Ozark Encyclopedia – O – Onion

Mountain Man Traditional Healing

Onion – Allium cepa

Parts used: bulb

Traditional uses: Syrup of chopped onions taken for colds. Used to destroy germs because of a volatile oil in roots. Onion placed in a sick room to draw fever out.

“Antiseptic, diuretic. A roasted Onion is a useful application to tumours or earache. The juice made into a syrup is good for colds and coughs. Hollands gin, in which Onions have been macerated, is given as a cure for gravel and dropsy.” ~Grieve MH

Red onion on bedpost for a cold – “A big red onion tied to a bedpost is said to prevent the occupants of the bed from catching cold. A famous politician in Arkansas had an onion fastened to his bedpost as recently as 1937. When I asked him about this he laughed rather sheepishly. ‘That’s just one of Maw’s notions,’ he said, referring to his mother-in-law. ‘She lives with…

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5 Magical Binding Plants

The Witch & Walnut

5 Magical Binding PlantsHappy Friday Everyone!

Although there is absolutely no sight of spring in the air in my parts and won’t be for quite some time, I still felt compelled to write about living binding green things. Perhaps it is all the sunshine. Binding is a popular option when it comes to spell work. This post is not about binding spells, just vines options you can use for your binds.

Various man-made options work well if you are not looking to take a nature walk.  Threads, yarn, cord etc can be used, but if you prefer working with nature here are the most popular options to work with and these are readily available from spring, well into deep autumn early winter.

Creeping nightshade  

Very common and found growing along fences, even fences in parking lots, trail edges and forest edges. These easily rip out, you won’t need scissors.

clematis-400x266

Clematis – Very easy…

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Ozark Encyclopedia – O – Oak

Mountain Man Traditional Healing

Oak – Quercus

Parts used: bark, leaf

Traditional uses: Astringent, antiseptic, bark and leaves can be used to treat diarrhea and dysentery, can be used in poultices and to help stop bleeding.

“The astringent effects of the Oak were well known to the Ancients, by whom different parts of the tree were used, but it is the bark which is now employed in medicine. Its action is slightly tonic, strongly astringent and antiseptic. It has a strong astringent bitter taste, and its qualities are extracted both by water and spirit. The odour is slightly aromatic. Like other astringents, it has been recommended in agues and haemorrhages, and is a good substitute for Quinine in intermittent fever, especially when given with Chamomile flowers. It is useful in chronic diarrhoea and dysentery, either alone or in conjunction with aromatics. A decoction is made from 1 OZ. of bark in a quart of…

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Ozark Encyclopedia – N – Needles

Mountain Man Traditional Healing

Held in mouth while cutting onions – “A girl from Cape Fair, Missouri, once told me that a woman can peel or cut up raw onions without making her eyes smart, simply by holding a needle in her mouth while she does the job.” ~Randolph OMF 138-139

Held in mouth for sore eyes – “…in other backwoods towns I have heard that a needle in the mouth is generally believed to be good for sore or watery eyes, no matter what the cause of the irritation.” ~Randolph OMF 139

Needle used in making a love charm – “A girl can take a needle which has been stuck into a dead body, cover it with dirt in which a corpse has been laid, and wrap the whole thing in a cloth cut from a winding sheet; this is supposed to be a very powerful love charm, and a woman who owns…

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Winter Tree Lore

Good Witches Homestead

ELDER (Sambucus spp.) – The Latin name Sambucus is derived from a Greek word for a wind instrument made from the elder. Also known as Ellhorn, Elderberry, Lady Elder. Sacred to the White Lady and Midsummer Solstice. The Druids used it to both bless and curse. Standing under an elder tree at Midsummer, like standing in a Fairy Ring of mushrooms, will help you see the “little people.” Elder wands can be used to drive out evil spirits or thought forms. Music on panpipes or flutes of elder has the same power as the wand.  The pith can easily be removed from the small branches to make a flute. Elder re-grows damaged branches with ease and can root rapidly from any part. A tea for purifying the blood can be made from the flowers and wine from the fruit, but in general, the tree is poisonous. In Norse mythology, the Goddess Freya chose the…

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Ozark Encyclopedia – N – Nails

