Summer herb workshop

What an awesome way to spend a Sunday.

Hanging out in Leeds with a bunch of women, learning about four summer herbs.

I’ve been practicing simple herbalism for a few years – experimenting with tinctures and teas, testing out my remedies on myself and a few friends. Most of what I know I’ve picked up from books, from a particularly witchy neighbour, from hanging out at the apothecart garden in Todmorden, and from my time working at the health food co-op, The Bear.

What a difference it makes, learning together in a group! Yesterday, six of us spent the whole day working with just four herbs – sitting around a coffee table discussing the herbs, or in the kitchen, cooking up remedies.

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This one-day course was run by Heather Ware and Helen Rideout, both practicing herbalists based in Leeds, at Helen’ super-cute garden bungalow in Hyde Park.

Firstly, they passed around four herbs – mugwort, St John’s wort, meadowsweet and yarrow. We sniffed and stroked and examined the herbs with a magnifying glass while Helen and Heather spoke about their properties. We drank a mugwort tea and took the time to notice its effects upon our bodies, minds and moods. We made a balm, a tincture and a tonic cordial. And we shared a delicious lunch.

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At the end of the day, I brought home pots of healing balm and a digestive syrup to use at home, had learned about four herbs with which I was pretty unfamiliar, and had met five awesome women. I can think of worse ways to spend a sunny July Sunday!

If you’re interested in future courses, see Helen’s website, Kind Nature.

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One comment

  1. Leanne says:

    This sounds like such fun! And even better, you were able to bring goodies (other than knowledge) home with you from it.

    I’ve had small indoor herb gardens from time to time, mostly fairly common herbs. But for some reason I’ve never gotten around to learning things like remedies with them. Most of my herbs went into baked goods or teas and helped make the apartment smell nice, and that was about it.

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