Botanical Brain Balms

Dilston Physic Garden’s director and curator are publishing a book on plants for the brain – ‘Botanical Brain Balms: The authoritative guide to plants for memory, mood and mind’ with Filbert Press and publishers in the U.S., France and Germany. Discover 55 plants proven by science to boost mood and memory, relieve stress anxiety and sleeplessness and more.

Sage, Rosemary & Melissa to boost memory

 Phytomedicine

Available online 18 August 2017

A randomised double-blind placebo-controlled pilot trial of a combined extract of sage, rosemary and melissa, traditional herbal medicines, on the enhancement of memory in normal healthy subjects, including influence of age

Abstract

Objective

To evaluate for the first time the effects of a combination of sage, rosemary and melissa (Salvia officinalis L., Rosmarinus officinalis L. and Melissa officinalis L.; SRM), traditional European medicines, on verbal recall in normal healthy subjects. To devise a suitable study design for assessing the clinical efficacy of traditional herbal medicines for memory and brain function.

Methods

Forty-four normal healthy subjects (mean age 61 ± 9.26y SD; m/f 6/38) participated in this study. A double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled pilot study was performed with subjects randomised into an active and placebo group. The study consisted of a single 2-week term ethanol extract of SRM that was chemically-characterised using high resolution LC-UV-MS/MS analysis. Immediate and delayed word recall were used to assess memory after taking SRM or placebo (ethanol extract of Myrrhis odorata (L.) Scop.). In addition analysis was performed with subjects divided into younger and older subgroups (≤ 62 years mean age n = 26: SRM n = 10, Placebo n = 16; ≥ 63 years n = 19: SRM n = 13, Placebo n = 6).

Results

Overall there were no significant differences between treatment and placebo change from baseline for immediate or delayed word recall. However subgroup analysis showed significant improvements to delayed word recall in the under 63 year age group (p < 0.0123) with Cohen’s effect size d = 0.92. No adverse effects were observed.

Conclusion

This pilot study indicates that an oral preparation of SRM at the selected dose and for the period of administration is more effective than a placebo in supported verbal episodic memory in healthy subjects under 63 years of age. Short- and long- term supplementation with SRM extract merits more robust investigation as an adjunctive treatment for patients with Alzheimer’s disease and in the general ageing population. The study design proved a simple cost effective trial protocol to test the efficacy of herbal medicines on verbal episodic memory, with future studies including broader cognitive assessment.

Autumn Equinox Event

Horse chestnuts | Dilston Physic Garden |

At the time of the Autumn Equinox, day and night are once again equal and balanced. But unlike the Spring Equinox when we moved into the light of summer, now we cross a threshold to ‘the darkness of winter and the magical powers of the stars and the inner realms’. At this turning of the wheel of the year we will celebrate in a ritual drama the mystery of the lengthening of night and the rising of the evening stars.

The event is facilitated by local members druids. There is no admission charge – however, a donation towards the Physic Garden running costs would be much appreciated.

For information please email celticspiritualitygroup@yahoogroups.com

 

Midsummer solstice

Celebrate the Summer Solstice

Dilston Physic Garden

Saturday 24th June 5.00pm – 8.00pm

The Summer Solstice marks the time when the sun is at the height of its power – and nature’s response is a splendid display of colour and fragrance. This time is known in contemporary druidry as ‘Alban Hefin’ which means ‘Light of the Summer Shore’.

Midsummer is the time when the tide of light has reached its high water mark – the time of greatest light. This event, though, is also tinged with some sadness because from now on the sun’s strength will begin to ebb as we enter the waning year.

Facilitated by local members of Druids, this midsummer ceremony celebrates – in symbolic form – the power of light and love in our lives.

For information on this or any any other of Druid celebrations at the physic garden please email

celticspiritualitygroup@yahoogroups.com

 

At the Spring Equinox, day and night are – once again – equal and balanced. We now cross the threshold into the light of summer. It is now that the sun rises due east, and the Spring Equinox has long been associated with dawn, youth and the morning star. Led by local members of Druids, celebrate – in symbolic form – the mystery and miracle of birth and rebirth.

There is no admission charge; however, a donation towards hire of physic garden would be much appreciated.

For information, and to register your interest, please email celticspiritualitygroup@yahoogroups.com

 

Spring Celebration

Sunday 5th February 3.00pm – 7.00pm

Today, we’ll celebrate the growing power of the sun and connect with the ancient traditions of Imbolc. This day honoured the goddess Brigit, revered by the northern tribes of Celtic Britain, such as those living along the Tyne valley. Brigit is the goddess of creativity and healing – in the Christian calendar, her festival became ‘Candlemas’, when candles are lit in honour of the mother of Christ. This continued the tradition of marking the returning light.

Led by local members of the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids, our Spring festival will celebrate – in symbolic form – the waning of winter’s power as the light of spring starts to increase.

For information, and to register your interest, please email

celticspiritualitygroup@yahoogroups.com

Welcome and Wassail – Saturday 7 January

We invite you to join in an event which continues an ancient tradition while planting a legacy for the future.
The physic garden is open from 12 noon – 2pm. Please feel free to bring snacks and sandwiches.
From 1pm – 2pm, join in song and ceremony to toast our orchard trees.
Wassail is an Old English word meaning ‘be healthy’ or ‘be whole’ – ‘hale and hearty’. Wassailing the trees in the orchard wakes them up from their winter sleep and ensures that the next season’s crop of fruit will be bountiful. Like many ancient traditions, wassailing recognizes the importance of our relationship to nature.
Members of the local druid grove will ‘toast’ a chosen fruit tree and pour an offering of cider on its roots. This is followed by a sharing of the wassail bowl, and the singing of carols, led by members of the local community choir. We encourage the making of much noise by all present! Come in costume if you wish.
Transition Tynedale provide the cider from recent apple pressing days.
From 2-3pm, you can join in a (weather dependent) walk through Dukeshouse Woods to Hexham Middle School, where tree planting takes place from 3pm. The tree planting is led by the Transition Tynedale team.

Participation in all activities is at the individual’s own risk

Celebrate the Winter Solstice Sunday 18th December 3.00pm – 8.00pm

From the earliest times, our ancestors have welcomed the rebirth of the sun at the darkest point of the year. In this same spirit, we gather at first to mourn the death of the sun, and to let go of that which is fading and dying.

We will then symbolically enact the turning of the year from darkness to light, in celebration that life will ever spring up in a new dawn.

This gathering is facilitated by members of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids.

For information and to register your interest please email celticspiritualitygroup@yahoogroups.com

While the event is free, please consider making a donation to Dilston physic garden, which is a small, local charity. Registered Charity 1120141

Samhain Ceremony in the Physic Garden: Sunday 30th October 3.00pm – 7.00pm

Samhain (summer’s end) is a festival of remembrance and honouring of our ancestors. It is said that at Samhain the veil that separates the worlds is at its thinnest. So our world, and that of the dead, blend as one. On this night of wonder and magic, the spirits of the otherworld are invited to join us in a sacred feast, and we may meet (if we so wish) those friends and family members who have passed over.

As the cold of winter begins to strip the leaves from the trees, a meditation on what is passing and what, in our lives, we need to let go of, is an important preparation for this deep ceremony.

Facilitated by local members of the Order of Bards, Ovates and Druids, our festival will celebrate the mystery and miracle of transformation.
For information and to register your interest please email celticspiritualitygroup@yahoogroups.com