Consider rabbit tobacco for protecting the home from ghosts; smudging folks who are harassed by negative spirits or the unhappy dead; helping folks who are suffering nightmares, insomnia, or who are not in their right mind; and protecting newborns. It has lots of possibilities as part of any work with the Underworld. After some rumination, it seems right to designate this an Air herb, on account of its nice scent (but which is not Venus-like), because of its medicinal use in asthma (material uses always helpful as directions for spiritual use), and because of the connection between breath and soul/spirits/ghosts. Top
The Cherokee decocted rabbit tobacco, made it into a cough syrup, smoked it for asthma, and chewed it for a sore throat. The Creek added it to medicines for its pleasant scent, sort of like cherry flavoring in European medicine This herb is called "everlasting" because of how the dried flowers persevere. In Eclectic medicine, it was referred to as white balsam and infused to make medicines for sore throats, mouth sores, to cause sweating to help break a fever, made into a poultice for bruises, and stuffed into pillows for tubercular people that enabled them to sleep without hacking. Europeans seemed to have missed this plant's magical capabilities, even though there is an unscented Gnaphalium in Europe. Even years after being dried, this magic herb's scent can be released strongly and suddenly. In the field, it releases its scent after a rain. Some think it's a warm, spicy smell, others that it smells like maple syrup. Rabbit tobacco is also known as owl's crown, moonshine, ladies' tobacco, poverty weed, old field balsam, sweet everlasting, cudweed, sweet white balsam, Indian posey, none-so-pretty, catsfoot, life of man, and fussy gussy. Top
How to Grow rabbit tobacco. Even though this is an annual, it benefits from cold stratification. Sprinkle seeds in a paper towel that has been wet and wrung out (a kelp/water solution works well). Fold up towel, pressing gently, and put inside a cheap baggie. Don't close the top, and don't forget to label the baggie. Put outside in late fall in a sheltered location, like an unheated garage, an unheated porch, or a covered patio. In spring, check regularly for germination and transplant to seed starting pots or peat pellets. It gets 1-3ft/30-90cm tall. Transplant to dryish soil and full sun. rabbit tobacco is usually collected in the fall or winter, when it has naturally dried in the field. Amongst the Yuchi, it is general practice to fast from midnight until harvesting the herb during the day, during which time prayers are said to explain to the divine what is needed to be done, and the herb is harvested while the person faces east. Although a common name for this herb is rabbit tobacco, rabbits do not like to eat it; according to tribal lore, they just like to hang around it. Remember that Rabbit is a trickster, though. General growing info. Top
Uses in Witchcraft & Magic:
Protection from Ghosts & Witchcraft
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