As the days lengthen and the sun shines a little warmer, we can begin to see more plant-life appearing. Some of the green fringes of Brighton such as the Hollingbury golf course near where I live are full of diverse plant life and many of the wild plants or ‘weeds’ have medicinal properties which we can harness for health and well being. On the Hollingbury Hill fort you can find the well-known naturally mood-lifting herb St. John’s wort and there are numerous Hawthorn bushes and trees which are useful in the management of high blood pressure and stress. Common weeds such as Stinging Nettles also have medicinal uses in supporting kidney health and they may be useful in helping manage allergies such as Hay Fever. Nettles are also very high in Iron and other minerals so are a great nourishing food to have in soup or steamed like spinach. But don’t pick Nettles on busy dog-walking paths unless they are above knee-height for obvious reasons! The best time to pick Nettles is in March and April when they are young and it’s best to just take the top 6 inches for maximum freshness. Wear gloves whilst picking to avoid stings. You can pop a few fresh leaves into a teapot and brew for 10 minutes for a delicious spring cleansing tea.
I’m running a Wild Medicine walk at Wild Park in Brighton on Sunday April 5th 2-4pm. See my events for details.

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