The irises, valerian, hollyhocks and daisies are putting on a beautiful show, the roses are budding up, the fruit trees and berries are in blossom. The baby maggies are keeping their parents busy, wrens are finding mates and making nests and the sun when it shines reminds us that Spring is slowly coming.
And no doubt about it the ‘weeds’ are growing, but don’t stress about the ‘mess’, as long as its productive its beautiful and to be rejoiced. If you have planned your garden well, it will be providing not just food but also supplying ingredients for health and wellbeing.
Set up systems that look after themselves, – look to nature it doesn’t have manicured edges, but it looks after all that live within it.
Fairies are invisible and inaudible like angels but their magic sparkles in nature. – Lynn Holland.
One of my favourite systems are our herbal patches. They look after themselves with abundance and generously give us the ingredients that become the bases of our Herbal Kit.
What is herbal first aid?
Herbal first aid has the advantage of using materials that are widely available, like kitchen spices, weeds, wild plants and from the herb patch. Using natural remedies, we are connecting ourselves to the wisdom of past generations who relied on herbal medicine, (a time before the big pharmaceutical company’s made healing and health about making money). It is empowering to know we can take care of ourselves with simple homemade treatments.
Come fairies, take me out of this dull world. For I would ride with you upon the wind and dance upon the mountains like a flame. – W.B Yeats
There are so many healing herbs, that are extremely effective, abundant, and easy to find, easy to grow, and have a long safety record. A few to include in the garden and your herbal first aid kit are:
Yarrow applied can stop the bleeding of cuts, scrapes, bruises – Grind fresh or dried yarrow leaves and add a small amount of cool boiled water to create a paste. Apply directly to the wound and replace as needed every few minutes until the bleeding stops. After cleaning the wound, apply plantain poultice and cover with a bandage to promote healing.
Fresh or dried plantain leaves apply to insect bites –ground with a small amount of cool boiled water, can provides rapid inflammation and itch relief. Plantain is also good for splinters apply as a poultice and cover. Replace the poultice when it becomes dry. Plantain has a strong “drawing” effect and will help ease the removal of the splinter.
Aloe vera gel, fresh from a leaf, is good for Sunburn it can be applied to directly to burns for cooling relief.
Comfrey’s original name, knitbone, is self-explanatory its leaves and roots are used as a poultice to heal burns, sprains, swelling, and bruises.
Calendula you need to extract the oil from petals by infusing them in a carrier oil (jojoba, almond, olive) for up to a month. The oil then has antifungal, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial properties that make it useful in healing wounds, soothing eczema, and relieving diaper rash. The carrier oil is added to beeswax, shea butter and few drops of an essential oil for fragrance I like peppermint, lemon, or eucalyptus. Perfect for rashes, sunburn, swelling, eczema, acne, stings, wounds, burns, scrapes, and cold sores.
Sage once called the “thinker’s tea”, sage has been shown to enhance memory, relieve sore throats, and alleviate painful cramping in the stomach. Sage is also anti-bacterial and a natural antiseptic. So, drink sage tea and your sore throat will thank you
To Make Sage Tea: Pour 1 cup of hot water over 1 teaspoon of dried sage or 2 teaspoons of fresh leaves. Steep for 10 minutes and strain.
Lemon is all about strengthening the immune system against the germs that cause cold and flu. Squeezing a whole lemon into a glass of hot water with a large spoonful of honey makes a soothing drink for when you have a cough or cold. The honey can help suppress coughs, especially at night which keep you awake.
As with everything about living a simple life, it connects you, it grounds you to the Earth and her abundance in providing what we need to survive and thrive, and as to the perceived weedy mess that my garden is, as my friend Winnie the Pooh says, ‘One of the advantages of being disorganised is that one is always having surprising discoveries ‘
So, may you have many surprising discoveries, including maybe an elf or a fairy or two, as you inhale the richness that comes from time spent in the magic of the herb garden.
Believe in your heart that you’re meant to live a life full of passion, purpose, magic and miracles.”
– Roy T. Bennettl