Tag: whitchurch

Upcoming workshops, herb walks and herbal medicine talks – Feb – Aug 14

January is always a time for reflection for me and I have been planning furiously for the coming year, I love planning. I am one of those people who have a list saying “write list”. So here is my plan for all things herbal in the year ahead to celebrate the 150th Anniversary of the founding of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists.

 

February

Winter remedy15th February – 10.30am – 3pm – Winter Remedies Workshop

I am running a winter remedies workshop at The Whitchurch Clinic. A light vegetarian lunch is included.

We will be discussing how to increase immunity naturally and the myths of Echinacea. We will also be making cough syrups and throat sweets. The course costs £45, minimum of two people required.

 

March

Rose hips (Rosa canina)
Rose hips (Rosa canina)

Wednesday 19th March – 7pm – 8pm – Talk at The Whitchurch Clinic, Whitchurch, Cardiff. “Herbal Medicine – Nature’s pharmacy”

I will be talking about herbal medicine, its history in Wales and how it is now used around the world alongside orthodox medicine. £2 entry. Free herbal tea and homemade cake.

 

 

April

Saturday 5th April – 10.30am until 3pm – Natural cream making workshop

I am running a herbal cream making workshop at The Whitchurch Clinic. A light vegetarian lunch is included.

Greenwyse hand creams
Greenwyse hand creams

We will be looking at how herbal creams are made and making individual creams to take home. The course costs £45, minimum of three people required.

 

First herb walk of the season on Sunday 6th April, meeting at the Melingriffith water pump,Ty-Mawr Road, Whitchurch at 2pm. The walk is free and lasts approximately an hour.

 

May

NA2nd – 5th May – Medicinal plants weekend, Ravenshill woods, Worcestershire, with Native Awareness (http://www.nativeawareness.co.uk/courses/medicinal-plants/) Book through Native Awareness.

 

Sunday 11th May – Free Taff trail herb walk, 2pm – 3pm (meeting place to be announced).

 

Saturday 17th  May – 10.30am – 3pm – Summer remedies workshop

I am running a summer remedies workshop at The Whitchurch Clinic. A light vegetarian lunch is included.

We will be looking at hay fever remedies, natural first aid for sun stroke, sun burn, bites and stings, etc. We will make an insect bite cream and a natural after sun lotion. The course costs £45, minimum of two people required.

 

June

Feverfew
Feverfew

Sunday 8th June – Free Taff trail herb walk, 2pm – 3pm (meeting place to be announced).

Wed 25th June – 7pm – 8pm – Talk at The Whitchurch Clinic, Whitchurch, Cardiff.

“Herbal Medicine – Nature’s pharmacy”

I will be talking about herbal medicine, its history in Wales and how it is now used around the world alongside orthodox medicine. £2 entry. Free herbal tea and homemade cake.

 

Friday 27th June – Bute park evening herb walk (meet outside the Pettigrew tea rooms by the gate to ButePark, opposite the water bus stop) 6pm – 7pm. £2 per person.

 

July

Sunday 6th July – Free Taff trail herb walk, 2pm – 3pm (meeting place to be announced).

 

Natural cosmeticsSaturday 26th July – Summer remedies workshop

I am running a summer remedies workshop at The Whitchurch Clinic. A light vegetarian lunch is included.

We will be looking at hay fever remedies, natural first aid for sun stroke, sun burn, bites and stings, etc. We will make an insect bite cream and a natural after sun lotion. The course costs £45, minimum of two people required.

 

August

Sunday 10th August – Free Taff trail herb walk, 2pm – 3pm (meeting place to be announced).

 

Drying St John's wort
Drying St John’s wort

Saturday 16th August – 10.30am – 3pm – Herb harvesting and preserving

I am running a herb harvesting and preserving workshop at The Whitchurch Clinic. A light vegetarian lunch is included.

We will be learning different harvesting, drying and preserving techniques for herbs. We will make herb infused oils, vinegars, teas, and more. The course costs £45, minimum of three people required.

 

September

Sunday 7th September – Free Taff trail herb walk, 2pm – 3pm (meeting place to be announced).

 

Astragalus-Membranaceus-Root-ExtractsIntroduction to herbal medicine 4 week course begins. More details to follow.

 

If you would like more information about any of these courses, workshops or talks please get in touch.

To book on to any of the workshops a £10 deposit is required to secure your place, with the balance payable on the day of the workshop. Deposits can be paid via paypal (please send me an email and I will send you a payment request.)

 

King Arthur, long walks and herb gathering

Tintagel castle
Tintagel castle

In the last couple of weeks I have been enjoying the last of summer on long walks with my puppy (and husband).

