The Power of Herbalism

I have always enjoyed pottering around in my back garden ever since I was young. I have fond memories of digging up the ground and ripping up flowers to put into my “potions” when I was a little girl. As I have gotten older, I still enjoy gardening, but when I first hit my teenage years, I got a particular liking for herbs.

For me, keeping a little herb garden is very sentimental and makes me feel really relaxed – I take it very seriously. Just last week, my boyfriend had the pleasure of talking me out of buying ten new herb plants at once, which ended in me purchasing five and then planting them in the middle of a storm.

In addition to fond memories and a love for herbal tea, I think another reason why I personally enjoy herbs so much is that it makes me feel closer to my ancestors.

Traditionally, witches have a great knowledge of herbs and their healing properties. Though I would never suggest purchasing a herb garden and never seeing a doctor ever again, herbal medicine does go back thousands of years. It derives from the needs for health and strength; cures for illness and mending of wounds. For example, lavender is an antiseptic.

I love learning about the healing properties of herbs as well as the magickal and therefore will be sharing the knowledge I have about the herbs that are currently present in my herb garden:

Marjoram

Marjoram is a versatile and compact herb which blooms from mid-to-late summer. When it does so, it is coated in endearing little white and pastel pink flowers.

It was originally used by the ancient Greeks in their fragrances, cosmetics and medicines and is known for it’s soothing, fortifying and warming effect. It aids digestive and menstrual problems, as well as nervousness and respiratory issues.

When practicing witchcraft, I tend to use it to dispel depression as it’s heavily associated with happiness, love and protection. I enjoy meditating beside this herb because I am drawn to it. Once the weather clears up and I have the time, I will be placing a little pot in my room to separate my marjoram into to improve my mental health.

Rosemary

Rosemary is a fragrant evergreen herb native to the mediterranean. It is a member of the mint family alongside Thyme. I’ve always enjoyed working with rosemary because it makes me feel closer to my craft due to it’s spiritual associations.

Rosemary has been used for a wide range of ailments from respiratory and circulatory disorders to skin and hair problems. It is current in the British Herbal Pharmacopoeia as a specific for “depressive states with general debility and indications of cardiovascular weakness”.

When used in teas, it is also useful for treating headaches or body aches.

It was one of the earliest plants used for food medicine and magic, being regarded as sacred in many civilisations. Sprigs of rosemary were burnt at shrines in ancient Greece and fumigations were used in the Middle Ages to drive away evil spirits, and to protect against plague and infectious illnesses.

There is an enormous amount of rosemary folklore as a result of it being used for cleaning and purifying incenses for many years. It is probably one of the most widely used herbs in witchcraft as it is good for the soul and treated as a powerful cleanser. It is also associated with love, mental powers, banishing negativity, protection, healing, sleep and youth.

Thyme

Thyme is a perennial evergreen subshrub native to Spain and the Mediterranean region. There are multiple varieties of thyme, but the one I have in my herb garden is common.

Thyme was one of the first medicinal plants used throughout the Mediterranean and was used by the ancient Egyptians in the embalming process, and by the ancient Greeks against infectious illnesses.

I enjoy using thyme to relieve stress and relieve headaches, but it can also be used for a variety of different ailments including, but not limited tol colds, Diarrhoea, insomnia, colds, flus, acne, bruises and burns.

Additionally, thyme can be used as a purification incense as it is a great way to purify and cleanse objects and spaces of negative energy. For this reason, I have used thyme after magickal work or a tough day so I don’t spread negative energy into my bedroom.

Sage

Common sage is an evergreen, shrubby perennial herb native to the Mediterranean region. It was once called “herba sarca” by the romans which translates to sacred herb and still is associated with spiritual protection and purification to this day.

It has been used for a variety of disorders including menstrual difficulties, respiratory infections and digestive complaints. In addition to this, it was also believed to strengthen memory and the senses.

In the past, I have used this herb before exams as it promotes wisdom and knowledge, and is an effective way to clear away “bad vibes”.


Chamomile

If you suffer from bad dreams or insomnia, a way to relieve this is by sprinkling chamomile over your bedroom floor. This is because chamomile is associated with inducing sleep and ensuring that dreams are sweet. Pouches of chamomile can be made and placed underneath beds so those that sleep in them find is slightly easier to go to sleep at night.

This herb has had a medical reputation in Europe for over 2000 years, and is still used in a variety of different ways to this day. It was employed by the ancient Egyptians, and was one of the Saxons’ nine sacred herbs. It also promotes the health of nearby plants.

Other then helping people to sleep, it is also especially helpful when it comes to treating mental stress and promoting general calmness. I’ve also used chamomile teas to help relieve nausea in the past.


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