PDA

View Full Version : Herbal Study Group...Lavender


Chronata
20-02-2004, 06:06
I thought to start the ball rolling with one of my favorite all-use herbs!

Lavender is wonderful for so many things, and I have a nice relationship with this plant.

For a long time, I grew French Lavender and a type of White Lavender in my mother's garden. I discovered that after five years, it ceased to flower...but the green stems still smelled wonderful and pungent.

My favorite tea used to be with Lavender, spearmint and chamomile...all grown in my back yard. It made me feel relaxed to drink it right before any tarot readings.

I found that I enjoy lavender best as an essential oil, or using the flower buds. I can't stand most commercial bath products that use Lavender...I don't know, maybe it's the other ingrediants that they mix in with it.

For magical uses...it is said that lavender is sacred to Aphrodite, and sometimes used in love spells.
I like that it is ruled by the planetary influence of Mercury...which also rules my sign Gemini!
I have used it in many talismans for travel...as does Sally Morningstar, in her book called "spellweaving."

I think my favorite use is still...in the little silk, scented eye pillows that are made to relax, mediate and help with insomnia (something I suffer dreadfully from on a semi-regular basis!)

Anyone else? What do you love about Lavender? How do you use this wonderful plant?

skytwig
20-02-2004, 06:13
Kids going crazy, pets going nuts? Use lavender incense and watch the remarkable transformation!!!!

I actually watched this happen..... where there was insanity, lavender produced calm!!!

Lavender is my favorite too..... If i could grow a garden of all the varieties, I would (I will!!)

It is also known to bring faeries into ones' life. They love Lavender!!

Very magickal plant.... I thank Goddess for it!!!

Red Emma
20-02-2004, 08:27
A few years ago I had such severe tension headaches that I sometimes threw up (sorry, it's a little gross). A friend gave me a lavender candle and I realized that while it was burning, my headaches vanished.

I love it for a lot of other reasons, but it's such a relief to be rid of the headaces. I had been taking so many aspirin and tylenol, which didn't even block it that much, that it worried me.

VIVA LE LAVENDER!

lark
20-02-2004, 13:05
I love lavender and grow it in my garden.
I use the oil in my bath water and I weave lavender stalks with the dried flowers on top to hang around the house just because I love the smell.

Here are a few interesting things I found out about lavender.
Great for headaches Red Emma!
One of the old time remedys for headache was marjoram, cloves, carnations, betony, lavender buds, and rose leaves worn in a little bag around your neck helps get rid of and prevent headaches.

It's a good bug repellant.
Pots of lavender set on your porch will keep the bugs away.
So you can enjoy sitting outside.

Planet is : Mercury
Element is: Air
Influences: Health, Love, Celibacy, Peace, and Conscious Mind

13thFaeChylde
20-02-2004, 14:21
I use lavender to make "monster-be-gone" spray for my children. Lavender, water in a little spray bottle that we decorated with stickers.

Lavender is calming, soothing, antidepressant and emotionally balancing (just what I need! runs off to get the monster spray)

It's antiseptic, antibacterial and painkilling properties make it valuable in treating cuts, wounds, burns, bruises, spots , allergies, insect bites, and throat infections.

Also, its a decongestant and is effective against colds, flu, and catarrhal condiitons. Tension, depression, imsomnia, headaches, stress, and hypertension respond well also.

Also an insect repellant. And prevents scarring.

lionette
20-02-2004, 14:50
Here are a few morsels from "The Magic and Power of Lavender" Tisserand and Jünemann (Lotus Light publishers).
"
500 BC - facts indicate lavender probably brought to area around Marseilles by Greek colonists

Ninth century writings by monks about healing arts

Twelfth century writings by Hildegard von Bingen
"
I'd no idea it was cultivated so long ago. One of my absolute favorite scents for overall well-being. Great as a "spritzer" for clothing, body, linens. Freshens woolens and linens between washings. Great as a body spritz any time, especially summer!

