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Watercress (Nasturtium officinale)

Names: Scurvy grass

Medicinal Uses: Rich in Vitamin C and iron, excellent tonic. Fresh plant is an appetite stimulant. Used for catarrh and bronchitis; make cough syrup form watercress and honey. Aids in eliminating retained fluid. Culpeper advises the bruised leaves to be placed directly on the skin to combat freckles, pimples and other skin ailments. Watercress is an excellent diuretic, but large doses are purgative. Leaves are edible and mustard- flavored.

Traditional Magical Uses: None that we know of at the moment.

Shamanic Magical Uses: This is the plant of Niflheim, land of water and ice and mists. Niflheim is one of the two primal worlds (the other being Muspellheim) and in its care "primal" has the connotation not just of "first" but of "unfinished". There is something shifting and malleable about Niflheim, and not just because a significant portion of it is ice floes and water. Solidity sometimes shifts there....not quickly, but slowly. Watercress can be used to do this kind of slow shifting of reality, seeing its icy solidity become watery and then as misty as the Land of Mists, and then, hopefully, you can shape it little by little.

If you place it under your tongue, you'll notice that it is peppery, even burns a little. Stay with the sensation. Breathe through it. See your breath come out as mist. Keep breathing, and working with the spirit of the plant, until reality starts to blur a little. This will not happen due to some psychedelic experience - Watercress is certainly not psychoactive - but only due to the work of the plant spirit. Conjure the problem that needs to be changed as if it was a solid object in front of you. Reach out and touch it. If your fingers slip off it, it is still ice - Isa, a blockage - and cannot be changed. Breath and work at it longer. Sometimes it won't change - you aren't a god, some things are beyond your power - but sometimes it will start to become more malleable. Shape it quickly, and accurately, with a clear idea in your mind of what it should look like. Sometimes it shifts back on you, and you have to do it again. If three tries fail, give up.