Herbs and their properties have been utilized to flavor food, to heal, and to transform environments for centuries. Brushing against lavender or smelling rosemary after it rains, one could see how easily herbs tickle the senses. With their intoxicating aroma and delicate beauty, herbs are nothing short of magical.
Hunter-gatherer tribes would have had to rely on their knowledge of plants and the seasons to survive. As mankind transitioned to relying more on agriculture, our early ancestors continued to study the information provided by Mother Nature. The oldest written evidence of medicinal plant usage has been found on a Sumerian clay slab, approximately 5000 years old. It comprised 12 recipes for drug preparation referring to over 250 various plants such as poppy, henbane, and mandrake.
Superstitions about herbs and their uses beyond healing are thought to predate history. One Greek myth about the Goddess Hecate tells of how she instructed her daughters in the herbal arts. Historically, many different plants were incorporated into the practices of shamans, indigenous cultures, the wise people, cunning folk, and more for ages. Herbs are believed by some to have unique properties that can be used to enhance personal goals. Whether you choose to use herbs for healing or you want to stack the energetic odds in your favor, here are some common herbs and a few ways I like to use them.
Rosemary is antibacterial and has been said to be able to boost memory, improve mood, reduce inflammation, relieve pain, protect the immune system, stimulate circulation and more. Native to the Mediterranean region, rosemary is one of the most commonly found herbs in a spice rack, and for good reason – not only does it have a wonderful taste and aroma, but also a wealth of beneficial health benefits when regularly added to our diet. Similar to many other useful herbs, rosemary is in the same taxonomic family as mint, but doesn’t have that characteristic flavor.
Can be used for:
⦁ Mood and Stress: The aroma of rosemary alone has been linked to improving mood, clearing the mind, and relieving stress in those with chronic anxiety or stress hormone imbalances. When the plant is consumed or applied topically it can have similar effects as ingested.
⦁ Antibacterial Potential: While the general immune boosting qualities of rosemary are impressive enough, it is specifically powerful against bacterial infections, particularly those in the stomach. H. pylori bacteria is a common and very dangerous pathogen that can cause stomach ulcers, but rosemary has been shown to prevent its growth when consumed.
⦁ Stomach Soother: Rosemary has traditionally been used by dozens of cultures as a natural remedy for upset stomachs, constipation, bloating, diarrhea, and everything in between.
Magical properties of rosemary
⦁ Mental clarity
Ways to use rosemary:
⦁ Getting the health benefits of many herbs can be as easy as simply cooking with them. Rosemary has a warm, bitter, and more astringent taste that gives a wonderful flavor to soups, sauces, stews, roasts, and stuffing.
⦁ Aromatherapy also uses rosemary essential oil for this purpose, but that concentration of active components isn’t necessary to have positive effects on stress and mood.
⦁ Steep rosemary leaves in a glass of hot water and then gargle or swish the water in your mouth to eliminate bacteria and give you naturally fresh and clean breath all night! Check out my Herbal Mouthwash recipe here.
⦁ To reduce pain, apply rosemary essential oil to the affected area. Try to apply oil to the temples, or simply smelling the aroma of rosemary since it has been linked to reducing the severity of migraine symptoms.
⦁ Rosemary is useful for ritual baths, and for making sacred herbal water for ritual cleansing, blessing, and purification. Bathing in rosemary will enhance your memory and will make you more memorable to those you meet throughout the day.
⦁ Burn rosemary as incense to enhance memory (even for success in school). Also, use when meditating or doing dream work to remember past lives.
⦁ Place rosemary under your pillow to help you to remember your dreams and to keep away nightmares and other unwanted night-time visitations.
⦁ Wear Rosemary oil on those occasions that you want to make a lasting impression.
Out of the many health benefits of sage, some of the most important include its ability to improve brain function, lower inflammation throughout the body, and boost the strength of the immune system. Don’t let the name of “common” sage or garden sage fool you; this perennial woody herb is anything but normal or average when it comes to its impact on wellness. Scientifically known as Salvia officinalis, sage is closely related to rosemary, and they are often considered “sister herbs”. In fact, many of Sage’s health benefits are derived from rosmarinic acid, the organic compound found in rosemary that makes it so powerful.
Can be used for:
⦁ Cognitive Boost: Research has shown that even small amounts of sage, whether smelled or consumed, can increase recall abilities and memory retention in subjects.
⦁ Inflammation Issues: The anti-inflammatory qualities of sage extend to health issues such as arthritis and gout, as well as general inflammation of the cardiovascular system, which can result in heart disease and increased blood pressure. The flavonoids and phenolic compounds found in it are responsible for these beneficial effects.
⦁ Immune System Strength: There are some antimicrobial properties that have been identified in sage, and while it is usually consumed in relatively small quantities, you can create a topical application of sage (salve or tincture) and use it to prevent bacterial and viral infections that attack the body through the skin.
