Elderflower

Taking over from Hawthorn in the Irish hedgerows, the flowers of the elder tree, Elderflowers (Sambucus nigra) are coming into bloom right now. The elder tree was prized for its many uses: culinary, medicinal and mystical. Both the flowers and berries of the elder can be used to make wine. One can also make a…

Plantain herb

There are two types of plantain herbs, ribwort (Plantago lanceolata) which has narrow leaves and greater or broadleaf (Plantago major). Ribwort plantain Greater plantain Plantain plants grow everywhere, and can even grow between cracks in footpaths. The Native Americans called plantain “white man’s footprint” because it came on, and grew from the settler’s footwear. The…

Cuckoos and Cuckooflowers

These mornings I am lucky to wake to the sound of the cuckoo, (Cuculus canorus), Cuach in Irish, a summer visitor to Ireland, from central or south Africa. It is a dove-sized bird, with a sleek body, long tail and pointed wings, similar to a kestrel or sparrowhawk, especially when in flight. The male makes…

Herbs for Bones

Six months ago, my then six-year-old son fell off a set of monkey bars at the park and broke his elbow. As soon as I saw it, my nursing instinct said to get him to the emergency room fast as his arm was either dislocated or broken, and we’d need X-rays to tell. It was,…… via…

Magnesium

There’s a good reason magnesium is often called “The Magic Mineral” – it plays a crucial role in over 300 enzymatic reactions within the body, impacting everything from energy metabolism and stress management to hormone balance, detoxification, sleep, and the creation of proteins. (source) Years ago, I discovered it was the key to resolving my…

Mayflower

Hawthorn trees (Crataegus laevigata), Sceach Gheal in Irish, also called Whitethorn are in flower at the moment, providing a beautiful white boundary amongst the hedgerows around green fields all over Ireland. It is described as a bush or a small tree and has beautiful white flowers (important for bees and other insects) and lobed leaves….