Arachnae's Metaphysics


Lavender is perhaps best known as a perfuming agent, but its medicinal properties have long been recognized. Culpeper, writing in the seventeenth century, says "it is of especial use in pains of the head and brain which proceed from cold, apoplexy, falling-sickness, the dropsy, or sluggish malady, cramps, convulsions, palsies and often faintings.... Two spoonfuls of the distilled water of the flowers help them that have lost their voice, the tremblings and passions of the heart, and fainting and swoonings, applied to the temples or nostrils, to be smelt into, but it is not safe to use it where the body is replete with blood and humours, because of the hot and subtle spirit wherewith it is possessed. "

Modern aromatherapy recommends using lavender oil on the temples for headache, or directly on joints for arthritis pain. (Use sparingly at first in case of unknown allergies.) Sewing a quantity of the flowers into a small pillow to keep beside you at night is thought to ensure easy sleep and keep nightmares away. Lavender can be used as a purifying smudge by smouldering the flowers on a burning charcoal block - the smoke will have a decidedly lavender scent, which is very pleasant and clearing.

In folk magic, lavender is principally used in love spells and purifications. You can purchase lavender buds, lavender essential oil, and eye pillows stuffed with flax and lavender, as well as a variety of preparations that contain lavender as one ingredient.