The Bandera Courier
Bandera Courier
Thursday December 14, 2017
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The Deadly Potion for Flying

Chaz Allen

I saw an article in the newspaper the other day.

It seems that a group of women right here in America, who call themselves witches, are upset that they are being misrepresented and discriminated against.

My first thought is that if you really are a witch, with the ability to do some sorcery and magic - can't you just get the kettle brewing and conjure up a solution to that little problem? Oh, I'll bet I get a few letters for that one!

But it did get me to thinking and doing a little reading.

Fact is, there are some people in the world and even in this country who think of themselves as witches.

They even have an organization and hold meetings regularly. Now I don't know what they do at their meetings, but I doubt it is flying around on their brooms.

Which brings up another in the world did that one get started anyway? Flying around on brooms? I mean with all the ghost and goblins and weird stuff people have come up with over the years, that one kind of stands out and being unique, doesn't it? It seems that in a strange way, witches did have some valuable use at one time.

You see, before we had our modern day chemists and physicians, women who either called themselves witches or had that title bestowed on them by some terrified locals, did help sometimes. In their attempt to make various poisons and potions, they actually discovered some very good and practical uses for plants and herbs and a number of remedies to some common illnesses. Some salves to help wounds heal, some ointments to cure rashes and burns, even some internal medicines which were able to knock out of previous dreaded diseases.

All in all, it wasn't all bad.

And I guess that's what the modern day witch covens are yelling about.

They have been misrepresented as being the black caped, wart nosed, broom flying scaries, who do nothing but put horrible spells on people and kidnap little children.

Just ask Hansel and Gretel.

I don't know though. Witches? Naw, not for me! I think that it's just chemistry. And the age old question of whether witches are from the devil....that's not for me to say.

I am sure that everyone has their own opinion of that.

But one thing you may be interested in knowing is that one of the most common substances that the old time witches used was something called Belladonna. The name is derived from the Italian for Beautiful woman, not something that we commonly associate with our image with witches. But they used this substance in many of their brews and potions. It was and is very common in their society.

Believe it or not, similar compounds are used today by ophthalmologists when they examine your eyes. But when belladonna is rubbed on the skin, its active ingredient atropine is absorbed and can give rise to hallucinations. Yeah really! Are you there yet?

It's a Little Known Fact that belladonna was frequently and liberally applied as part of a mixture in flying ointments to the women during coven meetings. So, you see, witches could really fly - at least in their own minds.

And now you know!