An herb woman for several decades, author Linda Rago has tended, cooked, and cured with herbs, collecting their stories, charms, and tales along the way. In this book, she passes along herbal folklore, a history with an oral tradition that has been passed down from grandmothers, scholars, friends, and “Wise Women.” Mugworts In May contains charming rhymes and ditties to help your love life, your garden, and your health.
From Herb Gathering March/April 1996
A charming collection of herbal history and folklore by Linda Ours Rago, a traditional Appalachian herb woman who has spent over 30 years tending, cooking, and crafting rare tidbits of fact and fiction about them. A detailed tour of a Wise Woman’s Garden is just the beginning of this literary excursion into a world of herbal charms and tales—much of which has almost been lost and forgotten. Mugworts in May also includes a compendium of some 150 herbs and their magic uses listed alphabetically, with information you seldom run across in mainstream herb books. Quaint illustrations are sprinkled throughout. Out of the ordinary-but definitely delightful.
From Moonrise, Winter 1997
Mugworts in May is a completely delightful book! It takes its name from the first line of a short poem that instructs young women what herbs to eat to live longer.
It explores the importance of herbal usage in the past, and the myths and lore associated with their planting, harvesting and use. Ms. Rago explains how some of the folkore grew up, to ‘get around’ the laws that covered herbalism in the days of the witch-hunts.
The book instructs you in planting a “wise Woman’s Garden” in any locale, with short paragraphs about each herb and the folklore associated with it.
Ms. Rago also devotes a chapter to the use of herbs from the ‘dark side’, and cautions against using them without great care and knowledge. Many of these are herb, which are used in synthesizing prescription medication (such as digitalin). They are the ones where a little will cure, but too much may kill or injure.
The book has a collection of herbal ‘charms’ and bits of poetry for use with the herbs. There are charms for everything from those to recite while picking certain plants to herbal healing charms to treat household injuries, and, of course, for a young woman to find her own true love.
The book is completed by a listing of common herbs. Their magickal properties and modern uses are detailed in a short paragraph about each herb.
This is a wonderful book to delight and amuse the herbalist or Wise Woman in your life.