The use of witch herbs is the act of using commonly sourced herbs within witchcraft. But what are some of them and what turns these seemingly ordinary herbs into magical herbs?
In this article we’ve gathered 14 of the most popular herbs for witchcraft and will reveal their magical properties and how best to include them in your craft. These herbs have a plethora uses from brewing in magical teas, as spell ingredients, burned for incense and many more.
A note about herb safety
When using any plant or herb it is encouraged to source it as ethically as possible. If sourcing herbs from the wild it is highly recommended to consult an expert to correctly identify any plants before use because some common and harmless herbs can have toxic look-a-likes.
It can be dangerous to use herbs in ways other than intended without diligent research first because for example: some herbs may be safe to eat but if burned for incense the smoke created could be an irritant to the lungs, or vice versa. It is also important to keep all herbs out of the reach of pets and children because some herbs could be harmful if ingested in large quantities or could irritate skin and eyes.
Also many herbs when ingested in large quantities could cause complications and adverse effects within pregnancy so consult a physician before ingesting. This list is not exhaustive so it is important to do further research when using herbs for witchcraft.
Rosemary is an easily recognizable herb due to its small thin leaves resembling soft pine needles and its intense aromatic scent when rubbed between the fingers. It is easy to grow and can be hung to dry upside down in bundles making it a perfect herb for witchcraft.
Magical Properties of Rosemary
- Healing and bodily health
- Purification and cleansing
- Mental wellness
How to use Rosemary in Witchcraft
Rosemary has a long history of being predominantly used for medicine due to its anti-microbial, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant and neuro-protective properties. It has also been observed on a clinical level to positively affect mood, learning, sleep and reduce anxiety. But it is also a beloved go-to herb for many witches for its magical purposes.
As we can see with other herbs it is common to see similarities between the medicinal and magical properties. This is probably because the medicinal affects would have been felt by the user long before the plant was studied with our modern methods and the information became widely available. It is for this reason that rosemary’s magical properties interact with the central nervous system and its effect on the body.
Rosemary is used as a witch herb in so many different ways it would be impossible to list them all. But most commonly it is used as a spell ingredient to attain its protective qualities or burned for incense to be inhaled to gain increased psychic insight, calm the nerves and to sleep better. It is also commonly used in cleansing sticks and burned to cleanse a home or sacred space.
Oregano plants have small bright green leaves and smell very herbal and aromatic when squeezed between the fingers and have a zingy peppery taste. Dried it is chopped finely and widely available in supermarkets as a kitchen herb.
Magical Properties of Oregano
- Love and longevity
- Protection of heart and emotions
- Joy and happiness
- Self-love and confidence
How to use Oregano in Witchcraft
Oregano might be famous (and delicious) in Italian and Mediterranean cooking but it is also profoundly used as a magical herb in witchcraft. Oregano comes from the greek word Oros meaning mountain and Ganos meaning joy. It is believed Aphrodite created this herb as a symbol of love and joy and throughout Ancient Greece it was widely used as gifts in marriage ceremonies and in wreaths to bring luck to the new relationship.
In modern witchcraft oregano is often used in a charm bag to promote safe travels and making friends along the way. As well as easing sad emotions if we are missing long distance loved ones. It is also a popular ingredient in self-love spell jars.
Thyme is easy to spot because of its small round leaves gathered in sections around a central stalk and for its punchy, almost spicy scent and matching but lighter taste.
Magical Properties of Thyme
- Bodily health
- Mental wellness
How to use Thyme in Witchcraft
Thyme is often used dried as whole sprigs within witchcraft. Notably we can see instructions for thyme talismans that give courage to the wearer.
A whole sprig of dried thyme tucked into an internal pocket is said to bring luck and ward off negativity. Thyme also has the ability to reverse negative moods: anxiousness becomes calm, sadness becomes joy, fear becomes courage and so forth.
Mugwort is a stalked flowering plant with small pale buds. It is dried and chopped before purchasing, resulting in a hay-like appearance often with a few of the pale buds still intact. It has an earthy scent and a slightly bitter taste.
Magical Properties of Mugwort
- Amplify magic and spell work
- Psychic dreams
- Lucid dreams
- Spiritual protection
How to use Mugwort in Witchcraft
Mugwort is a very popular witch herb due to its ability to amplify the magic and spell craft it is used in. It is most commonly used in witchcraft as a tea that is drank before bedtime to incite lucid dreaming.
Another popular use of mugwort tea is to enhance the psychic ability of the drinker before divination practices like tarot or rune casting. It is also used as incense to protect from spiritual attack.
