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CLINIC NEWS: I have recently moved to the Thames Valley area. I am now able to see patients in Reading during the week and in Eton on saturdays. Please just call me on 007716013925, to discuss your requirements and to book an appointment.
I’m Linda Bostock and I’m a fully qualified Medical Herbalist. I have run busy healing clinics for the last twenty years and this is my website. I hope you enjoy it and find the information just as inspirational as I do.
What will you find in the site?
This web site is certainly not the definitive herbal medicine site; there are plenty of those around if you want the facts and figures.
But it is MY knowledge of plants, MY views on Herbal Medicine, MY experience and most of all MY passion for healing with plant medicine.
It is a work in progress and weather permitting, we will record our herb walks and keep putting herbal health information on the site which will slowly help you to build up knowledge of the plants growing in the countryside which have medicinal value. I will also show you how to make herbal teas and decoctions and syrups etc.
The most ancient form of medicine
Plants are our most ancient form of medicine and I am never-endingly astounded by the variety of plants we have growing around us which have medicinal values.
I studied Herbal Medicine at the School of Phytotherapy in Bodle Street Green in East Sussex. Sadly, now no longer there, as our wonderful, passionate principle, Mr Zeylstra died some time ago. There, we learnt about plants, and the medicinal values different plants have, that would be suitable for a variety of medical conditions, but, we had to teach ourselves what the plants looked like in the wild and where they might be found and how to identify them.
Fortunately my husband and I love walking and from about 15 years ago, when the children were smaller we would take them out for walks with the promise of a pub visit at the end. That did not stop them saying “are we nearly there yet” from about 10 minutes into the walk!
Over the years we have walked in many areas of the British Isles armed with my plant identification book and have been “wowed” by the vast numbers of different plants we have encountered, with and without medicinal properties. Even urban areas have their fair share of medicinal plants growing in gardens, parks, waste ground and along road verges.
So following the purchase of the plant identification books, came the necessity to buy a good quality camera to record all these little wonders of nature.
Small or BIG Pleasures?
I am a bit of a musical theatre fan and if you have seen “Oliver!” you will know Nancy’s song “small pleasures”. I consider all the plants I see to be my small pleasures! There are days when we walk through the most beautiful countryside with the sun shining, birds singing and plants all around us and it is the most wonderful feeling. Of course there are other days when it is wet and cold and windy (always windy in Eastbourne where we live) but the dog needs walking so we have to go out anyway. Whatever the weather, from January to December, there are always interesting plants to look at.
At different seasons of the year, the same plants will be in different states of growth. For example, in February the flower of Coltsfoot, easily mistaken for a dandelion, can be seen. These die down and the leaf grows.
In spring the leaf and flowers grow on a horse chestnut tree and in the autumn there will be the Nuts (conkers) to look at. I still love collecting conkers and the bigger and shinier they are, the more pleased I am. Spring brings a profusion of new growth with trees in blossom, summer brings the flowers with beautiful smells, honeysuckle is my favourite, and autumn brings nuts and berries with swathes of russet and red colours.
Winter is not a waste land as there are still many evergreen plants and trees such as ivy and pines and holly. Thank goodness otherwise we would not be able to sing the Christmas Carol “The Holly and the Ivy”.
Herb Walk Videos and the website
So, what I have tried to do on this website is start with the videos of the Herb Walks where we are looking at medicinal plants growing in the wild at different times of the year. I have then written about the plants we encounter in the “Herbs and Health” section and then cross referenced the conditions those plants are used for in the “Health” section.
I would love it if you have any comments on the site or if you have seen any medicinal plants growing (preferably with pictures) that you would like me to talk about. There is an interactive blog section so leave your comments there and I’m sure we can start some really interesting discussions.
Because I want you to enjoy discovering herbal medicine, please read the safety warning at the top of the page.
You are about to embark on a voyage of discovery without even having to leave this planet!
If you have read this far, you must be very interested in this whole area and you may be interested in gaining more in-depth knowledge. I have received a number of enquiries asking whether I teach people in the subject and as a result of this, I am preparing a course for use on the internet. The course outline can be found in the section headed ‘Stay healthy Course’ or click here.
Let William Shakespeare have the last word….
I’ll leave you with the beginning of a speech said by Oberon, the king of the Fairies, from A Midsummer night’s dream by William Shakespeare
“I know a bank where the wild thyme blows,
Where oxlips and the nodding violet grows,
Quite over-canopied with luscious woodbine,
With sweet musk-roses and with eglantine:
There sleeps Titania sometime of the night,
Lull’d in these flowers with dances and delight;”