Author: Anna Arnell

Living Wisdom: The Foundations in Ayurveda

What is Living Wisdom?

I am a Medical Herbalist and an Ayurvedic Practitioner and as one of the few Ayurvedic practitioners in the UK I have seen the ever-increasing popularity of Yoga raise awareness of its sister science, Ayurveda. With its emphasis on preventative health, healing and promotion of longevity, Ayurveda is more than a system of medicine, it is a way of life that aims to enhance well-being through the union of physical, emotional and spiritual health.

Feedback from my books ‘The Ayurveda Bible’ and ‘Dispensing with Tradition’, made me realise that there was a need for an easily accessible, yet in-depth, introduction to Ayurveda. So, I collaborated with my friend and American polarity therapist, Gina Mastroluca, and in 2015 we launched our online course Living Wisdom: The Foundations of Ayurvedawww.learnlivingayurveda.com.

Living Wisdom offers a comprehensive introduction to the principles and practices of Ayurveda based on my extensive experience presenting Eastern philosophy in an accessible way for the Western mind. The course has been carefully structured to appeal to a range of people including yoga teachers, herbal practitioners, nutritional therapists and medical professionals, while still being accessible to everyone interested in improving their health and wellbeing. Covering 700 pages of Ayurvedic nutrition, herbal medicine, sattvic lifestyle and meditation practices over eight online modules, students will have access to online student forums, plus optional seasonal workshops to support their studies and journey through the course.

The course is only £395 for access to all the lessons, for more information please visit www.learnlivingayurveda.com.

Hay Fever Season

Hay fever season is in full swing and anyone who suffers knows how miserable hay fever can be.  Here’s a handy homemade remedy that can help to ease the symptoms…

This mix contains echinacea, chamomile and lemon balm to soothe the allergic response that sparks off symptoms, while agrimony and ground ivy calm any inflammation, drying up secretions.

Ingredients (makes enough to fill a 500ml (17 fl oz) jar)

400ml (14 fl oz) plant glycerol
100ml (3.5 fl oz) alcohol (vodka or brandy)
250g (9 oz) each fresh or 100g (3.5 oz) dried agrimony, chamomile, Echinacea, lemon balm and ground ivy

How to make

First mix the glycerol and alcohol together, then place the herbs in a wide-necked jar and pour the mixture over the herbs.

Leave to macerate for at least 2-3 weeks, stirring daily, and then strain through a fine mesh sieve or muslin, or press using a wine press, making sure that you squeeze as much liquid from the herbs as possible.

Pour into dark, sterilized bottles, label carefully and store in a cool, dark place.

How to use

Take a teaspoon 3-6 times daily in a little water, depending on the severity of the symptoms.

The Clover Mill

The Clover Mill – a boutique Ayurvedic Spa retreat.

‘The Clover Mill is a beautiful restful retreat, with lavish and innovative eco-accommodation to five star standards. Uniquely, it offers beautiful spa facilities, individualised treatments, yoga classes, training and dining founded on the ancient art and science of Ayurveda. It is the ultimate wellbeing escape; come and unwind with us.’  www.theclovermill.com

I have just visited The Clover Mill with some friends and spent two amazing days there – my photos don’t really do it justice!  The whole experience – from the food, to the treatment rooms, the grounds and the atmosphere – was just fantastic and I am now incredibly excited to be going back to teach three workshops over the course of this summer.


Course 1 – June 30th – July 3rd – Ayurvedic Diet and Lifestyle to Balance Mind and Body

We will introduce the basic principles of Ayurveda, and help you discover your own constitutional type. You will learn how diet, herbs and lifestyle can help balance your constitution, and improve your health, happiness and wellbeing. From £795 per person fully inclusive of meals, accommodation, study course, consultation with Anne, Ayurvedic treatment and yoga class.


Course 2 – August 11-14th – Ayurveda for the Heart and Mind

We will introduce the basic principles of Ayurveda and the subtle anatomy of the heart and mind. We will explore our own mental and emotional constitutions and discover how the tools of Ayurveda, diet, herbs, meditation and lifestyle can help us to cultivate peace, joy and balance.  From £795 per person fully inclusive of meals, accommodation, study course, consultation with Anne, Ayurvedic treatment and yoga class.


