- LAVENDER: (Lavandula species) Also called Elf Leaf; Nard; Nardus; Spike. There are 28 species of these aromatic, evergreen, shrubby, perennials, all with small, linear leaves and spikes of fragrant, usually purple or blue, two-lipped flowers. The best-quality essential oil is from L. stoechas and L. angustifolia. Aromatic oil glands cover all aerial parts of the plants but are most concentrated in the flowers. The flowers flavor jams, vinegar, sweets, cream, and Provençal stews, and are crystallized for decoration. Dried flowers add long-lasting fragrance to sachets and potpourri. Flower water is a skin toner useful for speeding cell renewal and is an antiseptic for acne. Flower tea treats anxiety, headaches, flatulence, nausea, dizziness, and halitosis. The essential oil is a highly valued perfume and healer. It is antiseptic, mildly sedative, and painkilling. It is applied to insect bites, and treats burns, sore throats and headaches. Queen Elizabeth I is said to have consumed up to 10 cups of lavender water a day to relieve migraines.
The oil is used for intestinal gas, migraine, and dizziness. Being antiseptic, lavender is added to healing salves. A tea of the leaf allays nausea and vomiting. Use two teaspoons per cup of water and steep for twenty minutes. The dose is one-fourth cup four times a day. Steep lavender blossoms in white wine and strain to make a natural antidepressant beverage. Lavender and rose petal vinegar is applied to the temples and brow to ease headache. Lavender oil is added to footbaths, eases toothaches and sprains, and is used as a rub for hysteria and palsy.
Parts Used: Flower and leaf
Magical Uses: Lavender is strewn into bonfires at Midsummer as an offering to the Gods and Goddesses. An ingredient of love spells, its scent is said to attract men. Lavender in the home brings peace, joy and healing. The essential oil is included in health; love; peace; and conscious mind-oriented formulas. Use to attract love; to produce sleep by anointing your forehead and pillow; to purify by adding to baths and to promote chastity and peace. Attracts elves, burn for purification, peace. Burn at Litha as an offering. Love; Psychic Awareness; Happiness; Creative Work; Money and Business; Anointing; Exorcism; Harmony; Peace; Healing. The odor of lavender is conducive to long life and so should be smelled as often as possible.
Aromatherapy Uses Abscess; Acne; Allergies; Athlete's Foot; Boils; Bruises; Burns; Dermatitis; Eczema; Inflammation; Insect Bites and Stings; Lice; Psoriasis; Ringworm; Scabies; Spots; Sunburn; Wounds; Lumbago; Rheumatism; Sprains; Asthma; Bronchitis; Catarrh; Flu; Halitosis; Throat Infections; Whooping Cough; Colic; Dyspepsia; Flatulence; Nausea; Cystitis; Dysmenorrhea; Leukorrhea; Depression; Headache; Hypertension; Insomnia; migraine; Nervous Tension; Stress. Key Qualities: Soothing; Sedative; Antidepressant; Calming; Relaxing; Balancing; Restorative; Cephalic; Appeasing; Cleansing; Purifying.
- LEMON: Citrus limon The fruit, juice, and peel of citrus fruits flavor food and drink and provide vitamin C. Essential oils from the peel scent food, cosmetics and perfume. The seed oils are used in soaps.
Magical Uses: Use in Lunar oils. Wear diluted lemon oil during the Full Moon to attune with its energies. Use in purification and healing oils. Purification; Love. A Lemon may serve as a poppet.
Aromatherapy Uses Acne; Anemia; Brittle Nails; Boils; Chilblains; Corns; Cuts; Greasy Skin; Herpes; Insect bites; Mouth Ulcers; Spots; Throat Infections; Warts; Arthritis; Cellulitis; High Blood Pressure; Nosebleeds; Obesity; Poor Circulation; Varicose Veins; Rheumatism; Asthma; Bronchitis; Catarrh; Dyspepsia; Colds; Flu; Fever; Infections. Key Qualities: Refreshing, Mental Stimulant; Cephalic; Purifying; Reviving; Strengthening; Soothing.
