal

for identifying and utilizing the common herbs

Master Hamric Taelstrom of Trifolium University


Devil's Eye

Poison Spindle, Black Nightbane
Devil's Eye must be handled with extreme care as all parts are highly poisonous.

      It is a biennial plant that grows in neglected places, graveyards and waste areas. The brown, spindle shaped rootstock, in its second year, sends up a dirty green, rounded stem with sticky hairs bearing alternate, downy stemless leaves, wide at the base tapering to a point. The leaves are pale green tinged with purple. The funnel shaped flowers are dull yellow with purple veins and bases. All parts exude a fetid odor.
      If gathered in the early dawn by a naked man, standing on one foot, Devil's Eye when carried in a pouch with patchouli and cinnamon, is a most effective way of attracting a woman.
      It is believed to be an ingredient in an ointment which when applied to a staff or broom will enable it to fly.

Never ingest Devil's Eye or breathe the smoke from its burning.

Calming Melissima

LemonCalm, Bee Mint, Sweet Balm

      A perennial plant with a short root and an upright, hairy, quadrangular stem. The stem is branched and grows as high as three feet. The yellow-green leaves are softly serrated, oval or heart shaped, somewhat hairy and grow on opposites sides of the stem, tapering to a point at the apex. The larger leaves can be up to 21 inches long and 11 inches across. The flowers grow in clusters at the angle between the stem and the leaf stalks. The small, white, two lipped flowers come in mid to late summer. When bruised, the whole plant smells of lemon.

      An amulet of dried Melissima flowers in a white velvet pouch with a bit of turquoise stone is good for calming a nervous person. The pouch should be worn day and night until the nervousness subsides. At that point take the dead Melissima flowers and bury them next to a live Melissima plant.

            Chant over it;     "Nervousness to Ereth through this plant go."

      If the nervousness recurs, add new flowers and begin wearing the amulet again.
      A tisane of the dried leaves is a mild sedative tea useful for opening the pores to reduce fever from cold in the chest. Also useful for insomnia and melancholy either as an infusion or added to the bathing water. The crushed leaves are used as a poultice for sores and insect bites.

Hag's Candlewick

Velvet Plant, Brownie's Staff

      Hag's Candlewick is a tall, straight biennial plant which sometimes will reach, in its' second year, to a majestic 5 feet in height. It bears alternate, large, thick, feltlike, light gray green leaves on a stout single or branched stem rising from a rosette of larger lancelike leaves. Spikes of five-lobed, yellow stemless glowers are set closely around the top of the stem.
      Used in an amulet with King's Cureall and Bountry, Hag's Candlewick, when placed in a white cotton cloth tied round twelve times with red string, is an effective deterrent to demons and undead creatures.

       With each knot tied, chant;

"I bind thee to protect this dwelling and all within it."

      The amulet must then be placed in the highest point of the dwelling.

      Torches of dried Hag's Candlewick dipped in wax will drive away evil spirits.
      To cure afflictions of the breathing passages, infuse one half once of dried Hag's Candlewick in a kettle of boiling water and inhale the steam. It may also be smoked in a pipe to relieve the spasm of asthma or to correct a tendency to think bad thoughts.
      To cure earache or deafness, take the flowers and place in a glass flask, cover with pure olive oil. Leave in the sun for 21 days. Strain the oil and keep in a tightly stoppered bottle. Place one drop of oil in the affected ear 3 times a day.

King's Cure-all

Night Willow Herb, Fever plant

      A coarse annual or biennial plant found in waste places and along roadsides. It has a soft, hairy, erect stem with alternate 3 to 6 inch long tapered pointed leaves. The lemon scented, yellow flowers have a stigma in the shape of the King's cross.
       The 1 to 3 inch across flowers grow in spikes and only open at dusk. They appear in late summer to early fall. Hey repel all forms of night creatures and are abhorred by the undead.
      An infusion of King's Cure-all is a soothing remedy for coughs associated with colds.
      It can also be made into an ointment which is protective against were creatures and those afflicted with the vampiric diseases.
      It has also been used for mental depression, especially if caused by an evil curse. Make an infusion using 1 teaspoon of the plant with 1 cup of fresh spring water. Take one cup a day, a mouthful at a time.

Black Bountry

Ellanwood, Gnome-brew

Caution: All parts of the fresh plant can cause poisoning.

