HERBS

Below is a list of some of my favourite herbs. Although I adore them all. Many I  have grown myself. I would love to hear from other people and their favourite herbs and why. Or maybe you would like me to include one on here.   

It's not advisable to take some herbs during pregnancy or if you think you might be pregnant, or if you have never used herbs or are new to them, please consult a qualified practioner, herbalist or G.P for advice first, before using any for healing purposes. Whilst most have wonderful gentle and soothing properties, there may be some that do not suit you.

Please, never ever dig up herbs or flowers growing in the wild, unless you are completely sure they are not a rare species.  If you do want to pick a plant then, always be sure there are plenty growing and not just a lone plant. Ask the plants permission - and tell it what you are going to do (you can do this in your head, if you feel a bit stupid). And finally thank both the plant and earth mother for their generosity.

Plants will always usually happily give themselves up, especially if they feel they are going to be of (positive) use, for example a healing remedy or used in a special ritual such as the Spring Equinox, or moon blessing, for example.

All the plants included below, are ones I have personally used either in blessings, pagan festivals, herbal remedies, drinks, recipes, or simply just for the joy of having them around the house.

Angelica

Large, impressive and beautiful. Most parts of angelica may be used. The stems particularly soothing and healing for tummy upsets, especially anxiety, cramp/gripe ones (also used, candied in cooking) Used in magic to protect from negative and unwanted energies, attracting gentle positive ones.

Anise Hyssop

A lovely colourful and aromatic herb. Uplifting and cheering.  Soothing and calming for coughs and sore throats. Lovely with honey. As a relative of the mint family, in magic, anise is a protecting and spiritually cleansing herb during spells and blessings.

Borage

A wonderful blue flowering plant. Makes a lovely cleansing and tonic tea. Good for phases of tension and anxiety. Flowers and leaves are edible too. In magic it is used for attracting joy and happiness into your life. For inner courage and strength. And the flowers are nice to scatter around your workspace.

Catnip (or catmint)

A plant of the mint family, with lovely small clusters of pale lilac/blue flowers. This herb when hung indoors attracts happiness and love into your home and life, It is also a favourite herb of (many) cats and so a herb for cat/feline magic. To form a strong psychic bond with your cat, grow catnip for her/him.

Chamomile

A gentle healing and soothing herb. Excellent for digestive and tummy problems, a mild pain reliever for headaches, period pains. For sleeping problems or when you feel anxious and wound up. For mild skin problems too, also makes a lovely hair rinse, leaving hair soft. In magic it's used as a general protecting and healing herb and for honouring the sun gods.

Chickweed

Such a useful and yet quite neglected herb. Great for many skin problems, as it's so gentle and soothing. Also for mild tummy problems, as well as a tonic. In magic it is used for attracting loving and gentle energies into your life. And also for moon goddess blessings and any moon spells or blessings.

Clary Sage

A beautiful smelling and beautiful looking herb. Cleansing and protecting, assisting in helping you know your wishes and hopes and for wisdom. Also excellent for clearing the air of negative energies especially when these are from other people, uplifting the spirit, Relaxing and soothing. Mixed with other uplifting oils helps lift depression. Helpful combined with other herbs for the menopause. I have not used this herb internally but apparently it is useful for nausea.

Clover

A good luck herb, in Ancient times used in magic to help find your perfect soul mate. A four leaved clover represents the four elements: earth, air, fire and water, so a herb of perfect balance energies. Red clover in particular is a gentle healing herb for many skin problems, coughs and colds. Also a tonic and energising and cleansing herb.

Coltsfoot

A cute little mini dandelion looking plant. Useful for all types of coughs and soothing for the throat. In magic it is used for maintaining peace, harmony and tranquil environments. Sacred to the Goddess Brighid.

Comfrey

A gorgeous creamy, white or pale purple and lilac herb, it soothes the skin externally. Also for bruises, minor wounds and helps stem bleeding. It's good for coughs, especially when mixed with coltsfoot and horehound and also good for soothing the stomach. Magically it's an herb of protection, especially for travellers or when moving house.

Dandelion

Unmistakeable a gorgeous bright yellow-gold flower. There's truth in the old wives saying that dandelion’s make you wee as the leaves are diuretic. It's also a very useful cleansing tonic, especially in the spring, when the leaves are tender. Magically it's helpful in psychic work and seeing your wishes and dreams come true.

Elderflower

Sit by an elderflower tree on Midsummer Eve and you may see the king of fairies go by (many legends are associated with this plant). Used in spells and blessings (a sacred tree) for protection and warding off all danger. A general good luck flower. Medically, mixed with peppermint and yarrow, excellent for colds and blocked sinuses. Also a general cleansing herb.

Fennel

A pretty delicately leaved plant. Excellent for indigestion, acidity and mild tummy problems. Magically it is a protecting herb and sometimes used with St. John’s wort to help protect the area from negative and unwanted energies.

Horehound

A traditional cough, throat and chest remedy associated with coughs and colds usually mixed with other soothing herbs for maximum benefit. In magic it is often combined (but may be used equally well alone) in sachets and charm bags, for protection and helping to break the circle of negative and harmful influences. Named after Horus, an Ancient Egyptian God.

Hyssop

Useful for colds, coughs and mild breathing problems. With honey and combined with other herbs such as horehound and elderflower. In magic it is used for protection, warding off and cleansing negative influences especially before a spell or blessing.

Jasmine

A herb, flower for honouring the Goddess of Spring and many moon Goddesses. A feminine and women’s blossom, a flower of love and happiness. Although quite an expensive oil, it is especially nice for “dressing” candles (for blessings and rituals) Attracting positive spiritual energies. Also very sensual and romantic oil, perfect for massages or in the bath.

