Quince: Protection, Love, Happiness
Radish: Protection, Lust
Raspberry: Protection, Love. Often used to detect the fertility of soil it is used for spells that require detection or preserving things as its berries were used to make jam. Reed The reed symbolizes flexibility, rapid growth, and expansion. Its stalks can also be used for making flutes. It is good for music, growth, and expansion. Rose With its beautiful flowers and its deadly thorns this is another plant which symbolizes deadly beauty. It is used for glamour, enchantments, and love potions.
Rattlesnake Root: Protection, Money
Rhubarb: Protection, Fidelity
Rice: Protection, Rain, Fertility, Money
Roots: Protection, Power, Divination
Rose: Love, Psychic Powers, Healing, Love, Divination, Luck, Protection
Rosemary: Protection, Love, Lust, Mental Powers, Exorcism, Purification, Healing, Sleep, Youth
Rowan: Psychic Powers, Healing, Protection, Power, Success
Rue: Healing, Health, Mental Powers, Exorcism, Love. As the name suggests this plant governs sadness and sorrow. It is used to create depression but can also be used to help banish it.
Rye: Love, Fidelity
Saffron: Love, Healing, Happiness, Wind Raising, Lust, Strength, Psychic Powers.
Sage: Immortality, Longevity, Wisdom, Protection, Wishes
Native American Symbolism: Sage is one of the most important Native American ceremonial plants, used by many tribes as an incense and purifying herb. Sweetgrass symbolizes protection and healing in many Native cultures, and is considered to drive out evil influences and ward off bad luck. Sage is burned as a spiritual cleanser before many traditional ceremonies, and is also one of the herbs frequently included in medicine bundles and amulets.
Sagebrush: Purification, Exorcism
St.Johns Wort: Health, Power, Protection, Strength, Love, Divination, Happiness
Sandalwood: Protection, Healing, Exorcism, Spirituality
Sarsaparilla: Love, Money
Sassafras: Health, Money
Savory/Summer: Mental Powers
Scullcap: Love, Fidelity, Peace
Sesame: Money, Lust
Skunk Cabbage: Legal Matters
Slippery Elm: Halts Gossip
Sloe: Exorcism, Protection
Snakeroot: Luck Money
Snakeroot/black: Love, Lust, Money
Solomons Seal: Protection, Exorcism
Sorrel Wood: Healing, Health
Southern Wood: Love, Lust, Protection
Spanish Moss: Protection
Spearmint: Healing, Love, Mental Powers
Spruce: It is a versatile tree that is a fast grower and proves dominant within its territory. Its wood is good at storing/conducting energy and it is seen as good to use when bargaining with Earth elementals.
Native American Symbolism: Spruce trees are mythologically important plants among Southwestern tribes, where they are symbols of the sky and directional guardians of the north. According to Hopi myth, the spruce tree was once a medicine man, Salavi, who transformed himself into a tree. For this reason, spruce trees are considered particularly sacred to the Hopis, who use spruce boughs to adorn kachina dancers. In the Pima flood myth, the father and mother of the Pima people survived the deluge by floating in a ball of spruce pitch. Among northern tribes, spruce trees (like other evergreens) are associated with peace and protection. Spruce is a particular symbol of good luck to the Salish tribes, and spruce roots are used as fiber for weaving basketry regalia by many Northwest Coast tribes. Northern Algonquian tribes used to bundle spruce and fir needles into sachets or herbal pillows to protect against illness.
Squill: Money, Protection, Hex Breaking
Star/anise: Psychic Powers, Luck
Stillengia: Psychic Powers
Straw: Luck, Image Magic
Strawberry: Love, Luck. Used for love spells, its symbolism is that of love, temptation, passion, and rewarded effort.
Native American Symbolism: Besides being a popular food item, strawberries played an important ceremonial role in some tribes. Some California Indian tribes, such as the Pomo, held special Strawberry Festivals or Strawberry Dances, representing the springtime renewal of life. (At least one tribe, the Kashaya, still hold a Strawberry Festival today.) Among the Iroquois, strawberries were symbols of blessing and thanksgiving. To the Cherokee and other southeastern tribes, strawberries were associated with love and happiness. Some Cherokee families still consider it good luck to have strawberries in the house. Strawberry leaves and roots also played a role in traditional Native American herbal medicine. The strawberry is considered one of the sacred Life Medicines of the Navajo tribe.
