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Herb of the Month – Basil

When the summer heat is in full swing and I want something cool and wonderful for dinner I think of such things as Caprese Salads, Pesto Chicken, and a light marinara sauce. Magickally, I am looking to spice things up and bring in some added prosperity and good fortune. What do all of these things have in common? Our Herb of the Month – Basil.

Herb of the Month - Basil
Basil Plant (Photo from Pixabay)

Basil has long been associated with Witchcraft, hence the name “Witches Herb.” This versatile herb can be for any magickal purpose from increasing wealth, calming quarrels, to bringing the user love and harmony.

In Witchcraft, as well as cooking, Basil is used both fresh and dried. Stir it clockwise in soups, stews, and sauces to bring prosperity and good fortune. Place counterclockwise on your Caprese salad to dispel gossip and quarrels.

Latin Name: Ocimum Basilicu

Family: Lamiaceae

Folk Names: Albahaca, American Dittany, “Our Herb,” St. Joseph’s Wort, Sweet Basil, Witches Herb

Energy: Masculine

Elements: Air, Fire

Planet(s): Mars

Astrological Signs: Aries, Scorpio

Deities: Ares, Eleggua, Erzulie, Hemphu, Krishna, Lakshmi, Vishnu, Yemaya

Growing and Harvesting Basil

Basil is easy to grow, but it does like it’s soil toasty -don’t plant before the soil is 50 degrees, 70 is even better-making it perfect for warmer climates. Heat gives your Basil the start it needs, so plant your basil when the nights have warmed up as well. Without the heat, your basil will not flourish.

Basil prefers its “feet” a bit moist so well-draining soil is a must. Basil grows well in a greenhouse or even indoors with the proper light. It doesn’t require much fertilizer while growing, but a good starter fertilizer will give basil the boost it needs to thrive.

Plants can get quite large, reaching up to 24″ if you let them. However careful pruning and harvesting of the plants at around 8″ keeps your plants healthier, allowing them to bush more and send more energy to the leaves instead of the stalks.

One or two plants is usually sufficient for the average household. If you are like me and freeze and/or dry my basil in bulk I would suggest at least 5 plants.

Harvest your basil early in the morning by pinching off a few leaves on each plant. Your basil leaves will taste best before the plant flowers – flowering can make the leaves bitter. If you see flowers forming at the top of your plants, pinch or snip them off as soon as possible.

Magickal Uses of Basil:

Parts Used: Whole herb, leaves

  • Abundance
  • Astral Projection (flying)
  • Business
  • Dispel gossip
  • Divination
  • Exorcism
  • Happiness
  • Harmony
  • Love
  • Money
  • Peace
  • Protection
  • Safe Travel
  • Wealth

Ways to use Basil Magickally

  • Take dried basil and tie it in a drawstring bag with some pennies to draw luck to your money and business matters.
  • Plant basil near the threshold of your home to repel negative entities and welcome friendly spirits.
  • Take a bath with Basil before attempting astral projection to aid you in your journey.
  • Simmer cut lemon and fresh basil in water. When cooled and added to a spray bottle, it can be used to clean sacred objects, candles, altars, spaces, the work environment, etc.
  • To use for exorcism: Mix basil, rue, hyssop and myrrh and grind to a powder. Burn over a charcoal making sure you fumigated every corner of your home.
  • Giving a basil plant to a newly married couple is thought to ensure that their marriage status sweet and prosperous.
  • Use the essential oil in aromatherapy to dispel or banish sadness or depression.
  • Hang the leaves from your windshield or anoint yourself, an amulet, or your car to keep yourself safe during travel.

Culinary Uses for Basil

Basil images
Image by Conger Design from Pixabay

Basil is a versatile herb. It can be used fresh, dried, chopped, and crushed. It adds zip to your pasta sauces, brightness to your salads, and its mildly spicy taste can be blended into butter for the perfect summer spread.

