Herbs With Barbara

The Joys of Autumn

todayMonday 9 October

share close

We are well into Autumn, the darker nights are approaching – but it’s still a wonderful time of the year!

This edition of Herbs with Barbara is all about re-connecting with nature!

As the the bright days get shorter and the air gets cooler, it’s a perfect time to get into the great outdoors and to breathe in some fresh air!

Getting out and about will brighten your mood – and even a half hour walk can have tremendous health benefits!

And how long is it since you had a Conker fight?  Some people think that Conker fights have been banned – but in actual fact, in the UK at least, there’s no law against it!

This time of the year is the perfect time to harvest Conkers.  Give them a quick bake in the oven, dip in vinegar to harden them up and thread string through for a fun game that will take you back to your childhood.

Though Conkers (Horse Chestnuts) are occasionally used in herbal medicine – it’s good to remember that they contain toxin called aesculin – which can give you (or your pets) stomach pains, confusion and nausea, so they should never be eaten or administered, unless advised by a Medical Herbalist.

Sweet Chestnuts

Sweet Chestnuts, on the other hand – are one of nature’s delicious treats which are in abundance at this time of the year!

If you are harvesting from the wild, be sure not to confuse Horse Chestnuts (which are inedible) with Sweet Chestnuts.

A simple reference is that Sweet Chestnut burrs are densely covered in soft-spikey spines.  The fruit (“nut”) is flattened and has a hairy tip – and often there’s more than one nut in each husk.

Horse Chestnuts on the other hand have more sparsely arranged, thron-like spines and contain one – usually rounded – nut.

Sweet Chestnuts can be identified by densely soft-spikey burrs and the fruits are flatter with a hairy point.

Chestnuts must be cooked!

Don’t be tempted to eat your Chestnuts raw – as they contain high levels of Tannic Acid.

There’s plenty of recipes online for roasted Chestnuts – but if you are feeling confident and have the time and patience, why not have a go at making Maron Glace?

Listen Again:  Herbs With Barbara October 2023

Written by: ian

Post comments (0)

Leave a reply