Spring celebrated with England, as covid restrictions were ever so slightly eased this week. The warmest March day in the UK for 53 years was recorded on Tuesday 30th March 2021. With the mercury rising to 24.5C at Kew Gardens, West London. Falling slightly short of the 24.6C record, recorded in Cambridgeshire in 1968.
A fortnight ago I used a stash of decorative pots as planters. Amazingly they have not only germinated, but are flourishing a couple of inches high. Sitting on the window ledge, the panes of glass have acted like a greenhouse intensifying the suns rays. I have four pots of arnica and four pots of chervil, growing happily in my kitchen and lounge.
All About Arnica
Arnica is a herbaceous perennial plant in the sunflower (Asteraceae) family. Sometimes called mountain tobacco because its leaves resemble tobacco leaves. It grows in the mountains of North America and Europe, with a few native species in some Artic regions. With slightly perfumed orange or yellow flowers, producing a pronounced pine-sage odour if the leaves are bruised or rubbed.
Certain species contain helenalin, which possess some anti-inflammatory and anti-neoplastic qualities. Traditionally applied to the skin to soothe bruises, sprains, joint and muscle pain. It is also available as homeopathic pills that you swallow. Homeopathic arnica is heavily diluted and can be applied in a thin layer upon unbroken skin, or swallowed in tablet form. Raw arnica is toxic and must never be used. Children under the age of 12, pregnant or breastfeeding women, or anyone allergic to plants in the Asteraceae family shouldn’t take arnica. Known side effects of homeopathic arnica include itching, redness of the skin, and eczema. Seek medical attention from a GP if you start to experience any of these symptoms.
If considering using homeopathic or herbal remedies, always seek advice from a GP and accredited homeopath.
Chervil is a member of the parsley family, with a mild and delicate flavour. Frequently used in French cuisine, it is often referred to as French parsley. With delicate frilly leaves, avoid eating once flowering as the flavour will have become bitter. Flavoured with a hint of anise, it tastes similar to a light blend of parsley and tarragon. Chervil is not readily available in supermarkets, so it is worth growing your own from seed, in a pot or herb garden.
The herb is a delicate accompaniment to salads, soups, and egg dishes. Its mild flavour does not hold up to extreme heat, and should be added at the end of cooking. A good way to use this herb is in pesto, or oil and butter infusions. A rich source of calcium and potassium, some people believe it is good for gout, skin conditions, high blood pressure, and poor digestion. There is currently no scientific research to support this.
If considering using homeopathic or herbal remedies always seek advice from a GP and accredited homeopath.