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Uses of Lilac Plants

By Denise Brandenberg ; Updated July 21, 2017
You can use lilacs in a variety of ways.
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Lilacs are deciduous shrubs that have been cultivated and used for many centuries. They are available in more than 1,000 varieties and can grow well in a variety of planting zones. These fragrant plants feature heart-shaped leaves and come in several shades, including light violet, dark violet, dark purple, red violet, pink, blue, white and yellow.

Decorative Uses

Lilacs have compelling shapes and colors, and many people enjoy using them in a decorative form. According to Growing a Green Family, you can press lilacs to create card covers, gift tags or journal cover decorations. Add lilacs to your mixed bouquets or let them be the main feature in a vase. Some people even use them as wedding cake toppers.

Culinary Uses

Lilac flowers are edible, but make sure they have been well washed and not exposed to chemicals. You can crystallize them and use them as candied flowers on cookies, pies and cakes. Add them to brown rice dishes and fresh green salads. Mix fresh lilac blossoms with honey and Greek yogurt for an aromatic, yet elegant dessert. Create a decadent lilac sorbet by simply mixing lilac flowers with sugar and water.

Fragrant Uses

Lilacs have a subtle fragrance that many describe as a scent of a rose mixed with a hint of vanilla. This is why their oil is commonly used in commercial perfumes. Make your own lilac oil by cold pressing the flower leaves, and then add the oil to your favorite candle. If you want to benefit from this plant’s fragrance without all the work, then simply add lilac flower blossoms to your bath. You can also mix them into homemade soap or sugar scrubs.

Medicinal Uses

These violet flowers have been used medicinally for centuries. According to the website Botanical, they were used in colonial America as a vermifuge, or a medication that treats parasitic intestinal worms. They were also used as a fever reducer and as a treatment for malaria.

Magical Uses

Some plants and herbs are believed to have magical properties and powers. The actual lilac flower symbolizes the first emotions of love, but it has other properties as well. According to the website for Joelle’s Sacred Grove, planted or strewn about lilac blossoms can drive away evil. Also, according to the website, lilacs can be placed in haunted houses to clear away bad energy and it also promotes clairvoyance, divination, peace, harmony and creativity.


About the Author


Denise Brandenberg has more than 15 years professional experience as a marketing copywriter, with a focus in public relations. She also worked as a recruiter for many years and is a certified resume writer. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English.