The Herbs of Kalimdor and Eastern Kingdoms

Story Forum
I searched for an in-world guide to the WoW herbs, but I couldn't find what I was looking for-- most of the guides I found haphazardly assigned traits based on the traits of real-world plants, not their in-game properties. So I wrote my own guide that's 50% the list of things the herbs are reagents for, 25% their in-game appearance, and 25% pure making things up. I'm honestly, honestly sorry if this is in the wrong forum.

And now for the guide. :)


Herbs and their Uses
Gavin A. Dobinson

Introduction
One of the greatest drawbacks of the Greymane Wall was that we were cut off from much of the herbal wealth of Azeroth. Gilneas' climate is far from ideal for many types of medicinal plants, and without open trade many types of herbs were difficult to find. I have made this brief reference, then, for novice alchemists-- not just Gilneans, but of any race. While it is far from comprehensive, it will, perhaps, serve as a reminder to the uses of some of the more exotic herbs when you are away from a library.

Part I: Herbs of Kalimdor and the Eastern Kingdoms

Peacebloom-- Peacebloom is a very common and useful plant, often found in sunny, open areas. Its flowers have smooth, white petals and a yellow centre. These flowers can be crushed into a poultice that encourages wounds to heal more quickly and discourages infection, and its leaves make a delicious tea that helps ward against minor illness, such as colds.

Silverleaf-- Silverleaf is also a very useful common plant; it grows in shaded areas, and has broad, blue-silver leaves. Silverleaf is a mild stimulant, and its leaves can be made into a tea that increases mental awareness and reflexes. It also seems to enhance the potency of certain other herbs.

Bloodthistle-- This plant is isolated to the far northern part of the Eastern Kingdoms, and cannot grow elsewhere. It is a variety of ordinary thistle that has been changed over thousands of years of exposure to the arcane power of the Sunwell. It has bright green leaves with a soft, flexible spine at the tip and a bright red flower, the color of blood. Normally, ingesting the leaves of the bloodthistle only causes an upset stomach and a severe headache; while it is highly unpleasant, there are generally no lasting ill effects. However, the sin'dorei can process the arcane residue; this creates a brief state of euphoira that also enhances magical power slightly, followed by a period of moderate depression. To the sin'dorei, bloodthistle can be highly addictive. This plant seems to have only one possible practical use. In the case of a sin'dorei being cut off from the Sunwell, a preparation of bloodthistle might be used to stave off arcane withdrawal. However, the magic within these leaves is only an impure residue; it would only work for a short time, and the withdraw from the bloodthistle would make the arcane withdrawal much worse once the preparation wore off.

Earthroot-- The Earthroot is a strange plant; it has rather small, thick evergreen leaves growing out of a dense, gnarled root system that protrudes above the ground, and usually is found in rocky soil. The root is the most useful part of the plant. It has a pleasant, if strong, flavor, and is often ground to be used as a seasoning-- it is too tough to eat whole. Earthroot increases fortitude and stamina, and can even delay physical exhaustion for a time when properly prepared, although doing so has a high cost afterward. It can also be used along with an extract of peacebloom to make a potent elixir that accelerates the natural healing process slightly.

Mageroyal-- Mageroyal is a small shrub with small, purple leaves. It loves magic, and seems to grow best in areas where magic has been used in the past. However, unlike the bloodthistle, it is not harmful; it does not retain tainted magical residue. The flowers and leaves of this plant have a sweet, delicate flavor. They are often used in cooking, and can even be eaten raw. Its roots have a greater concentration of magical energy; the extracted juice, when drank, restores mana to those who are capable of using it, and the root can also be dried and used in a preparation that sharpens the mind. Combined with wild steelbloom, it actually wards against magic, deflecting arcane energy.

Swiftthistle-- Swiftthistle is a symbiotic plant; it grows only in the shadow of other plants, and appears to help them grow. It has succulent, broad, green leaves, and grows very near to the ground. As its name suggests, it is an extremely potent stimulant, much stronger than silverleaf. Used in moderation, it increases reflexes and short-term endurance, and can even block pain for a short time. However, an overdose or regular use over a long period of time can stress the heart, and even cause it to give out. It is said that the Ravenholdt thieves' guild makes an invigorating tea of this leaf that can substitute for a night's sleep, however, the exact recipe is a closely guarded secret. In my opinion, such a thing would be highly unhealthful, and should only be used in dire circumstances..

