Wednesday, 18 July 2012


Over the choppy seas to Jersey the land of glorious gardens.  Plants fall over every wall, almost tropical in their nature and abundance.

Neanderthal Men inhabited Jersey's caves about 100,000 years before Christ and the Iberians of about 2,000 B.C. left seven Dolmens or chamber tombs. Its had a right old time of occupation and changing hands and was French speaking until the turn of last century. 

Jersey’s been through the wars literally, it was the last stand point of German occupation in the 2nd world war. 

With its miles of beaches, amazing rocks, luscious north coast and majestic castles poking out into the water its somewhere I was loving hanging out.

Wild carrot and fennel were abundant on the coastal spots, too early for the seed harvest, its definitely worth a visit in September.  Local orchids, yarrow in swathes, and one of the finest herb garden in Europe.

‘Wild carrot seed is one of the oldest forms of contraception, used in large doses it is reputed to make your womb slippery.  Mrs Grieves has a boit more to say about it here An infusion of the whole herb is considered an active and valuable remedy in the treatment of dropsy, chronic kidney diseases and affections of the bladder. The infusion, made from 1 OZ. of the herb in a pint of boiling water, is taken in wineglassful doses. Carrot tea, taken night and morning, and brewed in this manner from the whole front, is considered excellent for a gouty disposition. A strong decoction is very useful in gravel and stone, and is good against flatulence. A fluid extract is also prepared, the dose being from 1/2 to 1 drachm.
The seeds are carminative, stimulant and very useful in flatulence, windy colic, hiccough, dysentery, chronic coughs, etc. The dose of the seeds, bruised, is from one-third to one teaspoonful, repeated as necessary. They were at one time considered a valuable remedy for calculus complaints. They are excellent in obstructions of the viscera, in jaundice (for which they were formerly considered a specific), and in the beginnings of dropsies, and are also of service as an emmenagogue. They have a slight aromatic smell and a warm, pungent taste. They communicate an agreeable flavour to malt liquor, if infused in it while working in the vat, and render it a useful drink in scorbutic disorders.’

The gardens at Samares were created in the nineteen twenties by millionaire shipping magnate and philanthropist, Sir James Knottwere.  They were in full bloom when we got there; globe artichokes, lavenders, lots of mint varieties, lemon verbena, summer savory (really anisidy flavour).  Vervain, valerian, southernwood…

We use lavender in our digestive delight Liver Cleanse.  Its calming for the gut as well as the nerves, is antifungal and uplifting to the spirits.  We can’t sell our product direct online anymore but you can call us or email for a consultation if you think you’d benefit.

I couldn’t resist a yarrow harvest while I was there.  So abundant and fragrant.  There was even a few sprigs of the lesser spotted pink yarrow flowers.

Yarrow is our all time best childhood fever remedy.  It literally takes a fever down in minutes.  I’ve used it with my daughter since she was just a few weeks old and have never used a drop of calpol in her life.

We hung out with fab family, ziggy looked for crabs in the vast rockpools (the tide goes out for miles), I swam in the sea, benny kayaked, we all rock was a well needed mid season escape for a week or so.

Refreshed and restored after a rainy week…ready to head off on tour to sunny Cornwall!  Surya yoga camp and Holi fair here we come...

Sunday, 15 July 2012

Boring Politics

So after studying a 4 year degree towards natural healthcare and herbal medicine Fiona and I started our company Sensory Solutions -We went out and picked the plants astrologically and made beautiful remedies, then found nice bottles and good talented designers to help us package them up to look wonderful and to celebrate all that is nature.

We knew that the powers that be were working on safeguarding the public from dangers and that one day in the future we would be contacted and told it was now illegal for us to supply folks with our remedies unless we did a face to face consolation with them...... that day has come. Our remedies must say goodbye to public life and live in the shed. We honestly feel confused. I our hearts we really want to help people that need decent healthcare, we have the knowledge and the capabilities to effect peoples lives and to help them on their personal health journeys. There are some other people out there that seriously hate us, want us to disappear, go up in smoke. It is 2012 and there is a witch hunt raging, traditional independant midwives and herbalists are being driven out of mainstream culture and more and more drugs are being introduced.

