- A Modern Herbal, by Mrs. M. Grieve Home Page

Lavender Cotton

Botanical: Santolina Chamaecyparissus (LINN.)
Family: N.O. Compositae

---Part Used---Herb.

Lavender Cotton (also sometimes called French Lavender, like L. Stoechas) is botanically known as Santolina Chamaecyparissus. It is not a true Lavender at all, buthas yellow, clustered buttons of composite flowers and finely-cut, grey, rather disagreeably-scented leaves, whose odour somewhat resembles Chamomile. It is used as a vermifuge for children. This plant was once also esteemed for its stimulant properties, and the twigs have been used for placing amongst linen, etc., to keep away moths. All the species of Santolina have a strong resemblance to one another, except S. fragrantissima, which differs in having the flowerheads in flat inflorescences termed corymbs, the flowers all being at the same level, instead of singly at the apex of the twigs.

The Arabs are said to use the juice of this plant for bathing the eyes. Culpepper tells us that Lavender Cotton 'resists poison, putrefaction and heals the biting of venomous beasts.' It is now chiefly used as an edging to borders, spreading like a silvery carpet close to the ground.

A perfume oil is also extracted from it.


Common Name Index

Bear in mind "A Modern Herbal" was written with the conventional wisdom of the early 1900's. This should be taken into account as some of the information may now be considered inaccurate, or not in accordance with modern medicine.

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