Basics of Botanicals: ADDER’S TONGUE

Adder’s Tongue:


Associations:  Divination, healing & lunar magicks, dream work, love, shadow work

How to use: to stop slander/gossiping; promote healing


There’s Adder’s tongue (snake-like tongue) and Adder’s tongue (yellow or purple floral); one is a fern, the other is a lily.

Hang on a second, let’s break this section down just a bit further.

I know this is supposed to be basic; however, searching this particular plant (or various names and spellings of it) can quickly become confusing.

Ophioglossum vulgatum

 (Snake-like tongue, Southern adders-tongue, adder’s-tongue, adders-tongue-fern)

Medicinal (folk):

The root and the leaves are antiseptic, detergent, emetic, haemostatic, styptic and vulnerary. An ointment made from the plant is considered to be a good remedy for wounds and is also used in the treatment of skin ulcers. The expressed juice of the leaves is drunk as a treatment for internal bleeding and bruising. (Spiritual Knowledge, n.d.)





Erythronium americanum

(adder’s tongue, dogtooth violet, trout lily) The picture to the right is a variant of Eythronium species  known as Yellow Trout Lily .

See more pictures  HERE and HERE

Medicinal (folk):

All parts of the plant, but especially the bulb and the fresh leaves, are strongly emetic and are not used internally. The fresh leaves are also antiscrofulatic and emollient and are used as an infusion or stimulating poultice applied to swellings, tumours and scrofulous ulcers. The juice from crushed leaves has been applied to wounds that are not healing. A poultice of the crushed bulbs has been applied to swellings and to help remove splinters. The raw plant, excluding the roots, has been used by native North American young girls to prevent conception. (Spiritual Knowledge, n.d.)


Suffice to say, take caution when attempting herbal remedies.

I don’t believe it matters too much here which plant you’d want to utilize for occult purposes; however, you want the slander portion to mirror your plant uses, or vice versa type representation, I’d recommend using like-for-like here. Like-for-like means snake-like tongue (Ophioglossum vulgatum)  would be utilized if we wanted the plant to represent a tongue.

I will be honest, I am glad  (after the fact) to have written this to some length of it’s introduction article on Adder’s tongue simply for the clarification of, or rather the DISTINCTION BETWEEN, these botanicals themselves. Even if it did cause me to get frustrated and take a break from finishing writing it up; incorrectly labeled photos from resources that didn’t cite their sources can hurt more than help.

Some personal blogs I’ve read thoughout searching for adequate information; they’d have a picture of what would be labeled as ‘Adder’s Tongue’ but not actually the correct plant family shown to reflect it. So, while adders tongue is actually both, they aren’t actually both. This is why I appreciate the scientific name for botanicals in any health related remedies because those folk names can cause us to utilize the wrong plant for the wrong uses sometimes!

For instance, there are some blogs out there using the trout lily photo (with yellow flower heads & mottled leaves) to state something to the effect of how ancient herbalists would ascribe the treatment fits what it cures (which isn’t completely untrue); however, they used the trout lily photo to support the claim of how it would heal a snake bite because it, “looks like a snake tongue.”

I’m sure it has the same attributes, I’d have to read into that a little more extensively but I don’t care to right now.


Ophioglossum vulgatum:

Orchi. (2006, May 21). Ophioglossum vulgatum Saarland 01. jpg image

Spiritual Knowledge. (n.d.). Medicinal Herbs adder’s Tongue ophioglossum vulgatum. medicinal herbs: ADDER’S TONGUE – Ophioglossum vulgatum. Retrieved April 4, 2022, from’s-tongue.php

Erythronium americanum:

Mttswa. (2019, April 24). Erythronium_americanum;_Yellow_Trout_Lily.;_Yellow_Trout_Lily.jpg.

Erythronium (dog tooth violets). (n.d.). Retrieved April 4, 2022, from

Spiritual Knowledge. (n.d.). Medicinal herbs Trout Lily Erythronium Americanum. medicinal herbs: TROUT LILY – Erythronium americanum. Retrieved April 4, 2022, from


Some Other Resources, or Interesting Info, to check out:





Please seek the appropriate healthcare professionals to answer medical/drug-related questions. This information is for knowledge purposes only and not meant to replace any advice or care provided to you by your Health Care Team Providers. ANY INFORMATION WITHIN ‘BASICS OF BOTANICALS’ LITERARY WORKS SHOULD NOT BE TAKEN AS MEDICAL ADVICE NOR SHOULD IT REPLACE ANY MEDICAL SERVICES. ‘BASICS OF BOTANICALS’ IS NOT A COMPREHENSIVE COMPILATION; It is meant to be a spring-board type guide to getting individuals into searching in-depth further on their own. If any information is incorrect/missing, please email with the following:

  • Citations missing or incomplete
  • Inaccurate information
  • The specific post/article in question


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