Greetings Fellow Witches!
From the Llewellyn Magick Blog, April 4, 2017:
Herbal washes and waters are among the most popular tools used in traditional forms of shamanism and folk magick around the world. They have existed for as long as humans have known how to make herbal teas, but their uses go far beyond medicinal beverages. In fact, they are exceptionally powerful tools in any witch‘s arsenal—it might just be easier to list the ways in which herbal waters cannot be used than to list all of their diverse applications. Visit any botanica (shops that cater to African and Caribbean Traditions, such as Santeria, Voodoo, and Hoodoo) and you will typically find several shelves fully stocked with herbal washes for as many purposes as you can imagine.
Yet, for some unfathomable reason, they have been slow to work their way into modern forms of witchcraft. Perhaps this is due to the less-than-amicable relationship between most indigenous folk traditions and modern Neopaganism. In past decades, some aspects of the older systems (such as their focus on the dead and underworld, and their use of animal sacrifice) made many Neopagans uncomfortable. As a result, many things—even very useful things—that originate in those traditions were overlooked by Western practitioners.
Today’s witches and ritual magicians are much more open to magical items that might be found on shelves next to skulls and coffin nails. However, some of these, like herbal washes, are new and mysterious to modern students, who are often unsure exactly how they are intended to be used.