Magical properties of sage
While there are many verities in the sage family, white sage Salvia apiana is sacred in many Shamanic and Native American belief systems and used for smoke cleansings that they call smudging. Sage is used to purify the body and space but it’s important to note that all sage plants (mountain/blue sage, white, and cooking sage) can all be used for smoke cleansing. I mention this because as white sage smudge sticks have become more popular, the harvesting of this plant and the cultures that hold it sacred are easily exploited. If you choose to purchase white sage, please do so by a reputable seller that sources it sustainably and while honoring the indigenous cultures that cherish it.
Ways to use sage:
⦁ Create a tincture or steep leaves as a tea. I like to mix sage and raw honey in a jar. Let it steep for a few months, and use this in teas to treat or prevent colds and flu.
⦁ Diffuse essential oils. The neural pathways stimulated by the extracts and essential oils of sage can keep the mind fresh and youthful well into your older ages.
⦁ Create a topical application of sage (salve or tincture) and use it to prevent bacterial and viral infections that attack the body through the skin. Sage has been shown to be effective against certain skin conditions, including eczema, psoriasis, and acne.
⦁ Adding sage leaves to your diet can increase your vitamin K levels significantly and strengthen bones.
⦁ There’s more than one way to cleanse. By far, the most common ritual use for sage is in smudge bundles. But you can also boil sage on the stove for a cleansing effect. Or, use my Smokeless Smudge Spray recipe here.
⦁ Include in money sachets for prosperity. Throw a pinch of dried sage in your abundance bag.
⦁ Scatter around an outdoor sacred space to bless the ground. If you use a specific spot in your yard or a nearby natural area, scatter dried or fresh sage leaf on the ground to bless the space and clear it of negative energy.
⦁ Place a sage sachet in your pillow to drive away nightmares. Sage has a protective quality that is specific to mental disturbances like nightmares.
The health benefits of chamomile can be attributed to its properties as an antispasmodic, antiseptic, antibiotic, antidepressant, antineuralgic, antiphlogistic, sedative, and anti-inflammatory…. just to name a few. There are two types of Chamomile, the Roman Chamomile, which is scientifically known as Anthemis Nobilis and the German Chamomile, whose scientific name is Matricaria Chamomilla.
Can be used for:
⦁ Antiseptic Both varieties have very good antiseptic and antibiotic properties.
⦁ Anti-inflammatory & Sedative: While Roman Camomile is found to be effective in calming down annoyance, anger, and irritation, particularly in small children. The German variety, on the other hand, is found to be more effective on adults for curing inflammation, particularly when it is located in the digestive or urinary system. They also reduce blood pressure and curb the swelling of blood vessels.
⦁ Reduce Scars: They are both very popular in the world of cosmetics since they diminish the scars. They both also protect wounds, cuts, and bruises from becoming infected. Try my Chamomile Body Butter Recipe here.
Magical properties of chamomile
⦁ Attract money
Ways to use chamomile
⦁ Herbal baths are a treat for adults and kids. I know it’s not as resourceful with water as a shower, but it’s nice to soak and relax. Assemble your own herbal bath in a mix-matched sock, along with other herbs.
⦁ Looking for something natural to use for pink eye? Chamomile is the traditional go-to herb we reach for when dealing with this troublesome infection. Learn more here.
⦁ Soothe aches and pain with a salve that uses Roman chamomile essential oil. Chamomile salve is a quick and easy way to soothe burns. It’s equally effective as a way to quiet “butterflies” in a nervous tummy.
⦁ Making your own herbal hair rinses can soothe an itchy dry scalp and is said to promote hair growth.
⦁ An infusion used to wash thresholds (doors and windows) will help keep unwanted energies from passing through.
⦁ Or sprinkle powdered chamomile flowers around your self or home.
⦁ Add to sachets for luck or money. Or place pressed chamomile flowers in your wallet to attract money to it.
Some of the most important health benefits of lavender include its ability to relieve stress, improve mood, promote restful sleep, reduce inflammation, lower skin irritation, and prevent infections,
Nearly forty plants within the mint family are classified as lavender, although the most common version of lavender is Lavandula angustifolia, which is the variety on which the color “lavender” is based. The reason that it is so widely used is its massive range of applications, from food and fragrance to cosmetics and herbal medicine; this plant is chock full of essential oils that can have powerful effects on the human body, as well as one of the most unique and beloved scents in the world.
Can be used for:
⦁ Anxiety and Stress: There are a number of methods to use lavender to soothe anxiety and stress. The natural organic compounds in the leaves and flowers of lavender can be grounded between the fingers and then rubbed onto the temples. This topical application can soothe the body and mind, relieving anxious thoughts and balancing out mood.
⦁ Sleep Issues: If you regularly struggle with insomnia, apnea, or restless sleep patterns, it can seriously impact your life. The flower’s impact on the nervous system can also help to clear your mind of negative thoughts or clutter. It is commonly combined with meditation techniques, either in essential oil or aromatherapy form.
