Author: Anna Arnell

Probiotic breakfast yoghurt

Probiotic Breakfast Yoghurt from Drugs in Pots

This herby yoghurt can be eaten daily as a great way to support beneficial gut bacteria and to combat yeasts and ‘bad’ bacteria that may have taken hold after e.g. taking antibiotics – although if you are working closely with others you may want to leave the garlic for weekends only!  All the herbs are easy to grow in pots or in your garden at home making this a great breakfast that you can pick, prepare and eat within minutes!


1 large garlic clove, minced
1 tablespoon each of fresh dill leaves and marigold (calendula) petals, torn into small pieces
20ml (1 fl oz) aloe vera juice
2 teaspoons each of fresh marjoram and thyme, leaves only chopped
500ml (17 fl oz) carton of live yoghurt

How to Make:

Add the torn/chopped herbs and the minced garlic to a bowl of live yoghurt, then stir in the aloe vera juice.

How to Use:

You can enjoy this yoghurt daily and for as long as you would like to take it.  The herbs are all aromatic and pleasant tasting – although as mentioned above, the garlic can be a little antisocial!

How does it work?

The garlic, calendula, dill, basil and marjoram are excellent for combating pathogenic micro-organisms and are also good digestive herbs, clearing toxins from the digestive tract.  Aloe vera is soothing, immune-enhancing and helps to combat dysbiosis.

Magma Earth Ovens – a workshop

Magma Earth Ovens – a one day workshop; 11th July at Puckham Valley, Gloucestershire:

Earth Ovens are authentic, handmade clay ovens crafted in a traditional way that draws upon ancient techniques dating back more than 2000 years.  Now,  they offer a totally natural way of cooking that allows you to reconnect with nature while creating delicious food and flavours.  The Earth Oven Project offers practical workshops to teach people how to sculpt their own earth oven, beginning with weaving the basket that creates the framework and shape of the oven, then on to mixing the clay and ends with the completed earth oven.   Earth ovens are completely individual and their size can range from large, community ovens to small family or individual-use ovens which will easily fit in the corner of a garden – you can even make a portable oven that can be moved around wherever you wish! These well-built ovens are strong, resilient and can last for many years with very little maintenance.

This course is the brainchild of Danny Shmulevitch who for many years worked closely with the indigenous Bedouin people in their homeland, a place of wild beauty and traditional wisdom.  Danny’s unique experiences and his ability to capture the essence and significance of the simple and yet practical activities of the tribes people, ensure that the events he facilitates have a magical and often profound quality with elements both of the theatre and ritual.

I have a personal interest in this workshop as Danny has built me my very own earth oven at the bottom of my garden – it’s between the vegetable beds, my log cabin and the outdoor classroom.  I know from experience that using an earth oven is totally different to conventional food preparation, it’s not a question of nipping into the kitchen to boil a kettle or turn on the stove, this is a much more absorbing and sociable experience. Cooking on an open fire sees a return to age-old techniques and family and friends can enjoy getting involved in the process while the aromatic wood smoke infuses the food with its unique taste; perfect for everything from roast chicken and vegetables to homemade pizza – or maybe even bread.  After the meal is cooked the oven will still generate plenty of heat to keep you warm – we can sit outside for hours even in the cool English summer!

For more information about this and other workshops, please email or phone 07866 625787.

Antihistamine Mix

Antihistamine Mix – for hay fever (from ‘Drugs in Pots’ )

Hopefully last week’s brain mix started some synapses firing!  This week’s recipe helps with hay fever symptoms.  No one enjoys having their summer ruined by hay fever – itchy eyes,  runny nose and feeling generally grotty.  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.

Brilliant Brain Tonic

Brilliant Brain Tonic – for poor memory and concentration (from ‘Drugs in Pots’)

Exam season is upon us and the slog of revising all those facts and figures can leave even the most able of students feeling a little foggy in the head.  Don’t rely on caffeine filled energy drinks and over processed snacks to keep you going, instead brew up this fabulous herbal tonic and enjoy your natural boost!

This refreshing drink has rosemary, thyme and peppermint to enliven the mind and wood betony to send blood to the brain. Gotu kola stimulates blood flow to the head, clearing the mind, enhancing concentration and increasing creativity.

Ingredients (makes 650ml (21 fl oz) tonic):

60g (2.5 oz) each fresh or 30g (1 oz) each dried rosemary, thyme, gotu kola, peppermint, wood betony
600ml (1 pint) water
500g (1 lb) sugar
30ml (1 fl oz) brandy (optional)

How to make:

1. Pour the boiling water over the herbs

2. Leave to infuse overnight, then strain into a jug through a fine mesh sieve or piece of muslin, press as much residual water from the herb mixture as you can before discarding it.

3. Mix the sugar into the infusion in a pan and heat it until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture has started to thicken, stirring frequently.  If desired, add 5 per cent brandy to preserve the syrup.

