Tag: Grow your own

Rose Harvest

It’s time for the rose harvest. I’m making rose glycerite today! I love roses…doesn’t everybody?  I think I use more rose than almost any other herb in my practice…maybe as much as California poppy, gotu kola and chamomile.

The beautiful rose is a wonderful rejuvenative, helping to decrease the signs of ageing when used internally as well as applied to the skin. It makes a great tonic for the heart and mind and can be used for all three doshas. Rose helps improve memory and eyesight and is a lovely herb for calming anxiety. It is a perfect remedy for excess sadhaka pitta which might make us feel irritable or angry, or cause us to suffer from low self esteem and low spirits. It is excellent for cooling inflammatory digestive problems such as gastritis, peptic ulcers, enteritis, diarrhoea and even dysentery. It clears toxins from the gut and even helps regulate metabolism and weight.  It clears excess pitta and ama from the blood (rakta dhatu), and is good for pitta problems like bleeding problems and inflammatory skin problems (such as herpes, measles, acne and chicken pox). The exquisite rose has always been the emblem of love so it is hardly surprising that it has an affinity with the reproductive system (shukra dhatu) and is used for easing menstrual and menopausal symptoms, relieving uterine spasm and congestion which can cause pain, heavy and irregular periods.

In the autumn you can use rose hips to make a syrup or decoction of the empty seed cases, or dry them and grind them into powder. They make a good remedy for diarrhoea, colic, constipation, nausea and indigestion.

Rose hips are also anti-inflammatory, and can reduce pain and increase flexibility in osteoarthritis. Rose also benefits the respiratory system, and both the hips and the flowers help prevent as well as relieve colds, flu, fevers, sore throats, catarrh, cough and bronchitis.

If you have any aromatic roses in your garden, why not make a glycerite?  All you need to do is fill a jar with fresh roses, and pour over a mixture of plant glycerol and vodka at a ratio of 60:40 until you submerge the petals. Leave away from sunlight for about 3-4 weeks and then press through muslin….then try it out as a love potion and see what happens! It’s delicious!

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.

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.

P1030659P1020049

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.

20140917_103902 20140917_104641

P1030966 (2)

P1010620

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!).

IMG_1346 P1050018

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.

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.

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!

Ingredients:

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.

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.

Enjoy!

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.

Enjoy!

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