wild herbs

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Best Wild Herbs for Anxiety

When you are feeling stressed or anxious you will take anything to make this panicked feeling disappear. Everyone experiences anxiety from time to time. Whether its an interview you have to do, an exam you have to take or the stresses of work. However some people suffer more than others and find it difficult to manage their levels of anxiety.

You may already be familiar with the big drugs like zanex or valium but many do not know that natural herbs growing all around us can help us to alleviate the symptoms of anxiety. Why not give a mixture of exercise, meditation and herbal teas a try to tackle your inner demons?

What are the causes of anxiety?

It is usually a combination of factors that include environmental factors and genetics.

What are the symptoms of anxiety?

Every person is different and we all react in different ways. A feeling of panic, an increased heart rate, sweating, rapid breathing, restlessness and a lack of focus are just a few of the many common symptoms of anxiety.

Here are some of the best wild herbs for anxiety:

St.John’s Wort

Dried St.John’s Wort can be a calming tea substitute if you want to relax at the end of your day. The active ingredient of hypericum in this herb is said to interact with the hormones of serotonin and dopamine which are associated with depression. One study by the Cochrane Review Group found that it was as good as standard anti-depressants. However like all things we consume, this herb interacts with all other chemicals in our body so if you are best to consult your doctor if you are taking other medications before messing around with this powerful yellow plant.

Valerian

Used as a medicinal herb since ancient greek and roman times, this bright flower has become well regarded for its treatment of nervousness. Taking a cup of Valerian root tea can help the mind and body to relax, therefore aiding stress and anxiety. Herbalists sometimes use it as a tincture.

Lavender

Lavender has traditionally been used for its calming and therapeutic properties. In some countries a bunch of lavender is placed under a pillow at night-time to improve sleep and you will commonly find lavender scented candles in spa resorts to enhance a calm atmosphere. Evidence suggests that lavender oil taken orally is an efficient mood stabilizer, may be helpful in treating neurological disorders and contains neuroprotective properties.

Lemon Balm

This sweet scented herb has been used for over 2000 years and it is believed to be a mood enhancer. It has the ability to improve cognitive function and has proved effective in the treatment of anxiety. One study published in the Mediterranean Journal of Nutrition and Metabolism found that administration of 300 mg lemon balm extract for 15 days showed to improve symptoms of anxiety and insomnia in participants.

Why try natural remedies for anxiety?

Why not! If you are feeling anxious or stressed sometimes a walk in nature is all you need. Other herbs that we love that you may have access to are ginger and tumeric, both have natural benefits. You can also try cleansing the air of negative energy with some DIY smudge sticks. However if you want to try herbs or other remedies there are plenty of ways to try and tackle those negative feelings and herbs may be one of many things that people have used to sooth the mind since ancient times.

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Natural Skincare: 9 Wild Plants That are Good for Your Skin

At one time or another we all suffer with some skin irritation. Whether its a small rash or periodic eczema or dermatitis, your skin needs taking care of and there are some herbs that can help with your natural skincare routine. Plant based skin care isn’t a new phenonemon. Extracts from wild plants combined with essential oils and beeswax are one of the oldest ways to treat skin irritations.

We are all familiar with the beautiful Aloe plant that grows in tropical climates and soothes inflammation but if you are from Europe then you may find more plants with botanical compounds that are closer to home.

Here are just a few of the many wild herbs that have been found to be good for your overall skin health.

Lavendar

Antiseptic and anti-inflammatory, lavender is a superb skin herb. You can use dried flowers to make a lavender oil and apply it gently to cuts and sores to help them heal.

Burdock Root

This is a detox plant. It cleanses the body and if you take it regularly it is said to help with acne and eczema.

Dog Rose Petals

Try a rose water toner to cleanse and hydrate the skin. Rose is a mild astringent and helps to hydrate mature skin. Another useful tip is to use the rosehips that come from this plant. Rosehip oil is commonly found in natural food stores and pharmacies these days but you can try to make your own. It absorbs quickly and is often used in anti-aging products.

Thyme

If you suffer from spots and acne than thyme is your friend. Take a small amount of Thyme mixed with alcohol and apply it to the affected areas. Let nature do the rest.

MarshMallow

Use the root of this common plant as an extra daily moisturiser.

Plaintain

This common weed found along the woodland footpaths is a natural tonic. This one is great for moisturising the skin.

Chamomile

This pretty daisy like flower is a powerful wild herb. It has been used for centuries to treat inflammation and muscle pain. It can help to clear up acne and even out the skin tone.

Basil Balm

Basil is known for its cleansing ability and can be used as your super natural skin cleanser. Like most of our favourite herbs basil has lots of anti-oxidants and is also said to help with dark circles so instead of cucumber why not try out some fresh basil leaves.

Chickweed

This tiny flowering plant is bursting with properties that contain natural skin benefits. It is an anti-inflammatory, antiseptic and anti-fungal. It is a popular ingredient in salves as it has a calming, cooling effect on the skin.

If you are interested in recording your herb knowledge and getting creative with the herbs around you feel free to download our Herb Planner Pack.

There are many plant extracts with natural skincare benefits and the above are just a handful to keep a close eye out for. If you any skincare tips please send them to our team at info@orchardsnearme.com

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Wild Tea Party: Wild Herbal Tea and Recipes

If you are interested in building a long-lasting healthy habit then herbal teas with natural anti-oxidants and health benefits may be just for you. Both hot and cold teas are a refreshing way to relax in the evenings.