4. Store in sterilized dark bottles, clearly labelled, and keep in a cool place, preferably the refrigerator for up to 6 months.

How to use:

Take 2 teaspoons 3 -4 times daily, over several weeks, for the best results.


Larli’s Luscious Lemon Balm Libation

Larli’s Luscious Lemon Balm Libation:

We have been all hands on deck in the garden this week, rebalancing areas of the garden where plants have become a little too confident and nurturing areas that need a little love.  The glorious spring sun managed to break through the drizzle and Larli made this delicious cooling drink with mint and lemon balm from the garden.  (NB All quantities are approximate as this recipe has been retro-engineered!).

1. Take the juice and grated rind of 1 large lemon, along with approx 4 mint leaves and 5 lemon balm (Melissa) leaves, roughly chopped and whizz up in a Vitamix/blender.

2. Add 4 teaspoons coconut sugar (or 2 teaspoons honey or sweetener of choice) to this mix along with 100ml hot water to dissolve the sugar/sweetener.

3. Make up to 750ml with cold water, then refrigerate to cool and serve with ice cubes and a garnish of mint.


Summer Workshops

Summer Workshop fliers:

I love sharing the knowledge I have gained over the years with others on courses and lectures.  It’s wonderful imaging where a student’s personal path will take them from when I meet them onwards through their herbal life.

But sometimes the business side of organising these courses is a real drag!

Something that has helped recently is that we’ve been looking at some more eye catching promotional material for the summer courses and have come up with the fliers below.  They are making me really happy!

Foraging course

Wild foraging and herb garden walks:

The sun is shining, the blossoms are blooming and summer seems to just be around the corner, so here at Artemis House we have decided to get out our baskets and start foraging! While we have an abundance of wild garlic and nettle coming into our kitchen, we would love to invite you to join us in identifying and collecting herbs to make your own culinary delights and herbal remedies. Come to our Wild Medicines Foraging Day or let Anne guide you through the inspiring world of her herbal garden in one of her July Garden Walks.

Come away feeling healed and happy, rich with the ancient knowledge of how the earth can provide us with all the vitality we need!

Wild Medicines Foraging Day

Put on your walking boots and join us for an inspirational day foraging for wild herbal medicines in the beautiful Cotswolds. Learn to safely identify the medicinal and edible plants growing in your garden and hedgerows nearby, then discover how easy it is to make your own medicines and nutritious foods, all collected from the wild. With lots of recipes to try at home and plenty of hands on experience, this day will give you the confidence you need to collect your own herbs and make your own medicines.

Date: Saturday 13th June, 10am-4pm
Cost: £75 per person, including an organic and wild crafted lunch!

Artemis House Garden Walks

As we embrace the warm July evenings, do not miss out on the chance to have a tour of Anne’s exquisite herb garden, representing the cycle of a Woman’s life expressed through herbs and flowers. Anne will impart her insight into Western and Ayurvedic medicine, explaining the traditional and current uses of the herbs you will meet. So join us for a cup of herbal tea, while we take a walk around Anne’s garden in the long shadows of the setting sun!

Dates: Thursday 9th July, 7pm-9pm &  Thursday 23rd July, 7pm-9pm

Cost: £18 per person

Healthy Soul Article

A Healing Herb Garden – an interview on Healthy Soul website:

A while ago I was interviewed by Frances Ive for an article for the WI and I have found a link to the interview on Frances’ website –  I hope you enjoy it!

Anne x

Healing Herb Garden


Ashwagandha Annie!

Ashwagandha Annie on You Tube:

This is a video recorded in June 2013 with the ever lovely Deb from Avena Botanicals where we talk about possibly my favourite herb of all time – Ashwagandha.


The Living Wisdom Workshops

The Living Wisdom Workshops

Open the Doors to a Vital and Healthy Life with the Ancient Principles of Ayurveda

Anne will be running four deeply insightful courses on the fundamentals of Ayurveda, the traditional healing system of India. Ayurveda offers a truly inspiring and practical approach to enhancing health, happiness and longevity. During the weekends we will explore the archetypal elements that create our different constitutions, allowing us to create a better understanding of our own nature and helping us to choose the right diet, lifestyle and herbs to keep us well and return us to balance when unwell.

The course will run over four weekends at Anne’s home and garden in the beautiful Cotswolds. Each workshop will  incorporate experiential learning with herb identification,  foraging, medicine making, herb tastings, meditations, recipes and much more!

The course is open to anyone, especially those interested in healthy living, yoga, meditation, Vedic traditions and other health practices. No prior knowledge is needed and we recommend that you do all four weekends, but you can just do one. We are sure once you start you will want to continue!

Each weekend costs £150 which includes lunch and refreshments for both days. The cost for all four weekends is £550.

