About Holt Wood Herbs
At Holt Wood Herbs we set out to demonstrate how an aging conifer plantation can be replanted as a medicinal forest garden, offering a viable and sustainable source of plant supplies for health and body care. We aim to develop a range of expertise which can support others in the management of woodlands including medicinal trees and shrubs.
Products for living well from our medicinal agroforestry project
At Holt Wood Herbs we are growing trees and other plants to use in our herbal products for living well. We want to promote more demand for such UK-sourced ingredients for body and skin care. The Holt Wood Herbs range of body care products is based on many years of experience of formulating and making products for healthy living, from common ailments to skin care. Several decades ago our medical herbalist, Anne Stobart, started making a range of herbal gifts for friends and relatives. These handmade cosmetics and remedies were designed not only to support health and wellbeing, but also to be enjoyed. We have chosen the best of the items for our range of skin and body care products.
Our project at Holt Wood in North Devon is all about growing and harvesting medicinal trees and shrubs. The range of possibilities for including medicinal trees and shrubs varies from gardens to smallholdings, woodlands and agroforestry projects. We set up the Medicinal Forest Garden Trust to encourage the cultivation and harvest of medicinal trees and shrubs in a sustainable way. Every item we sell will enable us to contribute to this Trust which has charitable educational aims.
Read all about us, about herbal medicine, about our ingredients below.
Anne is a qualified consultant medical herbalist based in Devon. Previously she taught herbal medicine at Middlesex University in London. Anne is teacher-trained and has considerable experience in adult, further and higher education. She is also permaculture-trained and enjoys growing vegetables alongside herbs on the allotment. She has research interests in the history of herbal medicine, and has a PhD from her research into seventeenth-century healthcare. Her latest publication is Household Medicine in Seventeenth-Century England, available from Bloomsbury Publishing. Anne also occasionally contributes to the worldwide blog on historical recipes, the Recipes Project.
Kay has a varied background, having worked abroad and in the UK in industry, and more recently trained in social work with a number of postings in South and West of England. She has always had an interest in art, completing a degree in fine art at Plymouth University, exhibiting her work and now producing fine quality prints and art cards. Kay provides the creative elements of Holt Wood, ranging from construction projects to cut flower beds.
Lucy is our guardian Irish Terrier. An incredible breed combining racy looks, fierce loyalty with wilful independence. She loves visitors and is great with children. A bonus for us is that she does not shed hair, this is a breed which has to be handstripped every few months. Lucy enjoys agility training and food.
About herbal medicine
Herbal medicine provides a sustainable system of healing based on a wealth of knowledge about plants which has been passed down through the centuries. Many of these plant remedies have now been shown by research to have medicinal actions. Self-help with herbs is possible for many common ailments, though a consultation with a medical herbalist may be effective for many complaints or chronic conditions. A medical herbalist takes a holistic view of ill-health and disease, seeking to reach the underlying causes through a detailed case history. The aim of treatment is to provide relief, and to support self-healing potential, enabling continuing balance in body systems and lifestyle. If you have a significant complaint then consulting a qualified medical herbalist is important so that you can be advised about taking herbs safely alongside medicines from your doctor. A professional medical herbalist with training in clinical herbal medicine will be a member of a professional body such as the College of Phytotherapy Practitioners (CPP) or the National Institute of Medical Herbalists (NIMH). Membership indicates degree level training in medical sciences as well as botanical therapeutics, with insurance to practise herbal medicine, and commitment to ethical standards of practice.
Treatment with a clinical herbal practitioner
People consult medical herbalists for a wide variety of complaints, such as: allergies , catarrh and sinusitis , chronic fatigue syndrome , constipation and indigestion , cystitis and urinary disorders , digestive and bowel conditions , eczema , hay fever , inflammation , insomnia , period pains and pre-menstrual tension , stress and anxiety.
Treatment with herbal medicine is based on each individual case and the clinical herbal practitioner will want to take account of any prescription medication you take. A preparation of selected herbs will be made up to suit your particular medical condition. Advice on diet and lifestyle may also be provided at the consultation. During the ensuing weeks or months there will be follow up visits to make adjustments to your herbal mixture, and provide advice as your condition alters. Typically, you will be given a mixture of herbal tinctures. This mixture is usually taken in teaspoonful doses in hot water up to three times per day. Tinctures include some alcohol which acts as a preservative. Children are given reduced doses. Herb teas, tablets or ointments may also be prescribed.
Important: Any advice from this site is for general guidance only. If symptoms persist, or if you have any doubts, you should always consult a medical herbalist or general medical practitioner.
About our ingredients
Products in the Holt Wood Herbs range are designed to draw on sustainable resources, particularly ingredients which can be sustainably grown in the UK. In 2005 we replanted Holt Wood in North Devon and a new phase began as we were able to start growing and harvesting some of our own ingredients. We try to avoid using non-natural preservatives, and we buy in organic ingredients when possible. See here for more details of individual ingredients. Looking ahead our aim is to develop the range of products available, and to increasingly source herbal ingredients in a sustainable way, especially those from trees and shrubs. Some of our ingredients are already grown and harvested by us, such as Cramp bark, Marigold flowers, Juniper, St John’s wort, Violet willow, White willow and Witch hazel.