Lavender Flower Meanings, Symbolism & Folklore

Lavender FlowersLavender flower meanings include healing, serenity, purity, virtue, and luxury. A popular flowering herb in gardens, essential oils, and perfumes, lavender is loved by people around the world for its beautiful scent and multiple uses. In this post, you’ll learn about commonly shared lavender meanings, including spiritual practices, as well as lavender in cultural mythology and folklore.

Lavender Bush

What does lavender symbolize?

Here are some commonly shared qualities associated with lavender:

  • Healing
  • Serenity
  • Purity
  • Virtue
  • Luxury

Detailed Lavender Meanings


Lavender meaning and symbolism includes healing because people have been using this special herb to treat a wide range of ailments for centuries. These include bacterial and fungal infections, skin irritation, nausea, insomnia, and others. It also have natural anti-inflammatory effects on the body. In addition, as an essential oil used in aromatherapy, lavender has been shown to improve the physical and emotional well-being of cancer patients.

Thus, lavender essential oils, potpourri, and other products is a lovely gift to give to someone who is experiencing health or even emotional challenges.


Girl Holding Lavender

Because of its efficacious ability to calm people down, lavender is also a symbol for serenity and calm. In fact, many animals, including cats, love the smell of lavender just as people do.

Lavender is especially helpful for meditation and prayer sessions when you want to calm your thoughts and focus your mind on your meditative or spiritual practice.


Lavender also symbolizes purity because of its cleansing and healing properties. In fact, the name lavender comes from the Latin word lavare, which means “to wash.” Like the hemp plant, lavender has natural anti-microbial properties, so it neutralizes microbes like bacteria and fungi.

Thus, lavender is an ideal herb for purification and detoxing rituals, whether they be environmental, physical, emotional, or spiritual.


As a cleansing plant, lavender meaning also includes virtue. In its beauty and simplicity, it reminds of to aspire to ideals. It also reminds us that with effort, we have the opportunity to rid ourselves of the dirt and grime of our mistakes, failings, and negative emotions and be virtuous again.


Possessing one of the most beautiful scents in the world, lavender is also a symbol of the finer things in life – in other words – luxury. We all need rest and relaxation. We all deserve to enjoy life. Lavender gently reminds us of this. No matter how hectic our lives can get, lavender reminds us to pause, breathe in deeply, breathe out, and enjoy.

Lavender Color Meaning

The color purple is a power color. Lavender is its gentle, soothing cousin. It possesses all of the positive spiritual energy of purple, but without the flashiness. Lavender flowers come in shades of pale purple and blue, two colors that embody spiritual enlightenment.

The color purple symbolizes peace and respects because it blends two opposite hues: cool blue with warm red. Thus, lavender, as light version of purple, also symbolizes peace and with that, serenity.

So, lavender is a lovely herb to plant in a meditation or peace garden or to give to someone as a symbol of goodwill, understanding, and forgiveness.

Shades of indigo, purple, and violet are also associated with the sixth and seventh chakras, which rule our psychic and super-conscious states. Thus, lavender flowers also symbolize and help facilitate an elevated state of consciousness.

Spiritual Meanings of Lavender

Lavender Spiritual Meanings

As referenced earlier, lavender flowers are associated with spiritual awakening and awareness. In Christianity, like lily flower meaning, lavender is also a symbol of the Virgin Mary because it represents purity and virtue. In addition, lavender is associated with ancient healing arts, which integrate the body, mind, and spirit.

Associated Spirit Animals

Lavender shares synergies and symbiosis with certain wild animals and insects. For one, bees and butterflies are attracted to and pollinate lavender, which in turn feeds them. In addition, local birds are known to eat lavender seeds. Furthermore, cats are often attracted to the smell of lavender, which can soothe them just as it does human beings.

On a spiritual level, the butterfly spirit animal shares qualities with lavender in that both remind us to “tune in” to the spirit world. In addition, the cat spirit animal shares synergies with lavender. Cats help to dispel negative energy from a home while bringing serenity and healing energy to their human companions. Similarly, lavender detoxifies an environment and brings calming energy. And of course, anyone who shares their life with a cat knows that kitties enjoy one of the things that lavender symbolizes: luxury!

Lavender in Cultural Mythology and Folklore

Lavender has been a popular and often-used herb around the world for centuries. While lavender is indigenous to the regions around the Mediterranean, it didn’t take long before travelers started trading it on their routes and bringing it back home. Here are some ways that lavender was used and viewed by ancient cultures.

Lavender Ancient Greece

The ancient Greeks used lavender oil for medicinal purposes and as an antiseptic. They also used it in their baths and in perfumes. In addition, it was used in religious rituals in temples.

Lavender in Ancient Egypt

In addition to its use for medicinal purposes and in perfumes, the ancient Egyptians may have used lavender when embalming mummies. They also included lavender in ointments, perfumes, and other products, which they placed in tombs with deceased loved ones and royalty so they would have them in the afterlife. In fact, the Egyptians painted the herb, or similar related plants in their hieroglyphics and artwork. Thus, the Egyptians most likely considered lavender as a sacred herb they associated with eternal life.

Persia and the Middle East

In ancient Persia and other parts of the Middle East, people used lavender in tea and other cooking recipes. They also used it in traditional medicine to treat respiratory, digestive, and other ailments.

Lavender in the Bible

There are references to a perfumed ointment called “spikenard” in the Bible, which was derived from a plant by that name or possibly from a plant known as spike lavender. The latter plant is similar to what we know today as lavender, however, it is from a plant family that is different from that of spikenard. Still, some stories claim that the ointment with which Mary anointed Jesus’ feet was made with essential oils from spike lavender.

Victorian England and Europe

The Victorians, for whom flower symbolism and meaning was a popular pastime, viewed lavender as a luxurious flower, and thus it symbolized affluence and leisure. Needless to say, lavender perfumes and related products were popular at the time.

However, even before the Victorians, Europeans were fond of lavender. During the Black Plague of the 17th century, citizens in a town called Bucklersbury managed to avoid getting sick from the plague. Historians are convinced this was due to the fact that Bucklersbury was the European hub for the lavender industry – the citizens were protected by lavender’s microbial properties.

In another story, there was a group of thieves who would break into the homes if plague victims and steal things, yet never fall ill from the plague. It was later discovered that they were from the same family – a group of perfumers who all worked heavily with lavender oil.

Lavender Tattoo Meaning

Lavender Tattoo
A lavender tattoo can express that you are the type of person who remains calm when others are out of control. It can also demonstrate that you are a healer. Of course, as lavender symbolizes luxury, your lavender flower tattoo can signify that you appreciate the finer things in life. Tattoos are personal for the wearer, but hopefully knowing more about the history of and meanings applied to lavender will bring even more meaning to your tattoo.

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Kristen M. Stanton

Hello. Thanks for visiting UniGuide. My name is Kristen and I started UniGuide as a tribute to nature, animals, and spiritual exploration. I hope you enjoy your experience here!