I went for a lovely walk on the Downs yesterday afternoon with Sarah, aiming to harvest some Yarrow and see what was about. It was a beautiful sunny day and there was such an abundance of wonderful healing plants everywhere we looked. Sarah is a great herbalist and teacher so I always learn lots from my time with her.
We saw lots of Lady’s Bedstraw, Gallium verum, a lovely cleansing herb which can help the kidneys, liver and lymphatic system and aid in skin disorders, much like it’s close relative Cleavers, Gallium aparine. It has a delightful odour and was used as a strewing herb and to stuff mattresses (hence its name).
The Agrimony, though slightly passed its best, was still looking so beautiful. Seeing this herb on a walk is always a pleasure. As an astringent it’s useful for stomach upsets and sores and can help tone oily skins when used as a face wash.
We also saw Wild Lettuce, a useful sedative, growing next to flowering Mugwort.
I was very excited to see the haws starting to form on the beloved Hawthorn.
There was lots of mallow, a traditional wound herb, and some wonderful wild marjoram which I’m going to write a fuller post on in a couple of days.
I was so happy to see some eyebright which I hadn’t encountered in the wild before.
And last, but by no means least, we managed to collect the thing we came for, some lovely blooming Yarrow. What a great afternoon!