The Herbs, Roots, and Bark Library

Herbs beginning with the letter L

Lady's Mantle
Lady's Mantle in bloom
Lady's Mantle (Alchemilla Vulgaris, also known as Nine Hooks, Dewcup, Frauenmantel, Lion's Foot, Bear's Foot, and Stellaria) has a Latin name stemming from ancient Magick. Alchemilla is a variation of Alchemy...its derived from the Arabic word al-kimia. The dew that was captured in the hairs of the leaves was thought to have Magickal properties, and ancient alchemists used it to assist in their search for the philosopher's stone, with which they wished to turn base metals into gold. They called the water droplets that bead up on the foliage, and look so attractive in the garden after a rain, "celestial water". The morning dew collected from its leaves is much prized in Magick and Alchemy. If you don't understand Alchemy see our Alchemy Page located in the main page sitemap.

Magickal Uses:

Alchemilla is a patron herb of Alchemists. Lady's Mantle increases the working power of any type of Magick. In ancient times Lady's Mantle was said to contain the ability to transmute the formulae of an Alchemist. Because this herb is an aphrodisiac you can use it in any love potion. Collect the pollen from the flowers, or the roots may be dried and powdered, or (not as potent) you can dry and powder the leaves for Magickal use. You may also collect the early morning dew from its leaves for use in any Magickal working. One may think of Lady's Mantle as having the ability to add a metaphysical exclamation mark to one's Magick.

Medicinal and Other Uses:

Lady's Mantle is used for acute diarrhea, dysentery, lack of appetite, rheumatism, stomach ailments, epidemic diarrhea of infants, excessive menstruation, gastroenteritis, inflammation, laryngitis, leukorrhea, metrorrhagia, passive hemorrhage, and pruritus vulvae. The leaves of this plant have an astringent property and are used to stop bleeding. Since it is an astringent, diuretic, anti-inflammatory, emmenagogue, and vulnerary, it can also be used for sore throat, to deaden toothache pain, and for laryngitis. It is used topically on wounds to stop bleeding and promote healing. It is believed to have tranquilizing properties when taken as a tincture. Lady's Mantle is a useful ingredient in preparing herbal cleansing cream and other natural cosmetics. **WC** Lady's Mantle acts as a uterine stimulant and should be avoided during pregnancy. **GT** Snails love to devour Lady's Mantle foliage, keep it unmulched. Here is a formula for preparation & dosage...For an Infusion: pour a cup of boiling water onto 2 teaspoonfuls of the dried herb and leave to infuse for l0-l5 minutes. This should be drunk three times a day. To help diarrhea and as a mouthwash or lotion, a stronger dosage is made by boiling the herb for a few minutes to extract all the tannin. Tincture: take 1-2 ml of the tincture three times a day.

Lavender Lavendar A Close Up of the Flowers of one variety

Lavender (Lavendula Species, also called Spike and Elf Leaf) was crowned "Herb of the Year" by the International Herb Association in 1999. I listed this herb under Species because I wanted to encompass all Lavenders, as they each have their own unique trait. Lavender has been around for several thousand years, dating back at least to the times of the ancient Greeks. The Romans were most responsible for the spread of Lavender throughout Europe, taking it with them everywhere they went in order to have local supplies of Lavender oil which they used extensively in bath water and soap as well as in many other ways. Lavender has been prized for centuries for its classic floral scent, as well as its impressive healing properties. Its name, Lavendula, is derived from the Latin "Lavare", meaning "to wash". Some writers speculate that the "Spikenard" of ancient times was actually what we would call "Spike Lavender." Lavender is widely associated with Love and fidelity. Many use Lavender to express affection, or to affirm vows of union.

Magickal Uses: Lavendar growing on a Lavender farm
Lavender is an herb of fertility, consecration, love, and a visionary herb. Customs dating to pre-christian times associate Lavender with Midsummer rites. It was one of the herbs King Solomon used as an aspurger in his temple. Modern usage includes burning Lavender in the birthing room to keep it pure and welcome new life. Lavender is woven into wreaths to crown newly joined couples, and it is often used in Handfasting rituals. It may be added to the ritual cup to add permanence to vows, the blossoms can be added to the bridal bouquet, it can be used as soap for bathing before the ceremony, and it's flowers can be ground and added in the cakes to promote fetility. Lavander can be used to increase one's clarity when viewing the world, and to assist the evolution of one's spirit through life. This well-known herb is used Magickally to assist bringing any work into manifestation. It is known to bring calmness and serenity to one's inner self. Lavender is an excellent choice to promote healing from depression. Lavender is also used to increase one's ability to manifest money or to attract desired possesions; however, if the Magickal working is desire rather than genuine need, the Magick could work in reverse. Use Lavender to bless a new home, or bunch it together to aspurge one's temple or ritual circle. It is an excellent herb to add to Love oil, charms, sachets, or dream pillows. Some plant Lavender to attract the Fae.

