Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Mardi: Herbal-Wise

Tansy, known in certain parts of Europe as Buttons because of the appearance of its yellow flowers, is specified in folklore for use in maintaining health and longevity.  These qualities morphed when the herb came into the hoodoo botanica.  The granting of health became protection from a sometimes unhealthy authority: the law.

In European wisdom, which doubtless came from Greece via the Romans, tansy was associated with Ganymede, the cupbearer of the gods.  He drank a tansy tea to make him immortal and therefore people would drink a weak tea made from tansy and/or carry a bit of the plant to lengthen their lives.   Please note here that tansy should not ever be ingested by pregnant women and that it is always wise to consult your doctor prior to undertaking any herbal regimen.  Better safe than sorry.

Tansy tea is also used to cure fever.  Following this path, people would tuck tansy into their shoes to ward off fevers and plagues.

In hoodoo, that same pinch of tansy in your shoes is said to keep the authorities off your trail, particularly if you’re up to something less than lawful.  People in shady businesses are advised to bathe in tansy tea and old New Orleans legend says notorious pirate Jean Laffite was given a powerful tansy tea by the famous voodoo Queen Marie Laveau to help keep his smuggling business free of trouble from American authorities.

Tansy has also been utilized for centuries to deter ants.  Sprinkle flowers and leaves in your pantry and other places where the little thieves show up, particularly in the summer, to get them to back off.  The bonus is that tansy is much safer than chemical pesticides around children and animals. 

And thus ends HQ's 200th post.  Bonne chance ~

Header: After Service by Edward Blair Leighton c 1921


Timmy! said...

Well, now I know what to do next time I'm on the lam from the law, Pauline...

Congrats on post number 200 too!


Pauline said...

You're far more likely to be chased by ants, frankly, but either way tansy could help. I think I'll ask B to plant some this summer.

And thank you!