On our holiday in Cornwall we visited several lovely dog friendly beaches. We also visited Tintagel castle which was a first for me even though I’ve been to Tintagel many times before.

Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)
Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

I was surprised to find some of my favourite herbs growing on the cliff tops, which made me wonder if they were the same plants that were used by King Arthur!

Whitchurch Farmers' market stall
Whitchurch Farmers’ market stall

When I arrived home from my holiday I was excited to have a stall at the Whitchurch farmers’ market with Andrea and Karen from The Whitchurch Clinic. We spent a slightly chilly morning talking to people about all things health related, giving out herbal tea samples and free goodie bags. We also managed to buy some fantastic food.

We are hoping that we will be able to have a guest stall at some of the other farmers’ markets around Cardiff.

Gathering hawthorn berries
Gathering hawthorn berries

My recent forays into foraging have been of mixed success, at Cosmeston lakes I found a vast amount of rose hips, which are a fantastic source

of vitamin C, that will make a wonderful rose hip syrup ready for the winter cold and flu season. While foraging for hawthorn berries in a field near Radyr however, I was stung by bees! (My puppy was too). So it was herbal antihistamines to the rescue and a plantain poultice to reduce the swelling (on me at least, my puppy was not so happy about it).

I am looking forward to the Forest Farm herb walk on Saturday, hopefully the showers will only be light (if at all)!

The September Taff trail Herb Walk

On Sunday 1st September I set out for the monthly herb walk on a lovely warm but breezy afternoon. The Taff trail was busy with cyclists enjoying the good weather but luckily the route I had chosen was quieter.

 

Melingriffith Water pump
Melingriffith Water pump

At 2pm, alongside the Melingriffith water pump, I met up with three lovely ladies from Radyr who were keen to know more about the local medicinal plants and how they could make use of them.

 

There were lots of different species that we talked about during the walk but one of my favourites was mugwort (Artemesia vulgaris), which has a long historical use as a wound healer and treatment for bruises. It’s also been used traditionally to help women in labour.

 

Mugwort (Artemesia vulgaris)
Mugwort (Artemesia vulgaris)

During the herb walk I suggested plants that would be useful in an infused oil to use to treat bruises, as many of the plants we saw had that medicinal effect. The infused oil would have contained, St John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum), mugwort (Artemesia vulgaris), daisy (Bellis perennis), nettle (Urtica dioica), and plantain (Plantago lanceolata).

 

Another favourite of mine and an easily identified plant is burdock (Arctium lappa), it’s used in modern herbal medicine to stimulate bile flow and improve digestion, but it has a long use in the traditional drink dandelion and burdock.

 

Tutsan (Hypericum androsaemum)
Tutsan (Hypericum androsaemum)

There was one plant that I was particularly keen to identify, as it was not one I was familiar with. After some research I found that it was Tutsan (Hypericum androsaemum), which is a cultivated variety of St John’s wort. It has slightly different medicinal properties to St John’s wort, as its leaves are more antiseptic and it has a diurectic effect.

The next herb walk is on 28th September through Forest Farm nature reserve, Whitchurch, Cardiff, 2pm til 4pm.

Medicinal plants at the Glamorganshire Canal Nature Reserve

Woody nightshade (Solanum dulcamara)
Woody nightshade (Solanum dulcamara)

After moving to Whitchurch a few years ago I was thrilled to find a nature reserve on my doorstep, and one with such diverse plant life was the icing on the cake. As a herbalist I am constantly looking at plants, (even while stopped in traffic) and the reserve has so many rare and wonderful specimens.

Last year I saw Solanum dulcamara (Woody nightshade) for the first time in the reserve and also the first time anywhere. The particularly wet summer saw an increase of this poisonous plant.

This year the warmer weather has shown some more wonderful specimens, Filipendula ulmaria (Meadowsweet) which was rarely seen last year is now out in abundance. This wonderful herb was used as the base of aspirin along with willow bark, and is used today in modern herbal medicine as an anti-inflammatory for arthritis and rheumatism.

It’s not only the rare plants that interest me, the cleavers and plantain have all been prolific and all still hold an important place in treating skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.

Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria)
Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria)

A hugely under rated plant is the humble nettle, still used in herbal medicine today for its high mineral content and as an anti histamine, but it has so many other uses.

In the First World War nettles were used to make military uniforms, and they are also wonderful in soups and sauces (if picked early). In 1693 it was recorded that nettle was used to treat kidney stones, and today research shows that nettle has a diuretic effect.

If you are interested in learning more about the herbs in the reserve and their medicinal and historical uses, come along to the herb walk on 28th September, 2pm til 4pm.