Now that the summer is over and we have spent time experimenting with our favourite wild flavours we are ready to share our collection of Wild Herbal Tea recipes with the world.

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Foragers and herb enthusiasts from around the world will have different ways of using their dried herbs and we are no different. From combining wild herbs with traditional herbs and spices we have come up with our top choices when it comes to foraging for wild teas. You can get a copy of our full Wild Herbal Tea recipe collection including our favourite iced teas and detox juices here.

Here are some easy wild tasty tea recipes to try out at home:

Dandelion Tea

 

  • 1 Cup of freshly picked Dandelion Heads
  • 1 Tablespoon of fresh lemon juice
  • 1 Teaspoon of Honey

Add all ingredients to water, gently simmer for 15 minutes and bring to a boil!

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Yarrow Tea

  • 1 Cup of Dried Yarrow Flowers
  • 1/2 Cup of Dried Raspberry or Blackberry Leaves

As one of our favourite herbs we stock up regularly so if you are looking for Yarrow head over to our Be Wild Store. Add all ingredients to water, gently simmer for 15 minutes and bring to a boil!

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Clover Tea

  • 1 Cup of Dried Clover Flowers
  • 1/2 Lemon juice
  • 1 Teaspoon of Honey

Add all ingredients to water, gently simmer for 15 minutes and bring to a boil!

Infused Pine Needle Teawild-herbal-tea-recipe-collection-orchards-near-me-cover

  • 1 Cup of chopped up Pine Needles
  • 1 squeeze of lemon juice

Add all ingredients to water and gently bring to a boil! For extra flavour you can leave the pine needles in the water overnight and bring to the boil when you are ready the next morning.

For our full collection of recipes visit the Be Wild store and for more information about foraging for wild foods please get in touch with us anytime.

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Foraging for Wild Tea Flavours

Take a walk in the woods or by the sea at any time of the year and you are bound to stumble upon an abundance of free wild tea flavours that you can add to your next cuppa. There are many to choose from but we have handpicked a few of our top choices when it comes to making a home brew for our Wild Tea Workshops.

Wild Jasmine

There are many varieties of jasmine that bloom throughout the summer months. If you are looking for the most flavour choose the ‘poet’s jasmine’, recognised by its small white flowers.

Honeysuckle

AKA woodbine produces a sweet scented creamy flower that comes to life in the summer months. It is easily identified and climbs trees to look for light in woodland areas.

Dandelions

This common weed, often considered a nuisance for gardeners but treasured by foragers from near and far, is the perfect herbal tea addition. It contains lots of anti-oxidants and the health benefits coming from the roots are highly sought after today.

Ox Eye Daisies

Usually found in fields at the edges of coastal areas, the Ox eye daisy is full of nutrients.

Raspberry Leaves

Raspberries burst into life in summer and autumn seasons, giving us plenty of fruit to enjoy. However many people disregard the leaves and these young green leaves can make a lovely addition to your wild tea recipes. If they are dried correctly they can taste just like a black cup of tea.

Meadowsweet

Just when the Elderflowers start to fade we begin to see heads of meadowsweet appearing in the fields and woodlands. Not a pungent as elderflower or honeysuckle but a nice soothing addition to your wild tea recipes.

Gorse Tea

You can’t miss the yellow carpet of Gorse (Aka furze) across the Irish landscape in Autumn time. The flowers are edible and known to taste a little like almonds.

Red Clover Flowers

Another flower that you can’t miss in the summer months is the red clover which is actually purple in colour. These short purple flowers hang around in gangs by coastal areas and are a tasty and healthy addition to tea recipes and salads.

All of these flavours make for tasty wild tea with friends. Some of them also work well together. For example, raspberry leaves and meadowsweet compliment eachother and give honeysuckle and gorse a try if you fancy a delicious cup of summertime tea.

Have you experimented with homemade tea? If so we would love to hear about the plants and flowers you have used. Join our foraging workshops each month to enjoy learning about the landscapes and getting a taste of the wild or book a Wild Tea Workshop with our local Foragers for you and friends.

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How to make herbal tea?

Drinking a freshly made pot of herbal tea is one of our favourite ways to relax in the evenings. This is going to be short because it is easy to do if you take a little bit of time.

First you need to select your favourite herbs to use in your herbal tea. As budding foragers we love to pick wild herbs. Some wild herbs that we use include meadowsweet, red clovers, peppermint, dandelions, daises and rose petals. Going in search of some wild herbs for your tea is great fun and you can bring the whole family along or join one of our foraging trips.

To make the tea simply pick off the stems of the plant. With most edible herbs the flowers and leaves are fine to eat but always double check in advance. For example, elderflowers are a delicious addition to your herbal teas but you have to avoid using any part of the stem.

Now you are ready to put the herbs in a pot, dry roast for 2 – 3 minutes, now add your cold water. Let the water boil for 10 – 15 minutes. Drain the liquid and voila you have made your very own herbal tea. Maximum flavour requires extra steeping and many people will dry out the herbs fully (either roasting or sun drying) before they use them in their herbal teas.

Enjoy discovering the flavours of nature. Feel free to join us on any of our foraging adventures. You will find upcoming day trips here and for foodie lovers you can check out all of our food filled experiences here.

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