Medicinal and Other Uses:

Lavender oil is one of the most prized there is. It can take up to 150 pounds of the flowering tops to produce one pound of essential oil. Lavender possesses strong antiseptic and deoderizing properties. Lavender provides the best room freshener you can imagine. Lavender oil can be used to massage onto the temples when a headache strikes. Lavender helps fight infection, reduces inflammation, relieves pain, and promotes the regeneration of skin cells. (It is especially known for it's ability to heal burns and prevent scarring) It is also used to treat eczema, psoriasis, earaches, dermatitis, dandruff, athlete's foot, it stimulates and normalizes menstruation, and it's diuretic action helps to relieve water retention and bladder infections. It makes an excellent massage oil, relieving the discomforts of muscle tension, cramps, spasms, and arthritis. Lavender is a mild expectorant useful in the relief of sinus pressure, congestion, and asthma. Lavender has been proven to stimulate the release of the neurochemical "Seratonin", which acts much like prozac. **WC** Avoid the use of Lavender during the first trimester of pregnancy. The leaves are best harvested just before the plant flowers, and the flowers are best harvested when the individual flower buds are just starting to open. **GT** Lavender seeds have a long germination time and will not breed true to the parent plant unless you have a non-hybrid. So although Lavender can be propagated from seeds, using vegetative propagation (i.e. rooting a soft stem) is the preferred method of multiplication. This can be accomplished by layering or stem cutting. Lavender is a great Bee and Butterfly attracting plant.

Lily Lilium Species (Asiatic Lily) Lilium Dubonette

Lily (Lilium Species, also called Tiger Lily, Easter Lily,) is an ancient plant full of lore. The Lily's name has pre-classical origins; indeed, it was the Greek name "Leirion" and the Roman name "Lilium" from which the name "lily" was derived. The ancient Romans believed that the first Lily grew from the milk that spilled from the breasts of the goddess Juno as she fed the infant Hercules. Where this milk fell to earth, a milk-white Lily spontaneously grew. Folklore tells of Lilies, unplanted by any human hand spontaneously appearing on the graves of people executed for crimes they did not commit. In ancient Greek and Roman marriage ceremonies, Lilies, symbols of purity and innocence, along with Wheat, the symbol of fertility, were placed on the bride's crown. Long ago, Spaniards believed that eating a Lily's petals would restore someone who had been transformed into a beast back into human form. In China, the Day Lily is the emblem for motherhood. According to Anglo-Saxon folklore, if both a Rose and a Lily were offered to an expectant mother and she chose the Rose, her baby would be a girl. If she chose the Lily, a boy was on the way. On the whole, Lilies imply purity of the heart.

Magickal Uses: Lilium

Lily is ruled by La Luna, The Moon, and is an herb of fertility and protection. The white Lily is associated with Eostara, renewal, and rebirth. The Lily has strong associations with fertility goddesses. To dream of Lilies in Spring foretells marriage, happiness and prosperity; to dream of them in Winter indicates frustration of hopes, or the premature death of a loved one. Some use the Lily to break Love Spells.

Medicinal and Other Uses:

Lily is an adornment, but any medicinal remedies have long been proven to be myth. The bulb is used as a food in Asia (where it is native). Boiled and then dried, this bulb is a key ingredient in the Japanese "namono" eaten at the Japanese New Year. Pollen of the Lily is eaten or sprinkled over food, being nutritious and with a pleasant taste. **WC** Careful when gathering Lily flowers, pollen on the Lilies´┐Ż anthers rubs off easily and can stain your skin, clothing, and anything else it touches. (Do not brush the pollen away with your hands; oils from your skin will set the stain. Do not use water or a wet cloth; this will spread and set the stain. Place the stained item in direct sunlight for a few hours; the stain should "magically" disappear). **GT** The lily is a bulb and if you decide to grow a patch of them its best to plant them where they can be "left be". Once they start growing the bulbs multiply underground.

