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.

Herbal Ointment Making Day

Come and learn how to make your own herbal ointments for everyday first aid & take home an ointment and handouts to do at home.

Together as a group we will spend the afternoon doing Herbal Medicine making.

We will make an infused oil, do a blind tea tasting to connect with the plants, and then make the oil into an ointment, jar it and label it to take home.

We will spend time discussing herbal actions and their physiological effects on the body and sharing our experiences with plants.

Along with a our little pot of ointment there will be handouts, and recipes, to take home so you can do your own thing in your kitchen.

I will choose the herb we will use closer to the day depending on whats out and about wants to join us.

Please Note: This is not Vegan as we will be using beeswax.

Please book your place here

We ask for you to pay according to what you can afford. This approaches the disparity of wealth we experience in this country and enables us to be accessible to people who otherwise would not be able to afford it. A bit like a suspended coffee.

£10 – low waged/ £20 – mid waged/ £30 High waged

If £10 is too much please give us a shout.

If you need any further information please contact

Zoe : 07864755866


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.

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.



Iron tonic

Keeping toasty by the burner while making deep earthy medicines.

On the burner is a pan with chopped comfrey leaf, chopped horsetail and a generous handful of dried nettle. Reducing slowly by the wood that knew the same earth.

It will make an iron tonic for convalescence (recovering from illness) and anemia.

Comfrey leaf

Of all the things comfrey can do it can certainly keep you busy. 

Not only is it a great source of pollen for the bees, it makes a top fertilizer for the garden feeding and nourishing the soil, and it sets bones, and heals (almost overnight) bone and muscle damage.

The leaves are currently on the drying rack to be dried, and powered to create a paste for injured parties out of play. The young flowers and leaves have been tinctures in 25% alcohol.  You could just use vodka. Chop the young leaves and flowers up into a jar and add vodka.

Dose: Take 5ml 1 x day.  Drink the tea 1 x day.

It will heal inflammation in the gut as well as giving all old creaks and aches a good seeing to.


Hawthorne flower tincture.

Picking hawthorne flowers, being showered in the petals, the sickly sweetness, as the flowers and leaves pluck off if feels like a wedding in an old cemetery.   Its brought to my attention that love always moves it can be as much a part of death as it is life and like life it sometimes dies.  sometimes in great loss of loved ones, break ups, or death. Sometimes in renewing and re negotiating our relationships with our communities every day. As quickly as the hawthorne flowers came, they will leave, sometimes hastened by a heavy storm or prolonged rain.

They heal grief, pain,  and hurt. they hold space to feel loss, sadness, and bereavement. They give the heart permission to cry and as such can often release repressed sadness and grief. Sometimes life doesn’t quite allow us the space and time required to mourn a loss or feel or the feelings involved in a broken heart.

I tincture the flowers with 25% alcohol.  you could use vodka instead. simply fill a jar with hawthorne flowers and cover with vodka.  Shake every day for 2 weeks.

Dose: Take 5ml 2 x day or as required.





Daisy oil for play

I have spent the last few days making daisy oil.  A beautiful introduction to summer and making time for play.  We play, run around, jump about, scream and shout, fall on our knees, scratch our elbows and bruise our selves. All as a consequence of fun.  daisy laughs with you and kisses your knee better even if you shed some tears. 

Harvest daisy’s’ in the sun when they are happiest. When harvesting ensure you do sustainably, only ever taking no more then a third as if no one would no you have been.

Collect a good handful or two, create a makeshift bain marie, cover the daisy’s in a bowl with olive oil. Allow to simmer for several hours.

Strain and store in a clean sterilized jar. Add to ointments or creams or use directly. Daisy is our native Arnica.

It is useful externally for bruises, dermatitis, skin irritations and It is slightly astringent and anti inflammatory. It can be took as a gargle (a pinch of heads and leaves in hot water left to cool) for mouth inflammations, sort throats and ulc

ers. It can be drank as a tea for acne, and to stimulate the appetite.

Daisy’s will soothe your wounds through both the laughter and the tears.