The magic of plants
In the case of Venezuelans, we have used plants to feed ourselves, but we have also known how to take advantage of their clearly proven medicinal and magical properties. In this post we will not talk about the healing characteristics of them, but we will talk about the powers and secret forces attributed to them. It must be made clear that the use of some plants is advised by witches or shamans, and that in some cases, they are the ones who recommend, according to the problem we have and want to solve, the dose and way of consuming them.
At the beginning of the last century, it was still believed in Europe that in the Venezuelan jungles there were monstrous plants, such as the so-called "Devil's Kill", which, according to some Spanish chroniclers, was a carnivorous plant, specifically a killer orchid that exhaled a poisonous perfume and attracted men to then devour them. Similarly, the Venezuelan writer Giovanna Merola speaks in her book Botanica Fantástica of a plant capable of breastfeeding, since its sap is lactic in appearance and can be consumed. According to Alexander Humboldt classified it as Brosimum Galactodendrum, but the natives call it "Cow Tree".
Giving plants human and supernatural powers is very common in Venezuela and the use of these in magic rituals, ointments, potions, filters and concoctions is very frequent. For example, it is common that an aloe vera bush is planted in every house, since it is believed that it traps bad energies. Some people even place aloe vera behind the front door of the house or their business, for their protection. The same happens with some types of ferns, which although they are very decorative, are used more because they work as cleaners of bad vibrations and to attract prosperity.
Another of the best known plants in Venezuela is the purple Cariaquito, which is a lilac colored wild flower, which is recommended to ward off bad luck. People often make infusions with which they can bathe and even, there are already soaps and creams made with its essence. It is usual to see that if someone has bad luck, he is advised to take a bath with purple Cariaquito.
There are other plants better known in the world that, beyond its use as a condiment for some foods, are also used for rituals and concoctions, as is the case of thyme, which can be burned and used as incense to purify spaces and bring good health. It is believed that if you place a bag full of dried thyme under the pillow, nightmares can be chased away. There is also rosemary, which is used to preserve youth. If you use rosemary water when bathing, you can prevent hair loss and gray hair. An interesting case is that of rue, which is said to make a bundle of branches and wet it with water and salt to splash the spaces and thus protect them. Some people usually carry a twig of rue in their wallet to avoid envy and gossip.
I've always thought it was fantastic what they do with basil. There are two types of basil: the white stem and the purple stem. The white stem is the one we use to make delicious pastas, creams and salads, but the purple has other uses. It is recommended that if you know someone who might be of interest to you, you give them a sheet of basil; if they wither immediately, the person is not reliable. You can also ensure a love by spraying dried basil on his body while he sleeps. There is a well-known love ritual that many people do, especially when they are young. The ritual consists of taking a flower pot , a basil bush, and a piece of paper. The idea is that you write the name of the loved one on the paper and bury it in the flower pot with the basil bush, while saying: Just as the scent of basil attracts goblins, that person is attracted to me.
In particular, I believe in the healing power of some plants. Nature is made to provide us with many benefits. When I was a girl, my grandmother had an immense garden where she cultivated interesting spices and each one had, according to what she told me, some healing powers. But as I told you at the beginning, many of these plants can be toxic and it is recommended that they be used only on the advice of experts. As for their use to attract luck or love, I believe that faith moves mountains and believing is power. There is nothing more powerful than what we believe, so our conviction will be medicine that restores our longed-for well-being and gives us what we want.
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Written by: @nancybriti
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