Lily of the Valley Lily of the Valley A close up of the flowers

Lily of the Valley's (Convallaria Magalis, also known as Jacob's Ladder, Convallaria, Male Lily, Our Lady's Tears, Convall-lily, Lily Constancy, Ladder-to-Heaven, and May Lily) name, "Majalis" signifies "that which belongs to May", and the old astrological books place the plant under the dominion of Mercury, since Maia, the daughter of Atlas, was the mother of Mercury or Hermes. These chaste white flowers were once known as "Our Lady's Tears", and the fragrance was purported to attract Nightingales. There is an old Sussex legend that St. Leonard fought against a great dragon in the woods near Horsham, only vanquishing it after a mortal combat lasting many hours, during which he received grievous wounds, but wherever his blood fell, Lilies-of-the-Valley sprang up to commemorate the desperate fight. The sweet scent of these tiny flowers is so strong it literally floats on the breeze.

Magickal Uses:

Lily of the Valley is a favored herb among the Devas. The flowers may be gathered, dried, and powdered to add to any incense or mixture as a Magickal additive. Some prefer to use the rhizome (root) or berries in their workings. Lily of the Valley has an association with Apollo as it's Invocatory. From ancient times it has been considered a patron herb of Alchemists. It has an astrological association with Mercury, that deity who moves between the light and the dark. Use this herb to assist in empowering your mental powers and happiness.

Medicinal and Other Uses:

Lily of the Valley is used much like Foxglove in the treatment of congestive heart failure. **WC** These plants should be considered potentially poisonous. (Because of the cardiac glycosides and saponins found in this plant), however, the toxic principle is very poorly absorbed when taken orally so poisoning is unlikely to occur. Animals that have access to the plant material may be poisoned. **GT** This plant won't survive well in high-traffic areas. It grows well in heavy clay soils, and loves to be mulched heavily. The Plants live for decades in cool climates but die out quickly where summers are hot. The place I own in Georgia was originally an old 'homestead', and the Lily of the Valleys that are growing there have never been "cultivated", they grow wild around my Pecan Trees.

Loosestrife, Purple Purple Loosestrife Another variation in the coloration of the flowers

Purple Loosestrife (Lythrum Salicaria) is an invasive non-native plant from Eurasia that was introduced into North America almost 200 years ago. It's name "Lythrum", is Greek for "gore", and is a reference to the use of Purple Loosestrife to stop bleeding. The name, "Salicaria", is an old name meaning "like a Willow". This may allude to the plant's bushy growth and preferred wetland habitat similar to that of Willows. The common name, Loosestrife, dates back to an old belief that any species of the Loosestrife family held the power to calm and soothe animals and creatures. In other words, the herb could set loose any strife. Purple Loosestrife was hung around the necks of oxen because it was thought by the Greeks to be useful in making a team work in harmony when plowing. Purple loosestrife is Public enemy #1 on federal lands because it dominates native vegetation. Loosestrife is present in 26 states, covers approximately 400,000 acres and costs about $45 million a year in control costs and lost forage. Please read the data I have below in the Medicinal section...or better yet, type in Purple Loosestrife in your search engine and see how many states are begging for the public's help in stopping it's spread.

Magickal Uses:

Purple Loosestrife is an herb of protection and a visionary herb. Although any of the Loosestrife family may be used to promote peace, the purple is the best. Loosestrife can be carried in one's pocket to meetings or encounters which have the potential for emotional disagreement. This herb may be used in fluid condensers to gently bathe one's eyelids, providing sight into the astral.

Medicinal and Other Uses:

An infusion of the leaves and flowers of Purple Loosestrife is used by modern-day herbalists as for a gargle for sore throats, as a douche, and to clean wounds. Tannins present in Purple Loosestrife give extracts their astringent properties. **GT** Please don't plant Purple Loosestrife or assist its spread. If its distribution doesn't scare you, its life cycle and growth characteristics will. This European native propagates by division OR seed, often out competes natural vegetation, can seem almost indestructible, and has NO natural enemy in the U.S. A five-year-old plant will have produced about 2,700,000 seeds in addition to any progeny spawned through clipped, trampled, or buried stems! You may think...big deal, so what? If its domination of native plants doesn't bother you, then you aren't seeing the big picture folks. Wildlife feeds and exists on those native plants, and once they are gone-so is the food source for these creatures. (When a wetland is infested with Purple Loosestrife, few species of wildlife are supported, a reduction in stopover sites along bird migratory pathways occurs and valuable natural resources in these ecosystems are destroyed). It bothers the Hades out of me because I am a wildlife rehabilitator and I love all animals.

Lotus Water Lotus A view showing the center of the flower
Lotus (Nymphaea Lotus, also called Egyptian Lotus, Seshen, and Sacred Lily of the Nile) inspires spiritual reverence and harmony in cultures throughout the world. Its unique blooms are like no other plant in nature and are considered sacred by many cultures. The Lotus closes at night and sinks underwater. In the morning it re-emerges and blooms again, thus the flower became a natural symbol of the sun and creation in Ancient Egypt. It was believed that a giant Lotus blossom first emerged from the primordial waters of "Nun" and from this the sun-god came forth. The "Book of the Dead" contains spells for "transforming oneself into a Lotus" and thus fulfilling the promise of resurrection.

