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.
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.
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.
I’m a 30-something writer, artist, tarot reader, and perpetual explorer of the space between thought, feeling, and action.
I believe that spirituality and ritual are for everybody. I’m about the journey, in all of its messy, non-linear, chaotic iterations. I am excited by anticapitalist business and living with my whole entire self present. I use tarot cards to bring forth hidden truth, and ritual to affirm my commitment, over and over, to my ever-shifting path.