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4 Go on a Herbal Medicine Walk by Ness

On Sunday 27th August, the KW team got together for a guided Herbal Medicine walk with the brilliant and very knowledgeable Laura from Gwen's Garden. Full details of Laura and Gwen's Garden can be found on her website below.

So early Sunday Morning, we all set off from our homes to meet up in the designated car park which was our meeting point. Rachel and I went in one car as she has to drive past mine to get to our destination. We were a little early so headed for a cafe - as we do - which was just a minutes drive from the car park. The cafe was called Cadence Cycle Club which is a perfect stop off for cyclists and walkers and just about anyone who is in the area, enjoying nature and the stunning countryside. The views from the cafe were beautiful - anyone who has been to the South Downs will know about its beautiful unspoilt and breathtaking views.

We grabbed a rather delicious coffee and generally nattered before heading off to meet Sue and Heather. Laura, who was heading the walk was welcoming people, so with everyone in tow, we headed off up a country lane. It is amazing when you stop and really look at the hedgerows, what is growing there. I'm familiar with a lot of hedgerow plants but today, I think we all learnt some new ones. Yellow Toadflax is the one above, which I didn't know about. Interesting as it was historically used as a method of protection against witchcraft. Also called 'butter and eggs', it is also for protection, and de-hexing.

There were also - left to right - Wild Oregano (protection) St Johns Wort and Greater Celandine. We spotted the usual most well known ones such as blackberry, sloe, rosehip and hawberry - all ripe and reading for harvesting!

Mullein was spotted later on in the walk as well as Bell Flowers (Campanula) and we think - far right - Dewberries. Nobody had seen them before, so they were an interesting find. It was a lovely warm day and we enjoyed learning about the flowers and berries of the hedgerows and all about their medicinal properties. Many other plants were mentioned and discussed - plantain, comfrey, burdock, honeysuckle, chamomile, dandelion and cleavers to name a few.

As witches, we also work with these wonderful plants for magical purposes, so many notes were made in a notebook and I shall be looking out for some of these plants when next on a walk out in the countryside. I might even venture up to the South Downs with my dog to see what I can forage..

Further reading -

A Kitchen Witch's World of Magical Plants & Herbs by Rachel Patterson

The Hedgerow Apothercary - Recipes, Remedies and Rituals by Christine Iverson

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