ELESSA: Smokework and Medicine

The magical discipline of Smokework is one part of a double-pronged approach, equal parts magic and science. Smokework relies on burning plants, other organic material, and occasionally minerals and then casting magic with the smoke produced by the flame. The amount of the material used changes the intention of the spell; the symbols are organized in order, so for example, one leaf, branch or otherwise identifiable ‘piece’ of Acanthus will help in spells concerning relief, whereas three would be used in a spell concerning artifice or illusion. However, Smokework is also deeply linked with medicine. Knowledge of the medicinal uses of these plants is just as much part of Smokework as knowing their symbolic and magical uses.

The following is an incomplete and updated list of plants used in Smokework and medicine.

PLEASE NOTE: While the medicinal uses of these plants have been collated from various resources concerning traditional folk medicine, Chinese medicine, European paganism, etc. I am not a doctor and have also made some of my own edits; none of these should be used for real ailments without your own research. If you do, I am not liable for your own lack of foresight. For notes on the languages used, please see other reference pages.

Quick reference:
Analgesic: pain relief
Antibiotic: kills bacteria, stops bacterial infection
Antimicrobial: kills or fights microbes, stops microbial infection
Anti-inflammatory: fights inflammation (when part of the body is red, swollen, sore to the touch and lessened in function)
Anti-rheumatic: fight rheumatism by slowing down the disease’s progress and reducing overall pain and soreness over a slower period of time
Astringent: help constrict or contract skin, mucous membranes, etc. (ex. to treat oily skin or reduce seeping)
Emetic: induces vomiting
Emollient: soothes skin
Tannin: a group of substances in plants, trees, etc. that are bitter, puckery, turn things a dark colour and are often used for things like tanning leather


TREATMENTS: analgesic, anti-inflammatory, anti-rheumatic, indigestion, sedative (mild)
CONTAINS: tannin
SIDE EFFECTS: stomach irritation, nausea, vomiting, and liver damage – wood high in tannins
SYMBOLS: (1) Eternal love (2) Death (3) symbiosis
OTHER NOTES: Class 1 Danger. Rarity index 2. Valued for decorative timber. Also used as fish poison, and for yellow dye (flowers), and green dye (seed pods). Excellent instrument wood for guitars, drums, ukuleles, violin bows and organ pipes.
OTHER NAMES: Acacia melanoxylon (Toryan), aʤan’vi (Kanet’valan), jīn şhé thūan xín (Shufenshi), jīn sêi thīam xín (Nguan-chiut), kannicio di niuri (Celabrian), ʤanva’it ngara’ax (Dani’it)


TREATMENTS: astringent, diarrhea, dysentery, internal bleeding, wounds, skin problems, hemorrhoids, effective against Streptococcus pyogens and Candida albicans
CONTAINS: tannins
SIDE EFFECTS: leaves can contain high concentration of cyanide
SYMBOLS: (1) Clear air (2) Breath (3) Friend to birds (4) Transformation
OTHER NOTES: yellow dye from flowers, green dye from seed pods, wood is pretty but not durable
OTHER NAMES: Acacia saligna, Acacia pycnantha (Toryan), ąʤ’név’ (Kanet’valan), kannicio d’oru (Celabrian)


TREATMENTS: anti-inflammatory, astringent, diarrhea, styptic (bark)
CONTAINS: leuco-fisetinidin (leucoanthocyanidin), profisetinidin, tannin
: (1) Truth-finder (2) Protection from rot (3) Summoning center
OTHER NOTES: Gum used to make cement.
OTHER NAMES: Acacia mearnsii, A. dealbata, A. nanodealbata and A. Baileyana, ʤunìv (Kanet’valan), kannicio di verdi (Celabrian), ʤanva’it shiilash (Dani’it)


TREATMENTS: pruritic skin conditions, headache, tropical infections, diarrhea (gum), hemorrhoids, astringent, dysentery, internal bleeding
CONTAINS: uronic acid, galactose, arabinose, rhamnose
SIDE EFFECTS: seeds are toxic; leaves have high concentration of cyanide
SYMBOLS: (1) Clear air (2) Support/foundation (3) Summoning center
OTHER NOTES: source of timber and paper
OTHER NAMES: Acacia mangium (Toryan), iʤ’næva (Kanet’valan), kannicio di koriu (Celabrian)


