Lavender, English

A perennial herb that is hardy in zones 5-7 and grows 10 inches high. Sports deep purple-blue flowers on flower spikes that bloom in late-spring to mid-summer. Will flower the first season if started early. Plant in well-drained soil in full sun. When it is finished blooming, it needs a good pruning. It is a fragrant, gray-green shrub throughout the rest of the year.

History
In ancient times, Romans used the aromatic herb to scent their bathwater. One of the most popular medicinal herbs since ancient times, its name is derived from the Latin lavare, meaning to wash. The Greeks and Romans were fond of it in their bath water.

Since ancient times, the oil has been used to kill lice and fleas and as an embalming fluid.

In Arab medicine, it was used as an expectorant and antispasmodic

In European folk medicine, it was regarded as a useful wound herb and a worm remedy for children.

It became popular as a medicine during the late Middle Ages and taken to the New World by Pilgrims in 1620.

As a strewing herb, lavender was popularly used to mask the smells of households and streets.

The glovers of Grasse used the oil to scent their fashionable leather and were remarkably free of the plague. This encouraged others to use the herb to ward off the pestilence.

The medical properties of lavender have been noted in the earliest English herbals and in the British Pharmacopoeia for about 250 years.

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