Tuesday, 30 March 2010

What a Satisfying day

We have just got back from our day in Ross on Wye at the SYHPP (http://insitemag.net/081021-001-news-shypp.htm ) We started the day with a walk down to the river with a group of young people who are residents at the project. Collecting nettles and comfrey and discussing the differing medicinal properties of the varied plants along route was made all the more enjoyable for the sun gracing us with his presence.

We returned to the centre and made nettle syrup which was totally delicious and dried the comfrey in the oven then infused it into almond oil for a later date.

mmm tried now gonna go watch Grow your own Drugs.........

Monday, 29 March 2010

A Day of Production

We are off to Hereford today to a Charity Group called The Foyer the one in Ross on Wye houses up to 12 Teens who have become homeless for various reasons. Us Witches are going down this weekend to make some pots of Claendula Lip balm, Daisy Syrup and Comfrey Oil with them. Unfortunately the forecast is for Snow!! We had hoped to go picking the comfrey n Daisy.... oh well will have to play it all by ear....

The Theta Healing evening was interesting but not for us - the one message that came across from the night was that Theta was about INSTANT and Speed and during the evening it didn't gell with our ideas -then going home on the tube I was just saying to Fi -'mmm not sure about the whole instant quick fix stuff, we have learnt to slow it all down to really connect from our yoga practices' we turned a corner and there larger than life was a poster of Ghandi - and a caption "There is more to life than increasing its speed." hehe divine intervention...

enjoy the snow?

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Spring Has Sprung

So after the lovely Equinox last weekend we are truely into Spring - yeehar - Dieter has finnished building his top bar hives -so hopefully we shall get some bee to populate them soon.....

I spent Sunday in the garden mainly pruning and tidying, the passionflower got massive and flowered into the late winter but now has mostly died so I had a laugh trying to detangle the dead from the jasmine and holly!!!

I feel a little like each time I actually get a job done I turn around and there are 10 more new ones for me to accomplish, the joys of Spring.

We are going on a Thetha Healing course tonite in Londinium exciting -Theta Healing is a transformational system of healing which gets right to the source of an issue or illness and creates miracle healing. Theta Healing is quantum healing making changes on a DNA level in the cells in the body and can help with emotional, physical and spiritual healing. Sounds good -I'll post about the course later this week......

love love love

Friday, 19 March 2010


This pungent root grew in Greece more than 3,000 years ago. The Delphic Oracle told Apollo that the horseradish was worth its weight in gold. It is thought that Henry J. Heinz was the first man to start producing horseradish commercially in 1869 from a recipe he used to make with his mother. The largest company selling Horseradish sauce today sells 2.5 million jars a year.

Horseradish is in the same family as mustard and shares many of its actions. It’s heat gives rise to its aphrodisiac and circulatory stimulant properties. It is also diuretic (flushing out the urinary system), and diaphoretic (encouraging sweating). It can be used externally to draw blood to an area for healing, as in arthritic conditions but it can cause blistering n the skin. We have kept a lump of the root aside in the fridge to grate into soups and stews over the chilly weeks ahead.

We chose a Tuesday (Mars) last Autumn when the moon was full to harvest alot of Horseradish root from the Lee Valley park near Cheshunt. The root was relatively easy to dig up, in nice loose soil but chopping proved a timely task. The root is tough and as you are chopping it, mustard oil is released which stings the eyes so powerfully, it’s incredible, we used sharp knives and goggles to make the process possible. We got so much that we made 2 litres of tincture and 1 of oil. The oil we use in our Ache Ease Balm.


Wednesday, 17 March 2010

Hayfever Season - Clarity Pack Herbs

Hay fever, also known as seasonal allergic rhinitis, is a very common condition that affects two in every 10 people in the UK. Hay fever usually occurs during the spring and summer months when high concentrations of grass and flower pollens are released into the atmosphere. As the weather gets warmer, the pollen concentration in the air increases. It is good to prepare your body a few weeks before the pollen actually starts rising.

Lots of the herbs have antihistamine action so are suitable for all kinds of reaction to allergens such as dust, pollen, mites, animal hair etc. These allergens stimulate histamine release in the body which manifests as catarrh and nasal congestion, itchiness, streaming eyes and nose, tickly throat and other irritating symptoms.

