Baneful - A Review

Today I'm reviewing Baneful - 95 of the World's Worst Herbs by Deborah Martin.





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Image Credit -  Author's Website



I did a quick search on my blog yesterday and realized I have never published by review of Baneful. I rated it back in 2015 but didn't add it here. The story of how I got this book is amazing.  My dear sister requested a copy of the book signed by the author for my birthday.  The snow was coming down and there was some question if it might arrive on time.  This author signed and managed to get my book to the post office and it arrived just in time.  That says so much about someone who is willing to go the extra step to make someone's day.  DJ and I have been friends ever since.  I cherish this book and adore my sister for thinking of me.  <3

Now on with the review.

I became interested in this book through working on a project with the Covenant of Hekate. Working through the associations I searched online and found a list of books to check out. I decided to check out Baneful.  First, it's a hefty book.  I like that I can pick it up and really open the pages and get into reading it.  The illustrations are great and the introductions  (book and section) are informative and witty. 

Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson
Source Credit: Baneful

When I learn something new, I like to associate the new "thing" with a story or funny reminder. The author provides a section called "Interesting Tidbits" that I found really helpful.  I really enjoy the references on page 13 related to the mythological creation of Aconite from the spit of Cerberus.

Photo Credit: Renee Sosanna Olson
Image Source - Baneful


Each herb is sectioned out in side effects, medicinal uses, and magical uses. I found the story of the Cheyenne on page 55, using a piece of sweet flag root into a child's coverings to ward off night spirits.  This writing style is perfect for this content because it makes you want to learn things. Like did you know that wolfsbane may have been named such due to Ancient Greeks using it on the tips of their arrows while hunting wolves? Or how about the Ancient Greeks and Romans use of mandrake amulets against bewitchment!!  Learning that the Yew was so toxic was fascinating to me. The author tells me that it was used in fertility rituals for both men and women but also for raising the dead!  I could go on and on.

Photo Credit: Renee Sosanna Olson
Image Source - Baneful





Over all I think this is a great addition to any library.  Witchy or otherwise.  It is well written and easy to follow.  I love the "Cheat Sheet" in the back of the book and the note section after each herb was very helpful.  I highly recommend picking up a copy today!




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