While digging through your kitchen cabinets or re-organizing your spell supplies, you may come across herbs and spices that have been forgotten. Anything that hasn’t passed its “best before” date is probably still okay to use in cooking (assuming it was properly dried and stored). But what about the things that have surpassed their “best before” dates?
Can I still eat them?
The truth is, your herbs that were properly dried and stored are probably still edible for a period of time after their “best before” date- as the food label “best before” implies an ingredient is at peak quality before this date. After that, rather than go bad like perishable food, dried herbs tend to just lose their flavor over time.
These older herbs and spices won’t bring much flavor to your cooking, but it’s still a shame to throw them out- why not find another use for them?
Here are some creative crafting ideas to put those old herbs and spices to use in your practice!
Spell oils are a magickal item crafted from a mixture of ingredients in an oil base. Herbs and spices are often included in recipes and it is best to use dried materials to create a long-lasting oil that isn’t prone to spoiling.
Magickal oils can be used as part of a consecration ritual, to anoint magickal tools, dress candles, included in spellwork, dressing candles, or even given as an offering to deities.
Some candle magick spells call for the candle to be “dressed” (also called “anointed”)- this process requires rubbing herbs, spices, and oils on your candle prior to use in spellwork.
Older herbs and spices are perfect for dressing your candle with- they do not need to be fragrant to imbue your candle with the magickal properties of the plant!
Also called “Spell Bags”, these travel-friendly pouches are filled with herbs, crystals, runic symbols and more- any non-perishable things that correspond with your intention will serve you well in a Spell Pouch!
Spell Jars (also called Witch Bottles) involve taking ingredients that correspond with your intention and placing them in a sealable vessel such as a jar or bottle. Anything non-perishable can be put into your jar, so dried herbs and spices are a great choice!
Because they are sealed inside, it does not matter if the herbs or spices are less fragrant than they originally were- the magickal properties of the plant will still work for you!
Making your own soap is a fun activity that gives you control over your cleansing products. Melt & Pour Soapmaking is as easy as melting a pre-made soap base and adding herbs, colorants, and scents to design your own soap. Hot-Press and Cold-Press Soapmaking are a bit more advanced and require some mindfulness about safety (when working with lye- a necessary ingredient in authentic soap), but allow more control over what goes into your bath and beauty products.
Whether you include herbs within your soap blend or sprinkle them on as a tasteful decoration at the end, homemade soap is another fun way to put your old herbs to good use!
Homemade Herbal Soap by Bry Wisteria
Dried flowers, herbs, and spices maintain their colors long after they are harvested. With a bit of a creative eye, they can become beautiful decorations- from dried flower bookmarks to spice colorants and natural dyes and more.
A note about old herbs as deity offerings:
While offering old herbs to some deities (especially those associated with nature and renewal) may be seen as a kind gesture, it may not be deemed acceptable by every deity. Diety Offerings are a display of respect and reverence to a higher power- giving old, stale things that you want to get rid of may come across poorly to certain deities.
That being said, you know your deities and your intentions best- do what works well for you and your deities!
Enchanted by herbs and plants? You may be a Green Witch! Here are some additional resources and materials for those studying Green and Herbal Magick *Please make sure you are logged in to your Spells8 Account so you can view all of these materials.
How do you like to reuse your old herbs and spices?
Have you tried any of the magickal methods above?
Feel free to share your ideas, recipes, experiences and more with your Coven members in the comments below!
Blessed Be & Happy Crafting!