Course 3 – September 22-25th – Ayurveda for Women

We will introduce the basic principles of Ayurveda to enable us to understand ourselves and the cycles of womanhood. We will discuss how Ayurvedic diet, lifestyle and herbs can support us during the different seasons of our life, helping us to balance menstrual cycles, enhance fertility, prepare for the menopause and support us in later years.  From £795 per person fully inclusive of meals, accommodation, study course, consultation with Anne, Ayurvedic treatment and yoga class.


Additional Benefits:

  • Personal Ayurvedic consultation with Anne (30mins)
  • Free copy of Anne’s Ayurveda Bible
  • Ayurvedic treatment (60mins)
  • Yoga Class (60mins)

Each of these weekends are designed to stand alone, but all three taken consecutively provide a comprehensive introduction to Ayurveda.

If you would like any further information on the retreats please contact The Clover Mill on 01886 880 859 or retreat@theclovermill.com.

If you are interested in this you may also like:

Living Wisdom: The Foundations of Ayurveda – by Anne McIntyre with Gina Mastroluca:  Covering 700 pages of Ayurvedic nutrition, herbal medicine, sattvic lifestyle and meditation practices over eight online modules, students will have access to online student forums, plus optional seasonal workshops to support their studies and journey through the course.  £395.

Best wishes for Christmas and a Happy New Year!

The clinic is now closed between Wednesday 23rd December and Monday 4th January.

We hope that you have a very happy Christmas break and wish you all the best for a healthy New Year!

from Anne, Larli and Anna

x

Valldemossa

PLANTS, HEALTH AND NATURE IN VALLDEMOSSA, MAJORCA

5th-9th November 2015

I am thrilled to be teaming up with my good friend Ana Azcárate to offer a small number of people the chance to join us on our new Plants, Health and Nature sojourn in Valldemossa, Majorca. We would like invite you to spend four days exploring the magnificent mountain areas of the Tramuntana, identifying the medical herbs growing there and learning how to prepare and use them for their amazing health benefits.  It is a really good time of year for plants as November is Majorca’s second spring – the autumn rains will have restored green to the parched island with a fresh burst of growth and life to the local plant world.

Ana Azcárate knows the area well and will be teaching the course alongside me.  Ana has studied herbs, natural cosmetics, aromatherapy, massage, nutrition, Ayurveda and biodynamic agriculture and is currently studying naturopathy at the Instituto de Estudios Naturales (IEN) in Madrid. She is the editor of a health and ecology imprint in Spain and one of the founders of Unabotánica, a natural cosmetic company in Caracas, Venezuela.

A place to relax mind and body in the tranquillity of nature.

A gift of time to learn about the natural resources around us, enhance our health and wellbeing, and help us live more sustainably.

We are privileged to be able to host you at the stylish Valldemossa Homes – a great base for exploring the stunning countryside of the Tramuntana mountains.    This is where you will learn the skills to make preparations such as infusions, decoctions, ointments, tinctures, creams and hydrosols so that you can apply your new knowledge once you get back home.

Over our long weekend we will visit the beautiful local farms of Son Moragues, Es Roquissar and Sa Torre where we can explore their organic vegetable and medicinal herb gardens.  Ana and I will teach you how to identify wild and cultivated herbs and together we will explore their medicinal properties and uses.

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The landscape here is quite different to my home in the Cotswolds – it is dominated by magnificent centenary Empeltre olive trees and we will use their soft olive oil in some of our preparations.

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For bookings before 1st September the Early Bird price, which includes transfers from the airport, full board and all workshops and herb walks, is £650 (€910) for single occupancy, or £600 (€840) for double occupancy.

After 1st September the full price is £695 (€970) for single occupancy, or £645 (€900) for double occupancy. (Please note that most rooms have double beds, not two single beds).  A limited number of places are available for day students, the Early Bird price for these is £225 (€320) for the three course days and £240 (€340) from 1st September onwards.

To book please call 01451 810096, or email artemishouse53@gmail.com (and don’t forget the Early Bird offer!).

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Warming cough busting tea

This recipe made from warming spices makes a delicious drink for all the family to protect from and alleviate the symptoms of coughs, colds and flu and is especially good for clearing catarrh and a blocked nose.

