This summer I had the honour and pleasure of presenting a lecture at the International Congress on Naturopathic Medicine in London, England in July. My presentation was on Naturopathic Treatment of Lung Conditions. (I will write more about lung conditions in the fall). After my presentation, I decided to stay in England for another week and do a walking holiday in the Cotswolds, a rural area west of London.
It was an outstanding holiday in so many ways. The weather was sunny and hot the whole time I was there. The walk was self-guided, with excellent directions and maps, all my accommodation was arranged for me, and, my luggage taken each day from inn to inn. I walked with a little day pack and my map through beautiful hills and farms.
One of the most wonderful parts of the walk for me was seeing so many of my medicinal plant friends growing in their native habitat. I found rows and rows of wild nettles, miles of hawthorn hedges, wheat fields with weeds of poppy and chamomile. These are all things I have tried growing in the clinic garden with limited success. And, of course, there were the common weeds: burdock, plantain and dandelion.
At one point, I got a nettle sting. As is typical, there was both plantain and burdock growing nearby. If you ever get a nettle sting, all you need to do is crush some plantain or burdock leaves (I used plantain) and rub it over the sting vigorously. The pain completely stopped within a minute or two, and the expected redness, itching and swelling never materialized.
Plants are so amazing. They provide easy, safe solutions for so many of our day to day problems. Hawthorn is one of the safest, and most effective heart tonics. Nettles are packed full of vitamins and minerals, make a tasty spring vegetable, and the tea is helpful for spring allergies. Poppy helps with pain and sleep, and chamomile is one of my favourite plants. The delicate white flowers induce sleep when made into tea, calm the nerves if given in small doses, act as a bitter stomach tonic, and, if combined with ginger are quite effective for menstrual cramps.
Naturopathic medicine can also provide safe, simple solutions for so many health problems. Let me know if there is anything I can do to help you improve your health.
If you ever find yourself in London, I can’t recommend highly enough a side trip to the Cotswolds. Only a couple hours away by train, you will find pretty little villages, friendly people, rolling farmland, and lots of beautiful plants and gardens to admire and enjoy.