Herbal Tea Tasting, The Nia Ctr, Hulme, 27th April 3pm

This is a blind herbal tea tasting workshop. We will spend some time checking in with our bodies, before drinking a herbal tea without knowing what herb it is. This eliminates any projections or preconceptions of the plant. It allows us to begin a relationship with the plant and get to know it through our bodies. We will spend time feeling where it acts on our bodies and then sharing and discussing the experience. It allows us to not only get to know the herb but to understand how herbs can act differently with different individuals. We will then learn what herb it is and compare our experiences to the written theory of that plants medicinal uses. If you want to learn more about herbal medicines this is a great way to begin your journey and an exercise you can take away and practice at home.

There is no price but please feel free to offer a donation you can afford.

3pm at Chichester Road, M15 5EU Manchester.

See you then.

MCR Medicinal Herb Walk, Hulme Park, April 27th 1pm

Come join me talk about some of the herbs planted along Hulme street and the weeds and spring greens that are flourishing on the edges of Hulme park. It will last about an hour and a bit. We’ll talk about the herbs you meet every day and how you can use them for medicines and food. We’ll discuss the detoxing qualities of spring, and try some of springs detoxing medicinal gifts.

Bring yourselves, feel free to share what you know about the herbs you use, and a waterproof. Looks like it may be on and off April showers.

We’ll gather on Hulme St, just outside Proctors young peoples center (Hulme St, Manchester M15 5EF) about 1pm, with a view to start about 1:10pm.

Price/ sliding scale : £2 – No wage, £5 – Waged, £8 High waged.

See you there.

If the rains bad we will pick some of the herbs and head to the Nia center to talk about them indoors.

Cold & Flu Tea



The seasons change, the sky begins to weep and our bodies require warmth and nourishing stews, cosy nights by the fire and re connecting with friends we may have been too busy to see in Summer. And then we get walloped with a cold, or a cough, or a chest infection as our bodies adjust to both the change of weather and slowing down to the darker side of the year.



Nettles cold and flu tea will keep coughs and colds at bay or speed up the recovery process of one. It contains catnip, a diaphoretic which means it increases the bodies temperature making a hostile environment unwanted microbes. Elder flowers suitable for all affinities of the head and chest, is anti catarrh, and opens up and soothes the sinus membranes and can reduce sneezing and a runny nose. Hyssop, specific for coughs and shifting congestion from the lungs will aid the lungs in removing phlegm. Yarrow to bring it all together and nourish the vital spirit stimulate the blood around the body and help with a fever.

Drink freely throughout the day at the onset of an infection or 3 x a day over a period of several weeks as a preventative and to reduce coughs, colds and the flu. Drink hot with or without food, and if you wish add a
little fresh ginger for extra warmth.


Of Elder
“If the medicinal properties of its leaves, bark, berries and flowers were fully known I cannot tell what our countryman
could ail for which he might not fetch a remedy from every hedge, either for sickness or wounds. The bud boiled in water
gruel have effected wonders in a fever, the spring buds are excellently wholesome in pattages: and small ale in which Elder Flowers have been in infused is esteemed by many…..” John Evelyn, 1664

Hawthorne berries

Its that autumnal drafty time of year, where the sun sets earlier, the winds of change blow and Lancashire rainy showers us heavily in the North when dense clouds regularly hit the Penines.

In an early shower this morning, I was reflecting on the seasonal changes picking grand shiny glowing red Hawthorne berries. Creeping into my soul was a light under the grey skies.  Reflecting a brighter internal light that will keep me warm through the coming months.   Filling up my basket the Hawthorne berries began to open my heart to let the light in where internal or external darkness may feel heavy.


It makes me think of a Sufi prayer someone gave to me recently (thanks River)

“Shatter my heart to make space for a limitless love”

I could feel how the Hawthorne was shining light on the dusty corners of my heart cluttered by old grief and sorrow to let  a new love in.  A far cry from 9 years ago, when several months after my dads death, in a picturesque scene on a cobbled bridge over the hilly rivers of the lake district, I sat hanging of the bridge collecting the berries breathing every moment of them and the surroundings in.  To find half way through the process, basket in hand I stumbled blindly back to find my friends a slobbering mess of snot and tears.  It really does do that, crack open your heart with love whatever’s inside.  Whatever grief and sorrow we hold , it gently opens us up to shift it, to feel it, to hold space to release the feelings we either weren’t ready to let go off or didn’t feel safe enough to give them air.  Hawthorne provides that safety and it provides that love.  Placing a soft cushioned safety net around the heart and whispers ‘Its ok to cry, its ok to feel what you do.”


Its effects on healing the heart are just as much physical as they are emotional. It is one of the most researched plants and has been prooven to effectively lower blood pressure, strengthen the heart muscle, increase oxygen uptake and strengthen and relax the arteries.  It increases the amount of blood pumped around the body in one beat, lessening the work on the heart muscle and slowing the heat rate.

It is traditionally indicated for angina, palpitations, a history of’ high risk of heart attacks, Tia’s and strokes.  (It is recommended you see a herbalist for a combination of herbs that suit your needs). Its support of the whole circulatory system also means it is useful in Reynauds phenomenon, intermittent claudication and generally reduced circulation to the hands and feet.

To Tincture: Fill a jar of vodka with berries, shake daily for 2 weeks. Strain.

Dose: 5ml 2 x day

Decoction: Fill a pan with approx 2 inches of berries and top of with water. Reduce till an inch above the berries and a thick reddish liquid is left. Strain.

Dose: Take 3 tablespoons a day.  If you want to preserve add equal parts honey and keep refrigerated.

Hawthorne is a guide of all matter of the heart.  It will give you permission to let your pain breathe because it is through the cracks in the heart where the light can enter.