Ingredients:

1/2 oz fresh ginger root, sliced
1 stick of cinnamon
3 cloves
3 black peppercorns
3 cardamom pods

How to make:

Place in a pan and cover with 1 pt/600 mls of cold water. Bring to boil, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes.

Strain, sweeten with honey if desired, and take every 2 hours diluted with boiling water.

French Apple and Cinnamon Tea

This is the third in this week’s series of seasonal recipes, taken from the book ‘Healing Drinks’.  The traditional combination of apple and cinnamon works well in this sweet and spicy tea.  The tart flavour and cold properties of the apples and balanced by the sweetness and warming properties of the honey and cinnamon.  Jean Valnet, the French phytotherapist, recommends apple tea to be taken daily to prevent cold and flu viruses and to ward off arthritis and gout.

Ingredients:

4 apples, washed and sliced
600ml (1 pint) water
2 tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

How to make:

Place the apples in a pan, add the water, cover and cook on a low heat until soft.  Strain and then stir in the honey and cinnamon.

Serve hot (2-3 servings)

Elderberry ‘Rob’

This autumn booster is the second of our seasonal recipes for the ‘season of mists and mellow fruitfulness’ and is taken from ‘Healing Drinks’.

The autumn is a great time to make use of the glut of fruit that might otherwise go to waste and drinks made from apples, pears, plums, blackberries and elderberries are packed with vitamins and minerals and provide vital nutrients for the immune system, preparing us well for the onslaught of winter and the ills it may bring.  Spices added to enhance the flavour of the fruit have the extra benefit of stimulating the circulation, keeping us warm as the weather turns colder.  This recipe also works well with other fruit such as blackberries and blackcurrants.

Ingredients:

450g (1lb) fresh elderberries
450g (1lb) brown sugar

How to make:

Strip the berries from their stems, wash and then crush them.  Place in a pan with the sugar.  Bring slowly to the boil and simmer until a syrupy consistency is reached.  Pass through a sieve and bottle in clean, airtight bottles.

How to use:

Take 1-2 tablespoons in a cup of hot water regularly as a preventative or at the onset of cold symptoms.

How to make herbal teas

Quite often we suggest that patients take teas of a particular herb or spice – but just how do you make herbal tea without a tea bag?

To prepare herbal tea you need either a teapot, or a small pan and a sieve.  In general use about 2 teaspoonfuls of the dried herb (or 4 teaspoonfuls of fresh) to 600ml (1 pint) of water, but you can vary the amount according to taste.

For ‘soft’ herbs such as basil, rosemary, thyme and lemon balm

When using the soft parts of a herb, such as the flower, stems or leaves, place the herb in a warm teapot and pour over the boiling water.  Cover and leave to stand for 10 to 15 minutes to allow the hot water to extract the medicinal components from the plant.

For ‘hard’ herbs such as cinnamon bark, coriander seeds or ginger root

When using the hard parts of the herb or spice – the seeds, bark or roots – greater heat is required to extract the constituents.  You will need to place them in a pan with cold water, bring to the boil, cover and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.  Strain and sweeten with honey, if needed.

Taken from ‘Healing Drinks’ by Anne McIntyre

English Blackberry Cordial

English Blackberry Cordial (from Healing Drinks)

The hedgerows are bursting with ripening blackberries and elderberries so we will be sharing a few seasonal recipes to harness these (free!) wonder berries.

This sweet spicy cordial is delicious enough to be loved by children and helps the body to fight infection and to throw off fevers at the same time.  Blackberries are packed with vitamin C and bioflavonoids, they have a decongestant action and clear toxins from the body through their laxative and diuretic effects.  The spices increase sweating by stimulating the circulation and have powerful anti-microbial properties.

Ingredients:

900g (2lb) ripe blackberries (or enough to produce 600ml/1 pint of juice)
6 tablespoons of runny honey
10 cloves
5 slices fresh root ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

How to make:

Press the ripe, raw blackberries through a sieve to obtain the juice.  Place the juice in a pan and add the honey and spices.

Bring to a boil over a low heat, stirring until the honey has dissolved.   Simmer for 5 minutes.

