Walks, Workshops and Talks

Our popular herbal walks and workshops are held throughout the year. To stay up to date with our latest workshops sign up to our monthly newsletter (at the bottom of this page).

Herbal walks and Workshops - Botanica Medica

"I just wanted to write and say thank you for hosting such wonderfully informative, relaxing and rejuvenating day for us all. Everyone felt so inspired by your way of life and your calm and beautiful approach to life. Each time I speak to one of the others we end up speaking about our herbal day with you. A walk in the countryside will never be the same again!! Once again, thank you very much."

Forthcoming Walks, Workshops and Talks

Home Herbal Medicine

I have noticed that my patients have a great interest in the herbs which I prescribe them, and that they like to look them up and understand what I am prescribing and why. Because of this interest. I have decided to run little lessons in herbal medicine each month, with a theme to each lesson. I won't dumb down the lessons, because people will very easily grasp what I am trying to get across; and since we will be face-to-face, you can ask any questions you like.

In the workshops, I will explain the actions of a small group of herbs related to specific conditions such as poor immunity, or liver tonic herbs, stress and fatigue etc. I will also talk about relevant foods, perhaps give recipes, and we will make a few goodies too, so that when you leave, you will be well equipped to use these remedies safely on your friends and family. Home herbal remedies may not be as strong as our professional prescriptions, but they will go a long way towards supporting your health.

Each lesson will be held on a Saturday afternoon in St Margaret’s from 4-6pm, or a Monday evening from 6 – 8 pm in Petersfield, and will cost £20.00. You do not need to book for every lesson, just those which you find interesting, but I do ask you to book as far in advance as possible, and if you cancel less than one week prior to the workshop, the payment will be non-refundable.

June 2018 – Dealing with arthritic pain

Petersfield, Monday 18th of June 2018, 18h00-20h00
£20.00 per person, booking essential. Please call 07932 764417 or jodunbarlane@gmail.com

Bone on bone pain is nagging and unrelenting, often only relieved by pain killers or surgery. However, if the arthritis is not too severe, herbs, food and food supplements can be used to significantly alleviate the inflammation and promote the healing of damaged tissue, which in turn massively reduces the need for painkillers, and/or delays the need for joint replacement surgery. We will also be discussing gout, pseudo-gout, and discuss the more complicated rheumatoid arthritis and what can be done to slow its progression. We shall make a pain killing rub, anti-inflammatory herbal infusion and discuss an anti-oxidant rich, anti-inflammatory diet.

July 2018 – Candida yeast overgrowth

Botanica Medica, St Margaret’s, Saturday 21st of July 2018, 16h00-18h00
Petersfield, Monday 30th of July 2018, 18h00-20h00
£20.00 per person, booking essential. Please call 07932 764417 or jodunbarlane@gmail.com

Candida is a yeast which normally grows in our gut, but can overgrow and cause health problems such as thrush, brain fog, headaches, abdominal bloating and flatulence, and debilitating fatigue.

We shall discuss why people develop this yeast over-growth, and how we can control it through diet, herbs and spices in your kitchen, and easily available essential oils.

Walks and Workshops with Janine

June Elderflower Herbwalk & Workshop

St Margaret’s, Saturday 23rd June 2018, 16h00-18h00
£20.00 per person, booking essential. Adults, children and dogs welcome.
Please call 020 8892 9227 or info@botanicamedica.co.uk

Learn about the history, medicinal and culinary uses of our local flora.
Join Janine and gather elderflowers, learn how to make an on the spot hayfever relief and collect a raw energy bursting spring salad.
Return to Botanica Medica and create your own sugar free Elderflower Cordial.
All materials and recipes provided.

Magical Forest Retreats with Jo & Adrian

1st July 2018

When: Sunday 1st July, 10h00 to 16h00
Where: Hampshire, near Petersfield
Cost: £80.00 per person, booking essential. Please call 020 8892 9227 or info@botanicamedica.co.uk

We invite you to reconnect with Nature and your roots on this day retreat celebrating our connection to the land.

