Since getting onto the subject of purple food, I have been thinking about lavender. According to Gerard this herb brings relief “to them that have the catalepsy, a light migram, and to them that have the falling sicknesse, and that use to swoune much.”
When our Marianne’s sensibilities get the better of her, it is with lavender that Elinor brings her around:
Marianne, now looking dreadfully white, and unable to stand, sunk into her chair, and Elinor, expecting every moment to see her faint, tried to screen her from the observation of others, while reviving her with lavender water (Sense and Sensibility, chapter 28; hat tip: Bennett Lerner)
I can’t really tell from this if Marianne actually drinks the lavender water or if Elinor just wafts it under her nose or uses it to cool her fevered brow. When things really get hairy, Marianne “takes” lavender:
Elinor advised her to lie down again, and for a moment she did so; but no attitude could give her ease; and in restless pain of mind and body she moved from one posture to another, till growing more and more hysterical, her sister could with difficulty keep her on the bed at all, and for some time was fearful of being constrained to call for assistance. Some lavender drops, however, which she was at length persuaded to take, were of use; and from that time till Mrs. Jennings returned, she continued on the bed quiet and motionless(Chapter 30).I made tea with this lavender from Stokes Farm this week, and you know, I think it just might work. I put about half a dozen branches of lavender in a teapot, and steeped them in boiling water for a few minutes. Try it with some wildflower honey (or lavender honey, if you have some) and chamomile. More soothing remedies are at Weekend Herb Blogging.