“Witches ceased to exist when we stopped burning them”.
From phytotherapy, one of the oldest arts that we still preserve today, to the mists of time when plants became the foundation of medicines with magical and mysterious virtues discovered by a figure with profound knowledge, guardian of an ancient wisdom: the Witch.
Witches: between secrets and false myths
A healer with the innate ability to observe and experience natural phenomena, the witch falls into that diabolical vision of the ambivalent woman, who gives life but can also take it away. Dominatrix of nature, her ancient bond with medicinal herbs has its origins in the Palaeolithic, giving her a millennial mastery of notions and secrets.
Knowledge that in the Middle Ages, however, decreed a progressive affirmation of the negative myth of the witch, who from a source of knowledge was transformed into a portal to the dark and the evil one and with whom herbal medicine became witchcraft.
Mandrake, thorn apple, belladonna: among the legendary plants of the witches appears the Drosera, from the Greek drosos, dew; small “dewdrops” adorn its hair and leaves, giving it a very special charm.
The viscous substance that the plant uses to attract, trap and digest its prey conquers the interest of the witch for the preparation of incredible “potions”.
The properties of Drosera
Also known as sun dew or devil’s ear, it has properties that have been handed down by popular medicine: ancient writings report uses as a cough suppressant, a remedy against skin warts, an aphrodisiac juice to give vigour.
A plant with multiple virtues still deserving attention today: the leaves, in particular, contain droserone, a substance with calming properties for different types of cough.
From the Drosera rotundifolia, which acts above all as a calmer of the smooth muscles of the bronchi, to the Burch ramentacea, considered the mother plant, from the aliciae, which is distinguished by the typical “rosette” shape of its leaves, up to the European species such as the anglica or Australian binata, easily grown indoors.
Shyness in growing up gives Drosera a particular coy and solitary charm, like that of a perfect witch.