The woods on a sunny May morning are truly a wonderful place to be.
Nettles and cleavers are starting to flower. This marks the end of nettle picking season, at least until the seeds are ready to harvest in a few months. Once nettles begin to flower, they produce gritty particles in the leaves called csytoliths which may irritate the kidneys and urinary tract. There are still some without flowers however, so have that last nettle juice while you can!
Also we have an abundance of Herb Robert on the edge of the woods. Herb Robert, Geranium robertianum, is a wild geranium that has a history of traditional use to staunch bleeding, both internally and externally. Though it is little used today, it helps to heal green wounds and ulcers due to its astringent and vulnerary properties, which also make it beneficial for diarrhoea. A fresh juice is applied externally and a tea or tincture taken for internal use.
There’s also still plenty of Garlic Mustard, Alliaria petiolata, also known by his more roguish name, Jack-By-The-Hedge. As the former name implies, the leaves taste both garlicky and mustardy and make a lovely addition to a spring salad. It can also be used to make a warming body rub or poultice for rheumatism or gout, to help treat sore throats and to strengthen the digestion.
Enjoy some woodland wandering and wondering, ’tis medicine for the soul.