Botanical Brain Balms

Dilston Physic Garden’s director and curator are publishing a book on plants for the brain – ‘Botanical Brain Balms: Essential plants for memory, mood and mind’ with Filbert Press UK and publishers in the U.S., France and Germany.

‘The benefits of a plant-based diet to physical health are well-known and scientific research now shows that plants can improve mental health too. Many leaves, roots and berries contain ingredients that boost cognitive skills and alleviate common problems like stress, fatigue and mood swings – without the side effects of conventional drugs.
In this authoritative guide, experts in herbal medicine and neuroscience recommend plants for a wide range of problems. They explain the science behind how they work and suggest easy remedies and exercises that are pleasant to take and make part of your daily routine.
Beautifully illustrated, Botanical Brain Balms is packed full of safe and natural ways to improve the way you think and feel.’

“A great book and the one I’ve been waiting for – scientific, accessible and eminently useable.” Bunny Guinness

Sage, Rosemary & Melissa to boost memory

Our next clinical trial has just reached its target funding – thanks to The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew & Make My Day Better Charity, The Ridley Family Charity and Wesnes Cognition. Email us if you’d like to register interest to partake in the 2019 trial – plans of which are underway (you must be aged between 45y to 75y and not diagnosed with memory loss or dementia).
This 2015 pilot clinical trial was carried out with the Bodyworks Centre in Hexham and Dilston Physic Garden and is published in the journal Phytomedicine.

At a glance: The results showed that a medicinal tincture (an extraction of the plants in alcohol) of sage, rosemary and melissa given for 2 weeks improved word recall by over 50% in under 63 year old’s.

Summary:

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

N.S.L.PerryR.MenziesF.HodgsonP.WedgewoodM.-J.R.Howes,H.J.Brooker, K.A.WesnesE.K. Perry

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