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Lavender

One of my favorite scents comes from the beautiful, calming, Lavender.

From the Latin name: ‘Lavare’, meaning to ‘wash’; for centuries, lavender was used in soaps and bath oils and has been knows as an herb that can cleanse the aura, and ward off evil spirits.

Parts Used: Flowerbuds, Petals, Essential Oils

Main Costituents: Vilatile oils, Tannins, Triterpenoids, Flavonoids, Coumarins

Actions/Medicinal Properties: Relaxant, Antidepressant, Analgesic, Carminative, Cholagogue, Anti-emetic, Antibacterial, aids in nervous system, Circulatory stimulant

Dosage: Tinctures should be taken twice per day for headaches, depression or nervous tension, and to help ease asthma

Essential Oil: Add 3-4 drops essential oil. or an essential oil spray to your pillow to help you sleep; Undiluted essential oil can be added to insect bites and stings for soothing relief; Can also be added to lotion to treat sunburn, or irritated skin. Essential oil can be added to a Hair Rinse to help with lice control; When topically applied, can be used as a massage oil to relax muscle tissue; rub the essential oil on your temples to help ease headaches.

Lavender Through the History

In Spain and Portugal, lavender was included in bonfires on St. John’s Day to help ward off evil spirits.

On St. Luke’s Day in the 15th & 16th centuries, young maidens sipped lavender in hopes 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. And completing the circle, lavender was used by wives to ensure their “husband’s marital passion.”

On the other hand, ladies of the unmaidenly sort, would wear lavender to attract customers. It would also protect them from cruelty and violence.

And, in yet another contradiction, lavender folklore also claims that if lavender is used in combination with rosemary it will preserve virtue.

Lavender also has been linked to the plague. Doctors included lavender with rose petals and Rosemary among other herbs in their beaks; it was believed that the plague traveled in the air through foul stench, and therefore sweet smelling herbs would help protect against it.

The ancient Egyptians used lavender oil for perfume, in rituals to bless items, and for mummification; they used Lavender to heal wounds. Much of folklore surrounding lavender suggests that Cleopatra used its scent to seduce both Julius Caesar and Marc Anthony. Some sources also suggest that the venomous snake that was the cause of Cleopatra’s death had been hiding in lavender bushes.

15th to the 17th century also known as the Tudor times young maidens would drink lavender tea and chant: “St Luke, St Luke, be kind to me. In my dreams, let me my true love see.”

Because of the strong association of love, alpine girls would put lavender under their lover’s pillow to nurture romantic thoughts and/or connections, continuing to do so after marriage to strengthen marital passion and avoid quarrels.

The Romans also used lavender oil in soaps and carried it with them throughout the Roman Empire.

In Medieval and Renaissance France, women who took in washing for hire were known as “lavenders.” Clothes were washed in lavender and laid to dry on lavender bushes. Lavender was used to scent drawers, perfume the air and ward off infection and heal wounds. It was also recognized in Roman times for its antiseptic and healing qualities.

The Ancient Greeks used lavender to fight insomnia and back aches.

Folk Stories/Poems

Lavender is often used to ward off dark/evil energies, therefore, it is put into incense. It is said that the herb is capable of heightening clairvoyance. In combination with chamomile, rose petals and mugwort it will attract fairies, sprites, elves and others of the fae folk.

An old century poem, which later evolved into the nursery rhyme, ‘hey diddle diddle’ originally was about lavender:

Lavenders green, diddle diddle, Lavenders Blue

You must love me, diddle diddle, cause I love you

I heard one say, diddle diddle, Since I came hither

That you and I, diddle diddle, must lie together

This poem shows us just how much Lavender was used in representing love and seduction.

Lavender’s Magical Properties

Folk names: Spike, elf leaf

Planet: Mercury

Element: Air

Powers represented/usage: Purification, Love, Protection; Used in purification and protection sachets; Used in incense for purification properties; Burn in midsummer fires to attract healing energy; The scent is widely used for seduction.

Infusing your Lavender with Moon Energy

Lavender can be harvested periodically, but the best time is just after the full moon, as the moon begins waning. The waning of the moon is used as a marker to keep track of the days your lavender is to dry. Once the New moon hits, your lavender should be dried. Hang it outdoors or near your window where it can receive moonlight, and allow it to absorb this moon energy until the moon is full again.

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