) Used as a perfume, strewing herb, as a disinfectant. In the time of the Great Plague of London, glove makers scented their gloves with lavender to ward off the disease. Also used for colic, convulsions, and cramps, dropsy, palsy and epilepsy, throat and mouth infections, headaches and wind.
LEMON BALM (Melissa officinalis) In ancient times, it was planted by the front door to drive away evil spirits. Reputed to encourage bees to stay by the hive. Widely used for flavouring, as in the liqueur Benedictine. Use to treat the bites of mad dogs and scorpion stings, shortness of breath, women's courses, poor digestion, flux of the blood, gout, liver and spleen disorders, swellings, toothache and warts.
LILY OF THE VALLEY (Convallaria majalis) Was believed that the plant blooms on the grave of someone who was executed for a crime they didn't commit. Also that planting it in the garden would protect the house from ghosts and evil spirits, although some believed that it was unlucky to bring the flowers into the house. Used to treat apoplexy, convulsions, falling sickness (epilepsy), heart disease, palsy and vertigo.
LIQUORICE (Glycyrrhiza glabra) archaeologists found large quantities of well preserved liquorice in d 's tomb. Alexander the Great commanded his troops to chew liquorice root to allay their thirst and give them stamina for the long marches. It has been used to flavour sweets and tobacco for at least 600 years. It was used to treat a wide variety of chest complaints, kidney problems, stranguary (painful urine) and constipation.
LOVAGE (Levisticum officinale) an infusion of the roots for treating gravel ( sand like deposit in urine), quinsy, argues, pleurisy and ' the leaves bruised and fried with a little hog's lard and laid hot on any blotch or boil will quickly break it' ( Culpepper)
LOVE IN A MIST (Nigella sativa) Ragged lady, Devil-in-the-mist. The web-like structures behind the petals, said to represent the bonds between people. Legend has it that when a holy Roman Emperor drowned, a single Nigella grew from the river bank. Used for to induce urine. Seeds used for flavouring .
LUNGWORT (Pulmonaria officinalis) chest disorders, shortness of breath, coughs, women's courses and jaundice.