Herbs and Healing Plants

Herbs and Healing Plants was a group activity for residents and day service clients and the general public. It was designed to entertain, enlighten and to observe sensory (taste and smell) impairment.
Including two visitors, we had a healthy 22 people joined us for the afternoon activity.A day service client was involved in the collection of some of the herbs from his garden. The rest were brought in by Sue and me from our own gardens and hedgerow. In all we had approximately 30 herbs and plants to use and discuss.The first part of the afternoon was given over to a talk by Angela, giving a background and information on the plants to create interest and discussions.
This was extremely well received. A resident came armed with her own Culpepper Herbal and joined in by reading out some of the uses medicinal, culinary and other of the plants we had.Many interesting discussions and ideas were put forward as one after the other we smelled, tasted, squeezed and reminisced on our individual experiences.

Then we did a quick quiz on identifying the different herbs to see how much had been remembered. Dorothy Lambert won a loaf of bread for her fast recognition of a plant.

Then the good bit the tasting. Angela’s husband Brian had made a loaf of wholemeal bread using a breadmaker the previous evening to use as a carrier for our tasting. We also used crackers. We had cream cheese to which we added different herbs including garlic, and a lemon and coriander hummus. Some were enjoyed more than others but the overwhelming response was what fantastic bread and several people asked if Brian could make them one.

Obviously, this would not be possible but a better idea emerged and that would be to purchase a breadmaker for the use of day service clients and residents to enable them to make their own bread. This idea has been very well received including one lady who said she would love to make some and could share the loaf with another lady from the flats.

The merits of the humble nettle were also discussed at length because of their incredible versatility, in healing, gardening, wildlife and culinary uses.

Everyone agreed that they would like to continue this activity again at some time and it has been decided that we are going to make some nettle soup (incredibly beneficial) and also uses of the elderberry and elder flower as most people remember making elder cordial wine or something similar.

Did you know that in folklore if a child was struck by an elder branch in anger that child would never grow any bigger!!!!!

The new garden was discussed and some one took away some of the plant to take cuttings from for the new herb garden.

The Collection

  • Parsley
  • Orange, Thyme
  • Marjoram (golden)
  • Marjoram (garden)
  • Oregano
  • Chives
  • Mint
  • Bergamot
  • Borage
  • Lavender
  • Nettle
  • Comfrey (Russian)
  • Tarragon (French)
  • Lemon verbena
  • Lemon Balm
  • Heather
  • Nasturtium
  • Herb Robert
  • Feverfew
  • Sage (purple)
  • Sage (green)
  • Basil
  • Sweet Cecily
  • Dandelion.
  • Alchemilla Mollis
  • Hawthorn
  • Shepherds Purse
  • Rosemary (prostrate)
  • Yarrow

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The Dales