These workshops are running in conjunction with Living Wisdom: The Foundations of Ayurveda Online Course, to help those studying gain a more practical and experiential approach to Ayurveda, plus there will be lots of time for questions!  You can learn more about the online course at

Weekend One: Introduction to Ayurveda
Saturday 6th June – Sunday 7th June 2015; 10am-5pm

  • Understanding Ayurvedic philosophy and cosmology
  • Exploring the five elements that compose everything in the universe including ourselves
  • Discovering our unique constitution through an understanding of the three doshas: vata, pitta and kapha
  • Looking at some incredible herbs to keep our constitutions in balance

Weekend Two: The 6 Tastes and the Healing Power of Food
Saturday 18th July – Sunday 19th July; 10am-5pm

  • Exploring the six tastes of Ayurveda that compose our foods and herbs
  • Discussing how taste relates to the three constitutions, vata, pitta and kapha
  • Discovering agni-the vital role of the digestive fire
  • Learning about foods and herbs to help balance your constitution

Weekend Three: Ayurveda and the Heart and Mind
Saturday 12th September – Sunday 13th September; 10am-5pm

  • Exploring the three basic energies of the universe: sattva, rajas and tamas
  • Discussing the the subtle anatomy of the heart and  mind according to Ayurveda
  • Understanding our own mental and emotional constitution
  • Learning about foods, herbs and lifestyle practices to balance heart and mind

Weekend Four: Detoxification and Rejuvenation
Saturday 10th October – Sunday 11th October; 10am-5pm

  • Understanding the Ayurvedic view of detoxification
  • Exploring the 7 dhatus/tissues and the 6 stages of disease
  • Learning about herbs and dietary regimes for detoxification
  • Discussing rasayana–the Ayurvedic path to rejuvenation

Dispensing with Tradition

Dispensing with Tradition:

Way back in 2009 I agreed to compile a quick reference guide to herbs used in the Western tradition from an Ayurvedic perspective, little realising how much work this would entail!  My co-author, Michelle Boudin, and I (along with other invaluable colleagues) researched and cross referenced and tasted and pondered and indexed and checked and then re-checked and double checked (just in case…) and the end result is ‘Dispensing with Tradition: A Practitioner’s Guide to using Indian and Western Herbs the Ayurvedic Way’.


According to Ayurvedic philosophy all matter is derived from pure consciousness.  The amazing natural world gives us herbs, incredible healing plants, which are manifestations of the conscious intelligence of the universe.  Prana is the life force, the dynamic manifestation of consciousness and each herb has its own subtle intelligence or unique wisdom and pranic energy or attributes which give it ‘energetic’ effects as well as pharmacological constituents, and its potential ability to heal.  Herbs from all over the globe can impart their wisdom or intelligence to us and help balance pranic disturbances that create imbalances and health problems in mind and body, and reconnect or align us with consciousness, and this is the ultimate aim of Ayurveda.  They are an extraordinary gift.  Whether we are trained in the Western or Eastern tradition we can benefit from the healing ability of the herbs around us and use them to care for ourselves and others.

The purpose of the book is to enable an understanding of the Ayurvedic classification and use of herbs for practitioners employing herbs within the framework of an Ayurvedic approach to treatment.  It presumes a prior knowledge of Ayurveda and its terms (although there are glossaries at the back).  It consists mainly of a Materia Medica divided loosely in Western and Ayurvedic herbs and indexes of actions and therapeutic uses.

Each herb has its own unique blend of many different attributes.  It has myriad chemical constituents and physiological actions; it has its qualities and properties, being for example hot/cold, dry/moist, heavy/light, and with time and experience it is possible to become acquainted with each individual herb almost like a different personality.  Taking all this into consideration we can consider a herb as a whole and not assess its healing potential based solely on its ‘active’ constituents or even their quality or qualities (guna).  Each short monograph classifies the herbs according to basic traditional Ayurvedic specifications (including their tastes, post digestive effect, energy, guna, which doshas, dhatus and srotas they mainly affect) and according to the Western medical model, their latin name, botanical family, pharmacological constituents, actions and indications.

The Herbal Path Course in Portugal

The Herbal Path Course in Portugal

Come and join me and experience the world of herbal medicine in this amazing 10 day course in the beautiful Monte Mariposa Retreat Centre, Portugal. This hands on course will take a practical and experiential approach to learning about healing herbs. With foraging, plant identification, harvesting, medicine making, Ayurvedic medicine, wild food, aromatherapy, massage, mindfulness and yoga, you will be able to incorporate the holistic approaches of herbal medicine into all aspects of your daily life. Do not miss out on this fantastic opportunity to learn from the very lovely and experienced practitioners and guest speakers. Plus enjoy the extra time to explore the relaxing beaches and nearby towns and picturesque villages of Portugal.

Visit or contact Monte Mariposa on 07964839416 to book onto the course. 


10 DAY INTENSIVE (can be taken as individual days) @ Monte Mariposa Retreat Centre, Nr Tavira Algarve. Weds 15th to Sun 26th April 2015 10am-5pm


PART 1 – Wed 15th – Sun 19th April (can be taken as individual days or weekend only)