Lavender (Lavandula officinalis) is in flower and has been for a while. My Lavender in the front garden is probably Mitcham lavender, originally bred in Mitcham, Surrey. It is very hardy and could well have been put in when the house was built 100 years ago.
(Image on left from Wikipedia)
I associate Lavender with the beginning of the season of Lammas – Aug 1st – October 31st. Lammas Day (Aug 1st) itself marks the beginning of harvest. There is a connection with the Greek goddess Ceres or Kores, whose name gives us cereals or grains. As flowerheads go Lavender does look a little like an ear of wheat….
Lavender in Herbal Medicine is a wonderful relaxant tonic, having especial affinity with the gut – it is ruled by Mercury which also rules the zodiac sign of Virgo, traditionally associated with the small intestine. I think of Lavender as relaxing and toning the nervous system intrinsic to the intestine and it is also an autonomic nervous system balancer – promoting parasympathetic activity over sympathetic – put simply, we are all in a hurry and stressed today (sympathetic activity) but our bodies are happiest with calm and contemplation (parasympathetic activity) most of the time with the occasional mad dash to escape the sabre-toothed tigers.
Contrast Lavender with Rosemary which is more cerebral, hearty and stimulating for the upper digestion whilst still having a carminative effect (dispelling the curly wingles) on the gut.
Lavender users of the world, what do you think?