The Shamanic Herbal: Plants of Frigga's Handmaidens And Helpers


(Fagus sylvatica)

Names: Bok, Boke, Buche, Buke, Fagio, Fagos
Medicinal Uses: Beech tar has been used to treat skin diseases.
Household Uses: Nuts are traditional food for both people and animals. They can be roasted as a coffee alternative or pressed for a nondrying oil that is particularly good for lamp oil and making soap. Beech ash is used as a blond hair dye.
Traditional Magical Uses: Carve wishes onto beechwood and bury them. Carry the leaves for creativity.
Shamanic Magical Uses: The word "book" comes from the Anglo-Saxon word for this tree, since rune markers were traditionally carved from it. As such, it is much liked by Saga, goddess of lore. Use a beech marker carved with her name to guide you to uncovering old lore; you can bring it with you on research trips or put it under your pillow at night for finding her wisdom in your dreams. (There are many ways to recover old lore.) Eat the nuts for her wisdom.


(Trifolium spp.)

Names: Honeystalks, Trefoil, Trifoil, Shamrocks
Medicinal Uses: Red clover carries estrogen and is drunk daily for breast cancer prevention and treatment, as well as for arthritis and arteriosclerosis.
Household Uses: Good for planting around beehives. The petals of white clover were once dried and made into "fairy-bread".
Traditional Magical Uses: Much has been said about four-leaved clovers being able to see faeries (or Huldrefolk), which means that one can see through their glamour. Even three-leaved clovers will help somewhat with that.
Shamanic Magical Uses: Clover is much liked by Huldra, the handmaiden of flocks and herds, and making an offering to her of clover blossoms will propitiate her to help your wealth and resources increase. It also has an affinity with the rune Fehu/Feoh, and can be laid out to form that rune, or a pouch of it can be marked with a rune talisman.


[Comfrey](Symphytum officinale)

Names: Consolde, Knitbone, Assear, Blackwort, Bruisewort, Knitback, Wallwort, Yalluc
Medicinal Uses: Take internally in tea and externally as a poultice for bruises and broken bones, as its compounds speed cell renewal. You can do as much poultice as you want, but be sparing and infrequent on the tea.
Household Uses: Extremely good fodder crop for animals.
Traditional Magical Uses: Leaves are used as a travel charm and to make sure one's traveling belongings do not get stolen. They are also used as a charm for fertility in animals.
Shamanic Magical Uses: Another plant that is beloved of Eir the healer, Comfrey can be used to invoke her aid in healing wounds.


(Calluna vulgaris)

Names: Ling, Scots Heather, Ura
Medicinal Uses: General tonic, treatment for UTIs and kidney problems.
Household Uses: Flower tips yield a green dye. Used as thatch and fodder. Bark contains tannin and is brewed into tea.
Traditional Magical Uses: Carried as protection against rape and other violent crimes. When burned with ferns, it brings rain.
Shamanic Magical Uses: Heather is a plant of the wind, and is much loved by Gna, Frigga's messenger who rides the winds. Scatter Heather to the winds and call out your message, and entreat Gna to carry it to its destination.


[Lovage](Levisticum officinale)

Names: Love Herb, Lubestico, Sea Parsley
Medicinal Uses: Lovage reduces water retention and deodorizes people. The root is an expectorant for cough syrups, and is mildly sedative and anticonvulsant.
Household Uses: Chop into soups and stews. Grate the root into salads, or powder as a condiment. Sprinkle seeds into bread and rice, steep in brandy for a settling digestive, or distill for perfume.
Traditional Magical Uses: Love potions.
Shamanic Magical Uses: One of the herbs found in the Oseberg burial, Lovage is much liked by Lofn, the handmaiden of Frigga who aids warring lovers in reconciliation. It can be used in a soup or tea to help arguing, angry partners in mediation and processing their problems. To call on Lofn while making an offering of lovage can be a last-ditch effort before a divorce. When doing divination about relationship problems, a stalk of lovage can be brushed over the area of the reading before laying stones or cards, or powdered dried lovage sprinkled on it.


(Acer spp.)

