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Banana 'Ice cream'  or Banana Tea for Deep Sleep

Sleepless nights? Try banana 'ice cream' ! Simply peel and freeze a ripe banana, take it out of the freezer to soften a little before mashing, eat and enjoy!

Bananas, the peels in particular, are loaded with potassium and magnesium - two vital nutrients that will help you sleep better. While magnesium will help prevent sleep disturbances, both nutrients work together to help relax the muscles.

Note: It is also important to use organic bananas, because they are free of harmful pesticides. As this recipe requires you to heat the boiled peel, non-organic bananas should be avoided.


  • 1 organic banana
  • 1 small pot of water
  • Dash of cinnamon (optional)

1. Cut both ends off the banana, then place it, peel and all, into boiling water. Let the banana cook for around 10 minutes.
2. Use a colander to pour the banana water into a mug. If you like, you may sprinkle some cinnamon at this point. Drink the tea one hour before bed time. 
3. The left over banana is pretty tasty too. Serve it on a plate and dig in - skin included. The texture is soft, gooey and very enjoyable.

Let me know if it works for you!

Another nettle receipt to share ......... from my friend Alison xx

NETTLE BEER - for Tom!!  Sorry its in old-fashioned imperial weights....I've done my best to convert for you.
2lb nettles (0.9kg)
1 lemon
1oz (25gm) citric acid
1lb sugar (0.45kg)
1oz yeast (25gm)

Put nettles and lemon rind in pan.
Pour on 1 gallon (4.5 litres) boiling water. Boil 15 minutes.
Strain into a bucket, add lemon juice, sugar, citric acid.
When cool add yeast (if dry type, get going first in warm water/sugar solution)
Leave 3 days. Strain and bottle. Keep for 1 week before drinking.

Nettles - fantastic superfood and healing herb! Nettle is full of minerals that we need, especially iron... it acts as a powerful tonic, strengthening, energising, detoxifying, a real 'pick-me-up' to get us ready for summer. I also use nettle as a circulatory and diuretic herb, supporting the kidneys.  Its often in my arthritis mixes and is anti-allergic and very helpful for hay fever.

Surprisingly good Nettle Soup!
Use nettle tops, they are perfect in late April as they are young and fresh, pick about 8-10" stem.

Half a carrier bagful of stinging nettle tops

50g butter

1 large onion peeled and finely chopped

1 litre vegetable or chicken stock

1 large potato, peeled and cut into cubes

2 garlic cloves, crushed

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 tbsp crème fraîche

A few drops of extra-virgin olive oil

Wearing rubber gloves, sort through the nettles, discarding anything you don't like the look of and any thick stalks. Wash the nettles and drain in a colander.

Melt the butter in a large saucepan, add the onion and cook gently for 5-7 minutes until softened.

Add the stock, nettles and potato. Bring to a simmer and cook gently until the potato is soft, about 15 minutes. I add the garlic a few mintues before the end of simmering as it gives a stronger flavour but you can add it with the onion earlier.

Remove from the heat. Using an electric hand-held stick blender, purée the soup and then season with salt and pepper to taste.

Ladle into warmed bowls and float a teaspoonful of creme fraiche on top. As this melts, swirl in a few drops of extra-virgin olive oil.

This recipe is adapted from...

River Cottage Hedgerow Handbook

Re-Wilding with the Labyrinth.....  Mark Willenbruch and I were thrilled with our first taster workshop at Gaunt's Holistic Fair last Saturday. Mark talked about the intelligence of plants and the labyrinth itself; I followed with initial ideas about plant communication and then my Rose Heart Meditation to bring people right into the depths of their hearts. Hawthorn came with us too and proved to be a talking point which was wonderful! We will be following up with more on the labyrinth and re-wilding!


