The use of Lavender has been documented for thousands of years. Pliny the Elder says that its blossom, called Asarum, sold for a hundred Roman denarii. The Greeks called it Nardus, after a city in Syria on the banks of the Euphrates. It was used by the ancients in perfuming bathwater, and for strewing on the floors of temples and houses. It was cultivated in England for the first time around 1560, and is mentioned in the writings of William Shakespeare.
Medicinally, lavender has many uses. Noted herbalist Nicolas Culpeper recommends "a decoction made with the flowers of Lavender, Horehound, Fennel and Asparagus root, and a little Cinnamon" to help with epilepsy and other disorders of the brain. Tincture of lavender has been officially recognized as a treatment in the British Pharmacopceia for two centuries. Judith Benn Hurley writes in The Good Herb that during the sixteenth century, English herbalists used lavender tucked into a cap as a cure for headaches, and advocated the use of its oils as a method of keeping wounds clean and avoiding infection.
Magically speaking, lavender is often associated with love spells, as well as for workings to bring calmness and peace. To bring love your way, carry lavender flowers in a sachet on your person, or hang stalks of it in your home. To get a good night's sleep, with calming dreams, stuff a pillow with sprigs of lavender. It can also be used in a purifying bath or smudging ritual.
Other Names: Nardus, Elf-leaf
Planetary Connection: Mercury