Thursday, June 7, 2012

Herbs in Sanse Puerto Rican Vudu Tradition

Herbs in Sanse Vudu 'Voodoo' Tradition
by Sancista Brujo Luis


My aunt Tia Sonia, is a devote Penticostal pastor in my hometown of Comerio Puerto Rico, she has been in the religion for as long as I can remember.   The house that she currently lives in was the house my mother and all her siblings where born in, it was built  in the 1920s as a gift to my grandmother from my grandfather and great grandfather who built it.  Originally the house was a one bedroom small bohio "hut"  made of  plywood and a zinc roof  and as the family grew so did la Casita.   Although the original house was destroyed in 1989 by Hurricane Hugo, the current house still resides on the foundation that my grandfather built.   Behind La Casita as we call it, resides a lush tropical forest full of wild "Spanish Limes / Quenepas", Soursop, "guanábana", Guavas, mangoes, coconuts and oranges, while to the side of la Casita on a hilltop Tia Sonia had a vegetable garden of yuca, malanga and gandules.   My dearest memories of la Casita was playing with my cousins in the deep forests, we would play cowboys and Indians or Cops and robbers.  Tia Sonia would warn not to go to deep in the forests as Las Brujas lived deep within them and would snatch any child who got lost after sunset.  if we were to get lost and the sun would begin to set we would stand and make sure the sun was to our right hand side walk down until we would come to a stream that flowed down and would follow it all the way to the backyard of la Casita. 

When my Tia was not harvesting vegetables or cutting down bananas and plantains for that evenings supper, she would go into the forest and collect wild herbs and barc, for either cooking, making teas and for healing purposes.  These where those days when my cousins would be entertained watching Mighty Mouse or Tom & Jerry, which I remember hating because it was dubbed in Spanish, and seamed to me so unnatural to my english speaking counterparts in the states.  Tia Sonia was and still is an expect Yerbera, as she could spot an herb or barc and know what it was used for and always advised against the many poison ones.  I always felt that If it had not for her being a pastor at the local Pentecostal church, Tia Sonia would have been a well renowned Curandera. 

All my Tia ever needed was behind the house or on either side of the house.  If she had to go to the market in the pueblo, it would be for the occasional soft drink, cheese whiz, tang, rice and steak. 

Herbs in Espiritismo and Brujeria

Traditionally herbs are not a part of Espiritismo practices they are mostly used in Curanderismo and Brujeria and were adopted into the Sanse tradition practices as Sanse is a blending of Spiritism, herbalism, Vudu practices and Curanderismo and all Puerto Rican Sancistas where raised or had a Hierbera or Curandero in the family.  A Sancista should have a common knowledge of some fresh herbs, as they are used to make Spiritual washes, herbal baths, placed within Resguardo Charm bags, and used in lavadas and many travajos.

I do not use store bought dried herbs in a plastic jar unless I am cooking them or want a quick tea, or need a quick Adobo or Sazon for my meals, these herbs contain little if no Ache to them, but I would rather use fresh herbs when possible.  One fresh herb leaf has more magical properties than any dried herb bought at a super market.  If you are to dry your own herbs understand that although they contain energy they loose their magical properties within a year.  Resins and Roots have an almost indefinate shelf life.   If you grow your own herbs and live in an area where the winters are cold, gather them before the first frost.  You can try and grow them indoors or use them for your travajos.  If you are going to use them, use them fresh or hang them upside down with stems facing upwards.  You can tie them in a bunch and dry them up slowly, and place them in containers to use in your spiritual or magical works.
Rule of Thumb, never boil herbs, simmer them or just add hot water, one can boil roots and barc, but never herbs.  If working with large amounts of herbs, boil water, and place herbs in a large mortar, adding water little by little as you use the pestle to mash out the magical healing properties, strain well and add to baths, oils or perfumes.  (Every Brujo, Curandero and Sancista should own a Mortar and Pestle)  A Sancista should have a common knowledge of atleast a dozen herbs, I personally know around 18 or so, which I grow in my garden.  A few herbs all Sancistas should get usto are Rue, Rosemarry, and Basil.  I Know of a Sancista woman who lives in the 12th floor of an apartment building who grows her herbs indoors using a neon light in the winter, while I know many who buy the packaged herbs in Botanicas.   Although some herbs on this list are edible and can be ingested many are not, and I strongly warn on the intake of herbs without common knowledge.  The list that follows is only the names of each herb in Spanish and I will not be giving their magical uses or properties.  




Within Sanse, Santeria, Vudu, and 21 Divisiones there are various Misterios that govern over herbs  and are as follows.

Gran Bois or Selva Jungla is the patron of the forest, he is also known as Ogou Osanjeh.  He is a master herbalist and knows the mysteries and healing properties to every plant on earth, and a lover and protecter of the animals that live within his domain.  He is not very trusting of humans, as humans have done nothing but exploit and take.  He is synchronized with Saint Francis of Asise.