Sugar Cane: Love, Lust
Sumbul: Love, Luck, Health, Psychic Powers
Sunflower: Fertility, Wishes, Health, Wisdom
Native American Symbolism: Sunflowers were one of the important crops grown in Native American gardens. Some people call sunflowers the “fourth sister,” in reference to the Three Sisters corn, bean, and squash, but this is a recent appellation as far as we know, and we’re not aware of any legends or oral traditions referring to sunflowers this way. Sunflower seeds were an important food crop and source of oil for cooking and cosmetics, and different sunflower varieties were cultivated to produce purple and yellow dyes. Sunflower oil was also believed to treat skin ailments, and sunflowers had a variety of medicine uses in different tribes. Some Native people also saw sunflowers as a symbol of courage, so that warriors would carry sunflower cakes to battle with them or a hunter would sprinkle sunflower powder on his clothing to keep his spirit up.
Sweetgrass: Calling Spirits
Native American Symbolism: Sweetgrass is one of the most important Native American ceremonial plants, used by many tribes as an incense and purifying herb. Sweetgrass symbolizes healing, peace, and spirituality in many Native cultures, and braids of sweetgrass are sometimes left as offerings at graves and sacred sites. Sweetgrass is also one of the herbs frequently included in medicine bundles and amulets. Plains Indian people used to chew sweetgrass during ritual fasts, and it was also used as a medicinal herb in some tribes. Sweetgrass still holds great spiritual importance to many Native Americans today, but these days it is almost always burned as an incense, not chewed or eaten. More prosaically, sweetgrass is also used in traditional basket-weaving. In the myths of some tribes, such as the Ojibwe and Cree, sweetgrass is said to be the eldest of all plants and sometimes referred to as the hair of Mother Earth.
Sweetpea: Friendship, Chastity, Courage, Strength
Sycamore: This tree represents growth, persistence, strength, and endurance.
Native American Symbolism: Sycamore symbolizes ambition
Tamarisk: Exorcism, Protection
Tansy: Health, Longevity
Tea: Riches, Courage, Strength
Thistle: Strength, Protection, Hex Breaking, Healing
Thistle/holy: Purification, Hex Breaking. This plant is also known as Pixies’ Gloves.
Thistle/milk: Snake enraging.
Thyme: health, Healing, Sleep, Psychic Powers, Love, Purification, Courage
Ti: Protection, Healing
Toadflax: Protection, Hex Breaking
Toadstool: Rain Making
Tobacco: Healing, Purification
Native American Symbolism: Tobacco is one of several plants with a name that comes from a Native American language– “tobacco” comes from tabaco, a Taino/Arawak name for the plant that was picked up by the Spanish in the 1500’s. Tobacco is one of the most important Native American ceremonial plants, used by nearly every indigenous tribe of North America (the Inuit are the only exception we know of) and most tribes of Central and South America as well. Even cultures that did no other farming usually raised tobacco, and tribes that couldn’t grow tobacco for themselves often traded with other groups to acquire it. Tobacco was considered a gift from the Creator in many Native American cultures; according to some of them, tobacco smoke is a means of carrying the smoker’s prayers to God. Many tribes have important myths about the origin of the first tobacco. In some North American tribes, tobacco was exclusively farmed by men, and women were forbidden from touching the growing plants. Once it had been harvested, however, Native American men and women both smoked. Tobacco leaves were smoked at rituals, ceremonies, and important social events, and also as medicine for any number of ailments. Tobacco is associated with relaxation, healing, and peace. In some tribes, particularly in North America, the pipes used for smoking tobacco are themselves considered highly sacred. In others, tobacco pipes are purely utilitarian or decorative objects. Tobacco is one of the herbs frequently included in medicine bundles, and is still popularly used as an offering or gift today.
Turnip: Protection, Ending Relationships
Uva Ursa: Psychic Workings
Valerian: Love, Sleep, Purification, Protection
Vanilla: Love, Lust, Mental Powers
Venus Flytrap: Protection, Love
Vervain: Love, Protection, Purification, Peace, Money, Youth, Chastity, Sleep, Healing. This plant was used to boost energy, strength, and heart rates. The druids saw it as a very powerful plant using it in potions to increase the length and power of their effects.
Vetivert: Love, Hex Breaking, Luck, Money, Anti-Theft
Violet: Protection, Luck, Love, Lust, Wishes, Peace, Healing, they represent being shy, as the flowers often hide behind the large leaves of the plant. They also represent faith, as alluded to in Shakespeare’s Hamlet.
Native American Symbolism: Violets are associated with love and bewitchment in the Iroquois tribes. Violet roots and leaves are also used as medicine herbs in some Native American cultures, and the flowers are sometimes used to make blue dye.
Wahoo: Hex-breaking, Courage, Success
Walnut: Health, Mental Powers, Infertility, Wishes
Water Lily: This plant symbolizes purity and stability in an unstable environment. It is used for spells that require purity or to invoke cultured mannerisms.
