Lavender

by Regan Schwartz

dried lavender in a bowl

Lavandula spp

Energetics: warm, dry, relaxant

Actions: antimicrobial, vulnerary, anxiolytic, sedative, analgesic, exhilarant, anti-inflammatory, rubefacient

Lavender is a dear friend to me emotionally and physically, though I cannot, for the life of me, keep it alive in my garden (despite my resounding success with other Mediterranean herbs like rosemary, oregano, thyme….) it’s just not meant to be for us.  And that’s ok!  Other folks in central Texas have managed thriving lavender fields and I love to support local growers.

Lavender is often reduced to its comforting aromatic qualities, which are fantastic, but there is so much happening in these delicate leaves and flowers.  The aromatics that make lavender nearly ubiquitous in perfume, aromatherapy, and cleaners, also make it an excellent antimicrobial steam, topical  muscle relaxant, and wound cleaner. 

Lavender shows up in so many of my offerings, including my toners, serums, facial oils, steams, baths, and my Goodnight Salve.  I also work with lavender in teas and tincture and culinarily in baking and beveraging!  (Beveraging is absolutely a word - no need to look it up.  Why are you opening up a new tab? Dictionary dot com?  Come on!)

Magically, lavender is associated with purification, peace, harmony, cleansing, and healing.  Burning a bit of lavender in a loose incense is a wonderful way to cleanse and purify a space.  Lavender is ruled by Mercury and air, just like this Gemini is!  That air association is evident in lavenders drying energetics - so be careful of overuse - it can easily overdry you.  As someone who already tends to dryness, I always balance lavender with a moistening friend like plantain, marshmallow, or aloe.