Our Wild Herb Garden

This past month (or more!) has been a busy one and I’ve been a tad guilty of doing exactly what this blog set out to prevent… rushing through my days without stopping to appreciate the small stuff… or even worse, the not so small but pretty amazing stuff!

We’ve helped to fit out a new restaurant in Leeds, camped in Sherwood Forest and visited the Theakston’s Brewery;  I’ve launched some pyrography workshops, volunteered with some bat surveying and qualified as a reiki practitioner… Yeah it’s been a crazy couple of months!

As many of you will know, throughout June I joined in with the Wildlife Trust’s ‘30 days wild’ campaign to do something wild everyday. This year I didn’t manage to tweet every day but there was still lots of random (and not so random!) wild stuff going on.  My phone is full of new plants I’ve discovered, mushrooms I’ve identified and beautiful local landscapes I’ve visited.

The highlight of the past month however has to be my meeting with the incredible Sue Salmon – Medical Herbalist, who shares my love of foraging, has the most astounding knowledge of plant medicine and is a truly lovely person too.  The plan was that we were going to go on a bit of a herb walk around my local area, a rare 1-1 opportunity to pick this lady’s brains about some common wild plants and how they can be used to supplement our health.  As it turned out, we never actually left my garden yet I spent the next two hours totally captivated in conversation.

Now for those who don’t know, when I refer to ‘my garden’ I guess really a better phrase would be ‘wild space behind mum’s house’ which is also where we live in our little touring caravan!  When Sue arrived she exclaimed “oh but there’s so much to talk about here!” and off we went!

A huge part of the conversation centered around stinging nettles, which I already knew were highly nutritious but Sue enhanced my knowledge even further… for instance I now know that nettle tea is good for relieving hay fever and helps with arthritis. Nettle seeds are known as an adaptogen, they can strengthen and restore the adrenal glands which helps to regulate hormonal balance, and the leaves contain more iron than spinach so can help with anemia.

The elderflower cordial I’ve made recently is not only a pleasant drink but also has anti-viral properties; Raspberry leaf tea can provide pain relief and dandelions help digestion.

We also have in ‘the garden’ cleavers, mint, horsetail, hawthorn, willow, feverfew, lady’s mantle and rosebay willow herb… which all have medicinal uses. I believe nature really does provide all that we need and therefore it’s so important that we learn to appreciate and protect this amazing planet that we live on. Our ancestors knew all this but we’ve forgotten how to live in harmony with the earth and it’s seasons.

My explorations into wild herbs however are purely of an enthusiastic nature. For more detailed information on herbalism and how it can help please take a look at Sue’s website – suesalmonmedicalherbalist.co.uk.

Well that’s my round up of the summer so far, it’s now school holidays and we’ve lots planned so I will do my best to write more regularly… but I’m not making any promises!

Until next time…

Jac.x


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