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3 BOOK REVIEWS ON HERBAL & HEDGEROW MEDICINE…

With months of being mainly at home during the summer I have walked more in the countryside than ever before. It made me look at wild flowers and hedgerows in a completely different light.

I am sure most of us will not know that Britain’s hedgerows may have remedies for all sorts of health conditions, tinctures, beauty and even household uses. So, I headed to Amazon and purchased some books on the subject. There are quite a number of them but I think the ones I write about here are well worth investing in. They are all by the same authors who seem to be a specialist in this field.Just remember if it is something that you take then first check with your GP in case it might interact with any medication you are on.

Kitchen Medicine by Julie Bruton-Seal & Matthew Seal £12.75

They say our kitchen shelves are full of remedies for all sorts of illnesses and accidents. In fact most domestic accidents occur in the kitchen. But if the home has hidden dangers, it also contains many handy but often overlooked ingredients for treating household emergencies and common ailments, from bee stings and cuts to sore throats and chilblains.

The products for these remedies include herbs and spices, fruit and vegetables, oils and vinegars, and many other familiar items.

In Kitchen Medicine the authors of the successful Hedgerow Medicine now move indoors to describe the wealth of healing and emergency remedies that sit unused and idle in the kitchen. Superb illustrations adorn a lively text.

The ailments and illnesses that kitchen medicine can address are comprehensively listed, making diagnosis and cure both immediate and easy.

This book has a great wealth of knowledge, an inspiration and healing abilities. The photos are amazing and it has historical notes and anecdotes with an easy reference listed by ailment. You will be amazed at what you have in your store-cupboard. A bit like having a chemist at your doorstep.

Hedgerow Medicine by Julie Bruton-Seal and Matthew Seal £12.75

Julie and Matthew explain that Britain’s hedgerows abound with forgotten remedies for countless health problems. Julie Bruton-Seal, practicising medical herbalist, together with her co-author, the editor and writer Matthew Seal, have responded to the growing interest in natural medicine by aiming this book at the amateur who wants to improve his or her health in the same way that mankind has done for centuries around the world: by using local wild plants and herbs. There are clear instructions about which plants to harvest, when, and over 120 recipes showing how to make them into teas, vinegars, oils, creams, pillows, poultices or alcohol-based tinctures. Julie and Matthew explain which ailments can be treated, and what benefits can be expected. As well as being packed with practical information on using 50 native plants, Hedgerow Medicine also gives a fascinating insight into the literary, historic and worldwide application of these herbal remedies.

This is another great book clearly laid out for you to discover what’s growing in your local hedgerow. You will never look at a hedgerow the same again after reading this book. It has 250 beautiful colour images and something that will be picked up by anyone if left on your table.

It contains each herb, with its own page or two (or three) about what it does, how to use it, how the herb was used in history with a beautiful accompanying picture. An priceless book for herbalists enthusiasts alike that gives good tips on making tinctures, teas, poultices and much more. It would make a great Christmas present.

The Herbalist’s Bible by Julie Burton-Seal – £17.99

Julie explains that Herbalist to King Charles I, John Parkinson (1567–1650) was a master apothecary, herbalist and gardener. Famous in his own lifetime for his influential books, his magnum opus was published in 1640, the Theatrum Botanicum, which ran to 1,788 large pages. The sheer scope and size was perhaps to prove the book’s downfall because, while it was much revered and indeed plagiarized, it was never reprinted and now has the status of an extremely valuable rare book. Parkinson was writing at a time when Western herbalism was at its zenith, and his skills as a plantsman combined perfectly with his passion for science, observation and historical scholarship. In this editor’s selection, Julie and Matthew have printed Parkinson’s clear and lively description of a chosen plant’s ‘vertues’ or healing properties, adding their own modern commentary and a contemporary take on his almost-forgotten herbal recipes. Busy herbalists, historians and gardeners will welcome this restoration and sensitive highlighting of Parkinson’s huge lost classic.

This book shows you a glimpse into another world when plants were the only remedy of most ailments. They say that even today around 40 per cent of all drugs used are of plant origin.

It’s a great book well set out with lots of information and stunning pictures. It has the original John Parkinson’s text and line drawings along with the modern descriptions and photos.

