Lavender, Lavandula species, (also known as Elf Leaf, Nard, Nardus, and Spike) is a well known herb and I just felt like refreshing some people’s memories and learn a bit myself.
Magickal Properties (alphabetical order): Cleansing, Exorcism, Happiness, Harmony, Healing, Love, Peace, and Purification. (According to Celtic Magic by D.J. Conway)
Magickal Uses: I will not write about the love spell uses because I believe them to test the boundaries (strongly and even break them in some cases) of manipulating another’s free will.
Lavender can be used in many ways, including in protection amulets against your spouse, in purification through smudging and baths and in purification rituals, in healing rituals and amulets and sachets, to promote peace and love and joy in, to induce sleep whether in tea or incense or sachets, as an aphrodisiac for men, alleviate stress, bless ones home, and as a mood lifter (even said to lift depression though I have no testimonial myself).
Medicinal and other Benefits: “LAVENDER TEA ON ICEThe beneficial constituents of lavender include flavonoids, tannins, courmarines, and essential oil containing camphor, geraniol and linalool.
You can get fresh lavender from your local health food store like Whole Foods and even better can order tea from: http://www.harney.com/Details.cfm?ProdID=3962&category=38&secondary
Let the tea steep for about 7 to 10 minutes. Then strain, try adding a sweeter, lemon then pour over ice and just enjoy!
Lavender tea may help ease insomnia.
Lavender tea may help calm nervousness and anxiety. It may also be used to alleviate stress and uplift flagging spirits.
Lavender tea may help treat an upset stomach, as well as flatulence and colic. It may also be used to treat stomach and bowel infections.
Lavender tea may help alleviate depressive and migraine headaches.
Lavender tea, when applied topically, may help alleviate colds, cough, asthma, bronchitis and similar problems in the respiratory system.
Lavender tea may help induce sweating and consequently reduce the body temperature during fever.” *
Gardening Notes: “It’s low maintenance and drought-tolerant, once established. It attracts bees and butterflies but is deer- and rabbit-resistant. It can be used in cosmetics, medicine, and cuisine. … Enjoy the fragrance of lavender year-round by drying this beloved herb. To preserve, hang small bunches upside down in a dark, dry room until the moisture has evaporated. … It thrives in hot, sunny locations with well-drained, alkaline soil.” To extend the season, combine several varieties. Hardy Lavandula angustifolia, or English lavender, blooms early and is adaptable to cooler, more humid areas. Hybrid varieties, such as ‘England’ and ‘Silver Frost’, enjoy a longer blooming season, as do Intermedia French hybrids, including L. x intermedia’Grosso’ and ‘Provence’, which also flower late and are especially treasured for their perfume. … Lavender needs well-drained soil to flourish. If your soil is heavy, amend it by adding one part sand and gravel to one part native soil, and plant in berms to further help with drainage. … When cutting lavender, clip where the foliage begins. In mid-spring, prune winter damage and cut back about a third of it to keep it from getting leggy. … Lavender does well in pots. Choose a well-draining potting soil recommended for containers. Fertilize organically every other week.
“The ideal time to harvest lavender is when one-third to one-half of the spike is in bloom.” —David Salman (http://www.highcountrygardens.com/)
When planning what to grow with lavender, David recommends choosing plants with similar growing requirements. Some of his favorites include: Gaura: Pink and white cultivars of Gaura lindheimeri have wispy flowers that bloom throughout the summer. Penstemon: There are close to 300 species of penstemons. Choose some of the many colors available. ” **
Picture #1 Source and Source for Gardening Notes (**) : http://www.countryliving.com/outdoor/gardening/lavender-0908#slide-1
Picture #2 and Source for Medicinal and Other Benefits (*): http://www.facebook.com/pages/natural-living-forum/65950834522
For more Gardening Information: http://gardening.about.com/od/perennials/a/Lavender.htm
For more information in general on Lavender: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lavandula