TREATMENTS: colds, flu, headaches, strengthening mother and baby after birth
CONTAINS: tannins
SYMBOLS: (1) Old man (2) Witness (3) Soothes frantic insects and beasts (4) Stable ground
OTHER NOTES: Long-lived compared to other acacias
OTHER NAMES: Acacia aneura (Toryan), éʤen’va (Kanet’valan), kannicio di scecci (Celabrian)


TREATMENTS: asthma (root), astringent, bloody flux, broken bones, burns (ext.), consumption, cough (root), cramps, dislocated joints (ext.), diarrhea, diseased wounds, expectorant, hectic fevers, gout, irritated digestive/urinary tracts, leucorrhea, nerve tonic, neuralgia (leaves), paralysis (root), rheumatism (leaves), scrofula, stimulant, upset stomach, venom; skin soother/emollient
CONTAINS: Mucilage, tannin
SIDE EFFECTS: Constipation (in high doses)
SYMBOLS: (1) Relief (2) Comfort/soothing (3) Artifice, a clever trick
OTHER NOTES: Invasive.
OTHER NAMES: Acanthus mollis (Toryan), Acanthus ilicifolius (Toryan), Acanthus spinosis (Toryan), bear’s breeches, ląkaǩ-zaragu (Kanet’valan), láo shú lēi (Shufenshi), láo sêu līan (Nguan-chiut), Zilverdistel (Low Elessan)


TREATMENTS: stimulant (bark), antiparasite, febrifuge, dysentery, pain relief (bark), headache (leaves), ophthalmia (leaves), conjunctivitis (leaves), stomachic (leaves/bark), epilepsy, yellow fever
CONTAINS: hypoglycin A, hypoglycin B (seeds + arils when unripe), potash
SIDE EFFECTS: hypoglycemia, vomiting sickness (if unripe arils eaten)
SYMBOLS: (1) Patience (2) Two-faced (3) The mind/brain
OTHER NOTES: Used as fish poison, laundering agent; wood used heavily
OTHER NAMES: Blighia sapida (Toryan)


TREATMENTS: anti-inflammatory, (bark) astringent, hemorrhage, lice (ext.), inflammation (ext.), scabies (ext.) scabs (ext.), swellings (ext.); (leaves) abscess, cancer of breast, duodenum, esophagus, face, headache, migraine, pylorus, pancreas, rectum, sunstroke (avoid), throat, tongue and uterus, tooth pain
CONTAINS: salicin, (bark, leaves) tannin
SIDE EFFECTS: (bark) vomiting if fresh; pollen is a moderate allergen; bark makes black dye (with iron sulphate), shoots make yellow/cinnamon dye, catkins make green dye, fresh-cut wood pinkish-fawn dye
SYMBOLS: (1) Liminality (2) Dream (3) Divination (4) Drowning (5) Resurrection
OTHER NOTES: sticky young leaves used to catch insects; white when cut then turns pale red; association with amethyst and lapis lazuli; used to make flutes and pipes; cold plant
OTHER NAMES: Alnus glutinosa (Toryan), Alnus acuminata (Toryan), Am’man-at’sotąn (Kanet’valan), pù tēong chìh yáng (Shufenshi), pâu tóng chìe yáng (Nguan-chiut),


TREATMENTS: antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, astringent, tonsillitis; (bark) deep wounds (ext.), emetic, colds (ext.), fever, fungal infections, hemorrhoids (ext.), inflammation, poison oak/insect bites (ext.), lymphatic disorders, tuberculosis; (leaves and cones) gout, inflammation, rheumatism (ext.), muscular back pain (ext.), suppress lactation (ext.)
CONTAINS: betulin, lupeol; (bark) dye, salicin, tannin, (leaves/cones) dye
SIDE EFFECTS: Pollen is a major allergen (Sept-Dec); cones make black dye, outer bark makes red dye, inner bark makes dull yellow; cones/catkins edible
SYMBOLS: (1) Easer of doubt (2) Stability (3) Protection (4) Divination
OTHER NOTES: nitrogen-fixer; red when cut
OTHER NAMES: Alnus rubra (Toryan), Am’man-ravòta (Kanet’valan), şhóng qī shù (Shufenshi), çhióng qī sèu (Nguan-chiut)


