Herbs That Sound Pretty Wicked
Are these herbs tricks or treats?
Herbs have always seemed to have pretty funny names, though many are pretty accurate (see Horny Goatweed). Does Witch’s Hazel come from an actual witch? Let’s find out! In honor of the Day of the Dead we put together this list of Halloween Themed Herbs that sound more wicked than they actually are; many of which reference witches and broomsticks without any intent. While many of these prove to be more treat than trick, some may have a bit of a wicked streak. Trick or Treat!
Primarily known for aiding with digestive disorders, Wormwood can also be used directly on the skin for healing wounds and insect bites. Thujone, a potentially poisonous chemical found in wormwood, increases in concentration when the herb is distilled in alcohol. Used in alcohols, Absinthe & Vermouth proves Wormwood as a little more trick than treat.
St. John’s Wort
Unlike its suggestion to a witch’s nose, St John’s Wort has nothing to do with warts at all. Having been used to treat many things over the last century, this herb, in more recent years, has taken on the treatment of depression. There have been many studies done with St. John’s Wort, and many result in positive outcomes. Now here comes the “trick,” this herb is known to have interactions with substances that can significantly alter the effectiveness of many drugs. It is always suggested to talk with a medical professional about bringing St. John’s Wort into your regimen.
While this herb has nothing to do with brooms or whiches, its name is sure to make you think otherwise. Also called Desert Living Cistanche, or simply Broomrape, this herb is known to help nourish the body and regulate many systems, including the circulatory system, kidneys, immune system, and libido. Desert Broomrape has a fleshy stem and large, yellow flowers. While this herb’s name spells more trick than treat, it’s plethora of benefits instill confidence in its presence as a treat.
Skullcap brings the vision of skeletons, just in time for Halloween. But contrary to its spooky name, Skullcap is a very calm herb. To be more specific, this herb is known to have a calming effect and is recommended for nervousness, irritability, insomnia, and anxiety. It has a sedative effect that can stimulate the kidneys as well as cleansing effects on the body. Don’t let its name scare you away, Skullcap is the perfect herb to help you relax.
This herb screams “Nightmare on Elm Street,” but is it a nightmare itself? Not so much. Slippery Elm is a well-known herb for coughs and sore throats! There are many products on the market, in fact, that shine a light on this very benefit. It was also used to treat gun-shot wounds during the Revolutionary War. So in terms of its scare factor, I’d say it’s nothing but a dream. This herb is definitely a treat.
More worts… Motherwort is known to strengthen the heart and relieve stress. This is due to an alkaloid within the herb itself that has a relaxing effect on muscles which causes blood vessels to relax and open up, thereby lowering blood pressure and reducing heart rate. With its calming nature, this awesome herb can help slow a rapid heartbeat and improve sleep. No tricks with this herb!
“Myrrh” sounds like something a zombie would utter while chasing you to eat your brains. But this herb actually has some pretty great benefits! Known as a potent antioxidant, Myrrh has been pointed out by the scientific community to enhance immune defense mechanisms as well as aiding with coughs, sore throats, and indigestion. No worries about the zombie apocalypse, this herb is more friend than foe.
While the name of this herb may suggest otherwise, it actually helps with relieving cramps, including muscle spasms, menstrual cramps, and cramping during pregnancy. It is also used for urinary conditions and can stimulate the kidney to alleviate pain. This herb seems to be doing a lot of good, so we put it in the treat category.
There is no witch-doctoring going on here, Witch Hazel is a wonderful herb that handles a lot of the jobs that are on the skin, like bruising, brightening eyes, alleviating diaper rash, preventing blemishes (especially those pesky blackheads), easing itching from poison ivy and bug bites, as well as shrinking pores! This may be our favorite spooky sounding herb ever! This herb takes the Halloween Treat cake in our eyes.
You can’t always judge a book by its cover – or in this case herbs by their names. We hope you enjoyed our list of spooky Halloween themed herbs as much as we did! Do you have any scary herbs that we missed? Tweet us with your favorite Halloween themed herb names!