The Physic Shop

The Physic Shop stocks locally made botanical products. Please note we do not have a card machine – you can can pay with cash, cheque or online.

Find ointments, tinctures & herbal products made by local medical herbalists and a herbal pharmacist. As well as some of our favourite freshly dried physic garden herbs for medicinal tea or culinary use – like lemon balm, nettle, mugwort, angelica, mint, bay & sage

The Physic Shop also serves fresh botanical tea to enjoy in the physic garden, botanical oaties, and stocks aromatics such as white sage and wormwood to burn for heavenly scents as well as botanical spirits, lotions, oils and soaps and our children’s favourite ‘Lavender Snuggles’.

Most of our products are grouped into plants with science behind their effects to boost memory, sleep & mood and lower anxiety, depression & pain – and our new range of 6 botanical Balm&Booster Speciality Teas focus on enhancing mind and brain.

Balm&Booster Speciality Botanical BRAINTEA by Dilston Physic Garden (30g  £3.50) – enjoy our popular soothing & uplifting ‘House Tea’ blend, or try our new ‘Memory Boost’, ‘Sleep’, ‘Happy’, ‘High’ & ‘Digestive’ BrainTeas – to place an order for any of the Balm&Booster tea range email and we’ll post them to you.

A new book by Dilston Physic Garden’s pharmacognosist and neuroscientist ‘Botanical Brain Balms‘ will be for sale in The Physic Shop 27th May.

Unusual potted herbs

We also have the odd potted herb (focused on brain effects of course) for sale.

In The Physic Shop our Expert Guide factsheets are available on some of our favourite medicinal plants.

Plants for the Brain – Booklets For Sale

A Dilston Physic Garden info booklet is available which tells you about the origins of this physic garden – watch this space for a new book coming soon – a Know, Grow & Use Your Own Physic Garden with 40 of our favourite plants.

‘Tales from the physic garden’ – a fact/fiction series on Botanical Brain Boosters by neuroscientist Elaine Perry

‘Tales from the physic garden’ series : ‘In Pursuit of Herbal Happiness’, Stress-less with herbal chill pills‘ and ‘The quest for Herbal Highs‘ are written by our curator and professor in neuroscience and are all about plants to help our brain. Available in the shop (£3.50 or 3 for £9) and also on Kindle.

‘Timeline for Herbal Medicine in the West’

This booklet is compiled by Elizabeth F Marshall.  Elizabeth has been involved in Dilston Physic Garden since its inception and to whom the physic garden is greatly indebted. This is a fascinating insight into where medicinal herbs came from, the historical context and development of herbal medicine. A truly engaging read that puts in perspective all you see at physic gardens and in the use of herbs in medicine everywhere. £3.

You can find these books in The Physic Shop or send us your address and a bank transfer and we can post to you.


As part of a Herb Spirit series, this book focuses on plants that promote calm and dispel states of anxiety. The story is about a group from the local Angst society who visit the garden to discover herbs to help them. Some think it’s Physic, others Psychic.

They are informed, according to belief, in parallel ways of down toearth science and medicine, or less tangible folklore and magic. Anti-angst herb uses are conveyed by garden advocates, such as a hermit herbalist and clinical evidence conjurer, together with an assortment of serenity sprites and neurotic animals.
The group are treated to a show in the nearby jousting grounds, allegedly as entertainment, but actually to see how an Anxio-Lytic botanical concoction performs in high stress situations. The Society’s President pursues plans to capture the heart of the garden diva while marketing this product.

This book, as for others in the series, is intended to inform readers about the powerful properties of plants for mind/brain well-being, The content is factual, as regards effects of the herbs, set in the context of an fictional narrative designed to draw the reader in. Illustrations are based on pictures from Dilston Physic garden.

Like the garden – physic or psychic – the text shape shifts between story lines (in roman type), and factual details (in italics). Readers are invited to absorb fantasy or facts as they like, but not to actually take whatever herbs they like. The story comes with a health warning – not to ingest herbs without being very sure of their identity, safety (especially in pregnancy, mixing with other medications) and dose.

Further titles for the Mind / Brain Herb Spirit Series include ‘The Pursuit of Happiness’, ‘Sweet Dreams’, ‘Botanic Blues Busters’, ‘Plant Pain Killers’, ‘MedPlant Memory Matters’ and ‘Botanic Brain Booster Cook book’. Readership extends from young adults to adults of all ages.