TREATMENTS: antimicrobial, antioxidant, asthma, bronchitis, central nervous system disorders, circulatory problems (incl. Loss of sensation in extremities), colds, cough, diabetes, respiratory infections, tuberculosis
CONTAINS: flavonoids, quercetin, myricetin, luteolin, apigenin, medicarpin, vestitol, sativan, salycilic acid, caffeic acid, chlorogenic acid
SYMBOLS: (1) Pleasure (2) Enjoyment of life (3) Prosperity (4) Good food and fortune (5) Air
OTHER NOTES: Common food crop
OTHER NAMES: Medicago sativa (Toryan)


TREATMENTS: (berries) abdominal pain, antimicrobial, colds, diabetes, diarrhea, fever, flatulence/gas, heavy menstruation, high blood pressure, indigestion, intestinal gas, neuralgia, laxative, rheumatism, vomiting; (leaves) bacterial infections, fungal infections, high blood sugar, rheumatism, smoking cravings
CONTAINS: Eugenol, magnesium
SIDE EFFECTS: irritates mucosal membranes (throat, nose, etc.)
SYMBOLS: (1) Determination (2) Energy (3) Money/riches (4) Luck
OTHER NAMES: Pimenta dioica (Toryan), dokas’pelut (Kanet’valan)


TREATMENTS: acid reflux, anemia, central nervous system health, constipation, cough, depression, dry skin (ext.), hair damage, headaches, high cholesterol, hypertension
CONTAINS: calcium, flavonoids, folic acid, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc; bitter almonds also contain amygdalin, benzaldehyde, cyanide, emulsin, prunasin
SIDE EFFECTS: some tree variants produce bitter almonds instead; these are lethal even in small doses, especially in children (approx. 50 bitter almonds for an adult, 5-10 for children; 0.5-3.5 mg/kg of body weight.
SYMBOLS: (1) Union/togetherness (2) Hidden treasures/gifts (3) Against melancholy (4) Promise of spring
OTHER NOTES: source of alternative milk, oil and flour
OTHER NAMES: Prunus dulcis (Toryan)


TREATMENTS: acne, burns, cholinergic (treats nervous system conditions), cold, cold sores, cough, dry skin, fever, flu, frostbite, pneumonia, pulmonary diseases, psoriasis, rashes, sore throat, whooping cough, wounds (all ext.); constipation
SIDE EFFECTS: toxic when ingested at high doses, can cause colorectal cancer long-term, cramping/diarrhea when ingested
SYMBOLS: (1) Affection (2) Luck (3) Good fortune
OTHER NAMES: Aloe vera (Toryan), atsét-ushal’sh (Kanet’valan), lú thūi (Shufenshi/Nguan-chiut)


TREATMENTS: anaphrodisiac, astringent, bleeding, diaphoretic, diuretic, stimulant, stops menses, syphilis, venereal diseases
CONTAINS: betacyanins, phenolic compounds (seeds)
SYMBOLS: (1) Archer/arrow (2) Invisibility (3) Hopeless/unrequited love (4) Love lies bleeding
OTHER NAMES: Amaranthus caudatus (Toryan), Amaranthus cruentus (Toryan), Amaranthus hypochondriacus (Toryan), velvet flower, quintoniu/amaranto (Celabrian)


TREATMENTS: emetic, laxative, malaria
CONTAINS: lycorine, tazetine
SIDE EFFECTS: cytotoxic; abdominal pain, excess saliva, diarrhea, tremors, vomiting; (long-term) depression, lack of appetite
SYMBOLS: (1) Pride (2) Attention (3) Unrequited love (4) Madness out of love
OTHER NAMES: Amaryllis belladonna (Toryan); junasaçiyu (Kanet’valan)


