When I was young, growing up in a rural conflux, I remember my mother being constantly in the kitchen. She was just at home there as she was anywhere, with pots bubbling on the stove and over the fire, herbs hanging from the wooden beams, and plants growing on the windowsill. She was truly a kitchen witchard, and though my many siblings moved on to various occupations and new lives in big cities, I took over the cottage. She showed me the ins and outs of what I had presumed to be her hobby and her passion – of which I was not wrong. But I soon began to realise it was more than that. These plants she had grown, pies she had made, poultices she’d created and potions she’d concocted had not only helped a great many people in our village, but had helped us, too. She did not accept money, but instead operated on a barter system, which provided a great many things for our family. New cloaks, necessary ingredients that she had not grown herself, toys for the young ones, and so on; we were well provided for, as she provided for those around her.
It is in that spirit that I now write this column, to provide knowledge to others as it was given so freely to me. I hope that you will enjoy both the lovely recipes I provide (which can be automated with magic as you so choose), as well as the potions, salves, and poultices – each of my own or my mother’s design.
Today, I will give you the recipe that many of us may have been, at one point, given by our mothers or grandmothers when we’d come down with colds or felt run-down. It’s been passed down by the cunning folk for hundreds of years, and needs no improving upon;
Betony Boosting Tincture
- Three Handfuls of Betony (the fresher, the better. If you are unable to forage or acquire fresh betony, dried will do. If using dried, be sure to only use 1 handful.)
- Mandrake Water (That is to say, water that has been drained naturally through a pot where a mandrake grows. If you cannot manage to source this, Vodka will do.)
- One Jar
Once you have sourced the ingredients, the rest of the recipe is very simple, and entirely worth doing. Chop or tear the betony, and place it into the jar. Then, put in just enough mandrake water or vodka to cover the betony. Place the jar in the dark for one and a half months, shaking occasionally to assist the infusion. Unfortunately, chronomancy, even if it was permitted, is not able to be used in most herbology, as it has been… theorised… that it affects the potency. After the month and a half has passed, strain out the plant material, squeezing it in order to get the most liquid from the betony.
Take a small spoonful of the tonic up to three times a day when you’re unwell! The tincture will keep for several years.