If you’re a Green Witch or just have a penchant for herbalism and herbal witchcraft, this is a helpful list of herbs that are always good to have in your cupboards, or jars… or shelves.
Primarily, Basil is known as a culinary herb (add a dash of it to your dishes to add a little class and flavour!), but it also has some interesting and broad magickal properties. For example, it can be burned or strewn on the floors and thresholds of the home to purify and protect. It can be used in magick that concerns love/relationships and it can be used in divination. Old lore states that Basil can aid in both astral travel and projection, and physical travel. It is said to bring luck to those who are moving or transitioning to somewhere new, and is used in the detection of infidelity and the affirmation of fidelity.
Lavender, unlike Basil, is not used primarily for cooking but it can be! Lavender and vanilla shortbread cookies are just divine. In magickal terms, this herb is often used in love spells and love magick, or in any sort of ritual that brings about peace and/or a state of calmness in life and in you.
Lavender can be strewn on floors and thresholds to protect from evil and can be used in purification magick/spells/rituals/baths and for smudging. It can soothe headaches and aid sleep when the buds are placed in a sachet or beneath your pillow.
Historically – very, historically! – Sage has been burned to cleanse and purify spaces; it is used still in smudging rituals* and the herb is often burned in incense to cleanse, purify and protect. It can also be used in healing rituals.
A warning, though: when being burned, Sage emits a potent odour that is very much like that of marijuana!
Patouchli has an exotic aroma and is commonly used in incense, potpourri and ritual workings. This herb has strong ties to sexual power, wealth and love and is thus used in workings regarding those.
If you were to carry a small sachet of Patchouli leaves on your person, whether that is hung around your neck or stashed in your pocket, you will attract love, wealth and yes, sex into your life.
Mugwort is found and used frequently in modern Pagan and witchcraft workings as it is a very versatile and easy to grow (or obtain) herb. It can be used in an incense blend, in general spellwork; sachets and in smudging rituals. It is often tied with prophecy and divination. For example; to encourage success in divination, create an incense blend with mugwort, or use it in a smudging ritual to cleanse your work space of negative energies, and purify it before use.
NOTE: Can be harmful to pregnant women.
Like some of the aforementioned items, Bay is a culinary herb. It is used not only in cooking, but for protection, purification, strength, healing and the enhancement of psychic power. If you write a wish or a desire on a bay leaf and burn it on a candle flame, it is said that the smoke will carry your desires to your respective deities and they will manifest, though not always in the way you would expect. Bay, if placed in a dream pillow, wards of negativity and induces prophetic dreams.
Known for its protective and purifying properties, Chamomile can be used in incense blends for sleep and meditation. It is, of course, a popular herbal tea that promotes peace and sleep. If you wish to protect your person or your household from psychic attacks, sprinkle Chamomile around your home.
Rosemary, yet another culinary herb, has been used historically for myriad purposes. In short, it is a herb of protection, love, lust, mental clarity, purification, healing, banishing, and cleansing. It’s pretty much multi-purpose.
Burn Rosemary to rid a space of negative energy, or hang it in the home to prevent evil in all its forms from crossing the threshold and entering. This herb is like a clear quartz crystal or a white candle; it can be used as a substitute for other herbs and you will still obtain good results.
Oh, look! Another culinary herb! Cinnamon is versatile in that it is easy to obtain and very easy to use. It promotes spirituality, success, healing, psychic powers, lust, love, and protection, much like Rosemary, and can be used in incense blends, but (and this is the best part) it can be baked into sweets and desserts! It can be used in sachets too, or hung in the home to protect those inside.
Pennyroyal is often associated with money, strength and protection. In Hoodoo and some branches of folk magic/k, Pennyroyal is carried to ward of what is known as the ‘evil eye’. If you wish to utilise Pennyroyal’s protective properties, put some of the herb in a sachet with whatever else you feel you need and carry it on your person. For the best effect, your purse/bag or your pockets would work best.
If you wish to work money magick, use it to create some Money Oil or hang a sprig over your door to attract it into your life. If you are a business owner, hanging a sprig over the door will attract new custom.
NOTE: Can be harmful to pregnant women.
*Although I’m not entirely sure on this topic and need to read more myself, I believe that white sage is in trouble and we need to steer clear of using it until it is no longer an endangered plant/herb!