TREATMENTS: abortifacient, allergy attacks, anemia, anticoagulant, constipation, hypertension, infertility, joint pain, ulcers
CONTAINS: coumarins, polysaccharides, ferulate, flavonoids
SIDE EFFECTS: miscarriage, increased skin sensitivity to sun; do not take if you have chronic diarrhea or abdominal bloating. Do not combine with blood thinners such as warfarin, and be wary of combining with large doses of the following plants: feverfew, garlic, ginger, ginkgo, ginseng, licorice, Shufen skullcap, St. John’s wort, turmeric.
SYMBOLS: (1) inspiration (2) femininity (3) warmth (emotional or physical) (4) motherhood/pregnancy
OTHER NAMES: Angelica sinensis (Toryan), nevanishìlisha (Kanet’valan), dāng dhūi (Shufenshi), díong kāi (Nguan-chiut)


TREATMENTS: colds, colic, cough, fever, gas, indigestion, infection, lack of appetite, pleurisy, purifies blood, rheumatism, stimulant, urinary tract infection
CONTAINS: valeric acid, angelicin
SIDE EFFECTS: induces sweating, increases blood sugar, contraindicated for diabetes
SYMBOLS: (1) Encouragement (2) Counter-spell (3) Protection from evil
SPELLS: Jack of Flutes (gangel1), Nine of Shields (gangel3), Jack of Shields (gangel3), Lord of Shields (gangel2 or 3)
OTHER NOTES: not the same as angelica root
OTHER NAMES: Angelica archangelica (Toryan); nevaniçìyu (Kanet’valan)


TREATMENTS: anemia, aphrodisiac, appetite stimulant, asp bites (ext.), diarrhea, diuretic, gas, indigestion, insomnia, leukorrhea, tranquilizer
CONTAINS: magnesium, anethole
SIDE EFFECTS: may be harmful to those w/ breast cancer, uterine cancer, ovarian cancer, endometriosis, uterine fibroids, due to estrogen-like effects; may interact with estrogen
SYMBOLS: (1) Air (2) Protection from nightmares (3) Masculinity (implied but not stated; transmasculinity) (4) Exorcism (5) Divination
OTHER NOTES: very popular with dogs
OTHER NAMES: Pimpinella anisum (Toryan), şhuí qín (Shufenshi), çhí qîm (Nguan-chiut)


TREATMENTS: antibacterial (Staph aureus, E. Coli), antifungal (Aspergillus niger, Neurospora sitophila, and Rhizopus stolonifer), anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, cold, cough, diabetes, diarrhea, dysentery, eye health maintenance, fever, flu, heartburn, insect repellent, jaundice, kidney disease, pneumonia, prostate issues, pulmonary disease, skin problems, snakebite, sore throat, stomach issues, sunscreen, ulcers, whooping cough
CONTAINS: beta-carotene, bixin, flavonoids, orelline, tocotrienols, vitamin C, norbixin
SIDE EFFECTS: can be an allergen – itchiness, swelling, low blood pressure, hives and stomach pain; can trigger symptoms of IBS
SYMBOLS: (1) Red lips (2) Battle-rage (3) Sunset (4) Serpentbane/Traitor’s bane
OTHER NOTES: fiber used to make rope mats; source of annatto (red-orange) dye/pigment; commonly used as face/body paint; sometimes a saffron substitute; adulterated with ochre, sand gypsum. Class 1 Danger, rarity index 2.
OTHER NAMES: Bixa orellana (Toryan)


TREATMENTS: acid reflux, anti-inflammatory, asthma, constipation, diabetes prevention, diarrhea, digestive protection, dropsy, eye inflammation, fever, gout, heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, high stroke risk, indigestion, kidney stone prevention, scurvy, sore gums, toothache, typhoid fever
CONTAINS: amygdaline (seeds), copper, epicatechin, gallic acid, lime, mallic acid, manganese, pectin, phosphates, phloridzin, potassium, quercetin, soluble fiber, vitamin A, vitamin E, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, Vitamin C, Vitamin K
SIDE EFFECTS: apple seeds can be poisonous
SYMBOLS: (1) Temptation (2) Knowledge (3) Immortality (4) Preference/Choice (5) The restless dead (6) The triumvirate:
OTHER NOTES: Use apple wood for poppets
OTHER NAMES: Pyrus malus (Toryan)


