Witches ointment is an ointment or paste with which people (mostly women known as witches) are said to have rubbed themselves in order to fly to the witches sabbath in the late Middle Ages and at the time of the early modern witch persecutions.
The ointment is known by a wide variety of names, including witches’ flying ointment, green ointment, magic salve, or lycanthropic ointment. In German it was Hexensalbe (witch salve) or Flugsalbe (flying salve). In Holland, vliegzalf (flying salve) or heksenzalf (witches’ ointment). Latin names included unguentum sabbati (sabbath unguent), unguentum pharelis, unguentum populi (poplar unguent) or unguenta somnifera (sleeping unguent).
Witch ointments are ointment preparations made from psychoactive substances (especially from nightshade plants), the use of which can cause hallucinations or delusional dreams. To stigmatize “witches” as evil and demonic the “fat of children” is regularly mentioned by those who led the…
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