Bosnian magic

Mystical Bosnia and Herzegovina


Rue – plant which one nurtures better than a child

Sedefil, sedef or sedefat, also known as rue, Latin name Ruta graveolens, is the most famous plant in magical tradition of Bosnia and Herzegovina. Its purpose is manifold, it is used to cleanse living space, repel parasites, and is used to clean the human body and spirit from negative thoughts and energy. Rue is a plant whose origins are from the Mediterranean region and it grows well in dry conditions. It naturally has an inclination towards sunlight. In BiH it is used for its peculiar fragrance as well as a fly and mosquito repellent and traditionally one stem is left inside a wardrobe. Among the Illyrians, Greeks and Romans rue was used for the expulsion of negative energy and for curing various health issues. Remnants of these ancient beliefs are present in folk medicine where, for example, it is claimed that rue successfully cures all heart ailments, etc. Even Shakespeare uses a peculiar name for sedefil “holly plant of the Sunday” because of the ritual practice that its stem is dipped in water and is used to spray people with water who were believed to be possessed by evil spirits. Curiously, when it comes to this plant, certain Mediterranean cultures it is profusely used in cooking because its leaves are rich in vitamin C. In Bosnia and Croatia, sedefil is added to schnapps, in order to get a cure for better digestion.

Bosnian magic
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