Plants of the Gods: Episode 8 - Hexing Herbs and the Witches of Medieval Europe
Hexing Herbs and the Witches of Medieval Europe – The archetypal image of the witch as an old woman riding a broomstick was not a Hollywood creation. In the Middle Ages, “witches” were often skilled herbalists. Some used powerful plants of the Solanaceae family - plants like henbane and mandrake - that are rich in hallucinogenic compounds known as tropane alkaloids that can induce sensations of flying - to achieve altered states. And these plants were then rubbed on broomsticks that were applied to vaginal membranes, so they did fly through the hallucinogenic landscapes of their mind... Sources: Balick, Michael J., and Paul Alan Cox. Plants, People, and Culture the Science of Ethnobotany. CRC Press, 2020. Harner, Michael. Hallucinogens and Shamanism. Oxford University Press. 1981. Mann, John. Murder, Magic, and Medicine. Oxford University Press, 2000. Plotkin, Mark J. Medicine Quest: in Search of Nature's Healing Secrets. Penguin Books, 2001. Schultes, Richard Evans., and Albert Hofmann. Plants of the Gods. Vandermarck, 1979.