We invited Rachel from Hackney's finest herbalists for natural tips to see us through the darker months especially now compounded with this second bout of lockdown.
"Foraging really helped me in the last lockdown but it was Spring with so many wild herbs to liven the spirit during this time. Winter is all about slowing down, and nurturing and although nature is now more sleepy there's still lots to look out for, such as Sweet Chestnuts which you could gather to make your own nut milk:
Use 30 good sized chestnuts, halve them (still in their brown membrane shells)
Add roughly 3 x their volume of water.
Boil for 5 minutes, strain off saving the water and when the chestnuts have cooled, shell them and pop them back into the water and blend with a hand blender.
From the same source comes Sweet Chestnut flower remedy, which helps release us from a deep despair, bringing its life force as a guide.
"Keep dried herbs of Lavender, Lemon Balm, Hawthorn and Tulsi close to hand, use individually or blend to make a lovely tea to help keep the emotional heart supported and happy. Also try nutrient rich cleansing Spring herbs such as Dandelion and Nettle that have been dried to provide nourishment in these Winter months."
"My tip for coping with the stresses of lockdown is taking a herbal bath. They can be healing, uplifting, soothing and decongesting depending on the herbs you use. A foot or hand bath is also just as good if you don’t own a bath. Add herbs of choice such as Calendula, Lavender and Rose to a tea pot add hot water and leave to brew for 15 minutes and then pour into your bathwater. Or bundle these herbs up into muslin, tie it up and add to a running bath"
Photo credit ©Tim Walker
Wilder Botanics can be found at 77 Broadway Market E8 or online. Here at Folk we are massive fans of their concoctions and offer various tinctures, tonics and formulas right here.