Herbs have been around and have played an important part in man's life for thousands of years. In that time they have been used for numerous purposes, medicinal, superstition, in religion, in politics, and, of course, in magick.
Some herbs were undoubtedly given "magickal" properties by ancient cultures due to their medicinal properties. Throughout the ages, and throughout the world, herbs have played an important role for mankind.
Today's Witch has many herbs at his/her disposal, although not all are easy to get hold of except through a specialist dealer. Many spells make use of herbs, and herbs can be used in a variety of ways within those spells. Some herbs are safe to drink (tea is a herb after all!) and some are safe to use as a salve etc. Of course, no herb should ever be ingested unless you know exactly what you're doing. Don't take chances. If in any doubt, consult your doctor.
The best way to have a good supply of herbs on tap for spell use is to have your own herb garden. Apart from the fact that this will enable you to have a year round supply, it will also give you access to some of the more exotic and lesser known varieties. Herbs are not that difficult to grow provided a few basic steps are taken to ensure success. After all, why limit your magick because you don't have the herbs needed?
From the botanical point of view, an herb is a seed plant that does not produce a woody stem. But does live long enough to develop flowers and seeds. Herbs can be classified as annuals, biennials, and perennials. Annuals bloom for one season and then die. Biennials live for two seasons but bloom only during the second season. Perennials if successfully established will fall back over winter and bloom each season