Wax Plant: Protection
Wheat: Fertility, Money
Willow: Love, Divination, Protection, Healing
Native American Symbolism: The willow symbolizes inner wisdom, an open mind with the stability and strength of age and experience. The bark of willow trees has been an important medicinal herb since ancient times in nearly all corners of the world (salicylic acid, which comes from willow bark, is the original source aspirin was derived from,) including many different Native American cultures. In addition to the willow tree’s importance as medicine, willow has also been used as a source of red dye and as a major basket-making material in the western tribes (the flexible willow shoots tended to be used for basket-weaving in the southwest, while Northwest Coast tribes like the Quileute used willow bark fiber for their baskets and Northern California tribes tended to use willow roots.) The Plains Indian tribes use willow boughs in the construction of their sweat lodges, and willow catkins were sometimes eaten as a food supplement among the Alaskan tribes. In some Northern California tribes, willow sprigs are carried for spiritual protection; in the Karuk tribe, willow sprigs are attached to boats to protect them from stormy waters. To the Arapaho tribe, the willow tree was a symbol of longevity.
Wintergreen: Protection, Healing, Hex Breaking. Symbolizing coolness, calmness, and refreshment, it is used to soothe fears and to calm the nerves.
Winters Bark: Success
Witch Grass: Happiness, Lust, love, Exorcism
Witch Hazel: Protection, Chastity
Wolfs Bane: Protection, Invisibility
Wood Rose: Luck
Woodruff: Victory, Protection, Money
Wormwood: Psychic Powers, Protection, Love, Calling Spirits. An extremely dangerous, poisonous plant, it is sometimes used to induce visions or to harm spirits.
Yarrow: Courage, Love, Psychic Powers, Exorcism
Native American Symbolism: Some books, especially older botanical books, claim that yarrow plants are not native to North America and that they were introduced by early Europeans. Although we are not botanists, we find that claim extremely hard to believe because we know indigenous words for yarrow in so many Native American languages; meanwhile, we are unaware of any Native American words for yarrow that were borrowed from English, French or Spanish. (Most plants and animals introduced by Europeans have just the opposite situation.) Yarrow also has a more important and longer-standing role in traditional Native American herbalism than do more recent herbal arrivals like dandelions and chicory. Recently published botany books more often seem to recognize multiple different subvarieties of yarrow, suggesting that there were slight genetic differences between Old World and New World varieties of yarrow, and that most yarrow growing wild in North America today is a hybrid form between the two. Whatever the truth of this situation is, yarrow plays an extensive role in the medicine and oral history of Native American tribes throughout North America, particularly used as a poultice for wounds and a treatment for headaches, toothaches, and gastrointestinal problems. Yarrow is considered one of the sacred Life Medicines of the Navajo tribe, and was sometimes burned as a purifying herb by the Anishinabe tribes.
Yellow Evening Primrose: Hunting
Yerba Mate: Fidelity, Love, Lust
Yerba Santa: Beauty, Healing, Psychic Powers, Protection
Native American Symbolism: Yerba santa (also spelled yerbasanta) is the Spanish name for this indigenous southwestern plant. The name just means “holy herb,” and in fact the same name is used to refer to several other completely unrelated plants with medicinal properties (such as Mexican pepper-leaf, for one.) The yerba santa we are referring to on this page has the Latin name of Eriodictyon, the English name of Mountain Balm, and the Miwok name Passaale (or Possalle.) Tribes throughout California, Nevada, Arizona, and northern Mexico used yerba santa as a medicine herb to cure a wide variety of ailments, from asthma to wounds and sores to coughs and colds.
Yew: Raising the Dead
Native American Symbolism: The yew tree is less important to the mythology of Northwestern Native American tribes than other trees like the cedar and spruce. The greatest significance of the yew to Native American culture was how prized its wood was for the construction of traditional archery bows. The Haida name for the yew tree literally means “bow tree,” and yew bows were valued in the northwestern tribes as much as Osage orange bows were in the south. Like other evergreens, yew trees are associated with protection in Northwestern cultures, and their connection with bows make them an occasional symbol of strength and manhood.
Yohimbe: Love, Lust
Yucca: Transmutation, Protection, Purification
Native American Symbolism: Yucca is one of several plants with a name that comes from a Native American language– “yucca” comes from the Taino (Native Caribbean) name for the plant, yuca.
Yucca was a very important plant to traditional Southwest Indian life. Yucca fruits and roots were eaten, and the tough yucca fiber was used to weave baskets and sandals. Yucca leaves are also used ceremonially by the Navajos. Although yucca plants have never been an important food source to southeastern tribes like the Cherokee, they have used the roots of eastern yucca species as medicine herbs, particularly to treat sores and rashes.