Members of the Friendly Thyme Herb Club got into the spirit of Halloween a bit early Friday as they turned themselves into good and bad witches to discuss the herbs witches used in their magic potions.
Richard Hood, the club's president and the lone warlock, said he got the idea for the program from an article he read 12 years ago in The Herb Quarterly.
In the article, a New Hampshire woman and her son turned 530 acres known as Rock Pool Estate into a showcase for herbs vTC found in supposed witches' gardens.
The garden, started in 1931, had closed by the time he read the article, Hood said. But he made copies of the diagram included with the article and passed them out to members at last week's meeting.
The diagram shows where aconite, ambrosia, and deadly nightshade grew. And it depicts a pond, perhaps similar to one in which suspected witches were dunked, mock burning stakes, stocks and whipping posts.
The article didn't have specific information on which herbs supposedly were used in what potions, but it was accurate in describing the herbs said to have been used by witches, said Marion Adams, who researched the two herbs jewelweed and thyme.
Good witches used jewelweed to treat poison ivy and to shoo away a case of the blahs, said Adams.
Thyme was "used in the caldron to season anything that happened to be boiling at the time," she said.
The witches supposedly could use herbs to create potions that did just about everything, from exacting revenge to making people fall in love, club members said.
The herb peony "was considered a divine plant that would drive away bad spirits and keep nightmares at bay," said Helen Patterson.
For those who had wandering mates, JoAnn Missel said, witches created a potion that included the caraway herb.
"A few seeds in a straying husband's pocket would bring him back and prevent him from straying away," said Missel.
Pub Date: 10/06/96