|Lavender: Scent and Symbol|
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Lavender was commonly used in Roman baths to scent the water, and it was thought to restore the skin. During Roman times, flowers were sold for 100 denarii per pound, which was about the same as a month's wages for a farm laborer, or fifty haircuts from the local barber. Its beautiful rich and soothing color represents the LGBT Community as part of the "Rainbow Flag" and it is used as a symbol for "Gay Pride" all around the world (See Calendar of World Gay Events 2012).
The Roman's late Latin name was lavandārius, from lavanda (things to be washed), from the verb lavāre (to wash). When the Roman Empire conquered southern Britain, the Romans introduced lavender. The ancient Greeks called the lavender herb nardus, after the Syrian city of Naarda. It was also commonly called nard. The Greeks discovered early on that lavender if crushed and treated correctly would release a relaxing fume when burned. Lavender was one of the holy herbs used in the biblical Temple to prepare the holy essence, and lavender mentioned in the Song of Solomon as nard, a spice and/or incense. Nard and saffron, calamus and cinnamon, myrrh and aloes, included among the finest spices with every kind of incense tree. Research has confirmed that lavender produces slight calming, soothing, and sedative effects when its scent is inhaled. There are no known scientific reports of interactions between lavender and conventional medications but it has been considered to have a positive effect as an interactive agent when used with some type of depressants.
Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, and Genderqueer (LGBTQ) communities have adopted certain symbols and symbolism for which they are identified and by which they demonstrate unity, pride, shared values, and allegiance to one another. LGBTQ symbols also communicate ideas, concepts and identity both within their communities and to mainstream cultures. The two most-recognized international LGBTQ symbols are the pink triangle and the pride flag. The pink triangle, employed by the Nazis in World War II as a badge of shame was re-appropriated but retained some negative connotations. The Rainbow flag was envisioned and created to be a more organic and natural replacement without any negativity attached to it.