This article is worth reading especially number #10 about spending time in nature.
Since the enforced isolation in March, friends and I are sharing what we can; our plants, seeds and produce, specifically. As a National Park City Ranger, I now feel like I’m being gifted on a daily basis. Yesterday Paul, the Chair of London National Park City foundation offered me wildflower seeds for a re-wilding exercise in a local disused alleyway, watch this space… plus Basil seedlings in due course. At The Zoom BeInspired walk On Tuesday, an online participant viewer and wildlife teacher offered us eggs from her hens (for my other family members who would appreciate them). Sunflowers and Spinach plants are also growing in exchange. Counting my blessings indeed.
Healing with herbs
Sage is a wonderful herb, useful in prevention during covid-19, in addition to Vitamin C and D. Sage has been used in culinary and medicinal forms for centuries; it has many traditional uses.
Meaning: in French the name sage, means wise, to have wisdom. A sage is a person who holds the wisdom for their tribe and far beyond. This is a herb with further visioning properties, like the wise man or wise woman, in traditional medicinal cultures.
Sage contains anti-viral and antimicrobial volatile oils. For this reason, I use it as a refreshing mouthwash, or even a gargle to soothe and prevent sore throats. For a gargle, take a small handful of fresh or dried leaves and add to a pan of fresh water. Simmer for at least 20 mins to allow the scent and goodness from the leaves to disperse into the water. It turns an intense, dark brown colour. Allow to cool entirely before rinsing your mouth and gargling. Spit out and repeat x 3 times. Use for throat infections.
To drink as an infusion: infuse a small handful of freshly picked leaves in hot water and leave to brew for up to 10 mins or longer for a fuller flavour. The tea will be a gentle, clear green in colour. These properties are ideal for clarity of vision.
Sage also possesses cooling properties, to ladies’; balancing hormonal symptoms in the menopause and calms menstrual hot flushes, whilst allowing new priorities to develop and be supported. Females develop new needs and values. For others, cool down and refresh from the heat of the sun with a sage tea. In Turkey, at Yuva retreat centre, this is a popular beverage after working outside in the Mediterranean sunshine.
Recipe: Sage and lime Hummus
1 cup Chickpeas (either cooked fresh, from a can/carton or Raw sprouted)
1 dsp tahini (sesame seed) sauce
3 dsp olive oil or oil of choice.
1/2 lime juiced
A few sage leaves, plus extra for garnish.
A good pinch salt / seaweed / sodium alternative
Use a food processor or a hand blender to Purée the chickpeas together with the olive oil, tahini, herbs, salt and half the lime juice. Mix well until the paste is as smooth or as chunky as you wish.
Garnish with wild flowers eg. forget-me-nots and the remaining sage leaves. Serve with fresh vegetables as a salad/main course eg Quinoa or on bread or crackers.
Beverage: add the remaining lime juice to a glass water, for a refreshing drink.
Over the past few weeks, whilst spending time outside in nature, in the parks or garden as often as possible, staying in is the new going out and we’re all presented with new opportunities to do at home and finding ways to replace the social life we’d once enjoyed. Below is a list of recommendations, a few of my favourite things that I’ve started doing at other times of the day. I find it helpful to join up to on online platforms like Zoom for group discussions as well as meetings.
I’d like to share with you a few of my favourite things to do these days…
GCDA walking for health: On Tuesdays official eco social walks stopped in March, however it’s now possible for our strolls to continue online via Zoom. Join guided tours from your sofa/own space, with team of trained volunteer leaders. GCDA aims to include the 5 ways to well-being. https://www.mindkit.org.uk/5-ways-to-wellbeing/
Yoga with Ian Mundy On Facebook.
English National Ballet on Wednesdays started with Freda Carlo https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r7_l8cIYDoE
TimeOut is now self styled TimeIn (!) My sister and I scheduled a show evening in, last Friday night (she’s in Lancaster) to watch the 25th celebration performance of Phantom of the Opera. Afterwards, we shared our delight over the phone; I enjoyed all the characters, especially the French theatre managers who are my favourites, with a perfectly timed script. The boat scene was calm from a dramatic perspective, in addition to all the spectacular costume changes; this special pre recorded stage production at the Royal Albert Hall really brings the story to life. the entire former cast sings with Sarah Brightman our first time hearing her singing live; a fabulous show https://www.timeout.com/news/andrew-lloyd-webbers-biggest-musicals-are-streaming-free-on-youtube-for-a-limited-time-041520
Considering our life purpose: faith and worship continues and is begun anew, not in a church but with contemporary Daily Prayers by Livestream, music, learning and encouragement for all. http://www.stmildreds.org.uk/encouragements.html
Nu Movements on various days, 5 Rhythms is held by Christian de Sousa on Thursday: Back to the beat! These sessions previously held in churches around London are firm favourites for all the awareness they bring. I’m ashamed to say that it took 7 yrs before I finally wound up the courage to attend, then upon seeing swathes of free style dancers, they invited me to become a resident Raw Chocolatier and serve delicacies after the dance nights; it is a unique experience. Now, a 5 Rhythms dance class, takes place in my lounge, along with 80+ others via Zoom! It’s uplifting and positive to begin a movement practice (healing) prior to the clapping for the NHS. http://www.dancingtao.net/home/index.php
Other dances: Sophie Bolton Monday via Facebook
deepening our outdoor nature connection despite being closed, from indoors, Kew Gardens https://www.kew.org/
artsnetwork lee http://www.artsnetwork.org.uk/
Memberships include seeds at the South London Botanical Institute SLBI https://www.slbi.org.uk/
The skies are blue; there is a sweet scent in the new, fresh air. Now it is time to strengthen our immune system with fresh ingredients; go outdoors and absorb more vitamin D! Our green spaces are now bursting with new growth, particularly in some areas of wild medicinal plants. As native medicinal plants; a wild Herbs like Nettles, are one of my favourite cleansing Springtime superfoods, as a rich source of Iron, Calcium and Magnesium. They’re ideal to add into our daily routines, for energy, stamina and relaxing blood pressure (female menstrual cramps) I recommend drinking a freshly harvested nettle tea instead of the shop bought packet type. The leaves are also ready to eat and enjoy.
