Qualification: Diploma in Herbalism, School of Natural Health Sciences
Herbalism has been used for healing for longer than man has been writing things down. It’s not very long since the village wise woman (or cunning man) risked being denounced as a witch for helping people heal using the plants that grew in the neighbourhood. Luckily that’s all changed now! We are no longer restricted to local plants either. But the old remedies that have been handed down the generations are often the ones we turn to first, even if we don’t quite know why.
In Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Ophelia gives Hamlet a sprig of rosemary, saying, ‘Here’s rosemary … for remembrance’. This herb is useful for many things, including enhancing the memory, as a compress for wounds, and to relieve congestion. It is a powerful antioxidant, and was a symbol of fidelity in Medieval Europe.
Back when man and nature lived in closer harmony, it is probable that finding the perfect herb to cure any malady or injury was intuitive. Now we have to learn the properties of each plant, although intuition can still play a part. But we can still harness their wonderful abilities to heal and enhance our health and wellbeing.
- Have you ever craved liquorice when you had a cold? Liquorice root has expectorant qualities; it helps to shift phlegm and mucus, especially in the throat.
- Garlic is both antibiotic and antioxidant. Unlike modern antibiotics, bacteria don’t become resistant to it, so you can use it as much as you like (take the odourless capsules if you don’t like the taste), and it will still do you good.
- Lavender is not only good for helping you relax or sleep, but the oil can be applied undiluted to the skin (it’s the only aromatherapy oil that is safe to use undiluted, unless you have exceptionally good quality oils). It’s great for easing the pain and speeding the healing of burns and scalds. I make a ‘wonder goo’ that includes lavender, which can help with bites and stings, joint pain and swelling, and can even be applied to open wounds to help them heal. Please see my Products page for details.
Plants and their oils can be useful in so many ways, for physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. Perhaps they can help you?