Briarthorn-- Briarthorn is a shrub that grows in densely knotted, thorn-covered vines with a thick, woody outer coating. It prefers shady, dark areas, and has no leaves; it is often mistaken for being dead. In the center of the vine is a gooey sap that has incredible medicinal properties. It relieves pain and reduces inflammation when applied to wounds-- it is incredible when used on burns. If ingested-- it has a very unpleasant, bitter taste-- it soothes the stomach and relieves internal swelling. According to legend, briarthorn grows in the places where the Ancient Agamaggan's blood was spilled ten thousand years ago, during the War of the Ancients.

Stranglekelp-- Stranglekelp is a tough vine that grows in salt water, with small compound leaves. Its vines can easily ensnare and drown swimmers and even small boats, which is how it got its name. Stranglekelp leaves are considered a delicacy in some coastal regions, although its strong, earthy, green flavor is something of an acquired taste. Its vines are also sometimes dried and used as ropes. When eaten, stranglekelp helps soothe the pain of arthritis and other maladies of the joints, and increases flexibility. It is also an essential component of an elixir that allows the drinker to breathe water as if it were air for a short time.

Buiseweed-- Bruiseweed is a tall, thin plant with purple, thistle-like flowers. Its sap attracts blood with enough force that it causes small blood vessels to break on contact with skin, resulting in severe bruising. It must be handled very carefully, and should never be harvested by an amateur. Properly applied, bruiseweed can be used to draw toxins and infection out of wounds, and in tiny amounts bruiseweed sap can boost the efficacy of certain elixirs and tonics without causing harm. This plant is often deadly if eaten, as it will cause significant internal bleeding, but the taste is usually bad enough to prevent anyone from accidentally swallowing it. Liferoot extract can be used as an antidote if administered within five minutes of ingestion.

Wild Steelbloom-- Wild steelbloom, much like its cousin, is a bush with tiny white or yellow flowers. However, unlike the common garden steelbloom, wild steelbloom has potent medinicial properties. It is a tenacious plant, and tends to grow high on steep, rocky slopes. Both varieties of steelbloom are said to ward against evil, which is why garden steelbloom is often planted along the edges of the property. Wild steelbloom relieves pain when its stems are dried and used for tea, and its flowers are often used in potions that ward against magic or negate it.

Grave Moss-- As its name suggests, grave moss is a gray-green moss that grows in graveyards and other places where the dead are laid to rest. It is a very strange and useful plant; it feeds on stray necromantic energy, thus reducing the chances that the dead will accidentally rise. As a result of this stored energy, it is somewhat dangerous to work with until cleansed. However, properly prepared, it can be used in an elixir that wards against shadow energy.

Kingsblood-- Kingsblood appears to be a large, spherical flower; in reality it is made up of many tiny purple blossoms in a spherical shape. According to legend, this flower grows where the blood of kings was once spilled. It is a stimulant. Its roots enhance physical strength and aggression, and its flowers are said to be a potent aphrodisiac.

Liferoot-- Found near fresh water, liferoot is often mistaken for earthroot. Aside from the different habitat, liferoot has a thinner skin, and its crisp, jucy flesh is white or cream in color, rather than brown. Liferoot is nutritious and good to eat, and nullifies toxins when consumed, or dried, powdered, and applied directly to a wound. It was often included in noble meals in the past for exactly this reason; any poisons slipped into the meal would be weakened or negated by the liferoot.

Fadeleaf-- Fadeleaf is a small evergreen shrub. It does not like sun, and is most easily found in shaded areas. It is covered in an irritating oil that causes temporary blindness if it comes in contact with the eyes, and causes a rash on unprotected skin. Always wear leather gloves if you are harvesting fadeleaf, and take care not to touch the gloves with bare skin. Once the oil has been cleaned, the plant can be used in a compound to sharpen eyesight, or even to temporarily become invisible. Use fadeleaf, and compounds of fadeleaf, with care-- even a little oil will ruin the compound and instead blind the user.

Khadgar’s Whisker--Named for the legendary mage, this long-bladed grass also grows in shady areas, or under trees. As its name suggests, it is used in mixtures to amplify magical energy, despite not being inherently magical in itself. Horses-- especially quel’dori bred ones-- enjoy it, but it is otherwise too fiberous to be edible.

Goldthorn-- Goldthorn is a spiky, dry plant that grows on the tops of hills. It is incredibly useful in alchemical preparations, making it invaluable-- to the point where it was overharvested, for a time. It is now relatively rare. It enhances and amplifies the alchemical properties of other plants, making them much more potent. It can also be used to make a unique tea that is prized among nobility.

Dragon’s Teeth-- Dragon’s Teeth is a strange plant. It only grows in a specific region called the Worldbreaker’s Scar, in the Badlands. This valley was carved by Deathwing during his initial assault upon Azeroth, and these strange, white and red plants sprung up in his wake. Oddly, they have a strong link to the element of frost; they are cool to the touch, and can be used to ward against frost or to enchance frost magic.

