Chickweed in a pestle & mortar

Hawthorn Basket



Here are our suggestions for staying well. Covid-19 is new, and we don't really know what to expect. The most important thing is to avoid getting ill in the first place. There are simple things we can all do which will help.


Don't panic!

It's bad for your immune system, and won't help in any way

Remember to breathe!

Drink chamomile tea

Flower essences can be really helpful. Use Five Flower Essence or Rescue Remedy or other emergency essences if you have them, or try these excellent essences made by our friend Saskia (she also does alcohol-free essences):

Follow the official advice of:

Physical distancing from other people

Washing hands frequently with soap and warm water

Avoid touching your face with your hands

How long does the virus survive on surfaces?

Virus are alive, but can only reproduce in a host – they basically hijack your DNA to replicate themselves. They have a limited life span outside a host body. Research has shown that Covid-19 dies after a few hours if airborne, but that it can survive much longer on various surfaces. It can survive for the longest time on plastic and on stainless steel, up to 3 days. Clean these with soap and warm water.

Ensure you are getting plenty of:

Sleep – this is really important

Fresh air – open windows if you can't go out


Vitamin D (sunshine, mushrooms etc)

Vitamin C (fruit and vegetables)

Zinc (pumpkin seeds, etc)

Omega 3 fatty acids (flax seed, chia seed, salmon, walnuts etc)

Garlic and onions

Fruit and vegetables

Keep warm:

Elevate body temperature through exercise

Avoid getting chilled

If you do get cold, warm up in a hot bath, by exercising, or go to bed with a hot water bottle or heating pad

Use a sauna, hot tub, sweat lodge or other heat source (hot bath) to raise body temperature

Foods to avoid:

Sugar and other highly processed foods

Wheat (increases inflammation)

Dairy products (mucus-forming)

Any known food allergens or intolerances

Big meals and heavy foods, such as red meat

Do things that make you feel good:

Find ways to relax, and do something creative that you enjoy. If you have access to green spaces, walk and enjoy the spring flowers. Garden. If you can't leave your house, try an online yoga class, or get creative with your cooking. Play music, dance.


Herbs that help prevent infection:

This is a time when kitchen medicine really comes into its own, as we should all have access to food, including herbs and spices.

From your pantry or the greengrocers:

Black pepper













Oregano and marjoram


Spring onions

Star anise


In addition, there are many wild plants growing freely around us that are helpful, so if you have access to a garden or some green space where you can pick these plants, they are free medicine (and food!). This is also where edible weeds come into their own – it might be too early in the spring for many vegetables to be ready for harvest, but weeds are growing strongly now and are full of nutrients.

From your garden or the wild:


Honeysuckle flowers

Lemon balm


Ramsons (wild garlic)

Rose flowers


St John's wort

Three-cornered leek


Making a herb tea is the simplest way to use these plants as medicine. Of course, you could make tinctures, glycerites and oxymels if you are used to making these things. Dosage would be 1 teaspoonful two or three times a day. They can also be used if you do become ill - just increase the dosage at the first sign of feeling unwell, to about 5 times a day.

We have posted a recipe for thieves' vinegar on the recipes page of this website, and will also be posting other useful recipes over the next few days:

Posted 26 Mar 2020. Permanent Link.

new edition of Backyard Medicine

Backyard Medicine

Backyard Medicine

Harvest and Make Your Own Herbal Remedies

Julie Bruton-Seal, Matthew Seal

  • Backyard Medicine is the North American edition of Hedgerow Medicine. (and Backyard Medicine for All is the N. American title for Wayside Medicine, just to be confusing!)
  • 224 Pages
  • May 7, 2019
  • ISBN: 9781510748064
  • Imprint: Skyhorse Publishing

Posted 01 May 2019. Permanent Link.

Hedgerow Silver

Hedgerow Silver

Here is a selection of our beautiful Hedgerow Silver jewellery. Each piece is unique, made from recycled silver, and is 99.9% pure silver. Most pieces are made to order, though we usually also have some items in stock ready to send out.

Posted 28 Aug 2018. Permanent Link.