This book is part of a series intended to excite interest in, and inform on herbs for health, well be ing and happiness. It illustrates how some herbs traditionally used as medicines can also be euphoric, and which ones are or are not safe for enhancing such states. Relevant to the psychedelic drug world, it is written by Neuroscientist and Curator of Dilston Physic Garden, EP, and Creative Writer and Teacher of Story Telling, DC. It is intended to be informative, in a key area of health and safety for young people, and entertaining in drawing in the reader.

The story follows a teenager’s experiences as she seeks safe herbal highs, meeting a series of plant spirits – positive and negative, together with colourful characters in the garden. Reliable information (medical and scientific) about the herbs is conveyed in a story that includes magic and folklore.

Like the garden itself – physic or psychic – the text shape shifts between story lines (in roman type), and factual facets (in italics), so readers can decide which way to go.
This version is a work in progress, and will be revised according to feedback. Pictures, currently photographs from the Dilston Physic Garden, will be used for illustrative sketches.
Further titles for this Mind /Brain Herb Spirit Series include ‘ Herbal Chill Pills’, ‘Sweet Dreams’ , ‘Botanic Blues Busters’, ‘Plant Pain Killers’, ‘MedPlant Memory Matters’ and ‘Botanic Brain Booster Recipes’. Readership extends from young to adults of all ages.

Herbal Preparations

These are hand-made by registered herbalist Ross Menzies. All medicinal plants used in these preparations are collected either from Dilston Physic Garden or the local countryside, or sourced from an organic/biodynamic supplier. Currently the range includes the following:-

Healing Creams

Neroli Face cream, Frankincense Face cream,

Arnica & Hypericum, Comfrey & Calendula, Midge & Mosquito Repellant


Echinacea Tincture, Thyme Elderberry & Marshmallow Tincture


Digestive Bitters

Sleep Aid

Valerian Tincture

Identify Your Plant!

At the Physic Garden we love plants for health, for medicines and especially for the mind and brain and we sell safe herbal products in The Physic Shop.

However when you’re gathering, eating, cooking, making your own remedies or buying herbs its very important that you always be sure of the identity of your plant, since some similarly looking plants are toxic (comfrey leaves look a lot like foxglove leaves!) and since some indiscriminate suppliers may adulterate their products – always buy products from a reputable supplier.

It’s also important that you know the correct dose to take and know with what conditions or medications you can’t take it. For this reason we always recommend when taking a plant medicinally that you consult a registered medical herbalist and inform your health care provider.

Below are two, albeit extreme examples of what can happen if you don’t.

Acta Biomed. 2017 Jan 16;87(3):353-357.
In the kingdom of “tortelli” (ravioli-like pasta) plant poisoning is still a threat. A case report of near-fatal poisoning from Digitalis Purpurea accidentally confused with Borago Officinalis.
Bonfanti L1, Lippi G, Ciullo I, Robuschi F, Aloe R, Tarasconi S, Vassallo R, Cervellin G.
A 58 years healthy old woman was admitted to the Emergency Department (ED) with cardiac arrest due to ventricular fibrillation (VF). Appropriate cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), multiple DC shocks and oro-tracheal intubation (OTI) were effective to induce recovery of spontaneous circulation (ROSC). After ROSC was achieved, the electrocardiogram (ECG) showed an idio-ventricular rhythm with atrioventricular dissociation. A transcutaneous pacing was hence applied and the patient was administered with isoproterenol. Simultaneously, her husband was evaluated in the ED for gastrointestinal symptoms occurred after assumption of home-made “tortelli” (ravioli-like pasta) stuffed with cheese and leaves of a plant which they supposed to be borage two days before admission. Borage, during the non-flowering seasons, can be easily confused with foxglove (Digitalis spp.), and this was the main clue to suspect poisoning. Both patients were given DigiFab®, a sheep antibody fragment with high affinity for digoxin. The woman was then admitted in intensive care unit (ICU), where a rapid clinical improvement occurred, thus allowing discharge in a few days. The husband was instead discharged from the ED after clinical observation and ECG monitoring. In both cases, a significant plasma concentration of digoxin could be measured.

J Toxicol Clin Toxicol. 2000;38(1):63-6. Toxicity of Passiflora incarnata L. Fisher AA1, Purcell P, Le Couteur DG.