During a gentle stroll along the hedgerows of Hampshire, we shall talk about the medical qualities and folk-lore of the wild herbs and trees that we come across.

We shall meet and meditate with The Green Man, and as a group, create a wild animal oracle.

With stories, song, and group sharing, we will brighten our rooted connection to this beautiful land which supports us and go home with hearts filled with Light and Love.

July 2018 – Bringing in the Gold with Gorse and Bees

When: Saturday 28th July, 10h00 to 16h00
Where: Queen Elizabeth Country Park in Hampshire
Cost: £85.00 per person, booking essential. Please call 020 8892 9227 or info@botanicamedica.co.uk

Gorse is often found growing in harsh environments, such as wild Scottish hills or the moorlands of Cornwall, where few other plants can flourish. Swathes of golden flowers brighten the landscape for most months of the year, providing bees with sweet nectar which they gather and take home to the hive. According to Druid tradition, gorse is associated with gathering in of the harvest, bringing home the gold of your endeavours.

What is our gold? The alchemists of old spoke of turning lead to gold, but this was a metaphor for turning a purely material existence into a golden life-experience enlightened by spiritual inspiration. Turning to the bees, we see that their purpose is to bring home the nectar (the gold) to share with everyone else. They serve the queen (a higher expression of themselves) for the benefit of the hive, and their payment is the golden honey (the sweetness of life and symbol of wisdom derived from gathering).

Gorse inspires us to be courageous and generous. Even in the bleakest of conditions, Gorse still brightens our landscape and grants nectar to the bees – it is generous and life saving in hard times. Research shows that humans are at their most satisfied with life if they have a purpose which includes helping others.

Gorse can facilitate a period of internal synthesis – a higher understanding of where you are in your life. How many people have the courage to look beyond where they are already and to imagine and actively manifest what they truly want in their lives? And how many look to Spirit for Divine inspiration as to the path they tread?

On our retreat, as we work with the spirits of Gorse and bees, we explore if you are clear about your higher purpose and, consider which elements you need to gather together so that you can live a life that is truly worthy of your higher self. The gold is your satisfaction in doing what is exactly right for you and sharing your gift with the world or your community – as the bee shares its honey with the hive.

previous walks & Workshops

Home Herbal Workshop - Adrenal fatigue and burn out

Jo will explain what Adrenal Fatigue is, why people develop it and how it affects your body. We will discuss life-style advice and how to eat in a way which significantly supports your recovery. Learn which herbs can help to restore health and how to use them most effectively.

Workshop: Hawthorn – Tree of the Heart with Jo Dunbar and Adrian Rooke

The ancient Celtic celebration of Beltane is the celebration of love, and centres around Hawthorn flowers - the tree of the heart. On this special day retreat, we explore the medicinal properties and the wonderful magical folklore associated with Hawthorn. Within a small group, we discuss the fascinating power of our hearts, and how each cardiac cell holds precise memories and emotions - even when transplanted into another human being. We acknowledge that the heart generates its own electromagnetic field, which can influence others. Haven’t you noticed how you are drawn magnetically to the warmth of certain people – even if you don’t know them? And we journey into the sacred chambers of our own hearts, where we have the opportunity to heal if we need to, or have a conversation, or simply bathe in the exquisite love of our heart centre. Using druidic ritual, singing, meditation, magical elixirs, sharing and kindness – this workshop will warm your heart and open it, like a flower in early May.

Home Herbal Workshop - Headaches and Brain fog

This month we shall discuss the various causes of headaches and what is commonly known as “brain-fog”. Hormone imbalances, stress, neck strain, liver congestion, constipation and the wrong flora and fauna in our colons can all contribute to the above symptoms. We shall discuss safe and effective home remedies, and, also when it is more appropriate to see a professional.

