Recently we were lucky enough to visit Patrizia Bronzi’s herb garden here in Adelaide.
Patrizia is a Community Medical Herbalist who grows and manufactures her own organic remedies. Her garden walk and talk ensured that our group of nine were introduced to the herbs and weeds while receiving information and instructions on the safe use and benefits of them to enhance our wellness.
We began our tour by sharing some of Patritzia’s organic herbal tea. Nourish, a general tonic for good health, containing nettle, peppermint and lavender, and Tulsi Plus, to renew and energise, containing sacred basil, dandelion root, and licorice. We also tried some of Patritzia’s amazing Elderberry Syrup – I loved it so much I bought a bottle to take home, as well as a number of teas and some organic ointment.
While we were in the garden Patritzia shared her belief that “plants can take you to the heart and soul of the earth reconnecting you with the rhythm of life, reminding your body how to heal itself. Traditional Herbal Medicine is an ancient art and conforms to the laws of nature. The nutritional and medicinal qualities manufactured by plant life are most suitable to human beings.”
Given our visit was at the tail end of a very wet winter, we were lucky the sun was shining during our visit to her garden. The garden itself is on an ordinary suburban block, most of which is taken up by the house, yet it grows an amazing array of plants and beneficial weeds. Some plants were familiar whilst others were completely new to us.
I was particularly taken with Mullein (Verbascum thapsus), a large hairy plant with leaves similar to that of a lamb’s ear (Stachys byzantina). The flowers, roots, leaves, and stalk of Mullein are all used in herbal medicine.
Gingko tree (Ginkgo biloba).
The gorgeous ginko tree was surrounded by a myriad of yellow flowers that not only uplift the spirit to look at but are also edible and usable in herbal medicines and ointments.
We learnt that English lavender (Lavandula angustifolia) is the best lavender for eating and using in teas.
Clary sage (Salvia sclarea)
A long with the more unusual there were also common herbs such as rosemary and calendulas.
And violets were everywhere!
There were a number of vegetable plots filled not only with greens but with weeds as well. Unlike most people, Patrizia embraces weeds as food and medicine.
Milk or sow thistle (Sonchus oleraceus).
Sacred basil (Ocimum tenuiflorum) and dandelion (Taraxacum).
Onion weed (Nothoscordum borbonicum).
Stinging nettles (Urtica dioica) have amazing properties, they are filled with vitamins and minerals and have multiple medicinal uses. We have never had a nettle in our garden so Patrizia kindly gave me an envelope of nettle seeds so we can grow them ourselves. We do, however, have lots of milk thistle growing all over our garden.
So that evening I picked a number of leaves and added them into our steamed spinach we had with dinner. While they were a little bitter both Jamie and I enjoyed them, the vegetarian child on the other hand was not impressed.
We had a wonderful time exploring and learning from Patrizia!