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Plant Magic Glossary


A person who is thought to have healing powers that come from the supernatural, often through dreams and visions. A shaman is believed to be able to cast out evil spirits as well as cure sick people. Many groups have believed in the power of shamans, including native North Americans, Eskimos, Mongolians, and Amazonians.


The study of the plants native to a particular culture and geography, and how these plants can be used to create natural medicines. In recent years, western medical specialists have studied some traditional cures. New possibilities for treatment of things such as cancer may come from this ancient knowledge of the medicinal properties of plants.


Garlic bulbs contain an odorless amino acid derivative called alliin. By itself, alliin is not antibacterial, but when the bulb is ground up, alliin is converted into allicin (by its contact with the enzyme allinase). Allicin is highly odorous—and it is also a very potent antibacterial agent.

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