Mountain Man Traditional Healing

Nails have been used in Ozark folk healing and magic in a variety of ways. There’s a belief among Hillfolk that the object that hurt the individual was just as important to the healing process as the medicine put onto the wound. Knife blades, bullets, and nails were often treated with healing salves and plants alongside the puncture or cut itself. Rusty nails were added to tonics to prevent tetanus or to treat illnesses like tuberculosis. Water made from soaking new nails was seen as a sure treatment for anemia and iron deficiencies, and sometimes the sickness itself could be taken off the patient and nailed to a tree. Nails were driven into footprints to deal lethal blows to foes and witches alike. Coffin and gallows nails were carried by Hillfolk as an amulet to ward of certain venereal diseases.

Curing a boil – “One way to cure boils, according…

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Holly Wood

Elder Mountain Dreaming @gmail.com

Trees are magical, there is no doubt and those of us who love and respect them are far and few between. The Wood of the Holly is hard, compact and close-grained and its color is of beautiful white ivory that can be buffed to a very high polish.  When freshly cut the holly wood has a slightly greenish hue but soon becomes perfectly white, and its hardness makes it superior to any other white wood. However the wood of Holly is very retentive of its sap and as a consequence can warp if not well dried and seasoned before use. Old, fancy walking sticks were made from Holly, as were the stocks of light riding whips.  Today it is used in delicate instruments such as weather-gauges and barometers.

Holly is commonly used all over the world as a winter season decoration in many traditions, a custom derived from the earliest Romans who…

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Ozark Encyclopedia – M – Mustard

My grandmother was a BIG believer of in mustard plasters.

Mountain Man Traditional Healing

Mustard – Brassica

Parts used: seed

Traditional uses: “Irritant, stimulant, diuretic, emetic. Mustard is used in the form of poultices for external application near the seat of inward inflammation, chiefly in pneumonia, bronchitis and other diseases of the respiratory organs. It relieves congestion of various organs by drawing the blood to the surface, as in head affections, and is of service in the alleviation of neuralgia and other pains and spasms…Internally, Mustard is useful as a regular and mild aperient, being at the same time an alterative. If a tablespoonful of Mustard flour be added to a glass of tepid water, it operates briskly as a stimulating and sure emetic. In cases of hiccough, a teaspoonful of Mustard flour in a teacupful of boiling water is effective. The dose may be repeated in ten minutes if needed.” ~Grieve MH 

Mustard and camphor poultice for colds – “I know…

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Ozark Encyclopedia – M – Mullein

Mountain Man Traditional Healing

Mullein – Verbascum thapsus

Parts used: root, leaf, flower

Traditional uses: Leaves and flowers can be used to clear chest congestion (smoked or as an infusion), as an analgesic for rashes, aches and pains. Leaves can be wilted and used in poultices for swollen glands. Roots can be used in decoctions for gynecological issues.

“The Mullein has very markedly demulcent, emollient and astringent properties, which render it useful in pectoral complaints and bleeding of the lungs and bowels. The whole plant seems to possess slightly sedative and narcotic properties…The dried leaves are sometimes smoked in an ordinary tobacco pipe to relieve the irritation of the respiratory mucus membranes, and will completely control, it is said, the hacking cough of consumption. They can be employed with equal benefit when made into cigarettes, for asthma and spasmodic coughs in general. Fomentations and poultices of the leaves have been found serviceable in haemorrhoidal…

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Ozark Encyclopedia – M – Moon

Mountain Man Traditional Healing

Silver connection to the Moon – “It is always a good idea to be touching a silver coin whenever you see the moon, and it may be for this reason that rings hammered from silver coins are so popular in some sections.” ~Randolph OMF 330

Medicine and the Moon – “Medicine works best when there is a full moon.” ~Parler FBA II 1376

Moon ritual for warts – “Go outside on a moonlight night and sit down on anything. Look at the moon and concentrate on it. Then after a few minutes, still looking at the moon, reach down and pick up whatever your hand touches. Rub it on your wart. The wart will go away.” ~Parler FBA III 3628

Moon madness – “If you look at the moon too long it will make you go crazy. This is called ‘moon madness.’” ~Parler FBA III 3944

“A person who sleeps…

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