2018 dog year

2018 The year of the dog

The loyal faithful dog will bring to earth the ideas created and forged in the fire of the Rooster. His ability to seek out the best way through obstacles will help humanity overcome the challenges we face … with the planet, as a cultural species, and as

individuals. The chinese dog is a flying dog guardian to the Temples. But the Earth dog is steadfast in his protection of his charges. The instincts of this animal is that of one to survive, and to serve the one who he is loyal too. He is both a loner and a

companion, a guardian and servant to the temple gods. Let us use this energy with respect honour and compassion and the rewards for humanity will be myriad.


Painting by Ito Jakuchu

Painting by Ito Jakuchu

The dawn of the Rooster began at the new moon on the 28th of January 2017.

This proud bird tells all under his domain that it is a new day, the darkness of night has dissolved into the light of the Sun rising.

After the tricks of the Monkey Year there is hope that this Fire Rooster will bring order not chaos. As a Firebird, this Rooster is associated with the magic and healing of the Phoenix. The divisions which became visible in the previous year may yet find space to weave together so as a tribe of human beings we will make the bridges needed to hold the structures of our lives together.

We may have to wait for the loyal Dog Year for those structures to be at least etched out on our visual horizon. Chaos is volatile, but governance takes patience, courage and wisdom. So embrace the Dawn and recognise where your energy and talents will weave the strongest bond to build bridges for not only your world but our Only world the Planet Earth….

An inspiring day at the Chelsea Physic Gardens on Monday discussing the research in Anti Microbial resistance and what herbs can be used in stead of antibiotics and the mechanism

An inspiring day at the Chelsea Physic Gardens on Monday discussing the research in Anti Microbial resistance and what herbs can be used instead of antibiotics and the mechanism by which this is done ..

A wonderful collection of research professors from University of Southhampton and Portsmouth. A few GPs working also as herbalists and a lovely collection of RCHM members imparting their wisdom and adding input from the floor!

A useful day for my patients as what was gleaned is that should your GP recommend antibiotics ask first how necessary it is and it might be better to save the antibiotics for possible MRSA  or some other life threatening infection. The  more exposure to antibiotics you have the more you educate the bacteria how to adapt to them. At the same time you diminish your own natural immune activity.  In Scandinavian countries they have introduced doing a CRP test (finger blood test ) before administering antibiotics and this has reduced  the usage by about a third. The recent government report has shown there is a big reduction in prescribing but we have still a way to go to use these life saving drugs for just this … feeling horrible with a rotten cold is just that, best advice is to take self to bed and hide. But in the real world where we all have to work to keep the machine of living day to day it is not possible.  Hence the over use of the medication which began saving lives about 90 years ago.

Think twice before taking them as you may need it one day to actually save your life.

Lingzhi Mushroom – Magical wand of the Ancients!

Lingzhi mushroom has always been like an antenna to transform the ordinary to the extra ordinary. Through medical history and medical anthropology it has been an Imperial Herb within the medical herbal pharmacopoeia. Known for its ability to improve one’s energy not only on the physical level but for spiritual and emotional focus.

Lingzhi Mushroom

Lingzhi Mushroom

This Lingzhi mushroom is found around the world not only in the East and now it has been identified here in UK by Kew and named Ganoderma lucidum rooney. It has also been treated with enormous respect in ancient cultures as evidenced with very old paintings and statues in Chinese and Japanese culture where sages and the Goddess Kuan Yin is holding the mushroom like a staff or rod. Or my interpretation a Wand…

This mushroom has also been discovered in Caribbean cultures of Arawak and Carib Indians who also identified it as something to revere as it is placed on Altars or over doorways. We can then say it is a world wide link across cultures. From this unique perspective its connection to primitive use to 21st C scientific applications is something to take note.

Properties of Lingzhi mushroom
Anti tumour
Anti anxiety
Immune modulator
Anti inflammatory
Hyper tension
Anti viral
Anti microbial

Lingzhi Mushroom

Lingzhi Mushroom

Fire Monkey – 8 February 2016

Welcome the energy of the Fire Monkey!
It’s acrobatic skills, wisdom, cunning and magic will be vital tools needed to enhance our navigation for this year, 2016. The Legend of the Monkey in Chinese Mythology tells us that he was borne from a stone egg spewed out of a mountain.

The monkey likes to move with his tribe but the fire monkey leads, he does not follow.
The monkey became king only to realize that wealth and power are empty. He left his kingdom to seek immortality. The monkey is synonymous with the wind. This is also a Fire Year so use the alchemy magic of the fire to transcend any challenging situations. Our fire resides in our hearts, utilize this energy wisely. Allow it to flow so it generates, creates and produces our true manifestation as a New Era begins. The monkey loves jokes creating havoc, be aware.

Of all the animals in the Chinese Zodiac the monkey is most capable of humanity. Holding both wisdom and boredom. Loving both freedom and belonging. Recognize this in ourselves, this is our challenge for 2016!

The Fire Monkey 2016 by Tabitha Ellis

The Fire Monkey 2016 by Tabitha Ellis

My favorite winter roast chicken recipe

This roast chicken recipe has my favourite ingredients such as chicken, salted black beans, fresh shiitake, ginger and herbs.

Why this chicken dish is good for you
The chicken nourishes blood and therefore strengthen your energy. The shiitake mushroom strengthens the stomach and spleen therefore helps make blood. The black beans have detox and anti-bacterial properties. And the ginger warms and protects the stomach. So together energetically this roast chicken dish will help fortify you for the winter season.

