Like all earth-centered religions, Wicca has a large body of herb lore. Wicca herbal magic uses plants to heal, attract good things, and repel the bad.
There’s virtually no end to the way these herbs are used; they can be stuffed in sachets, drunk as teas, ground into powders, infused into baths, steeped in oils, put in jars, or even cooked into food, depending on the desire of the individual witch.
Some Wiccans stick to traditional European herbs mentioned in old grimoires and folk magic resources. Others try to use plants that are native to where they live. No way is more correct than any other. Work with your preferred plants, practice with them, and they will open up a whole new realm of herbal magic to you.
Setting Magical Intentions
Long before you choose your herbs, you need to know the goal you have for them. In witchcraft, setting an intention is the process getting down to the heart of what you desire.
For example, say you get a new job across town. Now you’d like a new car, so you can commute more easily. You may set an intention to manifest the money you need to buy a car, but this can be limiting — what you’re really looking for is a way to easily get to and from work, and that can come in many forms.
Setting a magical intention means asking yourself, “What do I really want from my witchcraft?”
Once you have this intention in mind, you can examine its ethics. This is particularly important in love-drawing spells. Most Wiccan witches avoid any spell that attempts to control a person.
Take a love triangle, for example. If a witch has feelings for a friend’s partner, one route could involve magically breaking up the couple and using witchcraft to seduce the now-single target.
In Wicca, this is viewed as wrong. Instead, a Wiccan witch might explore what it is they find attractive about this person, and use that information to create an intention to attract a new person with these same qualities.
After creating the intention, you can begin to research which herbs, oils, stones, or other tools might help you achieve this goal. You may find yourself drawn to a particular plant, even if it isn’t traditionally used for the purpose you have in mind. That’s okay! If it’s calling to you, there’s a reason — see what it can add to your herbal magic.
30 Witch Herbs & Their Magical Uses
The magical properties of herbs are governed by several factors. These include when they bloom or ripen, their color, the shape of their leaves or flowers, their element, whether they are active or passive, their ruling planet, and the deities with which they are associated.
In some older books, herbs were often divided into either “masculine” or “feminine.” Masculine energies were hard, active, hot, and projective. Feminine energies were soft, passive, cool, and receptive.
This view is largely considered outdated and inaccurate, so, for the purpose of this guide, we’ll use the terms “active” and “passive” instead. The common names of some herbs can also refer to multiple different species, so we’ve included Latin names for clarity.
Deities: Erzulie, Vishnu
It’s said that, “where basil grows, no evil goes.” Basil has been used for centuries for protective, money-drawing, love-drawing herbal magic.
Carrying basil in your pocket or adding it to a money sachet with bring wealth, and business owners should place some in their cash registers to keep them ringing. Grow basil near the front door to keep evil spirits away, and sprinkle dried basil in the corner of every room for protection.
Basil is also used in love divinations. To see if a relationship will last, light a coal and let it get good and hot. When it’s ready, place two basil leaves on top. If they burn quietly, the relationship will be peaceful. If they crackle and hiss, there will be arguments. If they burst apart from each other, the relationship will end badly.
See article: Basil: Magical Properties, Benefits & Uses.
Deities: Eros, Ceres, Apollo, Aesculapius
Bay leaves are used to promote psychic powers. Placing the leaves under your pillow helps you have prophetic dreams and aids dream recall.
All that aside, it’s real power lies in protection and purification. Wearing a sprig of bay repels evil, and it can also be used to asperge during purification rituals. Mixed with frankincense, bay is a fantastic purification incense. Mixed with sandalwood, it can remove curses.
In Wicca, bay leaves are sometimes used for simple wishing spells. Write your desire out on a dried leaf, then allow it to burn completely.
See article: Bay Leaf: Magical Properties, Benefits & Uses.
(Anthemis nobilis or Matricaria recutita)
Deities: Ra, Lugh, Cernunnos, solar deities
While Roman chamomile (Anthemis nobilis) and German chamomile (Matricaria recutita) seem very similar, they’re actually two distinct species.
In either case, these sunny, apple-smelling members of the daisy family are probably best known as a tasty bedtime tea. For this reason, they’re often found in spells for sleep and relaxation. They’re also used for luck and money-drawing.
See article: Chamomile: Magical Properties, Benefits & Uses.
