Tuesday, 1 March 2011

March Tasks

White rabbits!
March has crept up on me but with it comes the excitement of a new set of Herb Apprenticeship tasks. I need to look at the plants I am growing and get on with sowing my seeds and keep notes on how everything progresses.
 I shall be looking at Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Chron’s disease, what causes these diseases and what herbs might help.
 The seasonal tasks are to make a bramble root vinegar and violet syrup. Violet syrup sounds gorgeous; I must admit I hadn’t heard of it before. I have had a quick search on the internet and have seen beautifully coloured purple and magenta coloured liquids which look so exciting as most things I make seem to be shades of brown. My own little violet is not in flower but when it is I shall go on a hunt for some flowers, there will not be enough on my plant to make an egg-cup full. Brambles, or blackberries are one of my plants I am studying this year and there is no shortage of these near to my house.

 I also need to keep up with my herbal ally and to draw it in its current stage of development. I have decided that as last month I looked at roots, this month I will look at leaves in detail.
 This month’s herbal terminology words to look up are mucilaginous and diaphoretic.
Mucilaginous: Herbs that have a soothing effect on inflamed mucous membranes such as in the respiratory tract or the digestive system.
 Examples are Liquorice, Marshmallow and Violet.
Diaphoretic: Substance that produces perspiration and elimination through the skin.  Sweating can also bring the body temperature down during fever. These herbs increase blood flow by dilating the capillaries and blood vessels.
 Examples are angelica, elderflower, ginger and yarrow.

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