Firebloom-- Firebloom is a flower that flourishes in hot, dry terrain that would not support most other plant life. It is bright red and orange in color, and easily visible. Firebloom is extremely spicy; in small amounts it can be used as a seasoning, but it can also cause blistering and pain if it touches sensitive skin in large amounts. It is used in some alchemical preparations that call upon fire, but its use as a spice is more common.

Purple Lotus-- Lotuses are a famous and powerful plant, of almost legendary repute. Purple lotuses, while the most common, are still relatively rare, and very potent. They are a small, purple flower with dark purple leaves, and often found near the ruins of troll and kel’dorei cities, as they were used and cultivated by both cultures for shamanistic and druidic rituals, respectively. Purple lotus is said to bring visions and sleep, and can indeed be used in alchemy to either encourage a waking dream, or a dreamless, peaceful sleep. It is also used to create the philosopher’s stone, a needed tool for transmutations.

Arthas’ Tears-- Once known as Stratholme Lilies, this purple flower once grew densely near the city of Strathholme. Although they survived the Culling and the plague-born corruption of the land, the climate changes of the Sundering killed most of them. A few still linger, in remote corners of the world, but it seems that this plant will soon be only a memory. They are best known for their great beauty, but their main alchemical use is for a draught that allows the user to sense the closeness of undead. The irony of this has not gone unheeded.

Sungrass-- Sungrass is a thin, stiff grass that grows in sunny areas; the leaves are sharp enough to leave thin, stinging cuts on the hands, so using gloves when harvesting it is recommended. It is a bright yellow-green in color. Sungrass is most often used to preserve foods and potions-- its essence prevents or discourages rot for a time-- and can also be used in a poultice to prevent necrosis from setting into a wound. Fresh, tender sungrass shoots can also be eaten; they have a lemony acid tang to them.

Blindweed-- Blindweed is a plant with a blue flower; its green leaves have a rough edge. It grows rampant in warm, damp, marshy areas. Its stems and leaves contain a toxin that causes permanent blindness if consumed. However its bulbous, garlic-like root, when properly prepared, has strong magic-amplifying and conducting properties.
Ghost Mushroom-- This incredibly rare mushroom is a pure white, and glows faintly in the dark. It originated in the Zangarmarsh region of Outland, but spores were brought over in the First War, these mushrooms being among the orcish casters' reagents. Ghost mushrooms can now be found in several regions of Azeroth. These mushrooms can only be found in caves; they cannot stand sunlight, or any other bright illumination. They are inedible, but very powerful alchemically, having strong ties to shadows and spirits. They can be used for potions that render the drinker invisible for a short time, or enhances their ability to use the power of spirits.

Gromsblood-- Named for the orc Grom Hellscream, This spry, leafy plant grows in areas affected by fel taint; its leaves start out crimson and turn fel green as they grow and absorb the demonic energy. Some theorize this plant actually works to cleanse the affected lands by drawing out the fel, and are experimenting with this thesis in mind. Gromsblood is extremely potent, and can be used in elixirs that increase physical strength, or as an anti-demonic reagent. However, even when correctly prepared the leaves cannot be entirely cleansed of the fel taint. Therefore, products of Gromsblood should be used sparingly and with great caution.

Golden Sansam-- Golden Sansam is a relatively rare, extremely powerful herb, known to some cultures as the cure-all root. It can take up to six years to fully mature, and is easy to over-harvest. The above-ground leaves look much like the leaves of a carrot and blend in very well with background foliage. Underneath, the root is pointed, somewhat rounded, and the flesh beneath the gold skin is white and somewhat dry. Golden Sansam has incredible healing and restorative properties that fully live up to the plant's reputation. Dried and ground, it can be used by a skilled alchemist in potions that greatly increase resistance to disease and pain, or in an ointment that can instantly heal some wounds.

Dreamfoil-- Dreamfoil is a plant with emerald green leaves. According to the Kal'dorei druids, this plant is closely linked to the power of the Emerald Dream, and is one of Ysera's favorite plants. Strangely, it also grows rather well in certain regions of Outland. Dreamfoil has powerful warding properties; dried and hung in a doorway, it drives away vengeful spirits, and it can be used in a variety of alchemical warding potions, as well as elixirs that enhance one's spiritual focus, if the drinker is so inclined.

