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Herbalism For Your Day: Kitchen Witchery

By Cat Gina Cole

It has been some time since I opened my herbal journal. As I open it today, the first things I see are the glossaries. Next, there is a list of herbal sources I used at the time so I will share those with you today.

  • Time life books: Natural Ways To Health, Natural Home Remedies, and Safe and Effective Treatments for Common Ailments.
  • The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs, Their Medical and Culinary Uses edited by Sarah Bunney.
  • Prescription for Herbal Healing by Phyllis Balch.
  • The Consumers Guide to Herbal Medicine by Steven B. Karch M.D.
  • The Magic and Medicine of Plants by Readers Digest.
  • The Good Herb: Recipes, and Remedies from Nature by Judith Benn Hurley.
  • Rodale’s Illustrated Encyclopedia of Herbs by Rodale Press.
  • Today’s Herbal Health by Louise Tenny.
  • Practical Herbalism, Ordinary Plants with Extraordinary Powers by Philip Fritchey.
  • The Herbal Handbook, A Users Guide to Medicinal Herbalism by David Hoffman.
  • Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs, by Scott Cunningham.
  • Peterson’s Field Guide, Western Medicinal Plants and Herbs by Steven Foster and Christopher Hobbs.
  • Book of Garden Witchery By Ellen Duggan

This is the list of books I began with in 2010. I currently have 32 herbal books on my shelf and I have no doubt there will be more added in the future.

The next item in my herbal journal is Magical Cooking which begins with a quote from The Book of Garden Witchery by Ellen Duggan: “As people of the earth, gardening is one of the highest forms of worship as well as an incredible form of magic as we are communing with earth energies.”

From there on the page, I begin to list what the properties of some of the more commonly used herbs are and what better place to start than with what you already have in the kitchen!

ROSEMARY: Protection, love, memory, mental enhancement, healing, purification, to preserve meat, will reduce the gamey taste of game meats.

SAGE: Immortality, longevity, wisdom, clarity, protection, indigenous sacred smoke, send intentions to the other side, good in game meats and stew.

SESAME: Money and lust, seeds for salads and breads, an Asian oil used in cooking and in magic to bring prosperity.

ANISE: Psychic powers, lust, taste like licorice, used to settle the stomach.

TUMERIC: Purification, soups, salads, yellow dye, pain, inflammation.

VANILLA: Love, mental enhancement in aroma, baking, seasoning for taste.

ALLSPICE: Money, luck, healing, pumpkin pie.

BASIL: Love, wealth, flying, protection, psychic powers, healing, purification, strength, general seasoning.

BAY LEAF: Protection, psychic powers, strength, protection, soup, stews, general seasoning, bay rum.

CHILLI PEPPER: Fidelity, to break a curse, love, passion, hot foot powder, general seasoning.

CINNAMON: Spirituality, love, passion, to bring blood to the surface of the skin, general seasoning.

MAJORUM: Calmative, attraction, aperitif, tea, general seasoning.

CHICKORY: Coffee substitute, salad, cleanse the liver, young love, flirting, blue dye.

BURDOCK: Blood purifier, diuretic, colds and flu, respiratory illness, rashes, ward off negativity.

Since I made this list, I have certainly learned much more about these herbs in particular. It is clear from my journal that I began at the start with the basics one has in their kitchen. I was surprised to discover some of the properties these spices have. It was a wonderment to know what I had at my fingertips, without buying anything more. How about you? Did any of these surprise you? Let me know in the comments below.

Cat Gina Cole is a Herditary Witch and author of Psychic Skills for Magic and Witchcraft (Llewellyn, 2022). She is the founder of The Coven of the Rising Phoenix and Staff Coordinator for “Green Egg Magazine.” You can reach her at


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