⦁ Antiseptic Ability: Although many people turn to lavender to relaxation and aromatherapeutic applications, its effect on infection is impressive, to say the least. Many people apply crushed lavender leaves on wounds and injuries to promote not only quick healing of the wounds but also to prevent the development of infections at those sites. This has been a popular use for lavender since antiquity.
⦁ Bloating and Digestive Issues: The polyphenols found in lavender have a wide range of effects on the body, including anti-aging impacts, but it can also help prevent the development of harmful bacteria in the gut. Essentially, this will prevent the accumulation of gas in the gut from the emissions of those bacteria. This will ease stomach discomfort, reduce bloating, and eliminate cramping.
Magical properties of lavender
⦁ Sharpening the mind
⦁ Encourage or strengthen
⦁ Pure love
Ways to use lavender
⦁ Again, cooking with an herb is a great way to absorb its benefits. As a culinary element, lavender is used in salad dressings, honey, sauces, beverages, various teas, and as a flavoring spice for a number of other cultural dishes.
⦁ By brewing a few lavender flowers in hot water, you can steep a wonderful tea that has been used to induce sleep and relaxation for thousands of years.
⦁ When your skin is feeling dry or irritated, simply spray some of the infused water on the area and enjoy the quick relief that it can provide. This can also work for chronic conditions, like psoriasis, eczema, and even acne.
⦁ Make your hair healthy and beautiful by steeping lavender flowers as though you are brewing tea and then apply that mixture to your hair. It will function as an effective shampoo and significantly boost the health of your follicle beds and hair.
⦁ Mix crushed and dried lavender flowers in baking soda and sprinkle on carpets before vacuuming.
⦁ To bring love your way, carry lavender flowers in a sachet on your person, or hang stalks of it in your home.
⦁ To get a good night’s sleep, with calming dreams, stuff a pillow with sprigs of lavender.
⦁ Lavender in the home brings peace, joy, and healing.
⦁ Dried lavender leaves are great for placing into healing bags.
This popular herb has several benefits which include proper digestion, relief from nausea, depression, fatigue and headache, treatment of asthma, memory loss, and skin care problems. Mint, the well-known mouth and breath freshener has more than two dozen species and hundreds of varieties. It is an herb that has been used for hundreds of years for its remarkable medicinal properties. The market is full of products like toothpaste, chewing gum, breath fresheners, candy and inhalers which have mint as their base element. Most of us are familiar with the refreshing application of mint, but it has far more to offer than that.
Check out this DIY Multi-vitamin tincture
Can be used for:
⦁ Digestion: Mint is a great appetizer or palate cleanser, and it promotes digestion. It also soothes the stomach in case of indigestion or inflammation. If you are someone who travels long distances via plane or boat, the menthol oil derived from mint can be very soothing for nausea and related motion sickness.
⦁ Headaches & Migraines: Balms with a mint base or basic mint oil, when rubbed on the forehead and nose, gives quick relief in case of a headache. The herb is a naturally soothing substance, so it can alleviate the inflammation and temperature rise that is often associated with headaches and migraines.
⦁ Skin Care: While mint oil is a good antiseptic and anti-pruritic material, mint juice is an excellent skin cleanser. It soothes skin and helps to cure infections and itchiness. In addition to being a good way to reduce pimples, it can even relieve some of the symptoms of acne. It’s anti-pruritic properties can be used for treating insect bites like those of mosquitoes, honeybees, hornets, wasps, and gnats. The cooling sensation will relieve you of the irritating sensation and the constant urge to scratch, and the anti-inflammatory nature of mint will bring down swelling. In that same vein, mint oil is often a basic component of bug repellent products like citronella candles, because the strong aroma is unappealing to most insects.
Magical properties of mint
⦁ Cleansing and consecration
⦁ Psychic development
Ways to use mint
⦁ Mint can be eaten before the main course so the food will digest comfortably.
⦁ Balms with a mint base or basic mint oil, when rubbed on the forehead and nose, gives quick relief in case of a headache.
⦁ Studies have shown that mint oil can reduce the nipple cracks and nipple pain that so often accompany breastfeeding.
⦁ Boosting your memory is another reason to chew some leaves when you’re feeling less than brilliant.
⦁ Use in ritual baths for strength and vitality.
⦁ Write a wish on paper and wrap it in spearmint leaves; place in a red cloth and sew with red thread, then keep in a safe and secret place.
⦁ Place a few leaves in your purse or wallet, or rub where you keep your money.
⦁ Spearmint used in amulets carries the qualities of success and protection and is believed to add clarity, vividness, and color to dreams.
And all of these herbs can be used:
In a brew or tea.
Or to infuse drinking water.
Whether or not you believe that these herbs have mystical properties, it’s undeniable that they do have special aspects that have been regarded as powerful.
Do you have a favorite way to incorporate herbs into your daily life?
**** Disclaimer: Please speak with your healthcare provider about what is right for you.