      The shrub grows 5 to 30 feet high in damp areas. The bark is light brown near the bottom of the stem lightening to gray white higher up, stippled with warts. The leaves are dark green, about 4 inches long and finely serrated. In mid summer, highly fragrant tiny flowers, carried in umbel-like clusters appear.
      The creamy colored flowers can be used to make a fine wine or can be used in brewing bear. The shiny black berries are small and round and hang in heavy trusses. They can be used for pies and jams, but must be thoroughly cooked.
      A Bountry tree planted outside a house will keep evil sorcerers at bay and will protect the house from lightning.
      Used in lotions and salves, the flowers are an excellent treatment for burns, common or magically induced.
      Many Bountry seem to be inhabited by a Bountry Beldame, a particularly protective Nymph, who's permission must be begged before the tree's wood is cut or burned. They are partial to polished stones and can oft be bribed with such. Do not ignore or anger these Beldames or suffer dire consequences.

Beware the Red Bountry.

Soldier's Woundwort

Knight's Milfoil, Imp's Nettle

      Woundwort has a smooth, pithy, angular stem, 10 to 20 inches high. The leaves, which are 3 to 4 inches long and about an inch wide, clasp the stem with their bases. The leaves are feather shaped and each lateral segment is also formed like a tiny feather. The small glowe5s cluster at the tip of the plant in large flat heads. The common woundwort has yellow blooms, but the white blooming Knight's Milfoil is more effective in treating wounds. The Imp's Nettle with it's rose-colored flowers is mainly used in magic, charms and spells. Flowering time is late summer into the autumn.
      The raw, fresh herb when bruised is an excellent vulnerary. It is applied to fresh wounds to stop the bleeding and heal the cut. The anesthetic action will also relieve some of the pain. The fresh leaves may also be chewed to relieve the pain of toothache. The fresh juice of the woundwort is also good if ingested for various forms of internal bleeding, such as nosebleed, coughing or spitting blood, or for bloody vomitus.
      An infusion of the dried leaves is said to prevent baldness if the head be washed regularly with it.
      The dried stems are employed by Ogre mages in consultations with their oracles.
      If seeking a vision of her future husband or lover, a girl must pluck a stalk of Imp's Nettle from a young soldier's grave with these words;

"Sweet Imp's Nettle, the first that I have found,

In the name of Belaia, I pluck the from the ground.

As Thrain loved Thera, and took her for his dear,

So in my dreams, may my true love appear."

      The Stalk of Imp's Nettle should be sown into a square of white felt and placed under the pillow.
      As an infusion of a single herb, a simple, it is useful in developing clairvoyant powers, especially if drunk every time one attempts o achieve clairvoyance.
      Imp's Nettle when used in love and marriage charms has the power to keep a couple happily together for seven years.
      When used in brewing it is said to make a very potent drink, used by some as a base for a powerful love potion.

Dryad's Broom


      Dryad's broom is a deciduous shrub with slender, angular stems and branches bearing alternate leaves. The leaves are small, about one half to three quarters inches long, egg shaped, widening from the base, downy, and sometimes trifoliate. The flowers are plentiful from spring to mid-summer. They are single, bright yellow, growing from the angle between the stem and the branch. The fruit is a brownish-black, shaggy pod containing 12-18 seeds.

Caution: Large doses of Dryad's Broom can cause fatal poisoning.

      The flowering tops, when smoked in a pipe, while seated in a Dryad's grove, will enable one to see all forms of fae creature even if they be normally invisible.
      When practicing magick out of doors, it is good practice to sweep the surrounding area with Dryad's Broom to remove any negative forces that may be at work. It is also a good herb to use in purification incenses.
      Use to raise and calm winds. Raise them by throwing the herb into the air, preferably off a mountain top. Calm the winds by burning the herb.


Tree of Enchantment, White Witch

      Withe is a deciduous tree found in moist areas. It is sometimes a shrub, sometimes a tree up to 75 feet tall. It is covered with rough, gray bark. The branches are long and supple and carry alternate, lanceolate, serrate leaves of an ashy-gray colour which are silky on both sides. The flowers appear as catkins at the same time as the first leaves.
      The bark of the Withe is used to alleviate pain and to reduce fever. It reduces inflammation and is an excellent treatment for painful joints.
      A wand of withe is useful in healing rituals. The soft, pliant branches are often used as a binding for a sorcerer's broom.

Black Withe

Catkin Withe, Black witch

      Black withe has very dark, rough bark and leaves which often curve at the tip. The catkins are large, soft, grey or pink.
      In addition to the properties of the white withe, the catkins of black withe are anti-aphrodisiacs and sexual sedatives. Use an infusion of the bark and/or the catkins. This treatment can make one immune to most spells of a sexual nature or to creatures with powers of seduction.