Abstract BACKGROUND: Herbal medicines may have significant adverse effects which are not suspected or recognized. CASE REPORT: A 34-year-old female developed severe nausea, vomiting, drowsiness, prolonged QTc, and episodes of nonsustained ventricular tachycardia following self-administration of a herbal remedy, Passiflora incarnata L., at therapeutic doses. The possible association of symptoms with passiflora was not recognized for several days. She required hospital admission for cardiac monitoring and intravenous fluid therapy. CONCLUSIONS: Passiflora incarnata was associated with significant adverse effects in this patient. It is important to ask specifically about the use of herbal medicines in patients with undiagnosed illnesses.

  • Tinctures

    New Memory Tincture, Digestive Bitters, Valerian and Echinacea

  • Creams & Lotions

    Popular Frankincense Face Cream, Comfrey & Calendular Ointment, Joint & Muscle Rub and Midge &Mosquito Repellent and others.

  • Soaps and Salts

    Botanical soaps, ChainBridge honey lipsalves, handsalves and more, bath salts and candles

Unusual Herbs for sale

A small range of live botanicals are for sale at the physic garden according to season.
These are available as live potted plants to take home or plants that can be cut or dug up to order, and/or as dried herbs.

Our unusual variety available is not the common or garden kind, plants include baby trees, aromatic, beautiful architectural specimens for your garden, all with fascinating uses from magic to medicine.
These herbs particularly thrive in the physic garden in Northumberland where they propagate naturally (seed or root), associated with more potent effects than cultivation

  • Alexanders / Black Lovage


  • Angelica

    (heavenly cure all)

  • Ash


  • Butterbur

    (migraine relief)

  • Chamomile

    Roman and german varieties (calming)

  • Creeping jenny / herb tuppence


  • Comfrey / knitbone

    (ultimate anti-inflammatory)

  • Elder

    (great flu remedy)

  • Eucalyptus

    (cold cures)

  • Evening primrose / moths moon flower

    (skin health)

  • Fennel

    (digestive and oestrogenic)

  • Garlic mustard / Jack by the hedge


  • Gorse


  • Greater Celandine

    (wart curing yellow sap)

  • Green alkanet

    (coloring root)

  • Hawthorn /May tree

    (heart health)

  • Hazel

    (magic wand maker)

  • Herb bennet /wood avens

    (gastric healer)

  • Honesty

    (for moon madness)

  • Horseradish

    (respiratory tract health)

  • Jerusalem artichoke

    (cholesterol controller)

  • Larch

    (for infections and relaxation)

  • Lemon Balm / Melissa

    (classic calming herb with memory enhancing properties)

  • Lesser celandine

    (also called pilewort!)

  • Lily of the valley

    (heart health)

  • Lungwort / Pulmonaria

    (respiratory health)

  • Marigold /calandula

    (healthy skin)

  • Meadowsweet / Filipendula

    (digestive & anti inflammatory)

  • Motherwort / Leonurus

    (sedative & menstrual health)

  • Mugwort / witches herb

    (magical/ herbal high)

  • Oak / Quercus

    (sacred tree with antiseptic uses)

  • Soapwort

    (skin health)

  • Sweet cicely / British myrrh

    (herbal sweetener)

  • Sweet rocket /Dame’s violet

    (scented aphrodisiac)

  • Sweet woodruff

    (tonic, wound healer)

  • St John’s Wort / Hypericum perforatum

    (mood enhancer & wound healer)

  • Skullcap / Blue pimpernel

    (mood enhancer, sedative)

  • Tansy / Bitter buttons

    (digestive & diuretic)

  • Teasel / barber’s brush

    (appetite stimulant)

  • Valerian /garden heliotrope

    (calming & sleep promoting)

  • Viper’s bugloss

    (antiseptic & diuretic)

  • Wild garlic / ransoms

    (spring tonic)

  • Wild wall flower

    ( for various nerve & muscle conditions)

  • Willow

    (classic aspirin providing medicinal plant)

  • Wild lettuce / opium lettuce

    (magic mind / herbal high)

  • Wild rose / briar rose

    (ant inflammatory & immuno stimulant)

  • Wormwood /absinthe wormwood

    (herbal high)

  • Yellow archangel

    (mood lifting & wound healing)


plants are the ‘officinalis’ type where they occur as such , otherwise they are the variety that thrives locally (names available)