Whether you’re dealing with a creeping ex, an intrusive ghost, or just plain want to block negative energy, spiritual protection is a must-do. On Otherworldly Oracle, we preach often about having a personal protection magick routine. Cleansing, invocation, sealing and warding are all essential steps to protecting your home and yourself. Salt, powders, oils, symbols and herbs are all helpful in securing your safe, sacred space. So, in this article, we focus on our favorite 20 herbs for protection. And hope that you can use them in your practice too!
There are literally hundreds of herbs for protection on the market, growing in gardens, and growing in the wild. Walk out your front door and I guarantee there’s at least one tree or plant with protective properties growing near your home. Walk down the spice aisle at your grocery store and you’ll find a plethora of helpful herbs right at your fingertips. Here’s just a few of our favorites:
Rosemary, Salvia rosmarinus, is one of my personal all-time favorite herbs for protection. As the Aunts in Practical Magic say, “keep rosemary by your garden gate.” There’s a reason for this – it protects your garden from pests and your home from spiritual intrusion. Rosemary is purifying and when burned in the home acts to banish negative energy and unwanted spirits. Add rosemary to the bath to cleanse your aura. According to Scott Cunningham, “place rosemary beneath the pillow to ensure a good sleep and drive away nightmares.”
While not necessarily one particular herb, thorns from any plant or tree are great for protection spells and charms. The thorn itself physically protects its plant from harm. Therefore when thorns are used in magick, they have the same effect. Add thorns to witch bottles, spell jars, bags and amulets. Harvest your thorns from rose bushes, bougainvilleas, cacti, honey locust trees, citrus and hawthorn trees.
The oak tree is strong and is regarded as protective by many cultures. The Druids are named for the Oak and believed it to be sacred. Use oak tree bark, leaves, and acorns in your protection magick. Three oak leaves added to the bath will cleanse away negative attachments and bring wisdom. Place three acorns in a small bag and tie to your front door to protect the home. This herb for protection also wards off illness and bad luck.
Witches love roses, as do muggles. They are beautiful, seemingly fragile flowers that produce a lovely aroma. But, surprisingly, the rose is also a potent herb for protection. Think of the thorns that grace the stems on either side, protecting the bush itself from pests and the elements. The rose will do the same for you and your magick. Add rose thorns, hips, or petals to your workings of all kinds. Drink rose hips and buds in a tea for protection of self. Add rose thorns to bags, bottles, amulets, etc.
Black pepper is often overlooked as an herb for protection. Heck, it’s overlooked as a magical herb in general. But here’s the thing – black pepper is just as potent as red pepper with keeping spirits and negative energy at bay. It’s connected to the fire element and to the planet Mars. Traditionally, peppercorns have been used to ward off the evil eye. Add pepper to your home protection powders and sprinkle over your thresholds and windowsills.
While technically not an herb, salt is one of the most powerful ingredients to use in your protective magick. Witches use salt to encircle their property, mark the boundaries of a magical circle, and more. Salt sprinkled over your threshold is a powerful way to absorb negativity and ward off spirits. There’s a reason grandma threw salt over her left shoulder if the salt was spilled. Pink, red, and black salt are all effective for protection spells and rituals. Learn more about salt magick here.
Red pepper is a powerful warding herb for protection. This includes red pepper flakes, chili powder, cayenne pepper and whole chili peppers. A string of red peppers hung by the front door wards off negative energy and brings prosperity. Encircle your protection candle with chili powder to send negative spirits away. Mix red pepper into home protection powders, add it to spell jars, and add it to your meals for extra protection.
I’ve grown rue in my garden for a few years now and never regret having it on hand. Ruta graveolens, also called herb of grace and rue, which has been used medicinally and in cooking for centuries in ancient Rome, Greece and Africa. In mythology, rue was the only plant the basilisk couldn’t destroy. Rue can be harmful to the skin, so be careful if you plan to use it topically. It can cause lesions if applied and then going out into the sun. Rue is powerful in banishing rituals to rid yourself of unwanted spirits and attachments.
I’m not kidding when I say I go agro for agrimony. One of my absolute favorite herbs for protection, agrimony is a powerful warding herb when sprinkled around the property. Traditionally, agrimony protects the wearer from malevolent fairies, tricksters, and evil of all kinds. This herb for protection is also great to use in reversal spells, when a witch has sent a spell on you, send it back to them.
Connected to and named for the angels, angelica is another herb for protection that’s effective in ritual and spellwork. It’s been used for centuries in good luck workings including for gambling, and in doing so wards off bad luck. Grow it on your property to keep negative energy at bay. Add to the bath to break hexes and cleanse the aura.