TREATMENTS: asthma, bleeding, constipation, cough, eye inflammation, infertility, spasm, vaginal infections
CONTAINS: Carbohydrates, hydrogen cyanide + amygdalin (pits), Vitamin A, Vitamin C, phytochemicals, catechins, chlorogenic acid, terpenes, lactones, olein, linoleic acid
SIDE EFFECTS: Apricot kernels in amounts greater than 50 – headache, vomiting, nausea/abdominal cramps, dizziness, weakness, mental confusion, convulsions, circulatory problems and cardiac arrest, inability to breath, coma, death; cyanide poisoning
SYMBOLS: (1) Dedication/offering (2) Gold (3) Educated (4) Medicine, tonic
SPELLS: Ace of Knives (apricot1), Eight of Gems (apricot3), Four of Flutes (apricot4), Six of Flutes (apricot4), Seven of Flutes (apricot4), Nine of Shields (apricot1)
FOUND IN: temperate zones; originally from northern Shufen and Tundok. Forest magic.
OTHER NOTES: Rarity index 3, Class 2 Danger (largely due to the kernels; the pitted fruit is Class 1)
OTHER NAMES: Prunus armeniaca (Toryan)


TREATMENTS: childbirth, postpartum, prostate problems
SYMBOLS: (1) Good luck (2) Rain (3) Eagle-beak
OTHER NOTES: root used; cold plant
OTHER NAMES: Bomarea genus (Toryan), windchimers


TREATMENTS: abortifacient, antibacterial, astringent, bacterial skin infections (external), bronchitis, cold sores (external), coughs, diuretic, dropsy, emmenagogue, expectorant, fevers, immunostimulant, joint pain (external), muscle pain (external), osteoarthritis (external), rheumatism, scurvy, trigeminal neuralgia, warts (external), venereal disease, vermifuge
CONTAINS: carvone, fenchone, pinene, pinipicrin, tannic acid, thujetin, thujigenin, thujin, thujone
SIDE EFFECTS: oil can be lethal (causing permanent nervous system damage, convulsions, paralysis, stomachic irritation); allergen
SYMBOLS: (1) North (2) Fire of the sun (3) Unchanging Friendship (4) Wisdom (5) Discerning truth (6) Leap of Faith (7) Transformation
OTHER NOTES: Fragrant wood, anti-termite and anti-rot, frequently used for flutes. Flammable. Class 4 Danger (for both the oil and the flammability)
OTHER NAMES: red/white cedar, Thuja plicata (Toryan), tolibenek’mu (Kanet’valan)


TREATMENTS: diarrhea, physical exhaustion, rheumatism, tuberculosis, weight loss (to treat)
SYMBOLS: (1) Good health/good food (2) Regained innocence (3) Healing from trauma (4) Stand tall/Pride
OTHER NOTES: Common name from Celabrian.
OTHER NAMES: Neuemyrte (Archaic Elessan), Gaultheria erecta (Toryan)

aquatic flower

TREATMENTS: abortifacient, antibacterial (Strep, actinomyces naeslundii, a. Viscosus,), astringent, diuretic, discutient, scurvy, skin problems
CONTAINS: sagittine A-D, sagittine E, fibre, calcium, phosphorus, iron, potassium,
SIDE EFFECTS: reduces flow of milk in nursing mothers, may induce premature birth
SYMBOLS: (1) Benevolence (2) Progress (3) Self-control
OTHER NOTES: can be used to make ink
OTHER NAMES: Sagittaria sagittifolia (Toryan)

root vegetable

TREATMENTS: arrow injuries, demulcent, diarrhea, gangrene, gum disease, high cholesterol, intestinal disorders, irritable bowel syndrome, poisons, scorpion bites, spider bites, stomach disorders
CONTAINS: starch, fibre, albumen, gum
SIDE EFFECTS: constipation and digestive discomfort in large amounts
SYMBOLS: (1) Good fortune (2) Well-being (3) Approaching opportunity
OTHER NOTES: Rarity index 2, Class 1 Danger
OTHER NAMES: Maranta arundinacea (Toryan)


TREATMENTS: aphrodisiac, diuretic
CONTAINS: apigenin, cynarine, luteolin
SYMBOLS: (1) Lust/desire (2) Seduction (3) Exciting defiance/taboo (4) Puzzle/challenge (5) The heart of the matter
OTHER NOTES: coagulate milk, yield yellow dye, the down of the plant substitutes for rennet in cheese;
OTHER NAMES: Cynara cardunculus (Toryan), Cynara scolymus (Toryan)


