The Various Uses for Herbs
Most magical practices make use of herbs in various ways, often in rituals and magical workings. Often they are used as incense, when they are crushed and powdered, or as oils. Their properties mean that they create a type of force field that intensifies the vibration needed. Additionally, when the practitioner calls upon the power of the Gods and spirits, the herbs become even more effective.
Simply having particular herbs in your sacred space or having them about your person is sufficient to begin the process of enhancing the area or your personal vibration. You can use them in incense and dedicate them to the appropriate Elements and Deities. Many of the herbs mentioned can be obtained from a good herbalist, though for those of you who are truly interested it would be worthwhile creating a small herb garden or growing them on your windowsill.
Now for the Uses of Herbs
Such herbs guard against physical and psychic attacks, injury, accidents and such things as wicked spirits. They usually offer protection in a general sort of way.
The vibration of these herbs is such that they can help you to meet new people, to overcome shyness and let others know that you are open to new relationships. They put out a particular vibration so that those who are interested will answer the call. The safest way to use them is to accept that several people may be attracted to you and you will then be able to make an informed choice.
Some herbs and plants can by tradition be used to ensure fidelity. You do have to have a firm belief that you have a right to another’s devotion before imposing your will on them. Using a spell for fidelity amounts to a binding spell and you must make allowances for the person’s own integrity. It should always be remembered that it is unwise, and sometimes unhelpful, to both parties to hold anyone in a relationship against their will.
Many herbs have healing properties which can help from both a physical and a magical viewpoint. A practitioner working from both points of view can be of tremendous help in managing illness. However, always remember to advise anyone you work with in this way to seek qualified medical assistance. Never allow yourself to be drawn into being a substitute for medical help.
Not only the smell of herbs and plants, but also their vibration, can help to prevent illness and restore good health. So, if you are prone to illness, carry health herbs with you and make sure they are always as fresh as possible.
Luck is the knack of being in the right place at the right time and being able to act on instinct. Luck herbs help you create your own good fortune. Once you have such a foundation, you can build upon it.
It is sometimes easier to visualize the outcome of having money i.e. what you are going to spend the money on – than visualizing actual money coming to you. Certain herbs create an environment in which things can happen. They enable the creation of the means to fulfill your needs – perhaps a gift, a pay rise or some such thing.
Jasmine, Juniper (dried berries worn as a charm), Lavender, Lemon Verbena, Lovage, Orris Root, Patchouli
Henbane, Holly, Juniper (dried berries worn as a charm), Lemon Verbena, Lovage, Orris Root, Patchouli
Hyssop, Lilac, St John’s Wort
Cinnamon, Clove, Lovage (powdered root), Pine, Thyme (in baths), Vervain (of sacred spaces)
Basil, Garlic, Mullein, Nettle, St John’s Wort, Thyme, Wormwood, Yarrow
Angelica, Basil, Birch, Frankincense, Juniper, Garlic, St John’s Wort
Acorns, Geranium, Hawthorn, Mandrake, Orange (dried and powdered peel), Pine, Poppy, Sage, Sunflower (seeds)
Lemon, Rose, Passion Flower
Ash (leaves), Heather, Nutmeg, Rose, Vetivert
Anise, Catnip, Lily of the Valley, Marjoram, Saffron
Hyacinth, Heliotrope, Lilac, Meadowsweet
Aloe, Ash, Camomile, Cinnamon, Comfrey, Eucalyptus, Fennel, Garlic, Hops, Marjoram, Mint, Nettle, Pine, Rosemary, Saffron, Sage, Sandalwood, Thyme, Yarrow
Chilli Pepper, Galangal, Vertivert
Apple, Balm of Gilead, Basil, Caraway, Catnip, Coriander, Cowslip, Dill, Gardenia, Ginger, Ginseng, Honeysuckle, Jasmine, Lavender, Linden, Marigold, Marjoram, Meadowsweet, Mistletoe, Myrtle, Rose, Rosemary, Valerian, Vervain, Violet (mixed with Lavender), Yarrow
Apple, Ash (leaves), Hazel, Holly (for newly-weds), Ivy (for newly-weds), Mint, Rose, Rowan, Vervain, Violet (flowers)
Cinnamon, Lemongrass, Nettle, Rosemary, Violet
Camomile, Elecampane, Frankincense, Vervain
Caraway, Lily of the Valley, Rosemary, Vanilla, Walnut
Camomile, Cinnamon, Clove, Comfrey, Fennel, Ginger, Mint, Poppy Vervain
Aloe, Camomile, Gardenia, Lavender, Myrtle, Violet
Carnation, Cinnamon, Ginger, Rosemary, Rowan
Acorn, Almond, Ash, Basil, Benzoin, Honeysuckle
Note: There are so many herbs suitable for the next three categories and the choice is such a personal one that we have included only a few suggestions. Your own further research will very much enhance your magical workings.
