About

Hello! I’m Cat and welcome to The Tasty Herbalist, a resource for all things related to herbal medicine. Thanks for stopping by!

A little about me

      Who would have thought that a childhood of running free outdoors gathering plants, and cooking them up on an old saucepan over the barbecue would eventually pay off! I qualified as a medical herbalist in 2008 after completing a BSc (Hons) Herbal Medicine from the Scottish School of Herbal Medicine. On graduating I took on the role of Course Director at the school up until its closure in 2010. I’ve since become a parent and live in South Ayrshire with my partner, daughter, dog and dysfunctional cat. Herbal medicine is my passion and I love sharing what I know so that everyone can enjoy it as much as I do.

You can contact me by email: tastyherbalist(at)googlemail(dot)com

A little about the blog

The notion to start a blog occurred as I contemplated making a herb tea and promptly made a coffee instead, and this got me thinking. In theory all these herbs, berries, roots and flowers, which I have prepared over the years, should taste good. So why was I choking down tinctures while holding my nose and bypassing a healthy tea for a morning of caffeine fuelled jitters?

Sipping my coffee (ground, black, no sugar thanks) I idly flicked through ’A Garden of Herbs’ written by Eleanour Sinclair Rohde (1926) where she says:

“Why do we never make strawberry wine…? Why are our salads such dull affairs compared with the salads of Tudor and Stewart days? Why do we not flavour vinegar with gillyflowers, rosemary and many other herbs? Why do we never serve syrups made from flower-petals with sweet dishes?”

Quite Eleanour.

Modern herbal medicine has become a drudgery of dried herbs and extracts in ethanol and while they really do have their place it has all become a bit dull in its convenience.

Herbs were used in wines, ales, spirits, aromatic waters, syrups and pomanders. Good traditional uses which still have value today, but if we extend beyond those uses and look into more modern recipes who’s to say they can’t go into ice-cream, jellies, sauces, ketchups, pickles, chocolates, fudge and lollipops?

While initially my idea for this blog was to focus on the ‘making of tasty things’ I now view this website as a place to explore, develop and research other ways of using herbs and to make this information accessible to everyone. I see this place as being an ever expanding, practical and accessible resource for all things related to herbs and their medicinal uses…with the occasional ‘tasty thing’ thrown in.

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7 thoughts on “About

  1. Linda

    Cat….can you grow most all herbs….the chestnut is a tree….I think it likes a humid and moist environment. Can you grow fruit and nut trees too? Will dried herbs make just a potent ointment as fresh leaves or will it take more dried herbs to make the same strength as fresh leaves?
    Linda

    Reply
    1. tastyherbalist Post author

      Hi Linda, I grow some herbs but I gather most of them carefully from the wild. I have two big horse chestnut trees which grow near my house and I harvest the leaves and conkers from them to make medicine. You could potentially grow them but they are huge when mature. Dried herbs can be used in ointments but I have a preference for fresh herbs. I haven’t tried this particular ointment using dried leaves, so I wouldn’t want to comment on it’s efficacy, but you could certainly give it a try…just be aware that the dried herbs will absorb some of the oil so you’ll need to add a little extra.

      Reply
  2. Linda

    I was thinking that the horse chestnut ointment was made with the seeds. I have since seen some salves made with the seeds and not the leaves. Have you made recipes with the seed too? Do they have different qualities in their healing properties?

    Reply
    1. Cat Post author

      Hi Linda,

      The majority of salves do use the seeds but I use the leaves in the spring and the seeds in the autumn. It means I can continue to make ointments as the seasons change. The leaves are higher in tannins and the seeds higher in saponins so they are different but they can still both be used for the same purposes…that’s to say their constituents are different but they still have the same end result. Hope that helps!

      Reply
      1. Linda

        Thank you Cat. I appreciate your feedback on preparing herbs. I’m just learning about preparations, but have used herbal teas for years to “correct” different dysfunctions of my body.

  3. Belinda Y. Hughes

    Hey Cat,
    How can I access your archives? I’m a special diets food blogger and would like to promote some of your edible recipes in my posts and recipe index. The chocolate recipes are of particular interest.

    Reply
    1. tastyherbalist Post author

      Hi Belinda, Thanks for drawing attention to the lack of archives! I’ve changed the theme and made the archives more accessible. For edible recipes it might be worth looking at http://www.veganfamily.co.uk/kitchen.html or http://housewifeseries.wordpress.com/ as both have a large range of vegan recipes both sweet and savoury. I’ll be adding more recipes here so if you don’t find what you’re looking for right now you might in a few months time.

      Reply

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