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Wow! I can’t believe it has already been 2 months since my trip to Dublin, Ireland for Botanica 2012. Time has literally flown by! Well, I’m just now getting to sharing some of my experiences there. Luckily, it feels like just yesterday that I was walking briskly along the cobblestone streets admiring the bountiful flower scapes draped out of each window box.

Botanica was organized by an industry top gun, Rhiannon Harris, owner of Essential Oil Resource Consultants and founder of the International Journal of Clinical Aromatherapy, an invaluable resource for clinical aromatherapists world-wide.

Because this event was so rich, I thought that I would break up the posts in parts, in order to share more.

So, Part I:

Stinging Nettles

Stinging Nettles. Photo credit: Wikipedia

The International Celebration of Plant Therapeutics was kicked off with a cheerful Ireland lassie, Vivienne Campbell. She spoke about a variety of the native plants and herbs, including their uses throughout history. One in particular was Stinging Nettles; an iron rich herb common in Irish dishes. Known for it’s detoxifying & tonic qualities, as well as strengthening the kidneys, nourishing to the blood and much more. She suggested using it in the form of tea(steeped 10 min.) or even cooked up with cabbage. I am very interested to try it and more so to wild forge some in my own backyard! Her side note tip: Wear rubber gloves to avoid getting “stung.” If you enjoy using nettles, comment on this post, I would love to hear your experiences.

A couple more of her suggestions: Ballymaloe, An Irish Cookery School, advocating using fresh, local wild herbs.  And, Wild and Free: Cooking from Nature by Cyril O’Ceirin; a great book on wild foraging. Some of their local picks:

  • Tormento-an astringent herb, helpful for IBS.
  • Silver Wheat-nutty flavor, helpful for sore throats.
  • Black Thorn-a type of plum and a traditional, valuable food source.
  • Primrose-good to relax nerves & ease insomnia.

This speaker was so full of life and her enthusiasm for plant medicine just poured out of her. For more information on Vivienne, check out The Herbal Hub.

Irish Wildflowers

Irish Wildflowers. Photo credit: Dennis Flood

During my stay, I had the fortune of traveling from Dublin to Galway, a three-hour tour from the East coast to the West coast, with some of the most magnificent sights(now I know why they call it the Emerald Isle!). Plus, we had an awesome guide sharing juicy tales of myths and legends going as far back as the medieval times. We hiked over the Burren terrain-A one of a kind view of very interesting rock formations along the coast, home of native and rare Irish species. It has even been said that over 70% of Ireland’s wildflowers can be found there in the limestone array, many of which are used in the creations found at The Burren Perfumery. We unfortunately did not have time to stop at the perfumery, Ireland’s oldest perfumery and soap making shop. But, it is definitely on the list for my next visit.

More to follow in Part 2: Coming Soon!

Until next time…
Breathe Joy,
Kc
www.heartblossomessentials.com

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