Spring workshop is just the tonic to ‘pick you up’

Emma Barker, medicinal herbalist, with Thyme in her garden. Photo: Tim Wilson (SG060318-103TW).

After a long winter some of us will be lacking in energy and feeling a bit depleted.

But with a bit of know-how, medicinal herbalist Emma Barker says that we can turn the plants in our gardens into spring tonics to help put a spring back in our step.

Medicinal herbalists Ghislaine Headland-Vanni, Lois Campbell and Emma Barker, run Fenland Natural Health. (Photo supplied).

Emma, Ghislaine Headland-Vanni and Lois Campbell, will be teaching people about some of the traditional remedies that can restore our energy in an upcoming workshop at Sutterton Village Hall next month.

They run Fenland Natural Health, which meets regularly at the hall, giving tips to members of the public interested in learning more about herbal medicine.

Emma said: “Sometimes we feel a bit depleted after the winter, lacking energy, and feeling still that we need to recuperate from colds or flu.”

“A lot of people think that plants such as Dandelion and Galium aparine (Cleavers), which is also known as ‘sticky willy’, are weeds and they are often overlooked.

A lot of people think of some plants as weeds and they are often overlooked.

Medicinal herbalist Emma Barker

“But people are surprised to learn how they can be used. Dandelion, for example, can help with digestion and the liver. It is detoxifying.”

If the weather is good, the workshop will start off with a short herb walk to help teach people how to identify different plants.

“We will discuss our native herbs, how best to use them and how nutrition and our gut bacteria affect us.

“Then after some herbal tastings we will roll up our sleeves and make our own traditional herbal remedies to take home and put to good use,” Emma added.

Emma chops parsley, which has many health benefits, in her kitchen. (SG060318-107TW).

People are invited to bring along their favourite wine, brandy or gin to make decoctions, similar to tintures.

Emma said: “Using alcohol helps to bring out the natural constituents of the plant and it acts as a natural preservative.

“But the tonic is taken as a lower dosage and can help boost the immune system.”

They will also be looking at extracting the properties of different plants by boiling them up and making teas.

The workshop will run from 10am-1pm at Sutterton Village Hall on Saturday, April 7. Numbers are limited so booking is essential.

Email FenlandNH@mail.com or get in touch via Facebook (search for Fenland Natural Health).

The cost is £25 per person, with a £10 deposit payable in advance.


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