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It’s this intriguing plant that creates a unique Gothic, deep south landscape in many Southern movies and shows. Spanish moss has figured largely for generations in North and South American folk medicine traditions as a treatment for a wide variety of medical problems; several of these problems --particularly diabetes and skin conditions -- are believed by many alternative medicine practitioners to be effectively treated by Spanish moss. In animal studies, extracts of Spanish Moss reduced the amount of time for wound healing. Spanish moss is an epiphyte, a plant that gains its nutrients not from soil or from a host plant or tree, but directly from the air. This way it’s been washed and treated prior to you’re handling. The FDA strongly encourages all potential users of any non-approved substance to consult their physicians and discontinue use if they experience any symptoms resembling an allergic reaction, including difficulty breathing, unexplained swelling or skin rashes and hives. She has served as a book columnist since 2008 and is a member of the National Book Critics Circle. If treated properly, you can use Spanish moss in a number of ways, including stuffing mattresses, packing material and as a kind of decorative mulch around the base of houseplants. Copyright © 2020 Leaf Group Ltd., all rights reserved. Kerns studied English literature and neurology at UC Davis. Spanish Moss does not break down very fast so it is best to use smaller amounts in a compost pile or to place it in a slow composting pile. It is … As a Magical Herb , this eerie-looking plant has contradictory uses: a few folks claim it enhances Money Charms , but Root Workers will tell you that it is a powerful ingredient in Evil Work , for which purpose they add it to War Water . The compound, 3-hydroxy-methylglutaric acid or HMG, is used as a major ingredient in several natural diabetic supplements. Spanish moss is commonly found hanging from the limbs of Southern live oaks and bald cypress trees. Spanish Moss Magical Uses. Spanish Moss Tea is a useful fertilizer. Work an abundance of Spanish moss … Spanish moss magic properties via Native legend include fertility, regeneration, growth, love and strength. First, I don’t recommend collecting your Spanish moss yourself unless you plan to wash it with strong soaps or chemicals or bleach it. According to Green Dean from Eat the Weeds, Spanish moss was brewed by Natives to treat rheumatism, fever, and to ease childbirth contractions. Chiggers and other small pests inhabit Spanish moss, particularly when it’s on the ground. Michelle Kerns writes for a variety of print and online publications and specializes in literature and science topics. What Does Kigelia Fruit Extract Do for Skin? (NOT a Reading), According to Green Dean from Eat the Weeds, The Magical Mandrake: History, Legends and More, Rosemary’s Magical Properties & How to Use it in Your Magick, Stuffed into doll-babies for healing and to attract love, Use to make War water and in domination spells, On Southern wreaths and in floral arrangements, Attached to ceremonial clothing or death shrouds, On the altar as a representation of the South/tropics/swamps, In communication and travel spells because of its link to Air. There was a Native Princess who fell in love with a Spanish soldier. Spanish moss doesn’t make good livestock feed, because it has almost no nutritive value. However, these claims have not been backed by scientific evidence, and Spanish moss use is not advocated by the Food and Drug Administration. Despite folks saying Spanish moss is a parasite, it’s not. It doesn’t feed off the trees. As an alternative medicine ingredient, Spanish moss use has not been approved for any specific medical treatment by the Food and Drug Administration. Spanish moss is linked to the element Air as its seeds are spread in the wind. This study and several others, according to the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center located at the University of Texas at Austin, have found that Spanish moss contains a compound that may help control blood glucose levels. Other uses for Spanish Moss include: Lids for cooking pots, emergency blankets, insulation, mixed with clay to strengthen plaster, used to fire pots, used in tanning and to skim scum off cooking liquids, fiber woven into floor mats, to make string, rope and sacks, fire arrows to destroy invaders’ forts, doll decorations and Voodoo doll stuffing. Another variation of this legend tells the tale of an old man who’s long beard is caught in the trees and becomes Spanish moss. Spanish moss can be used in: Please make sure to fully wash the moss as it is filled with red bugs or chigger bugs. It is known as "grandpas beard" in French Polynesia. The Natives would use the inner fiber to make blankets and clothing. Oracle Card Reading VIDEO (One Question: 5 Cards), Magical Advice: 1 Question Answered by a Real Witch! Magical Ancestor Origins Profile: Find MAGICK in Your Family History!!! Beaufort County Library: Spanish Moss-Its Nature, History and Uses, Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center: Question about Spanish Moss, United States Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service: Spanish Moss, Medical News Today: Spanish Moss May Inhabit Skin Functional Decline. Here we explore Spanish moss uses, legends and its magical properties. Spanish moss has interesting origins, and has been used in American folk magic for centuries. Spanish Moss Tillandsia Usneiodes & Its Many Uses We’ve all seen it in the movies. The Spanish moss plant may take up properties of the oak and cypress trees they grow on, as well. In Florida, there’s an old Native legend about how Spanish moss began. It’s a flowering plant in the bromeliad family found in tropical and subtropical regions of the U.S., Central and South America, and the Caribbean. The Beaufort County Library website reports that the ability of extracts of Spanish moss to alter blood glucose levels was studied by researchers in 1998 at the Northeast Louisiana University. Most often it’s stuffed in doll babies (poppets) with other herbs and … SPANISH MOSS is a common sight in parts of the Old South, where it festoons ancient trees with its greyish growths. When brewed … It is also known by the common names graybeard, old man's beard, grandfather's whiskers and Florida moss. In the United States from where it is most known, it is commonly found on the southern live oak (Quercus virginiana) and bald-cypress (Taxodium distichum) … Spanish moss, also called Old Man’s Beard and Pele’s Hair, has many magical uses and properties. Even here in the South, these days you’re far more likely to see Spanish moss used in floral arrangements (because it’s great at holding water) and craft projects than taken therapeutically. And it was worn by women of higher nobility in certain tribes. Spanish Moss … Spanish moss can be used in clusters or spread out – whichever way you choose, Spanish moss creates an elegant and relaxed woodland appeal and is especially popular as part of wedding decorations. Treating open wounds oaks and bald cypress trees for dresses in the U.S.! Sometimes worn by mourners, typically women the Hoodoo tradition moss doesn ’ t a at..., love and revenge workings the past Question Answered by a Real Witch and... 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