Use Dr Bronners lavender castille liquid soap in bowl of water when flea-combing cats. They (the cats!) love the treatment, despite the water -- must be the beautiful scent! ]

Majecot
20-02-2004, 14:51
I LOVE lavander.. I too used to suffer from tension headaches ( I blame the stress on my job) I use a silk "stress pillow" with lavander and chamomile over my eyes to aliviate the pain. I have a larger one that I use over my shoulders to get rid of the aches.
Sure beats taking pills

I sometimes just use the little pillow to relax. My mom used to put lavander sachets in all of our dresser drawers to keep things fresh, and in all of the boxes she packed out seasonal stuff in to keep moths out.

I googled lavander but I could not find anything that you guys did not already mention. :)

Except I saw something about lavander being used in cooking.. does anyone do this?

lionette
20-02-2004, 15:00
Originally posted by Majecot
Except I saw something about lavander being used in cooking.. does anyone do this?

I used it with roasted chicken once. Good idea, but use it sparingly! I overdid it and it was too sweet. Probably good when combined with something earlthy like thyme to reground it!

Have seen a bakery recipes with it, tho haven't tried any. Maybe a look at Epicurious.com could produce interesting results!

Red Emma
20-02-2004, 15:16
Ah, yes, cooking with lavender. For several years I've subscribed to "Herbs for Health," a magazine put out by people who know how to create a really attractive journal, which is medically accurate. In an issue a couple of years ago there was a good article about cooking with lavender. I especially remember lavender teas. I'll look it up tomorrow and see if I can find anything else of use.

Chronata
20-02-2004, 15:34
Oooh yes! I remember taking an herbalism workshop at the local Conservatory...and it was all about edible flowers.

We made lavender(and vanilla) Ice cream! It was heavenly!

I can also recall making lavender sugar...putting the buds in a sugar bowl, and we used it to sweeten other herbal teas.
It was fabulous!

TemperanceAngel
20-02-2004, 17:13
My lavendar plant died recently, I keep watering it in case it manages to magically come back to life..

Recently I discovered a Lavendar Farm about 1 hr. out of Melbourne and it has 5 acres of plants, makes products and distills oil. Apparently it is the only biodynamic Lavendar oil in Australia.

Yesterday I got really sunburnt (I have really pale and sensitive skin), I ran a bath and put some Lavender oil in it. It soothed my sunburn and PMS and I had a wonder sleep :)

XTAX

Moonbow
20-02-2004, 17:20
I have grown herbs in my garden for the last eleven years now. Over the years many have been changed and replaced BUT I have always had lavender. My main use for the plant is to use the dead flower heads as pot pouri around the house.

I use Lavender aromatherapy oil all the time. In baths, burners and neat. It's one of my favourites.

But, I hate manufactured lavender - it smells nothing like the real thing. That is why I dislike scented candles, I tend to use plain candles and burn the aromatherapy oil as well - a much more relaxing and pleasant smell

Moonbow*

Shade
22-02-2004, 11:49
In the book and film Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman they suggest growing lavender by the garden gate for luck.

I've combined it in love spells with rose and damiana. Rose represented the archetypal force of love, dmaiana physical love and lavender represented the sweetness and romance associated with love. Depending on what mood I was in I would lean heavily on one herb over the others.

Phoenyx*
22-02-2004, 12:33
Originally posted by Red Emma
A few years ago I had such severe tension headaches that I sometimes threw up (sorry, it's a little gross).

Meh, that's not gross, try working in a microbiology lab every day. Now THAT is gross.

Red Emma
25-02-2004, 09:53
Red Emma, still smarting from the winterkill loss of three magnificent rosemary bushes, has more bad news.

In this lavender thread I mentioned that a couple of summers ago, a magazine I subscribe to, Herbs for Health, had one complete issue focused on lavender. I particularly remember lavender teas, although I never tried them. And I promised to look it up and share some of the ideas.

Magazine's also gone! Have no idea where it went.

