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The Llewellyn Encyclopedia

What Is an Herb?

This article was written by Scott Cunningham on May 10, 2002
posted under herb magic

Even botanists havenít been able to agree on this. In magic, we avoid these arcane arguments by simply stating that an herb is any plant or any part of a plant thatís used in magic. An "herb" can be a cactus, a flower, a seaweed, a moss, a mushroom, a grass, a vine, shrub, bush or tree. "Spices" are also classified as herbs. The parts of plants used in herbalism include seeds, flowers, fruits, leaves, barks and roots.

The word "herb" implies that the plant has a specific use. Such uses may be medicinal (goldenseal); culinary (spearmint); cosmetic (almond); aesthetic (rose) or magical (sandalwood). Many herbs enjoy a rich variety of uses.

Still, only those plants shown to have magical effects are used in herb magic.


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