Your culinary adventure can start by preserving your basil harvest by drying the leaves in a dehydrator or on drying racks. You can also use a food processor to finely chop the fresh leaves and freeze in ice cube trays for fresh basil any time. Another great preserving idea is to create an infused vinegar or oil for use in cooking. Take fresh basil leaves, slightly crushed, place in a mason jar and cover with either white wine vinegar or olive oil. Allow the basil to sit in the vinegar or oil for a week or two, shaking once daily. Then strain the basil out of the liquid and place the liquid in a clean, decorative container or back into the mason jar. Both infusions will keep up to a year when kept out of direct sunlight and excessive heat.

Of course, we can’t talk about basil without bringing up pesto. Basil, in my opinion, makes the best pesto. Add whole basil leaves to a food processor, filling it to the top, and then pulse lightly. Add in some fresh minced garlic and drizzle in some olive oil. Pulse again and continue to drizzle in olive oil until you get the consistency you desire. You can add pine nuts or walnuts to the finished pesto to give it some added mouth feel.

Medicinal Uses of Basil

Note: The information noted in this blog post is intended solely for the general information for the reader. The contents of this post are not intended to offer personal medical advice, diagnose health problems, nor is it for treatment purposes. It is not a substitute for medical care provided by a licensed and qualified health professional. Please consult your health care provider for any advice on medications or before using and herbs or herbal supplements.

Medicinal Properties:

  • Alterative
  • Antipyretic
  • Carminative
  • Diuretic
  • Nervine
  • Stimulant

Used primarily in a tea, Basil has a long history of aiding such ailments as stomach spasms, loss of appetite, intestinal gas, kidney conditions, fluid retention, head colds, warts, and worm infections. It works well to ease constipation and lessen anxiety symptoms.

Basil is full of antioxidants, so including it in your diet will aid with the elimination of free radicals from your body. Basil, according to a 2019 study, may help to reduce high blood sugar levels.

Another type of basil is tulsi, or holy basil (Ocimum santum). This plant plays a therapeutic role in Tamil and Ayurvedic medicines, which are predominantly practiced in Southeast Asia. This is different from sweet basil we use most often in cooking. Tulsi has amazing medicinal and therapeutic qualities – too many to mention in this article.

Amazing Basil

I hope you’ve enjoyed our adventure with our Herb of the Month – Basil. May this post inspire you to try your hand at growing this amazing plant yourself.

Blessings!

Sources: The Way of Herbs, Tierra, Michael, Pocket Books 1998

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Herb of the Month-Thyme

With the summer heat now upon us, it’s time – no pun intended- to harvest some of our herbs. Here in the Central Valley of Oregon, things are a bit trickier, gardening wise, so we need to pick hardy perennials. With that in mind, let me introduce you to our Herb of the Month-Thyme.

Herb of the Month-Thyme
Thyme in a raised planter (Photo by Terry Lynn Pellegrini)

Thyme is a member of the mint family. It is generally a low growing perennial, winter hardy to zone five. Leaves are dark, gray green in color and the labiate flowers are tiny and generally pink. Blooms in early to midsummer. There are many tiny oval-shaped leaves on each slender, woody stem.

Thyme comes in over fifty varieties with different fragrances and flavors. Fresh or English thyme are used most often in cooking.

A native of the Mediterranean, Thyme was spread throughout Europe and used frequently by the Romans. Their soldiers added it to their bathwater to increase bravery, strength, and vigor. It enjoyed a long association with bravery. In Medieval England, ladies embroidered sprigs of thyme into their knights’ scarves to increase their bravery. In Scotland, highlanders brewed tea to increase courage and keep away nightmares.

Thyme is also a purificatory herb; the Greeks burned it in their temples to purify them and so thyme is often burned prior to magical rituals to cleanse the area. In spring a magical cleansing bath composed of marjoram and thyme is taken to ensure all the sorrows and ills of the past are removed from the person.

It is said that places where wild thyme grows are blessed by fae, and due to this association thyme is often used in work regarding fae.

