From the Wortcunner’s Cabinet – Tansy

By Isabella @TheWandCarver

Instagram:  @thewandcarver

I would first like to share this exact writing on Tansy from The English Physician and Complete Herbal by Nicholas Culpeper:

Wild Tansy or Silver-weed.

This is also so well known, that it needs no description.

Place.] It grows in every place.

Time.] It flowers in June and July.


Tansy ~ Photo by

Government and virtues.] Now Dame Venus hath fitted women with two herbs {ed. Isn’t it kind to give us only two?} of one name, the one to help conception, and the other to maintain beauty, and what more can be expected of her? {ed. I seriously am feeling bile rise in my throat!} What now remains is for you to love your husbands {ed. am choking here!}, and not to be wanting to your good neighbours? {ed. Have completely lost it now!}  Wild Tansy stays the lask, and all the fluxes of blood in men and women, which some say it will do, if the green herb be worn in the shoes, so it be next to the skin; and it is true enough that it will stop the terms, if worn so, and the whites too, for I ought to know {ed. I have no idea what he meant in that last sentence}.  It stays also the spitting or vomiting of blood.  The powder of the herb taken in some of the distilled water, helps the whites in women but more especially if a little coral and ivory in powder be put to it.  It is also recommended to help children that are bursten, and have a rupture, being boiled in water and salt.  Being boiled in water and drank it eases the griping pains of the bowels, and is good for the sciatica and joint-aches.  The same boiled in vinegar, with honey and allum, and gargled in the mouth eases the pains of the tooth-ache, fastens loose teeth, helps the gums that are sore {ed. I have a feeling that the “allum” alum is what works on the gums more so than the other ingredients}, settles the palate of the mouth in its place, when it is fallen down.  It cleanses and heals ulcers in the mouth, or secret parts {oh I say!}, and is very good for inward wounds, and to close the lips of green wounds, and to heal old, moist, and corrupt running sores in the legs or elsewhere.  Being bruised and applied to the soles of the feet and hand wrists, it wonderfully cools the hot fits of agues, be they never so violent. The distilled water cleanses the skin of all discolourings, therein, as morphew, sun-burnings, &c. as also pimples, freckles, and the like; and dropped into the eyes, or cloths wet therein and applied, takes away the heat and inflammation in them.

Where then, does it make a woman beautiful or bountiful? And how very patronising and chauvinistic! I admire Mr Culpeper for his work, not his opinions, clearly!

Tansy has had a lot said for it – and about it… not only was it once helpful in dressing the dead for funerals, apparently it was useful for keeping flies off fresh meat! You can repel ants and beetles from your home by planting Tansy around it.  I don’t know if the plant proper is helpful, but Tansy oil is said to repel mosquitoes. Tanacetum vulgare was originally a European plant but as many plants do when people immigrate, they became nationalised into other countries as well. In the Victorian language of flowers, Tansy flowers are a declaration of war. Tansy wreaths are suitable funeral decorations.


Tansy is used in spells, charms and potions for longevity.  You can use it as an oil or make an oil infusion with the freshly cut herb by stuffing as much as possible into a large jar then adding olive oil or grapeseed oil. Let it sit in the sun for thirty days, turning it a half-turn round each day. Afterward, you can pour it off through a sieve or cheesecloth into a large bottle or several smaller bottles for use in your magickal workings.  You can also use the dried Tansy in loose incenses for whichever purpose your intention lies for your magickal work.  It can be added to poppets and sachets for different magickal reasons, as well.

Of course, Tansy can be added to witch bottles for your magickal intentions.

In  Hoo Doo Magick, Tansy, along with other herbs, are worn in the shoes of a person trying to keep under the radar of the law such as police officers.  Other herbs which can be blended with Tansy for this purpose are Asafoetida, Celandine, Devil’s Shoe Strings, Elder, Fennel, Black Mustard Seeds, and Oregano.

Tansy is often used in rituals of Womanhood such as first menses and motherhood.


Tansy may be used for expelling worms, one ounce of herb steeped in one pint of hot water drunk as a tea twice a day. This same remedy is employed for kidney and nervous troubles and low-grade fevers. It is also said to calm the stomach and relieve gas.  In large doses, however, it is very irritating to the stomach and digestive systems.  Excessive doses have produced seizures and uterine bleeding. Use on a regular basis causes organ degeneration.

An infusion of Tansy is a useful wash for scabies, eczema and fungal infections.

**Warning: Do not confuse Tansy with Tansy Ragwort which has rayed flowers and does not have sharp toothed leaves. Tansy Ragwort is toxic, not mildly toxic like Tansy, but extremely toxic.


Planetary:  Venus

Zodiac:  Gemini

Gender:  Feminine

Element:  Water

Powers:  Protection, Longevity, Fertility, Immortality, Health

Deity:  Mary, Hebe, Ganymeade, Ishtar, Eostra

Other Names:  Silver-Weed, Wild Tansy, Buttons

I hope you have enjoyed this week’s offering and that I have provided useful information to you.  If you would be so kind to give it a like, make a comment, and follow, it would be greatly appreciated! Many thanks and warmest blessings x


The English Physician and Complete Herbal, by Nicholas Culpeper


About Isabella

Everything worth knowing, I learned from my Nana. I'm a sixty-six year old cunning woman who practises a solitary English hedgewitch life in as near the old ways as I can. I do not sacrifice small animals, neighbours, nor eat children. I'm more interested in visiting my ancestors on hedgewalks. And, I am owned entirely by my lovely feline companion, Pippa [Lady Philipa Cattington].
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