My second herbal medicine walk with Natasha Richardson (of Forage Botanicals) took place at Mile End Green Bridge. A fellow walker mentioned Sharpham Trust and Chelsea Physic Garden as other possible sources to explore wild medicine, something I look forward to participating in in the future.
Mile End Green Bridge is a nature reserve renovated on a previous wasteland. In wastelands, plants are heavily contaminated with metals and various chemicals. Nowadays, it bodes well to have a green bridge in the area to encourage communities to enjoy the essential benefits of nature. While still in the centre of a polluted region, the plants at the edges of the bridge filter pollution so that the deeper you go in, the cleaner the air is.
Walk of Discoveries
The collection of herbs we stumbled across and a summary of their properties:
- Goddess of the hunt (folk name), there are a triad of female goddess in folklore – Demeter (the Goddess of the harvest/birth), Khione (Goddess of winter/snow) and Artemis (represented by mugwort).
- Dream herb – to increase prophetic dreams
- End of summer is its peak season just before its leaves fully open. Great to pick end July-early August. Especially on a full moon.
- It has a bitter taste, it is a mild anti-worm, anti-candida, anti-inflammation to pelvis, helps to calm nerves.
- It has a tendency to be oestrogenic but mainly balancing (menstrual treatment).
- Don’t use when pregnant or breast feeding.
- Can consume by brewing a tea with fresh or dried leaves, steeping for 5 minutes minimum or can make a tincture (with mixed herbs) and take 5ml three times a day or (just mugwort) 1-3ml 3 times a day (for adults).
- Mild and soothing to stomach (although less so than chamomile).
- Astringent – good for heavy bleeding. For bleeding wounds, chew on parts of the plant above the ground and put on wound. It is also an anti-septic. Can be used for heavy bleeding during menstrual period and thrush. For thrush, you can poor hot water in a wide bucket, place the leaves in it and hover over with a towel for a vaginal steam.
- This plant is great for people who give more (than receiving) and are under stress due to these terms.
- Volatile oil = essential oil while still within in the plant. The colour of its essential oil is blue.
- The stem and leaves can be used for brewing tea and follow your senses regarding dosing.
- Makes thing slimy and soft.
- Good for colds and sore throats.
QUEEN ANNE’S LACE
- Contraceptive – consume before you have your period.
- Balances body tissue inflammation.
- The red berry is the heart-centred part. Used on immune-depressed people (e.g. Lupus). It is high in vitamin C.
- People used to make itching powder from its seeds.
- You can it the berry raw – simply suck the flesh within the outer skin layer.
- A masculine plant – roots used for male hormonal and prostate issues (opposite to Mugwort, which is feminine).
- You can consume the seeds and the leaves. Consume only the green parts – not the brown.
- The seeds are adaptogenic (good for asthma) and boosts the immune system, giving more stamina.
- The leaves makes you urinate more in order to expel an infection, it lowers blood pressure and includes a plethora of vitamins (including iron).
- Collect from spring onwards. Pick the first 4-8 leaves from the top to make soups/teas.
- The main medicinal component are the seeds. It is considered as part of the air element.
- Good for asthma and colic issues, flatulence, production of breast milk (careful with dosing), potential to balance blood sugar issues, helps with bi-polar manicness.
- Hildagar of the herbs – “forcing the spirits into the right place.
- Plant identification apps:
- Flower Checker
- Plant ID
- Other herbal websites:
- Syrup making:
- 1 lb sugar to 1 pint water
- 2 lbs liquid sweetener (i.e. honey) to 1 pint water
- NOTE: cane sugar is an immune depressant