Good for Gout

Ground Elder
Ground Elder

At last. A ray of hope! Up to now, all the spring growth that has been edible has come with a natural health warning “Not to be eaten by those susceptible to Gout.” There is no doubt I should be proud to be included in this merry band. Gout was called the disease of Kings and, while I don’t have a list of Kings who suffered the swollen toe, there is a school of thought that believes Tyrannosaurus Rex had his problems. Ancient Egyptians complained about it. The Greeks had a word for it (so we promptly pinched it off them), in fact it has been limping along, dogging our footsteps, since the very beginning.

While it is easy to believe that Kings imbibed a little too freely – see Old King Cole et al. – I do wonder where Tyrannosaurus Rex did his drinking. Was he down the pub every night, do you think? Or maybe just Fridays with the boys? The other common dietary no-no is shellfish. Was the King of the Dinosaurs fond of throwing another trilobite on the barbie, then?

But, on to the good news. Ground Elder is good for Gout! Let me repeat that. Ground Elder is good for Gout. I needed to repeat it, because gardeners out there will have trouble believing that Ground Elder is good for anything and would have thought they misheard the first time.

I need to pick the new leaves and fry them, apparently.

Flowers of Compassion

Beech Flowers
Beech Flowers

While we’re on the subject of Beech (see previous post) I thought you might be interested in these. In the 1930s, Dr. Edward Bach gave up his promising medical practice in Harley Street, London and went off to the country. He was looking for a better way to make people well. He had been playing around with vaccines and that sort of thing, but to use the stuff of the disease to cure, just seemed plain wrong. It took him twenty years, but he eventually came up with his flower remedies, thirty six essences made from flowers, just about as close to nature as he could get.

When it came to people whose illness could be traced back to anxiety caused by intolerance and lack of compassion, people who perhaps, lived with the frustration of feeling that their whole world was made up of individuals who just didn’t get it – or even just would never get it, Dr Bach would prescribe an essence made from the flowers of the Beech tree.

Now Beech trees only start to flower once they come of age, and for Beech trees this means thirty years old. They only flower at the top of the tree or sometimes on the sunny side, if one side has a sunnier aspect. Beech trees pruned into hedges rarely flower.

I felt incredibly lucky to find these flowers on the Beech trees just up the road.


Wild Rose and Honeysuckle side by side in the hedge
Wild Rose and Honeysuckle side by side in the hedge

It’s official – the past is over! What’s done is done. Forgiveness does not change the past but it does enlarge the future. The past is a foreign country: they do things differently there. We are starting the future NOW.

Here’s a piece of hedge that understands that the past is gone beyond recovery. Remember it, yes, we should, but we should not allow it to dominate our future.

Dr Edward Bach [1886-1936], made it his life’s work to produce a series of flower essences. He used these essences himself in his medical practice.

The Honeysuckle essence he used whenever his patient seemed to be stuck in the past. When the patient couldn’t move on, couldn’t get on with their life, and he felt that their malady was a result of this frustration.

The Wild Rose essence was used to give patients who were sunk in apathy, who couldn’t see anything in their future – and who just didn’t care that they didn’t have a future.

How apt that our hedgerows at the moment are bursting with Honeysuckle to give us all the needed push to force us to move on and let go of the past – and Wild Rose to help us to see that the future is where we want to be – and to go for it!