Saturday, October 3, 2009

Nine Herbs Charm

Ond þu, wegbrade, wyrta modor, eastan op no, innan mihtigu; ofer ð cræt curran, ofer ð cwene reodan, ofer ð bryde bryodedon, ofer ð fearras fnærdon. Eallum þu þon wiðstonde and wiðstunedest; swa ðu wiðstonde attre and onflyge and þæm laðan þe geond lond fereð. And, you, Waybread [Plantain], mother of herbs, open to the east, mighty within; carts rolled over you, women rode over you, over you brides cried out, bulls snorted over you. All you withstood then, and were crushed; So you withstand poison and contagion and the loathsome one who travels through the land. [1] --- from Lacnunga LXXIX-LXXXII The Nine Herbs Charm is an Old English charm recorded in the 10th century Lacnunga manuscript. The charm is intended for treatment of poison and infection through the preparation of nine herbs. The charm lists nine herbs:
  • Mucgwyrt (Mugwort)


  • Attorlaðe (identified as Cockspur Grass or Betony)


  • Stune (Lamb's Cress)


  • Wegbrade (Plantain)


  • Mægðe (Mayweed)


  • Stiðe (Nettle)


  • Wergulu (Crab-apple)


  • Fille (Thyme)


  • Finule (Fennel)


  • At the end of the charm, prose instructions are given to take the above mentioned herbs, crush them to dust, and to mix them with old soap and apple juice. Further instructions are given to make a paste from water and ashes, boil fennel into the paste, bathe it with beaten egg - both before and after the prepared salve is applied. [2]

    Nine Herbs Charm

    Remember, Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris), what you revealed, What you established at the mighty proclamation; 'Una" (One) you are called, oldest of herbs. You may avail against three and against thirty, You may avail against poison and against contagion, You may avail against the loathsome one who travels through the land. And you, Waybread (Plantago major), mother of herbs, Open to the east, mighty within; Carts rolled over you, women rode over you, Over you brides cried out, bulls snorted over you. All you withstood then, and were crushed; So you withstand poison and contagion And the loathsome one who travels through the land. Cress (Cardamine hirsuta) this herb is called, it grew on a stone; It stands against poison, it attacks against pain. Nettle (Urtica dioica, Urtica urens) it is called, it attacks against poison, it expels malignant things, casts out poison. This is the herb that fought against the serpent, This avails against poison, it avails against contagion, It avails against the loathsome one who travels through the land. Now, you, Attorlothe (Stachys betonica, Betonica officinalis or Solanum nigrum), put to flight the lesser the greater, The greater the lesser, Until the cure for both be with him. Remember, Chamomile (anthemis cotula), what you revealed, What you brought to an end at alorford; That never because of infection should he give up his life After Chamomile for him was prepared for food. This is the herb called Crab-Apple (Malus) A seal sent this forth across the sea's spine For the harm of poison of some other as a remedy... Chervil (Anthriscus cerefolium) and Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare), two of much might, These herbs shaped the wise Lord, Holy in the heavens, when He hung: He established and sent into the seven worlds, For the poor and the rich, a remedy for all. It stands against pain, it fights against poison, it avails against three and against thirty, Against foe's hand and against noble scheming, Against enchantment of vile creatures... If any poison comes flying from the east, Or any from the north comes, Or any from the west over the tribe of men, Christ stood over sickness of a cruel kind. [3]
  • [1] http://www.heorot.dk/woden-9herbs.html, retrieved July 10, 2009


  • [2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nine_Herbs_Charm, retrieved July 15, 2009


  • [3] http://www.heorot.dk/woden-9herbs-i.html, retrieved July 15, 2009