Sassafras - The Trees

The Magic of Trees: A Guide to Their Sacred Wisdom & Metaphysical Properties - Tess Whitehurst 2017

The Trees


The lush and fragrant sassafras is a fabulous combination of unbounded whimsy and grounded physicality. A native to North America and Asia, the largest sassafras tree—more than 100 feet tall and 21 feet in circumference—dwells in Owensboro, Kentucky.

While sassafras oil that is extracted from the tree’s roots and bark was an original ingredient in root beer, it was banned by the FDA in 1960 for use as a flavoring or food additive due to purported health concerns, so now its flavor is approximated with other ingredients. Still, ground sassafras leaves (which do not contain the supposedly cancer-causing constituent found in the roots and bark) are prominently featured in Creole cuisine, most famously in gumbo.

Magical Uses


Sassafras is a very creative tree, as he features three distinct leaf shapes, instead of the usual one—single-lobed (diamond-shaped), bilobed (mitten-shaped), and trilobed (like a fig or a maple leaf). Tuning in to this variation, one is reminded of a leafy jigsaw puzzle or the unrestrained aesthetic of a child’s artwork.

Additionally, sassafras’s unique combination of whimsy and grounding allows us to channel our emotions, imagination, and divine inspiration into concrete form in the physical world—in other words, to create art!


To activate your creativity, bless a creative project, or propel yourself out of a creative funk, visit a sassafras tree with two ice-cold root beers. (“Hard” root beer is an option now—did you know? Although either type—alcoholic or non—will do.) Relax, breathe deeply, and come into the moment as you gaze at the tree and tune in to his energy.

When you feel centered, hold both root beers and feel all the feelings associated with the type of creativity you’d like to activate. Really feel and sense that you’re in the middle of a creative renaissance where beautiful ideas and projects flow through you, and you execute them with the assistance of the Divine. Feel deep gratitude for this, knowing that as you see and feel it in your mind’s eye and emotions, it shall be. And, because time is an illusion, as you see and feel it, it already is.

Approach the tree and pour one of the root beers around his base as an offering. Return to your spot and drink your root beer with relish, attuning further to the frequency of your ideal, divine, creative momentum and flow.


According to Michael Tierra in The Way of Herbs, herbal medicine made from sassafras root bark and root “is very effective as a blood-purifying alternative for a wide variety of skin diseases including acne. It is also commonly used by the rural folk of Appalachia and the Ozarks as a diuretic and treatment for arthritic and rheumatic complaints, pains, ulcers, colds, and flus.” As for the toxicity of safrole (the constituent the FDA believes to be cancer-causing), when consumed in sassafras-based herbal medicine, Michael Tierra expresses serious and convincing doubts of its veracity. Luckily for herbalists and herbal healing enthusiasts, while sassafras oil is banned as a food and flavoring additive, the herb can still be found in tincture, oil, and herb form online and at many health food stores.

Additionally, any part of the tree can be employed in spells, rituals, and sachets performed or created for the intention of physical healing. For example, the following charm can be assembled to support rapid physical healing of things like colds, flus, aches, pains, and injuries.


Empower a single garlic clove, a pinch of sassafras bark, and a clear quartz point in bright sunlight for one minute. Then tie them into a red flannel pouch or a scrap of red flannel, and anoint with essential oil of rosemary. Hold it in both hands and feel golden-white healing light flowing into the crown of your head, down to your heart, and out through your hands into the sachet. Know that this charm will emit a strong aura of health and divine healing, and that whoever is within its circle will be bathed in this powerful energy. Keep it close to you, or give it to the person you’d like to help heal. Empower in sunlight and refresh the rosemary oil to recharge the magic.


Simply keeping sassafrass in your handbag or wallet is a traditional wealth-drawing charm.

In kitchen witchery, adding filé powder (a powder made from ground sassafras leaves) to your food can infuse your food with the energy of prosperity, so that as you eat it, you internalize the magic and activate your prosperity magnetizing powers. Just be sure to add it to your food with the intention to draw abundance.

Magical Correspondences


Elements: Water and Earth

Gender: Masculine

Planet: Jupiter