midoriherbs

health through herbs!


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GOOD MOOD

joie 2016Did you know that 2016 has been variously designated the “Year of Change” and the “Year of Adventure” (as well, of course, as the “Year of the Monkey”).  And did you know that if you invert 2016, it reads “JOY” in French?

If you’re in need of change and adventure and joy (and even monkeyness), why not come along to one of my courses at Tonbridge Adult Education?  What better way to start the year than by learning to Improve your Mood with Herbs?  To find out more and register, visit here:  Happy Herbs 🙂

 


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POPPY

poppyOn Remembrance Sunday, it seems appropriate to consider the corn poppy, Papaver rhoeas. This beautiful flower with its delicate petals seems to have been replaced these days by other herbs with anodyne and sedative properties but it can still be very useful for helping with insomnia and as a painkiller for mild earache and toothache as well as for soothing irritable intractable coughs.


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AUTUMN HERB WALK

08_White_deadnettlechickweed13_Gingko_biloba -A wonderful herb walk last Saturday with beautiful autumn colours and so many herbs to see: horse chestnut, oak, two sorts of nettle, chickweed, comfrey, even St John’s Wort made an unexpected appearance.  Thank you ladies for your company (and for your gorgeous photos, Sharon!), I hope you are now fortifying yourselves ready for winter with your rosehip teas!


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FOLK MEDICINE

rosemary-leaves© bbc

Just what is going on at the BBC – two articles on herbs in two days! Today’s article on their website relates to rosemary essential oil and its effect on memory. It’s most intriguing, and encouraging, to read the final quote especially: “We have spent many years rubbishing alternative treatments but there is, I believe, a real benefit in allowing people to take control of their own health with treatments that make them feel better – even if we haven’t been able to prove how.” Hear Hear!


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YOU SAY POTATOES …

mandrakes© erowid

There was a very interesting programme on Radio 4 all about the Nightshades – “it soothed us before anaesthetics, sent our imaginations flying and tempted us with alluring flavours – and they are still pushing the frontiers of both medicine and food today”. It covered all sorts of topics, from Harry Potter to murder to apothecaries and even an interesting aphrodisiac recipe (despite a curiously-mispronounced “lycopene” mention).  A very interesting but sometimes deadly family and well worth listening to!


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BURDOCK + BEE

burdock + bee#1 Herbal Medicine Week: I hope you’ve been out enjoying the herbs and the sunshine – like the bumble bee drinking from the burdock above. Burdock (Arctium lappa) is a helpful nourishing and eliminative herb with lymphatic, diuretic, laxative, anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial actions. As you might expect its uses include enlarged lymph nodes, skin conditions, constipation and arthritis. It is better taken in combination with other herbs – like Dandelion (maybe you remember that old-fashioned drink from childhood!) or Cleavers or Red Clover.

Curious fact: Burdock was the inspiration behind Velcro! In 1941, Georges de Mestral, a Swiss engineer, was out walking with his dog and musing about the burrs clinging to them both. After nearly eight years of research (apparently it’s not so easy to copy nature and make a synthetic burr ; p), Velcro was born!