Bummer!

isthmus nekoi
26-02-2004, 02:40
I like the essential oil. It clears the head. I also like to use it for massage since it can be applied directly to the skin.

Red Emma
26-02-2004, 04:53
Originally posted by isthmus nekoi
I like the essential oil. It clears the head. I also like to use it for massage since it can be applied directly to the skin.


Speaking of lavender essential oils, sometimes my finger nails split and flake and break too easily. I discovered that applications of lavender essential oils in a sesame oil will reverse the process.

I keep a mixture beside my easy chair and apply it when I'm reading or watching television. The nails are better in a few days, but unless I keep doing it -- applying the oils -- it doesn't take long for them to start breaking again.

Chronata
26-02-2004, 05:18
I just remembered another odd use for lavender essential oil that worked really well for me...

I love flying. (I mean by plane...not with my wings... :D )

But It seems that everytime I go on vacation...the plane leaves *really* early in the morning.

I don't do mornings very well. If I do them at all!

I tend to already suffer from nausia, if it is too early...and coupled with airplane travel, well you can imagine...

So, I keep a tiny bottle of lavender oil and a hankie in my travel kit.

And when I start feeling nausious, or unwell, a little sniff makes me get through the flight with very little problem!

Laura Borealis
26-02-2004, 09:20
Originally posted by Red Emma
Speaking of lavender essential oils, sometimes my finger nails split and flake and break too easily. I discovered that applications of lavender essential oils in a sesame oil will reverse the process.

I keep a mixture beside my easy chair and apply it when I'm reading or watching television. The nails are better in a few days, but unless I keep doing it -- applying the oils -- it doesn't take long for them to start breaking again.

That is a really nice idea. I'm going to try it -- thank you for sharing it!

I've used lavender ess. oil mostly for headaches, de-stressing, and helping me to sleep. I've also used it on gris-gris bags if the intended effect was to calm or relax. And I've made sachets of the dried flowers, to put in my pillowcase or my dresser drawers. I love lavender. :)

Red Emma
28-02-2004, 03:53
Laura, gris gris bags?

Sound exotic, but what are they?

baba-prague
28-02-2004, 04:05
as someone who sure needs to de-stress this afternoon (see "Creation" forum if you are curious) I am jumping in here!

i love lavender. Always carry some with me. I use a little on my pillow if I think I might have trouble sleeping, I also often use the real oil (a little, diluted) in the bath in the evening. I love the different sorts - do you know that the best is grown high up in the alps in France? I have some from a village there and it is stunningly beautiful.

Much cheaper and very different is the lavender from Croatia (former Yugoslavia). It is very peppery, almost savoury rather than sweet. Bit of an acquired taste but I like it mixed with other oils sometimes.

There is a most fabulous ice-cream parlour in a square in Nice old town (French Riviera) that sells hand-made lavender ice-cream. One of the most lovely ice-creams I've ever tasted. They serve it with a scoop of violet and a scoop of rose - fabulous.

Phew. I feel quite calmed now :-)

tmgrl2
11-03-2004, 10:40
I have aromatherapy lavender oil....why does it say "do not put on skin." Sometime, I would put just a dab at my temples before I went to sleep....is it too strong in the oil?

Also, the masseuse I see uses it ...and it is very soothing. Didn't know you could drink tea from it!

terri

TemperanceAngel
12-03-2004, 09:02
Originally posted by tmgrl2
I have aromatherapy lavender oil....why does it say "do not put on skin." Sometime, I would put just a dab at my temples before I went to sleep....is it too strong in the oil?

Terri, essential oils shouldn't be applied directly to the skin, put some drops in a carrier oil to dilute.
You can use anything as a carrier oil: olive, soy, almond etc.
You only need a small amount :) XTAX

tmgrl2
12-03-2004, 09:15
Thanks, TA...I do love lavender...I have a massage oil that is lavender based...I now rub that on my neck and shoulders...and save the other for aromatherapy....good piece of information about using a carrier oil...terri

Red Emma
13-03-2004, 10:22
"Thyme and the Seasons" is the first in a series of mysteries by Susan Wittig Albert. An outstanding, extremely well written series. Not a stereotyped character in the bunch.

