Making Ointments – The Shortening Method

Making Ointments

The Shortening Method
 
 
Gently heat four parts shortening over low heat until liquified. Watch that it doesn’t burn. Add one part dried herbal mixture, blend with a wooden spoon until thoroughly mixed, and continue heating until the shortening has extracted the scent. You should be able to smell it in the air.
 
Strain through cheesecloth into a heat-proof container, such as a canning jar. Add one-half teaspoon tincture of benzoin to each pint of ointment as a natural preservative. Store in a cool, dark place, such as the refrigerator. Ointments should last for weeks or months. Discard any that turn moldy, and lay in a fresh batch.

Making Ointments

Making Ointments 

 
Ointments are easily made. They consist simply of herbs or oils and a base. In the past, hog’s lard was the preferred base because it was readily available, but vegetable shortening or beeswax produces the best results. The base must be a greasy substance that melts over heat but is solid at room temperature. Some herbalists actually use dinosaur fat (i.e., Vaseline, which is prepared from petroleum)!
 
There are two basic ways to create magickal ointments, the shortening method and the beeswax method.

The Baneful Herbs

The Baneful Herbs

Belladonna = Also known as deadly nightshade, Belladonna is a source of the poisonous drug atropine. In minute quantities, atropine, in the form of a sulfate, is used to dilate the pupils of the eye, to relieve pain, to diminish secretions, and to relieve spasms. In greater quantities, it was used to kill. Belladonna was believed to have been used in flying potions.

Cinquefoil = In folklore, cinquefoil was used in flying potions. Found in many old recipes & Grimores.

Deadly Nightshade = Deadly nightshade was ingested by those who wished to foresee the future.

Foxglove = Many of the common names of this plant pertain to its toxic nature (Witches’ glove, Dead Man’s Bells, Bloody Fingers). Foxglove belongs to the Figwort family (Scrophulariaceae) and the whole plant is toxic. It contains various cardiac glycosides. Foxglove also went by the names Goblin’s Gloves (in Wales), Throttle-wort, Thimble Flower, Finger Flower, Ireland it was also known as Fairy Cap, Lunsmore, and the Great Herb. Foxglove was also considered dear to faeries. If a plant was harmed, the faeries would bring retribution.

Hemlock= Hemlock is an extremely poisonous cousin of parsley. The juice from hemlock’s tiny white flowers was believed to be used to make men impotent. “The plant was an ingredient in many Witches’ Ointments…. According to German folk tradition, the hemlock was home to a toad, which lived beneath it and sucked up its poisons.

Hemp = Hemp was used in many old spells and Incense. I do not consider this plant poisonous, and believe it is quite a magical plant when the female flowers are smoked. Mother earth gave us this plant for a reason. Not to mention what we could do with the fibers and just about every other part of this plant. We could feed and cloth the world.(end rant).

Mandrake = Another plant with a narcotic effect, mandrake or the mandragore (Mandragora officinarum L.) was thought to be a potentially lethal herb to harvest from the earth. For this reason, great caution was used in gathering these magical roots. Many people believed that the mandrake shrieked when harvested and that anyone hearing the piercing cry would die. The root of the mandrake resembles a phallus or a human torso, and for this reason was believed to have occult powers. In some areas of Europe, possession of the root was punishable by death. The crushed root was purported to have caused hallucinations followed by a death-like trance and sleep. The root was also said to have caused insanity and was believed to have been used in flying potions Mandrake root makes a powerful addition to any “Binding spell” and works as a great “Witches” protector.