Saturday, April 9, 2016

F is for FoxGLOVE...

Dear Littler B,

Hi there again, in catch-up mode I am actually writing this letter (and hopefully the next 3) while a passenger on a several hour trip to see the only known Tennessee Tardis. Look that up now (TARDIS - see below for pics), you have the ability since it has been around in my time about 50 years so in your time it is roughly 25 years or so. This is going to be a great escape for you when you become my age.
It is a part of a television show that you will fall in love with. Your love for time-travel related anything will only increase exponentially as you become my age wishing I could return to the time when I was you.

In continuing with the vein of information I have been writing to you over the last week and a few days, we are keeping up with teaching you things you will need to know over the next couple of decades. Today, in keeping up with the additional #AtoZChallenge I have reached the letter F, so....

is for FoxGLOVE...

You will notice several times in this letter that “GLOVE” is typed in capital letters and there is a reason for that.

FoxGLOVE, or Digitalis Purpurea is a poisonous flower. It is one of the MOST poisonous plants so when you work with it USE GLOVES!!!!

Origins & Identification

While this plant is generally known to be native to European areas, (mostly Ireland, Scotland and England) it was brought over to the United States as an ornamental garden plant. Originally it was known to the Anglo-Saxons as Foxes Glofa (the glove of the fox) because the flowers look like the fingers of a glove. There are however many folk names for this plant such as dead man's bells, fairy fingers, fairy bells and many more.

While there are several variations, common versions in the US are the purple and white biennial versions which can grow anywhere from 5 to 8 feet tall. Red varieties however are perennial and reach about 3 feet tall.

Practical Uses of FoxGLOVE 

While this beautiful and unique flower can often be found in gardens across the country, it has long been known for its poisons extract digoxin which is similar to a steroid. The flowers bloom from the bottom up and the flowers at the bottom contain more toxin than those going up the plant.  All parts of this plant from seeds to flowers contain digoxin which, even in small amounts can be fatal. This is one of the best examples of the need for herbal supplements to be closely monitored and standardized. In incorrect measurements, you are a goner for sure.

It is ironic that this plant is not only lethal but also a life saver to someone with certain heart conditions. Digitalis can cause the heartbeat to increase. Digoxin is still extracted and synthesized pharmaceutically to use for certain heart medications. One of the most known medications that use this chemical is Lanoxin.

I'm just going to tell you now dear littler me, stick to having it as a pretty flower in the garden.

Metaphysical Uses of FoxGLOVE 

FoxGLOVE is known to have feminine energies, its planetary alignment is Venus and is associated with the element of Water and Isis or Hera. One of its biggest known magickal properties is protection. This is one of the main reasons it is planted near the home.

In the old days, Welsh women would boil the leaves and make a black die to draw a cross on the floor at the entrance of their homes to protect against evil doers coming into their homes. (If you do this, do not be around the steam or smoke without proper masks as even the fumes are toxic!!!)

As we are Irish, I will focus here on the aspect of FoxGLOVE's properties that I appreciate the most, the connection with the Fae and the Fairy Folk. This plant should be planted anywhere you wish to invite members of the Fae. Folklore in some parts of the world say that the "fox" portion of the name because these bell shaped flowers were a gift from the fair folk to the fox so that they could ring the bells to warn others of their kind when danger was near.

It is said that the dew collected from foxGLOVE to be used in ritual to commune with the fair folk and carrying foxglove leaves wrapped in cloth will ensure the fair folk are near and hear your requests. The leaves are said to be used to break a fae enchantment and involve burning however  You will have to do some research on this one because I am not quite sure how to use it correctly for that safely! 

Come away, O human child! To the waters and the wild With a faery, hand in hand, For the world’s more full of weeping  than you can understand. - Yeats
Tweet: Come away O human child
To the waters & the wild
With a faery hand in hand,
For the worlds more full of weeping 
than you can understand

I think at this point I've given you quite a bit to get you started. I hope it has been helpful, dear little one. I know how much of a soft spot you have in your heart for the fairy folk and are always looking for more and more ways to connect with them so now you know a few more!

Wisely knowing how wise I am not,

Bigger Little B.

PS. Just in case this helps you later on down the road, here is a photo of that TARDIS you are supposed to look up.


  1. Three teeny, tiny words for foxGLOVE, DO NOT TOUCH!! I love the Fae and have other ways to communicate, thank you very much.
    OK two more words, TARDIS RULES!!!!!

  2. Amen to that sister! (the first words and the last!) I was going to say something smart and cute to the two more words and then look what I found!