In Nature’s Hidden Charms, I talk about the Anglo Saxon Nine Herbs Charm, a tenth-century remedy against infection and poison. If you like a bit of specificity, here’s the list of ingredients – which were made into a paste using the juice of the crab-apple and old soap.

  1. Mugwort
  2. Plantain
  3. Lamb’s cress (watercress)
  4. Nettle
  5. Cockspur grass (or betony)
  6. Chamomile
  7. Crab-apple
  8. Thyme (or chervil)
  9. Fennel.

But before you get a bit ready-steady-cook and, like me, wonder if you can make the whole shebang with two out of nine ingredients, FEAR NOT! What’s remarkable is the spoken part of the charm – the way the healer talks to the herbs. Here’s a verse from the Nine Herbs Charm – these are the words the healer speaks over the herb to activate it:

“Remember, Chamomile, what you made known

What you accomplished at Alford (battle)

That never a man should lose his life from infection,

After Chamomile was prepared for his food.”

The charmer speaks directly to each herb in the recipe, recalling its past noble deeds as if talking to an old friend. And you can use this approach to create your own healing charms, too.

Making a Simple Lavender Charm
Here’s a simple lavender charm for harmony, addressing the plant directly and acknowledging its power to heal. (Of course, do adapt this and use your own experiences of your herbs to create your own incantation.) Hold your lavender (or other herb you feel drawn to) and recite:

“Lavender, you are known for serenity

Grant my wish for peace and harmony

So mote it be.”

Say this three times. Place the herb on your altar or in a charm bottle (the one shown here was purchased online, and the miniature crystals are amethyst for healing and self-connection). Carry the lavender charm bottle in your purse or pocket, or place on your altar. You can adapt this charm to any herb – and talk to your plants to create a connection for healing energy.