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On Medicine Herbs

Updated on January 14, 2012

I personally chose not to write much about spirituality and magic on Hub-pages but I decided to make an exception regarding the topic of medicine herbs. I do think they help me and perhaps they can help others as well.

Regarding herbs used for magic or healing, I use whatever herb is necessary for whatever task I need to focus on. The main medicine herbs I use, are the four medicine herbs used by most of the Native American tribes in North America (tobacco, cedar, sage & sweet grass) and wormwood.

One of the medicine pouches which hangs around my neck now (and always) contains a mixture of sage (Buffalo Sage) and wormwood (Artemisia Absinthium). These are two of the most powerful medicine herbs which can always be used for cleansing, in my opinion. There are others as well.

Wormwood does not grow in Canada and most of the time when people find-out that I use it (for many things), they look at me strangely. I indeed keep it to myself for the most part. My Dacian ancestors have used it for thousands of years. I never hand-it-out as I do with cedar for example, as a sign of kindness or for helping wishes manifest. Wormwood is a powerful plant which depending on how it is used may have different results. It is not an extremely forgiving plant either and I would rather encourage people to let it be, unless they really feel that they can build a good friendship with it.

The other four Native American medicine herbs can be easily found. I do suggest people should know where the medicine herbs they use come from; this in the case in which they are not harvesting them themselves.

When collecting medicine herbs there are some important factors to take in consideration: one cannot just walk-up to a sage plant, take out a rusty knife and cut it down in order to use it for cleansing. Well, it can be done but that would be a terribly ignorant way of going about it.

First of all, a small part of the plant should be taken from each plant. Taking/killing a whole plant is not something advisable. Talking to it is important; asking it for permission to take part of it away and telling it the reason why you are doing so. At the end, please do leave an offering. Plants are alive just like you and I. Disregarding that, would be a mistake in my opinion.

Also, the use of a metal knife when farming herbs for healing and/or magic should be prohibited. Using a silver or copper knife or perhaps just bare hands is a much better way. Or a bone knife could work just as well.

Something else which is important in the harvesting of herbs is the time when it is done. For example, depending on what the herb will be used for, it may need to be collected during a full moon, or a waxing moon, etc. I cannot be specific here because for each different use, the time may differ. And it is good to keep in mind that each herb has a different level of potency, depending on how young or mature it is.

Medicine herbs can be used in many ways: through burning them as in a smudging, or they can be made into oils, bath-infusions, teas, etc. Please do know your medicine herbs well before you begin using them. If you are able to create a strong relationship with them (and with all herbs in general), they prove to be of great help. Or at least, I think so.

Please respect our fellow friends: the plants, herbs and trees which we need so much and which help us tremendously, even though at times we may not realize it.



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    • Mr. Happy profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr. Happy 

      5 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Thank You for your comment, Mrs. Rose.

      For some odd reason, whenever I even see the word Cedar, I cannot stop smiling. Cedar has helped me greatly - words do not help me enough here to explain ... the magic world of plants ... awesome!

      I wish You a great week ahead!


    • Ruby H Rose profile image

      Maree Michael Martin 

      5 years ago from Northwest Washington on an Island

      Cedar, has been a part of my life for a very long time. Learning all it has to teach me is a fascinating discovery. I really like the way you expressed a general overview on medicine herbs. Sage does keep me happy spirited.

      Great Hub, it is a wonderful quest, I agree.

    • Mr. Happy profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr. Happy 

      6 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Thank You Mr. Spirit Whisperer. : )

      I do purchase flowers which are cut and will eventually die but not for myself. I understand the custom and I do it on special occasions for others. I generally like to visit them where they live:

      Well, You have yourself a great week - cheers!

    • Spirit Whisperer profile image

      Xavier Nathan 

      6 years ago from Isle of Man

      I enjoyed reading this hub and thank you for reminding us to appreciate nature. I like the way you invite people to appreciate these plants and by describing them as living beings deserving of our respect further endears me to this hub. We are brought up to use and dispose with little regard for the sacrifice made by the thing we use. Japanese people always speak to the dead flowers they throw out thanking them for serving them so well with their beauty, colour and aroma. I will certainly be be more appreciative and respectful of the herbs I use and thank you for introducing me to the wonderful world of herbs.

    • Mr. Happy profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr. Happy 

      6 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      And thank You for taking the time to read and comment! : )

    • HattieMattieMae profile image


      6 years ago from Europe

      Thanks for sharing! :)

    • Mr. Happy profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr. Happy 

      6 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Greetings Mother Earth,

      I wish I had a wise old family member too sometimes. It would have made things easier but then, there is no fun in easy ... and hardly ever anything to learn when all is too easy. Just my opinion.

      I also do not mind shop bought products if they are made with care and of course, not by little kids working in sweat shops in South-east Asia ... People do need to eat so, I support responsible consumers and shop-owners. I am not of the opinion that we should not consume, it's just that we should consume responsably.

