Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Mardi: Herbal-Wise

To continue the theme of fruit from yesterday, today’s herb-du-jour is raspberries.  They grow like weeds up here in my neck of the woods, a favorite of kids, birds and moose alike and one of my favorite fruits as well.  Although, thanks to their prickly brambles, they can truly be a pain to pick.  Old wives, Wiccans and root doctors have all favored the stalks and leaves of raspberry plants at various times and for various uses.  Here are a few that I know of.

Old wives, in Europe and North America, have been known to pin a raspberry leaf inside the clothing of a pregnant woman.  Changed frequently throughout the pregnancy, the raspberry leaf was thought to ease any pains afflicting the mother during both her pregnancy and birth and delivery.  The long branches, often known as brambles, were bundled up and hung on doors or in windows to turn away evil.  This was particularly popular when a death happened in the neighborhood; the thorns were thought to “stick” a wandering and potentially malevolent shade, thus keeping it from entering the home.

Scott Cunningham says that Wiccans use raspberries in foods charmed to induce love.  Raspberry tea can be used the same way.

In hoodoo, raspberry leaves are thought to draw general luck and to help spouses stay faithful.  Women are advised to make a tisane from a handful of raspberry leaves, allow it to cool and then strain the mixture while thinking of their husbands.  This should be bottled up and the woman should rinse her pubic area with the water at least once a week to keep her husband from straying.

From the Iroquois Native tribe, probably via Pow-Wow, hoodoo adopted a charm used by men to keep their women faithful when they were required to be away overnight or longer.  A raspberry bramble with a root on both ends needed to be located, and some of the root on each end collected with minimal damage to the plant.  If the bramble dies, the trick will not work.  These roots should then be boiled and the water added to the man’s bath.  A small amount of this bathwater should be slipped into the wife’s food or drink before the man leaves home to ensure her fidelity.  Bonne chance ~

Header: The Hireling Shepherd by William Holman Hunt


Timmy! said...

I am particularly fond of raspberry tea, myself, Pauline...

Pauline said...

Me too :)