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Top 5 Herbs for Beginner Witches

Updated: Mar 15, 2023

I think this is one of those really popular areas of witchcraft that gets a little glossed over when it comes to practical application. Herbs are of course used in cooking, home and body products, and are widely used for medicinal purposes. Witches and energy practitioners use herbs for all of the above, and for their spiritual properties.

Because the uses are so versatile, and because herbs are such a widely used tool, I think a lot of experienced witches forget to offer reasonable advice to newer witches on how to begin practicing magickal herbalism.

For one thing, you've got to get started somewhere, and most newbies think you have to completely start from scratch on building your herbal inventory (your at-home apothecary, if you will). But if you've got even just a handful of the most commonly used kitchen herbs and spices, you're already well stocked.

Some herbs are really easy to grow yourself, while other varieties are just way too unrealistic in your climate or living situation—don't pressure yourself to grow your own unless it's something you genuinely want to do. It can be a very rewarding experience, but it is not necessary for performing effective spell work.


These are the Magickal Herbs I recommend most often to Beginner Witches

Now, this list could be a mile long (should we do a part 2??) but we're keeping it super simple so that even if you really do have to completely start your collection from scratch, you could get your hands on the following herbs for dirt cheap just about anywhere. You can buy them from a local metaphysical shop, you can buy them from your local supermarket—just make it work for you.

01. Basil

Solar System: Mars
Element: Fire

Basil to me is truly the universal herb. It can be used for everything, from prosperity to protection to love to banishment, making it an easy substitution in various spells of these categories. It is a particularly potent attractant, and it is said that the alluring aroma of basil can draw anything you desire towards you. The leaves are also often used to represent cash in money spells, and you'll want to roll these toward you when you are calling something to you, or roll them away from you if there is something you're banishing. Honestly, no herb collection should be without dried basil, and it is super easy to grow fresh indoors near a sunny window.

Tip: You can charge basil oil with basically any magical intention, then anoint a candle for your next spell or burn on your altar during meditation. It’s also never a bad idea to throw some dried basil in your herb sachets.


02. Thyme

Solar System: Venus
Element: Water

Thyme, in my opinion, is way too overlooked not only in witchcraft, but in cooking too. This woody member of the mint family brings heartiness, protection, psychic enhancement, and should be your go-to for basically any spell or manifestation—because you always want to have thyme on your side ;) For real though, even though this plant is ruled by Venus, I often use it as an offering to Saturn as well, especially when time is of the essence. This lends itself well to thyme's beautification properties, so incorporate it into your self-love and mirror rituals to connect with and honor your inherent beauty.

Tip: Add a sprinkle of thyme to any incense or herbal blend and be as specific in your desired timeline as possible. Both the smoke and the fresh aroma of thyme can be utilized as an offering to your guides, deities, ancestors, spirits, etc. and carries with it your message of when + where. And remember, when things don't happen on our preferred or expected timeline, our higher self is asking us to be patient and trust in the grand scheme of things.


03. Lavender

Solar System: Mercury
Element: Air

Lavender is a favorite among witches and herbalists for its gorgeous color, heavenly aroma, and powerful spiritual qualities. It has long been used in aromatherapy for its calming properties, and is gaining more and more recognition in the culinary world for its delicate floral flavor in a variety of dishes. While most of us associate lavender with its ability to promote peaceful rest and a peaceful environment, my personal favorite magickal attribute of lavender is its ability to awaken your natural psychic abilities, making it perfect to use for creative or clairvoyant meditation.

Tip: Use a (or make your own!) lavender pillow spray prior to meditation to enhance your psychic focus or before going to sleep to quiet a stressed mind. It is wonderful at banishing nightmares or keeping negative, unproductive thoughts at bay while trying to reach a meditative state. Pair with your favorite fluorite crystal, and you have an all-seeing, all-knowing force guiding you through the spirit realm with confidence and ease.


04. Rosemary

Solar System: Sun
Element: Fire

Rosemary is one of the oldest incenses and has many uses. I always associate rosemary with its potent protection and hex-breaking qualities, but it is also wonderful for purification and cleansing, healing, and amplifying the mind. This is my go-to cleansing herb for not only physical spaces, but for my aura and mental realm as well. Nothing gets past rosemary, and no curse or negative energy is more powerful. Well, this power comes from you and your magick of course, but think of rosemary as like the ultimate partner in crime—you're unstoppable!

Tip: Rosemary makes beautiful wreaths for Yule or other winter holidays. Pick up a foam/wire wreath base from your local craft shop and fasten sprigs of rosemary in a circular pattern with butcher’s twine. Or adorn a wreath you already own for a fresh look and wonderful aroma. Hang on the inside or outside of your front door to ward off evil. (Bonus: add holly and juniper to the wreath for decoration and added protection.)


05. Bay Leaves

Solar System: Sun
Element: Fire

The dried leaves from the Bay Laurel Tree should 100% already be in your kitchen pantry (I feel rather strongly about bay leaves). Throw a couple into your favorite soup, stock, stew, or chili—and don’t stop there, experiment with these bad boys! You won’t be disappointed—and its savory flavor will permeate your dish for that can’t-quite-put-my-finger-on-it delicious taste. Cooking aside, bay leaves to me just exude Olde Magick. They’re a super-aid in manifestation rituals, opening up an opportunistic mind and bringing about successful results.

Tip: One of the oldest spells is to write a wish on a bay leaf and then burn it to make it come true. You can also write a yes or no question on the leaf, the kind of question you might use your pendulum for. If the leaf burns easily, it likely means “yes” and a smooth road ahead, but if it has trouble burning, it typically means “no” and there will be struggle or turmoil.


Bonus: Salt

Solar System:
Element: Earth

Okay, so salt obviously isn’t an herb, it’s a mineral. BUT it is super important for any witch to have salt in their cupboard (and you may as well make it a big box while you’re at it). We all know how often we use salt in cooking, but it is also a powerful, magical tool. Salt offers strong psychic protection and can break hexes. It is also wonderful for blessing a new home and attracting longevity, wealth, and knowledge. Many recommend using kosher or sea salt in any kind of witchcraft, but I’ve known many witches to use table salt and still obtain successful results.

Tip: Take a salt bath before a spell to purify the body and spirit, and/or afterwards to aid in the grounding process.

Drop a comment below and let me know what other herbs you’d like more tips for!

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