Gran Bwa or Gran Bosque is the younger brother of Gran Bois, he is synchronized with Saint Jude and like his brother is a master herbalist and healer.  Gran Bois bestows apon human’s the knowledge of herbs.

Ogou Oke also called Asacca is the younger of the three, he is the Misterio Loa of agriculture and farmers, in Puerto Rico he is known as El Santo Jibarito or  Santo Jibaro and is synchronized with Saint Isidoro.

Herbs Hierbas Yerbas

  1. Acacia - Aromo Acacia
  2. Adam & Eve - Raiz de Adan y Eva
  3. Adder’s Tounge - Lengua de Vibora
  4. Agrimony - Agrimonia
  5. All Spice - Malageta
  6. Aloe vera - Sabilla
  7. Anise Stars - Estrellas de Anis
  8. Ash Tree - Fresno
  9. Aspen - Arbol de Sebo
  10. Artillery Plant - Frescura
  11. Babelor’s Buttom - Siempreviva
  12. Balm of Gilead - Balsamo
  13. Balmony - Amansa Guapo
  14. Bambo - Cana Brava
  15. Basil - Albahaca
  16. Bastard Lime - Siguaraya
  17. Bay Leaves - Oja de Laurel
  18. Belladonna - Amaryllis
  19. Benzoin - Estoracua
  20. Black Nightshade - Yerba Mora
  21. Black Pepper - Pimienta
  22. Bitter Bush - Rompe Zaraguey
  23. Bitter Broom - Palo de Toro
  24. Bitter Herb - Hierba Bruja
  25. Bladderwrack - Veriguoso
  26. Blood Root - Veneno Sanguinaria
  27. Blue Colored Lead Wart - Mala Cara
  28. Borage - Borraja
  29. Buckthorn - Cascara Sagrada
  30. Buckwheat - Yerba (Hierba) Acre
  31. Bull Horn Acacia - Yerba de Cuerno
  32. Butterfly Sage - Yerba de Sangre
  33. Castor bean plant - Higuadera
  34. Catnip - Gatavera
  35. Calamus Root - Calamo
  36. Camphor - Alcamphor
  37. Cat’s Claw - Una de Gato
  38. Cayenne - Pimenton
  39. Chamomile - Manzanilla
  40. Cedar - Cedro
  41. Chamomile - Mansanilla
  42. Cloves - Clavos
  43. Cobbler’s Peg - Romerillo
  44. Congo Root - Anamu
  45. Coriander - Cilantro
  46. Cow’s Itch - Pica Pica
  47. Crab Grass - Pata de Gallina
  48. Crab Eyes - La Peonia
  49. Cumin - Cumino
  50. Dandelion Root - Diente de Leon
  51. Day Blooming Jasmine - Galan del Dia
  52. Devil’s Horsewhip - Rabo de Gato
  53. Devils Shoe Strings - Cordon del Diablo
  54. Dog Bane - Huevo de Gallo
  55. Dogwood - Palo Emborachadora
  56. Dragon’s Blood - Sangre de Dragon
  57. Elcampame - Campana / Alta Baca
  58. Elderberry - Sauco
  59. Eucalyptus - Eucalipto
  60. False Daisy - Espanta Muerto
  61. False Ragweed - Escoba Amarga
  62. Foliage Flower - Panetela
  63. Foul Mouth Herb - Raspa Lengua
  64. Four Oclock Plant - Maravilla Roja
  65. Garlic - Ajo
  66. Ginger - Jenjibre
  67. Goatweed - Caldo Santo
  68. Glory Bower - Mil Flores
  69. Golden Dewdrop - No Me Olvides
  70. Golden Rod - Vara de Oro
  71. Grains of Paradise - Granos de Paraiso
  72. Guava - Guayaba
  73. Gum Arabic - Goma Arabe
  74. Guinea Henweed - Anamu
  75. Henna Leaves - Resada
  76. Heliotrope - Cotorrera de Playa
  77. Hibiscus, Rose of China - Mar Pacifico / Hibisco
  78. Hogweed - Atipola
  79. Horse Tail - Cola de Caballo
  80. High John - Juan Conquistador
  81. Honey Suckle - Madre Selva
  82. Hyssop - Hisopo
  83. Hyperbaena - Palo Chicharon
  84. Indian Heliotrope - Alacrancillo
  85. Indigo - Anil
  86. Job’s Tears - Cana Santa
  87. Juniper Berry - Enebrina
  88. Kelp - Alga Marina
  89. Lavender - Alhucema Lavendula
  90. Lemon Balm - Toronjil
  91. Lemon Grass - Limonsillo / Yerba Luisa
  92. Licorice - Regaliz
  93. Licorice Root - Palo Dulce
  94. Life Everlasting - Morivivir
  95. Life Plant - Prodijiosa
  96. Life Plant Loveleaf - Yerba Bruja
