The Herbs, Roots, and Bark Library

Herbs beginning with the letter J

Jack in the Pulpit-

Jack in the Pulpit..a darker variation Jack in the Pulpit
Jack in the Pulpit

Fair is the canopy over him seen
Pencilled by nature's hand, black, brown and green
Green is his surplice, green are his bands,
In his queer little pulpit the little priest stands

Author Unknown

Jack in the Pulpit (Arum sp., also known as Cuckoo-Pint, Friar's Cowl, Starchwort, and Wake Robin) is one of those plants which, upon finding one in a glade, the viewer cannot help but marvel at mother nature's sense of design. Folklore holds that bears use this Spring herb to help them restore their energy after the long Winter's hibernation.

Magickal Uses:

Growing a patch of Arum helps encourage the Devas to choose your garden as a place to frolic. The root, when collected whole and dried, is used as an amulet to promote male fertility. Jack in the Pulpit would be an excellent patron herb for those working with the bear as a totem animal.

Medicinal and Other Uses:

None that I've found to date...I'm still researching it.


Jasmine A Close Up of Jasmine Flowers

"Suppose we create a civil war among the gardens

and crown the Jasmine empress and queen of all!"

by Charles Dickens

Jasmine (Jasminum Sambac, Jasminum Officinale, Jasminum Grandiflorum, Jasminum Odoratissimum, also known as Pikake, Ysmyn, Arabian Jasmine, Yeh-Lsi-Ming, Sampaguita, Queen of Perfume, Poet's Jasmine, Jessamin, and Royal Jasmine) is known by reputation as a powerful aphrodisiac. In the language of flowers, Jasmine symbolizes grace and elegance, an apt description of this exotic flower's wonderful aroma. It's name stems from "Jessamine" which is derived from the Persian "Yasmin". Native to India, it is widely cultivated in South China commercially. Jasminum Sambac is the national flower of the Philippines. Jasminum Sambac is also the source of Jasmine Tea, Jasmine perfumery, and some liqueurs. (Jasmine has been used in perfumery since ancient times)

Magickal Uses:

Jasmine is an herb of love and protection, and its invocatory can be either Diana or Vishnu. Jasmine is associated with the feminine, maternal aspect of the Divine Universe. Jasmine is used in love charms, sachets, and incenses. Add the dried flowers to love oil or charm bags to attract love. Some Burn Jasmine in the bedroom to induce prophetic dreams. It's beautiful aroma is calming and helps to lift one's spirits. Dreaming of Jasmine is said to foretell good fortune and an early marriage. The oil of Jasmine is considered one of the best for dressing a candle; burning a candle with this oil gives psychic protection and brings health to one's aura. Jasmine is associated with Quartz crystals and storing them together is mutually beneficial. Jasmine helps promote new, inoovative ideas. It is also used in Eostara celebrations.

Medicinal and Other Uses:

As a medicinal plant, Jasmine has traditionally been considered an aphrodisiac and a calmative. In the orient the root is used to treat headaches, insomnia, and pain due to dislocated joints and broken bones (it is reported to have anaesthetic properties). Several Jasminium species have been used in cancer treatment. Jasmine flower oil is important in high-grade perfumes and cosmetics, such as creams, oils, soaps, and shampoos. Jasmine is beneficial for the skin, reducing problems, such as dry, greasy, irritated or sensitive skin (its good for dry, sensitive skin, especially when there is redness or itching). It's flowers are used in Jasmine tea and other herbal black and green teas. The roots and leaves of some Jasmine species have been used in folk medicine as an anthelmintic, active against ringworm and tapeworm, and its also used to treat muscle spasms, sprains, catarrh, coughs, hoarseness, laryngitis, uterine disorders, labor pains, frigidity, depression and nervous exhaustion. **GT** Several types of Jasmine are used as ornamental plants, and they have a sweet smell. (Like many white, scented flowers, Jasmine releases much of its fragrance in the evening). It can be started by leafy stem cuttings, layering, or seed. Jasminum Sambac is an evergreen shrub growing to 10 feet.

Job's Tears- Job's Tears in Fruit A Close Up of the Seeds

Job's Tears (Coix Lachryma-Jobi) is a fairly tall grass found wild in Africa and Asia, and introduced into America. The shape of the grain so distinctly suggests tears, that it has several names into which a word for tears enters, including the English name Job's Tears. (These bead like structures are actually the female flowers). Bead-chains of Coixare are used in every country that it has reached, and they serve as rosaries or good luck charms. (The oldest bead chain was found in Timor (one of the smaller Indonesian islands) dating to about 3000 B.C. Information on Jobs Tears can also be found in our Mojo area of the Cauldron page.

Magickal Uses:

Job's Tears is an herb of healing and luck. In charm and Mojo bags they are used in numbers of three and seven to attract luck, wishes, and money. String the seeds to either wear or carry as a wish necklace or a blessing necklace. Some say carrying three will assist in finding a good job. You can also find information regarding Job's Tears in our Cauldron Page under the Gypsy, HooDoo, Charm, and Mojo Magickals link.

Medicinal and Other Uses:

Job's Tears may be eaten dry, or as porridge, or in cakes. The Chinese, in their own country, put it into soups as if it were pearl barley. It is easily digested and regarded by the Chinese as a food for dyspeptics. They are used for urinary difficulty, marked by edema (retention of body fluids), carbuncles, lung or intestinal abscesses, diarrhea, arthritic pains, fever, and plantar warts. Laboratory studies show that oil made from the seeds seems to reduce or eliminate muscle spasms in frogs. Clinical trials have indicated an effect of the oil from coix seeds on breathing: Low doses of the oil appear to stimulate breathing, while high doses seem to inhibit it. The oil also may cause dilation of the bronchial tubes. Recent studies are being made on this herb for it's affect on the immune system and possibly a boost for HIV victims. **WC** Do not use while pregnant.

