Our garden is a sanctuary. We love planning, working in and enjoying our space. Most of what we plant and grow is with the intention of using it. I love to use herbs in cooking and teas. Over the next couple of weeks I will showcase some of the things we have in our garden and what their medicinal uses and magical powers are:
ALOE: Aloe Vera- I don’t remember a time when I didn’t use this plant. In Toronto we had an indoor plant. When we lived in the Caribbean it grew wild all over and now in the desert have a plant I purchased from Trader Joe’s four years ago that is thriving with little maintenance, outside year round.
There are two parts of this plant that can be used. The inside clear, gel-like central leaf pulp, and the yellow-green juice from the green part of the leaf. The gel is used topically to soothe, heal, and moisturize the skin. It cools the skin, protects it from airborne infections, reduces scarring and speeds cell regeneration. The yellow part can be scraped from split leaves for first aid treatment of sunburns, cuts, chapped skin, acne, eczema and Poison Ivy rash.
In the summer when my plant is at it’s plumpest I snap sections off and store them whole in my freezer. It can be stored, already scrapped, for short periods of time in a glass jar in the fridge.
Aloe is also used as a protective houseplant. It guards against evil influences and prevents household accidents. I keep ours in a large pot directly beside our front door. In Africa aloe is hung over houses and doors to bring good luck and drive away evil.
LAVENDER: (Lavandula species) This perennial comes in several different species all with small, linear leaves and spikes of fragrant purple or blue flowers. Aromatic oil glands cover all aerial parts of the plants but are most concentrated in the flowers. The flowers can be used to flavor jams, sweets and stews. Dried flowers can be used to make potpourri. You can make flower water to use as a skin toner to treat acne and to speed cell renewal. Lavender tea treats anxiety, headaches, flatulence, nausea, dizziness, and halitosis. The essential oil which you can purchase online or at a heath food store is used as an antiseptic and painkiller. It can be used to treat insect bites, burns, sore throats and headaches. Lavender can also be added to bath water or foot soak tubs to ease anxiety and produce a calming, sleepy affect. I used this often when the monkeys were babies.
Lavender is a traditional ingredient for love spells. Lavender in the home brings peace, joy and healing. You may use it in your home to encourage more: Love, Psychic Awareness, Happiness, Creative Work, Money, Harmony, Peace, Healing. The odor of lavender is said to be conducive to long life.
Do you enjoy using Aloe and Lavender?
What do you grow, to use, in your garden?