The title pretty much says it all, so this post will be a short one.
Starting next Tuesday, I'll be holding free walk-in clinics at the lovely Dormansland & Lingfield Community Centre on Lingfield High Street between 10.00am and midday. Said Community Centre has recently taken charge of some extra rooms, including two small, comfy spaces that are perfect for holding one-to-one consultations, so it would be churlish of me not to take advantage of such a great opportunity.
Come and find out more about herbal medicine
Unlike my 'normal' consultations, however, which last from 45 minutes to 1.5 hours long, these free sessions are meant as brief tasters. A chance for people to learn more about what herbal medicine - and natural health more widely - has to offer them. What exactly is herbal medicine, anyway? How is it different from mainstream medicine - is it just that herbal medicine uses plants instead of drugs? What can iridology tell me about my health just by looking in my eyes? What is the philosophy behind naturopathy? Insert your own question here - or, even better, bring it with you next Tuesday and I'll do my best to answer it!
Free 15-minute sessions including iridology
Each free session will last around 15 minutes, which should be enough to have a useful chat. If you fancy it, I'll get my iridology magnifier out and take a quick look into your eyes - you may be surprised at what 'the windows of the soul' say about your health and constitution...
So please come along if you can, and spread the word to people you think may be interested!
Venue: Meeting room, Jennings Hall, Lingfield & Dormansland Community Centre
Date: Tuesdays from 3rd March
Time: 10.00am - midday
Length of each session: 15 minutes approx.
Ah, blogging. It's been a while – how have I missed thee? Just give me a moment to brush the inch or so of dust from my barely used writing table...there, that's better. Now, what's the best way to ease myself back into the habit, I wonder?
How about a new regular feature, the Wonderful Weekend Recipe? You can call it WWR for short if you like. It won't mind. Since the title is fairly self-explanatory, let's just dive right on into the first-ever WWR without further ado.
The Wild Rose Electuary for soothing sore throats
'Electuary' must be one of my favourite words in the English language. For some reason, it evokes for me an image of peaceful cloisters in late spring, with golden beams of sunlight regularly picking out the figures of monks talking quietly below. In reality, however, an electuary is a sweet herbal preparation, usually based on honey. And probably used by monks throughout the ages.
Because of honey's nourishing, building and warming qualities, electuaries are ideally suited to tonic formulations, such as the Longevity Electuary I'll introduce you to next week. Since honey is also very sticky and soothing, it's also an excellent base for herbal mixtures intended to soothe the throat – which is where the Wild Rose Electuary comes in.
The recipe couldn't be simpler:
2 parts marshmallow (Althaea officinalis) root powder
1 part sage (Salvia officinalis) aerial parts powder
½ part rose (Rosa damascena) petals, as close to powder as you can get
Get yourself some locally grown honey so that you're supporting your friendly neighbourhood beekeepers. Gently heat it until it turns molten, add your herbs and stir everything in until it's all mixed together nicely. How much honey you use will determine the eventual consistency of your electuary: more honey equals runnier electuary, less honey means a stiffer end product. You'll need to have an empty glass jar handy to pour the molten mixture into.
And that's it! This stuff is so tasty that you can eat it straight from the spoon, but it can also be made into a drink by melting in warm water. The Wild Rose Electuary is a wonderful throat soother, thanks to the combination of mucilagenous (gelatinous, soothing) marshmallow, antimicrobial sage and cooling rose. Why not make some up for the next time someone in your household comes down with a cold? Kids will, of course, love it for its sweetness. Just don't leave them alone with an open jar and a spoon...
Instant genius kit
A little anecdote to round things off. At my wedding a few years ago, one of the guests came down with a sore throat and was not happy. For some reason – either my wife or I must have had a cold recently, I guess – we had a jar of this electuary with us, and we gave him a spoonful or two. Within ten minutes, he was feeling so much better that he called me "an actual genius".
So there you have it: become an instant genius with the Wild Rose Electuary!
An irregular blog
I'm Adam Smith, a Herbalist and Naturopath practising in the Surrey/West Sussex/Kent border area. Although I hope it will change, I don't currently post here regularly.