Lucky and Unlucky Herbs

The following plants, according to Scott Cunningham, possess the power to attract good luck: allspice, aloe vera, bamboo, banyan, be-still, bluebell, cabbage, calamus, Chinaberry, cinchona, cotton, daffodil, devil's-bit, ferns, grains of paradise, hazel, holly, houseleek, huckleberry, Irish moss, Job's tears, linden, lucky hand root, moss, nutmeg, oak, orange, persimmon, pineapple, pomegranate, poppy, purslane, rose, snakeroot, star anise, straw, strawberry, sumbul, vetivert, violet, and wood rose.

Additionally, rosemary and St. John's wort are said to bring good luck to a home, as well as to drive out demons and ghosts. But the two luckiest plants to bring indoors, according to English herb lore, are white heather and rowan tree.

In the Welsh countryside, as well as in other parts of the world, it is believed that bad luck will befall any person who dares to pick a leaf or flower growing atop a grave.

It was once widely believed among country folk that it was unlucky to bring into the house a bunch of primroses or daffodils totaling any number less than 13. Doing so was said to have an adverse effected upon the fertility of chickens and geese, causing them to lay fewer eggs.

It is extremely unlucky to bring blackthorn into the house. A blossoming branch from this plant is believed by some folks to precipitate an illness or death in the family when brought indoors.

Hydrangea planted near the house or brought indoors will curse your daughters with spinsterhood, and parsley (if it is given as a gift) will impart the worst of luck to both the giver and the recipient.

Other plants said to invite bad luck when brought into a house include broom (especially if brought in during the month of May), dog rose, elder, gorse (also known as furze flower), hawthorn, heather (unless it is white), ivy, lilac, lily-of-the-valley, pussy willow, snowdrops, and the flowers of any plant, shrub, or tree (especially fruit-bearing ones) that bloom out of season.

"Hawthorn blooms and elder flowers, Fill a house with evil powers. " —An old English saying.

The speedwell was once thought to be an unlucky flower. So unlucky, in fact, many young children were often warned not to gather it lest their mothers would die before the year was done. In some parts of England, it is still believed by some that picking speedwell (also known as "bird's-eye") will cause one's eyes to be pecked out by birds!

Bringing any type of white flowers into the house will result in a death in the family, according to an old superstition. To avoid bad luck, white flowers should never be given to the ill or brought into hospitals.

Bringing yew into one's home is also said to be a very unlucky thing to do. Some folks believe that if it is brought indoors at Christmas, a family member will meet his or her demise within the next 12 months.

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