The Many Uses of Lavender
by Katherine Turcotte
Lavender, the fragrant woody perennial herb, has over twenty-eight
species and an even greater multitude of varieties. It dates back as
far as the first century and to ancient Rome and Greece. It was even
used among the ancient Egyptians in the mummification process. It has
enjoyed its popularity over time for a variety of uses that still
continue today. Lavender essential oil is the most popular in the
United States, outselling all the other essential oils. If you have
never had the intense pleasure of inhaling pure lavender essential
oil, you are in for quite a treat!
Traditional uses for lavender included expelling worms from children,
and use against lice and insect bites. Lavender was also a popular
strewing herb for disinfection. More common uses are for stress
relief, insomnia, depression and indigestion. It is used in several
pharmaceutical products including antiseptics, cosmetics and anti-
inflammatory products. Lavender was used extensively during the 19th
century in the making of perfume. It is interesting to note that
during World War I and II, that lavender was used when medical
supplies were scarce to prevent infection and to relieve pain.
Over the centuries, lavender has been associated with powers in love,
chastity, longevity, protection, purification and happiness. Inhaling
the scent of lavender is known to increase the alpha brain waves in
the back of the head, aiding in relaxation and tranquility. Thus, our
immune system is boosted by the benefit of lavender.
Growing lavender requires full sun, space between plants and good
drainage. Lavender does not like "wet feet", so excellent drainage is
essential. It is best harvested just before flowering, when the oil
concentration is highest. With all the varieties available, it will
not be hard to find one suited to your growing area. Flower colors
range from white, to pink, blue and purple. Professionally, lavender
is distilled for use in essential oils by steam.
When purchasing lavender, become familiar with each variety's
botanical name. The most widely grown is the hardy Lavandula
Angustifolia, also known as L. vera, L. officinalis, or English
Lavender. They can range in height from a mere 8" to over three feet
tall. Other popular varieties known for their sweet fragrance
are 'Munstead' and 'Hidcote' lavender.
Other uses of lavender include dabbing it on your temples when you
have a headache and using it on pillows to combat insomnia. It is a
common ingredient in sachets and potpourri and is used to scent
linens and prevent moth and bug activity. It is also used in flower
arranging and crafts, i.e., lavender wands.
Lavender is one of the few essential oils that can be applied "neat"
to the body without the addition of a carrier oil. It is useful on
burns, insect bites and minor skin irritations. Mixing fifteen drops
of pure lavender essential oil with common bath salts such as sea or
Epsom salts will provide a bath that is pure heaven!
Lavender also has culinary uses. It is used to flavor jellies,
honeys, cookies and breads. A wonderfully relaxing tea or tisane can
be made using boiling water, honey and lavender flowers.
Cooks have used bayberry leaves and fruits as a substitute for bay
leaf; brewed tea the fruits can be eaten fresh or preserved or
fermented into wines.
This is a very earthy plant used to promote Money; Good Luck; Well
Being; Peace: Harmony
Magic doesn't have to be complicated.
The saying is:
"A Bayberry Candle burned to the socket,
Brings prosperity to the home
And money in the pocket."
Clover (Basibuguk meaning "small leaves" or Trifolium pratense),
dried flowers, leaves and combinations with other herbs (roots) was
used as a medicine (for heart trouble), but its primary use was as
food and as a tea. Dried clover blossoms were put in with soups and
stews, where they added vitamins and minerals and a hint of
sweetness from their honey.
This hint of honey-sweetness usually doesn't survive in dried clover
blossoms, unless sun-dried, and fairly fresh.
A clover-blossom tea made by steeping a handful of such dried
blossoms with a big spoonful of dried mint, pouring on about a pint
of boiling water, though, is quite nice. I tried stewing the
blossoms, and find that they dissolve into the gravy if cooked long
(presumably adding vitamins, etc.) I also tried boiling them, and
eating with salt and butter, and find this an acceptable vegetable,
if you don't have anything else in the house, and it wasn't
something you paid $22.50/lb for. Fresh clover blossoms cooked for a
very short time in a small amount of water, with butter and brown
sugar, is quite good.
As far as native people are concerned, the clovers are all good
eating, good teas.
(Please be mindful that this and any information provided about
herbs, plants, oils are to be used with caution and only used with
enough knowledge and/or a professional counsel. *informational
purposes only* please be smart)
(mentha piperita )
Peppermint can be found in rich damp soils throughout the
northeastern part of the North American continent.
There are about 15 species of true mints, various species can be
found in eurasia as well as australia (the mint family is wide
Peppermint, like all mints has an erect, branching square stem. The
leaves are a dark green, and the purplish flowers are on spikes.
The perennial plants grow from 1 - 3 feet high. They flower from
July to September. Sometimes the veins are a little 'hairy' but
otherwise the stem is smooth.
