Everywhere I look our green spaces are sprouting a banquet of wonderful herbal spring tonics. Just around the corner from us, St. Mary’s Cathedral in Edinburgh has a thankfully haphazardly maintained area of grass and bushes and just passing by on the way into the city I see in one glorious clump nettles, dandylion, chickweed, ground ivy and plantain. This is a wonderful time of year for dandylion tincture, made from the roots, leaves and flowers of dandylion. this mixture helps with liver and kidney function, strengthening and increasing their function, thereby acting as a cleansing force. The leaves are a potent diuretic but contain enormous amounts of potassium, something that over-the-counter diuretics strip the body of. No need to supplement here. The roots are a very gentle laxative. Fortunately we have dandylions growing by the dozen in our garden 🙂
Our beautiful communal gardens are very tidily maintained, but every now and again there is a rebel outbreak of chickweed, and I head for the gates with bags and scissors to snip up a harvest before the gardeners arrive. Chop this up very fine, pack it into a jar and cover with cider vinegar. Then tip the whole thing out into a bowl and whizz it up with a hand held food processor to make finest quality chickweed vinegar. Left for a few days it will turn from dark green to light, light moss green and is fabulous in baths for hot, itchy, drying skins, arthritis or general aches and pains.
Last year’s Plantain tincture is still going strong, but I am thinking of harvesting some more for this year’s supply. Back up to Arthur’s Seat for the best windswept plants.
Lemon Balm calls from the garden pots – seems to be doing incredibly well at the moment – but last night I made Calendula and Lavender lotion from Calendula infused oil, Calendula infused water and a few drops of Lavender essential oil at the end. This was supposed to be cream, but I underdid the beeswax component. In fact I completely forgot the beeswax until it became clear that the mixture was not going to thicken any more… then I reheated the mixture and added beeswax at the same temperature and all was well 🙂 it is now the ideal consistency for a massage oil. Happy conincidence as it’s Joolz’ Birthday tomorrow 🙂