What Is A Witches Pot Called – It is not hard to see how images of unofficial healers and herbalists bending over boiling concoctions could become a template for the image of a witch. Photograph: Ronald Grant Archive
The stereotypical Halloween witch has a pointy hat and a bubbly drink. We discover real medicines and chemical compounds that contribute to clichés
What Is A Witches Pot Called
Double work, double trouble! It’s that time of year when green face paint and tall, black pointed hats are de rigueur. Young children will be knocking on doors with small plastic pots, hopefully filled with sweets and treats instead of lizard eyes and frog toes.
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Our modern idea of witches is a complex mix of cultural influences from Shakespeare to The Wizard of Oz and many things in between. Many of these influences are fictional and created just for fun, but only a few centuries ago in Europe and America witches and witchcraft were considered a real threat. It is estimated that between 1400 and 1800 between 90,000 and 100,000 witch trials were held in Europe, Scandinavia and America. There were often accusations in times of war, plague or harvest failure but there are many. There are other reasons behind these trials and they are often linked to specific circumstances in a specific location.
Midwives and nurses were sometimes questioned about their specialist knowledge and their success – or failure – in treating the sick. These healing roles were traditionally taken by women, who, until the late nineteenth century, were excluded from formal medical training. However, many people still practiced medicine in their homes and villages, and what they learned came from shared knowledge and trial and error rather than from accepted official sources. Medical education cannot help much in any case. In the days before the germ theory, the causes of illness and the causes of recovery were not clear. Any recovery can be considered miraculous … or the result of witchcraft.
The pre-germ theory treatment of illness and disease was largely speculative work. Poisonous compounds of all kinds were administered to patients, and if they produced any effect on the body, be it vomiting, diarrhoea, or sweat, it was looked upon as a good thing – and such was the practice of the professionals , as they are called. . It is not difficult to see how informal healers and herbalists (both men and women) bent over boiling pots of herbs, roots and who knows – what could become the model for the image of a witch, especially when there are so many u patients suffer. of the nuisance they create, have had such unpleasant effects.
Having said that, herbalists and traditional healers should not be dismissed as completely ignorant of the medical benefits of some of the plants and poultry they use. Some ingredients associated with traditional healing and witchcraft have been found to be very beneficial to medicine after being isolated, tested and modified. Science has enabled us to identify the key components of certain plants and determine how and when they should be administered safely and effectively. Chemists have modified the structure of some compounds to reduce side effects, make drugs more potent, or reduce their toxicity.
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For example, digitalis (from foxgloves), a source of heart medicine that saves thousands of lives annually, was first scientifically proven and used by Dr William Withering in the 1780s. But Withering learned about using foxglove to treat her patients from “a wise Shropshire woman”. Withering used mixtures made from whole plants rather than separate compounds, which meant that he could not precisely control the dosage of the active ingredients. His medicine would still contain many other potentially harmful compounds from the plant. However, Withering’s work was a major step towards effectively testing drugs and monitoring their effects, good and bad. Digitalis is no different: although in raw form for centuries, it has been known to be an effective treatment for pain and certain medical conditions.
Some additions to the witch’s cauldron in Shakespeare’s Macbeth have also been shown to have medical benefits. Yew is mentioned, and the tree has long been associated with poison and poison (its Latin name
It is also possible that Shakespeare’s “wolf’s tooth” refers to a black scum-like fungus called ergot – its German name is Wolfzan or wolf’s tooth. The fungus grows as a parasitic infection on rye and other grains and has been used in midwifery for centuries because certain compounds found in it can cause uterine contractions. Derivatives of these compounds are still used today, but are no longer to induce labour. Instead, in appropriate doses, these drugs are used to treat postpartum hemorrhage.
However, ergot is notorious for reasons unrelated to childbirth. Those compounds in fungi, which are very useful in stopping bleeding, act as vasoconstrictors. If too much is taken, blood flow to the extremities can be restricted, creating a tingling sensation that can cause gangrenous fingers and toes. Too much ergot can also cause convulsions and frightening hallucinations (ergot alkaloids were the starting point for the synthesis of LSD).
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Both of these effects of ergot have significant consequences. In times of food scarcity, people became less concerned about the quality of the food they ate, and there have been historical cases of large-scale consumption of ergot-contaminated flour in bread. Entire villages were sent temporarily insane, or they saw their fingers burned and turned black with gangrene. The common name for ergotism (or ergot poisoning) is St Anthony’s fire. Ergot poisoning has also been suggested as a cause behind the Salem Witch Trials, although others have cast doubt on the theory.
There are many other plants associated with witches’ potions but one of the most notable is belladonna. Atropa belladonna, or deadly nightshade, is just one plant
A family that includes atropine, an important drug used in medical applications such as ophthalmology and the treatment of bradycardia. Belladonna, or atropine, can also cause hallucinations, difficulty keeping track of time, and a feeling of disconnection from the earth. Under the influence of belladonna, some of those accused of witchcraft over the centuries may have truly believed they had escaped.
I have barely scratched the surface of the development of herbal medicines, let alone the vast subject of witches and witchcraft – both fascinating subjects. As with anything, the more you look, the more there is to see and the more interesting it becomes. It’s worth remembering, especially on Halloween, that all is not as it seems at first, so maybe stick to the treats for your pot – herbs can be a bit tricky. The main section of this article may be too short to summarize the key. Please consider expanding the guide to provide an accessible overview of all important aspects of the point article. (February 2023)
Witch Trio Stirring Cauldron Animated
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A cauldron (or caldron) is a large pot (kettle) for cooking or boiling over an open fire, with a lid and often arc-shaped hangers and/or integral handles or feet. Cauldron legend has a rich history in religion, mythology and folklore.
The word pot is first recorded in Middle Glish as pot (13th ct.). It was lent by Norman Caudron
(Picard Chaudron, Frutch: Chaudron). It represents a phonetic evolution from Vulgar Latin *caldario for Classical Latin caldarium “hot bath”, derived from cal(i)dus “hot”.
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The Norman-Fruch word replaces Old Glish ċetel (German (Koch)kasel “cold”, Dutch (Kook)ketel “cold”), Middle Glish catel. The word “kettle” is a loanword from the Old Norse variant kettil “pot”.
Late Bronze Age pots can be found – huge pots with a capacity of 60-70 litres.
A cauldron on fire was published for the first time in 1794 in William Blake’s illustration from his legendary Europe and Prophecy. This version of the print is held by the Fitzwilliam Museum.
Pots are not often used as cooking utensils in the developed world. Although still used for practical purposes, a more common association in Western culture is the use of the cauldron in divination – a cliché popularized by works of fiction such as William Shakespeare’s play Macbeth. In literature, witches often prepare their potions in cauldrons. Also, in Irish folklore, it is believed that there is a cauldron where leprechauns keep their gold and treasure.
Witch’s Brew Halloween Dessert
In some forms of Wicca, the cauldron is associated with the goddess Ceridw, in appropriate aspects of Celtic mythology. The Welsh also mention a leg pot which was useful for fighting armies. In another branch of the Mabinogi in Branva’s story, Lalar’s daughter Jodi Dadi (Cauldron of Rebirth) is a magical cauldron.
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