Herbs With Barbara

Banish those winter blues!

todayThursday 2 November

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Figs, Ginger, Parkin and Nettle Roots…what more could you possibly need for a cosy winter?

Winter has firmly set in, the darker nights are upon us and it’s time to get cosy in front of the fire.

Or maybe get in the kitchen and cook up some winter-warmers that are sure to hit the spot!

It’s a time for family and friends and sharing natures bounty together.  Gear yourselves up for the Season of Goodwill.

In this edition of Herbs With Barbara we chatted about the tradition of  Halloween and All Saints Day – and celebrated the spirit of bonfire night with some delicious home-made Parkin.

Fresh Figs


Figs – Ficus carica – are in season right now – and though fresh ones are wonderful to eat on their own, or  served with a little cheese and honey – they don’t keep fresh for long.  Barbara has been busy in her herbal kitchen and has cooked up a batch of preserved figs in syrup.

These long-lasting treats are perfect as part of a desert and are easy to make.  Just make sure you keep them refrigerated after opening.

Figs have an amazing amount of beneficial properties.  

They are high in antioxidants, which can help reduce inflammation and improve digestion.  They are a great source of minerals – including Calcium which is essential for bone health.

Why not try some fresh figs today?



Ginger –  Zingiber officinale – is a deliciously spicy rhizome that is easy to incorporate into your diet.

Fresh Ginger can be grated and sprinkled over a curry to provide a lively fresh flavour with incredible health benefits.

But of course, Ginger is available in a number of forms including tea, cakes, biscuits, candied and candied.  All have benefits in their own ways!

It’s anti-inflammatory and can support your immune system – just what you need at this time of the year.

Try and incorporate Ginger in your everyday diet and you’ll soon feel the benefits!

Nettle Tincture

Nettle Roots

Ah.  Barbara has been out on her allotment again….who would have thought that growing nettles would be a thing?

But of course, Barbara has a particular fondness and obsession with stinging nettles!  We’ve covered this on a previous edition of Herbs with Barbara.

But rather than the prickly leaves this time, we talked about the amazing benefits of Nettle Roots – especially for men.

The roots contain beta-sitosterol, a valuable plant phenol which has been shown to reduce urinary tract complications and the enlargement of the prostate.

It is often a principal ingredient in Men’s health supplements – but it is easily harvested and prepared at home.

You can make a tincture – or chop the roots and steep in vodka and a little tot now and then could give you a little boost.

As always, plants and herbs provide wonderful medicinal benefits, but it’s always best to take professional advice and for you to understand what you are doing.

For help, advice and inspiration why not join the Herb Society?

Always lovely to catch up with Barbara.  You can listen to the latest episode of Herbs with Barbara below.  Just click on the play button!

Barbara will next be with us live in the studio on Thursday 7th December.

Herbs with Barbara: November 2023
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    Banish those winter blues! ian

Written by: ian

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