Brigit was a herbalist and used wild herbs to nourish and heal body and spirit. Many of her plants grow in our gardens, hedgerows and meadows, providing wild and free medicine that has been used for thousands of years.
Dandelion represents Brigit more than any other herb, and is one of the Brigit symbols in the Imbolc garden. Dandelion symbolises the elements of fire and sacred flame associated with Brigit, and, like fire, can transform both physically and spiritually. The gentle bitterness of Dandelion leaves stimulate the digestive and endocrine systems and nourish the kidneys. They are high in potassium and other trace minerals and may lower blood pressure.
Rose is a gently powerful healer and is beneficial added to any tea blend. Rose eases depression, uplifts the nervous system and opens and supports the heart, both physically and emotionally. It is an amazing wash for the skin, offering a lovely blush and glow. Rose is both strong and vulnerable, just like Brigit.
Blackberry is high in nutrients and anti-oxidants, tonifying to the body and nurturing to the womb. You can make a tea from its leaves and flowers and syrup from its berries. Blackberry is tenacious and its brambles offer protection to small animals as well as providing natural boundaries. Blackberry shares that wisdom with us, helping us to discern appropriate boundaries in our lives as well as offering us its embrace of protection.
Here are a few more of Brigit’s favourite healers: laughter, sleep, water, honey and prayer. Together with the herbs, these offer deep nourishment to body and spirit. They are common and simple and free, readily available to us and all around us. These herbs and practices helped heal our ancestors and are here for us today.
At Brigit’s Garden we have created a herbal tea called Brigit’s Mantle that is filled with her favourite herbs. Enjoy a pot at the café when we re-open this spring or take a bag with you to enjoy at home.
By Tonja Reichley, Herbalist, BSc, MBA
There are big and small steps we can all take to help reverse climate change and look after our precious natural environment. With the Nature's Power project Brigit's Garden aims to be on the forefront of sustainability education. Our grateful thanks to our funding agencies
Science Foundation Ireland (SFI) and Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) and project partners NUI, Galway and Tipperary Energy Agency.