Names: Old Mapley, Sugar Tree
Household Uses: Any maple tree can be tapped for syrup, although most will only produce a little watered-down amount. Sugar maples have the most, followed by Norway maples. Maplewood is a wonderful wood to use for carving.
Traditional Magical Uses: Love spells. A child passed through the branches of a maple tree will have a long life, although he may outlive all his loved ones.
Shamanic Magical Uses: One of the names for the maple tree in Old Anglo-Saxon was Hlin, and this is one of the handmaidens of Frigga. Hlin is the goddess of mourning, and maple sugar or syrup can be used in potions to get beyond mourning for someone, reminding them that life is still sweet. Also, as maple is one of the craftsman's woods and the rune Yr is sometimes given to craftspeople to aid their skill, a maple talisman can be carved with this rune.


(Althaea officinalis)

Names: Althea, Mallards, Hock Herb, Merscmealwan
Medicinal Uses: Flowers are infused and then made into an expectorant cough syrup. Leaf tea is used for bronchial and urinary infections. The root is poulticed for wounds, burns, boils, and skin ulcers. It is made into a tea for treating inflammation of any mucous membrane, from the esophagus to the bladder. The liquid from the steeped root is spread on sunburns.
Household Uses: All parts of the plant are edible, especially the seed "cheeses".
Traditional Magical Uses: Spells for lost loves, healing spells, and casting out of demons.
Shamanic Magical Uses: Much loved by Eir, the Healer among Frigga's handmaidens, Marshmallow can be made into a healing salve and spread on an astral wound while invoking her aid. A talisman can be made of the dried root carved with the runes of her name - Eihwaz Raido.


(Mentha spp.)

Names: Various. Spearmint, Peppermint, and Calamint are likely the only period mints.
Medicinal Uses: Tea is excellent for digestive upsets, especially in babies and children - mint is harmless and gentle for them. Good for any bronchial problem as well. Poulticed leaves can be rubbed into aching heads, muscles, and joints.
Household Uses: A great tea, or candy syrup, or perfume extract. Use in potpourri and baths.
Traditional Magical Uses: Money spells, healing spells, and rubbed on the head to relieve headaches.
Shamanic Magical Uses: All the mints are loved by Fulla, younger sister of Frigga and goddess of abundance - where mints grow, they are almost always in abundance, and the Earth has given us many species of their refreshing green glory. It can be used as an offering to her, for financial or other abundance. Mint flushes the atmosphere of a room or other place, and is an important purification herb. While it can be burned, it is best as an asperger; the water-sprinkling spreads its scent better than burning. It is especially good for asperging a person who is panicking, angry, frustrated, or having trouble containing some "hot" emotion, as it is very cooling and soothing. It is a good purification bath for anyone ill with bronchial problems.


[Pennyroyal](Mentha pulegium)

Names: Pollaie, Lurk-In-The-Ditch, Organ Broth, Organ Tea, Piliolerian, Pudding Grass, Run-By-The-Ground, Squaw Mint
Medicinal Uses: Abortifacient, causing uterine contractions.
Household Uses: Strewn in cupboards and beds, it deters ants and fleas.
Traditional Magical Uses: When carried, it aids business dealings in honesty and fairness. Given to quarreling friends or lovers or business partners, it helps them to achieve peace.
Shamanic Magical Uses: Pennyroyal is beloved of Syn, Frigga's handmaiden who oversees the fair binding of contracts and the fair giving of one's word. Sprinkle pennyroyal on your surface cloth before doing divination on contracts of any kind. Carry it as a charm when negotiating anything, for love or money or other value.


[Sorrel](Rumex Acetosa)

Names: Little Vinegar Leaf
Medicinal Uses: The leaves reduce fevers and are a mild diuretic. A poultice treats acne and infected wounds.
Household Uses: Eaten widely in salads and as a cooked green, but cook in one change of water to reduce bitterness and they will taste like spinach. The leaf juice will bleach rust, mold, and ink stains from linen, wicker, and silver.
Traditional Magical Uses: Eaten or carried to make the day's labor go quicker.
Shamanic Magical Uses: The "little vinegar leaf" is much liked by Snotra, handmaiden of hard labors. In ancient times, the four sacred preservation foods - salt, honey, wine, and vinegar - all gained symbolic meanings, and vinegar's was hard work. Carry and eat sorrel as a way to invoke Snotra to provide motivation and persistence at hard but necessary tasks.