Wizards vs Muggles: How Do Herbs Stack Up?

Barriers between the Muggle and wizarding worlds have been firmly in place since the Statute of Secrecy was enacted in 1692. With the rise and fall of Voldemort, it became apparent that some of those barriers encouraged unnecessary prejudice to form not just against Muggles, but against Muggle-born witches and wizards. It was made plain by the end of the Second Wizarding War that those prejudices needed to be dissolved, yet that is a daunting task to take on. Instead, let us take you on a journey that will show you how alike our two worlds are. Wizarding folk aren’t the only ones to use herbs such as wheatgrass and eucalyptus. We typically use such ingredients in our potion-making, while Muggles mostly use them for cooking. However, they also use these same herbs to heal common (and even sometimes complicated) illnesses.

Here is a list of commonly used herbs by both wizards and Muggles and their uses:


Thyme is a key ingredient used in Felix Felicis. In combination with the Ashwinder eggs, thyme is the part of the potion that enhances the drinker’s mental faculties and induces euphoria. In a similar fashion, Muggles often use thyme as a natural antidepressant. In addition to this, Muggles use thyme to assist in healing all sorts of illnesses, including common colds, bronchitis, and even cancer. It’s even used as a treatment for mild cases of acne! For all the teens out there reading this, this is a lifesaver! If you don’t have any Bubotuber Pus lying around, thyme is a great substitute.


No, I’m not talking about everyone’s favorite Bertie Bott’s Every Flavour Bean! Peppermint is a cross-breed between watermint and spearmint, created by Ancient Egyptian wizards. It has many common uses from a simple potion ingredient to preventing bad breath after a boogey bean! When reduced to an oil, it is a real life saver against bad breath. Even the scent can help with clearing your nose from the Snuffly Sneezes! Peppermint is even used as a candy in the Muggle world as well! In addition to these wonderful uses, peppermint can help reduce aches and pains, whether in a potion or in a warm bath.


In the wizarding world, this herb is often used by centaurs to help with their stargazing. Oddly enough, Muggles almost use it the same way, but instead of trying to read the stars, they use it to get rid of unwanted spirits. It still has a medical benefit that could be used in the wizarding world! It’s often used in the Muggle world to relieve sore throats and toothaches. Warning you now! Do not go marching into centaur territory for a little bit of sage. It’s not worth it!


Yes, it’s true! Cinnamon is used in both the wizard and Muggle worlds! The Muggles most often use cinnamon as a seasoning for food, but they also know a lot of the health benefits that go along with it. Wizards use it in potions like the Antidote to Veritaserum, and some of you may recognize it as an ingredient in Ogden’s Old Firewhiskey. Muggles have found that there are great healing properties to cinnamon. It can be used as an anti-inflammatory, an immunity booster, and even as a means to counteract diabetes (a Muggle disease that occurs when the body cannot process sugar correctly). Wizards are still experimenting with how to use cinnamon in healing potions, but for now, you can always go to a Muggle supermarket and purchase some.


Marigold, in powdered, cream, and oil forms, has been used by wizards for thousands of years to treat things such as acne and minor cuts and bruises. Muggles often steep it into a tea to help those with digestion issues. It’s especially useful for infants that have severe colic (trouble digesting milk/formula). In this instance, at least, we are not so different from Muggles.


This one is very commonly used by Muggles to treat serious illnesses that range from heart disease and stroke to arthritis (swelling and achiness in the joints of the hand). In fact, Muggles have discovered far more uses for ginger than we have at this point in time. The staff at St. Mungo’s have been rumored to be experimenting with this herb, but no further information has been gathered in regards to what exactly they are trying to do with it. You can always use it as the Muggles do, though!


And there you have it! Even though it may seem like we are vastly different from Muggles, we’re more alike than not. They may not use herbs the same way we do, but they have discovered a lot of the medicinal properties without potion-brewing. It just goes to show you that, while Muggles may not have magic, they can certainly use it.

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