Pretty much everyone wants to be loved. Even people who aren’t interested in romance want to be cared about on some level.
In folklore, love magic and divination appear more than almost any other type. There are tiny rituals for foreseeing your true love, spells for determining if your intended loves you back, and recipes for attracting your ideal mate.
Even when spells aren’t directly related to love, like those for beauty or money-drawing, their end goal is often to help the user more desirable to others.
Nonetheless, love magic isn’t without controversy — in some traditions, trying to get a specific person to love you is considered evil. In others, it’s completely fair game.
No matter what kind of love you’re looking for, here are some herbs that can help you:
Apple is used for love, seduction, and fertility. An excellent basis for kitchen witch spells with those goals in mind. Apple blossoms are best dried and added to herb blends.
2. Balm of Gilead
(Many species, most often Populus balsamifera)
This herb, really the sticky buds of the balsam poplar, is used to attract love, reconcile two arguing or estranged lovers, or heal a broken heart. It’s also useful for repelling negative energy and false friends who try to interfere in your love life.
Basil is a general attraction herb. It has an uplifting energy that’s helpful for drawing in new friends, but can also be used to bring in a lover. One common method is to bathe in an infusion of basil before going out or meeting someone new.
See article: Basil: Magical Properties, Benefits & Uses.
Bay leaves are treated as general wish-granting herbs. The most common way to use them is to write your desire on them, then either burn the leaf or place it somewhere safe.
To increase passion, you might write your wish on a bay leaf and place it under your mattress. To attract a new lover, you could write on the leaf and keep it on you, in a red or pink pouch, or in a love herb jar.
See article: Bay Leaf: Magical Properties, Benefits & Uses.
5. Black Cohosh
Black cohosh, sometimes called black snakeroot, is mostly used in American folk magic. As the “snakeroot” name implies, it’s often favored by men seeking to be more virile or seductive.
It can also be used to repel an unwanted lover by sprinkling one of their belongings in the dried herb, then burning it.
These seeds are used to keep things from straying or being stolen from you. This can extend to love magic — by feeding your lover food with caraway seeds in it, they won’t leave. This herb is also said to help attract a lover.
(Amomum or Elettaria species, especially E. cardamomum)
This herb acts as a catalyst, speeding up the action of herbal blends. It’s also used to attract a new lover, but be cautious — many of its traditional uses involve seducing someone outside of your relationship. A very lustful, passionate herb that definitely “spices things up.”
Cilantro’s fruit, the coriander seed, is used to attract new lovers, keep romance and passion fresh, and ensure fidelity. One recipe involves grinding the seeds in a mortar and pestle, then adding them to a glass of red wine and offering it to a prospective lover.
Cinnamon is one of the “sweet hot” spices. Unlike other hot herbs (which are often used for banishing magic), cinnamon helps create “heat” between two people. It’s especially helpful for spells for passionate love and acts as a catalyst to speed things up.
See article: Cinnamon: Magical Properties, Benefits & Uses.
One of the ingredients in a medieval recipe for love powder. Nowadays, elecampane is usually used in love sachets or amulets.
(Geranium or Pelargonium species)
Geranium is used to attract and repel love. As a tea, Geranium species are used to break love spells that have been placed on you.
Honeysuckle works to attract people and bind them to you. It’s used equally often to help people find new friends and stop infidelity in romantic relationships.
The intensely fragrant, sweet-smelling flowers of the hyacinth attracts positive energy in a general sense. It’s used for feelings of happiness, playfulness, and a light-hearted love.
Jasmine is used for all types of romantic love. Said by some to be primarily an herb for seduction and physical passion, other sources claim that it’s best used for a pure, spiritual love.
See article: Jasmine: Magical Properties, Benefits & Uses.
Lavender is used for promoting peaceful energy, as well as love. For this reason, it’s often relegated to blends intended to smooth over arguments between lovers, easing marital issues, and ensuring that relationships stay tranquil.
See article: Lavender: Magical Properties, Benefits & Uses.