Thyme

  • Plant: Thyme
  • Latin Name: Thymus vulgaris
  • Family: Lamiaceae
  • Folk Names: Garden Thyme, Common Thyme
  • Elements: Water
  • Energy: Feminine
  • Planet: Venus
  • Astrological Signs: Aries, Capricorn, Libra, Taurus
  • Deities: Aphrodite, Aries, Freya, Hecate, Mars, The Fae
Thyme in Bloom- Photo by Hans Braxmeier from Pixabay

Magickal Uses of the Herb of the Month-Thyme

Parts used – Whole Herb

  • Banishing Negativity
  • Cleansing
  • Courage
  • Divination
  • Dream Work
  • Fairy Magick
  • Happiness
  • Healing
  • Health,
  • Heighten Empathy
  • Love
  • Prosperity
  • Psychic Abilities
  • Purification
  • Sleep

Magickal Ways to Use Thyme

  1. A pillow stuffed with thyme dispels nightmares and promotes positive dreams.
  2. Wearing a sprig of thyme in your hair makes you more approachable.
  3. Add thyme to your bathwater to increase courage.
  4. When working hard to achieve a goal that seems un-achievable, thyme can be used in spells to help you keep a positive attitude.

Growing Thyme

Thyme can grow in the ground or in a container. Either is left outside in wintertime. New leaves will emerge within the early spring. Thyme thrives in full sun and loves heat. Thyme likes well-drained soil as it doesn’t like “wet feet.” In the garden, plant with other drought-tolerant perennials.

It’s hard to grow thyme from seeds as they are slow to germinate and easily “drowned”. It is much simpler, and more satisfying, to buy the plants from a garden center or take some cuttings from a friend. Over time, you can propagate from your own cuttings.

Plant cuttings or young thyme plants any time after the ground temperature reaches 70°F. This is usually 2 to 3 weeks before the last spring frost in well-drained soil about 9 inches apart. 

Space young plants 12 to 24 inches apart, depending upon the specific variety. They will spread out quite a bit so they need plenty of room.

Thyme does well in greenhouses and even indoors with proper grow lights and moisture levels. This is important in Central Oregon as are many micro-climates can make growing any herbs a challenge.

Culinary Uses

Thyme is used most often to flavor soups, stews, meats and veggies. I use it in my pasta sauce, beans and sprinkle it into chicken soup. It’s great on roasted potatoes, and even in fresh bread.

Thyme can be used either fresh or dried. Dried has a more powerful flavor so use less than you would fresh, roughly one third of the dried herb compared to fresh. When using fresh you can use the entire stem (remove the stem before serving) or remove the leaves from the stems and sprinkle into your dish.

Thyme infused vinegar is a wonderful way to add flavor to salads and veggies. Fill a jar with fresh thyme (dried can be used in a pinch but it is harder to strain) and then cover with white wine vinegar. Let the jar sit for several days to a week. You will know when it is ready when the vinegar has a strong thyme taste. Strain the vinegar and discard the thyme. Place back in the jar or a fancy serving decanter.

Medicinal Uses of Thyme

The information provided below is for educational purposes only and is not to be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Before using any herb medicinally, always consult with your physician.

  • Antifungal
  • Antiseptic
  • Antitussive
  • Carminative
  • Disinfectant
  • Expectorant

Thyme is often used for acute respiratory infections including coughs and colds. It can sooth gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea, gas, and indigestion.

Thyme is a powerful disinfectant and antiseptic when used both externally – as a wash – and internally in a tea or tincture.

Some benefits of using Thyme are:

  • fighting acne
  • lowering blood pressure
  • helping to alleviate cough
  • boosting immunity
  • disinfecting
  • repelling pests
  • aromatherapy
  • boosting mood
  • preventing bacterial infections
  • helping to treat yeast infections
  • possibly helping against certain types of cancer

Our Herb of the Month-Thyme, is an amazing plant. It is hardy, easy to grow, great for cooking and packed with medicinal benefits. May this humble yet amazing plant grace your garden and bring you joy.

Blessings!

Sources: Gladstar, Rosemary, Medicinal Herbs, a Beginner’s Guide, Storey Publishing 2012; Tierra, Michael, The Way of Herbs, Pocket Books, 1988

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Vervain – Herb of the Month, February 2020

Vervain, commonly known as Verbena, is an extremely versatile herb, both magickly and medicinally. Found all around the world, it has a rich and useful history. Vervain has been considered a magickal and sacred herb in many different cultures throughout the centuries. It is best remembered as a sacred plant to both the Druids and the Roman priesthood.

