Lilacs: Magical Medicine in Your Backyard

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Every spring, when the lilacs bloom, it takes me back to when I was a child. My grandmother’s whole backyard was edged with beautiful full lilac bushes. I can remember my cousins and me building forts in the fortress of the lilac bushes and enjoying the fragrant canopy of flowers over our heads. Even though my grandmother’s house is no longer standing, these amazing lilacs remain all these years later.

The color of lilacs can vary from white to multicolored, but most are a varying color of purple. They can be found in many neighborhoods edging property lines. People adorn their homes with the fragrant flowers, and they are popular gifts from small children to their moms on Mother’s Day. However, did you realize that these flowers are more than just a pretty addition to your yards? The medicinal properties are abundant.

lilacs a magical medicine in your backyard have medicinal usesImage by ractapopulous from Pixabay

Since the Middle Ages, lilacs (Syringa vulgaris) have been used to help reduce fevers and inflammation, aid digestion, reduce anxiety, and even in beauty regiments. Lilacs are also known for their antibacterial properties.

The essential oils from lilac leaves are the true medicine. However, the flowers also can be used medicinally. In Eastern medicine, lilacs are frequently utilized to help with blood and circulatory disorders. To make tea with lilac, take only the leaves and clean them, put them in boiling water, steep for 3 to 5 minutes, then drink. This bitter tea can help with many ailments like GI issues and help with pain control as it relaxes the muscles. This fragrant tea is also an excellent remedy for mild depression and anxiety.

However, there are other ways to incorporate lilac into your life. Pick the fully bloomed small flowers off the stem to make an infused oil. Make sure only to use the blooming ones, not dried or spent blossoms. Place these in a clean, sterile glass pint jar. Now add your carrier oil, covering the flowers. Cover your jar tightly, and place it in a sunny window. The sun’s warmth will instill all the flowers’ essence in the oil. Give it a gentle shake daily and let it sit for six weeks. Then strain the flowers out and use your lilac oil to create salves. Lilac salves are great for acne, scarring, minor scrapes, and cuts, and you can find lilac salves at Midwest Witchery and Healing in Stillwater, Minnesota, later in June.

Want to make a refreshing drink to soothe and relax you from a stressful day? Make lilac water or lilac lemonade. Lilac water is effortless to make. Add two full lilac floral heads to a quart of water and keep in the refrigerator overnight. To make lilac lemonade, take 1 1/2 cups of freshly squeezed lemon juice, about 7-10 lemons, 1 1/2 cups of sugar, 8 ½ cups of water, ice, and 2-3 heads of lilac blooms. You should drink this for 2 to 3 days only.

You can use lilac as a toner on your tired skin that will help refresh you after a long day! Add wilted lilac flowers to a jar with witch hazel and distilled water. Let it sit in a dry, dark, warm place for two weeks, shaking occasionally. Then strain and place in a spritzer bottle. Refrigerate it after the process is complete. This cool spritz to the face is fragrant and refreshing.

Lilac can even be added to honey and made into syrup for culinary purposes, making your food taste wonderful and giving it a fresh new taste. If you have been having GI issues such as flatulence or constipation, eating the clean raw flowers brings more blood flow to your digestive organs to help ease these problems.

As you can see, these gorgeous spring blossoms are a magnificent addition to any herbalist pantry. So, the next time you go for a walk this spring, notice the smell in the air of the lilac blossoms and see what nostalgic memories float into your head.

 

Enjoy reading this article? Read more from “Witch Jodi” Jacobson

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