For some people their first introduction to the idea of herbal magick comes from rifling through the herbs available in their kitchen cupboards. Sometimes this, along with a little kitchen magick, makes for the beginnings of a life long study into using herbs for spells and magick. A lot of the time when we start out looking into herbs for magickal use in the Craft we find ourselves drawn to books that might talk about more esoteric or lesser known herbs, and while it’s great to work with some of these herbs because just by the virtue of their being less common they feel more magickal, we can find so much of what we need for most of our magickal work right in our own kitchens or at the local supermarket.
Here is a list of 20 herbs that can be found easily in the supermarket, farmers market, or right now in your kitchen! Here you’ll have some of their basic magickal and healing uses. While a few herbs are noted as not being safe to be ingested by pregnant women, always be sure to do some extra research into herbs that you plan to take internally. And when you’re looking for something to use in magick and you don’t know what to use, often you’ll notice that an herb’s medicinal use mirrors it’s magickal use as well. So if you can find the medicinal uses of a common kitchen herb you can often use it for similar uses in magick. Reading through this list will help make that more apparent.
Anise – You can use anise for help with sleeplessness. Anise seeds can be placed in warm milk and allowed to steep, much like tea, for about 10 minutes, then strain the seeds out and drink. For magickal use anise can be used to promote magickal and prophetic dreams. Burn as an incense on charcoal in your bedroom before you go to sleep or use as part of an herbal blend used within a dreampillow.
Basil – Basil has a handful of useful properties including protection, banishing and drawing money. Steeping basil in some olive oil can make a great simple oil to rub on a green candle for money drawing. Basil can be burned as an incense to help with both banishment and protection, as well as ground into a powder and sprinkled around doorways and windows to help keep out unwanted visitors.
Bay Leaves – Bay leaves are known for their protective properties. Bay leaves can be scattered around the home for protection and it can ground up into a powder and scattered around the home to cleanse the space from unwanted energies, especially in the case of possible spirit activity. Bay leaves can also be used to help with astral projection and visions.
Caraway – When it comes to home healing, caraway has a number of different ways that it can be used. Crush up a teaspoon of caraway seeds and steep as a tea in a cup of hot water to help with digestive discomfort, flatulence, and stomach cramps. Magickally caraway seeds are known to help with fertility as well as lust. Caraway seeds can be used in place of rice at a wedding; when thrown at the couple as they walk from the ceremony it sends wishes of fertility for many children. The seeds can also be ground and steeped in warmed red wine as a sort of aphrodisiac.
Cinnamon – Most of us are aware of the many magickal uses for cinnamon. It’s known for being used in money and prosperity charms and is often used as an ingredient in prosperity oils and to dress candles for money magick. Another area that cinnamon has been know for in folk magick is love. Some of the folk spells of the past recommend baking cakes with cinnamon and serving them to someone that you wish to have fall in love with you. Others talk about adding cinnamon to wine or mead for the same purpose. Cinnamon can be used for love, money and promoting physical health and vigor.
Cloves – Cloves have wonderful antiseptic and anesthetic properties. If you have a toothache you can rub clove oil on the gum line of the problem tooth. You can also chew on a clove if you have problems with sore wisdom teeth. Chewing on cloves can also help with bad breath. Magickally cloves are used for protection and can be carried in your pocket or in a black charm bag for protection. Soaking cloves in water for a few hours can soften them and they can then be strung with a needle onto some thread and then hung around the home or car for protection. Ground and burned as incense, clove can help with visions and divination work.
Fennel – Medicinally fennel can be used to relieve hiccups; heat up 1-2 teaspoons of fennel in equal parts milk and water, strain and drink. The juice of fennel is said to help stop vomiting when drops are placed on the tongue. Magickally fennel is used as a protective and purifying herb. Grind dried fennel into a powder and sprinkle around the inside of the home for protection. Hung inside charm bags at the windows of the home helps to ward off negative spirits. Fennel seeds can be carried in your pocket for the same reasons and can be ground and burned for purifying the home of any unwanted spirits.
Garlic – Garlic is one of the herbs with a long and well known folk history for being used for healing and protection. Garlic can be used to prevent and ward off colds. With it’s strong antibiotic properties, it can be cooked and eaten when you feel the symptoms of a cold coming to help keep it at bay. Magickally garlic has a long history of being used to ward off evil. It is believed to be able to absorb negativity when placed around the home and when carried creates an aura of protection around you preventing negativity and unwanted spirits from attaching themselves to you; some people talk about using garlic in these sense by carrying a bulb of garlic with them when visiting cemeteries and places believed to be haunted.
Ginger – Ginger is a great help when you’re dealing with nausea. Candied ginger is a great thing to have around in the kitchen for general nausea as well as morning sickness for pregnant women. Candied ginger can be chewed like gummy candy or it can be placed in a cup of hot water and allowed to melt and steep into a tea. Dried and ground ginger can be made into a tea for the same purposes; placed in warm milk it can be given to kids for the same reason (the taste of ginger can be a little strong for kids so milk can help to lessen the intensity). When used in magick ginger can be used for love, money and power. The heat properties of ginger help to “heat up” a situation which make it great for love spells.
Lemon – Not a traditional herb, but found in many people’s kitchens, the juice can be used for treating colds by adding the juice of one whole lemon to a cup of hot water and drinking as a tea; some people also like to add about a tablespoon of honey to this as well to make it smooth and sweet to counter the bitter acidic nature of the lemon. Lemon peel can be added to sachets for love spells and can be burned for both love and longevity as an incense.
