bunny Aunt Bunny's Top 10 Magickal Herbs

Included here are 10 beginner's herbs to work with and try, with my comments as to uses. All are perennial plants that you can grow outdoors, except where noted.
  1. Rosemary

  2. This is my favorite herb. Its properties are protective and purifying, and it is 'astringent'. Rosemary smells, and looks a little bit like a miniature pine, but it's actually related to mint. You can toast the dried leaves on a characoal block, steep them in hot water for tea or a wash, or use in potpourris and sachets. I use the incense for room cleansing, and to cleanse washable objects, I use:
    Aunt Bunny's Magickal Bleach
    Steep a good spoonful of rosemary in hot water until it forms a dark tea. In a non-metal bowl or basin, mix a couple of quarts of cold water with about 1/4 cup salt; add the rosemary tea and some more rosemary. Use to wash or soak items. Purifies, grounds and protects.
    If you want to get fancy, you can also pass the object over a flame and/or sage smoke and recite Be thou purified by water, earth, fire and air.
    Rosemary is associated with memory and with knowledge and keenness of perception-- use in a 'remember me' spell, with pansies, or apply the oil before an exam. The tea and the oil can be used as astringents, as well. Rosemary can be grown indoors, and in fact is not hardy outdoors.
  3. Sage

  4. There are several kinds of sage-- garden sage, white sage, and desert sage. Native Americans usually use white or desert sage, but I find garden or culinary sage works fine for me. Burn it as a smudge (you can get smudge sticks of it) for cleansing objects, places and people. Eat the leaves (of the garden variety) for wisdom and long life. Superstition says that your sage plants reflect your prosperity-- so tend them carefully.
    Simple cleansing tea for wisdom seekers Blend together half spoonfuls of rosemary and sage; add a chunk of dried lemon peel. Brew until it becomes a green tea; sweeten with honey. Drink meditatively.
    Note: sage oil contains an essential oil that may be harmful; use the oil sparingly, if at all, and never smudge pregnant women!
  5. Ginger

  6. Ginger isn't exactly a houseplant, but you can grow it. I swear by it to 'get things going'. Not only does it help your body feel more energetic and fight disease better, but the 'hot' smell and taste add energy to your magic. Use fresh or powdered root to add a 'push' to any spell, including those for success. Use in potpourris, teas, incenses, etc. Ginger also helps stomach upsets.
  7. Cinnamon

  8. The bark of the cinnamon tree is actually a spice, grown on plantations in far-off climes. However, it is sovereign for love magic, prosperity, and protection. Cinnamon can be burned on a block as incense, used to flavor food, used in potpourris, and just smelled. Give the ones you love cinnamon treats or hand out heart-shaped cinnamon 'red hots' as 'happy pills.' I find that lighting a red, cinnamon-scented candle helps me to focus on and complete housework, too.
    Basic Happy Home Simmering Potpourri
    Mix together cinnamon chips for prosperity and protection, cloves to stop hostility and gossip, orange peel for joy, lemon balm for cheer, rosemary for purification, mint for health, sage for wisdom, and dill seed for prosperity. Charge under three day's sun and moon if possible, asking the blessing of the Lord and Lady. To use, mix a small amount (2 spoonsful) with water and heat in a simmerer or in a pot on the stove.
    Do not apply cinnamon bark oil on bare skin-- it will burn!
  9. Mint

  10. Mint is a cooling and refreshing herb, which can be grown almost anywhere. (The problem is to STOP it growing.) All varieties of mint are excellent for healing, though peppermint is sovereign for stomach troubles, nausea, and poor digestion. Mints are also cleansing and prosperity-attracting-- the sweet smell of cash is MINT. Use mint soap to wake you up in the morning; drink a cup of mint tea to calm and destress. Mix in potpourris and blended teas; use in baths; use in body rubs. Burn on an open fire, but don't use as loose incense.
    Tummy Tea
    Steep a spoonful of peppermint and a pinch or chip of ginger in hot water until light green. Drink as needed for 'tummy bumbles' or nerves. Flavor with honey if needed.
  11. Lavender Lavender has a cleansing scent (who hasn't used lavender soap) and is associated with passion. It is supposed to provoke passion, but is also used to encourage chastity. I find that lavender incense 'brightens' and 'clears' a room, but then it's one of my favorites. In addition, lavender is a relaxing herb; its flowers and their oil are used in all kinds of destressing and restful remedies.
  12. Basic Destress Oil In a carrier oil (massage oil works well), blend a few drops lavender, camomile, melissa, and bergamot oils. Let sit in a closed container for 24 hours if possible. Use whenever you are feeling stressed out.
    Note: some people are allergic to the scent of lavender.
  13. Lemon Balm

  14. Lemon Balm, a spreading annual, smells like artificial lemon! It is best used fresh, but can be used dried or as an essential oil (found under its other name, melissa). Lemon balm is cooling and soothing, but also is excellent as an antidepressant. Smell some, pick some, add it to an iced tea brew or to a sachet to pick up the spirits. Very good for healing, especially mental health.
  15. Basil

  16. Basil is a strong, fiery herb that is protective and love related. It's no suprise that hot-tempered italian families use so much basil-- it's a magickal peacemaker. Use when trying to make up after a fight, or to help a romantic mood. But, if you are quarreling, be aware that basil-based magic tends toward justice as well as reconciliation.
    Penne with Basil and Mozzarella
    Cook up some penne (tube pasta with the ends cut on a slant). Drain. Mix in tsp of butter, tsp of olive oil. Shake on 2-3 tsp romano or parmesan cheese and mix in with fresh diced basil or dried basil. Add 1/8-1/4 cup shredded mozzarella and mix until melting. Serve quickly. For love and peace in the family.
  17. Camomile

  18. Camomile is the original tranquilizing herb. Drink the tea or smell the oil to relax instantly (some people have a VERY strong reaction to the smell of the essential oil). Camomile tea will also put you to sleep, so be careful. Use in potpourris and sachets for sleep and peace. (This is a perennial, but you only use the flowers, so it it's easier to buy than grow. But the flowers are very pretty.)
  19. Mugwort

  20. Mugwort is the traditional witches' divination herb. Divination tools should be washed in mugwort tea, smudged with mugwort smoke, rubbed with mugwort, etc. Mix the dried herb in dream pillows for prophetic dreams. The tea can be drunk to induce clairvoyance, but be careful when consuming or burning this herb, as it is related to sage, etc. and overuse can cause problems.
One more herbal ingredient:
Citrus Fruits-- Orange, Lemon, and Lime
Use citrus as a pick-me-up and to add energy to your mixtures. Dried peels and oils can be used in potpourris, baths, teas, etc., in addition to the usual uses of the fruit. Orange is best for warm-fuzzies; Lemon for cleaning and to 'cut through' anything; lime for mental pursuits.

Sources:



Two related links:
AutumnCrystal GreyWing's Herbal  http://www.geocities.com/Athens/4177/herbal.htm
Pagan-oriented, but despite the foofy name, it has a good background on growing, harvesting & using herbs.
Herbal Encyclopedia http://www.wic.net/waltzark/herbindex.htm

A very large background and images slows down this 'quick reference' site with herbal medicine information.

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