Some of the Herbal antihistamines inclued – chamomile, nettles, angelica, eyebright, golden rod, elderflowers, valerian....

I have been mixing up several of these into a mucous managment tea today -My Gran, Fi and my Partner are all terrible hayfever/allergy sufferers and they always needs a good pot a day to help ease their symtoms.

The other thing they take are the Clarity Drops made up of tinctures of Elderflowers n Plantain -“Ground, Clear & Centre yourself”

Plantain can help to contain and ground airy thoughts through providing a soothing coating to the digestive tract and other mucous membranes in the body. It grows near to the ground so it helps us to stay in touch with the earth’s energy providing a positive form of restriction, containing runaway thoughts.

Elderflower, in contrast is high acting in the body directed mainly around the head and throat. It has a drying, clearing action on both a physical and emotional level. It is light, airy and expansive, useful for stuck, congested, emotional states.

These drops and herb tea clear up the mucous produced in response to the spring allergens and protects against further irritation, it is also good to have a look at diet for example dairy, citrus and straws can be mucous forming and I personally always try and get folks to stop the caffiene n sugars....

Our delightful Clarity Pack -

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Clear Vision Drops

We have been preparing products for the festival season today and reconnected with some of our fav herbs-

Fi and I formed Sensory Solutions in 2003 originally it was called The Sensory Herb Project and we created a range of 30ml dropper remedies –

Why did we decided to use drops?

Using small doses of plants can have powerful effects by stimulating the subtle energy patterns of the body, mind, and spirit. They affect the innate physiological, neurological and hormonal responses and encourage physical and emotional balance.

Therefore, with our own range of delightful drops small dosages are taken with amazing results. It also makes sense to use less as more people turn to herbs for medicine.

One of our favourite potions it the Clear Vision made up from Heather –Calluna vulgaris and Bilberries – Vaccinium myrtillus we have harvested these tiny herbies on Skidaw in the lakes, the moors around Hebden Bridge-Yorkshire, Allendale –Northumberland, Betwsycoed-Snowdonia and Dartmoor.

The Clear Vision is about “Action not Reaction” viewing a situation from a step away -

Heather is all about patience and imparts her wisdom gently. As a herb of the liver and urinary system she helps us to truly understand the self and our part within our community and relationships. It was traditionally used for purification and stimulation.

Bilberry is renowned for its affinity with the blood vessels especially of the eyes, giving us the ability to see clearly. The circulatory aspects push ideas and concepts that may have reached stagnation. It is nourishing and nutritive, as with all of the berries.


Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Healing Balm

Just finished making another batch of our healing balm ointment, only this time we managed to get some fantastic beeswax from our local beekeeper Michael Boki (Potters Bar). Beekeeping has been in his bloodline for many years, his grandfather had over 100 hives and he is a lovely generous man giving many free talks on the subject. He filters the beeswax with rainwater to clean it before we can use it in the balms.

The beeswax we got off Michael came as a big round cake of deliciously honey waxy smelling beauty – it was quite tricky cutting bits off to weight for the balm as it’s a sticky consistency but loads nicer than those horrible white pellets of wax than one can buy from wholesalers which can make the balm consistency really bitty!
Beeswax is the natural wax made by honeybees in the hive and its Latin names are Cera alba and Cera flava. A wide variety of cosmetics use beeswax as an emulsifier, emollient, and moisturizer. Many other industries use it too.

After processing, beeswax remains a biologically active product retaining anti-bacterial properties. It also contains vitamin A, which is essential for human cell development. Throughout time, people have used it as an antiseptic and for healing wounds. Hippocrates even recommended and used it himself.

The other ingredients are calendula, lavender and st. johns wort (all grown in our garden) infused in organic almond oil, lavender essential oil and shea butter. We use no chemical preservatives or any nasties and this balm is fabulous for a host of different skin ailments including eczema, psoriasis, cuts, irritation and chapped lips.


