Using Lilac for Magic and Medicine
Published by greenmanmeadows
Lilac in Magic and Medicine
Spring tends to be a favorite time of year for a lot of people. You walk out the front door and the birds are chirping, the weather is nice and there are flowers everywhere! As a Garden/Green Witch, I love plants and finding out ways to use them. One of my favorite plants, even though they are only around for a short amount of time, are the Lilacs. We have several Lilacs on our property that were planted by my great grandparents that still bloom every year. Lilacs are edible, have some medicinal uses and of course, contain magical properties as well. Keep reading to learn more!
Lilacs in the Garden
Lilacs, or Syringa Vulgaris, are a short term blooming shrub. It’s most commonly found in Planting Zones 3-9 here in the U.S. Most lilacs only bloom for about 2-3 weeks; but early and late blooming varieties can be staggered to increase your bloom time to a total of 6 weeks. Lilacs are available in 5 colors ranging from white, to magenta, to the traditional lilac purple.
Lilacs grow on old wood, so pruning after the spring is vital. A hardy specimen, lilacs can be transplanted by cuttings very easily to add more to your garden. Our lilacs draw bees, birds and butterflies with it’s tantalizing scent so we always try to keep them blooming.
Did you know Lilacs are actually part of the olive family? Native to the Balkan Peninsula in Southeastern Europe; people emigrating from Europe brought the shrub with them to grow and preserve a piece of home. Western pioneers brought lilacs with them during the 1800’s. Now you can find lilacs that grow nearly wild in abandoned lots or parks. Lilacs prefer full sun and a slightly alkaline soil to grow and bloom. The wood is a sturdy type that can be hollowed out to make a variety of tools.
These shrubs are a beautiful plant and even though they have a very short season; their vibrant green grey leaves(which are heart shaped) and the clusters of fragrant flowers make it worth having. But a commonly asked question every Spring is; “What can I do with my lilacs in that short amount of time?” Turns out there are a couple of medical, edible and magical uses for lilacs. I’m going to touch on the edible and medical real quick. Then give you some ideas of how to use lilacs in your magic as well!
Lilacs as Food and Medicine.
One thing I’ve started to learn as a witch, herbalist and homesteader is that there’s a use for practically every plant! We harvest at least a dozen or more plants from our yard every Spring and Summer; not counting what we add to the gardens, harvest from the forest or buy online!
Starting out, I was surprised how many other uses most flowers can have, besides just being pretty to look at. Given the short bloom time for Lilacs, I never really thought about using them until this year. But it turns out that 2 weeks is plenty of time to gather and dry flowers for all sorts of projects!
Lilacs in the Apothecary Cabinet
Lilacs are astringent, aromatic and a bit bitter. While most of the medicinal uses stem(see what I did there, ha) from the leaves and fruit, the flowers still have their own uses. Ingesting raw flowers leaves a dry feeling on the tongue but are bursting with flavor.
The most common use of Lilacs is as an astringent. Many common weeds and plants are astringent, including but not limited to: sunflowers, black walnut, black raspberry and stag-horn sumac. Many people are already familiar with the commercially produced astringent known as
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