A to Z Herbarium: Heather
Protection, Rain-making, Luck
White heather is used for protection–particularly against rape and violent crimes–and for good luck. Red is used to start or end an affair; purple for spiritual development. Using heather at Samhain will invite spirits to visit, and burning it with fern outside will attract rain.
Heather has antiseptic and diuretic properties, and can be used to treat genitourinary ailments such as bladder and kidney infections. It’s also a soothing plant that can help with nervousness or insomnia. When turned into a liniment it can ease rheumatism or arthritis.
Heather branches have traditionally been used for thatching, stuffing mattresses, insulation, basketry, and making ropes and brooms. Musical pipes can be made out of the rootstock.
The flowering tops of the heather plant can be used to brew beer.
Cunningham’s Encylopedia of Magical Herbs, Scott Cunningham, 2016, Llewellyn Publications
Green Witchcraft: Folk Magic, Fairy Lore & Herb Craft, Ann Moura, 2014, Llewellyn Publications