May 132020
 
cleavers cleanse the lymphatic system and make a great spring detox
Cleavers growing up the wood store
nettles make a great spring detox
Fresh nettle tops

Just finished gathering and preparing some exceptionally lush cleavers and nettle tops.
After a good few hours – oil-stained black fingers and nails to prove it – I now have 6 litres of tincture gently macerating in my herb room. The air is filled with a pungent, fresh-plant aroma. These indispensable medicinal plants are among the first I gather in the spring, for tincturing. Cleavers and nettles are some of the best cleansing ‘herbs’ that we have, perfect for a spring detox, and to fortify the immune system. Cleavers specifically work on the lymphatic system, and commonly appear in my herbal mixes for people with cancer. You can use them fresh, as well.

cleavers cleanse the lymphatic system and make a great spring detox
Macerating in alcohol and water

I recommended them to a neighbour, who had just been diagnosed with prostrate cancer and was about to start radiotherapy, when we went into lockdown and his treatment was put on hold. He’s now drinking a daily blend of (self-picked) cleavers and nettle tops in smoothies (they lose their sting when liquidised), with some fruit or veg to improve the flavour. Nettles and cleavers aren’t to everyone’s taste! You can also make a tea with the fresh plants, or soup (nettles also lose their sting when cooked). Or add chopped cleavers to a salad.

 Posted by at 12:59 pm
Jan 112020
 

I’ve been sending out lots of detox and liver support herbal tonics this month, for people who are doing either dry January, or Veganuary – and a few determined individuals who are doing both!

Herbal liver detox for dry January and Veganuary by Deanne Greenwood Medical HerbalistToxic overload

Everyone knows that alcohol takes its toll on the liver, and so too do animal products. Meat and dairy products from animals that have been intensively reared are loaded with antibiotics, hormones and toxins from commercial animal feeds. Even pasture-raised, free range animals are subject to toxic overload, as toxins in the environment (grass/air), such as dioxins (which imitate and therefore disrupt hormone function), collect in fatty tissue (of animals and the humans that consume them!)

Herbal detox

As well as the non-consumption of alcohol and animal products, the other thing you can do to help optimise liver function and detox the body, is to take a herbal tonic. It’s best to do the whole diet and lifestyle thing at the same time, as herbs work best when we are supporting the body in other ways. The less challenges the herbs have to contend with, the easier it is for them to do what they do best. Which is help the body to cleanse and rebalance itself, achieve and maintain the best possible state of health.

Love your liver

My herbal detox tonic contains milk thistle (well known for its liver-cleansing capabilities), globe artichoke (liver and kidney support, and helps reduce unhealthy cholesterol levels), and schisandra berry (a fantastic liver herb which herbalists use for acute and chronic liver disease and chemical damage; it’s also what we call a ‘nervine’, so it helps to relieve stress and anxiety, basically calming the nervous system), rosemary (also improves circulation, mental alertness and memory), and barberry (a ‘bitter’ renowned for improving digestive function).

Quality assurance

My herbal detox tonic is made from concentrated liquid extracts of these medicinal plants. They are far more potent than anything you can buy over-the-counter. And they are from reliable, professional sources. The rosemary is cultivated and distilled by myself, on my own land on the Lizard peninsula in beautiful, rural Cornwall.

How to order

If you’d like a bottle, it’s £10 +£5 p&p for a 10-day supply (100ml), £20 + £5 p&p for 20-day supply (200ml). I will need to ask you a few general health questions before dispensing, regarding any health issues, including allergies, you may have, and any medication currently taking.

Please email me at deannegreenwood@me.com to order or for further details.

Sep 292019
 

After completely selling out of my first batch of Elderberry, Thyme & Liquorice Linctus last week, I set off in search of more elderberries this weekend. And lo, I found random clutches  of even lusher and more succulent berries (wouldn’t have thought possible), tucked away in Godolphin Woods. They were not easy to find, but Mother Nature did, slowly but surely, give them up, until my bags were overflowing.  Just look at these beauties – absolute jewels!

So I will soon have more linctus for those who missed out last week, and hopefully enough to last through most of the winter.

As I said in my previous post… it’s great stuff for coughs, colds, sore throats, and as a general winter tonic. Elderberries are packed with vitamin C and other antioxidants. I add tincture of thyme for its antiseptic and antibacterial properties, and tincture of liquorice as it’s a great expectorant for bringing up phlegm, and also a soothing demulcent for sore throats and chests.

It tastes delicious – and it works!

Sep 292019
 

Had a fantastic weekend gathering winter fruits from the garden and beyond.

First and foremost, got a load more elderberries (top right) – even fatter and lusher than the last lot, I think. That’s probably it for this year, as I didn’t see any more still-ripening berries. Gathering helped by husband, hindered by three dogs (in various ways!) Most of tomorrow will now be taken up making more Elderberry, Thyme & Liquorice Linctus.

Then we gathered hawthorn berries (top centre), which I will macerate and add to my hawthorn blossom tincture made in the spring, making a most fulsome blend for healing the heart on a physical and emotional level, among other things.

