Medicinal Forest Garden Trust Blog

Sweet bay: Research notes

Sweet bay: Research notes

Sweet bay (Laurus nobilis) This is an attractive evergreen tree, with glossy green aromatic leaves and spicy berries, used for culinary and medicinal purposes since classical times. Medicinal effects Sweet bay leaves are anti-inflammatory. They have been used since...

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Discovering Westonbirt Arboretum

Discovering Westonbirt Arboretum

This is a tree-lover's paradise deserving of repeat visits! Westonbirt Arboretum provides a good opportunity to see fully grown specimens of a wide range of medicinal trees. We visited in mid-March and glorious pink and white magnolia flowers were bursting out high up...

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Quince: Research Notes

Quince: Research Notes

Quince (Cydonia oblonga)  A small Asian tree that has medicinal uses not only for its golden aromatic fruits but also bark, leaves and seeds. Medicinal effects The quince is most widely known for its fruit which has anti-oxidant, astringent, carminative, diuretic and...

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Pollarding Medicinal Trees For a Sustainable Harvest: Part 1

Pollarding Medicinal Trees For a Sustainable Harvest: Part 1

How do you sustainably harvest trees in the medicinal forest garden? What if you need to  stop medicinal trees from getting too large? What works well in a permaculture design for producing botanical supplies such as bark, flowers, fruit and leaves from trees? In Part...

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Pollarding Medicinal Trees For a Sustainable Harvest: Part 2

Pollarding Medicinal Trees For a Sustainable Harvest: Part 2

How does pollarding work? What works well in a permaculture design for harvesting botanical supplies such as bark, flowers, fruit and leaves from trees? Which trees pollard best? In Part 1 of this blog I focused on pollarding as a useful approach, and here in Part 2 I...

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Discovering Harlow Town Park Forest Garden

Discovering Harlow Town Park Forest Garden

An extensive urban park in Essex now includes a biodiverse forest garden including many culinary and medicinal plants, described here by guest author Madeleine Paine, landscaping and garden designer. Getting started I have worked both paid and voluntarily at Harlow...

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Hawthorn: Research Notes

Hawthorn: Research Notes

Hawthorn (Crataegus monogyna)  A small European tree, with fragrant flowers, leaves and red berries all providing benefits to the circulation. Medicinal effects The hawthorn is in the rose (Rosaceae) family. Medicinal actions are antioxidant, cardiotonic,...

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Spicebush: Research Notes

Spicebush: Research Notes

Spicebush is a North American woodland shrub with aromatic leaves and spicy berries that is worthy of greater recognition.

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All About Drying Herbs

All About Drying Herbs

Essentials Success in drying herbs starts with a good harvest - it is important to source fresh plant material free of insects and damaged parts. For more about harvesting guidelines see Chapter 5 in The Medicinal Forest Garden Handbook. If fresh plant material is to...

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Mulberry: Research Notes

Mulberry: Research Notes

Mulberry is a fantastic tree, not only for the fruit but also for the medicinal leaves! Medicinal effects Black mulberry leaves are antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, astringent, diaphoretic, hypoglycaemic. The black mulberry is rich in phenolic compounds...

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New Medicinal Forest Garden Trust website

New Medicinal Forest Garden Trust website

New Medicinal Forest Garden Trust website Hurrah, in 2021, our new website for the Medicinal Forest Garden Trust is now fully established. On this website there are pages dedicated to medicinal trees (and of course shrubs) and growers, providing information about...

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Blackberry: Research Notes

Blackberry: Research Notes

We think of it as an invasive weed but blackberry has a lot to offer! Medicinal effects Blackberry (Rubus fruticosus) is a common deciduous shrub sending out arching prickly stems up to 3-5 m long which in turn take root. The leaves and root are strongly astringent...

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Delighting in Conifers

Delighting in Conifers

Delighting in conifers - the wonders of pine Pine trees are well known for their aroma, and provide a wonderful medicinal resource all year round. The buds and leaves or needles are rich in essential oils (particularly pineol). The medicinal effects are primarily...

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Seeds and Plant Sources: Part 2

Seeds and Plant Sources: Part 2

Seeds and Plant Sources: Part 2 This is Part 2 of a blog about sourcing trees and shrubs for the medicinal forest garden. It can be difficult to find the right herbal seed and plant sources! But help is at hand in our two-part blog on (1) seed suppliers and (2) plant...

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Seeds and Plant Sources: Part 1

Seeds and Plant Sources: Part 1

Seeds and Plant Sources: Part 1 It can be difficult to find the right herbal seed and plant sources for a medicinal forest garden! But help is at hand in this two-part blog on (1) seed suppliers and (2) plant nurseries. Seeds and plant sources Locating plants for your...

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Alder: Research Notes

Alder: Research Notes

Alder: Research Notes Common alder (Alnus glutinosa) is perhaps a less well-known plant species in modern Western herbal medicine. Yet it has much potential as a bitter tonic with astringent, antiinflammatory, antimicrobial and alterative actions. Many traditional...

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Discovering Medicinal Trees in an Arboretum

Discovering Medicinal Trees in an Arboretum

Path alongside Newton St Cyres churchyard to the Arboretum Some arboretums are just waiting to be discovered! Recently we visited the Arboretum at Newton St Cyres, UK. Visiting an arboretum provides a wonderful opportunity to see named trees, both native and...

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Buzzing Around Medicinal Trees

Buzzing Around Medicinal Trees

There are many different kinds of bees that act as pollinators, including honey bees and bumblebees which are social bees living in colonies. Other kinds are solitary bees such as leaf-cutter bees, mason and mining bees, and there are other pollinators including...

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About a Book…

About a Book…

At last I can begin to relax as my book all about medicinal trees and shrubs is finally on its way. Permanent Publications will be issuing The Medicinal Forest Garden Handbook in April this year

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Discovering Herb Seeds

Discovering Herb Seeds

We have been sorting out seeds, many of them bundled into paper bags in the autumn and stuffed in the shed, lost and forgotten... almost. Since they were allowed to ripen on the plants, the neglect has not been too damaging, and it has been a matter of sifting and...

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