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8 REASONS WHY YOU SHOULD GIVE A COMPLEMENTARY TREAMENT A TRY…

A Complementary Therapy is one that can be used in addition to, or instead of, conventional Western medicine. BUPA explain that Complementary therapies are methods of trying to treat illnesses, and these methods fall outside of conventional medicine. Some complementary therapies, such as acupuncture and reflexology, are based on older or traditional forms of medicine. Others, such as osteopathy and chiropractic, are more recent developments. Things like herbal medicine can be seen as a very rough precursor to modern medicine; there are many medicines that have been discovered through understanding the effects of natural substances. Herbal medicines can be seen as ‘unrefined’ medications, with varying doses and sometimes with other ingredients in them.

The word ‘complementary’ refers to the fact that they may be used in addition to the conventional medicine approaches advised by medical professionals. Here are 7 reasons why you should at least try one of them for chronic pain.

  1. It’s natural – Complimentary Therapies work naturally with the body to help restore balance.
  2. It an improve sleep, most Complimentary Therapies are great for relaxation and then sleep.
  3. You can chat with your therapist about your condition and sometimes just talking to someone can lift your mood.
  4. It’s more personal with some hands-on therapies.
  5. You can learn about many Complimentary Therapies and treat yourself. (I will cover this in another post).
  6. There are so many now available you are bound to find one that could help you but always book through a professional therapist.
  7. They can help you cope with your condition.
  8. Some are now available on the NHS like Acupuncture, Reflexology, Homeopath, Osteopathy, Chiropractic, Herbal Medicines, Counsellors, CBT and Tai Chi.
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A REIKI BATH FOR TOTAL RELAXATION…

Reiki (pronounced Ray-key) is a complementary therapy which was named after Dr. Mikao Usui, a Japanese theologist.

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Reiki is a Japanese word, meaning Universal Life Energy, an energy which is all around us. It is regarded as ‘life’s energy’ and creates a feeling of deep relaxation. Energy blockages are removed, allowing a free flow of life energy throughout the body. Toxins are removed from the body with other waste products leaving the system much more quickly. Then, with the toxins removed from your body, more energy can be received and your vital processors and functions become more highly tuned.

The hands are the main instrument used in the healing by Reiki and can be effective through clothing. It has also been useful for anyone taking drugs to help reduce some of the side effects. They say it is possible to heal acute injuries but chronic injuries can take longer to heal. Reiki is therapy available to anyone and can help the receiver of the therapy to achieve a more relaxed approach to life and greater harmony.

Natural Health Magazine talks about taking a Reiki Bath to help you relax and reduce feelings of anxiety. Jasmin Harsono, author of Self Reiki: Tune in to Your Life Force to Achieve Harmony and Balance believes that you can become your own healer. Jasmin says that a reiki bath is a wonderful way to relax and recharge your energy levels. It involves performing a full reiki self-treatment based on the seven main chakras: crown, third eye, throat, heart, solar plexus, sacral, and root.

With reiki, you normally find a quiet comfortable place to perform it but this way you like in a bath of warm water. This offers a simple way to remove toxic energies and encourages fresh energy to circulate clarity, balance and positivity. It can help you sleep better at night, reduce anxiety, and heighten a deeper sense of relaxation.

love romantic bath candlelight
Photo by Breakingpic on Pexels.com

Create the right atmosphere by filling your bathroom with candles, crystals, soothing music and pop a few of your favourite essential oils into your bath. Once you are settled into your bath simply close your eyes and place the palms of your hands together. As you allow your breath to flow naturally, you should feel your mind and body becoming calm and clear of distractions. Now starting at your crown follow the hand of positions of the full reiki self-treatment, spending about three minutes on each chakra. Then simply repeat the five principles which are, Just for today, do not anger. Just for today, be grateful. Just for today, work with diligence. Just for today, be kind to yourself and others. Just for today, do not worry. For the best effect repeat this every time you have a bath.

Before leaving your bath Jasmin suggests that you take three deep breaths into your abdomen, then exhale with an ‘ahhh’ sound. When your ready, let the water drain from the bath as you place your hands together and thank reiki.