Tuesday, March 15, 2011

ABC 4.2.8 I ~ Lucky Herbs

OK, Here it is, ABC Wednesday time again. This is the day to join in the ABC Wednesday Challenge, and share a little bit of our world with friends all over the world, and learn about them as well, one letter at a time. You can participate too, in either the sharing, or the learning, or both, by visiting ABC Wednesday,Where this week, the letter is:

I don’t know why every year I am so surprised when “I” falls on St Patrick’s Day Week.

You would think by now I would do the simple math and realize that there are the same number of weeks in the year and the same number of letters in the alphabet every year, but I’m not necessarily real quick when it comes to that whole thinking stuff.

Anyway, I wanted to address the luck of the Irish this week. First I wanted to get some information on the origin of the phrase “Luck of the Irish”.

I checked with the experts at Google and discovered that there are a lot of different theories, and no real foundation for any of them.

Some claim that the phrase is misused, and that the luck of the Irish was actually bad luck, the Irish being historically an unlucky people. Others claim that the phrase originated in the USA when Irish immigrants, who were deemed to be unskilled and unintelligent by their bigoted neighbors were assumed to be lucky if they were successful.

Having nothing to back up either of these things I checked with Irish scholar Paddy O’Furniture for his insight.

Paddy explained that the Irish people, although faced with adversity, famine and trouble, throughout the years always managed to keep a cheery disposition.

“Tis a truly lucky man,” Paddy explained, “who can smile and be happy in life.”

May we all share in Paddy’s luck, and be happy with life.

And now, In honor of St. Patrick’s Day, and since the Irish are as superstitious as they are lucky, I want to talk about some traditionally lucky herbs and spices.

Chamomile: It is the gambler’s lucky herb. Not long ago, gamblers were known to bathe their hands in chamomile solutions for better luck at gaming (they may be still doing it)

Frankincense: The Magi presented this aromatic herb to the savior. Carrying a small piece is considered lucky

Nutmeg: Long considered a charm for good luck, nutmegs are worn as lockets and bracelets. They are often strung along with star anise.

Sandalwood: Burnt as incense, and used in soaps and talcum powder, sandalwood is a sign of luck and prosperity.

Other herbs for good luck include rosemary, thyme, spearmint.

How does one use herbs so as to get the good luck from them one might ask?

There are several different ways.

You can carry some of the substance on your person. This can be as easy as putting a tiny bit of the herb in a tiny plastic bag and put in your pocket. An easy way is to put a pinch of the herb into a locket, or use a sachet.
You can buy ready made sachets or pouches that you can use for this purpose, but you can also sew a small one using an appropriately colored material. Green and yellow are popular colors associated with prosperity and money one. These sachets are then tucked under the bed or somewhere in the home, worn on a string around the neck, put in a purse or wallet or concealed somewhere in the home.

Some people simply fill a potpourri jar with the appropriate herbs and leave it in a prominent place in the house.

I think I have discussed this before on my blog, but in the very early days of herbal medicine it was believed that everything on earth was composed of one of four elements, Earth, Water, Fire and Air By adjusting or altering those elements in a person, we could influence their health and other aspects of their life.

The simplest “Earth, Water, Air, Fire” ritual is to boil the herb in water.
The Herbs are the earth, the water is in the pot, the air is the steam and the fire is the stove. Occasionally stir the herb in the water while thinking of your magical intention. Strain the plant material from the liquid and sprinkle it around or outside the home.

Often herbs also are burned as incense. However, this should be done with caution. Many herbs are hypnotic or have mild hallucinogenic properties, so you should make sure you know what you are burning.

Traditional culinary herbs are generally safe for this purpose, and both rosemary and sage have a very nice smell when burning, as well as having woody stems which burn longer than some of their leafier cousins.

Finally, from http://www.pioneerthinking.com/ss_prosperity.html here is a list of some traditional lucky herbs and spices.

May the luck of the Irish be with you as you read and should you try to use any of these and have unexpectedly good results, please let me know.

