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Ok so we can look at Cunningham, we can look at Beryl, we can look at a LOT of herb books and we find positive wonderful bright uses for herbs.  Can we come up with a list of herbs and their darker uses? I would request references namely is it from personal experience, logical assumption, or a book.  If its a book please give author and title, if its assumption please explain if its personal experience please say so. There are herbs for good luck, are their herbs for bad luck? (yes there are I'll mention some at another point) there are herbs for blessings and hex breaking what about cursing and blessing breaking?  Or do we assume what an herb can do it can also do the opposite of? I don't like this method of thought and would like to see what else we can come up with.

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For ethical reasons, I can't put up what I use in my own practices on a public web site. I would, however, refer you to this:


As Leisha pointed out, Cat's book is a good one.


There's a bunch of other great resources.  You can look into our hoodoo group here, or you can look at Lucky Mojo's stuff at (they have an online resource there.)


Hyatt's books are a great resource, but somewhat of a chore to wade through (and to obtain, i believe the complete set would cost you around $4000 on ebay, since they're out of print and the university that retains the copyright has no intent of republishing them.)


There are many, many herbs (and animal curios,) that are used for hexing, crossing, etc, in various different ways.  One example would be graveyard dirt from a murderer or known fraud, another would be crushed cayenne peppers..  Many things can be used to do both positive and negative things, and ammonia would be one good example of this.

Currently I'm still researching this concept.

On the other hand, here are a few things that I've discovered or thought about.

1. Some common uses for herbs that might be used in this way can be purely associative. For example, belladonna was often used magically for visions and psychic powers. However, it is a well known toxin and many people find it to be dangerous. Therefore, through simple association both for me and a target, it seems that belladonna would be quite useful for producing various negative visions. Nightmares or hallucinations would be good examples. On a basic association level, "poisonous (and feared)" + "vision" = nightmare.  This sort of associative logic could be applied to many, many different poisons, however, and seems a very basic, nonspecific approach.

2. Peppercorns, rock salt, boneset, Balsam, Linseed oil, almond oil, lemon, hemlock, rue, valerian, and asafoetida powder are all commonly used in curses on several websites I've discovered. Granted, the validity of random curses, hexes, and spells found on websites is always to be suspect. However, these things have shown up in many different sites and many different spells, many of which have been completely unrelated other than in the fact that they are all about spells of some sort or another. Therefore, these things seem to be worth further investigation, which I intend to do.

3. On salt, specifically, I find that its use is interesting, given the normal association of salt with purification. Then I did a little bit of digging deeper, both into my own mental files and into historical associations with salt, and began to realise something about salt. Salt has been known from early history, in both Assyrian texts and others, including Aramaic texts from Syria and the Bible, to cause soil aridity, and thus sterility of the land on which it is applied strongly enough. It is commonly used in curses in the Bible, even those which God visits upon the people of earth (Lot's Wife, Sodom and Gomorrah, the punishment for breach of the Covenant), and one Aramic text even says "Just as this wax is burned in the fire, so may Arpad be burned along with (her . . . dependencies). And may Hadad sow them with salt and tares and may they never more be (so much as) named." (James Latham, The Religious Symbolism of Salt (Paris: Editions Beauchesne, 1982), pp. 81-82.)  Therefore, it becomes clear that not only is salt used for purification, but for sterilization, both in the spiritual realm and in the physical one. This can be devastating when used in a curse or hex-like concept. Just as the sterilization of soil would be deadly to any plant growing in an area, so salt could be used to sterilize a person or being out of a certain area or interaction. An example that occurs as I write this might be to use salt and its sterilization capabilities to make a spell designed to remove a person's means of income, by sterilizing them of the influence of their job, or sterilizing their place of employment of their influence.

I will, of course, be researching these things a bit more thoroughly. (Except for salt, I think I got that one researched well enough.)

I don't know how other's would feel about adding Mullein.  I know it is a substitution for graveyard dirt and it is listed as an ingredient to hoodoo black arts incense/powder & goofer dust.  Although that is from various web sources.  I have not worked with Mullein in magikal fashion (for the lack of better words).  My primary use is making a herbal infusion for relieving coughs.  Otherwise, I await for correction if mullein is not a proper fit in this category.


