Broomweed

(2) (Malvastrum coromandelianum) This has been used in Jamaican obeah practice to detect a thief. The ceremony was described as holding two broomweed sticks that have first been dipped in lye, one on each side of a man's neck, and saying:

By Saint Peter, by Saint Paul, By the living God of all, and if he is a thief, the weed will grow around his neck and choke him to death. Another way of doing it is to make a "switch" of broomweed, rosemary and willow, by virtue of which a person suspected of being the thief will be struck with pain when his name is called out, and will never be free of pain again (Beckwith. 1929). It is not very clear in the report how this charm is supposed to work.

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