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Lucky Hand Root

Lucky Hand Root: A rare Orchid root shaped like a hand, to bring in the winnings.

A single Lucky Hand Root -- the 1" long hand-shaped root of several species of orchids -- is among the most powerful ingredients that can be added to an African-American mojo bag designed to increase gambling luck. Sometimes called salep or saloop root or "five-finger root," it is not the root of the entirely different plant known as five-finger grass, but gets its name because it resembles a small hand (with anywhere from three to ten fingers).

Numerous other natural roots, herbs, and curios can be found in hoodoo gambler's charms -- including the teeth of alligators, badgers, and bears; rattlesnake rattles; bat hearts; rabbit feet; alligator feet; nutmegs; buckeye nuts; John the Conqueror roots; and lodestones dressed with magnetic sand -- but however much the above items may be thought to draw luck and money, only the rare Lucky Hand root and its cheaper herbal equivalent, five-finger grass, are said to specifically increase luck in games of chance which call for manual dexterity.

So prized is this curious root that among some hoodoo practitioners, it shares the name "hand" with the entire class of mojo bags used by gamblers.

The ancient "doctrine of signatures" dictates that objects in nature reveal their magical or medicinal uses through their form and colour, and thus the pale brown, multi-fingered Lucky Hand root is thought to have special provenance over "all the things that five fingers can do." For this reason, although a Lucky Hand root may be carried by those who play the lottery or bet on horses, it is particularly notable as the pre-eminent ingredient in conjure bags worn by card-players, crap-shooters, three-card monte artists, and others who wish to increase their edge by subtle manipulation of the tools of their trade. When combined with five-finger grass, a John the Conqueror root to increase personal power and mastery, and a lodestone dressed with magnetic sand to bring in the winnings, the Lucky Hand root simply cannot be beaten, according to its devotees.