The aim of Junior Herbalist Club (JHC) is to let children learn about the healing and medicinal plants all around them in a safe and supervised environment.
- Identification of common herbs growing all around them
- Safety – which herbs are safe to use and which are poisonous
- 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
Children are the best students when it comes to plants. They have no prejudice against any of them (except for what we teach them), no preconceived notions of how a plant should work or how its medicine should heal. 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 peppermint is soothing to the stomach and comfrey can heal wounds and scars. And why not? They are all plants after all. 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. Knowledge is empowering. 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, family, community, and children of their own.
By the end of the year, the children will be able to:
- Correctly identify many of the common medicinal plants growing in their gardens, parks, hedgerows and streets and that they will be able to distinguish between poisonous and non-poisonous plants.
- Know the medicinal properties of many common plants.
- Understand how to use some of these plants in first aid and how to use some plants for making medicines.
- Enjoy listening to the stories and tales of folklore and history surrounding the plants and herbal medicine.
- Know how to cultivate and harvest plants whilst respecting their environment and all of nature.
JHC is held at Lytham Park View, both within the Eco-Pod and around the park. We meet once a month, on a Saturday morning and each session lasts 90 minutes. I will deliver 10 sessions throughout the year (17th September, 22nd October, 19th November, 21st January, 18th February, 18th March, 22nd April, 13th May, 17th June, 22nd July).
The cost for the year is £60.00, payable in advance to secure your child’s place.
This cost covers all tuition and materials. The children are also given a worksheet after each session to be completed before the next meeting. This helps them to remember what we have learnt and acts as a portfolio of learning. JHC is aimed at children between the ages of 8 and 12, although older children are welcome and younger children from the age of 7 may attend providing they are accompanied by a parent or guardian. Children who attend regualarly will receive an award and certificate at the end of the year.