Sage is almost synonymous with witchcraft. If we had to pick only 1 herb to have as the ultimate Witch herb in our magical arsenal it would probably be sage. There are many varieties of sage and it is impossible to talk about sage and witchcraft without mentioning some very important facts regarding cultural appropriation.
Some varieties of sage are in short supply and are sacred to closed cultures and their use in general witchcraft is causing the plant to be over-farmed making it inaccessible to those cultures. White sage is identified by its whitish silver leaves and is sacred to Native American and Indigenous Nations.
It is strongly recommended that white sage is not bought or used by anyone other than those actively within the cultures/communities. So this article will discuss the properties of common garden sage. This variety is greener with larger leaves and is readily available to purchase at supermarkets as a kitchen herb and is easy to grow, dry and store.
Magical Properties of Sage
How to use Sage in Witchcraft
Sage (common garden variety) and witchcraft go together like tequila and sunshine. There are hundreds of recipes and spells that feature this herb because of its unrivaled ability to powerfully protect and cleanse.
Whether bundled into cleansing sticks and burned to purify the home, burned as magical incense to ward off evil, wrapped as a bouquet and hung over doors, featured in protection spells or placed in a charm bag and tucked under a pillow to ward off bad dreams, sage does it all.
A very popular banishment spell is to take a whole dried sage leaf and write a word which describes the object to be banished, for example ‘anxiety’ or ‘my ex’ and then burn the leaf using the flame of a black candle. Sage’s powerful banishment and protective qualities will take care of the rest.
Basil is a plant with small green leaves that are slightly pointed at the tip and quite round. When dried and made ready for purchase it is often dried and chopped finely but it can also be bought as whole dried leaves. It’s scent and taste are quite light and similar to black pepper.
Magical Properties of Basil
- Healing properties
- Improves mood
- Clears brain fog and headaches caused by curses and hexes
- Bolsters courage
How to use Basil in Witchcraft
Basil is another magical herb with multiple uses because of how readily available it is to find and is safe to ingest. Basil was considered sacred in India for hundreds of years and placed on altars and planted around temples because of its protective qualities. It is THE magical herb for promoting healing and mood improving.
It is most commonly used as an ingredient in protective spells and spells that focus on attaining a particular state of mind. For example it is brilliant at bolstering courage so can be stored in a spell pouch and taken discreetly to a job interview or other event where we need to remain calm and confident.
Mint leaves are emerald green in color, small and thinning out from a central stalk with serrated edges and a pointed tip. They smell refreshing and minty like their namesake.
Magical Properties of Mint
- Protection when traveling
- Luck in love
- Helps digestion and nausea
How to use Mint in Witchcraft
Mint has a very long history of being used as a magical herb. There are many varieties of mint plants used in witchcraft but the most common is Peppermint. All varieties of mint have the same magical properties so any variety can be used interchangeably.
Mint can be dried and used like other herbs in pouches, incense and spells but unlike many other herbs mint is often preferred to be used as fresh as possible. It is consumed in tea, used in cold drinks (aka magical cooling elixirs when it’s hot out.) The most common use of mint as a magical herb is in money spells.
Lavender is on of the most popular herbs used in witchcraft due to its beautiful smell and how easy it is to dry and store. There are many different varieties of lavender available and they are mostly used interchangeably in witchcraft because their magical properties remain the same. The most readily available varieties of lavender are English Lavender and French Lavender.
These varieties feature the classic small purple buds cloistered around a central stalk. Lavender is most often bought dried with the stalks removed from the buds. It can be toxic to pets in large quantities in its concentrated essential oil form so this is one herb to store away safely.
Magical Properties of Lavender
- Aids with sleep Lucid dreaming
- Relieves Anxiety and Stress
- Cleansing and Purification
How to use Lavender in Witchcraft
Lavender is known within witchcraft as being a good all-rounder magical herb. It can be burned as an incense and inhaled to relieve anxiety and stress, or in its essential oil form added to full moon water and sprayed over pillows to aid sleep and lucid dreaming. It is also widely used as stuffing for poppets. Poppets are small dolls created by witches to resemble a person, often the witch themselves.
Marjoram’s Latin name Oreganum marjorana translated into English means Mountain Joy. This is likely due to the way the plant’s pink flowers attract the attention of butterflies which creates a serene scene when hiking or exploring.
Magical Properties of Marjoram
- Relaxes mind and body
- Increases libido
- Luck and longevity in relationships/marriage
- Joy and happiness
How to use Marjoram in Witchcraft
Marjoram is mainly used as an ingredient in love, luck and joy spells. It is also burned as incense for the same purposes. It is often used in sex magic due to its aphrodisiac qualities.
