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Su B Superherbs

There are a few charismatic megaherbs that most people have heard of: Korean ginseng, St.John’s Wort and Echinacea might well be the top three in the current herbal hit parade.

They all have quite well-defined effects (though these may be the tip of the iceberg), and work on issues that interest the affluent Western world: boosting energy, staving off depression, enhancing immunity. Go back a couple of hundred years, and it was wound healers and fever reducers that we found most exciting, but you don’t find much research going into those areas nowadays, though they still preoccupy most of the developing world.

We like things that have a strong, immediate action, that we can take a few times and then put aside and get on with our lives.

Nothing wrong with that; it’s healthy and human. But there are thousands of other remedies that will gently support your vitality, keeping things humming along, ready to deal with whatever comes at you. Friendly herbs like Verbena officinalis (vervain), Urtica dioica (nettles), or Calendula officinalis (marigold) will help to keep you on an even keel, so you don’t keep getting colds, running out of steam or falling into black holes.

They don’t make headlines – good or bad – and they don’t attract research funding, but they are reliable allies, and just as useful now as they have always been.

EDITOR: Su has an excellent Herb Handbook available to buy directly from her website or from Amazon.

Meet The Author...
Su Bristow
Who Am I?
I studied at the School of Herbal Medicine for four years, and qualified in 1989, becoming a member of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists ( The road to herbal medicine led from my early interest in organic gardening and healthy eating, through the study of social and physical anthropology at Cambridge, where I specialised in medical anthropology. What fascinated me was how people deal with their health problems when they have only the natural resources around them, and their own ingenuity. I went on to learn massage and reflexology, and worked at a residential naturopathic clinic, where I learned about the use of diet and other natural ways of healing. After qualifying as a herbalist, I set up practice in mid-Devon. Since then I have continued to expand my expertise, with counselling skills, first aid, and knowledge of the Chinese and Ayurvedic systems of herbal medicine. Besides one-to-one consultation, I have also taught evening classes, students of the Westcountry Massage Association, and various private courses.
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