Cypress is sometimes known as the Tree of Death. That sounds creepy, but actually the name refers to an old custom of placing a cypress branch into graves to bless the deceased in the afterlife.
Keeping cypress branches in your house, or planting the trees on your property is thought to protect and bless a home.
Adding cypress boughs to bouquets at funerals is believed to ease grief and bring peace to loved ones.
Cloves are great to have around the house. Not only do they smell amazing, but they can help out in times of trouble.
The smell of cloves (hung up or burned as incense) is supposed to drive away hostile energy, purify a room, and attract riches.
Carrying cloves is thought to bring comfort to the bereaved.
Garlic can be used for so much more than just chasing away vampires.
This stinky herb is great for protection. Hanging dried Garlic over your door is thought to protect the home from negative energy, robbers, and illness. Biting a Garlic clove is supposed to chase away demons, and wearing a necklace of cloves is thought to protect against physical injury.
Rubbing a clove of Garlic over an injury, and then throwing the clove into a river, supposedly brings speedy healing. If you’re worried about contracting Hepatitis, wearing thirteen cloves for thirteen days is supposed to protect you from this disease (though, nowadays, it’s easier just to get the shot).
Tucking a clove under a child’s pillow is thought to keep them safe from night terrors, while rubbing a little Garlic on the inside of a cooking pot blesses and protects the food (and adds a little flavor).
Eating lots of Garlic is also rumored to be good for your love life. Apparently, it triggers lust, not only in the eater-of-the-Garlic, but also in their date.
On top of all of this, Garlic is super easy to grow. Just buy a head at the store and leave it in a cool, not-too-sunny place for a couple of weeks. Suddenly you’ll have these little green shoots (called Garlic Sprouts). Break apart the head and toss any cloves that are funny colors or squishy. Set the rest of the cloves in a shallow container (flat ends down), add just a little water, and leave them in a sunny place. Soon they’ll grow roots and produce more shoots.
You can trim these sprouts and use them like you would chives. They have that awesome Garlic flavor, but they don’t make your breath stink.
Make sure you change the water every few days and toss any cloves that start to look icky. The cloves will produce sprouts for about 3 months. Once the shoots brown and dry up, toss the cloves and get some more.
Sage is used for all kinds of awesome things.
It’s a protective herb. Burning Sage in a home will cleanse and bless the space.
Carrying Sage is thought to promote wisdom. Carrying the leaves in a sachet or in your pocket is supposedly the best way to bring a little wisdom to your life.
Writing a wish or intention on a Sage leaf and sleeping on it is thought to make the wish real. If, however, you haven’t dreamed of your desire within three days, you’re supposed to bury the leaves and try again.
Apparently, there are a few rules when it comes to gardening Sage. Filling an entire garden plot with this herb is considered bad luck. It’s best to plant Sage beside another magickal herb.
Evidently, it’s also bad luck to plant your own Sage. I’ve read that you’re supposed to have a friend or family member plant it for you, but to me that sounds kind of hard to accomplish… Maybe if you offer to do the dishes or something?
Rosemary is basically awesome.
Firstly, it’s a powerful protective herb. Hanging dried Rosemary over your threshold is thought to discourage thieves, while tucking some under a mattress is supposed to shield the sleeper from all harm.
Rosemary is also a well-known healing herb. Tying a sachet of Rosemary to your arm is thought to dispel depression, while adding a little essential oil to a bath retains youthfulness. Ancient healers often washed their hands in a Rosemary infusion, and burned Rosemary and Juniper leaves in sickrooms to promote healing.
On top of all this, Rosemary has recently been scientifically studied for its ability to slow Alzheimer’s. One study recently found that smelling Rosemary every day can significantly delay the effects of the disease.
Plus, Rosemary is awesome in scrambled eggs (with a little feta cheese and spinach, especially).
Almonds are best at money matters and business ventures.
The nut, the leaves, and the bark are all thought to increase success and prosperity. Eating almond nuts is thought to bestow wisdom and improve business sense.
Carrying almond nuts in your pocket is supposed to lead you to treasures.
Plus, they’re packed with protein and are a sure-fire way to combat low blood sugar. Yay, almonds!
Red Pepper (whether crushed, as pictured, or as whole chili peppers) is thought to increase love and fidelity. Sleeping with two crossed peppers under your pillow is supposed to ensure your love will never stray.
Red Pepper is also a powerful hex-breaker. Scattering this crushed herb around your property will break a curse, while adding a pinch to a tea will help prevent future attacks.
St. John’s Wort is a powerful herb for protection, healing, and strength.
Soldiers once carried St. John’s Wort to ward off fevers and to protect them from injury. It’s also thought to ward off mental illness.
Hanging the dried herb near a window is thought to block negative energy from entering a home. Replacing the hanging herb every Midsummer is thought to make it especially potent.
Just don’t consume this herb. Apparently it can counteract a lot of medications, making it very dangerous if ingested.
Cinnamon is used to promote healing, psychic powers, protection, lust, and love.
Burning cinnamon incense is a great way to raise spiritual vibrations and call in good energy. When used in a cleansing ritual, cinnamon incense is also a powerful protective force.
Adding a little cinnamon to your tea can have a big effect, and can differ depending on what tea you’re using.
Mixing a dash into Orange Spice tea can bring lust into your life. When mixed with Raspberry, it can bring love. And warmed apple cider can be flavored with cinnamon to encourage healing.
Cinnamon is also thought to ease digestion issues. So sprinkle it into your ginger tea and tell your insides to cool it.
Bay Laurel is a powerful herb for protection, psychic intuition, purification, and strength.
Placing a few leaves under your pillow induces vivid prophetic dreams. Adding them to a tea or burning them in an incense is a great way to encourage psychic visions.
Worn, buried, or burned, Bay is a strong protective force. You can also burn it with Sandalwood to remove curses.
Planting a Bay tree near your home is thought to keep illness from effecting your family. Steeping a few leaves in a comforting soup is supposed to bring strength and healing to those in need.
Burning a Bay leaf with a wish written on it is an easy way to bring luck into a situation.