Apothecary Garden – Lady’s Mantle

Lady’s Mantle is at its best first thing in the morning when its lily pad leaves hold the pearl like drops of morning dew. At night its leaves curl up like tiny umbrellas and then in the morning they slowly unfurl revealing their dewy jewels. Its frothy almost lime green flowers make a delicate contrast to the darker green leaves and when you really look at it you realise this often inconspicuous plant is actually very beautiful.

Magic; this is an ancient plant that has long been associated with many Earth Goddesses and subsequently became a herb of the Virgin Mary. Lady’s Mantle when added to any magic working will increase its effectiveness – as primarily it will aide concentration and focus power. It is also a plant of the Alchemists, as they recognised its ability to transform. As mentioned above one of the truly magical abilities of Lady’s Mantle is its ability to collect dew perfectly – you can harvest this dew carefully – funnel the leaf into a small bottle or saucer and add to water for scrying or any other magical purposes to seal the magic. At Beltane maidens were said to bathe their faces in dew on Beltane morning or roll naked in the dew on Beltane Eve. Edward Bach originally developed his famous remedies using the dew gathered from different flowers. Believing the early morning sun warmed dew would absorb the health benefits of the flower.

Herbal; Contains; Salicylic Acid, tannins, bitters, saponins, volatile oils and phytosterols. Internal astringent and anti-inflammatory, Lady’s Mantle has been used to regulate heavy or painful periods and to aide in childbirth. It can be useful in treating urinary infections, fibroids and pelvic inflammatory diseases. As it is also diuretic it can benefit the digestive tract and inflammatory problems such as colitis and gastro-enteritis.  Externally it can be used as a douche for vaginal infections, a skin lotion for rashes, cuts and abrasions and a gargle for sore throats. Use the dried leaves and flowers for teas – but do not use in pregnancy.

How to Grow; You can propagate in early summer in seed trays. Keep moist but do not cover. Plant out when they are large enough to handle comfortably. They are pretty prolific little growers so if you have an existing clump you can divide in early spring or autumn. They will self seed freely. They like moist, fertile soil and will live happily in  sun or shade. They are a joy to grow and when caught in the first light of morning they are truly magical.

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1 Comment

  1. I find they keep very well as cut flowers too, for a week at least. Either by themselves or in combination with other flowers, they are lovely.

    Like

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