Author Archives: cateranherbalist

Garden Freebies

How perfect when the garden provides you with a crop of medicinal herbs.  Herbs that you didn’t have to raise from seed, or plant, or forage for.  Just wonderful gifts from nature. Today I’ve been harvesting such gifts from the … Continue reading

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Primrose

Primula vulgaris and Primula veris are plants of my childhood, from time spent exploring the hedgerows, and wandering through the dappled light of woods and copses and roaming farmland, meadows, marshes and moors. Primroses (Primula vulgaris), with their pale yellow … Continue reading

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Usnea, an ancient anti-biotic

High winds over the past few days have brought down precious scatterings of Usnea lichen from the trees in my local woods.  The winter can feel like a rather barren time for foraging, but “windfalls” like this remind us that … Continue reading

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The last to leave…

I lead my final few herb walks of the year recently by the Lochside, as Winter hints at her imminent arrival;  mornings where the garden has been set aglitter by frost, excited little faces at the window watching the first … Continue reading

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A moment with Marshmallow

One of the greatest disappointments in life so far for my five year old (five, but nearly six as she’d be keen for you to know), is the fact that Marshmallow plants don’t actually bear marshmallows.  For me it’s offerings … Continue reading

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Under Valerian’s wing

In my last blog post I mentioned that plants make the best teachers.  And you find that they’ll deliver lessons in a variety of ways, as I was reminded recently when spending time with Valeriana officinalis.  Lessons about them, about your patients … Continue reading

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Warming up for Winter with Ginger

I struggle saying goodbye to Summer, to my herb friends who smile out at me from hedgerows, or sway calmly next to me at the lochside.  They’re such good company aren’t they?  And the best teachers. I know they’ll be … Continue reading

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Ribwort

Ribwort (Plantago lanceolata) is a comfortingly familiar sight.  Often the heads will peek above the surrounding grasses and flowers and give you a friendly nod from their slender stem.  “It’s alright, I’m here!” it would calmly say.  And familiar is … Continue reading

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Getting to know you…

The Cateran trail comprises over sixty miles of ancient paths and cattle droves, named after the fearsome cattle thieves who utilised these rural and secluded paths.  Our new home is being built right on the trail and as we build … Continue reading

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Angelica, the protector

My garden has been offering me generous leaving gifts over the past few months.  The little Elder tree has blossomed properly for the first time.  The first bloom opened on the day I came down with a fever, providing me … Continue reading

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