I love herbs. My mom is a gardener and growing up with a garden with plants growing and herbs all around has always been interesting to me, although spading and working the soil was not my favorite thing as a kid. When I discovered the magic of herbs, I jumped at it, and one of my first entries in my magical workbook was several pages about herb lore. Although it would be a while before I really started doing a lot with herbs, when I started cooking regularly, they also become a favorite way to give flavor, depth and interest to dishes.
Herbs (which for me cover everything like seeds, barks, roots, petals, flowers, stamens and leaves) have a multitude of means of putting them to work in practical sorcery While I don’t always think about magical relationships with herbs while cooking, sometimes the symbolism I find can be quite potent. An apple pie with cinnamon or clove can be clever and tasty way to deliver a love spell. A good marinara sauce seasoned with basil, rosemary and sage can help to promote peace and blessings among the inhabitants of a home. Make a protection soup with white mustard, black pepper and that ubiquitous pinch of salt, which can both be magical and flavorful. A cup of chamomile tea can be soothing and relaxing, but also help bring luck, especially with money.
Of course, there are more ritualized methods of working with herbs as well, that are not so subtle. Making a herbal blend which you then boil or steep in hot water to make a magical bath. For cleansing I have a preference for sage (the garden variety) hyssop and eucalyptus leaves. For love, Rose petals, lavender buds, and some rosemary make for a gentle love drawing bath that smells quite green and floral. For something a bit more spicy, cinnamon, cloves and cardamom made into a strong tea and then bathed in can also bring a bit for physical enjoyment. You can also just simmer the above spices, or a pumpkin spice blend in a pot of water to get the scent to fill the home before an amour comes over to visit. Similarly a bath in cinnamon, nutmeg and allspice can help to draw wealth and good fortune. You can also bath in chamomile tea, which creates a bath of golden water, a very striking image of as you are bathing in gold.
While not as commonly used by many people, powders are a good way to apply magic. A practice that comes mainly from African American folk traditions, it is often overlooked by people outside of tha tradition, except for well known powders like Hotfoot Powder or Goofer Dust, two powders used to curse people, either to drive them away, or to potentially kill them. You can also use simple powdered herbs for their effects. Putting a pinch of ground black pepper and then a pinch of salt in your shoes can help to protect you from harm, shielding you from curses that have been laid down where you walk. The first time I did this, I almost jumped when I put my shoes on, because I immediately felt this surge of power go through, as though some residual negative energy have been cast out from me. Of course, there are other powdered herbs. You should take a pink of powdered cinnamon and lay it down underneath your door mat, to bring wealth to your home, a good practice if you also have a home business. Laying powdered herbs down that relate to your intention in the 4 corners of your home or property is a good way to reinforce magic performed on that area to help establish protection, blessings, or good fortune in the home or property. You can also use powdered herbs in rituals, using them to lay down symbols that connect to the herbs powers, which are serve to further reinforce your intention and focus. The most recognized one would be a circle of protective herbs, perhaps mixed together, which then marks a boundary for a ring of candles that surround a single candle, used in a spell for protection. When the candles have all burned out, collect the powder again, and carry it with you for protection, or sprinkle it around your home or the place to be protected.
There is a multitude of ways of using herbs, and I hope I have laid out some less commented upon methods here to inspire your imagination when working with herbs in magic.