It is best to harvest this plant in the dry weather of August and
Peppermints leaves and stems are the parts used. It is used for
nausea, vomiting and to help relieve intestinal gas. It is also used
as a mild stimulant. It can also be helpful in the case of
Some say Peppermint is also helpful in cases of sea sickness.
Peppermint has been used in healing and purification spells,
believed to raise the vibrations of an area. To this end, it was
rubbed against furniture, walls and floorboards.
It was used in pillows to promote sleep, and was believed to make
the dreams pre-cognitive.
It was also believed to be useful in mixtures for love spells .
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Commercial use: Prohibited
Peppermint oil stimulates the central nervous system and counteracts
drowsiness and fatigue by increasing alertness and promoting clear
thinking. It calms and soothes muscles, particularly those of the
digestive tract when they are affected by stress and poor diet. It
eases motion sickness and nausea, and can revitalize someone
suffering from jet lag. Chronic fatigue syndrome also responds to
peppermint's stimulating action.
Peppermint oil relaxes tense muscles and muscle spasms. It eases
painful menstrual cramps, cools hot flashes and fevers, and reduces
the inflammation and swelling of muscular aches, pains, sprains, and
strains. Peppermint oil relieves the itching and swelling of
dermatitis and sunburn. It also relieves headaches, whether from
tension or migraine. It clears sinuses, and can improve breathing.
Peppermint oil fights bacterial infection and reduces the oiliness
present with acne and blemishes. It stimulates circulation and helps
enliven dull, dry skin. Peppermint oil leaves skin feeling soft and
silky. It also regulates and normalizes oily skin and hair. It
constricts capillaries and minimizes the redness of broken
capillaries and varicose veins.
Peppermint oil may irritate sensitive skin. It can stimulate
menstrual flow and stop the flow of milk, so women who are pregnant
or nursing should avoid it.
HERBAL USES: This herb has an affinity for the solar plexus area of
the Human body. Colic, upsets stomachs, and fevers are benefited by
the tea of the fresh or dried flower. Use two tablespoonful per cup,
steep for twenty minutes, and take a quarter cup four times a day.
Women with menstrual cramps can try adding a few thin slices of
fresh ginger root to the tea.
Chamomile is an antibacterial. Sores, wounds, itches, and rashes
respond to external applications. Use the tea as a wash or add the
herb to salves and poultices. The oil is rubbed into swollen joints.
Chamomile calms the nerves and brings on sleep. Use it in baths and
gargles. Add the tea to a vaporizer to help asthmatic children. The
classic tea for cranky, teething babies, it is given in the bottle
or through a mother's breast milk.
HOMEOPATHIC USES: Homeopaths use
for earaches ad other childhood conditions, especially when the
child is whiny, irritable, snappish, thirsty, hot, or restless.
MAGICAL USES: Yellow chamomile brings the power of the sun to
lovepotions, money spells, and rites of purification. Sprinkle it
around thehouse to remove curses and spells cast against you.
Chamomile is used toattract money, and a hand wash of the infusion
is sometimes used by gamblers to ensure winnings. It is used in
sleep and meditation incenses, and the infusion is also added to the
bath to attract love.
HISTORY/LORE: The ancient Egyptians dedicated chamomile to the sun
god likely due to its use in treating fevers. it is said that plants
will thrive in any garden where chamomile grows or is strewn into
the soil and carrying chamomile in your pocket promotes success.
POWERS: Money, Sleep, Love, Purification, Calmness, Healing.
DEITIES: Solar Gods especially, Summer, and Sun.
CANDLE COLORS: Blue,Gold,Pale Blue,Pink.
There are several types of chamomile essential oil. Chamomile German
is an excellent variety and its beautiful deep dark blue color, due
to its high azulene content, comes as a bonus. Another excellent
variety, chamomile Roman, is particularly good for the treatment of
nervous conditions and insomnia. Beware though of chamomile Maroc(
Ormenis multicaulis) which is not a true chamomile and cannot be
used as such. Although chamomile is antibacterial, antiseptic, and
disinfectant, it is most valued for its antiinflammatory properties.
These apply to internal conditions like rheumatism, as well as to
Chamomile is indispensable if you have children because it can be
used for teething troubles and in the bath to ease nerves and
tetchiness. Chamomile is used in the treatment of burns, including
sunburn, psoriasis, eczema, asthma, hay fever,diarrhea, sprains, and
strains,nausea, fever,and all nervous and depressive states. it
analgesic, diuretic, sedative, and calming properties make chamomile
an extremely desirable oil. For kicking the tranquilizer habit it is
invaluable, and in anorexia nervosa it is extremely helpful. As if
this weren't enough, chamomile is used in rejuvenation treatments.
Great info as always. Much love & endless joyful adventures! dZ