Saturday, 20 February 2010

UK Herbarium Blog Party February 2010 - Emerging from winter with herbs

As I write the sun is shining and the last remnants of snow quickly melting away - spring really is coming! I feel inspired after reading everyone's posts about emerging from spring with herbs - different insights, approaches and ideas come together in an uplifting whole! I hope you'll will enjoy reading them as much as I have.

Sarah has written a thoughtful post on Tales of a Kitchen Herbwife on the process we go through - physically, emotionally and mentally - as we make the transition from winter to spring. She weaves in how herbs such as goldenrod, St. John's wort, and yarrow can help us on this journey. Sarah writes: "However you emerge from winter into spring, it will be easier if you spend some time in planning and preparation. As with everything, it is not just our physical bodies that are involved, but our minds and spirits too. Whatever you plan, herbs will be there to guide and support you if asked."

There's nothing like getting outside in the garden or, if the snow's still on the ground, dreaming about it. Debs at Herbal Haven shares her sense of excitement in her post about the new plans she is making for her herb garden. "I get a buzz and a feeling of excitement and anticipation at this time of year. I take time to look back at the previous year, reviewing what herbs I came across that I don’t currently grow. Herbs that we can benefit from here in the home, for food, medicine and a myriad of other uses. Then the planning, adapting and changing the garden begins, so that I can include new found treasures".

Madeleine from Mad About Herbs shared some of her favourite ways for emerging from spring with herbs in her post: from planning the herb garden through to making up some new recipes. She also includes some links to useful resources to help in planning your herb garden. She writes " was good to see my first snowdrop and a couple of early daffodils a week ago. They are one of the first signs of Spring and this fills me with hope and the excitement that soon I can get out into the herb garden, sow seeds, prune and just enjoy pottering around every now and then."

Reading Brigitte's lovely post on My Herb Corner felt like being whisked away on a magical herbal journey to spring! :-) From foraging for chickweed, through scents of pot pourri and drops of lemon balm tincture, to a recipe for 'uplifing cookies'. She goes on to share some herbs and recipes for spring cleaning our bodies: "I can guarantee you that a gentle bodily spring cleaning will give you a lift out of the winter-blue and makes you fit for spring".

Lucinda on Whispering Earth has posted about the herbs that she is using to emerge from winter, including a tasty sounding tea of rosemary and lemon balm. She also writes about adaptogens: "Adaptogens are so great during these strange ‘inbetween’ times, neither winter nor quite yet spring, when energies are starting to move in us and runny noses and colds can result from the body ridding itself of the congestion of winter."

Many of us mentioned our joy at seeing the first snow drops, and Claire at Hedgerow Hippy explores the significance of snow drops as flowers representing hope and consolation, as well as a couple of traditional uses.

If like me you're a nettle lover then you'll love Karen's post over at Acupuncture and Herbs. Karen explores the uses of nettles, along with some history, recipes and fascinating facts: "Nettles are the quintessential herb for getting over winter in my book... the magnesium in the leaves is especially helpful if you have the winter blues."

The day I wrote my post for the blog party here on Apotheblogary was a resolutely grey February day and so I decided to make something fun and sweet to share with friends and family. The result were 'Spring Zingers' which included one of my favourite winter pick-me-ups: echinacea and ginseng.

It truly has been a privilege to host this month's blog party, and to be part of such a passionate herbal community - thank you everyone for your contributions! You can see more posts on this topic at the US blog party hosted by Karen Vaughan on Acupuncture and Herbs.
Share on Facebook


  1. Hi Elizabeth,

    I'd love it if you could include my Emerging from Spring blog post on stinging nettles. The article, Nettles! is at from my Acupuncture and Herbs by Karen Vaughan natural health blog.

    I also have the Herbwifery Forum blog party on the same topic at


    Karen Vaughan
    Registered Herbalist (AHG)

  2. Hi Karen, done! I commented over on your Nettles post, not sure if it submitted? Best wishes, Elizabeth