Alfalfa – Known traditionally as the “good luck” herb I recommend tucking a sprig of this in your purse or in a locket. When combined with other money drawing herbs in a sachet it is thought to reinforce the other substance’s powers.
Allspice – Can be carried on the person or burned as incense or sprinkled in the four corners of the house. It is thought to attract business luck or success.
Bayberry – Bayberry can be bought commercially as a candle –“A bayberry candle burned to the socket – brings luck to the home and puts money in the pocket.” It can also be bought as incense.
Basil – Soaking basil leaves in water for three days and then sprinkling the water at your business premises is thought to attract financial success. The leaves can also be carried with you.
Bay Leaves – Bay leaves increase intuition and are good if you are looking for a promotion or a job. Tuck some under your mattress or boil them and sprinkle the water around your home. Hallucinogenic so I do not recommend you burn these.
Chamomile – Washing your hands in chamomile tea is thought to bring gamblers luck. Drinking the tea is thought to bring luck and prosperity.
Cloves – Cloves can be burned on charcoal, tucked in a sachet or put in your purse to draw money. An ancient money and protection ritual is to stick an orange with the heads of cloves stuck on pins and hang it on a ribbon in the kitchen so your cupboards are never bare.
Cinnamon: A very handy kitchen spice that can be used “in a pinch” to bring quick money, it can be bought as incense or burned on charcoal or sprinkled in a cash register or wallet to bring business.
Citronella: The leaves are thought to be good for attracting business and also smell lovely in a potpourri. Citronella is, however, toxic to birds – so avoid burning it in the house if you have feathered friends in your menagerie.
Five-Finger Grass (also known as Cinquefoil): This lemony grass can be burned, hid in a potpourri or carried on your person. It is the standard ingredient in most money drawing incenses.
Grains of Paradise: These little round seeds are carried in the purse or wallet or tucked in a sachet under the pillow to bring luck and guidance in career or money matters.
Honeysuckle: The live and dried flowers are used to attract luck business and prosperity.
Irish Moss: This is seaweed that can be bought in Caribbean stores. It is traditionally used to make a sweet drink. It is also carried in sachets to bring money to the bearer.
Juniper Berries: Associated with Jupiter, the berries of the juniper tree are said to attract luck, good fortune and business success.
Mint: All the mints (spearmint, peppermint) are used to attract good spirits and speed good fortune to the bearer.
Patchouli: Added to prosperity herb mixes to reinforce the manifestation power of your wishes. Can be bought as an incense, it has a commanding component to it.
Strawberry Leaves: Carried on the person and used to draw fortunate circumstances into a person’s life.
Squill Root: If you can find this, it is said to be one of the most powerful roots used to draw money to the bearer.
Tonka Beans: Tonkas are large dried beans that protect against poverty and that are just considered plain lucky. Place a bean in your purse, near your computer or under your phone – anywhere where you need luck in business. Avoid burning these.

Now head on over to ABC Wednesday, to see what everyone else is blogging about today.


  1. Thank you for teaching me something that I did not know before. And yes, I miss much an Irish Pub ... Please have a good Wednesday you all.

    daily athens

  2. I did Irish before; I couldn't resist the ides this time, but I may revisit.
    lots of good info.
    ROG, ABC Wednesday team

  3. reflective thoughts,

    Irish holiday is cool,

    bless you.

  4. Amen to Paddy's thoughts. I appreciate your research on herbs and spices. I am particularly looking for frankincense here in my part of the globe, anything as long as it's frankincense-related. I wish Paddy's luck could rub off on me and I'll find one.

  5. So pretty and Interesting!

    Please come and see my ABC Wednesday post, thanks!

  6. thanks for the idea interesting.. my I post is up.

  7. I always enjoy a blog that has "content." Congratulations.

  8. That was really interesting!
    Thanks....off to raid the herb cupboard......
    Jane x

  9. Thanks for all the great information. I've always been fascinated with the qualities of herbs and spices. Didn't know about the luck aspect. Another reason why Europeans went searching for them way back when.

  10. What a wealth of information. I was learning with each paragraph.....thanks for such an interesting post.

  11. I love to cook with herbs, and use many of the ones you list. As for the Luck of the Irish...I thought maybe it had to do with leprechauns and pots of gold!

  12. How absolutely INTERESTING! (I would have said fascinating if it had been F week).