Who is Dittany of Crete?
It really isn’t a ‘who’,
Dittany of Crete or Origanum dictamnus - L. is a plant with a long mystical and magical history associated with ancient myths and animal folk lore, that dates back to Hippocrates. Believed to come from a mountain in Crete named Dicte, hence its name, young men were encourage to forage for it on the treacherous cliffs to prove themselves worthy of a young maiden’s interest.
Common uses then included stomach and digestive healing, but it was also sought after and used for an aphrodisiac….and snakebite.
Today, while it is not commonly used, a few Wiccan practitioners may use it as an ingredient in love potions. Additionally, it is used in magic rites and rituals, as it is a potent smoky herb.
A delicate, pretty perennial, it attracts the butterflies and bees to the modern day garden, along with adding a colorful history. For more information about growing this plant in your own garden visit, Plants for a Future.
Gillian Winters mainly uses herbs to cook with, and leaves the love potion practices to her friend, Rindy.
Read more about them in my soon to be finished novel, Merely Magic.