The Gardener’s Apothecary

Apothecary Plant images

The Gardener’s Apothecary

We’ve been waiting for such a long time and finally encouragement is coming from the garden. A few degrees warmer temperatures and a little bit of sunshine seems to be all we need to woo us into our over-wintered bits of paradise.

Joyous reunions, plans for sowing, the promise of colours, scents and home grown delights have us reaching for spade, fork and trowel. We often seem to fall prey to a sort of collective amnesia at this time of year, so eager are we to be in the dirt, our bodies have forgotten the toll exacted by the labour of planting, mowing and mulching.

Fresh air, fragrant earth, mellow sunshine BLISS — All of earth’s energies are pointing up and so many shoots are making their way skyward. With such a riot of life making itself visible it’s difficult to pace ourselves in our endeavours to match it. Warning a gardener NOT to overdo it is a little like saying, ‘Drink slowly’ to one who has just crossed a desert!

Commonly the results of our first forays into the garden leave us feeling a little worse for wear – strained and over-used muscles, bruises, wear and tear, a chill from having over stayed our time can interfere with the best laid plans of the most seasoned among us.

Homoeopathic remedies come into their own in these circumstances and are a gentle, safe and effective cure allowing us to return tomorrow and the next day to our little bits of Eden.

These common remedies are made from plants that may well appear in our gardens, proving the maxim that ‘everything we require for healing is provided for’. They are commonly found in health food stores and Chemist’s shops. All remedies with the exception of Calendula are in pill form and to be taken internally. They are safe for pregnant women, children and the elderly.

ACONITE – Monkshood

For the effects of exposure to cold winds. Sudden violent onset of fever, earache or headache. This is an acute and extreme state that may also be accompanied by fearfulness and palpitations.

ARNICA – Mountain Daisy

An old friend for the gardener. Useful in the event of over-strain and injury, bruising or damage to soft tissue. Arnica is indicated in one who has worked beyond their capacity (who me?!) and insists all the while that they are fine, even when it is very apparent that exhaustion has set in. There is a bruised sensation and achy-ness in the whole body.

CALENDULA – Marigold

(Used in the form of a cream for topical application)

Calendula is a first class remedy or salve for cuts, abrasions or open wounds. It is, in fact, such a good remedy that it is imperative that the wound or cut be very thoroughly cleaned before applying as the cream. The remedy promotes granulation of the tissue and enables speedy and effective healing for the skin.

RHUS TOX – Poison Oak

Useful for the ‘morning after’ when soreness and stiffness surfaces.
Muscles, ligaments, strains and sprains are the hallmark affinities and symptoms associated with Rhus Tox. Soreness, stiffness in backs, knees and arms; restlessness and aching from too much digging and unusual repetitive movement. People needing Rhus Tox will naturally gravitate toward a hot bath and a gentle rub… these symptoms are typically relieved by slow continued motion and feel MUCH worse on initial movement.

RUTA GRAV – Garden Rue

The sphere of action for this remedy is in the event of damage and strain to ligaments and tendons. Ailments from small repeated twisting motions…carpal tunnel syndrome or repetitive strain injury activated in wrists, ankles fingers and small joints.


Puncture wounds, soil, rusty tools can all add up to a lethal cocktail that equals tetanus. Ledum is a preeminent preventative to tetanus and is especially indicated when deep puncture wounds are cold, bluish in colour, threatening infection and the pains are relieved by cold applications. Also indicated for the treatment of animal bites.

HYPERICUM – St John’s Wort

Like Ledum, Hypericum is a highly effective preventative and treatment for wounds or injuries suspected of leading to tetanus. The puncture wound or cut requiring Hypericum will be very red and angry looking and possibly hot to touch. It is a first class remedy for pain associated with nerve damage – misfire with a hammer and a stake for the new fence? Slamming ones fingers in the shed door? Trip and fall on your tailbone? Arnica and Hypericum will ensure that you’ll be up tomorrow morning musing on where to plant the spinach and the salad greens.

As you make your way into the garden, prevent injuries by stretching first, ask for help with lifting the new paving stones and make sure that you have plenty of water to drink! If you do over-do it and these remedies do not resolve your symptoms, contact a qualified homeopath or consult your doctor.

Happy Planting!

One thought on “The Gardener’s Apothecary

  1. thank you Marlow, it is a beautiful sunny crisp morning, frogs serenading the last couple of evenings and there’s no holding back those green shoots now! much love, sjd

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