Herb Spotlight - Lavender
Book of Shadows,  Herbalist,  Herbs

Herb Spotlight – Lavender

Today we’re putting the spotlight on another staple of the Witchs’ cabinet, Lavender! Lavender is one of the most popular ornamental plants, and arguably one of the most popular scents. Most people have at least one item in their house that contains or has the scent of lavender, from soap to oils, candles, sprays, etc. Its uses are countless!

What is Lavender?

First things first, let’s learn a little bit about this magical plant.

Lavender is also known by its Latin name Lavandula, it is a flowering plant in the mint family. Native to the Western Mediterranean region, it is a hardy plant and can grow in varied zones.  It can be easily identified by its sweet floral scent, grey-green leaves, and delicate lavender-colored flowers. There are some different types that also offer pink or white flowers. Bonus: Bees love it!

Lavender flowers and young leaves are edible. Drying lavender is one of the most popular methods of preserving and using the plant.

Lavender Field with bees

Properties

Aside from its amazing scent which nearly everyone loves. It can be used in cooking, healing, and of course spell and ritual work.

Medicinal

Lavender can be used to treat anxiety, fungal infections, hair loss, and wounds. It is also thought to help treat depression, stress, high blood pressure, nausea, menstrual pain, eczema, sleep disorders, among other conditions though there are no scientific studies to support this.

*Note that Lavender is not approved by the FDA, and should not be taken in place of approved and prescribed medicines. Always consult your doctor for any ailment and before beginning any natural or medicinal treatment.

You can read more about the health benefits and risks  HERE

Correspondences

Planetary rulers are Mercury and Neptune. It is also aligned with the signs of Pisces and Virgo. Its Elemental correspondences are Air and Water.

Lavender has several associated Deities, one of the most prevalent being Selene. Chakra workers may prefer to use it with the Third Eye.

Magical Uses

This flexible plant can effectively be used for spell/ritual work dealing with attraction, banishing, happiness, purification, and sleep.

Lavender Flowers

Cultivating

Once again, please note I have a black thumb, I kill anything that is remotely green! Information below has been gathered from an internet search, and asking people with green-thumbs! A perfect place to learn more about this gorgeous plant is HERE

  • Soil: Plant in well-drained soil with a pH of 6.7 to 7.3. Adding builders sand or small limestone gravel is recommended to improve soil drainage. Plants also thrive in raised beds with good drainage.
  • Sun: Full Sun is best for this beautiful plant. In cold areas, you can grow indoors through winter by placing them in a pot in a south-facing window with as much light as possible.
  • Water: Do not overwater, and do not allow the soil to be heavily wet or moist (drainage is important). Water once or twice a week after planting until plants are established, and every two to three weeks until buds form, then once or twice weekly until harvested.
  • Spacing: This plant needs a bit of space. Plant 12-20 inches apart.
  • Common Issues: Lavender is a perennial, some hardier species such as English lavender can tolerate temps as low as 23F. It thrives in hot climates, but does not like humidity and can be prone to fungus issues. Air circulation needs to be good, thinning plants as you harvest to avoid overcrowding. Rock mulch suggested. This plant is fairly pest-free.
  • Grow Zones: Perennial in zones 5 to 7, hardier types can grow from zones 5-11 in well-drained soil.
  • Propagation: Prefered propagation is from cuttings, though it can also be successfully grown from seed.
  • Best time to plant: Plant in the Spring, as the soil begins to warm up. You can plant in winter if planting larger plants that can survive winter.

Harvesting

Lavender should be harvested when approximately half of the flower buds have opened. Like most plants, the best time to harvest is early in the morning, immediately after the morning dew has dried as this provides the highest concentration of oils.

Cut the stems as long as possible and gather the stems into bundles. Secured with rubber bands, or sturdy twine.

I personally dry bundles in my garage! Hanging the bundle upside down, in a warm, dark place with plenty of circulation. In the right conditions, it takes about 2-4 weeks to have fully dry bundles.

You can see an excellent Harvesting guide HERE

 

Dry Lavender Flowers

I’ve chopped and dried my Lavender bundles…now what?

Dry lavender bundles are easy to store for future use. They retain fragrance well for several months. Dry lavender can keep from 2-3 years if properly stored. You can also use freshly cut stems in water for about 5-7 days. Many people also freeze leaves for later use.

You can store dry flowers and stems in zip lock bags or airtight containers. Store away from light, heat, and humidity to best preserve it’s fragrance, color and to avoid mold and rot.

Basic Uses

This is a shortlist of the basic uses:

  • Fungal Infections
  • Wound Healing
  • Hair Loss
  • Anxiety and related conditions
  • Pain in limited cases
  • Premenstrual Symptoms
  • Spell work(detailed below)

Spellwork and Magical Uses

You want to know where to toss that Lavender when creating spells and rituals, I know…so here’s a quick list of uses!

  • Banishment: Sprinkle dry or fresh Lavender flower buds along the floor of your home or building to banish and ward away negative energy and spirits
  • Happiness: Bake Lavender into cookies, or make delicious Lavender lemonade or tea to promote happiness and well-being
  • Increase Intelligence: The scent of lavender can be used to increase intelligence and heighten awareness. This can be done by drinking lavender tea or creating a sachet to scent your general area. Perfect for study time!
  • Long Life: Create talismans that include lavender or carry a sprig of lavender to promote longevity.
  • Purification: Burn lavender or use fresh sprigs to sprinkle blessed water or ‘sweep’ away harmful energies.
  • Sleep and Nightmares: You can drink Lavender tea, fill an eye pillow, or place a sprig of fresh or dry lavender under your pillow to help you relax and bring about peaceful sleep. Sachets are popular for this, as well as lavender sprays to spray on and around your bed.

BONUS: Recipe for Lavender Tea! Click HERE for the details.

I hope you have enjoyed this quick workup on Lavender! Remember this makes a great inclusion in your Book of Shadows! as a reference for herbalism and spell work.

Until next time!

~Dauphim

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.