TREATMENTS: anti-allergenic, antibacterial, antifibrotic, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, antioxidant, anti-tumor, antiviral, aphrodisiac, blood sugar regulation, cardiac function, carminative, cirrhosis, digestive function, hepatic function, hepatitis, hepatoprotective, hypoglycemic, immunomodulatory, lactobacillus regulation, styptic, tuberculosis, upper respiratory infections, urinary tract infections
CONTAINS: applanoxidic acids, beta-glucan polysaccharides, ganoderic acids, ergosterol, triterpenes
SYMBOLS: (1) Rotting from inside (2) Artistry (3) Protection from the evil eye (4) Bravery/dauntless
OTHER NOTES: Rarity index 5. Class 1 Danger. Feeds on beech and poplar, less commonly alder, apple, elm, buckeye, horse chestnut, maple, oak, walnut, willow, western hemlock, Douglas fir, olive tree, and spruce
OTHER NAMES: Ganoderma applanatum (Toryan), Ganoderma brownii (Toryan)


TREATMENTS: anti-inflammatory, arthritis, bladder disorders, bowel disorders, digestion, gout, irritation, laxative, leprosy (ash, external),
CONTAINS: glucoside fraxin
SYMBOLS: (1) Charm against drowning (2) The world tree/Yggdrasil (3) Fate (4) Justice (5) Flexibility
OTHER NOTES: Snake repellent; wood used for spears and bows, as well as oars, axe-handles, walking-sticks, hoops, crates, etc. Also of tremendous importance in building airplanes
OTHER NAMES: Fraxinus excelsior (Toryan), ab’rak’wa (Kanet’valan)


TREATMENTS: ague, antiperiodic, arthritis, astringent, cleanses liver, dysmenorrhea, fever, gout, irritation/itch (ext.), laxative, leprosy (ext.), lice, liver obstructions, rheumatism, scabs (ext.), skin sores (ext.), spleen obstructions
CONTAINS: fraxetin, fraxin, gum, quercetin, malic acid, mannite, tannin
SYMBOLS: (1) Prophetic dreams (2) Past, present and future (3) Divination
SPELLS: Three of Gems (Ashbark2), Eight of Gems (Ashbark2), Lady of Flutes (Ashbark2), The Spiral Staircase (Ashbark1 or 3), The Eternal Flame (Ashbark 2)

“Ashbark to lower fevered pains and bring prophetic dreams
Of past, present or future yet - the diviner’s sacred three.”   

29b. Leaves
  TREATMENTS: diaphoretic, diuretic, dropsy, gout, jaundice, laxative, liver disease, kidney stones, mosquito bites (ext.), purgative, snake bites/anti-venom
  SYMBOLS: (1) Confidence in healing (2) The four winds (3) Protection from venom/poison
  SPELLS: Supplement to any Flute spell (Ashleaf1), Three of Shields (Ashleaf3), Ten of Shields (Ashleaf3), The Four Winds (Ashleaf2)

“The four winds bring the rains to heal and keep poison from the heart
Ashleaf summons north, south, east and west wind for the healer’s art.”

29c. Sap
  SYMBOLS: (1) Birth and death (2) Luck, especially if it’s a baby’s first food) (3) Protection from illness
  SPELLS: Lord of Knives (Ashsap1), Five of Shields (Ashsap3), Seven of Flutes (Ashsap1 or 2)

“The sap of ash trees carries birth and death as 
As first food it’s a lucky blessing - and burn 

29d. Seeds
  TREATMENTS: aphrodisiac, appetite stimulant, diuretic, emetic, fever, flatulence, styptic
  SYMBOLS: (1) Protection from injury (2) Survival in disaster (3) Mourning and suffering
  SPELLS: Ace of Shields (Protection from blade and bruise; Ashseed1), Two of Shields (Protection from bonebreak and muscle injury; Ashseed2), The Knight (ashseed1)
  OTHER NOTES: Edible, when salted/pickled; substituted for capers
  OTHER NAMES: samara