The wonderful world of herbs!

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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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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!

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HMW© nr-herbalist

With midsummer comes the time to explore and celebrate all things herbal! This week, I’ll be posting things we can do to become more aware of our amazing herbs and what they can do, as well as discover the rich tapestry of our herbal traditions and history. Meanwhile, enjoy the lovely image above which was created by a talented fellow herbalist!

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I hope the holiday season has been fun and that 2015 has begun well for you.  The photo above seemed appropriate for a brand new year – it is one of the beautiful sunrises I saw while away for the festivities.

There are lots of herby things to look forward to this year, for example, the first herb course of the year (helping with stress!) is on 24 February, there’s a summer herb walk in May and Herbal Medicine Week in June to name just a few …

Here’s to a happy and healthy new year!

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drink me© original illustration by Sir John Tenniel

The summer holidays are over and it’s back to school, but there’s no need to despair about the imminent approach of autumn, there are some uplifting herb courses to look forward to!

For starters, there’s an hour’s introduction to herbal medicine this coming Wednesday (15 September) to get you started on your herbal journey.  Click here to book:  Tonbridge Adult Education

The main courses, which last 3 hours, range from herb walks, to stress and allergies, nettles and hand massage.  Visit here for more details, just type ‘herbs’ into the ‘Find a Course’ box!