Category: DIY

Making Creams with Young Mum’s at Gate 55

Gate 55 is a community centre in South West Edinburgh. Today I had great fun sharing recipes for making herbal creams and body butters with the Young Mum’s Group. We made a whole range of products from body lotion to nappy rash, with lovely soothing calendula, nourishing wheatgerm oil, healing comfrey oil & St John’s …

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Its Autumn: Time to Make Fire Cider!

Lovely recipe from the wonderful American herbalist Rosemary Gladstar. As I am half American I really enjoy learning about American herbalism and recipes from across the water. I’m looking forward to making some fire cider this weekend. This recipe is also clearly a variation on the traditional European ‘Four Thieves Vinegar.’ The old story is that …

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Its Rosehip Time Again

Despite it being the end of summer, I have always loved berry season. I’ve recently discovered a new way to make rosehip syrup which keeps all the nutrients in which I’ve been trying out. Actually, this recipe for Raw Rosehip Syrup is very old. The idea is that by boiling the hips for a long …

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Foraging for Sea Buckthorn

We are blessed in Edinburgh to have had Sea Buckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides) introduced to the shores of our neighbouring region East Lothian to stabilise the dune systems. This orange-berried plant now wildly grows wild all down the coast, to the extent that conservationist volunteers have to chop it back regularly to keep paths clear. Sea Buckthorn, …

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DIY: Bee Hive Lip Balm

Back before Christmas I did two workshops with Seasons, a local mental health group run by the Council. I’ve been doing various bits of community gardening and nature related work with Seasons for a few years now, and have always really enjoyed their friendly atmosphere and shared food. This time we made home made lip …

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DIY: Herbal Syrups

What are syrups?  A syrup is very simply a sugary mixture, and if you add herbs to it, it is a herbal syrup! Sugar is a preservative ingredient so syrups can be a good way of preserving fresh herbs to take later on when they are no longer in season. When would I take them?  …

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DIY: Rosehip & Elderberry Winter Syrup

Dark cold winters over the last few years have been vastly improved for me through the heartwarming activity of making delicious spiced winter berry syrups. I can’t emphasise just how easy these are to make, and while they absolutely do fall into the category of medicine, they are very scrummy and I wouldn’t hold it …

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A New Toy – Dehydrator!

I’m very excited to have recently bought a dehydrator. In our damp climate, its really tough to properly dry herbs that I’ve harvested or foraged, and so this little piece of kit is incredibly useful. As well as drying herbs, I’m also going to use it to make a whole bunch of delicious raw foods …

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DIY: Infused Oils

Its been three months now since I set a jar of olive oil on the window stuffed full of calendula petals. We’ve been unusually blessed with sun this summer and so the oil has taken on a beautiful dark orange colour, indicating its now full of marigold-y-goodness. The final stage in the sun method of …

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DIY: Infused Oils

I’ve been steadily picking Calendula blossoms from my little herb garden for a few weeks now. It might seem like this blog is a bit too obsessed with Marigolds, but they really are wonderful, known as the ‘sunshine herb’ to gardeners and herbalists alike. Marigolds are incredibly easy to grow, doing well in almost any …

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