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12 Powerful Herbs for Protection to Keep You Safe and Strong

Hello, my magical loves, and welcome to WiccaNow! As with most people in our community, I have a deep love for the natural world and all things in it. I’m currently learning more about healing herbs and plants. Because of this, I’m also learning about protective herbs. I wanted to share a handy little guide for all things related to plants and herbs for protection.

If you are interested in the herbal realm, maybe you’re a blossoming green witch, then check out these posts on herbs for love, herbs for self love, a post about money herbs and individual posts about lavender, cinnamon and rosemary.

My Favourite 12 Magickal Herbs for Protection

Below are all the best plants and herbs for protection. Many of them are wonderful as protective barriers around the home and for protective spells. A lot of these herbs also work well in protective charms. As many herbs are multifunctional, I’ve included other magical uses into this guide, along with some health benefits of each plant or herb.

A word of warning: Please remember to always be careful when using herbs and plant. Never consume something you aren’t 100% sure about. I am not a medical professional and don’t claim to be! The medicinal benefits of these money herbs should not be taken over the advice of a trained doctor.

Herbs for Protection #1 Angelica

Botanical drawing of angelica a herbs for protection #1
A botanical drawing of Angelica.

Angelica is an old healing herb which has been used for centuries. It was used by the Vikings and is one of the first medicinal plants exported by the Nordic countries to the rest of Europe. During the 17th and 18th centuries, it was used in order to treat the Plague and against intestinal infections. It increases the production of stomach acid, which can weaken or get rid of bacteria causing gastrointestinal distress. Angelica can also be used to stimulate appetite and lessen gas production.

elephant passing gas
Let that gas out, bottling things up doesn’t help anyone! But if you want to reduce your gas production, angelica can help.

If you are planning to eat this plant, be careful. Although the stems are edible, if bitter, the root is mildly poisonous when fresh. Make sure you are picking the right kind of Angelica. Some members of the same family, such as water hemlock, are more poisonous and can be dangerous. Fun fact, Angelica is often used as a cake decoration, maybe due to it’s almost unreal looking and shiny leaves.

Grow Angelica in your garden to protect your home and to keep out spirits looking to harm you. Wearing the root of the angelica plant in a small pouch for personal protection.

Herbs for protection #1 angelica leaves
These are the leaves of the Angelica plant. I see this all the time as a decoration for cakes and on food displays. Aren’t its lustrous leaves are pretty?

Herbs for Protection #2 Anise

botanical drawing of Anise herbs for protection #2
Anise is not only a delicious spice to add to things like mulled wine and curry, but it is also a great protective herb.

This aromatic herb for protection is perfect for warding off any spirits that might not have the best of intentions. Put anise seeds into a small pouch and place them under your pillow while you sleep to prevent nightmares. If you have a spell casting circle, you can use anise leaves inside the circle to prevent any malevolent spirits from entering while you are communicating with the other side. 

Anise can be used in the treatment of coughs and colds. It aids digestion and when used as a tea, it can help with any stomach problems you might be having. Anise is great for women as some of its chemical make-up is similar to estrogen. If you are breastfeeding, Anise can help you with milk production.

Other Magickal Uses: Purification (use it in a bath when you need cleansing), Joy, Awareness, opens the third eye, connection with the divine

mulled wine containing a herb for protection anise
Star Anise is so delicious if you use it to make mulled wine. A great addition to any Samhain festivities.

Herbs for Protection #3 Ash

herbs for protection #3 ash tree drawing
A fully grown Ash is really a beautiful tree.
botanical drawing of herbs for protection #3 ash tree leaves and flowers
A detailed drawing of the leaves and seeds of an Ash tree.

Ash is a great protection plant, especially if you are on or near water. Keep a small piece of it on your person and you will be protected from harm. If you want to ward off malevolent spirits, hang a piece of ash in the doorway of your home.

If you feel that your whole house needs protection, you can use wood chips from an ash tree. To do this, take some small pieces of ash wood and sprinkle them around your house in the four elemental directions (North, East, South, West). Follow this by placing a small talisman for each element (Earth, Fire, Water and Air) on each of the 4 directions. After you have done this, think about how you want to create a protective net around your home. As a result, if you have set your intention strongly enough, the ash will protect you from harm.

Ash makes a great broom for purification rituals and is often used for healing wands. 

harry potter characters raising their wands which could be made of ashwood
Did you know that Cedric Diggory’s wand was made of Ashwood in Harry Potter?

Other Magickal Uses: Put the leaves in a small pouch and wear it around your neck for good luck. If you want to have dreams of premonition, put some ash leaves under your pillow at night. Mythologically, Ashwood repels snakes and Faeries. It is also associated with lighting.

Herbs for protection #3 ash tree
Doesn’t the Ash Tree have a beautiful form? I would love to have one n my garden.

