Archive for the ‘52 Herbs in 52 Weeks’ Category

Parsley

Week #2 is dedicated to Parsley with all of its health & magical benefits.

There is a myth that only a witch can grow parsley, but I’ve seen many gardens housing this wonderful herb.  Personally, however, I was never successful with growing parsley until I entered my witchdom 🙂 . Slow time to germination seems to be the issue here.  The seed is coated with a compound inhibiting germination.  Sprouting the seeds (like you do edible sprouts) overcomes this issue. Or just purchase seedlings from the local organic nursery.  Parsley prefers full sun or partial shade, you might be able to grow it in shade, but your plant will be less than satisfactory.  As many herbs, she doesn’t enjoy wet feet, so keep parsley in well-drained, but moist soil.  To get the best production, use an organic fertilizer. As a relative to celery, parsley is a biennial – returning to the garden year after year once established in some areas.  Because she likes temperatures from abou5 50-70 degrees best, parsley doesn’t enjoy my hot summer weather here in Florida & is prone to die as the weather gets hot.  I’m thinking of bringing her into the kitchen as a houseplant, because it’s reported she does well as one.

Brand New Swallowtail

Brand New Swallowtail

Black Swallowtail butterflies use parsley as their host plant, so if you’re interested in visits from this beautiful creature, add some to your garden.

A medicinal herb, long before it was ever used in cooking, parsley is reported to have numerous health benefits.

“The activity of parsley’s volatile oils qualifies it as a “chemoprotective” food, and in particular, a food that can help neutralize particular types of carcinogens (like the benzopyrenes that are part of cigarette smoke and charcoal grill smoke).”

Parsley is known to benefit:

  • bad breath due to it’s high chlorophyll content

Parsley is great as a garnish for barbeque, because it helps neutralize some of the carcinogens found in charcoal smoke.  High in Vitamins A, C & K, parsley is great as an antioxidant.  But, if you’re taking blood thinners, talk with your doctor before consuming a lot of parsley.  It’s also a good source of folic acid, which is terrific for heart health & protection against some cancers.

Historically, parsley was used by the Greeks in funeral wreaths (it is known to mask odors) & by the Romans during/after orgies covering the alcohol on their breath.

Bound to Mercury & air, parsley is associated with lust, good luck, communication with the otherworld, protection, purification, fertility, divination, passion, meditation & rituals for the dead.

Try using parsley as one of your herbs in a purification bath.

Parsley has a strong feminine link.  It has been reported to be a powerful aphrodisiac for women.  Recently, I used parsley in a broccoli risotto to test this property…I’ll just say it was a nice evening!
So, the next time you see that parsley garnish on your plate, go ahead & munch away.  Or, put some parsley into your kitchen witch’s cabinet & see what you can cook up!
Wild & Bright Blessings!

~*Rhi*~

Herbs in hand

The Magic is in Your Hands

Basil

Basil

Basil

She is my signature herb, so I chose Basil for the 1st of 52 herbs in 52 weeks.

Many varieties of basil exist because it has been around for ages.  Basil is a tender annual, but can be continued indoors when the weather gets cold so you can have this yummy herb all year around if you provide it with care.  Hindu’s regard Sacred Basil as one of their sacred plants. In Florida, we have great difficulty growing the ruffly sweet & ornamental basil, so I usually grow Thai basil or Bush Basil.

Start seeds indoors about 6 weeks before the last spring frost date.  Once all frost danger has passed, you can transplant into the garden in an area of full sun.  In most zones, you can have successive plantings through July.

Begin harvesting when plants are 8 inches tall & before they bloom.  Harvest when the leaves are dry & from the main stem to improve bushiness.  Pinch off flowers as they start to bloom.  Basil can be dried, but tastes better if frozen (blanch leaves & freeze in ice cubes or freeze raw in oil).

Basil infusions are reported to promote digestion & may also help reduce a fever.

A kitchen witch’s dream, basil is so yummy & can be used in pastas, salads, dressings, with tomatoes, in pesto…the options are almost endless.  Here’s what I did last night: Compassionate Eggplant Rollitini

Associated with the planet Mars (Tuesday) & the element of fire, she can be used magically for:

  • Love
  • Wealth & Success
  • Protection
  • Consecration & Purification (tools & sacred spaces)
  • House Blessings
  • Handfasting
  • Exorcism
  • Funerals

“Try sprinkling basil around the bedroom to banish any negative emotions & bad feelings after a lover’s spat.” ~ Herb Magic for Beginners by Ellen Dugan.  Work in a clockwise direction, sprinkling basil in the corners while weaving an appropriate spell.

**Tip** Basil repels many flying insects!  Try putting some on your picnic table – crush the leaves to release the fragrance.

Share what you know about this glorious herb.

Sources:  Your Backyard Herb Garden, Herb Magic for Beginners, To Light a Sacred Flame, The Essential Herb Garden

~~~Remember, all information in these posts are for magick, well being, health promotion, and fun…nothing is designed to diagnose or treat a medical illness.~~~ Just a little legal stuff.