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The Angelica Leaves In ‘Hocus Pocus 2’ Are Real — Here’s How You Can Use Them

Cult-classic Hocus Pocus has been a seasonal staple since its release in 1993. In the original film, three witches are accidentally summoned by Max and his sister Dani, after visiting the abandoned Sanderson hour and  lighting a candle that can only be lit by virgins (to the embarrassment of Max, who also brought along his crush Allison). Filled with campy comedy and of course, a talking cat, Hocus Pocus has been the movie of choice for many around Halloween.

The Sanderson sisters — Winifred (Bette Midler), Sarah (Sarah Jessica Parker), and Mary (Kathy Najimy) — have returned to Salem in an equally campy sequel almost 30 years later. Released on Sept. 30 on Disney+, Hocus Pocus 2 revives the Sanderson sisters, and introduces us to some new protagonists, Becca (Whitney Peak) and Izzy (Belissa Escobedo). Becca and Izzy use something called Angelica Leaves to break a curse placed on them by the Sanderson sisters, but are Angelica Leaves even real? And do they actually have any uses or benefits (besides curse-lifting, of course)?

In the movie, the Sanderson sisters put a curse on Becca and Izzy so that they cannot be seen or heard, and trap them in the basement of a magic shop. Earlier in the movie, the shop’s owner Gilbert (Sam Richardson) tells the duo that Angelica leaves can lift curses. Despite not believing him initially, Becca and Izzy find the leaves in the basement and ask them to grant freedom from the curse and ultimately the locked basement. To their surprise, it works, and the stairs reappear.

Angelica leaves are very much real, and have been used to do away with dark magic, and other maladies for centuries. The roots of Angelica leaves, or Angelica archangelica, have been used since the 17th century to stimulate the digestive system, respiratory system, and circulatory system. The herb was even used as a treatment for the black plague, and has strong anti-bacterial properties.

Today, however, Angelica leaves are used mostly in food. The leaves, seeds, and roots of the Angelica archangelica plant can be used to make tea, which has a flavor similar to licorice. The “shoots” or stems of the plant can be turned into candy, or eaten similar to celery. The leaves can also be added to salads for a sweet, aromatic flavor. Angelica leaves, roots, and stems can be found at health food stores, Amazon, and Etsy, although they can be a bit hard to find — you’ll likely see Angelica root being sold more often than just the leaves like in Hocus Pocus 2.

Perhaps we could all use Angelica leaves to ward off a bit of our own evils (bad vibes, that is), or at least make a nice cup of tea. 

Erika Taylor

Chapman '24

Erika is a freelance writer and Chapman University student based in Southern California. Specializing in fashion marketing, she is majoring in Business Administration with an emphasis in Marketing, and minoring in Visual Journalism. She can be found at @erikatxylor on Instagram and TikTok.