Monday, June 30, 2008

Thanks for the party...

Thanks to all who joined me on my birthday, I had a great night and really enjoyed the food at Drennans. That early bird menu is damn good value. Thanks for all my gifts.
Morcheeba we're great live in the spring and airbrake. Gave me a buzz for live music again, i'm really looking forward to the Exit festival in Serbia this summer.

Jon, I made the playdoh teapot. Thanks.A little bit hard to drink green tea or herbal tea out of though! Nice display case.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Maid Marians herbal tea masterclass.

For those of you who didn't know Annie is pregnant. Annie and her partner both over the moon and are moving out of Belfast to the country side to set up family. Lots of people have been asking Annie what teas to take when pregnant. Most of us know that avoiding caffeine and alcohol is recommended but what of teas? As a taster of heading out to live in the sticks and to buff up on our herbal tea blending skills Annie and I booked ourselves into a workshop and lecture with Marian Partridge, a medical herbalist from Downpatrick, Northern Ireland with over 13 years experience in herbal blending as well as other alternative therapies such as Reiki.

-Annie and Marian in the herbal clinic-
My day started very relaxed with a cup of sage tea and Annie was advised not to go near sage but to drink raspberry leaf tea instead. Even though many think of raspberry leaf tea for inducing labour it can help all the way through apparently. For a relaxing tea throughout Rooibos or Red Bush is also recommended.
Before I had realised I had a wealth of knowledge before I had even finished my cuppa. Marian had prepared the day in a way to suit all who attended of which there we're 5 of us altogether.

- Annie looking very calm and serene (and pregnant!) in the ash woods at the bottom of the garden.-
As well as keeping bees Marians garden is her source of ingredients for her tinctures, balms and herbal teas. We harvested some lemon balm and elderflower for a tincture. We drank elm, birch and hawthorn tea, Made a skin cream from Marigold flowers and amongst other things like discussing what tea herb does what for our bodies we all enjoyed a superb lunch in the baking sun of which most was fresh from the garden we we're sitting in. The day progressed at a calm pace and we managed to cram a lot in.
Marian had a patient in while we we're there and a boiled mixture of dock leaves (i think) was stuffed into tea pockets that we had provided earlier in the day to the ladies hip. The treatment room was very organised and to the standard of what you would imagine for any treatment room with the exception of her medicine cupboard. Instead of the standard cupboard full of white bottles of multicoloured pills there stood a wall of jars full of weird and wonderful plants, herbs, roots and flowers. Frankincense and Myrrh, bilberries, ginseng and fugain tea, green tea, rose petals, elder flowers, peppermint, nettle, purple sage and many more.
Most of these we're collected by Marian herself. Grown locally or requested by fellow herbalists across Europe.
The day was wonderfully relaxing and we finished by giving Marian some SUKI TEA Fair-trade Belfast Brew. We had learnt a lot about what herbs and their wonderful healing powers. Especially what to take and what not to take when you're pregnant. Raspberry leaves and Rooibos (red bush) apparently.

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