Aloe, Angelica (Root), Anise, Balm of Gilead, Basil, Bay Laurel, Black Pepper, Caraway, Camomile, Dill (for children), Dragon’s Blood, Fennel, Garlic, Hawthorn, Holly, Hyssop, Lavender, Mandrake, Meadowsweet, Mistletoe, Mugwort, Nettle, Periwinkle, Rose, Rosemary, Rowan, Sage, St John’s Wort, Sandalwood, Vervain, Witch Hazel, Wormwood
Ash (leaves), Bay Laurel, Bay leaves, Cinnamon, Cowslip, Elecampane, Eyebright, Hyssop, Lavender, Marigold, Mugwort, Nutmeg, Rose, Thyme, Wormwood, Yarrow
Anise, Betony, Cinquefoil, Dragon’s Blood, Frankincense, Hyssop, Lavender, Lemon, Oak Leaves, Pine, Rosemary, Rue, Sandalwood, Thyme, Valerian, Vervain
Cinnamon, Ginger, Lemon Balm, Rowan
Catnip, Hops, Lavender, Thyme, Valerian, Vervain
Cinnamon, Clover, Frankincense, Myrrh, Sandalwood
Peach (fruit), Sage, Sunflower
Decoctions require simmering for a long time, opposed to steeping in boiled water like infusions. This means that the materials used in the tea must be crushed beforehand and cut into small pieces suitable for simmering temperatures. This method is just as simple as infusing as it only consists of a few simple steps.
Decoction – 30g herb to 750ml cold water which reduces down to approx 500ml. Bring up to heat and simmer gently for up to 30 minutes. This formula works on a standard dosage and makes approximately 3 doses. Decoctions should be made fresh each day and should be stored in the fridge. It may be sweetened and can be drunk hot or cold.
If you are using unusually hard roots then you may want to increase the simmering time until the roots begin to soften. If using fresh plant material double the quantity to dried. During this entire process you need to keep the saucepan covered to ensure the important oils and nutrients do not evaporate away. Strain before drinking.
Making Herbal Remedies (Herbology At Home)
Herbal tea or tisanes are infusions – however a medicinal infusion is a lot stronger than a cup of herbal tea, therefore more of the herb material is needed.
Infusions are made of leaves, flowers, soft seeds and green stems. If the herb is particularly fragile you may wish to do a cold infusion. However, since this takes a long time, this method is usually reserved for the most delicate of herbs which lose their essential oils when heated.
Herbal Tea – 1 tsp of dried herb for every cup of almost boiling water. Cover and let infuse for approximately 10 minutes.
Hot Infusion – 25g dried herb for every 500 ml of almost boiling water. Cover and let infuse for up to 30 minutes. This formula works on a standard dosage of 3 times daily and makes approximately 3 doses.
Cold Infusion – Same basic ratio as for hot infusion applies, except you soak herbs in cold water for 8 hours or overnight.
Making Herbal Remedies (Herbology At Home)
THE PERFECT BREW
As most of you will start of using herbal remedies in the form of herbal tea I thought I would write directions for what I consider the perfect pot of tea.
Warm your teapot or cup – this maintains the temperature once you add the water. It makes a lot of difference for very little effort. I like using glass or pottery. Of course you can dig out the good china too. If using metal, there are some great cast iron pots or stainless steel pots when making decoctions.
Do not over boil the water – it drains the water of oxygen. Water temperature: Use water just below boiling point – as low as 70C is perfect for fine aerial parts of the plant. If you are using a kettle, the water is ideal when it starts to make a “rumbling” sound.
Brewing time – adjust your brewing time depending on what herb you are using. Some teas can become quite bitter if left to infuse too long. Others can withstand a number of brews. As a rule of thumb use a standard of 10 – 15 minutes to infuse your herbs. You need enough time to release the active ingredients but not so much to make it too strong and unpleasant.
Sweetening herbal tea – if you like a sweeter tea you can certainly use some honey to improve the flavour. I personally use a bit of sugar as honey adds another flavour dimension which may not always be what you want. However, I would not recommend adding milk.
If you are planning to use herbs to make your own remedies at home then you will likely encounter the process of both infusions and decoctions. Infusions and decoctions are time honoured methods of delivering the health benefits of herbs.
Making Herbal Remedies (Herbology At Home)