Tips from our herbalist Friday 15 May 2015 Our resident herbalist Jane, offers some ideas and suggestions for spring tonics to help wash away toxins and prepare for warm days ahead. SHEEP'S SORREL Sheep's Sorrel is a variety of dock and is a key ingredient of the well known anti-cancer remedy Essiac or Caisse formula, including Burdock root, Slippery Elm bark and Rhubarb root. It is a detoxifying herb with a diuretic action and also a gentle laxative. Sheep's Sorrel is regarded as a cleansing and stimulating tonic herb and is of particular value to the digestive tract. Sheep's Sorrel can also have a strong efficacy for the kidneys and should be avoided by those people prone to kidney stones due to its oxalate content. This herb is a popular addition to spring soups and is a tangy lemon-like addition to a wild green salad. Wild Green Salad Recipe Sheep's Sorrel leaves Dandelion Leaf Marigold Flowers Wild Rocket Garlic Mustard Salad Burnet Borage Lovage Wild Garlic Nasturtiums Wild Celery Leaf PLANTAIN Plantain is a very ancient plan having survived three ice ages to become a valued medicinal plant by early herbalists. In Gaelic, Plantain is known as "Plant of Healing" being much revered for its medicinal properties. This healing plan has long been used externally for wound healing, particularly as an addition to a drawing ointment along with daisy, marigolds and yarrow. In part this is due to its anti-inflammatory properties which have other beneficial uses. One such use is as an antihistamine providing relief to such conditions as hay fever and allergic rhinitis. Plantain is a herb of great versatility and also acts as an expectorant and tonic for the lungs. After the winter season of coughs and colds our lungs need a little support during spring days prior to the arrival of the summer months and the histamine responses this can bring. Plantain can help support this respiratory function and keep these reactions at bay. Plantain & Calendula Allergy Remedy Take equal parts of Plantain leaf, Marigold petals and Eyebright herb and blend into a tea. Add 1 teaspoon to a mug of boiling water and infuse for 3-5 minutes. Dose: 3 x daily.