Deities: Aphrodite, Venus
As popular a spice as cinnamon is, a lot of cinnamon-lovers have never tasted the real thing. Most inexpensive cinnamon on the market is actually cassia bark, which has a very similar flavor.
Cinnamonum verum is a high-vibration plant that’s wonderful when used in incense. It raises energy and protects, and is virtually invaluable in money magic.
Because of it’s sweet heat and association with Greek and Roman love goddesses, it’s also added to love spells in order to “warm the heart” of your intended. This heat also makes it a helpful ingredient when you want spells to work quickly.
See article: Cinnamon: Magical Properties, Benefits & Uses.
Deities: Hecate, Belenos, Brigid, solar deities
These bright yellow flowers stubbornly dot lawns every summer — if homeowners knew how magically useful they were, they might let them stay!
Everyone knows the childhood ritual of making wishes before blowing on a dandelion’s puffy seed heads, but they’re also used to strengthen psychic abilities and contact spirits.
Drink an infusion of dandelion leaves and roots before performing divination to get an added psychic boost. If you want to work with spirits, set a dish of the hot tea out on your altar.
Elecampane is useful for all kinds of love charms. Pin a sprig to your jacket or place it in a pink silk sachet and tuck it discreetly in your pocket. Having some elecampane on you is also protective — presumably, evil really doesn’t like all of those loving vibes!
When burned as incense, this herb also stimulates psychic senses. It’s especially helpful during scrying, a type of divination that involves looking into a mirror, bowl of water, or crystal ball.
Hibiscus is a love and lust herb. Serve a little hibiscus tea with honey as an aphrodisiac, and include the flowers in any love-drawing sachets, incenses, or jar spells.
See article: Hibiscus: Magical Properties, Benefits & Uses.
The name “lavender” comes from the Latin “lividus” (bluish) and “lavare” (to wash), so it might be no surprise that this is a fantastic herb for cleansing and purification. When burned, it makes for a wonderful purification incense. When added to baths, it calms, soothes, and cleanses away negativity.
It’s also used extensively in love-drawing witchcraft. Wearing lavender as a scent attracts love. Some witches add the buds to homemade paper for writing love spells. It’s particularly helpful for smoothing over arguments between lovers.
See article: Lavender: Magical Properties, Benefits & Uses.
Planet: Venus, Moon
Deities: Diana, Artemis, Hecate
Add mugwort to dream pillows (perhaps with lavender and bay) to have prophetic dreams. When burned, it’s used as an incense during divination. The leaves are also brewed into a tea for consecrating and washing crystal balls and scrying mirrors.
It’s sometimes taken as a tea before divination to enhance psychic powers, but should never be ingested during pregnancy — it can stimulate the uterus and cause bleeding or miscarriage.
See article: Mugwort: Magical Properties, Benefits & Uses.
Planet: Jupiter, Mercury
Deities: Danu, Lugh, Cerridwen
Nutmegs have long been considered lucky and helpful for attracting wealth. Carry a whole one for luck, or include it in a green sachet with other money-drawing herbs. Rub some ground nutmeg on a green candle and burn to attract prosperity. Wrap it in purple flannel and carry in a pocket for help in court cases.
Deities: Aphrodite, Hebe
In herbal magic, it’s often said that rosemary can stand in for any other herb, much as a white candle can stand in for any other color. While this isn’t necessarily true, rosemary’s list of uses in herbal magic make it one of the most versatile herbs around.
When burned, it cleanses and purifies. Sewn into a dream pillow, it keeps nightmares at bay and aids dream recall. Infused into a bath, it cleanses the aura. Stuff it into poppets for healing spells, and burn it as incense in sickrooms. When used in love magic, it gently binds people together.
See article: Rosemary: Magical Properties, Benefits & Uses.
Deities: Jupiter, Zeus
Garden sage (not to be confused with white sage, Salvia apiana) has a long history of use in European witchcraft. Eating some every day is said to ensure a long life, and carrying some with you brings wisdom and protects against the evil eye. The leaves are also added to healing spells, as well as spells to attract wealth.
There is some controversy about the use of white sage in Wicca. Some witches use it, some view it as appropriating from indigenous American cultures, while others see it simply as not part of Wicca.
Other herbs, like bay or lavender, can substitute for white sage in smoke cleansing. Garden sage is a suitable substitute for white sage in healing spells.