In Manor Park Last week I was asked to support a 40 yr old man foraging, on our hourly exercise, we Picked nettle tips and wildflowers: Alkanet, wild leek, dead nettle and cow parsley plus lemon balm and went home to rinse them well and make tea and salad/soup.
Over The following 2 days, he very simply made a nutrient rich drink and noticed the difference. We went out again, further collecting Garlic Mustard and extra nettles for drinks. The results have been surprisingly effective.
After returning from running for 4 hrs, he shared “I feel young again inside, I see a bright future, have better sleep, think better and experience less anxiety”.
Foraging on the land brings us that bit closer to ourselves, as a dose of the most organic, free food.
The Corona Virus was discovered in 2019 (now abbreviated to Covid-19). Much evidence supports the view that virus originates from the Wuhan Chinese ‘wet markets’, where many living species were captured for sale, including pangolins and bats, to be killed, eaten or tortured for their secretions. A pangolin is a rare 4 legged creature with attractive skin scales, which were torn from their bodies. For many years, International Campaigners have aimed to end these unnecessary cruel practices and despite even the WHO’s warning against the risk of a virus contraction, from bat/pangolin to humans, the warning went unheeded. previously SARS, Swine Flu, bird flu and Mad cow disease all originated in the meat eating/omnivorous food chain. Once again, this covid-19 has occurred for humans to learn the unnecessary evil of capturing and torturing other living beings. Humans Worldwide are now paying a steep price; floored by a microscopic virus, however it is encouraging to learn the ways forward with creating eco system support in nature.
Turn our attention towards all the things we are able to accomplish. A small step for woman kind but a giant step in my household is my turning our family home shed into a ‘She’ shed; the equivalent of ‘Man-cave’ but for my multiple left-over seed propagation. I created space on shelves found disused trays, loo rolls for natural plant pots, a decorative old oilcloth, plastic pots plus sticky labels to make the most of the warm weather. I’ve sown seeds daily, for a broad crop. Organic Lettuces from my friends Muriel and Eddie in Winchester are sown in left over cardboard loo rolls, Vegan Organic Network: beetroot, plus seeds I’d saved from my lunchtime peppers and tomatoes. Most of them are now germinating.
Last year I took part in a small task force to contribute to the making of an interactive map, which details green spaces to visit, health food shops, clinics, sports and wildlife places and much more. The Lewisham wellbeing map is an online resource to assist residents and visitors alike to make use of public services and open spaces. In this unusual time when we need to remain as safe as possible, the map shows areas to improve our mental and physical wellbeing. These include Places of beauty and medical importance.
It’s quite straightforward to use and navigate.
What do you think? How useful is it to find new places during this social ‘creating space’ time.
At the end of a powerful / unsettling/trying to remain calm & peaceful week, We’re relaxing, sitting drinking nettle and rose tea respectively. As a new London National Park City ranger we’re launching A Grow your own Lunch initiative. Similar to Trees for Cities. I cleared out the shed and the latest plants to go in are beetroot, lettuce and I made an exciting discovery; 4 baby plum trees (which I sowed over a year ago, have germinated).
I take all these wild herbs to support my immune system.
Hawthorn and nettle leaves can be brewed into a tea. Garlic mustard suits a salad or savoury main meal. Cleavers is suited to cleans to a tonic or tea, dainty dead nettle is robust and a little goes a long way.
(wash Leaves thoroughly first!) one walkers describes his first wild weed drink “ the fresh nettle tea works Absolute wonders. I had so much energy. It’s Lovely; it does work, I slept really well, it’s really good. I felt much lighter and more aware and I wanted some more.” Aki Cox
Try it! Fresh Nettle tea, every day for a week and see how you feel. It’s better than the shop purchased variety! loaded with vitamins, magnesium and iron for energy.
Before picking any new medicinal plants take note of the safety rules: no picking from dog users areas, if necessary, wear gloves and use scissors.
We’ll start our weekly walks for health again shortly; with social distancing measures in place and we’ll take a video footage of my collection to show those who remain at home in isolation. Bring your own tea in a reusable cup, to drink, as the Goldsmiths community centre is closed.
We are still very much open for business in new ways.
Online shop: about to release sustainable hand harvested seaweed sourced from Cornwall.
Our services : Nutritional Therapy clinic with Theresa Webb Dip NT online.
Via Skype and Phone. (CHC Clinic in Lee is no longer open).
holistic wellbeing For older adults (in quarantine) to support immunity. Sustainable ways to feel calm, reduce anxiety, support gut health care, manage weight and diabetes. Also Cancer therapy.
Inclusive all ages.
Walking through a forest, I feel respect in every step.