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Herbs on the Highland Titles Reserve – A Herbal Tea in the Making?

Written by: Donald
Published: 27th October 2015

Last Updated on

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.

Stewart and Miss Integritea on the Highland Titles Nature Reserve

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).

Cindy picking heather

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 heide-433182_640 A symbol of passionate love, of sacrifice and self-control. Also one of luck.
Hawthorn berries-693911_640 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 flower-374512_640 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.

Sipping a fresh herbal brew at the visitor hut

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?


About the author

Written by: Donald


Comments on this post

  • Blair Urquhart
    28/10/15 - 09:11

    I’d like to try it, sounds good!

  • Stephen Webster
    28/10/15 - 09:50

    Really curious about the hawthorn. I’m the gardener at Amhuinnsuidhe castle on Harris where there are loads of mature hawthorns and plenty of berries. How do I make the tea ?

  • Cindy Ledgerwood
    29/10/15 - 21:58

    Hi Stephen

    Hawthorn is a fabulous tree – much under used!

    Hawthorn is amazing for strengthening the cardiac system (heart, veins etc). If drunk as a tea daily it has been seen to significantly decrease high blood pressure (and to eliminate the need of dreaded statins!)

    To make a tea you can use the –
    leaves (slightly bitter), berries (sweet tart), or blossom (or all 3 together)!

    Simply take a pinch of any or the above (dried or fresh) pour a mug worth of boiling water over and leave to steep foe 2-4 minutes.

    Add other herbs- nettle or elderberries (out now!) much in the same way.

    If you are interested to dry the herbs and keep them for the year – would love to share tips on how – just pop a post back

    C

  • Gerold Reimondo-Jandrok
    30/10/15 - 17:12

    The tea sounds lovely. I’d like to try it.

  • Judy Bennett
    30/10/15 - 17:45

    I would love to try the heather. Also, what about heather honey? Can you tell me where to order that?
    Thanks.
    Judy Bennett

  • Susan Gassaway
    30/10/15 - 17:51

    No interest in herbal teas! I’m very boring and ONLY like simple “breakfast tea”, not even Earl or Lady Grey, camomile, mint, etc.
    (I’d be fascinated to know where ANYone finds WILD cornflowers in Scotland!!)I do know St J’s Wort. I know Yarrow and Eye Bright have medicinal properties.
    I’d LOVE to buy Highland Titles honey when you can get going with enough bees:))

  • Lady Eileen Mac Grain Loney
    30/10/15 - 18:13

    I would most definitely be interested in the tea. Sounds great!

  • Stan Smith
    30/10/15 - 19:51

    What an outstanding idea.

  • Rod Hyatt
    30/10/15 - 20:23

    Now you are teas-ing us 🙂 When can we expect to see the tea? I am mightea curious to try some.

    BTW, I’ve got Hawthorn blooming right now here in Brisbane Australia, so I am going to try it out, but the blend from the Highland Estates would be teariffic to try.

    Lord Rod

  • Cindy Ledgerwood
    30/10/15 - 21:22

    My word! I am absolutely DELIGHTED by the interested in herbs and the tea blend!

    Here’s a wee sneak preview.of another herb which will be in the tea….

    Lemon Balm –

    Lemon Balm’s Botanical name Melissa Officials is from the Greek word signifying ‘bee,’ indicative of the attraction the flowers have for those insects, on account of the honey they produce.

    It was traditionally planted outside beehives to ease the bees home. Also used by the beekeepers of the Temple of Artemis to help keep the sacred honeybees content!

    A relaxing uplifting herb. Gently eases worry and stress.

    Medicinally – anti-depressant (but not contraindicated with medication). Anti-viral .

    In folklore, Lemon Balm was used to ward off evil, and to promote good health, love, and good cheer!

    You must agree – a fantastic herb for a caffeine free tea!

    Would love to hear if any Lairds or Lady’s have suggestions for herbs to be included in the tea…and an inkling of the reasons your interest!

    Cindy (Medical Herbalist)
    Miss IntegriTea
    http://www.missintegritea.com

  • Jackie Johnson
    30/10/15 - 22:32

    Was there any nettle or elder?

  • Liz
    31/10/15 - 13:20

    i just love this idea. I would buy Scottish herbal tea, and with recipes I’d make my own too 🙂

  • Michael Wheeler
    31/10/15 - 20:45

    I would be interested in a Highland Titles Tea.

  • lady Aveline LEFEBVRE
    01/11/15 - 16:44

    I’ m french, living in Dordogne and I will be interested by testing this unusual tea from Scotland. Good idea to mix tea and plant from Scotland;
    CARRY ON WITH THIS NEW PLAN

  • Dolder Guitré evelyne
    02/11/15 - 10:53

    Hello, I would be interrested very much in a Highland Titles tea…
    I love very much this idea
    I am a french Highland Titles owner..
    Thank you
    Dr Dolder Guitré

  • Cindy Ledgerwood
    03/11/15 - 14:35

    Thank you all for your comments and interest!

    Jackie – yes Nettle is in the mix…a wee bit about Nettle for the rest of you…

    Nettles are rich in iron, silica, calcium, vitamins A, D & K. Nettles soothe and prevent hay fever and allergies. Regulates blood sugar and improves circulation.

    It is anti-inflammatory, astringent, bactericidal, healing, mildly deodorant and stimulating. It is high in phenols, which give nettle powerful antioxidant properties

    In Britain nettles were used to relieve rheumatism and arthritis by flogging / rolling around in them! This stimulates the blood.

    In many nations exists the belief, that stinging nettles have magic powers. People would put some nettles leaves into pockets to be safe from lighting, or some dry leaves into shoes – that evil power would not be able to lead them to vicious places. Some nettles would put under the door, preventing evil to enter or would make brooms of nettles – to sweep evils from the rooms.

    Nettle Folklore –
    The belief is, that most powerful are adult, (but not old) nettles, gathered at the night of young moon, on a Tuesday! If the roots are plucked the plant looses its energy with the land and thus loosing its powers as well!

    Elder – does it have a good taste? I have never tried it!

    Cindy

  • James Martin
    07/11/15 - 10:02

    We have just become landholders and are wondering if there are any others who hail from EMBO in far Nth Scotland? We are in Australia (NSW Sth Coast region) and our ancestors come from Embo. We would love to hear from you and yours.

  • Lady J
    12/11/15 - 14:52

    Hi Cindy, I’m very excited to try the Highland Titles blend but you raised a point earlier about lemon balm having no contraindication with medication. If St John’s Wort is included in the blend, is that also safe medicinally?

  • dennis boe
    06/01/16 - 21:24

    How do i contact stuart i am sure i had an email contact for him but may be on my old expired pc .
    thanks
    Dennis
    looking for some local info from him

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