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Lavender by Heather


Botanical name: Lavandula


Native to countries around the Mediterranean, there are about 30 Lavender species, all are common in herb gardens for their fragrant leaves and flowers. The plants are widely farmed for their essential oils, used to scent a variety of products. The dried flowers have long been used in sachets to scent chests and closets, possibly why some people associate its aroma with older persons underwear(!), and the Romans are known to have used lavender in their baths. Lavender is also used to flavour drinks, cakes and sweets, also having several applications in herbal medicine.

The most popular to be found in gardens are English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia), French lavender (L. stoechas), and woolly lavender (L. lanata).

The word lavender comes from the Latin root lavare, which translates to wash. The earliest recorded use of lavender dates to ancient Egypt, where lavender oil was used in the mummification process. Over time, lavender became a bath additive in several regions, including Persia, Greece, and Rome. These cultures believed that lavender helped purify the body and mind.

It is widely believed that Lavender may help with some of the following -

Insomnia, anxiety, hair loss, headaches, chemotherapy side effects, acne, burns, eczema and dry skin, wound healing, mood issues.

Lavender is a multipurpose plant, providing us with -

dried flowers, essential oil, topical oil, teas, tisanes, and infusions, creams, lotions, salves and beauty products, cakes and sweets.

Lavender recipes

Lavender Lemonade -

12 cups of water

One cup of honey

1 tbsp dried lavender flowers

Juice of 6 lemons, plus a couple of slices for decoration.


Method:

Combine the water with the honey, in a pot. Bring to boil on the hob.

Add lavender buds to water & honey, very gently simmer for 1 hour.

Next, strain the lavender out of the liquid, add the lemon juice and allow to cool.

Add a couple of slices of lemon for decoration in the jug.

Can be bottled and kept in the fridge for 2 days.

Standen Lavender Cake

www.nationaltrust.org.uk/standen-house-and-garden/recipes/standen-lavender-cake

Ingredients

350g/12oz margarine or butter

350g/12oz Caster sugar

350g/120z Self Raising Flour

6 Eggs

½ tsp vanilla essence

1 ½ tsp milk

1tbsp dried lavender flowers

For Icing:

25g/1oz Icing sugar

Enough water to make thin paste

½ tsp dried lavender flowers

Method

Pre-heat the oven to 170C/338F/gas mark 4.

Cream margarine and sugar together until light and fluffy.

Add eggs slowly, adding a little flour if it starts to curdle.

Add the milk and vanilla essence.

Fold in the lavender flowers.

Put mixture in lined tin and bake 30-45mins at 170’ until knife comes out clean.

Leave to cool and make a water icing with the icing sugar.

Once cooled, ice cake and sprinkle lavender flowers on top.

Magical uses of lavender –

Planet – Mercury

Signs- Leo, Gemini

Element – Air

Gender – Masculine

Properties – happiness, purification, peace, love, harmony, protection, sleep, dreams, clarity, divination, fae magic, strength.

Ideas of how to use in your daily magic –

Add a handful to your shower, by placing in a pouch and hanging this over your shower head, or your bath.

Hang a dried bunch by your main doorway to bring harmony to your home and keep negativity out.

Wear a sprig or diluted essential oil as protection.

Add to smoke bundles.

Tie a few longer stems together to make a small lavender besom.

Use in pouches, poppets and incense blends…

This versatile plant is only limited by us, please do share your ways of employing it.

Sources and further reading –

A Kitchen Witch’s world of Magical Plants & Herbs by Rachel Patterson

The Secret Craft of the Wise – Magical Herbalism by Scott Cunningham

A Druid’s Herbal by Ellen Evert Hopman

Herb Magic for Beginners by Ellen Dugan

www.healthline.com/health/what-lavender-can-do-for-you#types-and-uses

www.britannica.com/plant/lavender

www.almanac.com/plant/lavender

www.rhs.org.uk/plants/lavender


image from Unsplash

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