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Su B Med herb blog

I’m in southern France this week, at the end of a biscuit-dry summer.

It’s interesting that the herbs which thrive in these conditions are often richly aromatic: thyme, sage, rosemary, garlic, basil, oregano, marjoram, bay…They are also, of course, herbs that have always been valued in Mediterranean cuisine, from the times when local food was the only kind of food you could have.

But they don’t just add savour to our food. They make it more digestible, and they deter the growth of bacteria and moulds.

And when you use them medicinally, their warming and drying qualities make them particularly useful in the relatively damp, cold climate of Britain. We can’t take the sunshine home with us, but importing these southern herbs is the next best thing.

They help to ward off colds and flu, and respiratory problems in general. Taken regularly or rubbed into afflicted joints, they can ease rheumatic symptoms and make the pain more manageable. And, of course, each individual herb has its own special qualities.

They’ve been our friends for centuries, and they still have a great deal to offer us.

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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