The Witch’s Cupboard


A Happy Samhain to All

Two Herbs Associated with Samhain are Ginger and Licorice. Both are great for the season.

Ginger:  The parts used are the Rhizomes.  An old Indian proverb says, “every good quality is contained in Ginger.”  Ginger has been used since the dawn of time for healing.  Modern science has supported some of it’s traditional medicinal uses.  Among other things ginger is is used to treat motion and morning sickness, digestive problems, heart disease and stroke, ulcers, arthritis, women’s health concerns, and cold and flu.

Ginger is a tropical perennial that grows from a tuberous underground stem or rhizome.

Just in time for Samhain, here’s a recipe for Gingerbread Witches:

 Gingerbread Witches

1/2 cup softened butter

1 cup brown sugar

2 teaspoons ground ginger

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1/2 teaspoons allspice

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup molasses

1 egg

3 1/2 cups flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon baking powder


In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter, brown sugar, ginger,

cinnamon, allspice, and salt. Beat in the molasses and egg.

In another bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, and baking powder, mixing

well. Add to the molasses mixture and stir until smooth.

Divide the dough into four equal parts. Cover with aluminum foil or plastic

wrap, and then chill for 1 1/2 to 2 hours in the refrigerator.

When ready, roll each quarter to 1/4-inch thickness on a lightly floured

surface with a floured rolling pin. Cut the dough with a Witch-shaped cookie

cutter (or other Hallowe’en-theme cutters such as pumpkins, bats, skulls,

etc.) Press raisins into the dough to make eyes, mouth, buttons, and so on.

Place the gingerbread Witches on a greased cookie sheet and bake in a

350-degree preheated oven for eight to ten minutes or until golden brown.

Remove from the oven and place on wire racks to cool. Decorate the cookies

with black and orange colored icing if desired.

This recipe yields about 30 cookies.

from “The Wicca Spellbook”

by Gerina Dunwich


Licorice is both beneficial and controversial.  Advocates point out it’s many uses, used around the world for thousands of years.  Critics concede the herbs effectiveness but it insists that it’s :potentially life-threatening side effects” make it too dangerous to use.  For healthy adults who ingest the herb in recommended amounts, licorice’s benefits greatly outweigh the risks.  Licorice is recommended to treat cough, colds and sore throats, ulcers, canker sores, herpes and hepatitis.  It should not be used in patients with high blood pressure.  Licorice is an erect, hardy perennial that reaches 3 to 7 feet.  Small, alternate, inch-long leaflets and ½ inch purple midsummer flowers.

How to Make Sore Throat Soothers With Recipes

 These Soothing Throat Pills work wonders for sore throat, laryngitis and other infections of the throat or mouth.

• 2 parts licorice root powder
• 1 part echinacea root powder
• 1 part goldenseal root powder (Note: We recommend organically cultivated goldenseal, as the wild plant is endangered due to overharvesting.)
• 1 part marshmallow root powder
• Honey
• Few drops peppermint essential oil
• Carob powder

1. Follow the instructions for making herbal pills (See Below) to Make Throat Soothers with Licorice. Feel free to adjust the flavors to suit your taste.

2. To use: Take 1 or 2 Soothing Throat Pills daily for best results.

Licorice-Ginger Pills

This tasty and soothing Licorice-Ginger Pills recipe is for singers and those with sore throats.

• 2 tablespoons licorice root powder
• 1 teaspoon gingerroot powder
• Honey
• Cinnamon or cocoa powder

  1. Follow the instructions for making herbal pills in Make Throat Soothers with Licorice. Use honey and 1 to 2 drops water to form the paste, and cinnamon or cocoa powder as a thickener. To use: Take 1 or 2 Licorice-Ginger Pills as needed.

Making Herbal Pills

Make Herbal Pills with Antiviral Herbs

Making herbal pills is a good project to do with children, who are more prone to take their medicine if they’ve had a hand in making it. Carob or cocoa powder is added to make these pill balls tasty as well as effective. Licorice root powder could also be used to make a licorice pill.

1. Place powdered herbs in a bowl and mix with a few drops of water and enough honey (or maple syrup) to make a sticky paste. (Try these two herbal blend recipes: Soothing Throat Pills and Licorice-Ginger Pills.)

2. If you like, add one to two drops of essential oil to the bowl and mix, either for flavor or for added medicinal properties. (Note: Some essential oils are not intended for internal use; if you’re not sure whether an essential oil is safe to consume, consult a health-care professional.) Wintergreen and peppermint essential oils make excellent flavoring agents.

3. Thicken the mixture with carob or unsweetened cocoa powder to form a thick, smooth paste. Knead until smooth.

4. Break off small bits of dough and roll them into small, pill-size balls. You can roll the pills in carob or cocoa powder for a finished look, if you like.

5. Dry the pills in a dehydrator, or place them on a cookie sheet and dry them in the oven at a low temperature (around 150 degrees, or with just the oven light on). Sun-dry them in warm, dry weather.

  1. Once dried, these pills will keep indefinitely. Store these throat soothers in a glass jar in a cool, dark location.

Recipes obtained from the www.HerbCompanion.com