The Centre for Plant Directed Learning
With Isla Burgess
It is beginning to feel like early Spring in this wild land, a Thrush sitting at the top of a tree sings a diverse range of different songs, the stream’s music is as diverse and I am enveloped by both.
The Miners lettuce in full flower draws me into itself and the abundant chickweed in the Tunnel House makes me smile. It is the Chickweed that is the focus of this post. The photo is below with Miners Lettuce underneath.
I have uploaded a 36 page booklet called ‘Superfoods and Superweeds and the ABC of Greenroots Medicine’, it could also be called ‘Staying Healthy in a Changing World’ that I wrote sometime ago and you can access for free.
Superweeds, Superherbs, Superfoods and the ABC of Greenroots Medicine By Isla Burgess is a small handbook, big on information and ideas including;
- Edible common weeds
- Food list for emergencies
- Your herbal emergency kit
- Health facts and fallacies
- See below for how to access this.
There are approx 150 medicinal plants growing on this land now and there is so much to know about each one.
Being a Participant in the ‘The Traditions, Art and Science of Herbal Medicine’ Course run over one weekend a month for 6 months is an invaluable way to learn about some of the plants that grow well here.
It is …unique participatory, grass roots, immensely practical course that is a combination of knowledge and wisdom gained over 40 years exploration of the plants we use as medicine.
For details See https://islaburgess.com/viriditascourses/
An excerpt on Chickweed from ‘Superfoods and Superweeds and the ABC of Greenroots Medicine’
Stellaria media – About Chickweed
You cannot intimately study the plant world without being amazed by the sensual, sexual and extravagant nature of each plant. Wild plants have this and all that ‘wild energy’ adds to our health and wellbeing when we eat them. Chickweed has this in excess with an abundance of vitamins, minerals and some sensual saponins. It is no ‘hot chick’, though, but cool and laidback.
Where to look for it? In damp, shady places, mostly growing in the cooler months.
Identifying features that distinguish it from similar looking plants:
♦ small, white flowers, deeply indented to look like 10 petals.
♦ a fine line of hairs along one side of each segment; it changes position on the next segment.
♦ the stems are brittle, but a break reveals a strong inner cord.
♦ leaves are moist and oval shaped.
Main Nutrients – The plant contains:
♦ Minerals – iron, copper, calcium, sodium, magnesium, potassium, manganese, phosphorus and zinc.
♦Vitamins A, B complex, C (excellent source) and D.
Main Plant Chemicals (Phytochemicals)
Contains saponins, which are very important chemicals, with a range of actions, such as reducing inflammation and itch. It is invaluable for a range of skin conditions, (see the medicine section). Some folk references say that it is a male tonic, which is not surprising given its zinc content. In all hormone receptors, there is a ‘zinc finger’ at the core. It is important for both ovarian and testicular function.
Seeds – These are produced in abundance and would have some nutritional benefit.
The above is one facet of the plant’s wholeness, in this small plant their is so much to know.
The whole booklet can be downloaded from;
Workshops at Viriditas
You will find all the other workshops for the 2018/19 season under https://islaburgess.com/viriditascourses/
***Plant Immersion, Incubation and Inspiration a 5 day retreat in January
Practical, Participatory, Transformational, Experiential
***Therapeutic Issues in Women’s Health 1-3 A distance learning course in three separate parts.
The teenage experience, the menstruating mysteries, the menopausal mayhem and ageing challenges. What amazing depth and detail there is to discover about a woman’s life. That takes more time than most courses I have seen, offer.
***One off Event at Viriditas***
Collaborative process Inquiry – Changing the healing relationship With Roland Playle and Isla Burgess
This is a Participatory process. Workshop date November 17.18th 2018.