Common Names: Lavender, Elf Leaf
Latin Name: Lavendula augustifolia
Parts Used: Flowers and leaves
Cultivation: Lavender is usually started from cuttings, as it has a long germination time. It prefers light, well-drained soil in full sun, and some varieties are hardy to zone 5.
Cosmetic Uses: Lavender stimulates and cleanses the skin. Lavender vinegar is good for oily skin.
Culinary Uses: Use flowers and leaves in vinegars, and fruit jellies.
Magickal Uses: Lavender is used widely in love spells and sachets. Burn the flowers to induce sleep. Lavender is also used in healing and purification.
Medicinal Uses: Lavender infusions can be taken to combat headaches and depressions. Lavender makes a good nerve tonic, and was an ingredient in the "smelling salts" used by Victorian ladies. Use lavender to make a compress for chest congestion.
Common Names: Lemon Balm
Latin Name: Melissa officinalis
Parts Used: Leaves
Cultivation: Lemon balm grows easily from seed. It grows best in full sun, in average, well-drained soil. It is hardy to zones4-5.
Cosmetic Uses: Lemon balm is a good facial cleansers, especially for persons with acne!
Culinary Uses: Lemon balm combines the tastes of lemon and mint. Use the fresh leaves in salads, fruit dishes, poultry, and fish. Use the dried leaves in tea. Lemon balm is a flavoring ingredient in the liqueurs Benedictine and Chartreuse.
Medicinal Uses: Lemon balm seems to have a mild sedative effect, and to be mildly inhibiting to the growth of bacteria and viruses. In aromatherapy it is specific for insomnia caused by anxiety.
Common Names: Lemon Verbena
Latin Name: Aloysia triphylla
Parts Used: Leaves
Cultivation: Lemon verbena is a shrub, hardy to zone 9. It is frequently grown as a houseplant.
Culinary Uses: Use in marinades, fish or poultry dishes, salad dressings, and puddings.
Magickal Uses: Hang Lemon Verbena around your neck or drink juice to prevent dreams. It is used in love spells, and is added to other spells to strengthen them. Use it in a purifying bath.
Medicinal Uses: It has been used in folk medicine as a remedy for various conditions ranging from fevers to indigestion, but it is not generally considered an important medicinal herb.
Common Names: Licorice, Sweet Root
Latin Name: Glycyrrhiza glabra
Parts Used: Roots
Cultivation: Licorice is a hardy perennial, growing well in neutral pH, rich, moist soil in full sun to partial shade.
Commercial Uses: Licorice is used to help beer foam, and as a foaming agent in fire extinguishers. It is used in fertilizers, insecticides, and insulation. It is a used extensively in flavoring tobacco, with some tobacco products containing as much as 10% licorice!
Cosmetic Uses: Licorice is a soothing emmolient. Use it in steam facials as it helps open the pores so other herbs can penetrate. It is also useful as a shampoo for oily hair, as it tends to suppress the scalp's production of oil.
Culinary Uses: Licorice is used as a flavoring for many things, including candy and liqueurs. It is used commercially in everything from pastries and ice cream to soy sauce and soy meat substitutes.
Magickal Uses: Licorice is used in love and lust potions. Chew on a licorice root as an aphrodisiac. Licorice sticks are also good substitutes when you are quitting smoking!
Medicinal Uses: Licorice is widely used in cough syrups and lozenges. It is frequently used to treat ulcers, rheumatism, and artritis; and helps in the treatment of menstrual cramps. It is also useful in treating Addison's disease.
Cautions: Licorice should be avoided by cardiac patients, those who are obese, pregnant women, and those who suffer from kidney disease or high blood pressure. In these people, licorice can cause abnormal heart action and renal failure.
Common Names: Lily of the Valley, Jacob's Ladder, May Lily
Latin Name: Convallaria magalis
Parts Used: Leaves, flowers
Cultivation: Lilies of the valley grow from pips, which are simiar to bulbs. They are hardy, like the shade, and spread rapidly. The problem is not how to grow them, it is what to do with the extras.
Magickal Uses: Improves mental powers and strengthens the mind.
Medicinal Uses: Lily of the vally is used much like foxglove in the treatment of congestive heart failure.
Cautions: Lily of the vally is extremely potent and should be used ONLY under CLOSE medical supervision!
Common Names: Lotus
Latin Name: Nelumbo nucifera
Parts Used: Whole plant
Cultivation: Lotuses are hardy perennial water plants but will only live through the winter if their roots do not freeze--mulch thoroughly, move to a protected area, or dig the tubers every fall. They can be grown from seed or tubers.
Magickal Uses: The lotus was considered to be sacred by many ancient peoples of the East. It was a symbol of spirituality and the mystery of life. Breath the scent to be protected, or carry any part of the plant to be blessed by the gods.
Common Names: Lovage, Love Root, Sea Parsley
Latin Name: Levisticum officinale
Parts Used: Leaves, roots, stems, and seeds
Cultivation: Lovage is a perennial hardy to zone 3. It prefers moist, fertile, well-drianed soil in full sun to partial shade.
Cosmetic Uses: An infusion of lovage seeds is said to erase freckles.
Culinary Uses: Lovage tastes like celery. Use the leaves fresh in salads or in soups, stews, and sauces. Use the stems as you would celery stalks, and the seeds are used in pickling, salad dressings, and sauces.
Magickal Uses: Take a lovage bath before you go out to make yourself more attractive.