After popping a disclaimer about my ethnobotanical nerdiness at the end of a previous post I thought it would make more sense to just write a post about it.
I love herbs, it’s as close to growing flowers as I am ever going to get. I really only like growing things if I get to eat them at the end of all the hard work.
This has been an ongoing interest for a number of years. When I was still a toddler my Mum was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis and was put on a giant raft of medications. Determined as she is my Mum also took all of the nutritional advice she was given, which meant I was learning a lot of weird plants from a very young age. Our theory was – if it won’t hurt then it’s worth a try. Belt and braces.
I don’t remember when I first learnt that plants were used to heal before we had modern medicine but I loved the idea. I have been reading about herbs as medicine and health food for the majority of my life. It’s a study that I love and a history that fascinates me.
My main interest is seeing how much of what people used to practice is an old wives tale and how much has since been proven to have an effect. The most well known example of
the latter is the presence of salicin in white willow bark. Would I chew willow bark instead of taking an aspirin? No. But I am interested in when people did.
I think of my interest as a little bit like people who do prepping for a zombie apocalypse. It’s still fascinating even if it’s not something you’re going to use in everyday life.
My mental health is managed by meds, my Mum is doing better than we could have ever imagined twenty years ago due to new advances in drugs and surgery. But I still make herbal throat syrup, cough drops, salves and rubs that have a historical basis.
I’ve had people in the past think that I only use homeopathy or won’t have vaccinations because of my interest in herbalism and ethnobotany, so I just wanted to make it clear that a) I use meds when I need to and love, love, love the NHS for them and b) I am no expert and when I blog I am just rambling on my own experiences, never take my word as gospel!