• Bridgette Macilwaine

Garden Foraging

We were thankful to have Rachel Robertson with us to help forage and identify useful plants and herbs, which hold an array of health boosting vitamins and minerals.

We gathered in a group around Rachel as she handed out brown paper bags for collecting herbs and plants, and began to share knowledge on which plants to look out for, even in the cold winter season of December in the UK.

Going out into the garden and looking around, you’ll be surprised by the variety of edible plants which can be used - some of which most people consider “just a weed”.

These plants are used for a range of natural health remedies for promoting and strengthening our immune systems.

This list below highlights the plants which were collected from around the garden, with images below listed from left to right (starting top left):

  • Dock leaf

  • Dandelion root

  • Artichoke leaves

  • Thyme

  • 3 cornered leek

  • Nettles

  • Horseradish root

  • Bay leaves

If you have had a bad fever after being ill, our body looses minerals, this high mineral vinegar mix is an amazing natural drink to help the body strengthen and heal, other ingredients gathered were chillies and Pine tree needles.


🌿 Thyme – antibacterial and Expectorant (clears mucous from the lungs) good for healing coughs, good for bringing on saliva to help with digestions

🌿 Artichoke leaves - are a bitter that help boost detoxification and support the liver to function effectively

🌿 Dock leaves – a good bitter to help with and improve digestion, high in iron and good for the skin

🌿 Horseradish – in the mustard family, good for natural detoxification, this plant completely dies back in winter so you have to check that it’s well labelled in your garden. Cut off the section you require and make sure to leave ¾ of the root to allow it to grow back next year

🌿 Bay leaves – great for strengthening your body immunity and disease fighting abilities

🌿 Nettles - Good for detoxification, includes useful minerals, you can also soak fresh leaves in hot water and drink as a tea. Nettles contain good levels of vitamins A, B, C, E and K, as well as essential elements such as calcium, potassium, magnesium,and iron.

🌿 Chillies - powerful antioxidant and immune booster

🌿 Three cornered leek – in the allium family, crush between your fingers and smell to check for the noticeable onion scent, as fresh daffodil leaves and allium family leaves can very similar. NOTE: you do not want to pick the daffodil leaves as these are poisonous

🌿 Pine tree leaves (Christmas tree) also called Norway Spruce - great for strengthening your body immunity and disease fighting abilities. NOTE: double check before picking these as they can be very similar visually to a Yew plant, which is poisonous and ingesting must be avoided.

The aim of todays session was to collect a range of plants which would then be finely chopped and placed in a small jar, topped with vinegar and let to sit for for about 4 weeks, then strain and squeeze through muslin, add honey if desired and take a teaspoon if feeling ill.

The vinegar is great at drawing out the beneficial minerals from these plants, from which we can then drink this vinegar.

To find out more about Rachel Roberston and the services she can offer as a Nutritional Therapist, click here to visit her website.


Thanks for reading, if you have any questions or would love to join us at Whitehawk, head to the contact section and let us know!