Herbs for Protection #4 Cacti

cacti botanical drawing detailing cacti that are used as herbs for protection #4
Don’t you love the variety in shapes, sizes and spines? If you are looking for an easy-care protection plant these guys should be your go-to. You don’t need to water them much and they basically look after themselves

Cacti are wonderful protection plants. If you need to protect your home (link for home protection spell here), these are an easy-care option. Because they require so little attention, you can easily keep a couple around your house for protection. Plant one in each corner of your garden to form a general protective boundary. If you don’t have a garden, you can also keep a potted Cactus in each corner of your living room to provide the same protection. They will help keep out burglars and unwanted visitors 

You can also collect the spines and add them to a small glass vial or locket to form a protection amulet. Although you can use a cloth pouch for this, I wouldn’t suggest it as the sharp spines might puncture through the fabric. 

Other Magickal Uses: Chastity

cacti flower timelapse
How magical are these flowers? This is one of the easiest herbs for protection to keep around because they are so low maintenance and basically thrive on neglect.

Herbs for Protection #5 Fennel

botanical drawing of fennel seeds and flowers for herbs for protection #5
This delicious vegetable is multi-functional. Not only is it very delicious as a vegetable, but you can also use the seeds, fronds and flowers in cooking too.

Fennel is a wonderful protection plant and is amazing at warding off spirits with ill intentions. Hang it in windows and doorways to protect your home. Grow it in your garden to provide general home protection. Planting Fennel around the home is also said to bring good luck. Fennel also has some great healing properties. This protection herb is great when used for digestion. Make a fennel tea to help with colds and to expel mucus. If you have bad breath and want to improve it, chew some dried fennel seeds. 

Other Magickal Uses: Purification, money

fennel bulbs on chopping board with lemon and oil
I love to roast fennel in the oven until it is tender and then drizzle it with olive oil.

Herbs for Protection #6 Fern

herbs for protection #6 botanical drawing of ferns
There are so many different types of ferns. As such, choose one that you like, as all of them provide great protection.

Ferns are a very powerful protective plant. Because of this, they are an extremely useful plant to grow around your home. They protect you from negativity and keep ill-intentioned spirits at bay.

If you want to protect your home from burglars you can sprinkle fern leaves on the windowsills of every room in the house. You could also keep a small vase with a fern leaf on the windowsill if you aren’t that keen on having dried herbs on your window sills.

Make a small pouch and stuff it with fern leaves in order to have a personal protection charm. This should also ward off unnatural illnesses. If you are worried about your house being jinxed, you can add fern leaf to the water next time you mop the floors. As a result, the jinx should be removed.

Other Magickal Uses: Faerie favourite, boost the magical properties of other plants

fern in the misty morning gif
Unfurling ferns hold so much potential don’t you think?

Herbs for Protection #7 Holly

Botanical drawing of holly tree and berries for herbs for protection #7
I’m a fan of Holly trees. I had one in my garden growing up and always loved the way that they were both soft and pretty yet extremely protective of themselves. Holly trees have very soft leaves when they are small, and these become very spikey as they mature. Harvesting the berries can be a dangerous business!

Another home protection plant, Holly will prevent intruders of both the magical and non-magical kind. Plant a few trees around your home to form a protective ring. 

Other Magickal Uses: If you want luck, carry a sprig of holly in your pocket. Attracts love, increases virility and masculinity. You can make a love potion with holly leaves. Place leaves under your bed to bring a peaceful and restful nights sleep.

holly berries close up
Aren’t these pretty? I love the contrast between spikey leaves and soft, smooth berries. Consequently, I think that this plant is the perfect herb for love and protection.

Herbs for Protection #8 Juniper

Botanical of a juniper branch included in herbs for protection #8
No one needs negative thoughts or energies coming their way, Juniper can help keep these at bay.

Another very strongly protective plant. If you keep juniper berries around your person, they will keep unkind thoughts and energies away from you. They will also protect you from accidents and theft. Juniper will also negate hexes and ill-intentioned magic while dispelling malevolent spirits. Did you know that Juniper berries provide the main flavouring for gin? They also make a great addition to a Gravlax marinade.

Other Magickal Uses:  Wearing the dried berries in a small pouch will attract a lover.

woman sipping a gin and tonic
Occasionally we all need a stiff gin and tonic. Sometimes it’s the only thing that can dispel those negative energies that have been plaguing you all day. Maybe it’s the juniper berries working their magic.

Herbs for Protection #9 Mugwort

herbs for protection #9 mugwort botanical illustration
Common mugwort, also known as Artemisia Vulgaris.

Mugwort is a well know and often used magickal herb which provides, among other things, extremely strong protective properties.

Historically, mugwort has been used for hundreds of years to flavour foods and to provide anti-microbial properties to prevent food spoiling. It used to be one of the main flavourings for beer before hops took over as it provided a delicious bitter note. Did you know that mugwort is in the same family as wormwood? Given the hallucinogenic properties of wormwood, it’s not surprising that many members of the family are considered as strongly magickal.