Vervain - Verbena Officinalis
Verbena Officinalis

To the ancient Romans the name “verbena” meant altar plant. The twigs of the plant were put into bundles and then used to sweep the altar and temple areas.

The name “vervain” comes from the Celtic term “ferfaen;fer” meaning “to drive away” and “faen” meaning “a stone”. Healers would gather this herb to be used to treat kidney stones – something it is still used for today.

Vervain is a slim plant that may grow to be about 80 cm (32 in) tall. It is a hardy perennial and self-sows. It grows freely in the wild and is often found along roadsides and in dry or stony grounds. Today it is a favorite in many a garden and a staple in every witch’s herbal cabinet and apothecary.

Plant: Common Vervain

Scientific Name: Verbena

Genus: Verbena, L.

Latin Name: Verbena Officinalis, Verbena Californica, Verbena Hastata (Blue Vervain)

Family:  Verbenaceae

Folk/Secret Names: Van Van, Dragon’s Claw, Enchanter’s Plant, Herba Sacra, Holy Plant, Frog’s Foot, Juno’s Tears, Pigeon Grass

Gender: Feminine

Elements: Water

Planet: Venus

Astrological Signs: Gemini

Deities: Venus, Cerridwen, Isis, Mars, Venus, Aradia, Jupiter, Thor, Juno

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Vervaain - An artists rendition of vervain

Magickal Uses of Vervain

Vervain is a sacred plant, potentially the most mystical plant on earth. It is used on altars and is a staple plant in magic ceremonies. It is a versatile herb that has many magickal uses.

Parts Used: Flowers and Leaves

  • Bestowing peace
  • Catalyst – use to make spells “go”
  • Cleansing the altar
  • Consecration of tools
  • Healing
  • Herb of Immortality
  • Keeping evil at bay
  • Protection
  • Purification
  • Romance and love
  • Turning your rival into an ally
  • Used in fortune telling and prophecy
  • Vervain is the herb of poets, singers, and bards.  It was often carried by these performers for to bring inspiration and increased skill
  • Vervain was placed around fields to prevent bad weather and to ensure a good harvest.
  • Vision questing

Substitutions: Motherwort, Skullcap, California Poppy

Verbana hastata
Verbena Hastata

Growing Vervain

This easy to grow plant is a favorite in many home gardens. The Verbena genus is large, contains both annuals and perennials, and has a range in height from 10 cm through to 1.4 m. Vervain (Verbena) as an annual grows in zones 1 to 10, as a perennial: zones 3 to 10. In general the plants have dark green toothed leaves, and bloom from summer until the first frost of winter. Depending on the variety they may have clusters of tiny flat fragrant flowers or spikes with tiny flowers, making Vervain a great attractor of butterflies and bees to the garden.

Vervain can easily be started from seeds. Be sure to stratify the seeds (follow link for definition) to increase the germination rate. Sow seeds outside after the last frost of spring. Seeds can take anywhere from two weeks to three months to germinate, so don’t get discouraged. Alternately you can pick up plants from your local nursery.

Plants need full sun and well-drained soil. Keep the soil moist, but not wet. Spacing of your plants will depend on the variety.  Consult the information on the seed packets or plant tags to determine the planting space required for your variety. When in doubt, consult the staff of your favorite nursery or garden center.

Depending on your soil quality and acidity, Vervain needs very little fertilizer.  I usually add a bit to the soil before I sow seeds or add new plants and to any established perennials in the early spring.

Blooms are very long lived.  However, Vervain is self-sowing so if you don’t want your garden overrun with these beautiful plants cut the flowers before they go to seed.

Medicinal Uses

The information provided below is for educational purposes only and is not to be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Additional Information

Verbena Officinalis is most often used medicinally.  Alternately you could use Verbena Hastata. Some of Vervain’s properties are:

  • Analgesic
  • Antibacterial
  • Anticoagulant
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Antispasmodic
  • Astringent
  • Diaphoretic
  • Diuretic
  • Emmenagogue
  • Galactagogue
  • Nervine
  • Stimulant

Vervain is most often used to treat:

  • Anxiety
  • Ascites
  • Cirrhosis
  • Colds
  • Depression
  • Flus
  • Gout
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Jaundice
  • Kidney Stones
  • Liver disorders
  • Mastitis
  • Painful or irregular menses

Please consult a licensed Herbalist and your Physician before using any parts of the Vervain plant medicinally.