Winter chicken roast

Winter chicken roast

How to prepare and cook

• one good size organic chicken
• 250-500 grams of shiitake mushrooms (organic if possible)
• 2 table spoons of salted black beans (you can find it in your local Chinese grocery shop)
• sliced fresh organic ginger (a good chunk of the root)
• salt (and herbs such as thyme and spices such as chili to taste)
• sherry or Chinese wine: two table spoons
• one organic onion or shallot
• sesame oil

Clean the chicken. Rub the salt all over the chicken. Pour sherry over chicken. Put ginger and black beans in a bowl, after slicing the ginger and dicing up the black beans together with the sesame oil – and then crush it together gently to release the juices.  Once you have done that rub the mixture all over the chicken. Also put some of the mixture in between the flesh of the chicken and the skin on the breast. Slice as soon as you can the shiitake mushrooms.  Stuff some of the mushrooms in the cavity of the chicken. Then put the rest of the mushrooms around the chicken in the baking tray. Place the sliced onion or shallots under the chicken.  The chicken is now ready to go in the oven. Put at 200° C for about an hour and a half.  After about 45 minutes check your chicken and if it is nice and brown you can add some of the gravy on top for another 15 minutes and then you can turn it to the other side for the rest of the time. After about two hours of cooking take out the chicken and test it to see if it’s cooked.

This roast chicken is best served with rice.

Serves four. Preparation time 20 min. Cooking time 1.5-2 hour depending on the size of the chicken.

2015 – The Year of the Goat

The year of the goat 2015

Goat sculpture by Miss Tabitha Ellis

The Wood Goat year is a year of new possibilities originating from the opportunities the Year of the Horse revealed. Literally the Horse kicked the stable door down and ran free, causing chaos and havoc in our lives. The Goat or Sheep has come to calm him down.

Horses are never put in a field on their own. Sometimes sheep or goats are put in the pasture to keep them company to calm the horse. They are good friends. The horse being more yang and the more sure footed goat or sheep holds the yin within the relationship.

The Year of the Goat will lead us to a higher perspective of the chaos and drama of the Year of the Horse. A higher truer panorama of the internal and external landscape in which we now inhabit. Goats and sheep move in herds so we intuitively will create, develop and home in on those who will become part of our tribal family and soul connections. Formulating a strategy to move forward. A deeper truer life will manifest in new and different forms to the past few years. As the Cosmic energies at play create a new symphony of our healing hearts, mind and physical self. All is as it should be, we just have to adjust to the new Order!

New Year of the Wood Horse

New Year of the Wood Horse

30 January 2014
(a Horse in the Clouds year)


If everyone has not yet felt the pull of the giant planets transforming our lives then wait no longer, for the Year of the Wood Horse starts the race.  The Horse can be a stallion who leads, it also can be quick and temperamental.  Ride the year as an intuitive jockey as then you have a chance to finish the course set by the Gods…Traditionally a good year for business Horse years are always welcome but it is also a year where you will have to be flexible in your approach.  For what was once dependable is no longer so…It is a changing of the Guard!  Be mindful of what is set in motion as in a horse year it will go at a galloping pace, whether it is of the heart or in your professional life.  Whether you are part of the herd or a leader, the challenge this year for us all is to be ready for movement…this is not the year for relaxing in the meadow.

Summer’s Perfume – Rose Cordial Drink

Summer's Perfume - Roses in 2013

Summer’s Perfume – Rose cordial drink 

Collect the roses when the flowers are full. Pull off the petals and put in a bowl. Pour 2 Litres of boiling water over the petals, allow to infuse overnight with a lid over the bowl. The next day strain the liquid out into a saucepan. Add 1 or 2 table spoons of xylitol (natural, alkaline and very healthy option to sugar) or honey to taste, and one lemon with peel and juice. Bring to the boil and pour into sterilised bottles and seal. Leave to cool and use as desired. Dilute to taste. This is a summer drink and will keep you cool. This recipe can also be used for elderflower (traditionally used for a summer cold, so it’s very handy to have in the house. Latin for elderflower is sambucus nigra). Pick the flowers only in sunshine. This way the maximum amount of vitamins are absorbed. With elderflowers shake before you add the water so as to get rid of the little insects and pollen beetles which also love his special summer flower.




Peony – the flower of the month – for nourishing blood and painful periods


Peony – to invigorate your blood

The beautiful Peony is now flowering in my garden.  This plant is one of the most used herb in our Materica Medica. We use both the red peony and the white. The red shown here is for invigorating the blood and is most commonly used for painful periods and for softening lumps and fibroids. As its flavour is sour and bitter it used to cool the blood in hot syndromes, and can be one of the herbs  used for the typical symptom of the menopause. The white peony is more nourishing.  Also used with painful periods and stops pain especially if  experiencing migraine or headaches that is associated with the mense.  As with all herbs its use should only be under the supervision of a qualified medical herbalist. Chinese herbal medicine uses a combination of herbs put together to create a dynamic palate to transform the patients pathology.  It is never just  one herb as that creates an imbalance. It would be like supporting one leg of a table and not the other three so the table would be uneven…. You could not eat off such a table. So enjoy seeing this flower in gardens everywhere knowing that Ancient Chinese Medicine found a use for the root of the peony beyond the beauty of the flower. I wonder how this use was discovered and have yet to come across any research to enlighten me on this fact.