Apr 222019
 

Hi! I have been a bit off grid, due to moving house – to somewhere wild and beautiful, and bursting with medicinal plants – hence no herbals posts for a while. But today I gathered my first crop of the season from the garden – loads of lush cleavers (Galium aparine) that literally wrapped itself around me. (It’s very sticky – aka ‘sticky willy’; also goosegrass!)

Oh how I love this plant for its detoxifying and immune-boosting properties. Perfect for a herbal spring detox.

 Posted by at 9:06 pm
May 042017
 

Three-cornered leeks are delicious in salads and cooking.Wild foraging

I do loads of foraging for medicinal plants to make herbal remedies, but also to add to salads and use in cooking. Yesterday, I’d run out of garlic, so dug up some Three-cornered Leeks, which are all over The Lizard (southernmost point of England) at the moment, used the bulbs in my cooking and the lovely white flowers to decorate (and munch on because they’re as tasty as they are pretty). Another favourite to add a lemony zest to salads is sorrel – the young leaves are particularly succulent in the Spring.

Urban foraging

You don’t have to live in a rural area to forage, though. This week, there was a wonderful photo feature in the online Guardian about foraging courses being run in different parts of the country, including urban areas such as London! It turns out one of the joint course leaders, Alex Laird, is a medical herbalist I did work experience with at The Haven Breast Cancer Care centre, when I was a student. She is an amazing teacher and guide. So if you fancy doing a bit of foraging, I’d encourage you to check out this Guardian feature here and/or visit the Foraging Courses website here .

Sep 142014
 

elderberry, thyme and liquorice cough linctus made by medical herbalist Deanne Greenwood, who practices in Falmouth, Helston, Penzance and The Lizard in Cornwall.This weekend I’ve been gathering lush fat, juicy elderberries from around The Lizard here in Cornwall, to make Elderberry, Thyme & Liquorice cough linctus. Works wonders for sore throats, too, and as a general winter pick-me-up. Elderberries are packed with vitamin C and other antioxidants, and I’ve added 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’s utterly delicious, and it works! You can make your own elderberry linctus at home, adding in herbs such as ginger root, cinnamon or liquorice sticks to taste and for added medicinal purposes.

Here’s how to do it: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.

1. Place 500g elderberries in a saucepan. If you’re adding additional herbs such as chopped ginger root (no need to peel), cinnamon or liquorice sticks, tie these up firmly in a piece of muslin, on a long piece of string, and dunk them in with the berries.

2. Cover with water, bring to the boil and simmer for about 20 minutes.

3. Remove from the heat and, when cool, remove the bag of herbs.

4. Squeeze the juice out of the berries through a jelly bag, or a sieve lined with a piece of muslin.

5. Add enough water to make the liquid up to 500ml.

6. Return to the pan, add 500g of granulated sugar and heat gently, stirring continuously, until all the sugar has dissolved.

7. Cover, allow to cool, stir in 2tbs of lemon juice and then pour into sterilised bottles. (You’ll have up to 750ml of linctus depending on how well you squeezed the berries.)

I find this keeps very well in the fridge for 2-3 months, providing you are rigorous with sterilisation.