Plants that heal

21 July 2020

What do swallows stuffed with eggs, arsenic and lemon have to do with herbal remedies and beauty products?

Perhaps not a lot these days, but you might be surprised at the concoctions used and the reasons behind using them several hundred years ago.

According to herbalist and ethnobotanical researcher Anna Canning, our knowledge of our own bodies and our ability and confidence to look after them has been gradually eroded over the years with the loss of a common folk knowledge base, which is still strongly present in many other European cultures.

Determined to return this knowledge where it belongs – with people and communities – Anna gives many talks and workshops on how it is possible to include simple herbal measures in our daily life to help our health.

Among the workshops she runs is one on honey and herbs. She describes the anti-bacterial properties of honey and shows how it can be combined with other ingredients to make simple remedies and balms.