Practical Herbs

As you probably well know, herbs serve many purposes in the magical and mundane worlds. Mugwort, for example, is an herb generally associated with dreams, but also can be an aid to female reproductive health. When collecting and growing herbs for magical use, I take a practical tack in my choices.  Yes, I could buy goldenseal for a money spell, or I could snip an extra sprig of basil for the working when I make pasta.

For me and my practice, there are several key herbs I always have on hand or growing in a pot in my kitchen:

  • Basil: You love Italian food?  There is no replacement for fresh basil.  Generally, it is associated with love, wealth, money, and exorcism.  I prefer not to use basil alone in love spells (due to the exorcism association), but it works nicely with other herbs (see below).
  • Lavender: I do not think it is a coincidence that love, peace, and harmony are the associations with this herb.  It is great for treating mild anxiety (with medical consultation) and can be added in its essential oil form to a tincture of witch hazel and white willow to treat acne.
  • Earl Grey Tea: The combination of bergamot and tea leaves is not only oh so tasty (and keep you awake during all nighters), but also is great for academic and education spells.
  • Raspberry Leaf: Women really should have this on hand for dealing with menstrual cramps and uterine health.  Until I looked it up last week, I did not realize that it associates with love and protection.  For me that makes sense because it medically assists the ultimate space of protected love.
  • Rosemary:  It’s kind of a catch-all herb when it comes to magical work: protection, love, exorcism, purification, health…  It also tastes great with chicken and potatoes.
  • Parsley: A refreshing and detoxifying herb.  It literally goes with everything and is crazy easy to grow.  Magically, it is associated with protection and purification.
  • Nettle: It has been called one of the perfect herbs for humans for its nutritional and nourishing properties.  It’s a great herbs for exorcism, protection, healing, and lust.

This is my basic herbal.  Do I use other herbs in culinary, medicinal, and magical practices of course.  And other people use other herbs for their practices (having a magically academic herb on hand, for example, may not be a priority for everyone).  Look at your life and begin to collect herbs that will fulfill the mundane and the Goddess-born areas of your life.

*The majority of the magical information in this article comes from Cunningham’s Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs.

© Ariadne Woods


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