Also collected and examined the fallen sweet chestnuts (bottom left), but the nuts were not quite ripe, so we left for the squirrels. They usually ‘come to fruition’ after the horse chestnuts. They’re delicious roasted.

And oh the blackberries (top left), still in such abundance. Combined with apples from the garden (bottom right), and drizzled with honey from my neighbour’s bees, they make the most divine apple & blackberry crumble, completely devoid of any refined sugar! Picking of these also hindered by three dogs, who will keep sticking their heads in the bags and eating the blackberries as fast as we can pick them, even though they’re perfectly capable of picking their own!

There were even a few more raspberries (bottom centre) to gather, in the garden, which were quickly scoffed (by husband and self – no dogs!)

The horse chestnuts (centre) came courtesy of my dear friend Lisa and her kids, who have been collecting them for me for the past week. Beautiful shiny, succulent things, already macerating in buckets in my kitchen, to produce the most amazing remedy for the relief of varicose veins, among other uses.

To add to the bounty, husband caught squid and mackerel yesterday – not pictured because we ate those last night. And very yummy they were too.

I love this time of year. Like I love every time of year. There is always something nature has to offer.

Sep 262019
 

Fresh, handpicked elderberries from The Lizard in Cornwall, gathered by medical herbalist Deanne Greenwood, to make elderberry, thyme and liquorice cough linctus. Deanne Greenwood practices in Falmouth, Helston, Penzance and The Lizard in Cornwall.I’ve just finished making this year’s Elderberry, Thyme & Liquorice Linctus – amazing stuff for coughs, colds, sore throats, and as a general winter tonic… Elderberries are packed with vitamin C and other antioxidants, and I add tincture of thyme for its antiseptic and antibacterial properties, and tincture of liquorice as it’s a great expectorant for bringing up phlegm, and also a soothing demulcent for sore throats and chests. It tastes delicious – and it works!

This year there were some exceptionally fat and juicy berries for me to pick (alongside masses of similarly lush berries and fruits, including blackberries, hawthorn berries, horse chestnut and sweet chestnut, which I’ve also been collecting). But elderberries are particularly time-consuming to prepare, and I didn’t have time to make as much linctus as I usually do.

First of all, I make sure all my utensils and bottles are sterilised, as this stuff quickly goes off if you get any bacteria in it. Then I pick the elderberries, getting stung by nettles and scratched by brambles along the way, but then I’m used to that in my line of work! Next comes the painstaking separation of the ripe ‘n’ ready berries from the still green ones, and the shrivelled up ones, on each panicle. Then I make the syrup – ensuring I don’t over heat it and lose some of its medicinal properties. Once cool, the tinctures of thyme and liquorice are added, and the resultant elixir bottled and labelled.

This year, I factored in the manpower, i.e. the number of hours it took me to do all this, paying myself £18 an hour, whereas previously it’s been more a labour of love. Although a lot of love has still gone into it, because I love what I do, and herbal medicines prepared with love always have the edge when it comes to healing properties.

elderberry, thyme and liquorice cough linctus made by medical herbalist Deanne Greenwood, who practices in Falmouth, Helston, Penzance and The Lizard in Cornwall.So I’m charging more for my linctus this year: £8.50 for a 200ml bottle.

You can, of course, make your own Elderberry Linctus, using culinary herbs such as ginger root, cinnamon and/or liquorice sticks in place of the thyme and liquorice tinctures I use. You’ll find a recipe for it in a website blog I wrote way back in 2015. Click here.

 

Sep 042019
 

It was heartening to see an article in The Guardian Sports pages this week, revealing that a number of professional sportspeople are taking CBD oil to help them cope with anxiety, pre-competition nerves, winding down after a game, and also for pain management. They include golfers Charley Hoffman and Lucas Gover, and rugby players George Kruis and Dominic Day. “The reason we use it is because it’s natural and organic,” says Day, “and the alternative is prescription medication.”

This is exactly why so many people use herbal medicine in general. It is natural, effective and safe, and does not have the debilitating side effects that many prescription drugs have.

Cannabis is, of course, a medicinal plant, with cannabidiol (CBD) being one of its active constituents. It has long been known to have amazing medicinal, therapeutic properties, and I have had many patients over the years who have told me how much it has helped with a wide range of health problems, from arthritis to multiple sclerosis and cancer. They often use it alongside other medicinal plants to help them achieve and maintain optimum quality of life.

 Posted by at 4:33 pm
Sep 012019
 

The latest news that definitive new research shows that the risk of developing breast cancer from taking HRT is double what women have previously been told, is heartbreaking and terrifying. For all those who have already died, their family and friends, and for those who have and/or are still, taking HRT. For this latest piece of research also reveals that the risks not only increase the longer you take HRT, but also continue long after you stop taking it.

Meanwhile, organisations such as the British Menopause Society, the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, Breast Cancer Care and Breast Cancer Now appear to be doing their best to downplay the statistics, insisting that “for most women” HRT is helpful and safe, and that this latest research helps women make informed decisions regarding HRT….