Mountain Silversage-- As the name suggests, this bush-- the leaves and stems of which are covered with fine silvery 'hairs'-- grows high in the mountains, and is often clinging to the sides of sheer cliffs. Silversage is very difficult to harvest, but extremely valuable and useful. Oil of silversage is a critical ingredient in potions that relieve paralysis, and the leaves can also be used as a component in potions that increase reflex times. It has a distinctive, pungent aroma when crushed.

Sorrowmoss-- This deep purple, water-loving moss is most commonly in the Swamp of Sorrows, in the southern part of the Eastern Kingdom, which is why it is called sorrowmoss. It is an effective detoxification agent; placing a chunk of sorrowmoss in a flask of water will slowly render the water clean and drinkable, for example. It is used as a reagent in a rare and powerful potion that can cure some diseases and even break weak curses. However, it does not grow well outside of the Swamp of Sorrows.

Icecap-- The icecap grows in the far northern part of Kalimdor, mostly in the Winterspring region. It blends into the snow rather well; its flower resembles a downy puff, and its leaves are a dull silvery-green. Icecap is a strongly magical plant, possibly for the sake of surviving in such a cold region. It stays icy cold to the touch, even when taken into a warmer climate; the live plants cannot live in temperatures above freezing for more than a few days. Icecaps are used as an alchemical preserving agent, their innate chill keeping other components from overheating and degrading.

Black Lotus-- The black lotus is a legendary plant. It is said to bloom only once a century, on the night of the new moon. The flower is said to be as black as ink, and venomous. Only a truly gifted alchemist could distill its essence, and with that essence create an elixir of legendary power-- granting, for example, enough fortitude that one could be run through with a sword unflinching and live to tell the tale, the wisdom to solve an riddle thought unsolvable, or the raw power to burn a city to the ground with a mere snap of the fingers. I have yet to meet anyone who has worked with one of these rare plants, so I can neither confirm nor deny these rumors. I suspect, however, that the claims might be a little exaggerated.
Probably more at home in the roleplaying forums, but this is a pretty awesome summation of the 1-60 plant life. Very good guesses as to the plants' properties based on what potions they're used in, as well as location. Well done on this bit of flavor.
I adored this post, thank you for writing it!

I can't wait to see the Outland, Northrend and Cataclysm additions!
Amazing guide! Thank you for taking the time to type it up and keep up the good work!
Excellent write up. Things like this go a long way for world building and Azeroth feels a touch more alive because of it.
07/31/2011 07:28 AMPosted by Lys
Excellent write up. Things like this go a long way for world building and Azeroth feels a touch more alive because of it.

What he said
Nice job
I really enjoyed this (after two toons with herbalism and alchemy, I think I've gotten a bit too interested WoW's plantlife...) and would happily read any future bits about the herbs of Outland, Northrend, and Cata. Each description sounded spot-on! Thanks for sharing this.
That was delightfully fun.

I'm really glad I took the time to read your post all the way through.
07/30/2011 07:58 PMPosted by Dobinson
Dragon’s Teeth-- Dragon’s Teeth is a strange plant. It only grows in a specific region called the Worldbreaker’s Scar, in the Badlands. This valley was carved by Deathwing during his initial assault upon Azeroth, and these strange, white and red plants sprung up in his wake. Oddly, they have a strong link to the element of frost; they are cool to the touch, and can be used to ward against frost or to enchance frost magic.


this makes me think...

Why DID they replace Winter's Bite with Dragon's Teeth?

Also what was the point of renaming Plague Bloom?

Edit: Also I totally loved the read.
I believe there's a comparative guide on WoWwiki (possibly WoWpedia as well). Might be interesting to compare this one to that one and see what each came out with.

I'll likely be saving this. :)
Marvelous work.
excellent work. i love things like this.

07/30/2011 07:58 PMPosted by Dobinson
kel’dorei


*kaldorei

07/30/2011 07:58 PMPosted by Dobinson
Gromsblood


http://www.wowhead.com/quest=4201/the-love-potion seems to imply that's it's either an aphrodisiac or a hypnotic.
Why DID they replace Winter's Bite with Dragon's Teeth?

Also what was the point of renaming Plague Bloom?


With the level changes to the zones, the place in which the plants were located needed to be changed.

Plaugebloom used to grow in Plaguelands and is a lvl 50ish herb. Plaguelands is no longer a level 50 zone, but Swamp of Sorrows is, so they moved the herb there and changed it's name, since Plaguebloom would make no sense growing in a non-plaguey zone.
This was a great post.
Wonderful. Came across your post looking for something else. Great read and info. I appreciate you time and effort.
07/30/2011 07:58 PMPosted by Dobinson
climate changes of the Sundering


I think you mean Shattering.

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