Tuesday, 23 July 2013


It is often said that the British Summer, consists of 'three fine days and a thunder storm'.  Well, following the sky-cracking storms we have had over night and into this morning, it would be difficult to argue with that viewpoint.  Watching the sky darken at 9 o'clock last night and the approaching apocalypse, we were ready for a good storm, but we didn't expect the lightning 'firework display' that followed.  The torrential downpours which came hot on the heels of the thunder and lightning were welcome though, as the ground was so dry.
So, no walk this morning as the rain is still falling and the thunder still rumbling.  However, if the storms were a cause for anxiety, I may have just the thing.  A small plant which grows around Mapperley reservoir, called Skullcap (Scutellaria galericulata).  Well known in 'natural medicine' circles for its anxiolytic properties, an infusion of the leaves from this plant is said to calm the nerves.
If the storms bring on a headache, another waterside plant will help too.  Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria) contains Salicylic acid and was first extracted and synthesised in 1897 to form Acetylsalicylic acid, the major ingredient in aspirin.  The scented flowers of this plant have been used for hundreds of years as a strewing herb.  In days gone by, the flowers were strewn over floors to sweeten the air and add a pleasant aroma.  A sort of medieval 'Shake n Vac'.
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