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Rachel was interviewed by The Association of Master Herbalists as part of their "Meet the Herbalist" series last year. Watch the video here, or read the transcript if you prefer:



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Medicine – Reactive or Proactive, Individual or Whole?

How is it that our medical system has become reactive and looks at the human mind and body in separate parts addressing only those parts that are malfunctioning, ignoring the rest?

Treating the Whole Person

Oftentimes, I am working with a client who is being treated allopathically for some kind of health condition, for example acid reflux, insomnia, hypertension or arthritis, and the medication they are taking is causing other conditions to appear – swollen ankles, malabsorption of vitamins and nourishment from food, tension headaches, nausea and so on.


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Woman drinking water

With the incredible temperatures we are experiencing this summer, the need to drink to keep hydrated is essential to avoid fainting, drowsiness, light-headedness and lack of energy.


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For as long as I can remember, the British population has received and continues to receive information about foods that are good for you to eat and foods that are not good for you. Do you remember the great margarine challenge? Is it margarine or butter and how those chosen to do the tasting were unable to “tell the difference” because margarine tasted so good?


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Back at work in the office, or even if you are still working from home, working in the current heat of 25-27 degrees C can be quite difficult, heat often causes difficulty concentrating and drains energy in simply trying to stay cool.  Here are a few tips on how you can stay cool in the summer heat:


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During the hot June week, I was sitting in my garden enjoying my lunch pondering on which herb to feature in this month’s blog. Starring me in the face was and still is the beautiful Lemon Melissa, a calming herb commonly known as Lemon Balm, or by Melissa officinalis, its Latin name. “Melissa” comes from the Greek for bee and refers to the great attraction the plant holds for bees during its short flowering season.


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Foeniculum vulgare is a member of the Apiaceae family. It is a warm, spicy sweet herb that has affinity to the liver, kidneys, spleen – the seat of the immune system as well as the stomach. The main actions are to regulate Qi or Chi (depending on your spelling). Qi is the seat of energy within the body.

"Tossing doughnuts, fritters or fried dumplings in fennel sugar adds grown-up complexity without diminishing the indulgence factor”

Yotam Ottolenghi

Fennel is a rich source of vitamin C, potassium and dietary fibre as well as folic acid and phosphorous. It is also a good source of minerals including manganese, iron, calcium, magnesium and molybdenum.


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Woman with hayfever

Walking around the Oxfordshire countryside last week, I couldn't help notice the many fields of yellow at different stages of flowering. Of course, a very familiar sight at this time of year, not only in Oxfordshire, but across the country. Rape has many benefits to the farmer, firstly it controls blackgrass through stale seedbeds and then because of the earliness of maturity it provides an early entry for winter wheat, helping to spread the workload, free up storage as well as the farmer’s cash flow. Rape seed is grown for animal feed, vegetable seed oil and biodiesel.


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With the onset of spring comes one of our most common and prolific weeds, the stinging nettle. Many of us can relate to the nettle as mostly an unpleasant experience when inadvertently coming into contact and receiving a tingling, itching sensation to the skin for hours to come. Often the itching and tingling is joined by heat and becomes more active at night when you are trying to sleep. The more nettles that manage to sting you the longer it lasts and the more intensive the tingling. It is this very stinging that has the ability to stimulate circulation and relieve pain and swelling.


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Image of wedding dress fitting

Marriage is not just for one special day, your wedding day. It is for a lifetime. As Dr Joe Dispenza said, “In a marriage work on yourself instead of turning the relationship into work.” Why is it that so much planning and preparation go into one special day, with limited thought and preparation for making the rest of your lives together literally the happiest time of your life?