Blueberries.  Not a herb however it is stated to be used for hexing from Encyclopedia of 5,000 Spells by Judika Illes.  Which I can somehow see because of it's deep dark color, understanding that some hexing herbs are black/dark such as black mustard seed, peppercorn and poppy seeds, just to name a few. 

Let me add that it is not a substitution for graveyard dirt...   (Mullein, that is.)   Scott Cunningham's works have really spread that around, though he isn't the originator of this falsehood.


From Hoodoo in Theory and Practice, by Cat Yronwood:


Mullein is known as "graveyard torches" or "witch's candles" because it
grows well-spaced in dry, waste ground and if dipped in oil or lard, the
stalks will burn like torches.


That story was started in the 1940s by suppliers who wanted to make
money but were afraid to violate the laws regarding tampering with
corpses or graveyard desecration, especially in interstate commerce. The
earliest catalogue in my cokllection that mentions mullein as graveyard
dirt dates to World War Two. By the 1960s,, when i was coming up, you
could still buy real graveyard dirt from any small occult store -- but
ALL the mail order houses and the stores that stocked their
mass-produced products -- sold you either talcum powder or powdered
mullein leaves for graveyard dirt.

The commercially-originated lie that "graveyard dirt" is somehow an old
witchcraft code term for mullein was later picked up and carried as an
urban myth extensively in the white Anglo-Saxon neo=pagan community. It
actually forms part of the myth of the "burning times" in that it
perpetuates the hostorically discredited notion that witches must speak
in code or rish death. (But if you are trying to avoid being burned at
the stake, why use something ILLEGAL like graveyard dirt as code for
something innocuous like mullein leaf???) This myth of a witchy "code"
is still perpetuated through the books of well-meaning but ignorant
people and it is just ... well, not true.


From similar resources it looks like Mullein could be a good scent for enemy work etc:

Mullein (verbascum thapsus -- figwort family)
  banish; courage; call evil spirits (incense); hexing with
  graveyard dirt; black magic (incense); love, prot; black
  magic (incense); prot vs
  magic and evil spirits

Thank you Shawn.  :)

From the perspective of both folkloric magic and witchcraft, Alchemy Works is probably one of the best sites for your wortcunning needs. It has a wide variety of otherwise tough-to-find herbs used for a variety of purposes in witchcraft. is also a fantastic resource, including providing a vast body of lore for free on the site.


And I would echo those who suggest cat yronwode's book, and Lucky Mojo in general.


For me, though, the hands-down best source for green magic and witchcraft's wortcunning is the writing of Andrew Chumbley of the Cultus Sabbati, and his Ars Philtron and Viridarium Umbris.

Nice discussion topic Ralakk, I’d like to throw a nice hawthorn thorn into the ring please.

In the UK a lot of witch bottles have been found in old buildings. These are used to bless/protect a place. I have used these in virtually all the homes I have had and have been asked to make them for other people and have taught others to make them too.

In the Museum of Witchcraft in Cornwall (well worth a visit if you are in the UK) they have a few examples of these bottles that have been found in old buildings and donated to the museum. The ones on display have Nails and urine in a bottle, a lambs heart pierced with pins in a glass jar etc. And a common one of those found is something or other pierced with hawthorn thorns.

Hawthorn in the UK has a few common names, Whitethorn, Maywitch and May (May is the month that the May tree blossoms). It is generally considered an unlucky tree and the Irish Gallic name for it means “harm”.

In many folk cultures it is believed that May is a bad/unlucky month for marriages.

The Hawthorn blossom, for many men, has the strong scent of female sexuality and was used by the Turks as an erotic symbol.

In a practical sense it is often planted as a barrier, the thorns can keep out any random trespasser, I have planted some Blackthorn (Sloe) in my garden for that reason (and so I can make sloe gin!!).

Hawthorn is often used in folk spells for purification cleansing and to enhance male potency. Due to the purification use I have made witch bottles with items inside to attract negative influences and added holly to trap them and hawthorn to purify them.

I suppose using the same theory it would be possible to attract luck into the bottle, or to draw harmony into there and then kill it. Purification can be used for both “good” and “bad” reasons. Salt purifies and cleans, but if you put too much of it in the soil it kills it, clean and sterile is not always good, so the same goes for hawthorn.

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