I’m not sure how or why I fell into this rabbit hole - but I’m been researching Baneful Herbs. Less so for actually using them in my practice but more for the history, uses cultivation. Does anyone work with Baneful herbs and can share wisdom or point me to resources to read more about them or websites to purchase herbs?
While I am an eclectic Green witch, I’m more of a medicinal, helpful herbal kind of gal but I admit the topic of the Baneful herbs intrigues me.
As someone who doesn’t use Baneful Magick but is also absolutely fascinated by herbs, I’d say that an herb would only truly be “baneful” if it was being actively used in a hex- in other words, I don’t think there’s anything taboo about studying the properties of any and all herbs in the name of knowledge!
On that note, have I got a book recommendation for you:
It’s called Wicked Plants: The Weed That Killed Lincoln’s Mother & Other Botanical Atrocities. I wrote a bit more about it in a book club review, but basically it’s loaded with all types of fascinating, deadly, and sometimes just plain naughty plants- it’s a very fun read! (A note that it is written from a botanical point of view, as opposed to a magickal one, so it may not be exactly what you’re looking for).
I dug around in the forum a bit and a few herbs with potentially baneful associations:
Although I have not seen loads of references to using herbs for baneful purposes, I do know of a couple. I am not claiming these are right or wrong, just read. Blueberry thrown in the path of an enemy may cause strife or confusion. Calamus or morning glory can be used in a spell against another may compel them to follow your will. Calamus appears in oils and spellwork of this kind. Wormwood used in summoning might be considered by some to be in the baneful category, if necromancy is considered baneful. I think a lot of this is a gray area where some people would consider it baneful and others would not. Plenty of the toxic herbs are also considered baneful in some uses, like belladonna and hemlock, for example. Graveyard dirt is not techincally an herb but as a component in goofer dust – that is just about as undeniably baneful as practices get, if used in a curse. Not my style - my practice is about working on me, not cursing or hexing others, although I get the attraction. For an online resource for buying herbs and powders, as well as roots associated with hoo doo and other practices, try Original Botanica (online). Good prices, good quality.
I have an interest in baneful herbs as well — one of my favorite books related to it is The Poison Path Herbal by Coby Michael.
I don’t advocate for the use of it, ESPECIALLY internal use because it’s toxic and from the things I’ve read online, it is NOT pleasant, but I’ve been OBSESSED with Datura stramonium ever since I found it growing in my yard. It has an extremely unique, mystical, powerful energy, and an exceedingly fascinating trove of folklore!
This has happened to me more times than I can count >_<
Something I’ve found helpful for soothing the sting is to make a paste of baking soda and water and gently spread it on the affected area. The baking soda helps to neutralize the acid from the nettle that causes the stinging feeling.
If you don’t have any allergies, or you’re out and don’t have access to baking soda, you can make a quick “spit poultice” of plantain (Plantago spp.) by gathering a small amount of it and chewing it and then spreading it on the affected area. The antihistamine (and cooling, if I remember correctly) properties of the plantain can soothe the redness and redness of the rash caused by the nettle sting. Use this wisely, as I would assume the spit could potentially lead to infection if used on broken skin
My all-time favorite thing to do is to make a paste of baking soda, plantain, and water in a mortar and pestle and spread it on the stung area.
I’ll have to do some citing of my sources, so please take the information above with a grain of salt I’ll try to remember to go back and add some resources when I get a chance
I just happened to be looking for a copy of the book and ran across her resource guide!
I think these qualify in my opinion! I’m not looking to use anything Banefully - well I don’t have any current plans to but I’m more interested in the lore and history and tidbits being the plant nerd that I am! This is perfect, thank you!
Good to know and thank you so much for the list!
Another book to add to my digital library! I agree, I’m obsessed with ethnobotany, the lore, and the history of baneful plants even if I never use them, I enjoy learning new things.
Ooo good to know! I’ll have to try it next time as I know there will be a next time as they live on one corner of my garden.
It’s less about getting the actual herbs and more about resources to learn about them and perhaps to grow them in my herb garden depending on the species. Currently, I have wormwood and absinthe growing.
At this point, I feel like I need to put a disclaimer on here. I am not recommending the use of plants or herbs as poisons. I have not read all of the resources and can not vouch for their accuracy or safety.
Still looking for books and resources and came across these
An herbalist I was living with in Italy would gather plantain to soak in honey as a remedy for cough- I haven’t used it as a sting remedy before, but it sure is a very helpful plant Makes me wonder if it could ease bee stings too. I’ll have to do some digging- thank you, Jewitch!
Ohhhhh thank you for sharing your finds, Artemisia! I hope your research and studies continue to go well!
@Artemisia my personal opinion on baneful herbs, which i do use, is to have them in your possession to really learn. What does it smell like? Look like, bc pics are deceiving? Feel like? Taste like ( only if applicable, and you’re experienced)? How does it counteract with other herbs? How does it make u feel, just in general? How does it make u feel bc its classified as baneful? These are all questions i ask when i acquire a baneful or any herb for that matter. Even the “non-baneful” ones caution should always be used.
However bc of this belief might be why i have 164 herbs including baneful ones. But i also know the medicinal and magikal properties and the uses for each.
Very good points! Honestly, I think before the ethics challenge Iwould have said I’d never own any but since I put a lot of thought into what I would and wouldn’t do, having baneful herbs on hand to learn and study them is a great idea.
Now I just need to figure out where to store them safely and which ones to start with
Sorry, I’m all over the place tonight! I am growing wormwood but that’s about it for what I have for baneful herbs.
You are amazing, thank you for your herbal wisdom!
Ah, I knew I saw this somewhere! As per usual when I run on my own, I spend part of the run looking at plants, flowers, trees, leaves, you know nature and I often come back with a pocket full of items This past week I was obsessed with berries and noticed some huge rose thorns on a plant, like disproportionately large and only on one stem A light bulb went off and I thought I bet these would work as Baneful and I ended up with 7 thorns poking me through my pocket on the way home