It’s truly heartening to see the dark wintery skies of recent months give way to the tentative return of light. This time of year always fills me with joy as cherished wild weeds begin to emerge anew.

NATURE’S EARLY GREENS

On my recent walks, I’ve spotted some of my favourite local medicinal plants making their subtle entrance. Lush chickweed is eagerly claiming space along town roads, while tiny cleavers and red deadnettles play peekaboo in my flower pots. Feathery yarrow is flaunting its intricate leaves in the park, and the first vibrant stinging nettles in the countryside have my son eagerly anticipating his favourite wild greens soup!

NEW CYCLE OF LIFE

Love is in the air, and not just because of Valentine’s Day. The cheerful chirping of birds in the trees outside my home brings a smile to my face, and I’ve even spotted a robin considering a new abode in an old bicycle seat in our garden! As the sap rises and nature gears up for a new cycle of life, this month of love also invites us to focus on our own needs.

To support our emotional and physical wellbeing this time of year, I would like to share this herbal recipe which I keep refining – this version is my favourite!

AROMATIC VALENTINE’S DAY TEA BLEND

Each ingredient is chosen with care to craft this delightful brew: Hawthorn berry nurtures our digestion and mends our physical and emotional hearts. Fragrant Rose soothes and calms, encouraging us to embrace life fully. Cinnamon, Star Anise, and Ginger offer their generous warmth and depth. Fennel seed eases tension, adding a note of lightness and joy. Fenugreek seeds introduce rich flavours reminiscent of burnt sugar and maple, while Coconut milk, Cardamom, and Hibiscus hint at exotic and faraway places.

Ingredients for two generous cups:

  • One generous tablespoon of dried Hawthorn berries
  • Two teaspoons of dried Rose petals
  • One Cinnamon stick
  • One Star Anise
  • One teaspoon of freshly grated Ginger
  • One teaspoon of Fennel seeds
  • One teaspoon of Fenugreek seeds
  • Three green Cardamom pods, crushed
  • One tablespoon of dried Hibiscus flowers
  • 500ml of water
  • A splash of coconut milk and honey, to taste

Method:

  • Combine all herbs and spices in a pan with water and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer very gently for 30 minutes.
  • Strain through a sieve or muslin cloth into your favourite cups.
  • Finish with a splash of coconut milk and a drizzle of honey for a smooth and sweet twist.

I hope this recipe fills those final weeks of winter with joy, leaving you feeling relaxed, connected, and loved – all while looking forward to the spring ahead.

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