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Herbs for Imbolc

Herbs can play an important role in any Sabbat celebration. At Imbolc, which is still in the middle of winter, the herbs play a practical as well as a spiritual role since they can be used to fortify the physical strength of the individuals that ingest them, therefore making it more likely that you will survive the rest of winter in good health.

Some of the herbs (By no means an all-inclusive list) that are particularly available and/or useful during this season are:

* Ash (leaf or wood) - Imbolg's symbolic tree is the ash tree and it is called the herb of the sun. Medicinally, reputed to clear obstructions from the spleen and liver.

* Celadine - Magickally, reputed to bring joy and cure depression. Medicinally, used to help jaundice and eczema. The fresh juice is used to cure warts, ringworm and corns. The roots are good for hemorrhoids.

* Chamomile - Magickally, it is used for purification and protection as well as Initiative and energy in adversity. Medicinally, it is antibacterial and used for upset stomachs and fevers

* Coriander - Magickally, for healing, especially headaches, love and health. Medicinally, it strengthens the urinary system and eases gas & indigestion

* Dragon's Blood - Magickally, drives away evil and negativity while building love and potency. Medicinally, it promotes healing and stops bleeding (used externally).

* Garlic - Magickally, good for protection and courage. Guards against foul weather. Medicinally, Prevents and cures intestinal worms. Very antiseptic, it is good for sore throats, bronchitis and infections.

* Heather - Magickally, Brings good luck and promotes peace in the home. Medicinally, strengthens the heart, suppresses coughing and aids sleeplessness.

* Lemon - Magickally, used for longevity, purification, love and blessings. Medicinally, it raises the vitamin C levels in the body, thus fighting rickets and scurvy.

* Myrrh - Magickally good for purification and blessings, exorcism, healing, and spirituality. Medicinally, Promotes circulation and increases heart rate and power.

* Rose Hips - Magickally, it is good for love, attraction, healing, sleep, peace of mind and spiritual peace. Medicinally, it provides one of the best natural sources of vitamin C available. They are used to combat acute disease and to build up the body and strengthen the immune system.

* Sage - Magickally, it boosts self-esteem and is good for protection, and exorcism. Medicinally, ensures long life, eases sore throat, dries up breast milk and is useful as a poultice for sores and stings

* Sunflower - Magickally, used for fertility, wishes, wisdom and health, Medicinally, fevers, vomiting, lung and throat problems, coughs and colds.

* Vervain - Magickally, good for purification and peace. Medicinally, used to treat the liver and diseases related to the liver, exhaustion, fatigue, fever, insomnia, asthma, post-natal depression, as well as painful or irregular menses. It will also help increase the flow of a mother's milk (after birth of the child).

* Violets - Magickally, used for protection, luck, and love. Medicinally, they are effective in healing internal ulcers. It is used both internally and externally for pimples, abscesses, tumors, and swollen glands.

* Witch hazel - Magickally, used for protection. Medicinally, used externally for insect bites, burns, bleeding wounds, hemorrhoids, and varicose veins. Internally it will stop bleeding from internal organs, treats bronchitis, flu, and coughs as well as promotes healing of stomach ulcers.