When you think of a witch brewing up a batch of, well witches brew, you immediately think of them standing over a giant hard covered book that appears to have been passed on through centuries.  You think the recipes aren't necessarily for food, but instead potions and spells.  But, reality and modern day witches will surprise you.  YOU probably have some of the very same ingredients in your cupboard.


Now to be clear, I'm not saying that we're all witches or that they're cooking up beef stroganoff, but as I did research on this topic I found that some of their ingredients are quite common.

  • For instance, Basil.  My friend Kathy grew Basil in Blackhoof, dried it and gave me some.  I use it soups, but witches use it for exorcism and love spells (that's opposite ends of the spectrum).  They also say that Basil is a good ingredient to help with nightmares if you have them.
  • I'm not a fan of Caraway, but they are believed to be magic (not like Jack and the Beanstalk magic though).  If you're a college student it is said that Caraway will help you do will with your tests.
  • I cook a lot of Filipino dishes and we use Bay Leaves.  Now witches would use Bay Leaves for healing purposes, but they also say they can help to predict the future or that whomever eats them can become psychic.  My mom always said to cook with it for flavor, but take the Bay Leaves out before serving, they shouldn't really be ingested.
  •  REALLY not a fan of Anise.  That's the flavor of black licorice.  However, that's not what witches use it for.  For them it's a must if they are making a protection potion and purifies the soul.
  •  One may think that Garlic Cloves has something to do with vampires and I will not dispute that fact because I consider vampires a bad thing and witches use Garlic Cloves to drive away the bad spirits.  But again, it does double duty as it's sometimes used in love and magic potions.  That has to be love if you can stand garlic breath.
  •  Coriander is a mystery ingredient to most.  I have a yummy salsa recipe that calls for it so I do have some in my cupboard.  They say it alleviates sickness and promotes healing. (not if you eat too much chips and salsa though, that's self-induced).

So, those are the ingredients you may already have or are easily accessible at your favorite grocery store.

The ingredients needed for the witches brew in Macbeth are a little harder to find and I'm not sure why you'd want to.  But they say that while the names sound weird, it could have been names that were used for common or traditional ingredients. Eye of Newt: Mustard Seed

  • Toe of Frog: Buttercup
  • Wool of Bat: Holly Leaves
  • Tongue of Dog: Houndstongue
  • Adders Fork: Adders tongue
  • Lizard Leg: Ivy
  • A Hawk’s Heart: Wormwood
  • Ass’s Foot or Bull’s Foot: Coltsfoot
  • Bear’s Foot: Lady’s Mantle
  • Calf’s Snout: Snapdragon
  • Graveyard Dust: Mullein
  • Sparrow’s Tongue: Knotweed

If you don't believe me, here's a modern day witch (proving that all witches are not female) that shares his knowledge with demonstrations.

Not sure if witches use cream cheese in their recipes, but I made this a couple years ago for a Halloween party and it was fab! (I don't like candy corn either!)

Info via:


The Poison Diaries