Each book focuses on a specific herb whose qualities are examined through out book. At the moment, I don't remember that any herb is germane to solving the crime, but it does make for unusually interesting reading. Especially for herb lovers.

It's been a while since I read "Lavender Lies," I don't remember what particular lavender lore is included. I have, however, just finished "A Dilly of a Death." The dill lore is in-depth and fascinating......I was just paging through trying to find the information about dill's efficacy in killing germs, microbes, all that stuff, thus its use for canning pickles, etc.

However, referring to the on-going lavender discussion here, I did find her recipe for Lavender Scones. Essentially one adds three teaspoons of the buds/blossoms of lavender to a basic baking powder biscuit recipe, although there are some additional changes to the biscuits. In light of the recent "Boring Forum" discussion, I hesitate to go too deeply into the recipe stuff.

PM me if you'd like more info on it.

Anyhow, Albert's herb-based book are fresh, well written, and interesting. Even if you aren't interested in herbs.

Majecot
13-03-2004, 12:33
Red Emma

I don't find that boring at all!!

This is this a series of books? How cool, I love mysteries. did you try the scones?
What a facinating way to learn about herbs. Do you find that the information has been properly researched and accurate?

Red Emma
14-03-2004, 06:13
I haven't checked the accuracy item for item, but my husband bought me "Physicians Desk Reference for Herbal Medicines" -- about as respectible as you can get in the medical reference book field. I checked a few of her statements against the PDR, and they looked fine. I suspect, knowing her background as an academic administrator, I'm pretty sure she'd make sure they were as good as she could make them.

She's pretty interesting, herself. She was on the high road to "success" as measured by the academic world, but wanted a better life. She left the academic world to write mysteries. I'm not sure whether she's ever hit the New York Times best sellers' list, but she seems to be doing quite well.

Her heroine is a lawyer who left the fast lane and moved to a little Texas town to open an herb shop. Quite interesting.

Nitegoddess
15-03-2004, 23:32
I would like to thank all of you for the vast amont of information. I have 4 kids who just seem to go on and on and on.. I think burnig lavendar in the house is what I plan on doing. As a matter of fact.... I am out the door to buy some now.
Thanks again.. Will let you know if it worked on my lil devils!! :)

Kyrielle
16-03-2004, 10:13
My experiment with lavender cuisine was adding about half a drop of essential oil to a quart of lemonade, because I had heard it was done in Victorian times. Just that single teeny droplet made the whole batch too bitter to drink.

I will try it again, except I'll try a lavender tisane instead of straight-up essential oil.

There is a company called Badger Balm that makes the greatest Lavender-Orange Lip and Body Balm using real essential oils. Some of their other products also have lavender in them. These are the only commercial lavender products I will use.

Lavender is one of the gentlest of the essential oils. You can usually get away with dabbing a couple of neat drops on your wrists and/or temples to help with headaches or tension, or just to smell good. If you want to use the oil over a larger area of your body, then you do need a carrier oil.

Linguistically, "lavender" has the same roots as "laundry" and "lavatory," since it has been used to scent linens and wash clothing for centuries.

-- Kyrielle

tmgrl2
16-03-2004, 10:51
Thank, Kyrielle, I like the idea of carrier oils..never knew that...but I do sometime put a drop at my temples at night...very soothing. terri

jlbvt
16-03-2004, 14:20
This may not be completely related, but whenever I hear my 2-year-old son wake up and start crying, I "envision" lavender swaying in the breeze, and "send " the energy of the vision to him. It usually works, and he stops crying and goes back to sleep.

The reason is because when he was a baby, his was the first aura (of a person) that I ever sensed. (I still don't sense them often) He used to sleep in our room, and he would wake up a lot crying, and that would wake me up. One night, as I was coming out of a sound sleep, I sensed his aura very clearly- it was a blue with a bit of yellow in it and kind of bright. I sang to him, and as he fell back asleep, it turned lavender (like the bluish lavender flowers). Ever since then, I've used the lavender plant as a psychic tool.

