I spent the whole weekend with herbs and infusions, latin names and charts of the various plant parts,
doing a fabulous two-day course in Herbal Medicine with Neal's Yard Remedies by Covent Garden.
Really intense and really fascinating, it fulfilled my expectations and more!
On day one the Introduction to Herbal Medicine was brilliantly led byCarol Hobday. She thought us about
a wide range of the basic herbs and the use of them, historical perspective, and preparations like infusions,
decoctions, tinctures and bitters.
We also got some fun hands-on knowledge on how to make herbal preparations for first aid,
so after smelling and mixing and making I came home with an amazing bunch load of herb samples and
several pots of healing creams!
Day two, the Sunday, Niki Lawrence talked us through Botany.
From basic plant types, Taxonomy (the science of classifying living things), Linnaeus, genus and species,
Nomenclature(naming of plant species)floral keys and jargons, to plant structures and
The Mint Family Lamiaceae, and we also dissected some poor lilies.
My Saturday lunch of course had to be a hearty raw thai soup in my favourite Wild Food Cafe downstairs
from the teaching rooms, and the photo below is from making onion cough syrup.
After a warming lentil and cauliflower dhal for lunch in Food For Thought it was time to go find the real thing;
growing medicinal plants. We visited The Phoenix Garden, which amazingly is right in the middle of the centre,
just around the corner form Covent Garden and Shaftesbury Avenue!
Out in the green, the air was fresh and chilly, and even though we were surrounded by city all around, the
park was full of wonders! A beautiful Gingko tree, a bush of Hot-Lips, and suddenly we also found both Nettle,
Rosehip, Elder, Catnip, and many other super useful herbs we had got familiar with over the weekend.
When our feet got cold we walked back in to learn about seed germination (the proper way - not like I've
been doing it, which makes me wonder how on earth my seeds have made it at all!), and we had a go sowing
a few rows of seeds, which I am now taking good care of and really hope they will grow.
We ended the day with a quiz about what we had learned, and though the questions were remarkably difficult(!),
I got a very nice prize at the end!
Full of new knowledge and tired after a long weekend, nothing was better than a warm bath with a book when
coming back home. Of course fragranced with the aromatic bath oils from Neal's Yard that I won!
This morning, when Lucas said he felt like he was coming down with a flu, I knew exactly what to do.