Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Science of Magical Plants

My feature "The Science of Magical Plants" has been recently published in the March 2013 issue of the Australian magazine The Art of Healing. I have only finally gotten my hands on a copy of the magazine and I am super excited with everything -- the photos and illustrations are fantastic, and the layout of the words itself is clean and elegant. 

In this article I looked at plants, such as foxglove and mandrake, which have gained notoriety over the generations for their use in magical practices. Much of the lore regarding the plants went back to Biblical times, straight through to the medieval periods and late 19th century. Not only did I go into some detail of their general history and folklore, but I looked at what these plants are used for today. Many magical plants are being widely used in medical oncology, surgery, and as medications for cardiovascular problems. 

What I noticed about the plants in this article was that each of them had a dual nature. Each plant was both a poison and a medicine. Both healer and killer. Perhaps it is this twilight area of plant medicine where drama, fear and mystery sows the seeds for folklore and legend to grow from. 

This was the most fun I had writing an article in a really long time. The topic was something I felt passionately about and I savored the long hours of research required for it. After a long year of ghost writing, this project was indeed a welcome change.

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