So what do we do? Can it be challenged? Do we lay down, do we run away to lands where is it cheaper and easier to live off grid? Do we change careers and become coffee shop managers? All very confusing and a waste of time and energy.

Friday, 6 July 2012

Roses got my Heart Singing

It is the height of summer and in between the showers the balmy scent of the rose is calling me like never before.

I have had a connection with her from a young age as my grandmother loved her rose garden. My first concoctions were crushing smooth, pale peach, petals for rosewater potions. I remember feeling slightly cheated as the petals browned and lost their beauty over time.

Roses have a long and colorful history. They have been symbols of love, beauty, war, and politics.

This year I seem to be re connecting with her on a very deep level, hardly a plant I pass without needing to go have a chat, sniff and stroke. I have been amazed at the sheer diversity of roses growing in my little village alone. . In nature, the genus Rosa has some 150 species spread throughout the Northern Hemisphere, and then there are the entire hybrid created for our gardens, apparently there are over 30,000 varieties leading to the most complicated family tree of any known flower species. Garden cultivation of roses began some 5,000 years ago, in Asia. She truly is an ancient ancestor, according to fossil evidence aging her at 35 million years old.

Included in her vast family Rosacea are hawthorns, Apples, plums, raspberries and Ladies mantle to name a few, most having astringent cooling qualities as medicines.

The rose is a rose,
And was always a rose.
But now the theory goes
That the apple's a rose,
And the pear is, and so's
The plum, I suppose.
The dear only knows
What will next prove a rose.
You, of course, are a rose--
But were always a rose. –

by Robert Frost 1874-1963

There has been one rambling rose with pinky peach petals that has been attracting me; she sits on the corner of a valley on our walk to and from school. So enticing in her magic, we have been late a few times. She has been teaching us the joy of being soft, delicate and approachable with clearly marketed boundaries, over step them and you’ll get a sharp reprimand!

Rosa Heartspetal we call her and in spirit she is the elderly midwife, who has seen and birthed so much with generosity and kindness, never taking any nonsense, full of gifts of nurture and infinate knowledge.  

Her delicate petals perfectly heart shaped in our native Dog Rose (Rosa canina) providing real heart support, cooling anxieties and steadying the nerves. We make a tincture out of the petals, roses are under the domain of Venus so a Friday (ruled by Venus) around the full moon, so that all the energies of the plant are up in the ariel parts, we harvest the petals on a dry bright day, filling a jar to the brim with the petals, asking or setting intentions for what the medicine can gift us then covering with good quality vodka, we then leave it in a cool place for a lunar cycle to brew. Strain out the petals and you are left with a Powerful brilliant Rose Petal tincture.

We have long used her sexy, deep red, fruits, the rosehips to make syrups pack with valuable nourishment in the form of vitamins  & minerals, tasting delicious. The content of ascorbic acid/Vitamin C in hips is ten times more than in blackcurrant, 50 times more than in lemon and 100 times more than in apples.

There have been plenty of studies documenting how the hips have given numerous folks relief from Arthritis. And we use Tinctures and powders for this and also heart conditions very effectively.

One of our favourite remedies are our Drops of Love made from – rose tincture, rosehip syrup and peppermint tincture mixed together…

These beautifully cooling and centring drops gently nourish and support the nervous and digestive systems. 

Peppermint helps to clear a fuzzy head and calm digestion thus aiding the free-flow of all mental processes. The word "mint" derives from the Latin for thought. 

Rose has an amazing history as symbol of mystical or divine love. It is used here for its uplifting, calming properties. The binding nature of the tannins found in rose gives the potential for containment of nervous energy and erratic patterns. 

The delicious, nourishing rosehip syrup is made from the wild dog rose. Its vastly nutritious make-up provides a wonderfully nurturing support system for the whole body, mind and spirit.