‘We have been using the Healing Balm in our house for some time now and have found it to be wonderful! It's great for skin irritations and cuts, and also fantastic as a moisturiser for even very dry skin. My husband has bouts of mild to severe eczema, and discovered that the Balm soothes his sore skin better than anything else he's tried. It also stops his itching immediately and so helps to break the "itch-scratch cycle". He finds too that when he has broken skin, the Healing Balm helps it to heal very quickly. It's a lovely, natural, vital product and I'd recommend it to anyone.’ Kira, Wales

‘My baby had very dry skin and I rubbed a bit of this into his dry patches and it worked brilliantly, the best cream I've found for him. I highly recommend it and you don’t need to use much!’ Imogen, Newcastle

‘The balm is a godsend!! It works on everything.’ Xavi, Liverpool

Monday, 8 March 2010

The Henbane is coming up yipee

Henbane Beer

The colourful, though often tragic history of the medicinal and magical uses of Henbane can be traced a long way back. The oldest surviving record, dating to 4000 BC, stems from an inscription on a Sumerian clay tablet.
It is also mentioned in the famous Ebers Papyrus (Egypt, 1500 BC), along with other important medicinal herbs. The Egyptians knew it as 'Sakran' - 'The Drunken', no doubt referring to the plant's intoxicating properties, but perhaps also as an allusion to the ancient practice of fortifying alcoholic beverages with its seeds. This practice was very common.
Dioscorides mentions a similar potion, a honey-mead prepared with Opium and Henbane seeds. Henbane-spiked mead was particularly popular among the Celts and Germans - accounts of their notorious drinking orgies bear witness to this fact. Henbane seed has also long been used as an additive for brewing beer. In fact, the name of the Czechoslovakian town of Pizen (German: 'Pilsen') is said to be derived from the word 'Bilsen' the German name for Henbane. Apparently the beer brewed there, known as 'Pilsener', was famous for its 'Bilsen'-induced effects. Eventually however, the authorities put an end to this practice by implementing the first 'anti-drug law' in 1516, known as the 'Deutsches Reinheitsgesetz' ('beer purity law). Modern day Pilsener beer no longer contains any trace of Henbane.

International Womens Day


International Women's Day has been observed since in the early 1900's, a time of great expansion and turbulence in the industrialized world that saw booming population growth and the rise of radical ideologies.

We are gonna have a stall at this gig next weekend come and play -

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Ache ease news in -stops coughs if you rub in on your feet!!!

Our lovely friend Angela from Hertfordshire Herb Society sent us this extract from their newsletter…

Whist laid low with a tickly cough that was a menace at night I read that if on retiring, you massaged your feet with a generous dollop of Vick’s Vapour Rub and slipped on a pair of socks, that the coughing would cease within minutes of snuggling into bed. Hah, a likely story, I thought. I didn’t have any Vick’s and instead I used ‘Ache Ease Warmer’ that Karen and Fiona make and it worked! So, please try this at home using whatever you have to hand.

Our Ache Ease is a balm that we make for any aches and pains -it contains comfrey and heather infused almond oil, and rosemary n mint essential oils -in last years batch the comfrey and heather was collected in North Wales, Betws y Coed nr Snowdonia in fact the Heather was from a place called Devils Kitchen or Ceredwins Cauldron hehe....

"Why might it work?"

Some of the ingredients i.e. mint & rosemary essential oils and the horseraddish, act to dilate the blood vessels in the feet, and this triggers a reflex that quiets the cough.

The remedy wouldn't have seemed so strange to doctors a hundred years ago, who often prescribed liniments and poultices containing mild irritants such as mustard, garlic, or camphor to the chest and to the soles of the feet to relieve symptoms of colds and whooping cough, these preparations have had the effect of stimulating blood flow to the skin. Catalogued under the heading of "counter-irritants" in early twentieth-century medical texts, such treatments were based on the principle that "internal morbid processes may at times be relieved by creating external irritations"

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Lung Tonic write up - Sam's story

One of my Neighbours came to see me last year she had been suffering from a serious lung condition, sarcoidosis, for several years. After doing a full case history it transpired that her skin problems were really upsetting her. I explained to her that the lungs are a major organ of elimination in our bodies and if toxins are not getting out by this means they have to come out in other places like the skin and this is a probable cause of her skin troubles.

One of the ways toxic waste material generated by the body is passed out of the system as a gas through the lungs. Carbon dioxide is exchanged for oxygen during the process of breathing.