As one of our herbs for protection, mugwort is commonly associated with the Crone aspect of the Triple Goddess and also with the Moon Goddesses. Because it’s a herb that is often used for psychic and divinatory purposes, it can be great at helping to ward off psychic attacks. Some witches will sleep with it under their pillows to provide protection while enhancing their ability to astral project and lucid dream. Wearing a wreath of mugwort was once thought to repel spirits with malevolent intent.

Mugwort is great in protection oils and for cleansing ritual tools. If you want to make a ritual broom, bind plenty of mugwort into a broom and then use this broom to sweep negative energies from your home. Burning mugwort in a smudge stick will also work to protect you and clear negativity from your life and home.

clean up GIF
Using mugwort as one of our herbs for protection to cleanse the energy in your home will have you feeling like this.

Mugwort isn’t legal everywhere and if you are thinking about consuming it be careful. It can have hallucinogenic effects and as such has been banned in some states. These effects are particularly prevalent during sleep, or if you manage to achieve a trance-like state. It’s also an anticoagulant, has disinfectant properties and can calm your nerves.

Other Magickal Uses: Divination, psychic work, astral projection, lucid dreaming, attracting faeries. Used frequently as a helper for visionary work and magick. Protects against fatigue and injury.

Herbs for Protection #10 Oak

herbs for protection #10 botanical drawing oak tree
I always feel calm reading a book under a huge, old oak tree

These magical trees have a long history in the magical community. They are sacred to Druids and Witches. As well as this they are seen as old souls who offer protection and knowledge to us. As mentioned in our post about Love Herbs, acorns are a symbol of fertility.

If you burn oak wood, you can use the ashes as magickal protection from lightning. Did you know that in ancient times, all the fires in the village would be extinguished at the start of Yule? An oak log was then lit as the “Yule Log” and all other fires in the village were reignited using this flame. This was thought to bring protection, wisdom and a strengthened spiritual connection to the divine.

Oak wood is often used to make witches tools like wands and anthames. Wear oak on your person to harness its’s protective magick. If you are lucky enough to have a grove of oak trees near you, try casting a spell there. The ancient magick in oak trees is thought to guarantee the success of any spell cast under them.

Other Magickal Uses: Helps with the conception of ideas. Strength.

Herbs for Protection #11 Rosemary

botanical drawing for herbs for protection #11 of rosemary
Rosemary is one of the most multi-purpose herbs out there. I like to make smoke cleansing sticks with rosemary and sage to purify my apartment.

This wondrous herb can be used for so many things that it’s hard to classify which category it should fall under. It’s an all-purpose herb which is used in protection and purification rituals. Another way to use it is to wear it on your person for personal protection. Plant it at your front door to protect your home.

As a healing herb, rosemary (check out a detailed post I wrote about rosemary here) is great in improving your mood. Furthermore, it reduces inflammation, relieves pain and boosts your immune system. It helps with circulation and will protect you from bacterial infections. Rosemary will also help with skin conditions and can improve your skin’s youthfulness. 

Other Magickal Uses: Wear it for good luck, attracts love, positivity, peace. Use rosemary oil to consecrate your magical tools. Used in cooking to bring passion. Improves memory.

Rosemary in the sun
Rosemary is an absolutely wonderful herb which is a great all-purpose powerhouse. I keep a small store of it in my apartment at all times.

Herbs for Protection #12 Sage

botanical drawing of herbs for protection #12 sage
Sage is a wonderful herb which protects and purifies.

Sage is one of the most well-known herbs for protection. Use it to make smoke cleansing sticks and it will purify your space of negative energies. Additionally, wearing sage provides you with personal protection.

Please note that using white sage and calling it “smudging” is discouraged as it’s cultural appropriation of Native American culture. White sage is being over-harvested and this is causing white sage populations to plummet. Smoke cleansing with common garden sage is a much better option, this is something that has been done for centuries in Europe and if done respectfully is fine.

Sage is said to make you wiser, and as such, will help you if you are meditating.

I like to use it when I have a cold, it seems to have antibacterial properties so I like to gargle with it when I have a sore throat. It will also aid with digestion and helps with fevers. You can make a poultice with it which will help with skin irritations. Sage can also help with asthma and can ease muscle aches and pains. It has high levels of Vitamin K which we all need to help with bone density and integrity. 

Other Magickal Uses: Healing, Longevity, Fertility, helps with memory.

smudging stick made with sage being used to cleanse negative energies from a room gif
Using a sage smoke cleansing bundle will quickly purify your space and expel negative energies and thoughts. We all need that sometimes don’t we?

So my loves, I hope this guide to my 12 favourite herbs for protection has provided you with some go-to plants and herbs to use next time you need protection.

I’ll leave you with a prayer for protection, maybe you can use it next time you are burning sage to purify your home.

The breath of life 
And the light of my mind
Creates an enchantment 
Of protection and comfort 
As the air I breathe is purified 
And separated from any negativity
May my space be protected
So Mote it Be

Until next time,

Blessed Be,

Amaria xoxo

Check out or magickal grimoire!