A contradictory love herb, lemon is used to attract (possibly because of its pleasant fragrance) and repel (because of its sourness).
Lemon blossoms are excellent for drawing in a lover, while the lemon fruit is often used for cleansing negative energies and repelling an unwanted or toxic person.
See article: Lemon: Magical Properties, Benefits & Uses.
(Citrus hybrids, especially Citrus × latifolia)
Like lemon, lime can be used to make a relationship go sour. Also like lemon, it’s used just as often to attract a partner. Lime is particularly favored by men seeking to attract women.
Like the name implies, lovage is a great love herb. It’s excellent for attraction in a general sense, whether that’s attracting customers or a new lover.
Some include it in herb mixes that have nothing to do with love, based on the idea that it will attract one’s desires to them regardless. It’s also cultivated as a culinary plant, so kitchen witches may want to take notice.
A milder, sweeter relative of oregano, this herb is sacred to the Greek love Goddess Aphrodite. It strengthens all manner of loving relationships, whether they are romantic or familial, and brings peace to the home.
Used as an offering to love deities or during love rituals. Also used in the home to relieve disharmony between partners or within families.
(Multiple species within the order Santalales)
A love herb with some interesting virility connotations. The white berries of the mistletoe were said to be drops of semen of the gods. The ancient Greeks even called them “oak sperm.” It has the ability to compel others, so it should be used with caution.
Myrtle is a common addition to European wedding bouquets. Burned as an incense, it’s used for beauty and to heighten attractiveness. Worn or carried, it attracts others.
You can even wear it while preparing love recipes or performing love spells in order to heighten their power.
(Citrus species and hybrids, especially Citrus × sinensis)
Like the citrus fruits mentioned above, orange attracts. Unlike lemon or lime, however, it’s generally not used to repel unwanted lovers.
For most love spells, the blossoms of the orange tree tend to be the most helpful. Orange juice may be used as the base for a drinkable potion or edible love recipe.
(Iris germanica or I. pallida)
Orris root is a fragrant perfume fixative, used as a base note to add depth and longevity to other, lighter scents. This may be part of the basis for its use as a love herb.
In love recipes, it also acts as a focusing herb. This means it can take the energies of other herbs, and focus them all toward a specific goal. This is helpful for when you want to combine the attracting powers of one herb, with the specifically passion-focused powers of another, and the catalyzing properties of a third, for example.
An earth herb par excellence, patchouli excels at the “earthy” aspects of love. Add this ingredient when you’re after passion, sensuality, and intensity, rather than chaste love.
Rose is, perhaps, the best-known love herb there is. It’s very versatile, too — the color of the roses you use can help “flavor” the type of love you get.
White roses are best for pure, spiritual love. Yellow is best for friendship. Pink is best for light romance, self-love, or love in a general sense. Red is best for deep, passionate love.
Often used as the basis of love recipes, blended with other herbs to affect its action.
See article: Rose: Magical Properties, Benefits & Uses.
Rosemary is used to bring longevity to relationships. It’s very helpful for wedding rituals and spells to bind two people together.
See article: Rosemary: Magical Properties, Benefits & Uses.
28. Tonka Bean
Sometimes called “love wishing bean,” tonka beans are used to make ones romantic wishes come true. Primarily used in Hoodoo and other new world folk magic, tonka bean’s sweet, vanilla-like fragrance has led many to categorize it as a Venus-ruled herb.
(Vanilla species, especially V. planifolia)
Vanilla was said to originate from the bodies of two lovers who were slain together. This herb is all about comfort, with a sensual undertone that makes it very suitable for romantic applications.
Use Vanilla to attract a lover, or keep your existing relationship peaceful, comfortable, and physically enjoyable. It has some compelling properties, so witches concerned about the ethics of love magic should use it with caution.
See article: Vanilla: Magical Properties, Benefits & Uses.
Love is a many splendored thing, but it doesn’t always go the way we want it to. Whether you’re looking to find a new relationship, strengthen your existing one, make friends, or just make the vibes of your home life feel a little smoother and less argumentative, there’s an herb in this list that can help you.