Pulsatilla, the nerve tonic.

Pulsatilla is a nerve tonic and relaxant. It has anti inflammatory and antispasmodic properties and is a mild analgesic (pain killer)

I use it for imbalances in the female reproductive system such as PMT and find it especially useful for period pains, especially when mixed with Cramp Bark, which is  a muscle relaxant.

Cramp Bark, is discussed seperately in the West Rise Marsh walk and on the web site.

Pulsatilla is also an herb I very often put into a mix to help people relax and get to sleep. When I first started to practice, with a case of facial acne which was proving difficult to clear up, so I phoned my mentor at the time who advised me to use Pulsatilla as it has skin cleansing properties. Well it certainly made the difference and I now rarely leave it out of any skin mixture.

I use it in tincture formwhich you will be able to buy from any good herb supplier. I will not advise any dosage here as strengths of tincture varies, so follow the instructions on the bottle.

You will also find it in tablet form and again please follow the instructions.

Do not confuse it with the Homeopathic Pulsatilla preparation which has completely different actions.

As usual, if you have any other medical conditions or are pregnant, please see a qualified Medical herbalist or your Doctor.

Linda Bostock

Medical Herbalist/herbal Health Information.

Hawthorn, the wonder herb!

Hawthorn/ May Blossom

Latin name:-Craetaegus oxyacanthoides

You will not be surprised to know this is one of nature’s wonder herbs when I tell you it is documented as having been used for its beneficial actions on the heart by the 1st Century Greek Herbalist Dioscorides.

Hawthorn has a long history of use, confirmed safety and clinical evidence to support its cardiovascular benefits. The reason it is a wonder herb is because it improves circulation both to the peripheries of the body (hands and feet) as well improving the circulation to the heart itself, without increasing the heart beat or raising blood pressure.

Hawthorn in flower

The flower, leaf and berries are used in Herbal Medicine, which contain Flavonoids, phenolic acids, tannins and amines

I use it as my preferred herb to improve circulation to all parts of the body, because I know I can trust it to have a gentle but effective action on all circulatory problems.

It grows absolutely everywhere in England along the hedgerows, making a wonderful display of mile after mile of beautiful white blossoms in early May. This year the weather over here was abnormally warm in April so the Hawthorn flowered about two weeks early, not living up to its name of May Blossom giving rise to the saying, “ cast not a clout ‘til May is out” meaning don’t take your winter woolies off until the May blossom has finished.

I give a lot of W.I. talks and during these many of the ladies tell me interesting facts they remember from their childhood about different herb usage.

Many of the ladies have told me that they remember going along the hedgerows with their Grandmothers, picking and eating the buds of the Hawthorn flowers which their Grandmothers called Bread and Cheese. Of course in the past April/May was a very bad time for fresh vegetables and Vitamin C levels in the diet would have been very low.

Hawthorn hedge

Picking and eating the buds of the hawthorn was a source of fresh vegetable high in vitamin c and bioflavonoids, which at the same time improved circulation and would have been a true spring tonic.

Linda Bostock

Medical Herbalist