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Myrica gale - Bog myrtleMyrica Gale
Bog Myrtle / Sweet Gale
Helpful for enhancing lucid dreaming and astral work generally, bog myrtle was a flavoring for a type of European beer known as gruit up until the introduction of hops. The other components of gruit were yarrow and marsh rosemary.* Some say this brew was the behind the Berserkers. In northern Europe, bog myrtle and yarrow have been ingredients in fermented drinks made from grain, honey, or fruit since the Iron Age, and it is still used in Scandinavia to make a liqueur called "snaps." This magic herb tastes both bitter and balsamic (rich like vanilla) and has a nice spicy aroma. The nut cones have the highest amount of the psychoactive properties of this herb. The whole plant has a wonderful resinous scent, and large stands can cast their fragrance for half a mile or so. The Potawatami Indians liked it enough to smudge with it. That makes sense of why this was a linen sachet and a strewing herb in Scotland; bugs hate the smell as much as we like it. This herb is dangerous for pregnant women. Despite the claims of some internet sources, bog myrtle and myrtle are two unrelated plants that grow in different parts of the world. This plant is also known as sweet gale and sweet willow (leaves look willow-like). It's aromatic, good for the skin, and protects against blood-sucking (Martial) insects, so despite the fact that its flowers are insignificant, I believe it's a Venus herb.

How to Grow Bog Myrtle
Barely cover seeds and cold stratify for six weeks at 41F/5C (I myself am going to try Outdoor Treatment), although some of the seeds will germinate without any cold stratification. Bog myrtle can grow in full sun to deep shade but does not like heat. It prefers plenty of water and soil with peat in it or near pines (acidic soil). Becomes a shrub about 4-6ft/1.5-2m tall. Plants tend to sucker after they've grown a few years. You can dig out a sucker and plant that in a separate area to create more plants. Cuttings will root best in a mixture of peat moss and sand. Plants can be male or female and won't produce fertile seeds unless both are present. This herb can fix nitrogen from the air, like a legume. Some people are allergic to the pollen. It's hardy to zone 3 (-40F).  In North America, this plant is found throughout Canada, in the MidAtlantic, New England, Great Lakes, and Northwest, and in the Allegheny Mountains, but it is native to all of the northern hemisphere. General growing info

*My marsh rosemary plant has not yet produced viable seeds.

Myrica gale
Bog Myrtle
70 seeds $3.50


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Uses in Witchcraft & Magic:

Dreamwork
Astral Work
VenusHerb

2010, 2014 Harold A. Roth; No reproduction without permission