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MasterwortPeucedanum ostruthium
Masterwort
Magickally, it is thought that carrying this root will give strength and protection, and that sprinkling it around will cause spirits to manifest themselves. It represents courage and is said to strengthen the will and calm one's emotions, which is an interesting echo of some of its former medicinal uses in the US (against hysteria and delirium tremens). Angelica and masterwort are similar, but they are two different plants. This magick herb has leaves similar to and a fragrant root that smells somewhat like angelica and contains some of the same chemicals, and this is no doubt where the confusion comes in. You might even consider this a sort of masculine, Mars equivalent of the Venus angelica due to its ability to heat and its protective magickal properties. This magick herb's root is hot and stimulating (it can raise heart rate and blood pressure). Culpeper thought it the hottest of all roots, good against cold in the body and for provoking healthful sweating.Weirdly enough, the root contains the same chemical as nutmeg, which probably accounts for its helpfulness as a digestive, and its essential oil is a euphoric (!).

This native of southern and central Europe is a now neglected plant but was once enormously popular. The Romans, who considered this herb helpful for restoring vision and youth, introduced it to the rest of Europe. It was being cultivated in Ireland in the 9th-10th centuries and was a staple in European medicinal gardens of the Middle Ages--so much so that it was referred to as "the divine remedy." In Scandinavia it is an ingredient in spicy bitters and liqueurs and is considered to have magickal properties. In the US it was mainly chewed for toothache and extracted as a digestive aid. The leaves were once cooked and used as a condiment. It is also made into a tea and drunk against migraine. It is still a homeopathic remedy. In the US, masterwort is considered a safe herb but is only approved as a flavoring in alcoholic beverages; it flavors malt beer. It can cause a sun-sensitive reaction is the root is applied to the skin, and it should not be used during pregnancy. This is a handsome and useful historical herb that deserves to make a comeback and be a part of the witch's garden.  Also known as Common Masterwort, Imperatoria, Imperatoria ostruthium, and Selenium ostruthium. Top

How to grow Masterwort. The seed requires cold stratification to germinate. Wet a paper towel (with kelp solution is especially helpful) and wring out, put seeds in the towel and fold into a square, gently pressing the towel against the seeds. Place in a baggie and refrigerate for 3 months and then take out and sow the seeds as usual. Or just plant outside in fall to germinate in the spring. Transplant to full sun and moist soil. The sweet-scented flowers appear on heavy stalks up to 4 ft/1.2m tall in late summer. Harvest the root in spring or autumn and dry. This plant is hardy to zone 5 (temperate), where winter temperatures don't go below -20F/-28C. General growing info Top


 

Peucedanum ostruthium
Masterwort
30 seeds $3.75


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Uses in Witchcraft & Magic:

Protection Spells
Materializing Spirits
Mars Herb

2006, 2014 Harold A. Roth; No reproduction without permission