It’s time for another highlight from the Folklore Files, a series of small features on the myths and legends behind both the names of many of my products, and the ingredients themselves. This week I’m focusing on one of the most easily recognized herbs and popular herbs among beginner herbalists, lavender (Latin name lavandula stoechas or lavandula angustifolia, reflecting both English and French varieties).
There is a wealth of history surrounding lavender, dating back to its use in Ancient Egypt in the process of mummification. Like many medicinal plants affecting the nervous system, it is ruled by the planet Mercury, and has ties to the Greek goddess Persephone (though I was unable to find actual passages from Aeschylus or Homer that link the two). Believed to protect against the evil eye, it is also said to inspire divinatory dreams, and folks who carry a sprig in their pocket may see ghosts!
In addition to being a key ingredient in some of my most popular products, I love to use lavender in my home, and include it in my DIY cleaning solution and drawer sachets.
Have you worked with this popular plant? Share your favorite use in the comments!