Wednesday, 5 January 2011

A new Herbal year

This is the blog of my herbal journey, which started about 3 years ago, but in reality is still only the begining.
I have no idea what flared my interest I have thought back many a time, but nowt comes to mind.
A year ago a friend and I decided to start a course named discovering herbal medicine, this course will enable us to study herbal medicine at degree level in the future, though while I have young children this dream will wait. Just after I signed up for this course I was browsing a forum where a lady Sarah head was offering herbal apprentiships, I took tue offer straight away and have since made a wonderful friend and an amazing herbal healer. I have spent time at her sanctuary learning and working with herbs, being with nature and meeting lovely herby people. Thank you Sarah for such an amazing experience and sharing your knowledge and sanctuary with us.
Unfortunately this year I have to work on the days I should be at the sanctuary, but I have thankfully been kept on the list and will try my best to follow and complete the tasks. I am also throwing myself into my discovering herbal medicine course which I aim to complete by the end of the year.
As a part of Sarahs tasks for her apprentices was to choose a herbal alley to study feel and love. Of course I decided on one which is yarrow, but once again elder has called to me. Which acctually makes me very happy I love elder and have a very close relationship with a bush just outside my kitchen window. My realtionship with this elder has ebbed and flowed throughout my time living here. From watching her spring to life in the spring and start to flower the insects that enjoyed her sweet nectar and the birds that hid in her branches. As the summer grew her fliwers turned to berries of a green and as autumn approaches the beautiful hues if purple until finally black. This is where I would thank her for her harvest and pick berries for elderberry syrup. My little miracle for colds and flu.
Last march my relationship for this elder was thrown into turmoil when my neighbour got the gardeners in and it being on his side if the fence got stripped to the ground. It felt as if half of me had heen ripped out and tears flowed from my heart and my soul. But I did not give up hope and planted some of her branches and they sprouted and are now growing. Though better than that she is still alive, some of her roots were left behind and through the odds sprouted upwards. She may only be 2 foot tall but her spirit and my friend is still there just a little smaller. I doubt she will flower this year but I know she will again. Plus
as a bonus I have her offspring to plant further up the garden. This may not mean much to most, to me it was a miracle of life.
So I guess I come to the end of my first post.
The herbs I choose to study this year are:
~ horseradish, a warming herb
~ catmint, my cat quite literally goes nutty other this and I would to find out why.
~ cayenne another hot warming herb.
~ yarrow a healer in so many ways.
~ garlic, great cleanser
~ hawthorn, a wondeful heart tonic
~ lime flowers, a peaceful calmative
~ ginger. Again a warming herb.
~ parsley, a nutrutive and anti rheumatic
~ horsetail, great for hair and nails due to its silica content
~juniper berry
~ cranberry often used for uti's
~ nettle a mild adaptogen
~ and finally couch grass, who would of thought this as herb!
So there u have it hopefully throughout the year my understanding and knowing of these herbs will grow and I will share my journey you if your prepared to listen.


  1. Congratulations on your new blog, Carlie! You might want to search out a copy of Judith Bergner's Herbal Rituals - wonderful book and really nice woman,(She studied with Robin Rose Bennett). She tells a moving tale of the relationship between a New York Women's Group and an elder tree which was removed by the park's department and then regrew.

  2. Hey Carlie :)

    Sorry to hear that your Elder tree was destroyed! At least you managed so get babies, I'd love to have an elder in my garden, but so far I haven't been able to find any in the garden centres :(

    I'm doing the DHM course as well, been doing it now for 4 years and only done the first stage! Never enough hours in the day etc, when you're on for Stage 2 let me know, be good to be doing it at the same time as someone else. Welcome to the wonderful world of herb blog land, look forward to following your posts.

    Herby Hugs - Debs :)