- LEMON BALM: Melissa officionalis This bushy herb has square stems, lemon-scented foliage, and late-summer flowers that mature from white or yellow to pale blue. Fresh leaves add a delicate flavor to many dishes, oils, vinegars, and liqueurs, provide a relaxing bath, soothe insect bites, and make a sedative and tonic tea.
Parts Used: Leaf and Flower
Magical Uses: Soak in wine for 3 hours, remove and serve wine to friends and loved ones. Used in spells to ensure success.
- LEMONGRASS: (Cymbopogon citratus) This aromatic grass has clumped, bulbous stems becoming leaf blades and a branched panicle of flowers. The stem and leaf, used widely in Thai cuisine, have a distinct lemon flavor. Leaf tea treats diarrhea, stomachache, headaches, fevers, and flu, and is antiseptic. The essential oil is used in cosmetics, food and Aromatherapy.
Parts Used: Leaf, stem and oil
Magical Uses: The essential oil strengthens psychic awareness and is also useful in purification mixtures.
Aromatherapy Uses Acne; Athlete's Foot; Excessive Perspiration; Open Pores; Pediculosis; Scabies; Tissue Toner; Muscular Pain; Poor Circulation and Muscle Tone; Slack Tissue; Colitis; Indigestion; Gastroenteritis; Fevers; Infectious Diseases; Headaches; Nervous Exhaustion; Stress-Related Conditions; Insect Repellent (fleas, lice and ticks). Key Qualities: Refreshing; Active; Stimulating; Soothing.
- LEMON VERBENA: (Aloysia triphylla syn. Lippia citriodora) Lemon Verbena has strongly lemon-scented whorls of three or four leaves along its stems and panicles of tiny, pale summer flowers. The leaves are used to flavor drinks and fruit and sweet dishes, and to make herb tea. The tea is refreshing and mildly sedative. The leaves also yield a green coloring and essential oil.
The leaves and flowering tops are used to lower fevers and to relieve gas and indigestion. Lemon Verbena is calming, a sedative for the nerves. Steep two teaspoons per cup of water for twenty minutes and take one-fourth cup four times a day. Stimulating to the skin, lemon verbena makes a good facial scrub for pimples and blemishes. To make the scrub, grind the dry herb or use the powder and mix in a little natural clay and ground oatmeal, add water to make a paste.
Parts Used: Leaf and flowering top
Magical Uses: Often sold simply as "Verbena" This full lemon-scented essential oil is wonderful in love blends. Added to other mixtures to increase their strength, and is also used to purify an area or is added to bathwater for protection and purification purposes. Lemon Verbena is worn to make oneself attractive to the opposite sex, and is used in love spells and mixtures.
- LILAC: (Syringia vulgaris) Lilac is a deciduous, twiggy shrub or small tree with a mass of heart-shaped leaves and showy panicles of small, waxy, spring flowers. The perfume is extracted from the flowers and used commercially. The flowers were once used to treat fever. In the language of flowers, Lilac symbolizes the first emotions of love. If inhaled too deeply, however, the strong flower fragrance can cause nausea.
Parts Used: Flower
Magical Uses: Lilac drives away evil where it is planted or strewn. It was originally planted in New England to keep evil from the property. The fresh flowers can be placed in a haunted house to clear it. Peace; Clairvoyance; Divination; Creativity; Happiness; Harmony; Exorcism; Protection: Psychic Awareness; Reincarnation.
- LIME: (Citrus limata) A small evergreen tree, up to 15 feet, with stiff, sharp spines, smooth ovate leaves, and small white flowers. The bitter fruit is a pale green color, about half the size of a lemon. The essential oil is extracted from the fruit peel.
Parts Used: Fruit
Magical Uses: (Peel)Useful in purification and protection spells. The peel is used in love mixtures and incenses.