Free
16-03-2004, 21:54
We sit around a fire on those late summer nights, and when it's burned down to the embers, we put some lavender on the fire. As it burns it makes a wonderful natural smell, Its perfect to wind down and chills everyone out

Nitegoddess
17-03-2004, 04:41
Free, Now that sounds like a good idea. I just started seeds today for lavendar. I wanted to ask if there was a certain kind that I should buy. I am in region 5 in the planting schedule but, I have a greenhouse window. Any suggestions?

tmgrl2
17-03-2004, 05:30
Originally posted by Free
We sit around a fire on those late summer nights, and when it's burned down to the embers, we put some lavender on the fire. As it burns it makes a wonderful natural smell, Its perfect to wind down and chills everyone out

Me too, I live in New York and would love to buy it to burn...or grow it...terri

Red Emma
17-03-2004, 05:58
Originally posted by jlbvt
whenever I hear my 2-year-old son wake up and start crying, I "envision" lavender swaying in the breeze, and "send " the energy of the vision to him. It usually works, and he stops crying and goes back to sleep.


Wow!

I wish I'd known that when my boys were little. They and I would have gotten a lot more sleep.

Kyrielle
19-03-2004, 14:57
Lavandula angustifolia is the best kind I've grown. You can sometimes find it as Lavender Lady, English Lavender, or Lavender Vera.

French Lavender, or Lavandula dentata, has silvery leaves with lacy, scalloped edges. It looks prettier, but it is not as fragrant as the angustifolia.

-- Kyrielle

tmgrl2
19-03-2004, 22:39
TY Kyrielle...will look for seeds/plants...terri

Nitegoddess
19-03-2004, 22:51
Thank You Kyrielle
I plan to go and find seeds this weekend. I need lavender in my life!!!

All Is One
21-03-2004, 13:24
The dried form first came to me as a gift in a beautiful silk bag of many shades of blue when I began reading professionally and someone told me to use it to aid in "grounding" (it worked, but more than promised)

Later, the essential oil - the real thing - which smarts the eyes! worked for absolutely every candle and every need (keeps bugs away too??? it is the miracle I have always searched for! Wish I'd known that!)

I have also grown to hate any commercial lavender lotion, candle, incense, or powder. I call them all a headache. Even the real thing can be a bit too much when I go overboard...the air gets thick.

I have planted it so many times here on the central coast of ca with NO luck. I may have had bad seeds. I will try again this spring~

Kyrielle: I did try the seeds labeled french lav (lacy type) and the english in one ambitious spring...nothing! Bad seeds, bad soil, bad karma? Bought a really good essential oil a year ago, will try to make lemonade strong enough to mask it...

Really want to grow it.

Kyrielle
22-03-2004, 13:56
All Is One: Go to the nearest garden center. Chances are they will have some small lavender plants in their herb section. These have always worked better for me than seeds. The plant has a head start. Seeds may be washed away, or nibbled by animals, or if they are old seeds they will not grow due to age.

Plant the seedling in full sun, water only when the soil is dry to the touch (if you keep it in a pot).

I have to get a new plant this season to replace the one that did not come back last season -- but I originally planted that one about ten years ago, I think!

-- Kyrielle

All Is One
22-03-2004, 17:35
Thanks, Kyrielle, that is clearly the better way to go. I will give it a shot.
Ten years? That's one hardy plant.

:)

tmgrl2
23-03-2004, 06:02
Originally posted by Kyrielle
All Is One: Go to the nearest garden center. Chances are they will have some small lavender plants in their herb section. These have always worked better for me than seeds. The plant has a head start. Seeds may be washed away, or nibbled by animals, or if they are old seeds they will not grow due to age.

Plant the seedling in full sun, water only when the soil is dry to the touch (if you keep it in a pot).

I have to get a new plant this season to replace the one that did not come back last season -- but I originally planted that one about ten years ago, I think!