Joe Pye Weed-

Joe Pye Weed in Flower

Joe Pye Weed (Eupatorium species, also known as Gravelroot, Boneset, White Snakeroot) comes in several guises. Eupatorium purpureum (shown in the photo above), has pink bloom. A very close relative, Eupatorium perfoliatum, known as "Boneset" has white blossoms and is used a great deal in healing. On the other hand, Eupatorium rugosum, known as "White Snakeroot", is deadly poisonous. I'll go into detail in the medicinal section explaining how to tell the difference. Joe Pye Weed got it's nickname after a New England medicine man who used the purpureum strain to cure typhus. Another relative, Eupatorium cannibium, has undergone a revival in Europe because of it's immunostimulant constituents which increase resistance in viral infections. The plant name "Eupatorium" is thought to have come from an ancient king, Mithridates Eupator, who first used it medicinally.

Magickal Uses:


Joe Pye Weed is a healing herb which can aid one during times of distress. Add it to formulas to ground yourself. The blossoms make a wonderful altar offering and decoration.

Medicinal and Other Uses:

Ok, first off: Eupatorium perfoliatum (Boneset) was used widely by Native Americans for it's capacity to cause profuse prespiration and loosen the bowels. It was used to treat fevers, colds, flu, and malaria. Eupatorium purpureum has similar actions, but is thought to be a weaker strain. To tell Eupatorium perfoliatum (Boneset) from Eupatorium rugosum (White Snakeroot) look closely at the leaves and stalks: the poisonous rugosum variety has a long stalked look, and it's leaves are oval to heart-shaped. The beneficial perfoliatum variety's leaves seem to surround the stem in "pairs of twos" and it's stalk area is much less prevalent. (see the above photo) Joe Pye Weed (purpureum) is used for rheumatic and arthritis pain, constipation, phlegm reducing, menstrual pain, and to cleanse the urinary tract.

Juniper- On the cliff at Hat Point, Minnesota, near the Grand Portage Ojibwe reservation, stands a 400-year-old sacred tree named Manido Giizhigance, (Little Cedar Tree Spirit) A Close Up of Juniper Berries

Juniper (Juniperus Communis) is an ancient herb with much lore associated with it. The photo to the left : on the cliff at Hat Point, Minnesota, near the Grand Portage Ojibwe reservation, stands a 400-year-old sacred tree named "Manido Giizhigance" (Little Cedar Tree Spirit).

The Juniper was a Druid sacred tree. In ancient times parents burned Juniper during childbirth in the belief that its smoke prevented the fairies from substituting a changling for their newborn baby. In the Middle Ages people thought Juniper smoke gave protection against contagious diseases such as the plague and leprosy. Juniper remains closely linked to spirits of this day because Juniper berries are the primary source of the flavor in Gin...oh wait, thats a spirit of a different sort. *grin* ...Sorry, I couldn't resist. (I have a wicked sense of humor that gets me into all kinds of mischief)

Magickal Uses:

Juniper is an herb of love, purification and protection. The resin or needles of Juniper can be gathered, dried, and powdered to make an excellent incense to protect your temple or home. The berries can be dried and used in amulets, sachets, charms, Mojo bags, or oils. Juniper is used to keep one healthy or to assist those who need healing. It is a good herb for banishing negative energy and attracting positive energy. Some believe that wearing a sprig of Juniper can protect one from accidents. In some cultures the mature berries are strung and worn to attract lovers. Grow Juniper near your doors or windows to protect your portals.

Medicinal and Other Uses:

Juniper berries were once used as a pepper substitute in England. In Germany they are still used as a culinary spice. The berries are also used to pickle, or preserve various meats. In the more northerly temperate regions of the world Junipers are used to make Gin. Arthritis has been treated with Juniper, and Juniper berry oil has been used as a diuretic. The tar of juniper has also been used, with the combination of other tars, to treat scalp psoriasis. Juniper has been used to aid those with inflammatory diseases and to treat wounds. Bronchitus has been treated with a steam inhalant of Juniper. The wood of Juniper has insecticidal qualities. Many Junipers are used as timber. (Juniperus Bermudiana is used to make wood for pencils) The oil of many Junipers are used in perfumery, and in aromotherapy. **WC** If you are pregnant or have kidney problems don't use medicinal amounts of Juniper berries or twigs. (large doses of the fruit can cause renal damage) Because of many reports of Juniper poisonings, caution should be taken if one is to use Juniper as medicine or food.

The Ks Are Next...

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A Compendium of Herbal Magick by Paul Beyerl

A Modern Herbal by Maud Grieve (Vol 1 & 2)

Magickal Herbalism by Scott Cunningham

Edible Wild Plants by Thomas S. Elias & Peter A. Dykeman

Indian Herbalogy by Alma R. Hutchens

Sacred Plant Medicine by Stephen Harrod Buhner

Coyote Medicine by Lewis Mehl-Madrona, M.D.

Identifying and Harvesting Edible and Medicinal Plants by "Wildman" Steve Brill

The Complete Illustrated Holistic Herbal by David Hoffman

The Complete Medicinal Herbal by Penelope Ody

Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs by Scott Cunningham

Magic and Medicine of Plants by Inge N. Dobelis

Information given on this site is not intended to be taken as a replacement for medical advice. Any person with a condition requiring medical attention should consult a medical doctor. This information is given as reference only.