Fact or Fiction: Herbal Safeguards Against Lightning

| 8/19/2009 11:38:00 AM


This morning I woke up to the sound of thunder. The pounding rain and flashes of lightning didn’t scare me. Instead, I wanted to snuggle farther under the covers and spend the day in bed.

However, not everyone feels safe from lightning. (Including my new puppy! Poor thing.) Throughout history certain plants were used to protect the home from lightning. In her weekly herbal newsletter, All About Thyme, Susan Wittig Albert lists five plants believed to ward off lightning. Do they actually work? I’ll let you decide.

Photo By nebraskasc/Courtesy Flickr

• Houseleeks (Sempervivum tectorum)

In Roman and Norse mythology, houseleeks were sacred to the gods associated with lightning. People planted houseleeks on roofs as a way to protect their homes from lightning and fire. Charlemagne, a medieval king, decreed that houseleeks must be planted on all structures of his empire. Because of its history, houseleeks can still be seen growing on roofs in England and Europe.