There's something powerful about inhaling the soft aroma of fresh herbs—it’s an ethereal sensory experience that’s reminiscent of an earlier time. Herb magic, also known as magical herbalism or herb spells, is one of the oldest known forms of sympathetic magic, found in folklore all over the world. The herbs that practitioners historically used vary depending on location, as herbs were typically gathered locally. Someone living in one part of the world might have used completely diﬀerent herbs than a person in a diﬀerent region. Wherever magic was practiced, herbal knowledge was passed down for generations —First by word of mouth and later through written documentation. Although we don’t know for sure when people began using plants in a magical or spiritual context, author Scott Cunningham in his Llewellyn’s Truth About Herb Magic suggests that the Egyptians and Sumerians were using plants in magical ways by about 3000 BCE. We also know that the Greeks and Romans wrote extensive texts about using herbs and other natural items in religious rituals. By the 1400s, herbal magic and medicine were practiced side by side in Europe and other parts of the world.
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