In concluding our aromatically witchy-themed trilogy for October, I am sharing three aromatic blends from the garden which could be regarded as aromatically witchy (aka healing). The garden, or the area where plants were naturally found growing in the neighborhood, has traditionally been the source of many aromatic potions over the year, and it is here where many “witches” drew from to make up healing blends, before the availability of modern day medicine.
In this final article I am taking a brief look at the name “hedgewitch” and sharing three aromatic blends from the garden (note: these plants may not be in season at the time of writing, depending upon where you live in the world, but save the recipe for a future blend when you need it!)
Hedgewitch or Healer?
Life could be considered much “simpler” in the past and many people did not go past the “border” of their own town, village, or homestead. Such borders were traditionally marked by fences or hedgerows.
The hedgewitch lived on the edge of the community, often on the boundary marked by the hedge; hence the term hedgewitch. A hedgewitch made her living through herbalism, healing, blessings and spells, midwifery, magical charms, and curses. A hedegwitch had a very close relationship with nature which was not widely understood by everyone. However, she was generally respected by the community.
Although the practice of aromatherapy may not be directly related to hedgewitchery, it can be seen that hedgewitchery has a similar relationship with plants and nature just as an experienced aromatherapist and herbalist should if they are to truly understand the tools of their trade and use them to their full advantage. In essence: All “witches” are healers, and they really do not deserve the negative connotations associated with the name witch.
Aromatic Teas from the Garden
Aromatic and herbal teas are one of the easiest blends to make direct from your garden. Just be aware of the therapeutic properties and/or cautions associated with the plant which you use. Some examples of herbal and aromatic teas that you can make from the garden include chamomile, peppermint, spearmint, and lemon balm (melissa). The following basic recipe can be followed:
- Collect two tablespoons of fresh plant material* from the garden.
- Add directly to 8 oz of boiling water.
- Allow to steep; the longer the steep, the stronger the tea.
- Use a strainer on top of a cup and pour.
*check which part of the plant to collect. For example, in the case of chamomile, collect the flowers but in the case of peppermint, collect the leaves.
Tip: Add honey to sweeten.
Aromatically Infused Waters from the Garden
Bach flower remedies and hydrosols can also be made with plants harvested from the garden. Different plants have different purposes, so if you go this route, make sure you know the plants suitable for making flower remedies and/or hydrosols (which requires distilling equipment).
Another fun way to enjoy plants from your garden and aromatically infused in water is to add aromatic petals and leaves to your bath water. I would suggest using rose petals, lavender buds, or chamomile flowers/plant parts for a relaxing bath. Add one cup of your chosen plant material to a warm bath and let it infuse around you as you relax!
Aromatic Ice Cubes from the Garden
It might be past summer, but save this aromatically witchy recipe for next year for summer drinks with both design and flavor! Borage flowers make a pretty (and healthy) addition to any summer drink with this simple recipe:
- Fill up ice cube tray with water.
- Add one borage flower to each compartment.
- Add to summer drinks and/or cocktails.
Learn More About Using Aromatic Plants with Sedona Aromatherapie
If you would like to learn more about aromatic plants, consider the Sedona Aromatherapie Linguistics of AromaticsTM Program.
The author of this article has a 20 year history in the health care and aromatherapy industry. She is UK-certified aromatherapist and a NAHA Certified Professional Aromatherapist (R). She is both a published author and editor in aromatherapy, a consultant, custom blend formulator and herbal studies student. She is the author of Authentic Aromatherapy and the current chief editor of the NAHA Aromatherapy Journal. She has taken the online Master Gardener short course series with the University of Oregon. Sharon works from her garden studio in Sedona, Arizona, where she is in the process of creating her own aromatic stillroom on her one acre homestead and aromatic gardens.