CommuniTea – our first harvests together

Midsummer is fast approaching and the long days have brought us some beautiful weather to harvest herbs for our first few CommuniTea sessions in Wester Hailes, South-West Edinburgh. We have been running our Community Herbal Clinic there for a while now, alongside growing, foraging and making medicines with folk in the local area. This year we …

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Herb Profile: Shepherd’s Purse

Botanical Name: Capsella bursa-pastoris Common Names:  Shepherd’s Purse, Sanguinary, Pick Purse, Witches’ Pouches, Mother’s Heart (Scots), lus na fola – The Blood Herb (Gaelic), Family:  Brassicaceae Parts Used:  Aerial parts Botany & Identification: A variable annual or biennial plant with an erect main stem which grows from 3cm to 40cm depending on its conditions. The …

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Herb Profile: Juniper

Botanical name: Juniperus communis Common Names: Scots: aiten    Gaelic: aiteal, aiteann, aittin, samh Family: Cupressaceae – Cypress family Parts used: Dried ripe ‘berries’ Botany & Identification: Juniper is a slow growing evergreen shrub in the Cypress family growing on heaths, moors, rough grassland and dry woodlands. It can reach up to 3m and spreads up …

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granton:hub medicine garden

The granton:hub was a hive of activity yesterday as the wonderful Edinburgh Tool Library came over to help us make 6 raised beds – the start of the granton:hub medicine garden! Together with helping hands from other volunteers, fuelled by Lisa’s Wild Garlic soup and Diane’s delicious cookies, we cleared a corner of the garden …

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A weekend of herb walks

Last weekend we ran spring herb walks for all of our course participants – Wild Things: a year of wild food & medicine, and  Wild Things: year 2. What a beautiful weekend it was to discover so many nutritious spring greens emerging out of the soil whilst wondering through the woodland edge and riparian habitats …

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Project Report: The Wester Hailes Community Herbal Clinic – Integrated Herbal Healthcare in An Area of Poverty

Since July 2015, Grass Roots Remedies Herbal Medicine Co-operative have been working on and consolidating an integrated herbal healthcare model in Wester Hailes, South West Edinburgh. We want to share the model now as an inspiring example of forward thinking, collaborative responses to health inequality by the NHS and local agencies; to encourage discussion about …

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Herb Profile: Wild & Garden Angelica

Wild & Garden Angelica Botanical Name: Angelica sylvestris, A. archangelica Common Names:  A.sylvestris – Wild Angelica, A. archangelica – Garden Angelica Family:  Apiaceae Parts Used:  Roots, rhizomes, leaves, fruits, fresh young stems. Botany & Identification:  A.sylvestris is a tall, statuesque biennial wild species with hollow stems up to 2m high. The stems are often purplish …

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Herb Profile: The Mallows

The Mallows  Althea officinalis, Malva sylvestris Family: Malvaceae  (Mallow Family) Common Names: Althea officinalis: Marsh Mallow, Mallards, Schloss Tea, Cheeses Malva sylvestris: Common Mallow, Cheeseweed, Dwarf Mallow Parts Used: Leaves, Flowers, Seed Pods, Roots Botany & Identification:   Mallows belong to the Mallow Family (Malvaceae) which are mostly concentrated in tropical regions, and contain a …

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Herb Profile: Chaga

Chaga, Clinker Polypore Botanical Name: Inonotus obliquus Common Names: Chaga, Birch Conk, Clinker Polypore, Cinder Conk, Gift from God (Siberia), Mushroom of Immortality (Siberia), Cancer Polypore (Norway), Wart Polypore (Finland), Diamond of the Forest (Japan), King of Plants (China) Family: Hymenochaetaceae Parts Used: Sterile Conk Mycology & Identification: Inonotus obliquus is a parasitic fungus which …

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Herb Profile: Pine

 Scot’s Pine Botanical Name: Pinus sylvestris, P.rubra Common Names: Scot’s Pine, Scot’s Fir, giubhas (Scot’s Gallic: juicy tree), King of the Forest Family: Pinaceae Parts Used: Buds, Needles, Resin, Pollen, Kernels Botany & Identification: The genus Pinus contains between 90 and 120 species (varying between taxonomic approaches).The ancestors of today’s pines colonised the earth during …

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