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Body Talk - 7th August

Tonight's guest was Crissi Cromer, Western Herbalist. Our own tradition of herbalism seems to have been overtaken by more exotic herbs from foreign climes, but Crissi explained that we have all that we need to heal ourselves right on our doorstep, even in our gardens if we take the time to look.

Western Herbalists go through a rigorous training, equivalent to that of training to be a doctor. They are fully able to diagnose illness, just as if you were to visit your doctor. They are able to treat just about any condition apart from STD's and cancer. Although they are able to treat the conditions that may accompany these ailments such as stress and fatigue.

Herbalists take a holistic approach to healthcare, a typical initial consultation would take into account lifestyle, diet, medical history and the presenting problem. Herbalists work on the basis that  treating the symptom may not be treating the cause.

We are all aware of own herbal traditions, but perhaps don't recognise them as such. Things like rubbing a dock leaf on a nettle sting, there's also a plant that you can use instead of a dock leaf, it's the small flat plant with leathery leaves that we hate to have in the middle of our grass! That one is useful in soothing all types of stings and burns.

Crissi told us how we can also use the petals from flowers, I'd often wondered if it was safe to eat the flowers that sometimes decorate a lovely summer salad. Apparently rose petals are good for the heart, and help to heal emotional difficulties. Nasturtiums are also good, the leaves are excellent for the digestion. All of the more pungent herbs are good for digestion, like basil and mint. Dandelion root is good for the liver.

Kew Gardens are currently collecting old herbal remedies to compile a book. So if you have any old remedies that your mother or grandmother used let me know about them and I can pass them on.

If you'd like any further info on the subject, let me know and I can pass your questions on to Crissi.

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