Previous Events

Attendees learnt the merits of Aloe Vera and harvest the gel like sap from the leaves to make a refreshing drink.
Photo: Simon Cook
30 June 2018: a hands-on afternoon workshop “Making A Herbal First Aid Kit” took place with Herbalist and DHM Course Director, Zoi Maraki MCPP, in The Earley Day Centre, Reading, Berkshire with full attendance.

Zoi explained that the items that a herbal practitioner might include in a herbal first aid kit very much depend on how the kit will be used – for example would it be taken on a walking holiday or a visit to rural India or would it be for home use? This hands-on workshop focused on making ointments, tinctures and other preparations to take home. Herbs whose benefits and applications were discussed included aloe vera, comfrey, chamomile, lavender, marigold, raspberry leaf, yarrow, elderflower and mint. Zoi mentioned common ailments that would benefit from the timely use of the right herbs such as: skin cuts and grazes and bleeding wounds, burns, insect bites, joint sprains, diarrhoea, bruises and viral infections (including sore throat, cough, fever etc).

Zoi said that when making up a herbal first-aid kit “the best advice is to keep it simple, as having too many choices can make it harder to decide which herb to use in an emergency”. The herbs chosen for the kit need to have reliable, strong and quick actions and, ideally, these actions should be multiple as this will make them useful for a range of different ailments.   Fortunately, multiple physiological action is characteristic of many plant remedies – probably reflecting the multiple active compounds they contain.

Debs Cook assisting Zoi.
Photo: Simon Cook

Pot Marigold is strongly anti-septic
Herbalist, Alex Laird makes food tasty and healthy by adding herbs.
11 November 2017: an afternoon workshop “Health Self Care with Food and Herbs” took place with herbalist Alex Laird MCPP, in Fulham, London.

As Alex says, a balanced diet, rich in phytonutrients, is the foundation for health, against which any form of medicine – be it orthodox/mainstream or herbal – works best.  Learning how and when to eat is as fundamental to health as what to eat.  If nutrients are in short supply, cells get stressed and their function suffers, leading to loss of well-being and disease in the long term. In this Workshop Alex discussed the principles of using plants in food as medicine and their therapeutic qualities and actions. Self care is about body awareness, promoting health and tackling simple everyday ailments by ‘nipping them in the bud’.

Alex emphasised ways of eating that are healthful, but also easy, inexpensive and backed by research evidence.  Our bodies, like everything in nature, are constantly building up (anabolism) and breaking down (catabolism) cells to re-use them.   Self care aims to support this cycle, restore normal healing functions and build up resilience.

A regular attendee at these workshops is John Miller who attended this latest one – he says:

Pot Marigold is strongly anti-septic
John Miller following Alex’s recipe.

The workshop was another great afternoon with Alex.  She covered so much to help us with our diet and taking care of our gut flora.  We made up some dishes and teas and it was very open, allowing everyone to join in.  So, I can be quoted as saying it was informative and extremely useful to help with our approach to everyday dietary needs.”

22nd July 2017: The afternoon’s Workshop entitled: “Meet the Rose Family” took place at the Old Theatre in Bath was led by Herbalist Christina Stapley.
The iconic member of the rose family is the Rose itself. Although all roses are edible, there are a number of species which are particularly used as medicine, and the best known for this purpose are the Damask and Apothecary’s roses.

Rose petals can be made into tea for the treatment of a variety of complaints, including stress, low mood, low libido and minor respiratory and digestive complaints. The Rose family in general provides us with a huge array of medicinal plants.

These include Tormentil (traditionally used to combat diarrhoea), Meadowsweet (valued for its strong anti-inflammatory properties based on its aspirin-like components), Lady’s mantle (traditionally used for heavy menstrual bleeding, among other applications) and Agrimony (traditionally used for colitis and cystitis or as a gargle for sore throat).

In this workshop, Herbalist Christina Stapley showed herbarium specimens of all the medicinal members of the Rose family (see photos) and demonstrated practical applications for self-care, including how to make a soothing pot-pourri for your home.


imageimageimageimageimageimageMrs Leyel