Herb Robert

Two-Headed Dragon, Dragonettes in Love

      Herb Robert has a thick, juicy, hairy, reddish stem which is usually forked. The soft, fernlike leaves are on opposites sides of the stem. The leaflets are split about halfway to the midrib and arranged in opposites rows along the stalk. They are deep green in colour often tinged with red - turning deeper red in full sun. The usually paired, five petalled flowers are small, pink to purplish -rose coloured with a red veined calyx. The seed pods resemble the heads of small dragons.
      Herb Robert planted near dwellings will keep snakes at bay.
      Dried seedpods sewn in a green pouch and worn at the belt will repel snakes from your person.
      Remove any developing fruit before using the herb medicinally.
      Tea made from Herb Robert is an antidote for snakebite. The crushed green herb can be applied to relieve the pain of snakebite.


Yellow Root, Cat's Sight, Heartwheat

      Patience is a perennial herb found in fields and by roadsides. It has a long, yellow, spindle shaped taproot which cannot be pulled but must be dug. It sends up a smooth stem, 1 to 3 feet tall, with dark green, lance-like leaves which sometimes have wavy margins. The lower leaves are larger than the upper. The majority of the leaves spring directly from the base, these are six inches to one foot long. The upper leaves, on the flower stalk, are only about half as large. The flowers are greenish in colour, densely arrange in panicled racemes at the top of the stalk. The seeds are heart-shaped and when ripe turn a deep rich brown colour.       The spring greens of Patience are a very healthful food for man or beast. They are best when gathered while the nights are still cold.
      The seeds, when the hulls have been removed, can be ground and then sifted to make a fine flour.
      The yellow root is useful in making salves to cure itching, sores and scabs.
      The seeds, when properly magicked, are useful in amulets to give night-sight.

Ripple Grass

Soldier's Footprint, Rat's Tail

      Where ever soldiers set foot, Ripple Grass is sure to rise.
      Ripple Grass is a perennial plant common in waste places, dooryards and roadsides. Its leaves are broad, ovate and entire. They have a thick, channeled footstalk. The leaves are longitudinaly veined. The flower stalks grow from 6-8 inches high and are tipped with slender spikes of greenish-white flowers, overshadowed by brownish sepals and bracts. They flower from early summer to fall.
      Chewing the rootstalk can relieve tooth ache.
      A decoction applied externally can be used for ringworm.
      It is commonly used to increase virility.
      Ripple Grass is a cure for poison and snakebite when used as a poultice.

Over you war wagons rolled

Over you noble queens rode

Over you good soldiers died

Over you fair young brides cried

All these you've withstood and confounded

Now withstand this venom which wounded

Remedies for the Common Cold and Related Complaints

      An herbal bath is an excellent remedy for the common cold. A foot bath of made from a decoction of ground mustard is a soothing treatment. You may also use this decoction as a full bath if wished.
      A vapor treatment using chamomile is good for a cold and is also calming to the nerves. A vapor bath using balsam poplar is a fine expectorant for congestion.
      An infusion of ginger root, steeped for 10 minutes and mixed with the juice of lemon and honey to sweeten is an excellent remedy for colds and cough. An addition of rose hips is useful for soothing sore throat.
      Hollyhock flowers can also be steeped for a tea to treat cold accompanied by sore throat.
      A tea made from steeping a half dozen figs in boiling water is effective for colds and flu.
      Elderberry Tea, made from the elder flowers is also good for colds and flu.
      If using sage or lemon calm or pansy flowers as a cold remedy it is best to use fresh leaves and flowers.
      Garlic should also be used fresh. A hot soup seasoned with sage or lemon calm and garlic is a nourishing cure for those in need of sustenance.
      Hag's Candlewick makes a good infusion for a gargle to sooth sore throat. Also effective is an infusion of oak bark used in this way. If these are not available, common plantain is also effective.
      Oil of thyme is a good rub to relieve chest congestion. Hag's candlewick leaves, wetted with warm water, and laid on the chest makes a good poultice.
      For a very bad cough, the most effective remedy is wild cherry bark boiled for ten minutes and the resulting potion strained and cooled. No more than 1 cup in the morning and 1 cup in the evening should be taken. Never use the leaves or seeds of the cherry tree.
      Licorice root is also effective if used in this way.
      A tea made from almonds has a sedative quality that is helpful for serious coughs.
      A poultice of black mustard seeds is helpful placed on the chest.
      If none of these are available, skunk cabbage can be used if necessary.
      The appropriate amulet for a cold or cough is made from a light blue satin bag containing a silver moon with a star caught between its tips and with a small ruby and a small amethyst added to the bag. For chest complaints and sore throat, a white silk pouch containing a white goose feather and a silver ring set with a fayruz stone is effective.

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