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  • Writer's pictureOlivine Moss

Lavender Myths Legends Poetry and Planting

Updated: Dec 2, 2023









Myths and Legends

Resides under Mercury

Lavender is a fragrant and versatile herb that has been valued for centuries for its many uses. We will explore some of the historical and cultural aspects of lavender, as well as some of its benefits and applications.

Lavender has a long history of being used as a natural remedy for various ailments and conditions. According to The Book of Herbs, lavender was considered good for diseases of the head, colds, and general aches. The author quotes a 16th-century physician who wrote: "I judge that the flowers of Lavander quilted in a cappe and dayly worne are good for all diseases of the head that come of a cold cause and that they comfort the braine very well." Another source, Dr Fernie, claimed that lavender was effective in treating nervous headaches.

Lavender was also used for cosmetic and aromatic purposes by different civilizations. The Egyptians used lavender for embalming, making oils, perfumes, and cosmetics. They also placed lavender in the tombs of their pharaohs as a sign of respect and honor. The Greeks learned about lavender from the Egyptians and used it for healing, anointing, and cleansing. They called it "nardus" or "nard", after the city of Naarda in Syria, where it was cultivated. The Romans adopted lavender from the Greeks and used it extensively in their daily life. They added lavender to their baths, laundry, hair, and skin care products. They also used it as a disinfectant and antiseptic for wounds and infections. They valued lavender so much that they named it after their word for washing, "lavare".

Lavender also has a spiritual and religious significance in many cultures. In the Bible, lavender is referred to as "spikenard" or simply "nard". It was one of the precious spices that were used to make incense and perfume for the temples and the priests. It was also used to anoint the sick, the dead, and the holy. One of the most famous stories involving lavender is when Mary Magdalene poured a jar of expensive nard over Jesus' feet and wiped them with her hair. This act of devotion and love was praised by Jesus as a preparation for his burial.

In Spain, lavender was associated with Saint John's Day, which is celebrated on June 24th. On this day, people would light bonfires with lavender branches to ward off evil spirits and bring good luck. Lavender was also believed to protect against the evil eye, a curse that could cause misfortune or harm to someone. In Greek mythology, lavender was sacred to Hecate, the goddess of magic and witchcraft. She was said to use lavender in her spells and potions.

As you can see, lavender has a rich and fascinating history that spans across different times and places. Today, lavender is still widely used for its soothing scent, calming effects, and health benefits. You can enjoy lavender in many ways, such as growing it in your garden, making tea or sachets with its flowers, adding it to your bath or massage oil, or using it in aromatherapy or candles. Lavender is truly a wonderful gift from nature that can enhance your well-being and happiness.


Medicinal Uses

Anti-inflammatory and antiseptic properties which helps heal bug bites and minor burns

Used for skin and beauty products for its calming scent

Can be useful in treating anxiety, depression, and insomnia



And then againe he turneth to his playe , To spoyle the pleasures of the Paradise , The wholesome saulge and lavender still gray . Muiopotmos . - SPENSER .

Parkinson tells us of sweet marjoram being put into " sweete bags , " and costmary flowers and lavender tied up in small bundles for their " sweet sent and savour . "

Here's flowers for you , Hat lavender , mints , savory , marjoram , The marigold that goes to bed wi ' the sun , And with him rises weeping . Winter's Tale , iv . 3 .

The wholesome saulge and lavender still gray , Ranke smelling Rue , and cummin good for eyes . Opening upon level plots Of crowned lilies standing near Purple spiked lavender . Muiopotmos . Ode to Memory . - TENNYSON .

Lavender is for lovers true , Which evermore be faine , Desiring always for to have Some pleasure for their paine . C. ROBINSON .


How to Grow Lavender

Lavender is a beautiful and fragrant herb that can add color, scent and flavor to your garden. Lavender is also easy to grow from seeds, as long as you follow some simple steps. Here are some tips on how to grow lavender from seeds and enjoy its benefits.

  • Choose the right variety of lavender for your climate and purpose. There are many types of lavender, but they can be divided into two main groups: English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) and French lavender (Lavandula stoechas). English lavender is hardy and can tolerate cold winters, while French lavender is more tender and needs a sheltered spot. English lavender is also better for culinary and medicinal uses, while French lavender has more showy flowers and a stronger scent.

  • Start your lavender seeds indoors about 10 weeks before the last frost date in your area. Fill a seed starter tray with seed starter potting mix and place two or three seeds on top of the soil in each cell. Pat them down gently and cover them lightly with plastic wrap or a clear ziplock bag. Place the tray in a sunny and warm spot that stays around 21°C (70°F). Mist the seeds lightly with water once per day.

  • Transplant your lavender seedlings outdoors after the last frost, when they have at least two sets of true leaves. Choose a spot that gets full sun and has well-drained soil. Lavender does not like wet or heavy soil, so you may need to amend it with sand or gravel. Space your plants about 30 to 60 cm (12 to 24 inches) apart, depending on the variety.

  • Care for your lavender plants by watering them deeply but infrequently, only when the soil feels dry to the touch. Fertilize them once or twice a year with a balanced organic fertilizer in spring and summer. Prune your plants after they finish flowering, cutting back about one-third of their height to prevent them from becoming woody and leggy.

  • Harvest your lavender flowers when they are in full bloom, but before they start to fade. Cut them in the morning, when the dew has dried, and tie them in small bunches. Hang them upside down in a dark, dry and airy place to dry for about two weeks. You can then use your dried lavender for cooking, tea, sachets, potpourri, crafts and more.

Lavender is a versatile and rewarding herb that can enhance your garden and your home. By following these steps, you can grow lavender from seeds and enjoy its beauty and aroma for years to come.


Further Reading and Resources

Northcote, Rosalind. The Book of Herbs [1903].

Song of solomon 1:12 while the king was at his table, my perfume spread its fragrance. (n.d.). Retrieved December 17, 2022, from

Elvira BowenElvira Bowen is a food expert who has dedicated her life to understanding the science of cooking. She has worked in some of the world’s most prestigious kitchens. (2022, August 7). What does lavender symbolize in the Bible? Sweetish Hill. Retrieved December 17, 2022, from

“History of Lavender.” CACHE CREEK LAVENDER, Accessed 17 Dec. 2022


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