Cowbane

(Cicuta virosa) The Sium mentioned in one of Reginald Scot's recipes for a witch ointments is probably Cowbane. Its combination with the others items (sweet flag, cinquefoil) would, so it is claimed, cause great excitement when rubbed on the skin, and might lead to delirium. Bat's blood was another ingredient in this recipe, though it is totally innocuous (Haining).

In the Finnish myth of Lenninkainen, he, in his search for a maiden in the hostile north, drove off all men by the force of his magic songs, except one, a miserable, blind herdsman, who finally shot him with a shaft of cowbane (Turville-Petrie). A comparison with the Scandinavian myth of Baldur and mistletoe is obvious.

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