Herbs for Protection: Why They Don't Work

Herbs for Protection: Why They Don't Work

| |
| |

The idea that certain herbs can be effective for general protection is an ancient spiritual folklore which isn’t provable and doesn’t work. We believe it’s important to debunk popular pseudoscience (as we recently did with our nutrition response testing article), so that health-conscious consumers don’t waste their money or time.

In this article we’ll explain which herbs are traditionally used for protection, why they won’t work, and what some better alternatives are.

How Are Herbs Used For Protection?

Humans are subject to making emotional decisions rather than rational ones, especially when it comes to feelings like anxiety and paranoia.

For thousands of years, herbal folklore of various disciplines has suggested that specific herbs can foster a sense of protection. This protection usually is suggested to exist in a spiritual rather than a physical sense.

Just last year, major health publisher Well & Good featured a “green witch” in an article on herbal rituals. She said that herbs like lavender could be incorporated into “mystical self-care practices.”

Sage is another herb which is often considered to remove negative energy in an indoor dwelling when burned.

There exist hundreds of other magical remedies of herbs for protection online; some suggesting inhalation via vapor, some suggesting cultivation in a garden and some suggesting supplementation.

What you’ll notice is that all of these solutions are vague and there is no standard practice, because this is a spiritual rather than scientific approach. 

We respect cultural and religious practices, and we believe deeply in the ability of certain herbal remedies like red ginseng which are backed by significant clincal research to be able to heal and strengthen the body, but we can't recommend treatments with absolutely no basis in any science at all like using herbs for protection.

Why it Won’t Work

For an herbal remedy to be considered effective for a given purpose, there must be published research testing it and finding the results to be successful.

We can't identify any clinical research suggesting that herbs are effective for general protection, and therefore there is no reason to believe they are. It doesn’t matter what an herbalist or “green witch” suggests, we would consider buying herbs for protection a waste of time and money.

Certain folklore solutions have actually been tested in medical research and proven to be effective, such as ceylon cinnamon extract's significant research backing in regard to cholesterol and blood sugar normalization, but that is not the case with any herbs suggested to help with protection.

Better Alternatives

For people worried about protection because of heightened anxiety, we recommend therapy. Often a paranoid fear can creep into a patient’s mind in times of high stress or change, and therapy with a licensed provider is a safe, effective treatment modality which is often covered by medical insurance.

It’s important that patients are honest with themselves and ask themselves if their worries about “protection” stem from mental health issues. It may be useful to bring these concerns up with a doctor and consider medical treatment if this is an ongoing issue.

Stay up-to-date on our research reviews


There is no evidence that any herbs help with protection, and "protection" itself is a poorly-defined term. We only consider herbal treatments with clinical research backing to work, and we cannot identify any such research for this category.

We recommend considering medical interventions for people who feel a strong need for “protection” in a general sense, as this might lead to more productive solutions.

Illuminate Labs is a proud member of

Liquid error (layout/theme line 238): Could not find asset snippets/search-bar.liquid