Crystals and Minerals, Herbal Lore

Magickal Substitutions of Ingredients


By Morningbird

If you have a spell and you don’t have all the ingredients, you may be able to swap out one thing for another. Check this list to see if you can substitute your hard-to-find item with something easier to obtain.

Considering the Purpose

Make sure you research your substitutions to make sure they really are what you’re looking for and listen to your own intuition. Herbs can be used for different purposes and it’s a good idea to thoroughly research the herb you’re trying to substitute to determine its purpose in the spell and then thoroughly research potential substitutes for true compatibility.

You can’t just swap out one thing for another without really considering its purpose.

If you can’t find what you’re looking for here, find out the planetary correspondence of the item you’re looking to substitute and visit that planet’s page as a starting point. Ingredients that correspond to the same planet carry similar energies and can sometimes be used for the same purpose in a spell.

As already mentioned, you must understand the reason for the ingredient in the spell before you make a substitution.

A Table of Possible Substitutions

Keep in mind that these substitutions are for magic and spellwork only and should not be relied upon for healing or culinary use.

IngredientPossible Substitutes
AcaciaGum Arabic (Is made from acacia)
AllspiceCassia, Cinnamon, Cloves, Mace, Nutmeg
AmbergrisCypress and Patchouli
Asafetidagarlic, onion, neem, gum ammonium
Balm of GileadRose, gum mastic
BelladonaRose, Tomato
Baneful Herbs (Any)Tobacco
BenzoinGum Arabic, Gum Mastic
BloodCopal, Bloodroot sap, Pokeweed berry juice, Dragon's Blood
BluestoneBluing balls
CamphorEucalyptus, Lavender
CarnationRose combined with cinnamon
CinnabarDragon's Blood
CinquefoilClover, trefoil
CitronOrange and Lemon Peels combined
ClovesNutmeg, Mace
CopalFrankincense, cedar
Crystals (Any)Quartz Crystal
CypressJuniper, Pine
Deer's TongueTonka, Woodruff, Vanilla
Dittany of CreteGum Mastic
Dragon's BloodBlend together Frankincense and Red Sandalwood
EucalyptusCamphor and Lavender
Flowers (Any)Rose
GalangalGinger root
Grains of ParadiseBlack Pepper
Gum ArabicFrankincense, Gum Mastic
Gum AmmoniacAsafetida
Gum BdelliumCopal, Pine, Dragon's Blood
Gum Resin (Any)Frankincense, Copal
HelleboreTobacco, Nettles
HempNutmeg, Damiana, Star Anise, Bay Laurel
Herb (any)Rosemary
HyssopLavender, Anise
JuniperPine, Cedar
LemongrassLemon peel, pelargonium, lemon verbena
Lemon VerbenaLemon grass, lemon peel
Lady's SlipperValerian, California Poppy, Passion Flower, Lemon Balm, Skullcap
MandrakeTobacco, Mayapple
Mint (any)Sage
MistletoeMint, Sage
MugwortWormwood, Southernwood
NightshadeTobacco, Tomato
NutmegMace, Cinnamon, Pelargonium
OrangeTangerine, Pelargonium
Orange FlowersOrange Peel
PatchouliOak Moss
PepperwortRue, Grains of Paradise, Black Pepper
Pine ResinFrankincense, Copal
RoseYarrow, Rose Geranium, Rose Attar
RueRosemary + a dash of Black Pepper
SaffronOrange Peel
SulfurClubmoss, Asafatida, Tobacco
TobaccoBay Laurel
Tonka BeanDear Tongue, Woodruff, Vanilla Bean
VanillaWoodruff, Deer Tongue, Tonka
Wood AloeSandalwood, Ambergris
WoodruffVanilla, Deer Tongue

Sources and More Information:

Written by Morningbird & Witchipedia Team

I have been practicing magick alone and with family and friends for over 30 years. As a founder and lead writer on Witchipedia, I’ve been publishing articles since 2006.

It is our mission to provide the most accurate Pagan, occult and magical information.

23 thoughts on “Magickal Substitutions of Ingredients”

  1. When doing a reverse hex spell what can I use instead of a apple twig. I live in the south we don’t have apple trees around here thank you

    • Apple wood is not specifically used for hex breaking or reversing as it is a Venus tree, generally used for more peaceable applications. While it is difficult to say without seeing the actual spell, I suspect the apple wand was used for the sake of expediency, it being immediately available to the writer of the spell, rather than for its specific magical vibrations. Or it may have been used to bring a peacemaking element into it, or to nullify Mars energy. If the latter is the case, then any Venus wood can be used. I think Poplar would be ideal here, even moreso than apple. Birch, elder, hawthorn, honey locust or oak can be used, if you’re looking for more of a whomping stick.

      • Oh thank you very VERY much! I was feeling the oak!! Which is easily accessible? FABULOU ! Thank you again for your time I truly appreciate this!! BLESSED BE ?

          • Probably cinnamon or cayenne pepper would be a suitable substitute if you’re using it for a spell. Old-time red precipitate is mercuric oxide and not safe to try to manufacture on your own, but homemade versions often contain hot things, like cayenne and something like gun powder.

  2. What can i substitute with rosemary as i know rosemary substitues every herb but can i use somethinf else in rosemaries place

  3. I understand different people have different take on magic uses and I have only recently changed my thinking after 7 years regarding the use of negative spells. I am a very kind person, wouldn’t kill spiders or flies, however, after a course of devistating events of burglary, difficulty in court, money issues, assaults, and rape, I strongly believe were brought on by someone using black magic on me, and at this point have considered a revenge spell.

    So patchouli leaves. This is included in the spell, but due to this course of bad luck I mentioned, the bag of patchouli leaves I had I do not have now, and am wondering if I can use any replacement I might have at home, can I use patchouli oil, etc…I appreciate any feedback.
    Thank you.

      • Vetiver is listed here on the chart though it has some different qualities. It depends, as always, on the specific qualities you’re using the herb to bring into the spell. I think most Sun herbs could be utilized, as the Sun is the great revealer. Hyacinths are associated with truth and their shape is kind of similar (grass like) so they should work too.

    • What are your thoughts on using seeds in a spell (like a jar or anointing a candle), rather than the grown plant? I find it hard to find certain flowers, but I can easily look in my seed binder for seeds (or purchase some). Does the ingredient in seed form change the potency of a spell?

      • Personally, I find the tactile experience of handling the plant to be a big part of the spell. Seeds are a different experience. THey are useful, of course, but it is different. The feel, smell of them. Also, it is important to note that different parts of plants have different correspondences. The root, thorns, petals, and seeds of a single plant may each be used for a completely different thing.

        But really, if you have seeds, you’re just a few months away from the plant.

    • I think probably anything black that’s about the right size and feels lovely and nice. If a specific plant isn’t called for, it’s just about the color and the fact that flowers are pretty.


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