See article: Sage: Magical Properties, Benefits & Uses.
Deities: Ares, Venus, Aphrodite, Freya
Thyme is often found in healing witchcraft. It’s worn or burned as incense to attract and maintain good health, and placed under bed pillows to ensure a healthy, restful sleep. It can be infused in a bath to cleanse the spirit, or used as a purification incense to cleanse a space.
Wearing thyme is also said to help develop psychic powers and make women beautiful. It also protects against other people’s negative energy, and is said to be a favorite of spirits.
See article: Thyme: Magical Properties, Benefits & Uses.
Planet: Sun, Saturn
As a plant native to North America and Asia, it’s history of use in traditional European witchcraft isn’t very long. Nonetheless, witch hazel’s wood was used for diving rods, which people would then hold to find underground sources of water.
The twigs and bark are used in protective magic, and it’s also sometimes included in beauty magic, since the distilled essence of the plant is commonly used as a skin toner.
Lemongrass is a double-edged sword. In Wicca, it is often seen as an ingredient for developing psychic powers — it’s calming, and helps to deepen trance states.
In other forms of witchcraft, it’s used as a hexing herb. It’s also added to some aphrodisiac formulas, and, when planted around the home, is said to keep snakes away.
See article: Lemongrass: Magical Properties, Benefits & Uses.
Deities: Venus, Aphrodite
This aromatic herb is used in spells for love, luck, health, happiness, and protection. As far as plants go, it’s almost a Swiss army knife of herbal magic!
When worn around the head while sleeping, it helps promote prophetic dreams. Include it in rituals and spells to celebrate joyful occasions. Add oregano to food for protection, luck, and happiness.
See article: Oregano: Magical Properties, Benefits & Uses.
Star anise is a “power” herb — it helps add some extra “oomph” to any spell in which it is included. Some witches keep four star anise pods on their altars for this purpose.
When burned as incense, the seeds increase psychic powers. Some people string a star anise pod on the end of a cord and use it as a pendulum during divination. When carried, it’s said to increase luck.
The pods of the star anise are sometimes brewed into a tea for luck and divination. Be careful here, as only Illicum verum can be used for this purpose. False star anise (Illicum parviflorum) is poisonous, and can easily be confused for the genuine article.
See article: Star Anise: Magical Properties, Benefits & Uses.
Calendula is also known as pot marigold or English marigold, not to be confused with American marigolds of the Tagetes genus.
As a sun herb, calendula is often used to keep away evil. Wreaths and garlands of calendula flowers placed on or near the front door keep negativity from entering. Placed under the bed, they protect during sleep. When dried and scattered or burned as incense, they can be used in consecration rituals.
An old bit of folklore says that, if a girl touches the calendula flowers with her bare feet, she’ll be able to understand the language of birds.
See article: Calendula: Magical Properties, Benefits & Uses.
Deities: Artemis, Diana
Wormwood is best known as the herb that flavors Absinthe liqueur. Magically, it’s used for divination, spirit work, love magic, and protection.
Wear or burn wormwood during divination to strengthen psychic powers. Mixed with sandalwood or mugwort, it’s burned to attract spirits. Add the dried herb to sachets to protect against accidents, and hang some from a car’s rearview mirror to prevent wrecks.
Some old recipes call for wormwood tea, wormwood oil, or wine infused with wormwood. Be very careful here, as wormwood is toxic in large doses or over prolonged exposure. Never use pure wormwood oil topically — always use a well-diluted infusion instead.
See article: Wormwood: Magical Properties, Benefits & Uses.
Deities: Venus, Aphrodite, Hermes, the Horned God
As a water herb, yarrow is often used in baths or sprays for cleansing. When worn, it is protective — traditionally, it was hung over babies’ cradles to protect against witchcraft and sprinkled across doorways to keep evil spirits out. When held, it calms fear and instills courage.
Yarrow is also a love herb. When hung over a newlywed pair’s bed, it is said to ensure that their love lasts at least seven years. There are several European traditions involving using yarrow for love divination. One spell involves stuffing a red flannel sachet with yarrow and saying,
“Oh pretty herb of Venus’ tree,
Whose true name is yarrow.
Who’er my true love will be,
Please tell me tomorrow.”
