Looking to stock up on essential magical and medicinal herbs? Check out our 20 must-have herbs for the witch’s herb cabinet! Note many of these herbs can be grown in your own garden or purchased for cheap at your local grocery store.
When I first came to the craft at fourteen, I wanted to work solely with crystals and candles. Herbs, for some reason, seemed to overwhelm me. After I walked further down my path, I realized that not working with herbs was doing myself an injustice. So I slowly approached magical herbalism and began working with most of the witchy must-have herbs on this list. My advice is to take your time…if you have to start working with ONE herb, do that first. Then slowly add to your witch’s cabinet as you learn more and more.
You’ve heard it once. You’ll hear it again. If you don’t have rosemary on-hand, you need to! It’s one of those all-purpose herbs that you can literally use for any kind of magic. I grow rosemary and make it into smudge bundles to cleanse my space. I also use it in herbal baths, magical meals, and natural hair care. Get you some rosemary, witch! Bonus: it’s super easy to grow!
Ever had a cup of chamomile tea to help soothe a sore throat or calm your nerves in the evening? Chamomile is known for its medicinal qualities, but it’s also amazing magically! Chamomile is associated with the sun, so I use it often in abundance and health workings. It’s a great one to have in the witch’s herb cabinet.
Many people have bay leaves right in their kitchen cabinet and don’t realize how powerful they are. In ancient times, they were used to increase psychic abilities and induce visions. Write a wish on a bay leaf and burn it. Add to spell bags and herbal offerings to Greek and Roman gods. I use it in my cooking often to enhance sauces and meat dishes. If you can grow your own bay tree, even better. The fresher the bay leaves the stronger the effects.
Rue, also called ruta or the Holy herb, is one I grow in my garden and keep in my witch’s herb cabinet. It’s exorcist and purification powers are strong. Use it in uncrossing work, protection magic, and to ward off evil spirits. Traditionally, it was used in Four Thieves Vinegar to ward off illness including the Black Plague. Be careful when handling, as it can irritate the skin in some people.
Lavender. Lavender. Lavender. If you don’t have lavender in your witch’s herb cabinet, you need it STAT. Not only does it smell amazing, it’s useful in SO many magical endeavors. Lavender is used in aromatherapy to calm the nerves and combat insomnia. It’s magical properties include love, beauty, dreaming, vitality, healing, and purification. Use it in candle magic, stuff it in dream pillows, bathe in it, and use it in cooking and baking. Tastes great in teas too!
Yarrow has been known for centuries to be effective in healing wounds. It grows everywhere and is fairly easy to recognize in the wild. Yarrow is one of those herbs that’s SUPER powerful in inducing visions, communicating with the otherworld, and in dreamwork. Use yarrow in love and protection spells. It’s often used to protect pregnant women and babies. It’s REALLY pretty when dried and added to bouquets. Let it steep along with nettle and elder flower and drink to ward off colds.
Mint grows nearly everywhere and there are different kinds of mint (spearmint, peppermint, etc.) It’s another all-purpose herb that I’ve used in money, love, and healing magic for years. When drank as a tea, it eases stomach ache and when added to baths and herbal sachet is rather invigorating. Cook and bake with mint to add a magical kick to your meals!
I grow basil in the garden every summer, then harvest and dry it to keep in my witch’s herb cabinet. Roll a candle in basil and light to draw in money. Add it to your wallet to draw in money. It’s been called the “witches herb” by some and is as versatile as rosemary. Purification, love, and protection rituals benefit when basil is an ingredient. Cook with basil and add it to your potions, teas, baths, and floor washes.
If you grow roses, you are a lucky one indeed. But if you don’t, get yourself a bag of rose buds and/or rose hips. Both can be used in love spells, including teas and herbal baths. Guess what else rose is useful for? If you get a hold of the thorns, they are particularly strong for protection from intruders and negative energy. One of my absolute favorite must-have herbs for witches!
When you think of a witch’s garden, what do you think of? For me, I automatically think MUGWORT. This herb enhances prophetic dreams, sometimes to the point of exhaustion (so use it wisely). Put it in a dream pillow or sachet or drink as a tea (add some mint and honey as the flavor is bitter). It also protects from astral boogie-men and evil doers while you’re asleep.
Although white sage is incredibly powerful at purifying one’s home, I recommend culinary sage as it’s easy to grow in the garden and just as strong. White sage is being over-harvested in recent years, so do your part and choose culinary sage. It’s an all-purpose herb that can be used in cooking and magic alike. With cleansing and abundance properties, you can’t go wrong with sage!
Oh my goodness. Red hibiscus petals added to teas turn it a dark, seductive red. And…you might be able to guess what its magical properties are. Yep. Lust and love inducing powers are what red hibiscus is known for. In fact, there are some Middle Eastern cultures that don’t let women drink it for fear of its lust-inducting properties. Not to mention, it tastes fruity and amazing!
While technically a shrub or tree, Elder has been used for centuries in teas and syrups to combat and ward off colds and the flu. It’s a sacred tree to the fairies and many forbid it being cut down in Ireland to this day. Elder flowers can be used in teas, spell bags, as candle dressings and infused in oils. It’s magical properties include: fairy magic, protection, goddess connection, healing and so much more!
Nettle is a liminal plant – she guards the veil between this world and the next. This herb has long been used in uncrossing spells and in protective charms. Added to teas, it wards off illness and is high in vitamins and nutrients. It’s also called stinging nettle, which gives you an idea how protective it can be. For new mothers, it aids in milk production.
Looking to get rid of someone who’s bothering or threatening your family? Any kind of pepper will do the trick. I recommend having a mixture of dried red pepper and black pepper on hand in the witch’s herb cabinet for protection, warding, and banishing rituals. Plus, it just tastes good in food.
Nearly every cook has cinnamon in their kitchen cabinet. I recommend every witch have cinnamon in his or her witch’s herb cabinet too. Cinnamon isn’t just useful in baking, it’s effective in spells and rituals in many ways. Mix cinnamon into home protection powders like the fiery wall of protection. Add it to nearly any spell to amplify and strengthen the energy and effects.
While technically not an herb, salt is a must-have for every witch’s herb cabinet. It’s been used for centuries for purification and protection purposes. Draw a circle on the ground with salt before ritual. Sprinkle it over thresholds and windowsills. Add it to the bath or jars and bottles to absorb negative vibes and ward off unwanted spirits. Different types of salt also carry different magical properties. Learn more about salt magick here.
Thyme goes great with rosemary in poultry dishes and soup. Not to mention it’s a boon in the witch’s magical inventory. Grow thyme in the garden to attract fairies. But it’s also linked to the moon so increases intuition, dream work, love, and courage. Some even call it the Knight’s Herb for it’s protective properties.
Lemon balm, melissa officinalis, is one of my favorite herbs. Make it into a tea to calm your nerves, relieve anxiety and for restful sleep. This herb is connected to the ancient bee priestesses of Greece and Egypt and can be used in rituals invoking them AND the goddess Melissa. For whom the plant is named after. Add lemon balm to spell jars, bottles, bags, baths and much more!
Damiana is a plant that grows wild in Texas (U.S.), Central America and the West Indies. It’s a shrub with dark green leaves and yellow flowers that has been used by the ancient indigenous tribes for centuries. It’s an aphrodisiac and was used as a bladder tonic. Damiana is also a known hallucinogen when smoked. When drank in a tea, it is relaxing and produces mild feelings of euphoria. This herb is powerful for spicing things up in the bedroom, as well as relaxing one’s nerves and getting into an alpha state of mind for ritual.
I’d like to put a lot of buzz words here but that would be too …September 15, 2023