-- Kyrielle

Good idea...we have some great nurserys around us...can I grow it indoors as a potted plant? terri

jlbvt
24-03-2004, 03:55
Lavender, like most herbs, has very small seeds. if you want to start seeds, get a small dish of fine planting mix and wet it thoroughly. make sure you have a base under the dish for the water to drain into. scatter the seeds on the surface, and press them a little so they make good contact with the dirt. You don't have to cover them! When you water, don't pour it on top, but add the water to the base so you don't disturb the seeds.

**I think that lavender needs a cold spell before it will sprout, so before sowing the seeds, put the packet in the refrigerator for 3-5 weeks.

Lavender is a perennial and grows into a spreading "shrub". It needs a loose, well drained soil, with infrequent deep watering once established. I think it would grow well in a pot as long as it gets plenty of sun. It does not need fertilizer.

tmgrl2
24-03-2004, 07:58
ty, jlbvt....will try...terri

All Is One
29-03-2004, 14:59
I was driving out through fields around where we live today and saw very clearly the subtle lavender color of ---- some wild thing.

Could it be lavender? I am not acquainted with stuff that grows here - 45 min drive from where I lived for last 9 years - on the beach / bay of central coast... it could be just about anything.

Since there are acres wild of it... I will investigate and freely (sneakily) harvest if allowed to do so. I will run fast and grab a lot, while hoping for the best.

tmgrl2
30-03-2004, 09:12
Today was a sychronicity moment in lavender! A new choclatier opened about half a mile from my house.....she had....ta da!
Lavender chocolates made with oil from Provence...they were delicious....Could really taste it. I didn't know until this thread that it could be consumed.....

terri

Kyrielle
30-03-2004, 14:56
It will grow fine as a potted plant. The advantage is freshly cut lavender year round. My potted lavenders have never gotten quite as large or lush as the ones I have outdoors, though. But they should work fine.

-- Kyrielle

tmgrl2
31-03-2004, 03:31
ty, Kyrielle...
terri

Red Emma
31-03-2004, 10:38
Kyrielle,

I'm not sure where Turtle Island is. Do you get a lot of sun and/or light in your house? I'd love to grow herbs of various kinds in the house, but the Pacific Northwest doesn't get enough sun, or even bright cloudy days for them to grow and prosper. Or to just grow for that matter.

And it just occurred to me. Maybe I could grow potted mint plants inside to frustrate the ants who want us to move out so they can have the house to themselves.

All Is One
31-03-2004, 18:37
If mint keeps ants away... I will turn our home into a mint plantation!

Ants are the scourge of the area I live in (central coast of california -- very sandy and hospitable to the little buggers)

Have you tried this? I would do anything to avoid using Raid ~~~except watch the home continue to be overrun by the hoards of ants. I can't even feed the cats without the ants taking over the food in half an hour.

Red Emma ~ hope springs eternal, thanks!

Red Emma
01-04-2004, 11:51
All is one, I wrote about my recent adventures with ants and mint in the thread, "I reek of mint, but." I bumped it up, so it should be available in the Chrystals and Herbs. Hope it gives you some ideas.

Kyrielle
01-04-2004, 14:11
Sorry to disappoint you:

Turtle Island refers to the belief in several cultures that the world is carried on the back of a giant turtle. I've verified the myth to certain Native American tribes, but I have also heard it exists in Asian and African cultures.

If anyone knows of other versions of the myth in different parts of the world other than North America, let me know...

Really I live in Nebraska. Yes, I do get a lot of sun on the south side of the house, which is where the long-lived lavender was. It is also where the replacement plant is going.

Peppermint essential oil repels ants. You can put a drop or two on a little piece of paper or cardboard and put it where ants are a problem. They will go away.

-- Kyrielle

All Is One
01-04-2004, 14:12
Thanks, Red Emma, I am on the way there right now, with hope in my heart for a non-poison method to (er, 'scuse the expression) kill the little mother-buggers.