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Baneful Herbs
by Fire_Opal

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. Others cannot.
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.