Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A Herbalist’s Blog

St John's Wort flowerThe Forest Farm Peace Garden now has its own resident Herbalist – Debbie Syrett who is a Western Medical Herbalist with all the necessary impressive-sounding letters after her name.

Her passion is to give people back the knowledge their grandmother’s had. She wants to demonstrate that you don’t need to run to the chemist or the GP for pharmaceutical drugs every time you get a cold, diarrhoea or an upset stomach. You can use natural, safe products that you’ve probably already got in your kitchen cupboards or that you can find in your local supermarket.

So she is having a series of informal workshops up at the Farm.

The first one, on Sunday, 10th August (at 11:00am) “Looking after your family safely with herbs – Understanding how to use herbs for Health” will give you some information about what herbs do and how to use them

The second workshop, on 17th August (at 11:00) will be the first one on simple medicine making “Herbs for First Aid”.

Thereafter she is looking for suggestions on what subjects you would find interesting. A special interest of hers is ‘Obesity, diet and Diabetes’.

IMPORTANT: Not to end with a ‘downer’ but please, please consult with a professional before taking herbs, particularly if you are already on any pharmaceutical drugs or have a serious medical condition – they are not all benign and safe.

The Herb Society


  1. Debbie, I would like to come to your meetings but I am not sure of the precise location.

  2. Phillis,
    The Peace Garden is on the old allotment site at the bottom of Hazelbrouck Road Hainault. You go through a steel gate and then under the railway arch whereupon a "secret garden" awaits.

    This should link to a map

  3. Whoops, that should be Hazelbrouck Gardens.

  4. herbs! very interested.
    I might be on my shop duty at the allotment on these days. How long to the sessions last?

  5. Thank you for your prompt reply re location of Debbie's meetings. I hope to be there.

  6. The talks should take about 2 hours - give or take a tea break and general questions - I'm afraid I can't answer specific questions about personal health concerns at these talks - I do a full medical history and examinations before prescribing anything when someone consults me.

  7. Thank you to Debbie for giving more details.
    Sorry to be a pain, but will we see the herbs in a herb garden or will this be a lecture which could be delivered anywhere?
    To go back to my happy go lucky self, I would like information on how to use foxgloves, hemlock, deadly nightshade and many other friendly plants!
    ps: my sister, in St Louis, is having fun-time controlling poison ivy.
    Lovely mother nature!

  8. Yes, there is a herb garden up at the Farm where Debbie has been planting and tending.
    I'll email you the full blog diary from Debbie.

  9. I have a question for your knowledgeable browsers!
    This morning, David and I bumped into the lovely Gareth who is one of the volunteers at the Forest Farm Peace Gardens.
    Gareth is unaware of a project at Valentines Park where they are going to use the kitchen gardens of the mansion to grow local food.
    Surely, the two projects should be closely linked.(They are both applying for Lottery Grants.) Who should be responsible for organising a proper flow of communications between all these worthy projects?
    (Morris, you are not allowed to refer to any brewery!)