      My background is Romanian or Dacian, whichever name You prefer. We have a rich culture because we have been around for thousands of years around the Carpathian Mountains. Sorcery and witchcraft are quite common where I come from and we, for the most part do not make that big of a deal of it.

      Regarding secrets ... I am always willing to share information with those seeking knowledge. I am on that quest myself. All the best!

    • Earthy Mother profile image

      Nicole Forman 

      6 years ago from South East England

      I loved reading this and am fascinated with all things that we can take from nature to benefit us. I often wish I had a wise old family member to pass down traditional herbal remedies. The world around us should be embraced more instead of relying on shop bought products...would love to hear more about your background and the secrets you have! Thanks for sharing!

    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Thank you, Mr. Happy, for sharing this informative and educational hub, especially for me who is new in America. Different continents/countries have their own lists of herbal medicines because there are unique plants that grow to each place. In Asia, we have lots of medicinal plants and there are documentation and publications for these too. When I was there, I preferred using natural or herbal medicines for headaches, pains, wounds, and other illnesses. Now, I could not find it here in America. I hope to learn more of what medicinal plants are present here in America.

      Thank you and may you always have the energy to share!

    • Mr. Happy profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr. Happy 

      6 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Greetings Mr. Wesman,

      I am an immigrant too and also of European descent, Dacian to be specific.

      Now, regarding cedar and sage perhaps You can give them a chance. Not only to rid your home of evil spirits (you might have none) but simply to keep You good Spirited. The Smoke can help. You know that smoke comes in many different kinds and can do many things ... : )

      I am not sure what book You threw in the trash but please refrain from throwing books in the trash lol It hurts my heart ... really does ...

      And I was trying to stay away from mentioning worm-wood in relation to Absinth. It's kinda like talking about tabbaco as in cigarettes. Many Europeans took sacred herbs and plants and used them in not so nice ways ...

      Yes. There are books to read. What exactly are you interested in: magic, medicine herbs, spiritual matters ...

      Thank You for stopping-by. Cheers!

    • Wesman Todd Shaw profile image

      Wesman Todd Shaw 

      7 years ago from Kaufman, Texas

      This is extremely interesting in a number of ways. First of all the approach to things is fantastic in it's divergence from what passes as modern culture.

      I really don't know where to start or where to go here - but you've clearly gotten up on the studies of these things, as you discuss the subject in such a way that us common Euro immigrants ...or in my case, "American Mutts" ..are clearly behind on the whole deal.

      Iv'e been told time and again that sage and cedar will rid me of the evil spirits in my tiny home. I threw the offending satanism/witchraft book in the trash, finally - but I don't recall if you were in that discussion or not without checking.

      In any case - someone left the thing here and the cover was torn off -it wasn't worth a dime to begin with, but I've gone completely off the subject.

      I do know just enough about wormwood to know what "the deal" is with that in regards to drinking absinth in the way that old Papa Hemingway used to do and write about. I did not know that that grew in the Americas at all.

      I wonder if you'd have books to recommend on the subject.

    • Mr. Happy profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr. Happy 

      7 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Thank You for your comment Tirelesstraveler - You know, I am a bit of a tireless traveler as well (lol). Love your avatar name!


    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 

      7 years ago from California

      Found you hub very intersting. I enjoy learning about nature and natural healing.

    • Mr. Happy profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr. Happy 

      7 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Greetings Paradise,

      I am happy you came by and I am glad to see you are interested on this subject.

      To begin with I have more than one medicine bag. There are usually two around my neck (I carry more herbs in my back-pack too - I always have my back-pack within reach): one has medicine herbs, sage mixed with worm-wood and the other has stones/gems: five green garnets, a black tourmaline and an aquamarine.

      As I wrote above, worm-wood and sage are cleansing medicine herbs. I use them for smudgings. Sometimes I add tabacco as well - I did so earlier today when I smudged myself. I do it to keep negativity away, to stay clear-minded and focused. To remain Mr. Happy as much as possible lol

      Cedar is not exactly a plant, it's a tree. And I honestly have a very special relationship with Cedar. It is usually used in prayer by burning it. The smoke from Cedar will take your prayer to Wakan Tanka and in my case, I like to make wishes when I burn Cedar because they come true. I do not hold this as a secret. It has worked for some of my friends as well. I do urge people to have clarity in their mind and purity in their heart though, if they are to make a wish and burn some Cedar.

      Regarding Sweet-grass, it is burned usually to bring-in good spirits and harmony. It is not a cleansing herb though. And sadly enough, sweet-grass is rather hard to find nowadays. It does grow here in Ontario, my Ojibwe friends have it on their Reserve up-north.

      Sweetgrass is usually made into long braids and it is also kept for protection. When you burn it, it is not put in smudges. One of the ends is usually light and you can let it sit somewhere or hold it, walk around, etc.

      Now, tabacco is a bit of a difficult topic to discuss because most people view it as cigarettes but for Native Americans, First Nations the sacred use of tabacco is as medicine. It has been used by them for a very long time from what I have heard. It is used in prayer, as a smudging ... it is often used as an offering to the Creator or kept as protection (in a mdeicine pouch for example). I think tabacco is the most versatile medicine herb because one can use it in any way one knows best.

