13 Herbs You Can Find in Your Cupboard (or Grocery Store) to Get Started
Whether you are just beginning to learn about and use herbs, or are stuck in the broom closet, any kitchen witch will tell you not to overlook the spice rack in your very own kitchen! I have pulled together a witches’ dozen (13) of basic herbs that can be found in most kitchens. If they aren’t there, you can easily find them in your local grocery store to help you empower and work your spells.
As always, your feeling for, and how you actually work with these herbs is going to be influenced by what works for you. If you have any allergies, or issues working with any of these herbs, don’t. (I love lavender, but had a near anaphylactic reaction after ingesting it – it is now on the no go list for me.)
Basil comes from the Greek word for King, so this herb has a long history of being used for blessings, power, and protection, as well as prosperity and love.
Pairs great with anything tomato, some people like to pair it with fresh fruits.
Bay leaves are good for prophetic dreams, wish magic, success, love, and healing. I use them for offerings to Apollo.
Good for infusing into soups and stews.
Cinnamon can be used to add a dash of heat (fire) and energy to any spell, especially those dealing with love, success, prosperity, healing, and protection.
I love cinnamon – it makes one of the top three things that I will eat whether it is good for me or not (after dark chocolate and apples, or some combination thereof the three), but Leland isn’t a huge fan, and wishes I would stop adding it to my homemade hot chocolate 🙂
Cinnamon gives a spice-sweet kick, it is used in more savory dishes in eastern Europe and Asia, and sweet ones here in North America.
Similar to garlic, chives can also be used for healing, and protection. It can be used to ward off malevolent spirits, but it can also be called on to help you break bad habits as it protects you from temptation. However, they are also a fiery addition to passion and lust spells.
Chives have a very mild onion flavor, and are a good last minute addition to potatoes or fish, where they will be fresh and not overwhelmed.
Dill is good for protection, prosperity, and good luck.
Pickles! (lol) Ok, it’s another Mediterranean spice, good for vegetables, marinades and salad dressing.
Garlic is primarily used for healing, protection, and purification of spaces and objects, as it is a strong natural antiseptic and antibiotic. It is commonly used in cleansing spells and as an aphrodisiac. (See also, Chives) Garlic is sacred to Hecate.
The not so secret in the mythological cure-all chicken soup is lots of garlic.
Garlic goes with everything – lots of it, in everything (ok, maybe not dessert, but feel free to prove me wrong).
Ginger will help set fire to your spell to enhancement it. Ginger is used primarily for healing, protection, and confidence. It’s fiery nature makes it a natural for romance, as well.
Another spicy-sweet combination, some people like to eat candied ginger. I’ve never had it, but like adding ginger to my stir-fries. Pickled ginger is an Asian condiment, and some people bake ginger-based goods around the winter holidays to warm people from the inside out.
Mint is a very resilient herb, if you know anything about how it grows. It is good for calling for abundance and working money magic, as well as purification (something to think about the next time you brush your teeth). It is sometimes used in love and protection magic. Try a mint based (spearmint and/or peppermint) herbal tea.
To be honest, I am actually not a huge mint fan (I’d even rather use kids fruit flavored toothpaste.) Other people love mint in their hot or cold (or alcoholic) drinks. It’s a nice accompaniment to fresh fruit and is another very popular Middle Eastern and Greek seasoning.
Oregano is the spice of romance, joy, psychic dreams, and protection.
Commonly used in tomato-centric recipes, like pizza and pasta sauce, as well as olive oil-based dishes.
Parsley can be used purification and to repel misfortune, but also for protection, strength, and prosperity. Parsley is dedicated to Persephone as Goddess of the Dead.
Parsley is a good universal herb that can be used in most cooking without going wrong. I like eggs with parsley, garlic and cheese. Add it to salads, meats, and/or sauces for a bit of kitchen magic.
Pepper is good for protection, banishing negativity, and building inner strength and (fire) confidence. (Pair it up with salt for protection, purification and healing.)
Pepper is another near universal spice. Add it to salads, meats, and/or sauces for a bit of kitchen magic.
Rosemary is one of the oldest incenses (along with Frankincense and Myrrh) and used in purification and protection rites. It is good for memory and mental focus (“Rosemary is for remembrance.“), love, reducing stress and for empowerment. Rosemay is sacred to Athena and The Muses.
Rosemary is a slightly woody, slightly resinous herb, so it does well with long cooking, such as soups, casseroles, salads, and stews. I really like it with chicken dishes and with potatoes.
Sage is mostly associated with cleansing and purification. It is also used for healing, prosperity, money magic, mental clarity, and dealing with grief and loss.
Sage is herbaceous, used a lot for pork or poultry dishes like chicken, or your Thanksgiving dinner and its accompanying stuffing.
Once you are ready to branch out from there, I recommend etsy, if you don’t have a local apothecary or witchy store. I have had good results from ObscuriosBotanica and Ravensenchantments, in the last year. I had a great order from another business, but they are no longer selling. So, look around and see what’s available that you would like to try.