Sources: 

Beyerl, Paul The Master Book of Herbalism Blaine, Washington, Phoenix Publishing Inc. 1981

Dugan, Ellen Garden Witch’s Herbal, Woodbury, MN, Llewellyn Publications 2009

Mueller-Ebeling, Claudia, Ratsch, Christian, and Storl, Wolf-Dieter Witchcraft Medicine Vermont Inner Traditions 2003

Tierra, Michael The Way of Herbs New York, NY, Pocket Books, 1998

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Camellia – Plant of the Month

Camellia Plant of the Month - March 2019

Our plant for March 2019 is the ornamental Camellia flower, Camellia japonica. Known as common camellia, Japanese camellia, or tsubaki in Japanese, this is one of the best known species of the genus Camellia. The other most common type is Camellia sasanqua. The Camellia is an evergreen shrub which is related to the tea plant. It is grown for its showy flowers and shiny leaves.

The name camellia is of Latin origin, and means ‘helper to the priest.’ It was named after a Jesuit botanist Georg Joseph Kamel, although he knew nothing about the plant.

Camellia Flower - 4 red camellia flowers
4 Red/Pink Camellia flowers

Plant: Camellia

Higher Classification: family Theacaea

Scientific Name: Camellia japonica, Camellia sasanqua

Folk Names: Rose of Winter

Gender: Feminine

Elements: Water

Deities: Benzaiten, Shichi Fukujin

Planet: Moon

Magickal Uses of Camellia

Parts Used: Petals or Whole Flower

  • Confidence
  • Decision Making
  • Divine Feminine
  • Friendship
  • Good luck
  • Gratitude
  • Humility
  • Perfection
  • Reasoning
  • Riches
  • True Prosperity

Substitutions: Roses can often be used as a substitute for Camellia

Growing Camellia Plants

Camellia Plant - A tall camellia tree
A Camellia Tree

Camellias are long-lived trees and shrubs that provide year-round glossy-green foliage and cool season flowers.  There are 100 – 300 describes species with perhaps thousands of different hybrids.  Ranging in colors from pure white, to pink, to red, purple and yellow, these easy to grow plants are a favorite with gardeners everywhere.

Planting Tips:

  • Camellias need to be planted a little high, so that the top of the root ball is level with the surface of the soil. This helps water drain away from the trunk.
  • Camellia roots are shallow, so avoid planting them under shallow-rooted shade trees such as birch and maple. They are often grown in the light shade of tall, deep-rooted pine trees.
  • Smaller varieties can be grown in containers. Use a potting mix designed for camellias, azaleas, or rhododendrons for best results.

Timing is critical when planting your camellias. Gardeners in warm areas (zones 8-10) can plant in the fall, winter and spring. If you are in zones 6 and 7 you’ll need to plant in springs so the plants will have a chance to establish its root system before cold weather sets in.

Camellia plant - White Camellia flower
White Camellia

Medicinal Uses for Camellia

The information provided below is for educational purposes only and is not to be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Additional information

  • Antioxidant
  • Antimicrobial
  • Antihaemorrhagic
  • Astringent

The flowers of the Camellia plant are astringent, antihaemorrhagic, and haemostatic.

Because they are an antioxidant and antimicrobial they are excellent for salves and tonics. When mixed with sesame oil they are used in the treatment of burns and scalds.

Camellias can be a rich source of Omega-9, squalene and multiple vitamins and minerals.

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Dill- Herb of the Month

Dill is a semi-hardy annual with erect, freely branching annual herb with finely dissected, lacy, blue-green foliage. Dill is best known for its use in the making of pickles but can be used both as a culinary and medicinal herb. Magickly, Dill – our herb of the month, is a powerful and potent plant ally.

