Follow the breadcrumb trail

Strange things happen when you read a herb book…

Follow the breadcrumb trail into the deep dark woods of the unknown

I recently reflected on how my adventure into Herbal Medicine had came together over the years.

Did your Mum & Dad read you fairy stores before you went to bed?… I hope so.. What about Hansel & Gretel and that wonderful image of the bread crumb trail in the woods?

Well let me tell you my story of a reverse bread crumb trail where instead of them being eaten by birds and you loose your way, I ended up following Matthew Woods herbal bread crumb trail into the deep dark mysterious Herbal Woods where few go and about which strange tales are told in polite society.

You start off buying a herb book from an Author you respect. Bread crumb #1

In the book are portraits if you like of a range of herbs, all their quirky little characteristics and at the the end of each chapter is a brief description of how to make medicine from them.

Nothing intimidating just simple steps like take this part of the plant add the brandy of vodka then wait a bit and strain out. Nothing intimidating or complicated. The best way to start – Breadcrumb #2

That book is Matthew Woods  The Book of Herbal Wisdom. Well I read the book and got inspired by several plants and set off …

The Book of Herbal Wisdom
Matthew Woods book of herbal wisdom.

First stop was the Hierophant my favourite Herb store. The herbs I was after were not made commercially and Solomon’s Seal was one of them.

So the horticultural brain kicked into gear and said – well we can find the plant and grow it – Breadcrumb #3

So I did and eventually made my own Solomon’s seal tincture. From there interest kindled in these herbs, the collection of plants expanded. They expanded so much that Matthew on his last two visits to Australia came and spent time on the farm with the herb collection.

A herbal colleague visiting the farm said to me – go and do the workshop at Pindari herb farm in Tasmania – Breadcrumb#4 so I did.

Standing in the herb patch one day on a visit, a Local College CEO said to me – Hey why don’t you become professionally qualified – Breadcrumb#5  So I did.

The bread crumb trail never ends… and I am still following it even today The talk I am giving this coming Wednesday came out of that bread crumb trail followed over the years.

Continue reading here through this link to my book review of The Book of Herbal Wisdom. Read more here

Michael Moore Herbalist

In the book review section I have added more details and links about this great herbalist. Even though he was based in South Western USA, for herbalists he is one of the standard references. I invite you to head over to this section and spend some time viewing and reading about him. Go to Michael Moore

His books are spiced with his wry humour, scientific details, botanical descriptions and intricate plant – human physiology interaction. In the last few weeks  I have obsessed over this section of the site and added in a lot of material and commentary – hope you enjoy!

Susun Weed in Canberrra


This November the Hierophant hosted a one day workshop with Susun Weed.

This is part of Susan’s tour of Australia speaking in various areas. Susun talked for six hours with no notes or prompts and shared her knowledge and practice of Wise Woman herbal infusions.

This is based on using herbal infusions from a range of medicine – food herbs as a regular part of your daily health regime. The plant range was dandelion, red clover, oat straw, burdock, chickweed and nettle. Yes almost common weeds but containing potent medicine power in a safe way.

Simple home based herbal medicine, capable of being carried out in any kitchen. This is herbal medicine as a tonic, restorative, prevention practice, exactly the place where herbs really shine.

Susan’s books and CD were for sale as well and apart from the herbal infusions  practice her knowledge and experience in the area of Woman’s heath is first class.

Susun is based in USA so to have a chance to hear learn and talk with her is a real treat. Look up her you tube videos they are good.

Vale Isabel Shipard

News has filtered through to me of the death of Isabel Shipard. Her book on herbs is a great resource and well worth having in the library of anyone interested in herbs.

In the plethora of herbal books for the lay person her work stands out for its first rate information. The closest I came to Isabel was doing the Pindari Herbs course with her understudy Jayne.


Vale Ken Atherton

1-Ken Atherton

Vale Ken Atherton

I was informed recently that Ken passed away in August 2013. I was very fortunate in being able to go and study with Ken a couple of years ago and learned a great amount. I came home with head bulging from the experience and my carry on bag bulging with the plant material Ken so generously shared with all.

It was one of those life changing formative experiences and I remember Ken often, as working with the herb collection I come across the plant stock that came from his garden.