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Meet Helen

I am a Qualified medical herbalist, with many years of clinical practice behind me. I completed my Herbal Medicine degree 9 years ago, following many years engaged with herbs, health and well being.

I am committed to a holistic approach to health and to supporting the body’s innate ability to heal. In consultations I work to build an integrated, personal health picture and a treatment plan which incorporates information on diet and life style, mental wellbeing, medical history and a full enquiry into physical symptoms. I endeavour to support the individual in finding their path back to intrinsic health.

In addition to consultation work  I run Herbal Medicine making workshops, herb identification walks and make and sell my own range of herbal products.

I offer herbal medicine consultations face to face, via Zoom and over the phone, from my home-based consultation room. For information see, Contacts 
Workshops and Herb Walks

I run herbal workshops and herb walks in the local area and beyond.

For more information see, Events

Markets and Stalls

For more information, see, Events

Meeting Elder-history and use.

The botanical name for Elder is Sambucus nigra, or Black Elder (as distinct from the Red Elder which is a native of North America and not used medicinally). In the autumn It is the black berries that we are most interested in harvesting.

Elder has always been wound up with a great deal of folk lore and legend. It was believed to be the tree used by Prometheus to bring fire down to Earth from the Gods; its hollow stems have also been used to make flutes or blow air into the embers of a flagging fire. The Elder Mother is thought to live in the elder and for that reason it is always important to ask her permission if you are harvesting from the tree. A great deal more myth and legend is connected withe this tree.

In the spring, the elder will be covered in beautiful cream clusters of blossom; these flowers can also be used medicinally for example as a tea for fevers to promote sweating, hay fever or simply a tasty and cooling cordial; more about the flowers in the spring

The black berries are harvested when they are hanging heavily from their reddened stalks; later they can easily be removed from these stalks using a fork. The major use for berries today is for colds and flu, as they are rich in anti-oxidants which help promote immune health. In one clinical trial, which followed over 300 people on a long haul flight from Australia; those who took an elderberry preparation reported a significantly reduced duration and severity of symptoms compared with the placebo group. 

Probably the most used preparation with elderberries is elderberry syrup.


Take 1 part dried elderberries to 4 parts water, place in a pan, bring to the boil and simmer for around 20mins.

Allow to cool a little, strain off the elderberries and return liquid to the pan.

Add 1 part unrefined sugar or honey and rapid boil for about 10 mins.

Allow to cool a little than bottle and label.

The adult dose is 1 to 2 teaspoons every few hours.

It should last from 1 to 2 months, if it is kept in the fridge and if you want a longer shelf life add a little spirit alcohol to the bottle.

You could also research making a tincture using strong vodka or add the dried berries to tea blends.

Historically elderberry has been used for pain and inflammation, particularly the pain and inflammation connected with joints and rheumatism.

Energetically, the Elder is connected with relief of 'stuck' emotionally congested states. It will help to remove fears and bring clarity. (Kindred, G)



Bartram, T., Bartram's Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine; Robinson publishing Ltd, London; 1998

Foret, R & Han, E., Wild Remedies; Hay House Inc;2020

Grieves, M. A Modern Herbal. Tiger Books International, 1st published 1931; this Ed. 1998.

Hoffmann, D., Medical Herbalism; Healing Arts Press, Vermont; 2003

Kindred, G., Herbal Healers, Profile Books; Main edition, 2002

Seal, JB & Seal, M., Hedgerow Medicine; Merlin Unwin Books Ltd, Ludlow; 2008


Meeting Elder-history and use

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