Marjoram was sacred to the Romans, particularly the Goddess Venus and was very commonly used in marriages by creating wrapped wreaths and floral head crowns to promote joy and longevity of the relationship.
The bay leaf is easily recognizable being olive green in color with a flat and elongated leaf shape. It is often bought as dried whole leaves and has a subtle floral green scent and a herby oregano-like taste.
Magical Properties of Bay
- Attracting and manifestation
- Money and wealth
How to use Bay in Witchcraft
Bay is the attraction herb within witchcraft. It is commonly used in manifestation spells. In one example of a manifestation spell a witch writes a word relating to what they wish to manifest for example ‘love’ or ‘abundance’ onto a whole dried bay leaf and then burns it in a fire- safe dish.
The smoke created from burning the leaves as incense is also said to help attract our desires to us. When used in foods it has powerful protective qualities and can be used in spell pouches hung over doors or widows to protect all that come and go from the home.
Anise the herb is sometimes mistaken for star anise which is the seed pod of this plant. Star anise is a common kitchen spice also used in witchcraft. Visually it looks like a star-shaped pod and has a strong and pleasing spiced licorice scent and taste. Anise the herb is the flower and stem part of the same plant which is dried and finely chopped.
Magical Properties of Anise
- Increases psychic abilities
- Protective qualities
- Increases luck
How to use Anise in Witchcraft
Anise is safe to ingest and burn making it a very versatile herb for witchcraft. Due to its warm spicy taste it is most commonly brewed in hot water creating a tea that is perfect for the colder months to invigorate the body and improve the mood. Another very common use of anise in witchcraft is as an incense to increase psychic abilities. When burned it has a very strong aroma meaning a little goes a long way.
It is also easy to dry and store making it a very budget-friendly inclusion in any witch’s craft. Due to its protective qualities it is commonly used as a key ingredient in protection charms and if threaded with a leather cord and worn as an amulet it will protect the wearer. It is particularly effective in warding off negativity caused by jealousy.
Lemongrass is a bulbed grass which is similar to spring onion in appearance. It smells and tastes zesty and light like its name sake suggests. It is often bought dried and chopped finely and the grass stalks that are bright green when fresh fade to a hay beige color.
Magical Properties of Lemongrass
- Helps digestion
- Cleansing and purifying
- Promotes healing, health and strength
How to use Lemongrass in Witchcraft
Lemongrass has been used as a Witch herb worldwide for hundreds of years. It is often ingested in the form of ritual foods or brewed as a tea due to its scientifically proven health benefits. It can ease stomach upsets and is anti-bacterial, anti-microbial and an antioxidant.
It is no coincidence that these physical health benefits are so similar to its magical properties. Including lemongrass in a magical tea is an easy and guaranteed way to mix feeling good with feeling magical.
Rue as a plant has small yellow tubular flowers and bluish green feathery leaves. The living plant itself is toxic so care should be taken not to touch the leaves. As a dried herb it was heavily consumed in cooking during the Roman era but this isn’t particularly popular today because it has quite a bitter taste and strong foul scent. It is also not pregnancy safe.
Magical Properties of Rue
- Hex and curse breaking
- Increases psychic abilities
How to use Rue in Witchcraft
Rue can be a divisive herb within the witchcraft community. Due to its bitter taste, strong smell and skin irritating effects many witches prefer to steer clear of this herb altogether. As a result it has a more limited use as a herb for witchcraft and features in spells much less commonly than other herbs on this list.
However where rue is used it absolutely shines and there is a strong core of witches who swear by this magical herb. Rarely drank as a tea or worn in amulets for the aforementioned reasons it excels at protection and is used in charm bags and protection pouches hung over doors and points of entry into homes to rebound hexes and curses.
It is uncommonly known but rose is technically a herb as it comes from a shrub. Certain varieties of roses have edible petals in a variety of colors but most commonly a dark raspberry pink. Easily found in supermarkets as dried petals or dried whole buds, they have a light floral taste which matches their signature scent.
Magical Properties of Rose
- Sweetness in relationships
How to use Rose in Witchcraft
Roses are a very versatile herb for witchcraft. As their petals are available in a wide range of colors we often see the technique of color magic being paired with the use of this herb. For example the color orange in witchcraft represents creativity and purple represents psychic abilities.
So a creativity spell may specify orange rose petals but a spell to enhance one’s psychism might ask for purple rose petals. It also has a beautiful smell meaning it is used very frequently in incense and stored in love spell pouches and happiness charm bags. Less common but still fairly often we can see rose petal tea is popular for bringing sweetness and joy to a relationship.