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Getting through the darkest month by Heather

Don’t know about you, but after the lights and festivities of December, I find January a long dark month, the days only perceptively getting longer in the last days leading into February.

It’s now that I enjoy looking in my cupboard, to use uplifting herbs that most of us have to hand.  Here are some of my favourites, which were also used by our ancestors, to warm our hearts and lift our spirits, together with how I use them.  

I would love it if you shared some of your recipes and ideas too.


Ginger was first cultivated and studied in Asia, travelling along the trading routes to Europe. This is an herb that offers many healing qualities and was said to be regarded by our ancestors as a heal all.

Ginger is potent, powerful and pungent, perfect to help you stay vibrant during the darkest nights of winter. It is considered to be warming to the body and has healing abilities that are very helpful this time of year, including:

fighting infection and flu symptoms like sore throat, chills, and congestion combating pain and inflammation calming and healing the digestive system.

There are many ways to incorporate ginger into your everyday life, easy things like:

a decoction (strong tea made by boiling fresh root in water for about 15 mins) adding it to cooking broth, seasonings or in baking.

You can add to these any of the magical properties of ginger: Healing, cleansing, love, passion, success, power, protection, prosperity.

Cinnamon is a core herb in Traditional Chinese Medicine that spread to Europe and Egypt and was once valued as more precious than silver. Though cinnamon is usually thought of as a culinary herb, it is very medicinal. Like ginger, cinnamon has the ability to get the blood flowing and warm you up quickly.  It also:

fights pain and inflammation promotes proper digestive flow lower blood sugar holistic oral care

Some simple ways to integrate a healthy dose of cinnamon into your diet:

drinking more chai tea mixing some into your honey on toast brushing your teeth with powdered cinnamon (makes your teeth whiter too)

Add in your intention, by visualising any of the magical properties that cinnamon possesses:

Spirituality, Success, Healing, Power, Psychic powers, prosperity, lust, protection, luck.


This powerful herb has rich volatile oils that:

boost immunity by fighting bacteria, fungus and viruses loosen up tight muscles numb pain when applied topically open up the lungs and loosen up mucus

Clove is a very versatile herb that can be helpful to you in 3 different ways:

internally: brew a strong cup of chai tea externally: make some massage oil aromatically: diffuse clove essential oil or boil cloves in a pot to humidify your home

The magical properties of clove include: Clarity, protection, stress relief, abundance, money, love, positivity, honesty.

Sources: A Kitchen Witch's World of Magical Food by Rachel Patterson A Kitchen Witch's World of Magical Plants & Herbs by Rachel Patterson Herb Magic for Beginners by Ellen Dugan The Encyclopaedia of Magical Ingredients by Lexa Rosean

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