Lemon balm

A lovely scented and easy to grow herb. Makes a refreshing tea, sweetened with honey. Useful as a calming herb, for anxiety, headaches brought on by stress and for painful periods. In magic it is used for love and attracting romance into your life, also attracting good luck and happiness.

Lemongrass

Another of my favourite herbs. I use it all the time around the home. It makes a soothing and refreshing herbal tea, especially good with ginger and a little honey. It's relaxing and calming and helps many digestive problems. In magic it's used for concentration and spiritual awareness. A general cleansing and protecting herb and used in many spells and blessings.

Liquorice
Mixed with horehound and marshmallow it sooths coughs and throats. And also a natural laxative. Best avoided if you have high blood pressure. Magically it is used in love and attracting spells. And the root may be used as a wand. Not terribly used much in magic however. But worth noting as it is a pretty plant.

Marigold

One of my personal favourites. Another women’s herb, often associated with Beltaine – 30th April. Dedicated to the Virgin Mary and reputed to be her favourite flower. A healing and soothing herb, especially for skin problems, bruises and strains. Also as a tea for period and menopausal problems. (I have used this also as a mouth rinse for gum problems) Rinsing your hair with the steeped petals gives it a lovely softness. A flower also used to bless departed souls and keep them safe. I have also used the petals in cooking.

Marjoram

A useful and quick growing, aromatic little herb. It's good for tension headaches, rheumatic and general mild pains and aches. Magical uses it's lovely for bringing happiness, joy and love into your life. Also protecting the home, by hanging little bunches in each room.

Marshmallow

A lovely soft, pale pink, lilac plant. Leaves are soothing and helpful in coughs and help ease sore throats, also helpful in easing mild bladder and urine problems. In magic the marshmallow flowers are said to attract love and also protect from harmful and malicious energies.

Meadowsweet

Also known as queen or lady of the meadow. A lovely looking herb with lots of tiny flowers. Really helpful for indigestion, heartburn and acidity as well as mild rheumatic pains. A herb sacred to the druids and associated with many goddesses. In magic it may be used in love spells and for peace and harmony or when the atmosphere needs cheering up and positive energy is needed.

Nettle

Not the prettiest of herbs, but incredibly useful. When boiled makes a gorgeous hair rinse leaving the hair soft. Nettle tea, for soothing period pains and also a diuretic as well as for soothing sore throats. And helps in easing rheumatism. In magic it can be used to repel and send back negative and bad energies. A protecting herb.

Patchouli

A herb of the mint family. An old 60's and 70's hippy herb. With a rich earthy, sensual and lingering scent. The smell actually improves and mellows with use. I've never used this as a medical herb. But in many, many mixes of oils etc. Magically it's used in love and attracting spells and charm bags. For blessings and protection of our earth. And for earth goddesses, Gaia, Demeter and Jana* etc.

Peppermint

A gorgeous smelling mint. For relaxing, soothing and calming the mind and nerves. Headaches, tummy problems and sickness. In magic it’s also used in healing spells and blessings and helps with psychic awareness. One of my favourite oils.

Sage

Growing sage reflects a happy and harmonious household. A sacred and space cleansing herb used before and after rituals and blessings. A herb of protection also. Good as a mouth gargle for sore throats, headaches and another nice hair rinse, reputed to halt or slow down grey hair. As the name suggests a herb of wisdom. All this and a useful herb to use in cooking too.

Self Heal

A handy little herb with pretty purple flowers. Many healing uses including cleansing, for mild skin problems, cuts, wounds, sore throats and headaches. Also a cleansing tonic. In magic, it’s nice to use in healing and moon blessing/honouring spells.

St. John’s Wort

Traditionally to be picked on Midsummers day. St. John’s wort is a good herb for anxiety, tension, mild depression and calming the mind. Magically it is used in spells for happiness, health, especially emotional health and protection. If used on Midsummers day, it should be ritually burnt afterwards.

Tansy
A lovely bold upright herb, with clusters of yellow flowers and feathery, delicate leaves. I've never used this herb medicinally, as it is quite strong, but in the past have made cakes with it. Magically it is used in health spells. And known as a herb of immortality and strength.

Thyme

A helpful, aromatic little herb. Useful for many digestive problems, sore throats and coughs. Hanging bunches of the dried herb around your home, encourages fairies and elves to visit. In magic it is a cleansing and healing herb especially emotional healing such as sorrow, regret, guilt etc. and also helps you to be more psychically aware and in tune with spiritual energies.

Vervain

A traditional witch herb gathered at midsummer. Magical uses include protection during spell working. Sacred to lots of Gods and Goddesses. Also for healing, love, joy, cleansing and dispelling nightmares. For more conventional uses it is also a calming, relaxing herb, useful for periods of stress, depression, anxiety and mild sleep problems. I have a beautiful plant that flowers every year in an odd place between paving slabs. Obviously it must love its home as it flowers there every year.

Violet

I love this flower and the little story of how it droops its head; It was once an upright flower - but when it saw Jesus carrying his cross, it hung it's head in shame at man’s inhumanity to man. In magic it may be used as a protecting herb, and for attracting love and luck. Also for headaches, coughs and colds. A soothing and calming herb.

Yarrow

Combined with elder flower and peppermint is excellent for winter colds. A women’s herb - for back ache, period problems and menopause. A good tonic. In magic, for moon blessings and spells. Intuition and also protection. For lasting love. Used for healing cuts, grazes, minor wounds.

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