      I have made bath-infusions before from sage, tabacco and wormwood too. To help heal a few cuts and scrapes for example.

      lol I think I might have to write another post on this ...

      I am not an expert either but I certainly am happy to share what I know and perhaps learn more in the process myself.

      Thank You for your time Paradise, I appreciate it. Cheers!

    • Paradise7 profile image


      7 years ago from Upstate New York

      Interesting. I'd like to hear more about this topic. What does your medicine bag do for you? And do you wear it always around your neck, or only certain special times? There are different plants with different medicine uses: could you list a few, and their uses, and the best ways to find and harvest them? Thank you.

    • Mr. Happy profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr. Happy 

      7 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Yes! The silvery little bush, Mrs. Lynda! You know it.

      I am so glad that I was wrong and that it does grow in Canada. I did not see it when I was in Alberta but to tell you the truth, I wasn't looking for it because I had been told it didn't grow here (in Canada) ... double-checking would have been good ...

      Thank You for that information. Great help!

      All the best and thank you for taking the time to read this as well.

    • Mr. Happy profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr. Happy 

      7 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Hello Mrs. Reikieffect,

      I am happy you found this piece of writing enjoyable. I greatly value everything Mother Earth gives us and I wish everyone was able to appreciate that.

      Thank You for your comment. Cheers!

    • lmmartin profile image


      7 years ago from Alberta and Florida

      Hi Happy. I've always used certain herbs, though not for magic or spirit, but as medicine, for such things as headache, upset stomach and yes, sadness. Everything we need is supplied by our world, if only we were wise enough to cooperate instead of dominate. By the way, wormwood (Artemisia) does grow in Alberta and if you need a purge, it works very well indeed. The common name for the plant comes from its use to expel worms -- nice thought. This silvery little bush grows all over disturbed land, like abandoned railway tracks, vacant lots and road sides. It may not be the same plant as found in eastern Europe, but it is of the same family. Just though you'd want to know. Lynda

    • reikieffect profile image


      7 years ago

      Mr. Happy it was a pleasure reading your hub. I loved the way you explained the importance of being grateful to the plants and the energy exchange that occurs. It is a shame that a lot of the ancient knowledge has been lost due to our lifestyle. Thanks for sharing some of that knowledge.

    • Mr. Happy profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr. Happy 

      7 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Cool indeed Mr. Druid Dude! Thank You for your comment and thanks for leaving me with a smile on my face. All the best!

    • Druid Dude profile image

      Druid Dude 

      7 years ago from West Coast

      Medicinal herbs. Cool.:)

    • Mr. Happy profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr. Happy 

      7 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      You are most welcome Mrs. Sunnie Day. Cheers!

    • profile image

      Sunnie Day 

      7 years ago

      Thank you Mr. Happy. I appreciate all the information! Have a blessed day.


    • Mr. Happy profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr. Happy 

      7 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Hello again Mrs. Sunnie Day,

      my first instinct was to think that Rosemary is a Fire herb. I was not exactly sure so, I checked one of my books and indeed, Rosemary is regarded as an herb related to the Fire Element/Symbol.

      Such an herb would be used for spiritual, intuitive work. You may want to use it as incense, to help in prayer for example. I would say that it can be used for matters relating to love as well, protection of loved ones so to speak. In that case you give it as an offering to someone, or perform a smudge maybe ...

      In any case attunment to the specific herb is necessary. Also a cleansing and physical cleaning of oneself should be done before any spiritual/magic work.

      These are just some quick thoughts. I do wish they helped a little.

      All the very best and may Wakana Tanka guide your path! : )

    • profile image

      Sunnie Day 

      7 years ago

      Mr. Happy,

      I have a wonderful Rosemary bush..Do you have any thoughts besides using in making certain dishes? Thank you

    • Mr. Happy profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr. Happy 

      7 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      I am happy that you enjoyed this piece of writing Mrs. Sunnie Day. Growing your own herbs is the best way to go about it, in my opinion. That way you can care for them accordingly and harvesting becomes much easier. You would not have to go crawling around in the moonlight, if for example that needed to be done when the time to collect came.

      Many thanks for taking the time to read and comment. Cheers!

    • Mr. Happy profile imageAUTHOR

      Mr. Happy 

      7 years ago from Toronto, Canada

      Thank You very much for stopping-by Mrs. Ruchira. There are no words really that can fully show my gratitude towards the gifts Mother Earth provides us with.

      All the best!

    • profile image

      Sunnie Day 

      7 years ago

      Hi Mr. Happy,

      This was very interesting. Thanks for sharing. I would like to grow more medicinal herbs.


    • Ruchira profile image


      7 years ago from United States

      Mr Happy,

      I agree. Mother nature is bountiful and it has planted these medicinal herbs which are so beneficial to man. I guess thanks to these herbs have homeopathy and aryuvedic forms of alternate medicine come to existence.

      Voted up as useful.


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