  97. Lily - Lirio
  98. Linden - Tilo
  99. Lion’s Ear - Baston de Fransisco
  100. Mallow - Boton de Oro / Malva Te
  101. Mandrake - Mandragora
  102. Marigold - Flor de Muertos
  103. Marjoram - Mejorana
  104. Marvel of Peru - Maravilla Roja
  105. Mate - Hierba Mate
  106. Melissa - Toronji
  107. Mexican Poppy - Cardo Santo
  108. Mimosas - Sensetiva
  109. Mistletoe - Muerdago
  110. Morning Glory - Flor de Luna
  111. Mother-In-Law’s Tongue - Lengua de Mujer
  112. Mugwort - Artamisa
  113. Muskwood - Palo Yamao
  114. Mustard Seeds - Semillas De Mostaza
  115. Myrrh - Mirra
  116. Nutmeg - Nuez Moscada
  117. Oats - Avena
  118. Okra - Quimbombo
  119. Olives - Aceituna
  120. Orris Roots - Lirio
  121. Osha Root - Raiz de Ocha
  122. Palm nuts - Corojo
  123. Parsley - Perejil
  124. Paradise Tree - Paraiso
  125. Passion Flower - Pasionaria
  126. Patchouli - Patchuly
  127. Peppermint - Menta
  128. Poison Ivy - Hierba Venenosa
  129. Pomegranate - Granada
  130. Popbush - Yerba Mora
  131. Poppy - Amapola
  132. Purslane - Verdulaga
  133. Ragweed - Alta Misa
  134. Rosemarry - Romero
  135. Royal Fern - Helecho del Rio
  136. Royal Poinciana - Flamboyan
  137. Rue - Ruda
  138. Sage - Salvia
  139. Saint John’s Wort - Yerba de San Juan
  140. Sandbox Tree - Salvadera
  141. Sandlewood - Sandalo
  142. Sandpaper Tree - Vaca Buey
  143. Savory - Ajedrea
  144. Sawtooth Tongue Herb - Recao
  145. Scarlet Bush - Palo Para Mi
  146. Sea Grapes - Uvas de Playa
  147. Seaweed - Algas Marina
  148. Sensitive Plant - Mimosas
  149. Serata Plant - Arasa con Todo
  150. Sesame Seeds - Ajonjoli
  151. Shepard’s Needles - Romerillo
  152. Shepard’s Purse - Bolsa de Pastor
  153. Silk Cotton Tree - La Ceiba
  154. Silk Grass - Rabo de Zorra
  155. Silvery Cock’s Comb - Moco de Pavo
  156. Slender Amaranth - Bledo
  157. Slippery Elm - Tapa Boca
  158. Slippery Elm - Malva Te
  159. Snake Plant - Lengua de Vaca
  160. Snow Berry - Lagrimas de Maria
  161. Soap Bush - Escoba Dulce
  162. Soldierwood - Palo Amargo
  163. Solomon’s Seal - Sello de Solomon / Convalaria
  164. Spanish Limes - Qunepas / Mamoncillos
  165. Soursop - Guanabana
  166. Speramint - Menta
  167. Spinach - Espinaca
  168. Strawberries - Frambuesas
  169. Stinging Nettle - Ortiga Bravas
  170. Stink Weed - Guanima
  171. Stongback Leaf Plant - Raspa Lengua
  172. Sulfer - Sulfre
  173. Sweet Broom - Escoba Amarga
  174. Sweet Marjoram - Mejorana
  175. Sweetwood Tree - Palo Boniato
  176. Tabebuia Tree - Vencedor
  177. Tarragon - Estragon
  178. Thoroughwort - Abre Camino
  179. Thorn Apple - Campana
  180. Thyme - Tomillo
  181. Tropical Lily - Azucenas
  182. Turkey Berry - Pendejera
  183. Valerian Root - Valeriana
  184. Vanilla - Vainilla
  185. Velvet Bean - Ojos de Buey
  186. Vervain - Verbana
  187. Vetivert - Vetivert
  188. Violet Flowers - Pensamientos
  189. Wandering Jew - Cucaracha
  190. Water Lettuce - Flor de Agua
  191. Wait A Bit Plant - Quita Maldicion
  192. Weed - Hierba Mala
  193. White Cinnabar Tree - Palo Malombo
  194. Wild Coffee Tree - Palo Hueso
  195. Wild Sage - Yerba de Sangre
  196. Willow Tree - Sauco
  197. White Cinnabar Tree - Palo Malambo
  198. Wormswood - Epazote




1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hi there everyone, it's my first pay a quick visit at this website,
and article is actually fruitful in favor of me, keep
up posting these types of content.

Also visit my site :: tarot cards meanings