This spell causes the user to dream of their future spouse. If they dream of cabbages instead, it’s an omen of misfortune.
See article: Yarrow: Magical Properties, Benefits & Uses.
Deities: Persephone, Venus, Aphrodite
Parsley is associated with death, but is also used as a love herb. When eaten, it’s an aphrodisiac. If you want to use it as a love or lust herb, however, never cut it yourself — you’ll be cutting your love short.
Parsley is also used in cleansing baths. Dried, it’s used in incense for contacting the spirits of the dead.
See article: Parsley: Magical Properties, Benefits & Uses.
Planet: Moon, Neptune
Deities: Diana, Artemis
This sweet, lemony herb is included in hundreds of love recipes. Steep it in tea or wine, then offer to a lover to strengthen your bond. Add the leaves to sachets for love or healing.
To succeed at a goal, write your goal on a slip of paper and place it in a sachet with lemon balm leaves. Carry it with you until your goal is complete.
See article: Lemon Balm: Magical Properties, Benefits & Uses.
Ginger is a spicy, fiery herb used to add speed and power to spells. Eating them before a spell adds power to your working. It’s also used as a love herb, to warm hearts and heat passions. Sprinkling powdered ginger on a dollar bill and keeping it in your wallet helps draw money.
See article: Ginger: Magical Properties, Benefits & Uses.
Catnip is used for attraction, whether you’re trying to attract a friend, find a new lover, or summon friendly spirits. Mix with pink rose petals and add to love sachets (or use yellow roses for friendship). Hang a bunch of catnip over your front door, or grow it nearby, to attract helpful spirits.
See article: Catnip: Magical Properties, Benefits & Uses.
(Vanilla aromatica, tahitensis, or planifolia)
Vanilla is found in spells for love, lust, and money, Place the beans in love sachets to attract affection, or add to food for an aphrodisiac. Bury a vanilla bean in sugar, then feed the sugar to a lover to inflame their passions.
While it is subtle, vanilla should be used with caution. Outside of Wicca, it’s often used as a compelling herb — meaning that it “compels” someone to bend to your will. Depending on the context, this may cross the line into being unethical.
See article: Vanilla: Magical Properties, Benefits & Uses.
(Jasminum officinale, odoratissimum, or grandiflorum)
Jasmine is used for meditation, relaxation, and dream magic, but it’s strongest as a love herb. In love mixtures, it tends to produce a very physical, passionate effect. Carry or wear the flowers to attract money. Smell them before sleep or meditation to induce relaxation.
See article: Jasmine: Magical Properties, Benefits & Uses.
Planet: Mercury, Venus
Deities: Hecate, Pluto,
Mint is a healing and strengthening herb. It’s added to teas, poppets, and sachets to relieve pain and drive out illness. Added to floor washes or placed around the home, it keeps trouble away. Carrying some in a pocket prevents bad luck. Keep a few leaves in a wallet to attract money.
Spirits enjoy mint. To attract friendly spirits, place a dish of mint on your altar.
See article: Mint: Magical Properties, Benefits & Uses.
Nettles are most often used for protection and exorcism in herbal magic. To send a curse back to its source, stuff a poppet with nettles. When burned as incense, it wards of evil spirits and malicious witchcraft. When worn, it keeps negative energy away.
Element: Air, Fire
Deities: Dionysius, Prometheus
Fennel grants strength and confidence. Drink it in beverages for strength, or chew some before giving a speech or being interviewed to instill courage and eloquence. Use some of the seeds to keep law enforcement from meddling in your affairs.
Hang fennel over the front door at Midsummer to protect against malicious witchcraft, or grow it around the home for general protection. Place the seeds in sachets for healing and purification.
In herbal magic, comfrey is used for protection during travel. Wear it or carried to keep yourself safe, stuff it in a sachet and place it in a vehicle’s glove compartment or under a seat, or keep in your bags to make sure they aren’t lost.
When mixed with dried mugwort and burned, it makes for a helpful divination incense. After a ritual, add comfrey to a bath to relax and cleanse your aura.
Herbal magic is a large component of Wiccan tradition. As an earth-centered religion, Wicca relies heavily on the natural world for magical tools, spell components, and sacred offerings.
While not all people who practice Wicca choose to cast spells, it still helps to understand the botanical traditions that shaped it into the religion it is today.