Dragon’s blood isn’t actually the blood of a dragon. But with its potency, it might as well be. Dragon’s blood is resin from a tropical palm tree also called the Calamus Draco and Blood Palm. When burned, the resin cleanses your space and protects from negative infiltration of all kinds. When the resin is placed under the bed, wards off nightmares and psychic attack. Plus it just plain smells amazing when burned! I’ve also added it to protective powder mixtures along with pepper and frankincense.
The Elder tree was sacred to the ancient Celts for many reasons. One of those reasons is that it’s a powerful herb for protection. Once grown around the perimeter of property, Elder makes a nice hedge tree. It keeps the good forces in and the bad out. As well as protects the home from lightning strikes. Elder is sacred to the faery folk, so one must never cut down an elder without permission from them first. Carry a twig, leaves, or the flowers in your purse or pocket and it will protect from illness and spirits.
Hawthorn is another sacred Celtic tree and protective herb. Keep hawthorn in the home (in a jar or live) to ward off ghosts and protect from lightning strikes. Traditionally, ancient Romans placed hawthorn in a baby’s cradle to protect it from evil spirits and dark magic. Hawthorn is another herb that’s sacred to the faeries and should always be held in the highest regard should it grow nearby.
I love having aloe vera in my garden. Because of its spikes, it is naturally a protective plant to grow on your property or in the windowsill. Have you ever had a rash or bug bite and put aloe vera on it? The aloe is cooling and soothes heat almost instantaneously. Therefore it protects from hot illnesses when applied directly to the skin. When added to orange juice (in small amounts), aids in hair growth protecting from baldness. According to Cunningham, grow aloe to protect the household from accidents and evil influence.
Pine trees are one of my favorite trees. The scent of pine sends me off into another world. Scatter pine needles over your floor, then sweep up after a few hours. They work to remove negativity in the home. Burning pine needles drives away evil spirits and bad luck (be careful! They burn quickly!) Pinecones are great as decorations but also serve to protect the home and sacred space from negativity and illness.
There’s a reason the Catholic Church burns frankincense during mass. It’s purifying and therefore protects from negative influence. This resin is linked to the sun and its gods including Ra, Jesus and Baal…all protective deities. Burn it as incense in your home to cleanse your space and ward off evil. Grind it down into a powder with myrrh and cinnamon as offering to Egyptian deities and to gain favor for their protection.
Lily is a beautiful flower that when grown in the garden keeps unwanted, wandering spirits off your property. Press a lily and keep it as a token or in an amulet to protect yourself from the evil eye. If you feel you’ve been enchanted with a love spell, wearing/carrying a lily breaks the spell and brings clarity. And tiger lilies? Even better! They have the spirit of tigers, for which they’re named.
Birthwort, also called pipe vine or dutchman’s pipe, is a tropical vine that’s often grown ornamentally in the South. It was once used medicinally but research shows birthwort when taken in large amounts or over a long period of time causes kidney failure. However, when grown in the garden, birthwort protects from snakes and attracts beautiful butterflies which host on the plant itself. The aroma of the odd-looking flowers is noxious which probably helps make this plant protective.
Parsley has a long and complex history but is useful in protection magick. Three parsley roots steeped in the bath will remove hexes and cleanse negative vibrations. Carry a parsley root on your person protection from illness and evil. The blooms can be infused into a protection oil and are especially useful for protection while divining.
The willow tree’s bark, branches, and leaves all contain protective properties. The tree itself is associated closely with the divine feminine including deities that provide protection. Artemis, Hecate, Mercury and more. Witch’s besoms are traditionally tied off with willow. If you’re in need of protection from grief, carry a branch or part of the weeping willow on you.
Garlic isn’t just a tasty flavor in your Sunday Italian dinners. It’s a potent warding ingredient. There’s a reason it’s featured in old vampire movies as warding off the Undead. For centuries, witches have used garlic to ward off evil spirits, illness, and misfortune. Hang a string of garlic bulbs in your kitchen to protect from disease and negative energy. Add garlic to any appropriate meal to promote health in the family.
Whether in its original form or as a dried powder, onion is another warding device that most folks have right in their kitchen pantry. Cut an onion in half and place it in a brown paper bag. Then place under the kitchen sink. This acts as a means of absorbing negative energy and keeping the family healthy and happy. I learned this trick from the late Scott Cunningham. I’ve also known folks to rub onions on the bottom of their feet to absorb illness and negative energy.
I’d like to put a lot of buzz words here but that would be too …September 15, 2023