Following the Rosemary thread on my 'Healing with Plants' facebook page... here's the recipe for
Rosemary and Walnut Biscuits
225gm plain flour
170gm butter
85gm unrefined caster sugar
25gm unrefined granulated sugar
fresh rosemary, chopped - amount to taste but try 1 tablespoon initially
50gm walnuts, chopped,
or experiment with other nuts and herbs!

Blend butter and sugars. Add flour and herb/nuts, work in well.
Mix into a roll and chill in the fridge for several hours or overnight.
Cut into approx. 0.5-8cm thick slices (the old 1/4 inch!)
Bake at 190c for 8-10 minutes.

Our factory car park here in the Black Country is a herb garden!! This evening I have counted 15 medicinal plants growing around the edges of the car park, apart from the regulars - nettle, dandelion,plantain, there are some real specials - coltsfoot, melilot, mullein, and incredibly a couple growing out of the spoils dug out of the factory floor, wild oats and figwort. Must be the soil from under the old factory that was here on this site years ago... Others include mugwort, horsetail, red clover .... gifts from the neglected land around the canals!!
see my facebook page Julie Wood MNIMH for some photos!

Ancient herbal folk lore....

I've just spent an hour up at the herb garden in Shaftesbury Abbey, in the bright and sparkling sunshine. Peter and his team have worked hard and the herbs are looking glorious! I am thinking ahead to the afternoon herb walk/talks to be held on June 27th, celebrating Herbal Medicine Awareness Week....which plants do I include, some are simply beautiful, some have amusing stories to tell, some speak of ancient beliefs and healing traditions. Their medicine was applied in many ways and entwined with prayers. The exciting part is that so many are used today for exactly the same complaints - we have so much to learn from our ancestors.

Spring is just about over and we're into summer - the nettles are taking over the garden, hey ho, I can't make enough nettle soup to keep them under control, but the comma butterflies are happy! I've been harvesting the cleavers (Galium aparine) that is also rampant in the garden. This has been drying on the aga and I've also made a fresh herb tincture. Cleavers is THE herb for the lymphatic system - cleansing, moving, tonifying, supporting our general circulation and clearing out any stagnant toxic build up through the lymph glands. Indicated for swollen glands. It is also very effective in teas for cystitis as it is strongly diuretic. Cleavers is

Violets and primroses

Springtime is really with us...I walked the around the garden just now to find white violets under the old apple tree, primroses in the bank and a carpet of lesser celandine, all with special medicinal properties, what delights! Down by the stream grows ransoms, or wild garlic, you can pick the leaves to make pesto or risotto...

Violets, Viola odorata, have been used as a cough remedy, especially for bronchitis, as it is expectorant and anti-inflammatory. It has a reputation as a herb used in the treatment of cancer and recent research nows shows that it has a component with cytotoxic action
that causes cancer cell death by membrane permeabilization.

Guy's wild garlic pesto
In a blender, whizz together roughly equal quantities of wild garlic, hazelnuts and permesan with some olive oil until you get the texture you like (it's good to have the nuts a bit granular). Season with black pepper. It's very garlicky!!
courtesy of Guy at Riverford; buy wild garlic here online

White violets

Hello to everyone!

The first entry on my hello to all!
 I want to use this space to shout about plants for healing and share the wonder and joy of our beautiful earth. That's pretty challenging as its often impossible to put into words the depth of this feeling.
At the very least I hope to open people's hearts a little and to re-connect them to their plants and their planet. It's vital that we all wake up and value every little thing around us in the natural world - then we will want to work to change our actions,to protect our environment and to promote sustainable living. I'm on this learning path along with everyone but I've got to start this journey now.

Just look at this amazing borage plant! Borage seeds are high in GLA, an omega-6 polyunsaturated fatty acid, and we also use the flowering plants to help with adrenal fatigue. History tells us that borage was used in a ceremonial drink given to crusaders before they departed for battle overseas - to give courage. Herb not to be used in pregnancy or for long periods of time without consultation with a Medical Herbalist.

So its a big hello to all you beautiful people ....
with love, Julie



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