Wednesday What Herb Is This – Hazel

September 24, 2008 at 12:40 pm (Hazel, Herb, Samhain, Wednesday, Witch)

HAZEL

* Celtic name: Coll (pronounced: Cull) – ‘C’. Coll means "life force within you".

* Folk or Common names: tree of Wisdom, Lamb’s Tails Tree, Collo or Coslo (Gailic), The tree’s name shares a common root with the walnut tree and its nut, or cnu and hnot in Europe and Nux in latin.

* Latin name: European hazel – corylus avellana; American Filbert – corylus americana.

* Parts used: Nut, leaves, branches, wood.

Hazel can be used as a drainage remedy and can help restore elasticity to the lungs. Hazelnuts, of course, can be eaten, and are a good source of phosphorus, magnesium, potassium, copper, protein and fatty acids. The nuts can be powdered and be mixed with mead or honeyed water to help a cough. Cows’ milk yield can be increased by giving them hazel leaves to eat. The properties of the leaves and bark are similar, astringent, tonic, sedative, valuable in checking internal and external hemorrhage, most efficacious in the treatment of piles, a good pain-killer for the same, useful for bruises and inflammatory swellings, also for diarrhea, dysentery and mucous discharges. It has long been used by the North American Indians as poultices for painful swellings and tumors. The decoction has been utilized for menorrhagia and the debilitated state resulting from abortion. It has been found to be beneficial for bleeding from the lungs and nose, as well as from other internal organs. In the treatment of varicose veins, it should be applied on a lint bandage, which must be constantly kept moist: a pad of Witch Hazel applied to a burst varicose vein will stop the bleeding and often save life by its instant application.

A tea made of the leaves or bark may be taken freely with advantage, being good for bleeding of the stomach and complaints of the bowels, and an injection of this tea is excellent for inwardly bleeding piles, the relief being marvelous and the cure speedy. An ointment made of 1 part fluid extract of bark to 9 parts simple ointment is also used as a local application. Pond’s Extract of Witch Hazel was much used in our grandmother’s days as a general household remedy for burns, scalds, and inflammatory conditions of the skin generally and it is still in general use. In cases of bites of insects and mosquitoes a pad of cotton-wool, moistened with the extract and applied to the spot will soon cause the pain and swelling to subside. Diluted with warm water, the extract is used for inflammation of the eyelids.

Hazel is the 9th Moon of the Celtic Year – (Aug 5 – Sept 1). The bird associated with this month is the crane, the color is brown, and the gemstone is band-red agate. The Hazel, a masculine herb, is associated with the element of air, the planet of Mercury, the day of Wednesday, and is sacred to Mercury, Thor, Artemis, Fionn, Diana and Lazdona (the Lithuanian Hazelnut Tree Goddess). Hazel wood is one of the nine traditional firewoods that is part of the Belfire that the Druid’s burned at Beltane – it was added to the fire to gain wisdom. In fact, in ancient times the Hazel was known as The Tree of Wisdom. It is often associated with sacred springs and wells and salmon. Celtic legend tell of a grove of Hazel trees below which was a well, a pool, where salmon swam. These trees contained all knowledge, and their fruit contained that knowledge and wisdom in a nutshell. As the hazelnuts ripened, they would fall into the well where they were eaten by the salmon. With each nut eaten, the salmon would gain another spot. In order to gain the wisdom of the Hazel, the Druids caught and prepared the salmon. But Fionn, the young man stirring the pot in which the salmon were cooking, accidentally burned his thumb with the boiling stew. By reflex, he put his thumb into his mouth and thus ingested the essence of the sacred feast; he instantly gained the wisdom of the universe.

Any part of the plant can be used in spells to increase mental abilities. Often used for wands. Carry the nuts or hang in the home to bring luck. Eat the nuts to encourage fertility. Place twigs in the windows for protection from lightning. The Hazel has applications in magic done for manifestation, spirit contact, protection, prosperity, wisdom, divination-dowsing, dreams, wisdom-knowledge, marriage, reconciliation, fertility, intelligence, inspiration, and wrath. Hazel is a good herb to use to do magic associated with asking for wisdom and poetic inspiration since the Hazel is known as the Tree of Immortal Wisdom. In England, all the knowledge of the arts and sciences was thought to be bound to the eating of Hazel nuts. Hazel also has protective uses as anti-lightning charms. A sprig of Hazel or a talisman of two Hazel twigs tied together with red or gold thread to make a solar cross can be carried as a protective good luck charm. The mistletoe that grows on hazel protects against bewitching. A cap of Hazel leaves and twigs ensures good luck and safety at sea, and protects against shipwrecks. In England, the Hazelnut is a symbol of fertility – a bag of nuts bestowed upon a bride will ensure a fruitful marriage. The Hazel is a tree that is sacred to the fey Folk. A wand of hazel can be used to call the Fey. If you sleep under a Hazel bush you will have vivid dreams. Hazel can be used for all types of divination and dowsing. Until the seventeenth century, a forked Hazel stick was used to divine the guilt of persons in cases of murder and theft. Druids often made wands from Hazel wood, and used the wands for finding ley lines. Hazel twigs or a forked branch can be used to divine for water or to find buried treasure. The wood of the Hazel can help to divine the pure source of poetry and wisdom.

Hazelnuts can be used for love divination. Assign the name of your passion to a nut and throw it in the fire while saying:

"A Hazelnut I throw in the flame,
to this nut I give my sweetheart’s name,
If blazes the nut, so may thy passion grow,
For twas my nut that did so brightly glow."

If the nut burns brightly you then will know that your love will burn equally as brightly. Hazels are often found at the border between the worlds where magical things happen, and therefore Hazel wood is excellent to use to make all-purpose wands. Any Hazel twigs, wood or nuts should be gathered after sundown on Samhain since it will be at the peak of its magical energy. Hazel must not be cut with a knife, but with a flint.

Compiled by Sarah the Swamp Witch

Disclaimer: No one involved in this blog or its contents may be held responsible for any adverse reactions arising from following any of the instructions/recipes on this list. It is the reader’s personal responsibility to exercise all precautions and use his or her own discretion if following any instructions or advice from this blog.

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