Dill - Herb of the Month
Lacy green leaves in a bunch
Dill – Our Herb of Month

Plant: Dill

Latin Name: Anethum graveolens

Family:  Apeacia (a member of the parsley family)

Folk/Secret Names: Dilly, Dill Weed, Garden Dill, Meeting House Seed, Hairs of a Hamadryas Baboon, Semen of Hermes

Gender: Masculine

Elements: Fire

Planet: Mercury

Astrological Signs: Gemini

Deities: Anubis, Hermes, Janus, Khensu, Mercury

Magickal Uses of Dill

Parts Used: Leaves, flowers, and seeds

  • Attracting Money – Place dill seeds and leaves in a spell bag then place in your wallet or purse to attract money.
  • Attracting Romance – Add dill seed to a sachet and hang it on your showerhead or place in a bath to make you irresistible to your lover.
  • Breaking Jinxes (leaves)
  • Dispelling bad dreams – create a sachet and place under your bed or pillow.
  • Emotional and Mental Balance
  • Good Fortune in Court (seeds)
  • Good Fortune in love affairs (seeds)
  • Love
  • Luck
  • Lust
  • Protection -Hang dill in doorways to promote protection. Place a sprig of dill in a child’s crib for safety and peaceful sleep.

Substitutions: You can substitute Fennel in your spell work if you are out of Dill as it has similar correspondences.

Growing Dill

Dill, our herb of the month, does not transplant well, so sowing the seeds is recommended. Plant 12 to 15 inches apart in a weed-free, semi-rich, slightly acidic, well-drained soil in a sheltered sunny position. It takes well to pots and containers, just be sure that they drain well.

Plants may grow to 2 or 3 feet in height. Pinch off the flowers if you wish to increase the leaf production.

As soon as the plant has four to five leaves, you can start harvesting. Pinch off the leaves or cut them off with scissors.

Leaves can be used fresh or dried. Dry your harvested leaves by either hanging them upside down in bunches or spread on a mesh screen or muslin. Place in a warm – not hot – area out of the direct sunlight.  You may also dry in a dehydrator.

When growing for the seed try growing more than one plant, one or two for the leaves and one or two for the seed. Do not plant Dill next to Fennel as the plants will cross-pollinate. Keep them away from Carrot as well as the carrots will not grow well with Dill around.

Dill seeds in the late summer or early autumn. Flower can take up to 25 days for the seeds to germinate. The seeds should be collected when they are light brown and fully formed. Place a paper bag over the seed heads and cut, leaving a bit of the stem sticking out of the bag.  Tie the stems together and hang to dry for a 10 to 15 days. You will know that they are ready when you shake the bag and you hear the seeds fall.

Warning:  Mature dill seeds are toxic to birds! Harvest all seeds before they drop.

Culinary Uses of Dill

Dill -Herb of the Month
Dill seeds on a butcher block counter
Dill Seeds

Add Dill – our Herb of the Month – to potatoes for a tangy treat.

Create a Dill infused vinegar for use on salads by adding Dill to white wine vinegar and infuse for 2 weeks.

Add some dill to scrambled eggs, omelets and frittatas for some zest.

A pinch of dill creamed into butter with some added garlic makes a great spread for toast, bread and biscuits.

Let’s not forget the pickles! Dill – our Herb of the Month- is essential in making a crisp and crunchy dill pickle.  Check out this great dill pickle recipe here

Medicinal Uses of Dill

The information provided below is for educational purposes only and is not to be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. More information on these disclaimers can be found here.

  • Antimicrobial
  • Bacteriostatic
  • Carminative
  • Digestive aid
  • Flatulence reducer
  • Helps to soothe colic in infants
  • Sleep Aid
  • Soothes a gassy stomach
  • Stimulant
  • Stress reliever
  • Dill helps relieve flatulence and a gassy stomach when taken as a tea or by chewing the seeds.
  • Use Dill to assist in relieving infant colic.
  • German health authorities have approved dill as a treatment for intestinal complaints related to bacteria.
  • Chew on the seeds of the Dill plant to dispel bad breath (Halitosis)
  • Taken as “dillwater” it aids in promoting the secretion of milk and, when taken regularly by nursing mothers, is said to help avoid colic in their babies.

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Tarragon – Herb of the Month

Tarragon is a perennial plant with long, light green leaves. It is not a plant that is normally found in the American garden as it is used sparsely for culinary purposed here. However, tarragon, our herb of the month, is a must have for every magickal herb cabinet.

