Herbs and spices that supposedly attract wealth include basil, thyme, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, frankincense and bay leaves.
• Vervain ( Verbena officinalis) was considered by the ancient Romans to be an important ingredient in love potions. There is no scientific evidence that it’s an aphrodisiac, but it does help relax a person, which might put them “in the mood”. • Henbane ( Hyoscyamus niger) was used by medieval witches as both a poison and a love potion. Its perceived aphrodisiac properties don’t figure very prominently anymore, perhaps because of its overriding hallucinogenic – and poisonous (either accidental or purposeful) – constituents. • Mandrake ( Mandragora sp), a herb made familiar by its presence in Harry Potter novels, was also prominent in love potions. Mandrake contains the same hallucinogenic alkaloids as henbane. It might be that these alkaloids, which produce the effect of intoxication and otherworldly highs, induce one to lose all inhibitions before a deep sleep sets in. The fables about men and women luring the opposite sex into drinking mandrake-spiked drinks and remembering nothing about it in the morning might have some truth in it. • Yarrow ( Achillea millefolium) was also used in love spells, and dried yarrow hung over the bed or any form of yarrow used in wedding decorations allegedly ensured love lasted at least seven years. Presumably those who forgot to renew their yarrow sprigs became victim to the seven-year itch. Personal protection But it’s not all about love. If you want protection from all things evil, you might turn to bay ( Laurus
nobilis). Bay is said to ward off negativity and evil, and give strength to athletes, when worn as an amulet. When placed in windows, bay purportedly protects against lightning, and if you have a problem with poltergeists, a sprig of bay hung indoors is supposed to prevent them from working their mischief. A bay tree planted near the home was also said to protect its inhabitants from illness. To this day, sprigs of bay are used to sprinkle water during purification ceremonies. Exorcism rituals feature the scattering or burning of bay leaves too. For an innocuous spell, write your wishes onto bay leaves, and then burn the leaves in order to make them come true. • Fennel ( Foeniculum vulgare) grown around the home supposedly conferred protection, and warded off evil spirits when hung on windows and doors. Carrying the seeds is meant to protect a person and ward off evil spirits as well. • Sage is one of the most popular herbs for cleansing and removing negative energy from your space. People today still make smudge sticks with white sage ( Salvia
apiana). Common sage can be used in place of white sage if you do not have the latter, but apparently the aroma is not as pleasant. • Mullein ( Verbascum thapsus) is hung over doors and in windows, and carried in sachets in India. Traditionally, the plant was considered to be the most potent safeguard against evil spirits and magic. Wealth Herbs and spices that supposedly attract wealth include basil, thyme, ginger, cloves, cinnamon, allspice, frankincense, periwinkle and bay leaves. Use the edible herbs in cooking, burn the essential oils in a holder or carry them in your pocket to attract good luck.