Who’s it for?
The use of plants as medicine predates written history and their use to treat disease is almost universal among non-industrialised societies. This course is designed for anyone who would like to gain an understanding of the wild plants found in woodlands, meadows and hedgerows. Because of the way the course is structured, we are confident that it is suitable for a complete novice up to the more experienced.
We will look in detail at identifying commonly found native herbs, when and how to harvest them, how to dry and store them and how to make simple remedies from them. So if you have an interest in plants in general, or herbal remedies in particular, this is the course for you.
What will I do?
Our Herbal Remedies day takes on 2 main components:
- Firstly the identification and collection of native plants that have herbal uses and then
- The preparation of some herbal remedies.
From the meeting point we will take you for a gentle walk around our woodland and surrounding hedgerows and show you the many trees and plants that have herbal uses. We’ll concentrate on positive identification and uses as well discussing classification, composition and indications.
We will collect some of these plants and, after a wild foods lunch, discuss how to store them and how to make various types of remedy such as infused oils, tinctures, decoctions, infusions, ointments etc.
We will prepare and try out a selection of herbal infusions and then make some herbal remedies; this is likely to include a number of crèmes and ointments.
If you wish to take any of the remedies home with you, there will be a small fee to cover our costs.
By making a booking you confirm that you have read and agree to our Terms & Conditions.
To view our full course schedule, click here.
Location: Westwell, Kent
Duration: 1 day
Course size: Maximum of 8
Catering: Lunch provided
Note: There is a short walk from the meeting point to the camp.
You might also find these Frequently Asked Questions useful.
Herbal Medicine & the Law
New European Union rules came into force in 2011 aiming to protect people from possible damaging side-effects of over-the-counter herbal medicines. Safety concerns have focused on the powerful effects of some herbal remedies, as well as the way they interact with conventional drugs. For example, St John’s Wort can interfere with the contraceptive pill.
These regulations allow only long-established and quality-controlled medicines to be sold. The regulations cover widely used products such as echinacea, St John’s Wort and valerian, as well as traditional Chinese and Indian medicines. Only products that have been assessed by the Medicine and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) are allowed to go on sale.
What our customers say
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I went on this course last year, and enjoyed it so much I had to experience it again! Not so lucky with the weather this year but still a had a great time! Gary and Nicola are wonderful leaders, and impart so much information, I'd advise taking a notebook (I forgot one!!). Great bunch of people on this course made the day even more special, and Nicola's food...sublime selection of food that was mostly flavoured by what was picked on the way to the wood! The infusions too slightly push your taste boundaries! Thank you again both....and give Willow a pat and hug from me!
Another excellent Jack Raven course, I just keep coming back.
Love spending time in the woodland camp, but the walk and foraging for plants was also very good. Gary and Nicola are so knowledgeable. I've come away with ointments for my bumps and bruises, but also with the knowledge of infusions. Thanks for a great day. (The lunch was cracking too 🙂 )
The Herbal Remedies course was so interesting and I learnt so much today, thank you Gary and Nicola. If you are thinking of going on this course, all I would say is go for it! We walked for hours round the countryside, looking at plants and talking about their uses but the time flew by and the walk was gentle and relaxing. Back at the camp, Nicola prepared a delicious lunch incorporating some of the plants we had helped to pick along the walk and it all tasted amazing. After lunch, we learnt how to make some ointments and learnt about the plants medicinal uses. My advice would be to take a notebook - Gary and Nicola are very generous at sharing their knowledge!
Having been on the excellent 'Wild foods and woodland cookery' course earlier in the year, I was really looking forward to the 'herbal remedies' day .... and it certainly didn't disappoint! In the morning, my fellow foragers and I gathered an array of wild plants under the expert guidance of Nicola and Gary - who, through their wealth of knowledge, friendliness and enthusiasm, made this a hugely informative and enjoyable experience. After a wonderful wild food lunch (I would come on a course just for that!) we had great fun creating 'natural alchemy' to make herbal medicines. Chopping and melting beeswax for the ointments definitely resurrected memories of childhood candle-making! We also sampled an array of tinctures and had our own 'herbal tea tasting' session, which was lovely! Thank you Nicola and Gary for another wonderful day at Jack Raven Bushcrafts. I would highly recommend this course to anyone interested in nature, plant remedies ...and excellent wild food!
I really enjoyed this course. Both Gary and Nicola were very friendly and knowledgeable and it was a great learning experience. I will definitely be back for more. Karoly