Tales from a Travelling Herbalist: Part 3
Have had a few days off the farm, up in the Tofino National Park area. We stayed at the Tofino Botanic Gardens, a stunning location, with lovely gardens. A very personal take on the theme of a Botanic Garden, twelve areas of garden, forest and shoreline. The mission of the gardens is to inspire conservation of the world's coastal temperate rainforest. Coincidentally, George, who started the gardens used to work in the Wilson Botanic Gardens in Costa Rica with a friend of mine Luis Diago Gomez, an inspired Ethno botanist and Director of the Wilson Gardens. Luis introduced me to Costa Rica and the forest there.
As soon as we got back to the farm it was time to weed the beds growing the skin herbs. Burdock, is a herb I use almost daily in clinic so it was nice to get acquainted with the growing plant. The herb has actions on the liver and is thought of as a cleansing herb. I am sure many people remember the soft drink Sarsaparilla and Burdock which was also thought of as a cleansing health drink. Many of our soft drinks started out as ' health drinks', even Coca Cola and Vimto were thought to be healthy. Here's a shot of some Burdock growing on the farm here.
I make up a very old skin formula, originally developed by Duncan Napier, called Sarsaparilla and Burdock Compound. This contains herbs to tone the whole system. Traditional herbalists felt that any disease, like a skin problem for example, was the result of a lack of function in all the body systems. If your bowels were not working properly, if you were constipated, you might have skin problems. The traditional compounds contained many herbs, each one specific to a body system.
I still find these formulas invaluable in clinic and I regularly use Sarsaparilla and Burdock.