Witches and wise women and men the world round and since the dawn of time have used what is native and handy to them. In today’s world we have access to herbs and spices, plants and fruits from areas far and wide, that we mightn’t otherwise have if we had to only wildharvest our own landscapes. Here in the desert, I responsibly and ritually harvest and use what grows here, because the connection to the spirits of the land I inhabit is its own good magick, and I wish always to honor those spirits in gratitude of their bounty. Still, it’s a harsh climate for growing. Many plants don’t thrive in our blindingly hot summers, nor survive our winter freezes.
Even if you’re a city witch, you might be surprised at the magick you can do with that purslane growing between the cracks in your front walk, a flower from the jasmine vine you pass by on your way to work or the dandelions on the bank lawn, but we’ll cover that in another post.
Right now let’s talk about the magickal treasure vault in your kitchen. Herbs and spices are, of course favorites. Did you know that alfalfa (in a teabag, maybe?) can be used to protect from poverty and hunger? That bay leaf is good for protection, healing, purification, and to aid in divination? That marjoram is good for protection, love, happiness, health, and money?
Here are 13 common kitchen herbs to get you started.
Medicinal: Got bubbles? A gassy tummy or feel bloated and too full after a meal? A cup of Basil tea might be just what you need! *warning: do NOT use while pregnant
Magickal: Put some basil in your Mojo or Medicine bag for safe travels, put a few leaves in the corners of the rooms of your home for protection, or burn some on charcoal to aid in dreaming and vision quests.
2) Bay (Laurel) Leaf
Medicinal: Is great for those aching joints- arthritis and rheumatism. Boil the dried leaves for 10 minutes and soak a cloth for a compress applied to the affected area. Don’t use it on open wounds, please.
Magickal: Carry a leaf when you need courage. Drop a leaf in your prosperity bottle, put a leaf under your pillow to dream the future.
Medicinal: Nursing Mamas may drink Fennel Tea to improve milk production and flow, and may also boil a decoction (very little water) and mash the seeds to make a poultice for tender breasts. Fennel is also a mild appetite depressant, so dieters can enjoy a cup of Fennel tea to kill those between meals cravings!
Magickal: Would be Mamas, sweeten your breath with a few seeds to conceive and all you studs, chew fennel and toss the viagra!
Household: Make a decoction of fennel seeds, strain it and fill up a spray bottle. Mist around doorways and across thresholds to keep fleas out.
Medicinal: Got NSU? Bladder infection? Forget the cranberry juice. Drink a cup of parsley tea twice a day for a few days and have a happ-pee!
Magickal: Parsley is sacred to Persephone and wonderful as an offering in rituals of the dead. It’s also powerful for invocation and clairvoyance.
Medicinal: Got a cold or respiratory flu? Lime water with black pepper is a sure cure. (Also for phlegmy chests steep black pepper, grated lemon peel, bay leaf and camphor or eucalyptus and close your eyes [it burns!] and breathe in the steam. Great for constricted bronchial tubes.)
Magickal: Use pepper in a spell to stop envy, to break an unwelcome spell placed on you, and to curse an enemy.
Medicinal: Got fungus?? A mixture of 4 oz of Thyme in a pint of alcohol will get rid of that athlete’s foot. Spray some in the bathtub so nobody else gets it either!
Magickal: Nightmares or bad dreams and restless sleep may be calmed by a sachet of thyme under your pillow or hanging by the head of the bed.
Medicinal: Ease menstrual cramps or a tummy ache with oregano tea, or make a wash with a few drops in warm water to help clear up acne.
Magickal: A sprig over the mantle or a dried bundle hanging in the kitchen brings peace to your home. A sachet under your pillow brings psychic dreams.
Medicinal: sweeten a sour or gassy tummy with vanilla. Also used as an aphrodisiac in many cultures.
Magickal: Call your love, inspire and raise lust in yourself or your lovers. Use vanilla to increase your mental powers when studying for a test or reading information requiring mental connections.
Medicinal: Rosemary (inhaled/diffused) can alleviate the symptoms associated with stress and wake up a sleepy or sluggish mind and body, providing a sense of refreshment and renewed vigor.
Magickal: Rosemary for remembrance, attraction, blessing, centering, good luck, grounding, and healing.
What kind of kitchen witchery do you do? Do you have a favorite remedy handed down from Grandma? Leave me a comment and let me know!
*[No claims or guarantees are made regarding the benefits or properties described, medicinal or otherwise. The use of herbs can be dangerous to the uninformed. Proper research is suggested].
In Light and Shadow,
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