Witches classify "baneful" herbs as those which produce death. Most herbalists
list them as poisons, and warn others not to use them.
But the Witches once used them in their magical arts. Many of the fears
that surround these plants are directly related to their magical powers.
They are not to be played with precisely because they are powerful.
No one should let a child play with a razor-sharp knife. Similarly, none
but the most experienced and knowledgeable Witches should use these herbs.
They are not innocuous "highs" or instruments of escape from reality. They
represent the dark side of mother Nature, the realm of sleep and coma and
death, and anyone not sufficiently prepared and tutored who uses them will
be subject to to Her greatest wrath.
I assure you that I am not over dramatizing. Death stalks those who use
such methods. The Witch, after years of experience and training, can be
fairly sure of her/himself and her/his ritualistic use of baneful herbs.
This information is included because of its historical value, and a book
on magical herbalism would not be complete without a look at the "darker"
side of the art. No recommendations for these uses are made. Even the most
harmless of them can cause severe effects in some individuals.