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Journal

Making herbal teas

making herbal teas

Herbal teas are something that we are probably all aware of – the boxes of peppermint and chamomile tea next to the regular tea bag – and we are probably also aware of their medicinal properties (though possibly as an add on to the taste).

Here, I have two recipes for teas which are designed specifically for symptoms rather than everyday drinking. They are ones to keep in the cupboard as a first treatment for minor ailments.

Hangover tea recipe

This tea helps with that slightly seasick nausea – typical of, but not solely caused by, a hangover. It is a mix of meadowsweet and rosebay willowherb and is also a great tea to drink after taking a course of antibiotics to help the gut recover its balance. Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria) grows in damp areas and is where the drug aspirin (salicylic acid) is extracted from. It is a mild painkiller but also – in its entire form – helps with stomach problems rather than causing them. Rosebay Willowherb (Chamaenerion angustifolium), also known as Fireweed, is a pioneer plant, one of the first to colonise bare ground. It is soothing to digestion and also helps the gut build up beneficial gut flora.

If you are sensitive to salicytates (e.g. allergic to aspirin) you should not use meadowsweet.

Ingredients

  • Meadowsweet, flowers and leaves dried and chopped up.
  • Rosebay willowherb, young leaves dried and chopped up.
  • You can dry the leaves by either hanging bunches of stems in a dry and airy place for 4-6 weeks or by using a dehydrator on a cool setting. Once dried strip the leaves from the stems and store in a jar. You can also buy ready dried leaves.

Method

Put one teaspoon of each herb into a square of tied up muslin or a tea strainer.

Pour just boiled water over it and leave to steep for 10-15 minutes.

Add honey to taste.

Drink up to three times a day.

Insomnia tea recipe

This tea is designed for people who have difficulty in actually getting to sleep – it is a tea designed to calm the mind which, along with stopping using all screens for at least an hour before bedtime, can soothe your mind and help you drift off.

Using anything long term to help you sleep can cause dependence – either psychological or physical – so while this tea has no side effects, it is something to try for a while, perhaps during a period of stress and then try to get to sleep naturally without anything.

Ingredients

  • Lemonbalm (Melissa officinalis) - dried or fresh leaves
  • Rose petals – unsprayed – dried or fresh
  • Hops strobile dried

Method

Put 1 teaspoon each of lemonbalm and rose, along with one hop flower in a square of tied up muslin or a tea strainer.

Pour just boiled water over it and leave to steep for 5-10 mins.

Add honey/milk to taste.

Sip just before bedtime.

If pregnant omit the hop flower.

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Every year the sudden sink in light catches me by surprise. ⁠⁠
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Usually I first see it when I fail to take a photo. When I can't get my camera to capture what I want. When all the advances I've made in my photography get swamped by not knowing what to do to make a difference to something so ethereal.⁠⁠
⁠⁠
Yesterday - taking a photo of the Studio windowsill with its seed heads and berries - I hit a problem of grain.  All my images looked dull, in focus but somehow lacking light.  I randomly changed camera settings and lost half the morning peering at a screen foolishly trying to edit light back in.⁠⁠
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In the end I messaged my friend Rebecca @poshyarns - whose photos capture light in the most beautiful way. She called me back and talked me through, and even gave me the confidence to ditch my tripod. ⁠⁠
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And suddenly the light came back into my photos and the murk was gone. ⁠⁠
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If Rebecca ever decides to teach I will be right at the head of the queue.⁠
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#howihueit #simpleandstill #capturequiet #beautyyouseek #calm_collected #aseasonalway #aseasonalshift #cornersofmyworld #slowlived #slowandsimpledays #quietchaotics #ihaveathingwithwindows #ofsimplethings #beautyinsimplicity #floralstories #allthingsbotanical #underthefloralspell #slowfloralstyle #petalsandprops #nestandflourish #livethelittlethings #thehappynow #ihavethisthingwithflowers #moodforfloral #cornersofmyhome #aseasonalway #slowlivingforlife #aflowerfilledlife
Kat @katgoldin took this photo of me a few weeks ago on a photoshoot that consisted of her telling me to 'just do the things you do and ignore me'.⁠⁠
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Despite having been friends for ages, she had never seen me embroider - the buzz and shimmy of the needle on fabric. ⁠⁠
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Sometimes seeing things through other people's eyes helps you see them anew yourself. Kat's joy in the emerging lines helped me see that what I've created here in the studio is a very special and precious thing.⁠⁠
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The doors to the Studio Club - which is basically a seasonal exploration of all that goes on here - open again in a few weeks time.  You can sign up to get a personal invite via my profile. ⁠⁠
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You can see how good I am at 'ignoring' - my face is quite clearly mid laughter.⁠⁠
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This is perhaps a bit of a downbeat photo for my 1000th post. messy faded daisies in the Studio Meadow.⁠⁠
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But I think it pretty much sums up what I hold dear - imperfect, natural, wild.⁠⁠
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Today my elder daughter graduates from drama school (a year late), in two days time my younger daughter turns twenty one. ⁠⁠
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A weekend of reflection, celebration and joy lies ahead.
The last of the dahlias. They are declining with the light. ⁠⁠
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Though you can't see in the photo the doubles all have that mucky chicken bum at the back and the singles have dropped their petals.⁠⁠
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The best things in the garden at the moment are the sanguisorbas - bought from @quirkybirdgardener in the summer - and settling in so well that one is now as tall as me.⁠⁠
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They've always been one of my favourite cut flowers - these white ones remind me a little of of lambs tails.
Home⁠
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After an incredibly inspiring couple of weeks. ⁠
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We ended up our holiday at Camp Goodlife @thegoodlifesoc - where it seemed that every single person we spoke to was making a positive change in the world. From creating new ways of running restaurants to connecting people to the land to making beautiful clothes to teaching children about growing food. 
And for everyone, these changes were centred around joy. ⁠
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I loved our trip but I’m so excited about getting back into the Studio this morning. 

📷 @katgoldin
Thistledown is so beguiling. ⁠
The soft cream catching the light, waiting for goldfinches to alight. ⁠
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I’m heading to Hawarden today to join the lively people at @thegoodlifesoc and teach about foraged colour and dyeing socks with all kinds of plants. I’m hoping to be able to harvest some thistles as they give a particularly beautiful mustardy yellow.
Though I grew lots and lots of straw flowers for Christmas wreaths back when I had a proper commercial flower business,  it was only this year that I slowed down enough to really see them. ⁠
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I’d assumed that they wouldn’t be good for insects until fully out - flat dulled daisies, past the point of picking - but actually wasps seem to pollinate them when they are still tightly furled. ⁠
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This patch was wasp central for weeks. ⁠
A few butterflies flitted about, but mainly wasps⁠
I am somebody who needs distance to see a bigger picture. ⁠
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For the past couple of months I’ve been really struggling with where Snapdragon Life is, and how to get from here to where I want it to be. ⁠
I filled books and books with notes but was going round in circles - unable to commit to anything with the kind of conviction a small business needs. It was all too fuzzy somehow. ⁠
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Now I am away from the Studio. ⁠
Right in the middle of two weeks of walking and eating and photographing gardens and meeting friends and suddenly it is all much clearer. ⁠
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I now have 5 sentences written in my phone notes and a high clear soaring route to take. ⁠
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The multi talented @katgoldin took this photo of me in the Studio before I left - part of a photo shoot that took almost three years to actually schedule because I will do almost anything to avoid being in front of a camera.
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About Snapdragon Life

At Snapdragon Life I gently guide you through bringing the changing seasons into your daily life, helping you slow down, so that you can experience increased well being, calm and creativity.

 

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