Breath is life. We can do without food for weeks, without water for days, but without air for minutes before the body dies. Signs of shallow breathing include shortness of breath, tight, aching chest muscles, weak voice, tension in the shoulders from efforts to overcome insufficient inhalation, gradually there can become a loss of strength, energy and a susceptibility to emotional and mental exhaustion. Improving the exchange of gases results in better oxygenation of the blood and better removal of toxic wastes.

After a few weeks taking our Lung Tonic which contains thyme, liquorice, elecampane, mullein, marshmallow leaf and plantain (these herbs help to tonify, strengthen, protect and clear the lungs), she visited the asthma clinic, after not taking her pump inhalers and her peak flow (which is a measure of lung capacity) had been maintained. Also, this winter she hasn’t had to resort to antibiotics once, where as the last few yrs it has been a continuous struggle fighting bronchitis and other infections. Her doctor however, has told her that she is wasting her money on the herbs!!!???

The delicious, pungent, elecampane root tincture in the lung tonic: Our mate Nihal gave us some of his aromatic elecampane root harvested to make room for the new schoolhouse in his garden. It has such a floral scent for a root and makes a tincture that tastes like palmer violets. It is known best as a respiratory tonic, used as an expectorant to ease breathing and clear the lungs in cases of asthma, bronchitis and pulmonary infections of varying severity. A bitter tonic, elecampane is also a digestive herb, and was used in the manufacture of absinthe in Europe. The active ingredient, helenin has been shown to have antiseptic properties and there has been research in Ireland to show that the flowers are effective against the MRSA hospital ‘superbug’, resistant to most strong antibiotics.

Friday, 5 March 2010

flyin high with da Solanaceae Family

Cackle cackle…

We ran a fun Halloween course last October 31st looking at the history of Witchcraft, Intoxication, Divination and the use of Flying Ointments –hehe. All that attended made a real effort to look the part, we had a huge feast, celebrated Fi’s Halloween birthday and had a really enjoyable day.

A few came back to the den and we lit a beautiful fire and sat under the full moon and sampled the wonderful ointment made of herbal delights all picked fresh from the garden and put in almond oil -foxgloves leaves 6, monkshood root about 2inch square and 3 large leaves, loads of motherwort, 13 hawthorn berries, lavender flowers, a blacken chilli, one calendula flower, one borage flower, one plantain flower, some st. johns wort, and a head of thorn apple and some soot…left to infused for one lunar cycle - we started by applying it on our innner wrists and instantely the vibes became giggly it was so brilliantly sensual connecting, opening and relaxing all at once and incredibly horney too.

Sensory Herbcraft

The birth of Sensory Herbcraft - its too difficul to make a living outta our beautiful herbal products since the boring legislation rubbish -saying we have to pay millions to license each product well 40grand which might as well be millions. – with all these new laws and impending regulations we are being steered toward more energetic medicine as that is still legal (not competing hard enough with pharmaceuticals) and we might just be able to actually make a living!

So we have decided to fully concentrate on healing folks and teaching folks -So this year is all about plotting and planning courses and workshops and also learning more healing techniques....We have been busy continuing our herbal health professional development

We attended a workshop with Elliot Cowan, who has developed a system of energy medicine called Plant Spirit Medicine he has written a book of the same name for all of you who are interested. His workshop was really insightful and during part of it we journeyed Shamanically with drumming to meet the Spirit of Oats and brought back messages from this beautiful plant one of which was to ask all of you to be extra conscious when buying your porridge/flapjacks/museli and always making sure its organically grown with love. It also told us it would like to be planted in your gardens because so many of us enjoy its seed but few actually know what it looks like.

We were giving away free oat seeds last summer, some of you may have planted them in your garden, let us know how it went.

Another workshop we attended was one devised by The Sacred Trust hosted by Simon Buxton. We heard about it after reading his well written extremely enjoyable book –The Shamanic Way of the Bee, I can really recommend this one…and the workshop, its totally excellent. Again we were journeying to meet animal and plant spirits with drums, percussion, dance and song and we both loved it. We have started incorporating these Shamanic practices with our patients and are calling our work ‘Sensory Herbcraft’