Leave to cool and store in a cool place away from light.

How to use:

Drink diluted to taste with hot water.  Drink a cupful every 2 hours as needed.

Valldemossa itinerary

We are so excited with all the interest in our inaugural Valldemossa long weekend (hopefully this will be the first of many!) and are now pleased to be able to share the itinerary with you:

Thursday 5th November:

Arrive at Palma airport, transfer from airport to Valldemossa where you will have a chance to settle in before our welcome meeting, drinks and dinner at the Food Lab.

Friday 6th November:

Each morning students will be collected from Sa Torres before we have breakfast together at the Food Lab.  After this we plan to walk to the ponds at Son Moragues for quiet meditation and to set the intent of the day.  Ana and I will share a brief introduction to herbalism and how herbs mesh with a sustainable life.  We will then all walk to Sa Torres to see the herbal garden, identify and collect plants and discuss their uses.  After a delicious lunch at Sa Torres we will explore herbs and the senses, concentrating on a few herbs and their tastes and constituents.  We will then have a practical session making herb teas and an introduction to making tinctures.

After tea there is the chance to rest and reflect before the evening meal at the Food Lab.

Saturday 7th November:

After breakfast we will take a walk through the kitchen garden at Son Moragues to Sa Torres where we will have a short tea break.  Before lunch we will focus on how to make hydrosols; which plants to use, how the distilling process works and the medicinal properties of the plants being used.  After lunch at Sa Torres the group will walk to El Mirador collecting Mediterranean herbs along the way, the properties of which we can discuss while sitting in the amphitheatre there.

After tea there is once again the chance to rest and reflect before the evening meal at the Food Lab, which will be followed by a film.

Sunday 8th November:

On the last day we will once again have breakfast together before a meditation session.  This will be followed by a final discussion about herbs and our place in nature.  We will have lunch at the Food Lab followed by a final practical workshop making a calendula or ‘heal all salve’ and enjoying herbal facial steams, face masks and hand and foot baths.

Following this there will be a final rest and reflection period before the last dinner and a party at La Residencia in Valldemossa during which people are encouraged to share poems, songs or recitations!

Monday 9th November:

Transfer to airport and fly home to continue our herbal journey.

NB If you have any dietary requests, please could you let us know either on booking or by the final booking date of 1st October 2015.  Thank you.

Trill Farm – in tune with the seasons

At the beginning of September I will be going back to Trill Farm to teach my seasonal foraging and herbal medicine course, this time focussing on Autumnal plants. For those of you who have not yet visited Trill Farm and would like to know what makes it such a special place to run these courses from, let me tell you a little more about it…

Trill is a 300 acre mixed organic farm in east Devon which has been owned by Romy Fraser and her family since 2008.  Romy moved here after selling her previous business, Neal’s Yard Remedies, which she built up from a small shop in 1981 to the multi national company it is today.  As you may imagine, someone like Romy wouldn’t own just any ordinary farm! Trill is a collection of small businesses and educators who are all working together with the same ethos, following the highest standards of organic practice and protecting and conserving the environment and wildlife of the farm.  There is the strong belief that food is at the heart of life and their stated aim is ‘to celebrate and reaffirm the connection between humanity, the animal kingdom and the nature which sustains us all.‘  There are courses running at Trill Farm throughout the year, with the option of staying at the luxurious, ecologically renovated B&B or in the summer at the peaceful campsite (with open air showers and composting loos!).

I will be hosting two more foraging weekends at Trill this year; 5th/6th September and 17th/18th October when we will be looking at which wild herbs are available in the last two seasons of Autumn and Winter.  These are practical, hands-on weekends but for residential students we will be starting with a meal on the Friday night which I will be hosting.  We will be finding, identifying and preparing wild and cultivated medicinal plants and I will help you to understand more about the major systems of the body and how to promote their health by matching the right herbs to ailments of each system.  You will also learn how to prepare the herbs as infusions, decoctions, creams, lotions, ointments, glycerites and tinctures.

The price is £125 for the weekend for non-residents (or £265 for residential students) this includes all teaching plus a delicious organic lunch each day. Bookings can be made by calling Zoe at Trill Farm on 01297 631 113 or by clicking the link on their website.

I hope you can join me!