View Full Version : Wild or cultivated herbs?
Right now I'm working with a few herbs: Rosemary, Thyme, a wild smilax species, and red bay (it's related to bay laurel).
Does anyone ever find working with cultivated herbs as powerful as working with wild herbs? I ask because native plants in Florida can be complicated to
Also, I like to burn rosemary. I've used it with copal. Does anyone burn rosemary with other herbs?
When you say you are working with herbs, what do you do?
Are they going to somehow interact with your body on the physical level (herbal medicine, teas, etc) or do you mean you are working with them more on a spiritual level? (not that you can't do both at the same time of course, but I hope you know what I mean)
In my experience there is a difference between wild and cultivated herbs, but whether one works better than the other (or the other way around, as it can be) depends on what you need the herb to do, and what context you are working in. Sometimes one is better, sometimes the other is better, sometimes the difference that is there doesn't matter at all for what you want to do.
First let me say I personally have never worked with wild herbs or herbs I have cultivated myself - all of my herbs I buy dried from local New Age shops. But it would seem to me that cultivated herbs would have more magical energy than wild herbs if they had been cultivated with that purpose in mind. I would think that the intent would add a lot more potency to the herb.
But I also agree with Oddity - it really depends on what you're doing with the herbs. For instance, cultivated herbs would be great for specific intentions - like purification, dreams, etc. - while wild herbs would be really appropriate for celebrating or getting closer to nature.
But I will say if you're ingesting them in any way it's probably wise to stay away from wild herbs as a safety precaution.
I do both. Some herbs grow so rampant there's no need to cultivate them. Others I grow myself. Certainly it can be dangerous to use unidentified wild plants, for instance Queen Anne's Lace greatly resembles the dreaded poison Hemlock - the difference being Hemlock has a hollow stem & smells like mouse droppings. Children have been known to blow on a Hemlock stem, like a straw; the small amount of toxins on lips has been known to kill. I don't have a need to grow Belladonna because it's literally everywhere here. Anyone want some? I've spent decades identifying & classifying both wild edibles in my area & those to stay away from. So it's definitely doable, just educate yourself.
I'm working with different herbs in three ways:
Making teas or burning as incense. I only do this with culinary herbs. The red bay is wild but can be burnt - some people use it for cooking. I have not burnt it or cooked with it yet.
Meditating with each plant, trying to get to know it on the spiritual level.
For wild plants, that I don't plan to take, asking the plant what physical problem it heals. Then check out that information with an herbal book or ethnobotany book. This has turned out to be a surprisingly accurate way to get information. The wild plants really want to communicate. I'm just not always great at listening.
For wild plants, I'm having to get to know them on the energetic level. There are too many tricky plants in Florida and I don't know how to work with them in a safe way. I'm reading this great book called "Herbal Rituals". The author is able to wildcraft a lot of edible herbs in her environment. That must be a lot of fun! Canid, it sounds like you're able to do that were you are.
Scorpio Kitten and Oddity, it seems like learning about the wild herbs makes it easier to work with cultivated ones. However, I need to meditate with each plant - whether wild or cultivated - before I use them for any purpose. It just helps a lot if I do that.