The Witch’s Book of Simples: The Simple Arte of Domestic Folk Medicine
by Mélusine Draco
Publisher: Moon Books
Publication Date: April 1, 2022
Witches have been using medicinal plants for cures of common ailments as part of their Craft for centuries. The most elementary cure is a simple – an infusion, poultice, or compress derived from a single herb. Nothing fancy, just effective: chamomile tea for sleep, elder flowers for coughs, peppermint for nausea – quick household remedies not intended as long-term treatments. Perhaps because they are so basic, they are often overlooked. Mélusine Draco wrote “The Witch’s Book of Simples: The Simple Arte of Domestic Folk Medicine” to preserve that knowledge for future generations.
The book begins with useful information for planting an herb garden and foraging for plants. Chapter 2 covers the preparation, harvesting, storing
and preserving herbs.
Simples from acorn to yarrow comprise Chapter 3. For each is its scientific name, common names, information about the simple, how it’s used medicinally, its magical uses, and cautions, dangers and warnings.
Draco admits to a “fascination for odd and obscure historical facts that are hidden away in the millions of sources that outstrip and confound the confines of the Internet.” For every ingredient she lists its superstition and folklore (“Folklore says that violets blooming in autumn foretell the arrival of some kind of epidemic in the following year. Violets were blooming in the autumn preceding the onset of Coronavirus.“), and personal notes giving facts and trivia, (“Regardless of what it says on the calendar, if the hawthorn’s not in bloom, it ain’t Beltaine!”).
Chapter 4 is a list of aliments and simples used to treat them.
In addition to her own use of simple domestic plant remedies, there is extensive research citing old herbal publications that date back to 320BCE.
In Chapter 5 readers will find a list of recommended books.
In the days of drug-resistant bacteria and viral pandemics, more people are turning to natural treatments, including herbs. This book has all the information for someone new to start practicing, and makes a good reference for others.
Mélusine Draco is an initiate of traditional British Old Craft and originally trained in the magical arts with Bob and Mériém Clay-Egerton. She has been a magical and spiritual instructor for more than 20 years with the Coven of the Scales and the Temple of Khem. The two dozen books she has written in the past ten years include “The Arte of Darkness: Magic and Mystery from the Shadows,” “Liber Agyptius: the Book of Egyptian Magic,” and “Sexual Dynamics in the Circle.” She lives in Ireland.
About the Author:
All my life I have known magic was real. As a child, I played with the fae, established relationships with trees and “just knew things.” In my maiden years I discovered witchcraft and dabbled in the black-candles-and-cemeteries-at-midnight-on-a-fullmoon magick just enough to realize I did not understand its power. I went on to explore many practices including Zen, astrology, color therapy, native traditions, tarot, herbs, candle magic, gems, and, as I moved into my mother years, Buddhism, the Kabbalah and Reiki. The first man I dated after my divorce was a witch who reintroduced me to the Craft, this time by way of the Goddess. For 11 years I was in a coven, but with retirement, I have returned to an eclectic solitary practice. When accepting the mantle of crone, I pledged to serve and teach. This is what I do from my skoolie – a 30-year-old school bus converted into a tiny house on wheels that I am driving around the country, following 72-degree weather, emerging myself into nature, and sharing magic with those I meet. Find me at thewitchonwheels.com, Facebook and Instagram.