Since ancient times, Romanian people used magical herbs for protection from curses, the evil eye, and dark spirits. Find out what these magical herbs are and how to use them for protection.
Romanian folk medicine has used magical herbs for protection from curses, evil eyes, and spells since immemorial times. More than half of the remedies used in Romanian folk medicine are actually magical medicine (unique in Europe!), that highlights the beneficial properties of agheasmă (holy water), holy and magical plants, fasting, morning dew, the sun, prayer, the power of words (written or spoken), of love and sacrifice.
Weaving together Christianity and ancestral traditions, this form of folk medicine appealed to the help of God, angels, and archangels alike, but also to fairies, good spirits, or various plants. Its purpose was to protect those who use it from disease, evil eye, and curses, but also to bring rain, to avoid catastrophes, to bring abundance into the home, and, above all, for the peace of mind and purity of thought.
The Two Kinds of Magic
There are two distinct types of magic:
- White Magic – uses only the beneficent higher power of the spiritual realms to do good for oneself and others. The most famous white magicians are the Three Magi of the East, who announced the birth of Jesus Christ.
- Black Magic – uses the most diverse means for easy and fast material gain, social success, and other forms of instand gratification, sometimes at the expense of another or oneself. Others call it practical magic, green magic, or in many other ways, but it is essentially black magic. Black magic is often cleverly disguised as white magic, so beware.
In the case of Romanian folk medicine, which has descended from the knowledge and wit of the Solomonari, these magic herbs are used as an arsenal of protection not only against harmful influences but also against everyday psychic aggressions. So yes, the magical herbs for protection used in Romanian folklore, are always used in the name of good.
The 6 Magical Herbs for Protection from Romanian Folk Medicine
In most rural parts of Romania, old women used to make small herb sachets to hang around the neck of those who need protection when going away from home or when feeling ill. To make most of this magical amulet, ideally one should keep these herbs as close to the body as possible, in a small bag, which was always worn around the neck under the clothes, or put under the pillow or at the head of the bed while sleeping.
Even today, in remote mountain villages, you can find these habits of wearing herbal sachets around the neck for protection, especially by people recovering from sickness, children, or soon-to-be-married girls. This is a millennial folk tradition with inexplicable but real efficiency. Here are the 5 magical herbs for protection from Romanian folk medicine.
A few cloves of garlic put in a cloth and worn around the neck are an infallible remedy for protecting children from colds, intestinal worms, and the evil eye. Young lads who walked alone through the forest had a clove of garlic with them to protect them from the Forest Girl (a demon from Romanian mythology who draws young men into the woods, where she kills them). Garlic was also used to protect exhausted men or women, who were haunted in their dreams by spirits who would drain their sexual energy. They would keep one head of garlic or a wreath of garlic at the head of the bed at night to prevent these evil spirits from visiting at night.
Valerian root is another amazing magical herb for protection, especially for young married women. Healers and folk magicians would use valerian as a form of protection for married girls, against night fliers, also known as zburători, in Romanian folklore, demon spirits disguised as young men, who took the strength and minds of girls. Valerian root was generally worn around the waist, to clear and protect from evil erotic influences.
Together with valerian, spearmint is one of the top herbs for protection in Romanian folk medicine, used to calm the psyche, reduce irritation, and banish the demons of anger and uncontrolled passion. The Solomonari used to say that in the dark nights they could hear the dragons (balauri) walking through the heavens and saying: “If it weren’t for the valerian and spearmint, / We’d too had a life. / If the lovage wouldn’t be, / Then we wouldn’t perish.”
Lovage was once highly prized for its magical powers to drive away evil entities, but also for protecting against unwanted “love bonds”. It was often used together with valerian and spearmint, in an invincible magical triad. Women used to make amulets with these magical herbs by adding them to special food, which they gave to the young girls as protection, before going alone with the sheep into the mountains.
Sanicle (Sanicula Europaea) was used mainly to protect women from curses, to prevent drying or poisoning the milk in the bosom of young mothers, to prevent infertility of young wives, and others. To work its magic, sanicle was kept, like the other herbs, in a sachet around the neck.
Mistletoe is one of the magical herbs for protection used in Romanian folk medicine with two main purposes. On the one hand, mistletoe was considered a bringer of good luck and abundance, and on the other hand, it was considered a protector from curses and evil spirits.
Mistletoe, especially the one gathered around the winter solstice (Christmas) was placed on the doorstep to scare away all evil spirits and attract the good ones into the home.
Other Magical Herbs for Protection in Romanian Folklore
In addition to the 6 magical herbs for protection mentioned, Romanians have used other plants believed to offer protection to the people, their animals, and their homes. Some of the magical herbs worth mentioning are linden flowers, sage, yellow lady’s bedstraw (which was called sânziană, and was used for love rituals too), common box, and fir branches. Women would weave these plants into wreaths that they placed above the entry of the house or by the pictures of saints.
Sprinkling the room with a branch of flowered and dried basil drenched in holy water was modern-day sage smudging. Romanians used it as a means of protecting the home from evil spirits and cleansing the place. Holy water was also used on those who were sick or troubled.
The world of magical herbs for protection is exciting, full of charm, and unpredictable. The mere fact that this special form of medicine exists in most European civilizations and is hundreds, even thousands of years old, proves that there is some truth behind it, and it’s up to us to further investigate. Stay protected, naturally!
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