Over the centuries we have increasingly lost connection – to our health, one another, to the planet and the plants that inhabit it.
Many of us now find ourselves taking a trip to the doctors for a cure to an illness or disease that we could have helped to prevent or could have managed ourselves.
At Pukka, we are strong believers in self care; doing all that you can naturally to prevent an illness taking over and having to resort to pharmaceutical drugs.
The good news is, we don’t have to look far for natural solutions to support health – they’re likely already in our kitchen cupboards and growing in our gardens.
As part of a holistic approach to wellbeing, plants can play an integral role. Edible plants come in the form of herbs and spices, such as rosemary or cinnamon, fruits such as elderberry or rosehips, or flowers such as chamomile or meadowsweet.
Science shows that one of the reasons for the rise in chronic degenerative diseases is our reduction in the use of plants in our diet. All traditional societies have used plants for healing. Their high levels of protective phytochemicals have all been shown to protect our cells from environmental damage caused by pollution, stress and nutritional deficiencies.
In health maintenance there is nothing to compare with plants. They have the function of safely strengthening the tissues, immunity and integrity of the body whilst also offering the potential to cleanse, detoxify and clear wastes.
As well as helping us to connect to our wellbeing, plants are still a valuable part of the human relationship with nature and enhance our connection with the planet. The World Health Organisation (WHO) states that up to 80% of the world’s population depend on herbal medicine as the primary form of medical healthcare.
Join Pukka herbalist Simon Mills at River Cottage Festival to learn how to make your own effective home remedies for coughs, colds, sore joints, cuts and scrapes and more.
Here are Simon’s top six kitchen and garden remedies to whet your appetite!
• Turmeric – has been used in India for thousands of years as a spice and medicine. It is known to reduce aches and pains in joints and muscles and other inflammatory conditions. It is also known for supporting the gut and upset bowel flora, with prebiotic properties as well.
• Ginger – like turmeric, is a natural anti-inflammatory. It works by stimulating the circulation and is renowned for treating nausea and travel sickness.
• Cinnamon – powerfully supports the digestive system, especially when it is underperforming. It warms you up (goes very well with ginger) and helps in balancing blood sugar levels after meals.
• Elderberry – Bursting with brightly coloured pigments that act to protect you against all sorts of environmental stresses, especially in the winter. Elderberries have also demonstrated the ability to deactivate many strains of the flu virus.
• Lemon balm - a renowned settling herb for upset and nervous stomachs. It is great to calm upset kids as well - they love it!
• Lavender - another calming herb to help settle frazzled nerves and ease headaches.