How many times is the magic in a fairytale instigated by a potion? The Evil Queen makes herself into a crone and gives the apple to Snow White. Alice grows smaller and then larger in Wonderland. The Little Mermaid gains her legs and visits her prince…and it’s all done with potions.
Any witch or sorceress worthy of the name could make potions. The good ones used the potions to help the heroes, while the evil ones made potions to defeat them. And potions could contain some really creepy things…but most started with basic herbs from the garden.
Herbs have been used for fragrance, flavoring, medicines and even magic for centuries. Even before the early Greeks and Romans used them, herbs were valued for their many attributes. And monks had herb gardens in monasteries during Medieval times, throughout Europe.
An herb garden often contained roses, since rose hips were one of the few sources of Vitamin C…and of course, for the fragrance. Lavender was also popular, as were many other herbs we still use today. In a modern herb garden, roses and lavender are joined by sage, dill, mint, chives, basil, oregano, bee balm, rosemary, marjoram, thyme, tarragon and many others.
Herbs are still used today to make many potions, although some might say the potions are now recipes for healthier foods, relaxing bath oils, even teas. If you think about it, there is definitely a bit of magic in the herbs and potions we use everyday…making herbs an important and wonderful part of any fairytale garden.