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The Llewellyn Encyclopedia

Subject: Home and Garden

Decoction

Extracting of oils and other substances from plants via boiling. The desired pieces of one or more plants are covered with water that is brought to a boil and kept at that temperature for about 10 minutes. The solution is allowed to cool and is then strained through a filter or cheesecloth.




Green World
A term used to describe world of nature and plants.


Infusion
An herbal tea or potion.


Lunar Gardening

A results-based science, determined over centuries of observation, that certain plants and crops will grow better when planted not only at a certain season of the year, but during a certain time of the lunar cycle during that season.




Macerate
The process of soaking an herb in alcohol or oil to extract the essential oils.


Mistletoe

Also known a "All Heal,” mistletoe is the name for a group of parasitic plants that grows attached to or within the branches of various trees or shrubs. For Druids, it was very sacred and would be harvested using a sacred sickle and caught in a white cloth without touching the ground. Its claimed healing properties may have been overstated. Its leaves and berries are poisonous and extreme care is needed for health purposes. Herbalists have used it for circulatory and respiratory problems. According to Rudolf Steiner it is good for treating cancer. No scientific test has proven is to be effective for any of these purposes.




Negative Space

The space around and between objects. Most commonly used in reference to art. 




Sachet
A cloth bag filled with herbs. Usually, the herbs can be smelled through the cloth.


Simple
A potion or infusion usually made from two or more herbs.


Steep

The technique of soaking an herb in a hot liquid, typically water. 




Tamarisk Gall

An abnormal growth on tamarisk tree that is created when a gall-wasp deposits eggs on the tree. The tree envelops the eggs, forming a nut-like structure. The mature insects bore through the gall to escape. Tamarisk galls are high in tannins which are used to tan leather.




Tincture
Infusion made with alcohol, cider, vinegar, or a similar substance.


Witch Ball
A sphere of glass used in 18th-century England. Hung in windows, they were used to ward off evil. They could be quite large and in 19th century America appeared on stands in gardens where they were called “gazing balls.” Smaller ones eventually changed into the modern spherical Christmas tree ornament.



Demons, fairies, and saints—together? These are not three categories we think of together. In past eras, however, perceptions of the supernatural world were much more fluid. Magicians of the Renaissance would not be averse to calling upon whatever beings were available that could teach them secrets, acquire treasure, or gain the love of... read this article
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