I’d like to reiterate my personal view:

  1. Women going through menopause between the ages of 45 and 55, don’t actually need HRT. Our bodies drastically reduce oestrogen production at this time, because we don’t need so much of it any more. Therefore it doesn’t need replacing. This latest research confirms the findings of lots of previous research: that replacing natural hormones that our bodies no longer naturally produce, with synthetic versions, can be harmful. Logically and rationally, that has always made sense to me.
  2. There are natural ‘alternatives’ to helping you through the sometimes difficult menopausal transition. There are many medicinal plants, used by Medical Herbalists such as myself, that can help support the body and re-establish balance so that it gradually adjusts to the next phase of life with minimal trauma. And there are specific plants that can help relieve specific symptoms of the menopause – without causing harm! These are usually most effective when used in combination with other medicinal plants, and are best selected by a qualified medical herbalist for optimal results.
  3. Diet and lifestyle can make a huge difference to a woman’s transition through menopause.
  4. For further info and help, please visit my website, deannegreenwood.com and/or my sister website, www.naturalhelpformenopause.uk

TESTIMONIALS

I have many glowing testimonies from women who have worked with me, and used herbal medicine, to help them through the menopausal transition. I published one last week, as part of my blog response to the HRT shortage ‘crisis’ that was all over the media. Here are a couple more:

“It is amazing how different I feel, my husband keeps commenting how much calmer and nicer I am, more like my old self. I actually feel different, calmer more focussed, happier etc. The hot flushes are getting fewer and fewer, I don’t have any in the evening and just a few overnight. Plus it’s incredibly hot in our house at the moment and I am sleeping!!. I think what you have done is amazing, thank you.”  GS

“I sought Deanne out when I’d had one too many sleepless nights. I’ve always preferred the natural route, so in the early hours of one morning, instead of lying there staring at the ceiling, I googled ‘natural help for menopause’ and up popped Deanne. Thank God! Since I’m in Sussex and she’s in Cornwall, we worked together remotely. Deanne was very thorough in taking my history and asking many questions for clarification and to build a picture of me. Within days I had my first bottle of herbal meds. Deanne was very attentive and always responded to questions or concerns arising, quickly! She made one or two adjustments to the formulation and, honestly, my life has changed! Within a month or two my sleep was greatly improved and hot flashes reduced to very occasional. I am so grateful. There’s little worse than continuous disturbed sleep over the long term. My experience of Deanne is that she’s knowledgeable, professional and efficient – but most importantly, she solved my problem.” VP

 Posted by at 4:39 pm
Aug 242019
 

National media was today proclaiming the shocking news that hormone replacement therapy (HRT) is being rationed in the UK until 2020, due to short supply!

For many women taking HRT, this news is likely to send the number of hot flushes, and any other symptoms they are experiencing, sky rocketing, as stress and anxiety are major exacerbators of symptoms associated with menopause. And that’s before they are forced to curtail their dosage.

Medical professionals are ‘demanding that the government take action’, and the British Menopause Society are providing updates on stock supplies of the various brands of HRT….

Yet among all the scaremongering, I have seen scant reassurance for women that this isn’t the end of the world, and that there are alternatives.

So I’d like to point out that:

  1. Women going through menopause between the ages of 45 and 55, don’t actually need HRT. Our bodies drastically reduce oestrogen production at this time, because we don’t need so much of it any more. Therefore it doesn’t need replacing. In fact, much research and opinion indicates that replacing natural hormones that our bodies no longer naturally produce, with synthetic versions, can be harmful. Logically and rationally, that makes sense to me.
  2. There are natural ‘alternatives’ to helping you through the sometimes difficult menopausal transition. There are many medicinal plants, used by Medical Herbalists such as myself, that can help support the body and re-establish balance so that it gradually adjusts to the next phase of life with minimal trauma. And there are specific plants which can help relieve specific symptoms of the menopause, without causing harm. These are usually most effective when used in combination with other medicinal plants/herbs. The choice of herbs should be based on the individual, and is best made by a qualified Medical Herbalist for optimal results.
  3. Diet and lifestyle can make a huge difference to a woman’s transition through menopause.
  4. For further info and help, please visit my website, deannegreenwood.com and/or my sister website, www.naturalhelpformenopause.uk

Here’s my latest testimony from a patient I helped through menopause. I have many others, some of which appear on my website:

I was referred to Deanne after feeling generally exhausted, anxious and depressed. I was amazed how thorough our first appointment was. I realised that the hot flushes, night sweats resulting in poor sleep and anxiety, which I’d been trying to cope with for several years, were all part of the menopause – and that there is a herbal solution. I didn’t want to take HRT or similar drugs, so the symptoms had been gradually exhausting me. It took several weeks, but the herbal medicine reduced my anxiety and hot flushes, helping me to have a better night’s sleep. After a year of taking the herbal medicine, I’ve now been off it 6 months, my menopause symptoms have gone. I only wish I’d gone to see Deanne years before, when the symptoms first started. It would have saved years of exhaustion.”

Tracey, 58 years