Herbs picking – ritual to connect with ancestors

It is summer again. Scottish summers are very different to those back in Slovakia. There is a saying here…

´People need to get used to that summer is not in July and August but in May/June and September´

This saying couldn´t be more truth.

Lately we have a lot of rain and only few days now and then happen to be sunny and warm.

I think that´s why I was lately coming back in my mind to the last summer when I visited my parents. It was over thirty degrees nice warm and sunny almost all the time. One day we have decided to go to the forest for some mushroom picking. It wasn´t the best season for doing so but it was a bit rainy before I came so maybe there was a chance for some mushrooms growing.

This article though is not going to be about our family tradition of mushroom picking but rather about another quite traditional activity in the family – herbs picking.

Street where I grew up is a quiet street where you can enter fields just around the corner. There is a meadow and little stream where flowers blossom in the spring and summer. Many of them are herbs which generations of woman in my family used to pick up and cook different kind of remedies from them.

I remember when I was a little girl for every bump I had there was a special cream which my grandma made and cured everything with.

This skill and interest certainly is something I have inherited as well. I have done some herbs picking only few times here in Scotland so last summer as we got out of the forest and there was this beautiful meadow full of flowers I couldn´t resist and persuaded my parents to stay for a while.

They say that the best time for picking herbs is sunny midday, so that day was exactly like it welcoming us to the flowery meadow.

I felt recently that creating this video would of give me opportunity to connect with these parts of myself somewhat forgotten, connect with my ancestors whose life was so much connected with nature but for some reason they just tried to forget it. There is a lot of we can find in ourselves which is going into past generations of hundreds years ago. My need for nature coming to the basics is ´the calling´of my old ancestors whose lands were possibly taken and who were forced to become someone else than who they have been for generations.

(Please bear with me and my videos I am learning to create them and am quite lacking technology for better sound or better thoughts gathering :P)

We certainly can become who we want to become, but there are parts of us so deeply connected to where we come from that it doesn´t always worth forgetting them. Embracing them and cherish those beautiful ones can only bring new value into our lives.

It took me one year to understand the need of picking herbs with my family that day, years to understand why these certain activities connected with nature are coming back to me in cycles as something calling for my attention.

Certainly the feeling I had a year ago for herbs picking came back again as I am writing this. There were many plans to do so in spring time but as I live in the city I couldn´t really get to any meadow during the lockdown.

Summer is not yet over though…

I haven´t mentioned what kind of herbs have we picked up which can be maybe inspiration for yourself.

The first one is meadow horsetail or known as shady horsetail. This herb is very common in late summer months (depending where you live). The most important benefit of this herb is its ability to reduce inflammation. Tea from the horsetail while you battle inflammation in your body or even as a prevention can be very beneficial and your body will thank you for that.


Another very common and very powerful herb is yarrow. This white flower can be easily found in summer months and its leaves and flowers are the once used for drying and drinking. The herb has a lots of benefits as well it supports immune system and the very much known is for its balancing hormonal benefits specially during woman cycle.


All these information are coming from herbal books or what I was passed on in the family, but I am not qualified herbalist so all the advises needed to be taken with your own awareness of the possible risk.

Let me know if you enjoy herbs picking yourself or would you like to.


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