Marjoram – The flowers from marjoram can be boiled into a tea for relieving headaches and digestive issues (pregnant women should not take marjoram however as it can be dangerous). Used in spells for love, health, money and happiness the dried leaves and flowers can be added to charm bags and sachets and placed around the home to promote piece and happiness. Red or pink sachets made with marjoram can be tied to the bed to strength an existing relationship with your partner.
Mint – Mint comes in many forms and different forms can be helpful for different things. Peppermint is one of the most common and when made into a tea it can help with an upset stomach. Mint oil can be burned in an oil diffuser to help ward off incests. Mint oil can be used on yellow, gold or green candles for prosperity spells. Dried the herb can be burned for luck and money spells or it can be carried in a green charm bag with a piece of jade for money drawing.
Nutmeg – Nutmeg works medicinally as a digestive aid and can ease stomach upset. Magickally it’s used for a variety of love spells and has a long history of being carried for love and luck. A whole piece of nutmeg can be etched or carved with runes or symbols for prosperity and carried in the pocket. There are folk spells that suggest using nutmeg to ensure your partner remains faithful. The nut is cut into four pieces; one piece is tossed off a cliff, one piece is buried in the ground, one piece is burned and the last piece is boiled in water. You would then drink the water and save the piece of nutmeg from it, carrying it with you at all times and sleeping with it under your pillow.
Parsley – Parsley is another herb used for protection and purification in magick. But these cleansing properties extend to it’s medicinal uses as well. Parsley, either made into a tea or chewed, helps to cleans the body of toxins, relieve bad breath, and help provide minerals like iron to the blood for cleansing. The removal of toxins, as well as drawing on the protective properties of parsley can be achieved by using it in a hot bath.
Rosemary – Made into a tea, rosemary can be used as an aid for memory and mental clarity. This can be great for students when they are getting ready to study for a big exam. Magickally we can use rosemary for a number of different things including protection, love, luck, purification, healing and sleep making rosemary a great overall herb with so many diverse uses so it’s great to always have on hand. Burn it to cleanse a space of unwanted energy, use in dreampillows, hang rosemary springs by your front door for luck, protection and blessings. Rosemary oil can help with all of these as well; use rosemary oil to draw banishing pentagrams on your doors and windows to ward off unwanted visitors in all forms.
Saffron – Most of us might be familiar with saffron in a potato salad or on some grilled salmon, but we don’t see it used terribly often in a lot of magick. It has some great magickal uses though, and while it can be an expensive household herb, it can pack a good punch magickally. When it comes to any sort or magick that will call on the solar aspects of planets, the sun itself, solar deities or if you just need to heat things up a bit, saffron is a great herb to use. It can be used to make bright and deep orange colored dyes for altar cloths, sachet and charm bags and for dying eggs at Ostara. It can be added to love spells to increase lust. Add it to healing spells to help ward off disease. An old folk charm for pregnant women talked about wearing it in a ball or in a pouch over their stomach to ensure a quick delivery.
Sage – Sage is one of the most used and most familiar herbs to just about any magickal practitioner. Known for it’s ability to cleanse a space from unwanted energies and raise the vibrations of a room, it is burned and carried for cleansing and protection quite often. Sage can also be made into a tea and used to help clear up chest congestion and coughs when dealing with a cold. Medicinally it can also be made into a gargle and used as an antiseptic which is great if you have a cut or burn in your mouth or have recently had dental work down and are having pain afterward. Burn, carry or sprinkle around your desk or study area to help promote wisdom. Sage is extremely easy to come by either in the form or white sage in smudge sticks, fresh in the produce department of the supermarket, or dried in whole leave, ground and even rubbed form. Sage is another herb that is not recommended for pregnant women.
Salt – While technically salt isn’t an herb, it’s a mineral, it’s used in much the same way as herbs in a variety of magickal areas. Salt can be used for cleansing and blessing. Most of us know of using salt in ritual, mixed with water, to make blessed water which is then used for anointing others during ritual and sprinkled around the circle to cleanse and seal the space. Salt is also used to cleanse some stones and crystals and it can be used to remove negative vibrations from objects, people and spaces. Sprinkle around the home in the corners of rooms that have unsettled energy and use around doors and windows to keep out unwanted energy.
Thyme – This is another herb with a number of uses, both magickal and medicinal. Made into a tea it can help ease menstrual pains and when steeped in a hot bath it can help relieve various skin conditions including dry winter skin conditions and eczema. Made into a mouthwash it helps to ease and speed the healing of cuts, sores and burns in the mouth. Magickally thyme can be used in a bath to help you to build up the courage to deal with a difficult situation and to help you come to a logical solution to a problem that you might be facing. Thyme is another herb that can be added to a dreampillow to help aid with sleep and to help bring psychic and prophetic dreams as well as ward off nightmares. Carried or burned thyme can also help in healing spells.
Vanilla – Vanilla is another plant that is said to have aphrodisiac-like properties. Vanilla perfume oil can be a great anointing oil for love and beauty magick and can be used on candles for love spells, especially when you want to add some sweetness to your relationship. Vanilla bean can bring power and vitality, so carrying in a charm bag to restore your personal power can be helpful. Placed inside a bowl of sugar vanilla can infuse the sugar with loving energy and vibrations. The sugar can then be used to make foods and cakes meant to promote love and harmony.