Herbs on the Highland Titles Reserve – A Herbal Tea in the Making?
Written by: Doug
Published: 27th October 2015
Update: Our special tea was a great success, but is now sadly all sold.
What could be better than a nice hot cup of tea? We’ve discovered that gathering the ingredients for your cuppa while enjoying a pleasant stroll through the picturesque Scottish Highlands is a pleasure that is hard to beat.
We recently met Cindy Ledgerwood, a Scottish medicinal herbalist who blends tasty and invigorating teas from all sorts of interesting ingredients. Having tasted some of her delicious teas at a dinner party (we’d highly recommend them!), we invited her up to the Highland Titles nature reserve. She and Stewart, our reserve warden, wandered through the estate – accompanied by Cindy’s wee terrier, Borage – looking for likely spots where edible and healthful herbs might grow.
On the hunt for herbs and plants that could be used to craft a cup of tea, Cindy was impressed by the work the Highland Titles team has undertaken. She could see that Highland Titles’ creative approach to conservation is leading to a rejuvenation of the land through the reintroduction of native species.
Beyond the work on the estate itself, she could see the benefit of activities like teaching local school children about bees and their impact on the environment. “Educationally, environmentally, it’s all great stuff!” Plus, the Highland Titles Nature Reserve has the added benefit of getting people excited about the Scottish outdoors (as evidenced by the numerous international visitors they bumped into on their herbal quest).
We’re sure you’re curious to know the ingredients Stewart and Cindy discovered on the estate. Well, lots of peat-loving Scottish plants like Hawthorn and Heather.
|Herbs on the Highland Titles Nature Reserve|
|Heather||A symbol of passionate love, of sacrifice and self-control. Also one of luck.|
|Hawthorn||People believe Hawthorn engenders trust and forgiveness and helps to cleanse the heart of negativity. Further to this, medical herbalists use it to effectively treat heart and circulatory disorders.|
|St John’s Wort||An emblem of the sun (and summer solstice). Uplifting, anti-depressant, nerve nourishing.
St Johns Wort was believed to ward away evil and to bring peace and plenty to those who carried it secretly, secured under the left armpit.
Stewart had never come across St John’s Wort before, but Cindy was happy to find it and point out its strange ‘perforated’ leaves to him. Cindy was also surprised by some of the plants that were missing from the estate – species like the humble dandelion should by rights be found in the Highland Titles environment, but it managed to evade their searching eyes.
Taking in the estate was a pleasure, but even better was sitting down in the visitor hut at the end of the day to reap the benefits of the hunt. Both Cindy and Stewart thoroughly enjoyed sipping a fresh brew of foraged tea and discussing the many plants they’d encountered around the reserve.
We’ve asked Cindy if she thinks we could make a Highland Titles tea – one blended from ingredients found on the reserve. Her answer? “Teas can be made from herbs, trees and berries with careful selection a fantastic tea can be made from the plant species on the estate.”
We first got in touch with Cindy after we’d tasted her ‘Flowers of Scotland’ tea, a fresh blend of native herbs that can be found in the fields and hedgerows of Scotland. It’s a smooth, delicate, floral tea including lemon balm, cornflower, and heather that’s perfect for sipping in the beautiful Scottish countryside. We thought, I wonder what a Highland Titles blend would taste like?
What do you think? Would you be interested in trying a tea inspired by the Highland Titles Nature Reserve?