Junior Herbalist Club ©
Bookings are now being taken for Junior Herbalist Club 2021-2022
Historically, the knowledge of hedgerow medicine was commonplace. Most people knew which plants they could gather and how to use them to treat minor injuries and ailments. Unfortunately, this knowledge is becoming lost, with very few people nowadays able to correctly identify and utilise our native common weeds or cultivated garden plants.
Children are the best students, especially when it comes to plants. They have no preconceived notions of how a plant should work or how it may heal. They also have no prejudice against any of them (except for what we teach them). Just as we can accept an orange has lots of vitamin C, a banana is high in potassium, and beans contain protein, they can accept that chamomile is soothing to the nervous system, peppermint can help to settle the stomach and comfrey can help heal wounds and scars. Certainly, if garden vegetables can be nutritious and keep us healthy, so can herbs, weeds, and other plants. All plants have importance and value.
Giving a good herbal foundation will stay with children for their lifetime. Even though the majority may not choose to become professional herbalists, they will have a solid foundation of herbal knowledge which they will one day be able to pass along to their friends and family, and maybe one day to their own children and grandchildren.
The aim of JHC is to let children learn about the healing and medicinal plants all around them in a safe and supervised environment. This includes:
- Identification and nomenclature of common herbs, weeds, plants and trees
- Safety – which plants are safe to use and which are poisonous or hazardous
- Folklore – taught through stories and songs
- How to grow and harvest herbs
- Medicinal uses of common herbs
- How to use a variety of common herbs for first aid
- How to make a variety of herbal preparations to keep and take home
- Respect for all plants and their environment
Junior Herbalist Club meets once a month. Ten lessons are delivered over a year from September to July. At the end of the year the children are given certificates of attendance and a badge.
JHC has been planned so that each month the children build on their knowledge and skills. We start off with Lavender, a well-known and easily identifiable plant, and make lavender bags and lavender-scented sugar and progress on to making sun-teas, infused oils, poultices, cordials, bath-bombs, and lip balms.
In the second year, the tasks become more complex, building on the skill set developed in the first year and includes the children making marshmallows, syrups, lozenges, salves, creams and hydrosols.
Each month we focus on one particular healing plant. The children are taught how to correctly identify the plant, about the origins of the plant name (both common and botanical names) and about the plant’s habitat and life cycle. Next, we look at the history and folklore surrounding the plant. This may include storytelling, songs and funny anecdotes. We then discuss the medicinal qualities of the plant, the primary constituents responsible for the healing activity, and the uses for the plant, both internally and externally. Children are encouraged to participate in the discussion, adding their own ideas and thoughts.
At the end of each session the children are given a worksheet to complete so they develop a portfolio of learning.
JHC is suitable for children between the ages of 7 and 11. However, children aged under 8 will require a parent or guardian to stay with them during the class. Parents of children over the age of 8 are welcome to stay if they wish! Please note that we are not able to provide supervision or care for siblings not registered on the JHC course. Please make sure that your child wears clothes suitable to the activities -comfortable old clothes, and shoes or boots that can get muddy, and bring a coat to each session as we always try to go outside, even if it’s wet.
The cost for the year is £80.00 payable in advance to secure your child’s place. This covers all tuition and materials.
Places are strictly limited and as this course is very popular, early booking is advised to avoid disappointment.
If you would like to book a place for your child(ren), or if you have any questions please contact me directly on
07813 840394 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Junior Herbalist Club (JHC) was started in 2014 at Park View Lytham and has proven to be both popular and successful with children unwilling to leave at the end of the first year and a second-year program having to be devised. Now the National Institute of Medical Herbalists (NIMH) are proudly supporting the scheme across the country, encouraging and supporting other Medical Herbalists to run a Junior Herbalist Club in their area giving children nationwide the opportunity to develop knowledge and skills that will benefit themselves and others for a lifetime.