Plant: Tarragon, French Tarragon

Latin Name: Artemisia dracunculus, Artemisia dracunculus var. sativa

Folk Names: Estragon, Little Dragon, Dragon’s Herb, Dragon’s Mugwort,Wyrmwort

 Close up on the leaves of French Tarragon
French Tarragon
Ready for Harvest

Gender: Feminine

Elements: Fire

Planet: Mars

Astrological Signs: Aries

Deities: Artemis, Venus

Magickal Uses of Tarragon:

Parts Used: Leaves – fresh or dried

  • Detoxification
  • Protection
  • Banish Negative Energies
  • Exorcism
  • Confidence
  • Courage
  • Keeping secrets
  • Sprinkling tarragon upon the windowsills and doorways is said to protect the home from thieves.
  • Often used by Hedge Witches for its soothing and calming effects.
  • Cultivates warmth and feelings of comfort
  • Used as a “fixing herb” in hoodoo and voodoo.
  • Attract Love
  • Luck
  • Aids in personal growth
  • To Elicit desire

Substitutions: Anise can be substituted for tarragon in most spells and vise versa.

Growing Tarragon

French Tarragon growing in the garden
Grow Tarragon in your Witches Garden to have fresh herbs in your magickal herbal cabinet.

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Tarragon, our herb of the month, cannot be started from seeds, only cuttings. Transplant Tarragon in the early spring.  Plant your cuttings in well-drained soil about 2 – 3 feet apart in a sunny area. Tarragon does not care for wet conditions as this may cause the plant to become straggly and die off.

Plants may grow to 2 or 3 feet in height. Prune your plant regularly to prevent flowers and to keep at a height of about 2 feet as any taller and the plant tends to droop.  Every 3 or 4 years divide up your plant in the spring or fall, freeing up space to keep the plant healthy.

In the fall remove any leaves and debris that falls on the plant as it will kill the foliage. Tarragon will die back to the ground during the winter months but will reemerge quickly in the spring.

Culinary Uses

Cut Tarragon laying on a wood cutting board
Fresh cut Tarragon leaves

The French Tarragon variety is the plant most used in cooking.  Tarragon adds flavor to eggs, fish, cheese and poultry.  It is a main ingredient in French Bernaise sauce for Eggs Benedict. Tarragon butter can be used over green beans, asparagus, peas, carrots. Add tarragon to mayonnaise to serve with cold seafood or fish.

Create a Tarragon infused vinegar for use on salads by adding tarragon to white wine vinegar and infuse for 2 weeks.

Medicinal Uses

The information provided below is for educational purposes only and is not to be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Additional information

  • Antiseptic
  • Mild anesthetic
  • Emmenagogue
  • Laxative (in large amounts)
  • Cardioprotective
  • Anti-hyperglycaemic
  • Tarragon stimulates the digestive system and also enhances appetite. It helps regulate metabolism by promoting the secretion of digestive juices and activates the co-enzymes that assist digestion.
  • Tarragon herb helps relieve flatulence, constipation, hiccups and dyspepsia.
  • Tarragon is a rich source of Vitamin C, which helps boost the immune system of the body. It helps prevent strain on the immune system, preventing a variety of infections and ailments.
  • Another health benefit of tarragon is its ability to cure oral problems like loosening of teeth, cavities and fragility of gums.
  • Chew Tarragon to relieve the pain of toothache and sore gums.
  • A fine paste made of fresh Tarragon leaves placed on abrasions, ulcers, boils and cuts will assist in preventing infection and facilitate the quick healing of the wound.
  • A handful of fresh tarragon leaves placed into a pot of boiling water will create a fragrant and healing vapor. Place your face carefully over the pot and inhale the fumes to clear sinuses, relieve headaches and migraine pain.
  • Warnings: Do not consume Tarragon while pregnant as it may be harmful in large quantities and to avoid risk of complications and accidental abortions.

Notes: Tarragon is a member of the Asteraceae family. If you are sensitive or allergic to other plants in this family such as ragweed, daisy or marigold you should take caution when adding tarragon to your diet either as a culinary herb or medicinally.