What Exactly Is Hedgerow Healing?
Hedgerow Healing is the concept of using what grows naturally to benefit your health. People have been borrowing from nature’s own pharmacy since the dawn of time to assist with all manner of ailments. In fact, some over the counter remedies are based on simple kitchen and garden herbs that, with the right knowledge, you could easily prepare and use yourself.
Case in point, a popular cough medicine doing the rounds right now, at vast expense I might add. It lists marshmallow root and thyme extract as active ingredients. I’ve been using thyme honey for years to help calm coughs and respiratory issues. I also have access to althaea (the marshmallow plant) both of which cost significantly less than nine pounds a pop.
(See more about the medicinal properties of herbs in my Nature’s Own Pharmacy section here.)
Hedgerow Healing in Modern Society
There isn’t the same requirement for hedgerow healing these days, and as such, the old ways have become near obsolete. The necessity to pass the information down through the generations has waned, at a time when kitchen remedies are more relevant to modern life than many give them credit for.
Gone are the days of the annual pilgrimmage across Cornwall to the Pellar Current to have your warts charmed. Since the birth of the NHS, medical care is 🌟luckily🌟now accessible to all. I’m a huge fan of the NHS, and strongly believe in medical intervention when necessary. Death by dodgy ancient disease is now pretty much a thing of the past thanks to vaccines and antibiotics. Amen to that, but the flip side of this is that resistence to antibiotics is growing. We are looking at a potentially catastrophic plunge back to the medical dark ages if the worst should happen.
I firmly believe there is a place for Hedgerow Healing in the modern world. As the NHS is stretched beyond breaking point year after year, more people are helping themselves by turning to traditional kitchen remedies in the first instance.
Check out my kitchen remedies for common complaints HERE.
Advice For Hedgerow Foragers
- I use the term hedgerow somewhat metaphorically here, as the majority of herbs suitable for healing are protected and so should not be picked from the wild. Ideally, plants should be harvested from your own herb garden, unless they are growing abundantly elsewhere. Even then, please pick them sparingly.
- There are some consumable plant species which have a similar appearance to other dangerous ‘baneful herbs,’ and these are easily confused. The carrot leaf, for example, is very similar to poison hemlock, and there are documented cases of people having died after consuming the wrong one.
- Always stick to the forager’s rule ‘If in doubt leave it out,’ and never go collecting without gloves, bags and a quality reference book to check and double check what you are selecting. My guide of choice is The Collins Nature Guide – Herbs and Healing Plants.
- Wild plants should be collected sparingly and from different areas to prevent disrupting their growth. Never uproot anything, especially wild flowers.
- Do not consume anything from the side of a busy road or on a path frequented by dog walkers, as there is risk of contamination from traffic fumes or excrement.
- If you are already taking medication, please make sure you check with your doctor and/or trained herbalist BEFORE introducing any natural remedies. Some herbs and medicines can interact unfavourably. What has healed one person may have no effect or could be potentially harmful to another. Always check for interactions or contraindications between what you are proposing to use and any exisiting health conditions, or medications you currently take. It is incredibly important that you research any alternative therapies or natural remedies before embarking upon a new regime.
Hedgerow Healing Disclaimer
It goes without saying (but I’m going to anyway!!) You should ALWAYS do thorough research before picking ANYTHING out of the hedgerow and ESPECIALLY before ingesting or applying ANY plants, herbs or spices for medicinal use.
Prevention is always better than cure. I believe that natural remedies should be used to support the body’s inbuilt defences alongside conventional medicine. Obviously some herbs can be contraindicated in people with specific medical conditions, so you should ALWAYS research properly before beginning a new regime.
The spells and practical magic on this site are intended to complement and support, NOT to replace conventional medicine. I do not advise anybody to abandon a treatment regime without first consulting their doctor.
I work with herbs and oils on a daily basis and see the results with my own eyes. However, I am NOT a qualified herbalist. I offer suggestions and ideas based on the concepts of Traditional Hedgerow Healing. These are in NO WAY designed to replace the advice of a fully trained medical professional.
If you are in doubt, consult a trained herbalist or medical professional.
Do you have any old home remedies you swear by? I’d love to hear about them. Leave a comment below!
For more about Enevow Holyer, have a look at THIS.