Today, according to the radio, it is ‘National Encouragement Day’. A day for everything, so it seems… Ideal for this eve’s blog anyhow. Several weeks back I paid Boscastle Witches Museum to visit. Some outlandish curiosities!! A nod to ‘witches’ gone by. A window into the magical natural world but also into the struggles and tragedies that average cottage garden herbalists of the past would have endured. Coming back to[…]

Here’s a little preview of an inspirational documentary based on the renown herbalist, author and avid traveller, the late ‘Juliette de Bairacli Levy’. A pioneer for veterinary herbal medicine and a woman who lived her life with wonderful simplicity, always with nature at her side. This touching documentary (by fellow herbalist and film-maker Tish Streeten) takes you on a journey through a fascinating life. A real character – a lover[…]

Part 2: The Health Benefits of the Humble Hip… Vitamins Aplenty High in Vitamin C and a great source of Beta Carotene (plant based vitamin A). Also contain the B vitamins and vitamin k. Rose hips also contain bioflavonoids, tannins, organic acids and pectin. In China rosehips have long been used medicinally, where they are known as jin ying zi – they are used to increase ‘kidney qi’ which in[…]

Roses, of all the flowers, she probably signifies England the most. Featuring in fairy tales and folklore aplenty. But you know, it’s not just the flowers which have a special place in our history… The fruit of the rose deserves a crown too. Rose Hips When the rose petals fall come summer’s end, the fruit (or hips as we know them) start to develop. When autumn is well upon us[…]

‘Autumn is a second spring… where every leaf is a flower ‘ Perfect title. Funny that today I passed a shop with this quote printed on the window – just as I was taking a tea-break from finishing this blog post. The world does work in strange ways sometimes… Actually I took these photos and wrote a big chunk of this last month but forgot about it totally! So I’m[…]

Very excited to have had an Edinburgh trip over the weekend, gave me a chance to stock up on some goodies from Napiers – Edinburgh’s famous Herbal Medicine shop. Though there is another ‘Napiers’ store in Glasgow, this shop is where it all started, over 150 years ago. Let me tell you a little bit more about this Scottish institution…. A Brief History of Napier’s Steeped in history, Napier’s was[…]

On my last work trip to NY I took a trip across the river to Brooklyn. Total contrast to the towering skyscrapers of Manhattan. Here you’ll find wide leafy streets, beautiful old houses (from the yesteryear where the wealthy of Manhattan used to spend vacations), art, indie, lots of ‘green’ projects around, independent shops, some fantastic organic/health food stores and last but not least… I found a beautiful herbal shop[…]

Ahhh the turquoise seas of the Indian Ocean… straight out of your dreams… Author Mark Twain wrote that ‘Heaven was copied after Mauritius’. I agree, he is not far wrong but it is also so much more than exclusive resorts and beautiful beaches. At the time, Mr Twain recalled it as being lively and culturally rich with “French, English, Chinese, Arabs, Africans …’’ and today this legacy lives on. Naturally[…]

Today’s post is all about the BITTER… OK not the emo bitter kind – the therapeutic kind 😉 Yes there is such a thing, in herbal terms anyway. This post was actually inspired when I passed a little shop/cocktail bar in Manhattan specializing in Bitters only (photo above) tucked away in this urban jungle! So without further ado, here is a little intro into this well known class of herbal[…]

Herbal Medicine: Ancient Art – Modern Wisdom This article is an introduction into the vast and incredible field of Herbal Medicine, so that you will be more confident in getting started and (hopefully!) inspired to continue on a journey of discovery. So what Exactly is Herbal Medicine? Herbal Medicine is basically tapping into nature’s resources and improving health through the use of plants (roots, seeds, leaves, flowers, fruit, bark). It’s[…]