Herbal Immersion for SNM

Herbal Immersion for SNM

We've just had a wonderful two weeks with students from the School of Natural Medicine, immersing ourselves in plants and making herbal medicines. Much time was spent connecting with plants in our garden. We made infusions, decoctions, tinctures, glycerites, oxymels, electuaries, compresses, poultices, creams, ointment and flower essences, and distilled two ways.

Thank you for being such a delightful group!

Posted 10 Jul 2018. Permanent Link.

Backyard Medicine for All

Backyard Medicine for All

Wayside Medicine has now been published in the US as Backyard Medicine for All. It is a smaller format paperback, but the content is the same as the UK edition. It looks good!

Published by Skyhorse Publishing ISBN: 978-1-5107-2594-2

Posted 21 Dec 2017. Permanent Link.

Herbal Immersion, School of Natural Medicine

Herbal Immersion, School of Natural Medicine

We have had a lovely two weeks with wonderful students from The School of Natural Medicine. We had lots of fun, and made lots of medicines: infusions, decoctions, tinctures, glycerites, salt scrubs, foot powder, ointment, pain-relieving cream, flower essences, four thieves vinegar, and more.

We distilled waters of mugwort and lavender, and of vervain and yarrow. We made water kefir with fresh turmeric, with raspberries, with vanilla and lavender, and tasted all sorts of elixirs and other delights. Much of the time was spent in our garden and in the woodland next to our house, connecting with plants.

Thanks to all our students for making teaching such a joy!

Posted 19 Aug 2017. Permanent Link.

New! Hedgerow Silver

New! Hedgerow Silver

Fine silver jewellery designed and hand-made by Julie Bruton-Seal

Each piece is unique.

Inspired by plants of hedgerow and woodland, Julie creates fine silverwork using silver clay (made from recycled silver from old mobile phones and other electronic devices). Once fired, they are 99.9% pure silver.

These will be available for sale soon. Each piece is made to order, and commissions will be accepted for bespoke designs.

Posted 29 Jul 2017. Permanent Link.

New book published today!

New book published today!

Our new book Wayside Medicine, forgotten plants and how to use them is published today by Merlin Unwin Books. For all those of you who have been waiting for a second volume of Hedgerow Medicine, this is essentially it.

The best herbs to use for medicine are those that you have growing all around you, wherever you live. There will probably be a number of the well known plants, like dandelion and plantain, but there are lots of other plants that you may have wondered about. Can this be used for anything? Many of these plants are medicinal, but have fallen out of favour or are not available commercially. These are the plants we are using and getting to know, often with inspiration from old herbals like John Parkinson's Theatrum Botanicum from 1640. Other herbalists have been a great source of inspiration, as there seems to be a growing desire among herbalists to use local plants and experiment with them. Traditional uses of plants in other countries can also be really helpful, especially countries without a National Health System, where people still use what is growing freely around them.

Posted 04 May 2017. Permanent Link.

Hay Festival, in Hay on Wye on May 29th 2015

Hay Festival, in Hay on Wye on May 29th 2015

We gave a talk at the Hay Festival in May about John Parkinson's great herbal of 1640 and our new book The Herbalist's Bible. It was a real honour to be asked to speak there, and it was wonderful being around thousands of people who love books and enjoy reading.

Posted 02 Jun 2015. Permanent Link.

US edition of Kitchen Medicine, November 2011

US edition of Kitchen Medicine, November 2011

Kitchen Medicine is published in the US today by Globe Pequot Press, and will sell for $24.95.

Posted 29 Nov 2011. Permanent Link.

Hedgerow Medicine is Backyard Medicine in USA

Hedgerow Medicine is Backyard Medicine in USA

A North American edition of Hedgerow Medicine was published in the USA as Backyard Medicine in spring 2009. It is a smaller paperback book, and has been updated to reflect North American distribution of the plants etc. There is now a hardback version as well.

$14.95 ($19.95 Canada)
Paperback | 7 1/2 x 9 5/8
Color Illustrations : 416
Published: May 2009
ISBN: 9781602397019

Posted 17 Jun 2009. Permanent Link.