Mediterranean herbs on pure white background: lavender, sage, oregano, thyme. Spring and summer concept. Plenty of copyspace.

Here we have a handy listing of herbs that are often called for in magickal formulas along with acceptable substitutions. Be aware, that these substitutions are not for any formula that is to be eaten or ingested without first determining if the substitute herb is non toxic. Also, unless otherwise noted, all listings refer to plant materials, not oils.

In general:

  • Rosemary can be safely used for any other herb.
  • Rose can substitute for any flower.
  • Frankincense or Copal can be used in place of any gum resin.
  • Tobacco can take the place of any poisonous herb.
  • Sage can substitute for any mint.
  • Quartz can be substituted for crystals

A

  • Acacia: Gum Arabic
  • Acacia, Gum: Gum Arabic
  • Aconite: Tobacco
  • Allspice: Cassia, Cinnamon, Cloves, Mace and Nutmeg
  • Arabic Gum: Frankincense, Gum Mastic, Gum Tragacanth (for binding wet ingredients, not for incense use)
  • Ammoniac, Gum: Asafetida
  • Asafetida: Tobacco, Valerian

B

  • Balm of Gilead: Rose buds, Gum Mastic
  • Bedellium, Gum: Copal, Pine resin, Dragon’s Blood
  • Belladonna: Tobacco
  • Benzoin: Gum Arabic, Gum Mastic
  • Bergamot Oil: Grapefruit oil
  • Blessing Oil: Olive oil
  • Blood: Copal, Bloodroot sap, Pokeweed berry juice
  • Bluestone: Blueing balls

C

  • Cachana: Angelica Root
  • Cajuput Oil — White Camphor Oil
  • Camphor Oil: Eucalyptus oil, Lavendar oil
  • Carnation: Rose petals anointed with a few drops of Cinnamon or Clove oil
  • Cassia: Cinnamon (Cinnamon sold in the U.S. is actually the less expensive Cassia.)
  • Castor Bean: A few drops Castor Oil.
  • Cedar: Sandalwood
  • Cemetery Dirt: Patchouli or Valerian
  • Chamomile Oil: Lavender Oil
  • Cinquefoil: Clover, Trefoil
  • Cinnabar: Dragon’s Blood
  • Citron: Equal parts Orange peel and Lemon peel
  • Clary Sage Oil: Equal parts Sage Oil and Nutmeg Oil
  • Clove: Mace, Nutmeg
  • Clover: Cinquefoil
  • Copal: Frankincense, Cedar
  • Cowbane: Tobacco
  • Cypress: Juniper, Pine needles
  • Cypress Oil: Cedarwood

D

  • Deerstongue: Tonka bean (not for internal use), Woodrull, Vanilla
  • Dittany of Crete: Gum Mastic
  • Dragon’s Blood: Equal parts Frankincense / Red Sandalwood

E

  • Eucalyptus Oil: Camphor oil, Lanvendar oil
  • Euphorbium: Tobacco

F

  • Frankincense: Copal, Pine resin

G

  • Galangal: Ginger root
  • Grains of Paradise: Black Pepper
  • Grapefruit Oil:  Lemon Oil
  • Gum Ammoniac: Asafetida
  • Gum Bedellium:  Copal, Pine resin, Dragon’s Blood

H

  • Hellebore: Tobacco, Nettle
  • Hemlock: Tobacco
  • Hemp: Nutmeg, Damiana, Star Anise, Bay
  • Henbane: Tobacco
  • Hyssop: Lavender

I

  • Ivy: Cinquefoil

J

  • Jasmine: Rose
  • Jasmine Oil: Ylang Ylang Oil
  • Juniper: Pine

L

  • Labdanum: Hibiscus
  • Lavendar: Rose
  • Lemongrass: Lemon peel
  • Lemongrass Oil: Lemon oil
  • Lemon Oil: Lime oil
  • Lemon Peel: Lemongrass, Lemon peel
  • Lemon Verbena: Lemongrass, Lemon peel
  • Lime Oil: Lemon oil

M

  • Mace: Nutmeg
  • Mandarin Oil:  Orange oil or Tangerine oil
  • Mandrake: Tobacco, May Apple
  • Mastic, Gum: Gum Arabic, Frankincense
  • Melissa Oil:  Lemon, or equal arts of Lemon, Petitgrain
  • Mint: (any type) Sage
  • Mistletoe: Mint, Sage
  • Mugwort: Wormwood

N

  • Neroli Oil: Osage oil, or Petitgrain oil
  • Nightshade: Tobacco
  • Nutmeg: Mace, Cinnamon

O

  • Oakmoss: Patchouli
  • Orange: Tangerine peel
  • Orange Oil: Tangerine oil
  • Orange Flowers: Orange peel

P

  • Patchouli: Oakmoss
  • Patchouli Oil:  Vetiver oil
  • Peppermint: Spearmint
  • Pepperwort: Rue, Grains of Paradise, Black Pepper
  • Pine: Juniper
  • Pine Resin: Frankincense, Copal

R

  • Red Sandalwood: Sandalwood mixed with a pinch of Dragon’s Blood
  • Rose: Yarrow
  • Rose Oil: Rosewood oil or Geranium oil
  • Rose Geranium: Rose
  • Rosewood Oil:  Equal parts Geranium and Cedarwood
  • Ruby: Garnet
  • Rue: Rosemary mixed with a pinch of Black Pepper

S

  • Saffron: Orange peel
  • Sandalwood:  Cedar
  • Sandalwood Oil:  Equal parts Benzoin and Cedarwood
  • Sarsaparilla: Sassafras
  • Sassafras: Sarsaparilla
  • Spearmint: Peppermint
  • Spearmint Oil: Peppermint oil
  • Sulphur: Tobacco, Club Moss, Asafetida

T

  • Tangerine Oil: Orange Oil
  • Tea Tree Oil: Equal parts Lavender and White Camphor
  • Thyme: Rosemary
  • Tobacco: Bay
  • Tonka Bean: Deerstongue, Woodruff, Vanilla bean
  • Topaz: Citrine
  • Trefoil: Cinquefoil

V

  • Valerian: Asafetida
  • Vanilla: Woodrull, Deerstongue, Tonka Bean
  • Vetivert: Calamus

W

  • Wolfsbane: Tobacco
  • Wood Aloe: Sandalwood sprinkled with Ambergris oil
  • Woodruff: Deerstongue, Vanilla
  • Wormwood: Mugwort

Y

  • Yarrow: Rose
  • Yew: Tobacco

 

Sources include:

  • Complete Book of Essential Oils and Aromatherapy
  • Cunningham’s Book of Incense, Oils & Brews
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