I craft witches’ unguents of belladonna, datura, henbane, and mandrake, my beloved solanaceae, which I blend with rendered animal fats, bone dusts, and ashes of feathers for the artes of flying and shape-shifting. I grow the poisonous plants of ancient Europe in my garden and wild harvest the white-spotted red mushroom in forests of birch and fir with my sharp witch’s knife. I am a priestess of intoxication, a seeress, and a poisoner.
A poison that can harm is often also a medicine that can cure. When the nightshade ointments were used in the past, it was mainly for medicine as remnants of salve jars and seeds have been excavated out of ancient hospitals such as Soutra in Scotland and also the prescriptions and recipes of ancient physicians that have been found in the Egyptian Ebers Papyrus from 1550 BC and clay tablets from ancient Sumerian libraries dated to 5,000 years ago.