Meadowsweet, buds still developing. I’ve been waiting for them to open into almond scented flowers for several weeks now. Still good for harvesting. Delicious as a tea and beneficial for stomach disorders and pain relief.
Here is my favourite tonic herb in flower: Leonurus cardiaca, Motherwort. My park harvested tincture is developing nicely on my kitchen shelf at present. So easy to make and so little of the herb had to be harvested. I used part of this plant for my tincture and there’s no evidence left to see, just a healthy and beautiful plant for everyone to enjoy.
Next is another pain reliever, but far too potent for me: Poppy, Papaveraceae sp. On a recent meetup group Lime harvest, a member told me how her French Grandmother used to swear by a cough syrup which she brewed down from poppy flowers and sugar. Isobel has made this her self and says it’s beautiful, works a treat but has an unfortunate blood pressure altering effect so she had to stop using it. Not so surprising as the poppy family is the source of morphine. I heard of another contemporary Poppy remedy this week on the Green Peace Walks I led. Boiling up the flowers in water, a decoction, as a heroine substitute! This was witnessed by a walker and not made by any of the Greenpeace walkers, I hasten to add. Not really my cup of tea, but certainly a useful last ditch pain reliever if ever there was an urgent need. The dosage of herbal remedies is often quite a fine art. The amount required for a medicine like effect, depending upon time of harvest, freshness of herb etc. That’s why I stick to mainly tonic herbs, they can be taken for a reasonably long period without negative effects building up and they work more by supporting health rather than suppressing illness. I think that Poopy remedies must be particularly subject to this variation and are thus seen as unsafe by almost everyone. A lot of people enjoy the seeds as a bread ingredient. By harvesting seeds from small patches of Poppy such as this one, the chance of Poppy plants next year is greatly reduced.
Next today is Veronica, also called Speedwell. I have never used the plant but it’s a useful and very beautiful one. I’m not exactly sure of the genus of Veronica but its similar to Veronica spicata.
There was more mowing going on in and around the park today and also I noticed that a sprawling poisonous White Bryony had been carefully removed, from the Juniper bush I watch it climb. Perhaps also by the maintenance team? This poisonous plant remains and does look rather lovely: Birthwort.
Here is Teasel, now with fully formed and about to bear a pretty ring of tiny flowers around those distinctive flower heads. This plant shows much promise in the treatment of Lyme’s Disease. I like to drink from the water collecting leaf joints, on dewy mornings.
There were so many other plants around today but not enough time to write about them. I also met Joop, looking for the Spoonbill and a freindly local woman, also taking photos of plants, who has a children’s clothing range inspired by the nature in park Frankendael. What a lovely idea! Sorry, I forgot to ask her name, if she reads this perhaps she’d like to email me or place a comment below.