Thursday, November 8, 2018

Herbal Lore - Lavender

Lavender would have to be one the most important and versatile plants to grow in a herb garden.  This magical plant is native to the Mediterranean and has many uses including culinary and herbal.  It is widely cultivated and thrives in most temperate climates.  You can recognise Lavender by its amazing scent and spectacular array of purple flowers.
I have Lavender growing throughout my garden and use it almost every day in some form.  Not only does it smell divine, it has many healing properties. It is one of my favourite plants and essential oil. 


Lavender has a long history dating back to the Egyptians.  The Romans used it in their bathwater and to wash their clothes.  In Tudor times, young women would sip lavender tea in the hope that they would be granted a dream in which they would see their true love.  Lavender tucked under the pillows of young men was thought to encourage them to ask for a lady’s hand in marriage.  Lavender has been associated with magic and sorcery as it was thought to ward off the evil eye.  As a natural insect repellent, it was popular in the middle ages as an anti plague herb as it repelled fleas.  Folklore suggests that used in combination with Rosemary, Lavender will preserve virtue.  

Herbal Lore 

Lavender has strong antiseptic and antibacterial qualities.  It is also an antibiotic and antidepressant. Use it as a tonic to treat headaches, colds and flu.  Lavender makes an excellent sedative.  A few drops of essential oil sprinkled on your pillow at night will encourage sleep.  Added to an oil burner it will help with relaxation and stress.  It is an excellent aromatic and mixes well with other floral scents and is widely used in perfumes.  Add to bath mixtures and healing sachets.  Aids in detoxing and stimulating the immune system.  Apply essential oil to cuts and wounds to encourage healing.


Sweet and fragrant, Lavender can be used either as a savory or sweet herb.  Use in baking in biscuits and cakes and as a garnish.  It goes well with strawberries, blueberries, pears, lemon, orange, black pepper and chocolate.  For savoury dishes it complements Rosemary, Thyme and Sage.  It’s best to use culinary Lavender as some varieties are not suitable for cooking.  Use sparingly as it can be quite strong.

Magical Uses 

Dried lavender sticks or wands can be burnt like incense for space purification.  It is also used to clear the mind and to encourage or strengthen pure love.  Used for protection and healing.

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