Common Names: Onion
Latin Name: Allium cepa
Parts Used: Bulb, leaves
Cultivation: Onions can be grown from seed, sets, or seedlings. Plant them in the spring for a fall harvest, or the fall before if you live in warmer areas. They prefer rich, well-drained soil with plenty of sun.
Culinary Uses: You can use onions in just about any way imaginable: raw, fried, baked, sauteed, stewed, pickled, stuffed...and in just about every cuisine: Italian, French, Chinese, Japanese, Thai, American...Add onions to soups, stews, stuffing, bread, meat loaf, veggie dishes, stir fries, or alone. Red onions are the sweetest and their flavor frequently does not hold up well in cooking; white have the strongest flavor, and yellow are your "workhorse" onions. Use the greens sliced as a garnish, in salads and Mexican cuisine.
Magickal Uses: Purify your athame or sword by rubbing the blade with a cut onion, or place one beneath the kitchen sink to absorb negativity and disease. Rub warts with a piece of onion and throw it over your right shoulder. Dried onion flowers can be used as protective amulets, and onions grown around the home also offer protection. To cure baldness, rub your head with onion juice and lie out in the sun.
Medicinal Uses: Onions contain smaller doses of the same compunds that make garlic an effective healing agent. Onions help lower cholesterol and high blood pressure; and increase the production of HDL cholesterol which helps clear clogged arteries.
Common Names: Oregano
Latin Name: Origanum spp.
Parts Used: Leaves
Cultivation: Oregano is a perennial hardy to zone 5. It grows in full sun in average soil with a pH of 6.8.
Culinary Uses: Oregano has a spicy flavor and is used widely in Mediterranean cuisines. Add it to tomato sauce, egg and cheese dishes, roasts, zucchine, eggplant, and potatoes.
Magickal Uses: Place oregano plants around your house to protect it. Use it in love spells, and mix with violets to ward off colds.
Medicinal Uses: Use infusions of oregano leaves to treat indigestion, coughs, headaches, and delayed periods. Use a few drops of oil of oregano for toothache.
Note: Oregano and marjoram are very closely related! You can substitute one for the other in pretty much every scenario, remembering that Oregano has a stronger flavor than marjoram.
Common Names: Orris, Florentine Iris, Queen Elizabeth Root
Latin Name: Iris x germanica var. florentina
Parts Used: Rhizome
Cultivation: Iris grow from a rhizome that should be planted above the soil level. They are hardy to zone 5 and prefer well-drained soil with plenty of sun.
Craft Uses: Orris root powder is a fixative commonly used in making potpourri. It has a strong violet odor, and can be added to herb sachets or pillows.
Magickal Uses: Use in love spells and sachets. Carry the root, or sprinkle your house and body with orris root powder to attract love.