Beltane Herb: Sweet Woodruff

Beltane Herb: Sweet Woodruff

Beltane Herb: Sweet Woodruff

The Sweet Woodruff, a favorite little plant growing in woods and on shaded hedgebanks, may be readily recognized by its small white flowers (in bloom in May and June) set on a tender stalk, with narrow, bright-green leaves growing beneath them in successive, star-like whorls, just as in Clivers or Goosegrass, about eight leaves to every whorl. Unlike the latter, however, its stems are erect and smooth: they rarely exceed a foot in height, their average being 8 or 9 inches. The plant is perennial, with creeping, slender rootstock.
The fresh leaf is used in poultices for wounds and skin irritations. The tea of the fresh herb is soothing to the stomach, cleanses the liver, and is said to purge gravel and stones from the bladder. The fresh or dried herb has been used to treat migraine headaches and to calm hysteria and insomnia. Steep the herb in white wine to lift the spirits; this is the classic herb for May wine. The dried herbs are placed in drawers and closets to repel moths.

The plant when newly gathered has but little odor, but when dried, has a most refreshing scent of new-mown hay, which is retained for years.
Woodruff attracts wealth and brings victory to athletes. It is associated with love, protection, victory, money, and male sexuality.

Spring Wine
1 bottle of dry white wine
Small bunch of Wilted or dried sweet woodruff 3-4 sprigs
2 cups of sliced strawberries
Steep herbs and 1 cup of sliced strawberries in the white wine overnight. Place in a cool dark place.
Discard the woodruff and strawberries.
Serve wine with a few slices of fresh strawberries in the glass.
Spring Wine Punch
To make a punch you may add a bottle of sparkling white wine well chilled pour both bottles of wine over ice in a punch bowl add the remaining strawberries, orange juice equivalent to one fresh squeezed orange, and stir gently until combined.[ if desire a sweeter taste add 2 tablespoons of sugar or 4 tablespoons of honey]

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