Aromatherapy Uses: Antirheumatic, antiscorbutic, antiseptic, antiviral, aperitif, bactericidal, febrifuge, restorative, tonic. Use for Acne, anemia, brittle nails, boils, chilblains, corns, cuts, greasy skin, herpes, insect bites, mouth ulcers, spots, warts, arthritis, cellulitis, high blood pressure, nosebleeds, obesity, poor circulation, rheumatism, asthma, bronchitis, catarrh, dyspepsia, colds, flu, fever, throat infections, and other infections. Key Qualities: Refreshing, Uplifting; Active.
- LINDEN: (Tilia spp.) Linden have small highly fragrant flowers, and can be hard to identify, since they hybridize freely. The flowers are brewed to make a tea, the classic digestive end to a continental meal, and a treatment for insomnia, nervous tension, and overwrought children. The world's most valued honey is made from Linden blossoms and is used in liqueurs and medicines. The inner bark treats kidney stones, gout and coronary disease.
Parts Used: Flower, leaf, twigs, bark and wood
Magical Uses: Bark used for protection, leaves and flowers or immortality. Good Fortune, Sleep and Love. Hang branches over the door for protection or grow in the garden.
- LOOSESTRIFE: (Lythrum salicaria) Purple Loosestrife has a creeping rootstock, angled stems with lance-shaped leaves, and spikes of purple-red flowers. The leaves are eaten as an emergency vegetable and fermented into a mild alcohol. The flowering plant is an intestinal disinfectant, treating diarrhea and food poisoning. It acts as a typhus antibiotic, a sore throat gargle, and is given for fever and liver problems.
Parts Used: Flower, leaf and stem
Magical Uses: Placed in the corners of each room, this herb restores harmony and brings peace. Give as a gift to bring about an accord.
- LOTUS: (Nelumbo nucifera or Nymphaea lotus) This aquatic herb's waxy leaves rise high above the water its long-stalked fragrant flowers open at dawn and close at sunset. Lotus stalks, leaves, petals, seeds and rhizome are all eaten. The flowers are a religious offering in many cultures and are planted for devotional reasons.
The leaf of Nelumbo nucifera is used for fever, sweating, irritability, dysentery, diarrhea, and scanty urine. It is a styptic (stops bleeding) and has been used to antidote alcohol and mushroom poisoning. It affects the liver, heart, and spleen energies. The nodes of the root are used to stop bleeding and to break down blood clots. All types of internal bleeding are affected. The plumule (bud) affects the heart, kidney, and spleen. It is used to calm mental agitation and worry, relieve insomnia, and lower fevers. The seed affects the kidney, heart, and spleen. It is used for agitation, insomnia, palpitations, dry mouth, dark urine, and chronic diarrhea. It strengthens the heart and kidneys.
The leaf is steeped, and the bud, root, and seed are simmered, using two teaspoons of herb per cup of water, for twenty minutes. The dose is one-fourth cup, four times a day.
Parts Used: Leaf, node of the root, buds, and seeds
Magical Uses: Lotus is an all-purpose spiritual elixir. Burned as incense, it encourages the dead to seek their highest possible reincarnation. It reminds the living of their inner sanctity and divinity. Lotus plants thrive in murky waters. They float serenely on the stagnant surface and never a drop sticks to them. Anyone who breathes the scent of the lotus will receive its protection. It's said that if you place the root of a lotus under the tongue and say the words "SIGN, ARGIS" toward a locked door. It will open miraculously. Lotus sees and pods are used as antidotes to love spells and any part of the lotus carried or worn ensures blessing by the Gods and Good Luck.
There are no true Lotus oils. Perfumers simply haven't found a way to capture the scent of the flower. Use this mix to approximate the odor: Rose, White Musk, Jasmine and Ylang-Ylang; Mix until the scent is heavy, floral and warm. Use in spirituality, healing and meditation formulas.
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© 1998 Joelle Miller