Magickal Uses: Another Color Variation
Lotus is a very sacred herb and is an herb of consecration, protection, and purification. It is one of the most widely recognized herbs in the world. Its Invocatory can be Brahma, Hermes, Horus, Isis, Lakshmi, Mithra, Osiris, Sri, and Vishnu. When conducting a ritual of death and dying to guide the soul to the Otherworld, the pod of the Lotus provides an ideal thurible. Many grace their altars with the Lotus pod, and use it to hold salt, incense, and a wide variety of ritual needs. The oil of the Lotus is singular for ritual work. It is among the finest for dressing candles. Lotus oil will add an aura of protection to any candle, both consecrating it and bringing protection to all that fall within the candle's light. The seed of the Lotus is also a valuable item of power. It holds it's energy and Magick even when mixed with other herbs, or stored for long periods. Associated with either Amber or Aquamarine, it is believed to enhance the energy of either gemstone. This can also be accomplished using Lotus oil.

Medicinal and Other Uses:

All parts of the Lotus are edible...the roots, leaves, flowers and seeds. The immature seeds can be eaten raw or cooked, and they have chestnut-like flavor. Ripe seeds are roasted and ground into flour, or boiled to extract oil. Lotus roots produce starchy tubers and have the flavor of sweet potato. The young, unrolled leaves are cooked as a vegetable. **WC** Many confuse water lilies and the Lotus. The Lotus has leaves that rise above the water and look like an umbrella popped inside out. The water lily's pads float on the water.

Lovage Lovage

Lovage (Levisticum Officinale, also called Love Parsley, Love Stem, Nine-stem, and Bladder Seed) was used by the ancient Greeks, who chewed the seed to aid digestion and relieve flatulence. Lovage's name comes from its inclusion in old recipes for love potions, which also accounts for this feathery plant's other common name, "love parsley." The Latin word "Levare" means to ease or soothe. Some say the English name "Lovage" directly originates from Middle English "loveache". I'm inclined toward the more technical explanation: Lovage goes back to a Latin word meaning "Ligurian", because the herb flourished in ancient times in Liguria, a region that includes the Italian Riviera. The name was garbled enough beyond recognition by the time it entered English in Chaucer's day, as "love-ache", or "love parsley". Nineteenth-Century Shaker religious communities grew and sold Lovage as part of their commercial enterprises.

Magickal Uses:

Lovage is an herb of purification and love. Add the root to the bath to become psychically cleansed...or, with the addition of seven rosebuds to make you more attractive to prospective lovers. Lovage is a good herb to add to sachets or charms to carry as a love attractor. The romantic aspects of Lovage may be most useful for a couple preparing for the Great Rite.

Medicinal and Other Uses:

Lovage leaves are most commonly used as a spice; however, the root and fruits have the same taste and may be used if a stronger Lovage taste is desired. (It is strongly aromatic, remotely similar to celery with a hint of anise). Use the tender leaves and stem tips to impart a celery flavor to meats, soups and stews. Candy young stems or steam them for a tasty treat. The seeds are sweet and can be used in confections. The root, when sliced & preserved in a sweetner tastes great. A word to the wise: Lovage may taste like celery, but its far more concentrated and a little goes a long way. The root is used as a diuretic, carminative, digestive tonic, expectorant, to reduce phlegm, to promote menstrual flow, as a skin lotion, and to promote sweating. **GT** The tall flower stems produce abundant nectar, much beloved by bees and other beneficial insects.

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A Compendium of Herbal Magick by Paul Beyerl

A Modern Herbal by Maud Grieve (Vol 1 & 2)

Magickal Herbalism by Scott Cunningham

Edible Wild Plants by Thomas S. Elias & Peter A. Dykeman

Indian Herbalogy by Alma R. Hutchens

Sacred Plant Medicine by Stephen Harrod Buhner

Coyote Medicine by Lewis Mehl-Madrona, M.D.

Identifying and Harvesting Edible and Medicinal Plants by "Wildman" Steve Brill

The Complete Illustrated Holistic Herbal by David Hoffman

The Complete Medicinal Herbal by Penelope Ody

Cunningham's Encyclopedia of Magical Herbs by Scott Cunningham

Magic and Medicine of Plants by Inge N. Dobelis

Information given on this site is not intended to be taken as a replacement for medical advice. Any person with a condition requiring medical attention should consult a medical doctor. This information is given as reference only.