Tag: Herbs

Deepening into Doshas at The Herbal Path in Portugal

I am really looking forward to going back to Portugal at the end of the summer to teach Deepening into Doshas, which will be taking place on the weekend of 15th-17th September 2017 at The Herbal Path, just outside Lagos.

The Herbal Path takes place at Quinta Melilotus which is set in 6.6ha of almond, fig and olive groves, with herb and vegetable gardens which are used as both classrooms and to supply the food you will be eating. The Quinta is near a river bed and just minutes drive from multiple sandy beaches, secret coves, fascinating rock formations and caves and stunning cliff walks.  It is also within walking distance of two nearby villages as well as near to the bustling town of Lagos with modern amenities set against the backdrop of ancient town walls, marina and winding cobblestone streets.

This will be a small group with a maximum of 12 participants to ensure that everyone who wants to will have time for an assessment of their constitutional doshas and treatment plan for rebalancing within the group setting.

The course starts with arrival between 4.00-6.00pm on Friday, followed by supper together on later that evening, followed by an introductory session. The course ends with tea and cake at 4.00pm on Sunday, after which you are free to depart.

The price is 225 euros for full seminar, all meals (Friday supper to Sunday tea) and a shared cabin or yurt accommodation.  Due to the small numbers involved, a 50 euro deposit is required to reserve your space with full payment required by 18th August.

Seminar days only including lunch 55 euros/day.

Extra bed and breakfast and dinner on Sun night is 45 euros.

To book please contact The Herbal Path at theherbalpathinfo@gmail.com.

Hawkwood College – An Introduction to Ayurveda

I am thrilled to be able to tell you that I am teaching an Introduction to Ayurveda at a new venue for me, Hawkwood College, this year.

Hawkwood College is in a Grade II listed 19th Century country house with 42 acres of grounds overlooking the Severn Vale.  It was founded in 1948 and they describe themselves as ‘an ethical centre providing courses, facilitating training and offering venue hire, set in a beautiful location in the Cotswolds.’  Residential students have access to a Woodland Sanctuary, mature ornamental grounds and can visit the Victorian half-walled gardens where fruit, vegetables, herbs and flowers are grown to use in the house.

I will be teaching an introduction to Ayurveda over the course of the weekend, including practical work such as herb tasting in with the other lessons.  We will cover Ayurvedic philosophy, the basics of anatomy, physiology and constitution, diagnosing with pulses, de-toxing, diet, herbs and lifestyle.

Fully inclusive residential single £265; shared £225; Non-residential £185 includes supper Friday, lunch and supper Saturday and lunch on Sunday, plus all refreshments.

Arrival 4.00-6.00pm on Friday. Course begins with supper together on Friday followed by introductory session. Course ends with tea and cake at 4.00pm on Sunday, followed by departure.

To book please contact Hawkwood College on 01453 759 034 or click HERE to book online.

HerbFest 2017 – Bringing people and plants together

HerbFest – Bringing People and Plants Together

Following the great success of HerbFest 2016 at Monte Mariposa in Portugal, we are happy to announce that we will be back at Monte Mariposa for HerbFest 2017!

You can look forward to more great lectures and informative workshops surrounded by the wild lavender and spring herbs of Portugal.  We will update you as soon as we have more information – don’t forget to look on our Facebook page too! (www.facebook.com/herbfestuk)

Feedback from HerbFest 2016:

‘It was so well organised, yet very relaxed – just the right pace and tone – very uplifting and enlightening experience.’ Julie
‘What a great weekend at HerbFest in Monte Mariposa in Portugal. Fantastic speakers, I have met some new wonderful people and learned more about herbs and also about Portuguese and Spanish traditions and herbal teachings. Wow, what a worthwhile trip!’ Gemma
‘Oh my, what a wonderful wonderful place Monte Mariposa is! Thanks Annie & Beatriz and all who were involved in Herbfest this year….What a wonderful bunch of supportive, knowledgeable people! The location was out of this world with its wild Borage, Lavender, Wild carrot and oh so much more, the bees were deafening and the whole thing as you can tell has blown me away. That’s without mentioning the haunting and first class local Fado music which was the entertainment on Saturday eve. I take all of this away with me and have everything crossed that we can hold it again here next year. Anyone that didn’t manage to go, try for next year, you won’t regret it!’ Ashlie

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.

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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.

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!

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.

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!