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Foxglove

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foxglove in flower

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NAME: Foxglove

GAELIC NAME:  Lus Mór Méarachán Dearg

LATIN NAME:  Digitalis Purpurea

COMMON / FOLK NAMES:  Digitalis Foxglove Dead Men's Bells Dog's Finger  Fairy Fingers Fairy Gloves Finger Flower Folk's Glove Lion's Mouth Ladies' Glove Purple Foxglove

MEDICINAL PART:  Leaves

PLACE OF ORIGIN:  Northern Europe also found in Western U.S.A along western coastline growing wild. 

HABITAT:  Wastelands, Marshy areas and in Woodlands.

DESCRIPTION:  The stem is stout, succulent and downy growing to a height of 5 feet, sometimes up to 6 feet.  The leaves are alternate, oblong lanceolate, crenate, and downy, the lower petioled, the upper sessile. Flowers are bell shaped and grow on one sided racemes, rose coloured to purple on the outside with whitish area covered with red-purple spots on inside.

FLOWERING PERIOD: June to September 

PROPERTIES:  Cardiac: Foxglove contains glycosides which are extracted from the second year's growth of leaves to make the heart drug Digitalis.   

Caution: Skin irritant, do not touch the plant without gloves, causes rashes, headaches and nausea.

 POISON: NEVER USE WITHOUT MEDICAL DIRECTION!

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leaves in spring

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Folklore: 'It can raise the dead but it can kill the living'

The Gaelic Irish peasantry called it 'Lus Mór' - Great Herb, because to them it had almost magical properties.  Only Wise Women and Men could administer it, because of its lethal properties.  It was also known as the 'Fairy Herb' and had a particular association with the Sidhe Folk.

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MAGICAL PROPERTIES

GENDER: Feminine  
PLANET: Venus
ELEMENT:  Water
POWERS:  Psychic Awareness Protection from Malevolent Forces

Deities: Brigit Morrigu Dagda

RITUAL USES

Call on the Goddess Brigit while using for divinatory purposes, Call on Morrigan for increased psychic awareness and connection to the otherworld.  Call on Dagda while using for protection from malevolent forces.

MAGICAL USES
Use foxglove (with care!) in all spells which call for protection or increasing psychic awareness.  Help with seeing things which are hidden.  The plant has the most power if gathered at the full moon.  If left to grow wild around your house it will protect it from malign influences.

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