April Springtime Herb walk & Raw Energy Workshop

Join medical Herbalist Janine Gerhardt MNIMH for a fun & informative foraging walk through Marble Hill Park, collecting local wild weeds and learning about their medicinal & culinary values. Learn how to preserve herbs, how to make simple home herbal remedies and how to pick a fresh, beautiful salad whilst walking in the park Return to Botanica Medica and prepare a fresh, raw, energy-packed shot for you to enjoy on a day to day basis. All materials and recipes provided.

Stress and Anxiety Workshop

We shall discuss a variety of safe and effective herbs which can be used to calm stress and anxiety and to bring about restful sleep. Learn how stress affects the body and can damage your health. Learn how you can use food and herbs to balance the stress hormones and restore yourself back to health. Learn which herbs are deeply relaxing to allow for a deep sleep; and lightly relaxing so that you can use them during the day but not feel sleepy.

Imbolc & Birch Workshop

Many years ago, Adrian had a grocery shop, which he had tried for ages to sell because he wanted to work as a counsellor instead. No-one would buy it, and finally he decided to try some Druid magic. He arrived early one morning and performed a Druid ceremony, which began with casting a circle amongst the cabbages and cauliflowers, sprinkling the circle with water from the sacred island of Iona and burning sage as incense. He then opened his heart and begged to be set free. The ritual was done, he cleared the space and got on with his day.

The following morning at 6am, he arrived at the fruit market to purchase the day's produce and was accosted by a salesman who had just been made redundant and wanted to buy a grocery shop. Ten days later the contracts were signed and Adrian was free. And thank goodness for that because he has since helped thousands of people in addiction recovery and has run many much loved Druid rituals and workshops. We shall be working together on a new series of Magical Forest workshops this year – the first, working with the spirit of Birch and Imbolc – sweeping out the old and making space for that which we want in our lives.

In early February, we see the very first signs of spring, and some of us celebrate Imbolc, which means “ewe’s milk”, or “in milk”. It is the time of new beginnings, but also the time of the Spring Clean.

Birch twigs have been used for millennia as brooms to physically and symbolically sweep the house clean of cobwebs and unhealthy ‘energies’. Birch sap has been used as a spring cleansing tonic, and its leaves detox our blood, and introduce anti-inflammatory constituents into our body to alleviate arthritis and stiffness.

In our Birch workshop, we use Druidic ritual to sweep out the old and create our new beginnings for the year. Imbolc is a very good time to confirm and consolidate plans for New Year’s resolutions, and usher in new plans for our new and better lives.

Home Herbal Workshop - Liver Detox and Support

We shall discuss the concept of liver congestion and why it is so important to keep our lives healthy and the bile free flowing. Very important in this process are liver supporting foods, and also herbs which clean and strengthen the liver, and then there is the liver cleanse – a fairly complicated process made easy after our talk.

Home Herbal Workshop - Supporting your immune system

In this workshop, you will learn about a variety of immune boosting herbs, and which herbs and essential oils we use for the bacterial or viral conditions. I will also tell you about very effective kitchen remedies using foods which you will find in your vegetable tray. You will learn the various approaches to treating a cough.

Seasonal Wreath Making

Choose between traditional or modern wreath designs and create your own winter time wreath. Add botanicals, spices and herbs from a wide variety of choice to create you every unique winter time wreath.
In a relaxed environment learn about the traditions, customs, medicinal and culinary uses of natural materials used.

Herbal Christmas Presents Workshop

Join Janine and create your own bespoke 100% natural Perfume, Epsom Salt Baths infused with botanicals of your choice, personalised Immune & Energy remedy (help will be given), all natural Moisturiser, made with home made base cream and finest ingredients.
All projects will be finished to take home on the day. Recreate at your own leisure and avoid Christmas stress and big bills.

Workshop: Magical Forest Retreat with Jo Dunbar and Adrian Rooke
Blackthorn and Yew

We begin our exploration of the Magical Forest at the time of the Celtic celebration of Samhain, which honours the ancestors, death and transformation, and the beginning of the Celtic year.

Powerfully associated with Samhain is Yew – the tree of graveyards, sacred sites, poisons, ancient druid groves and The Other World. This is a tree which can live for thousands of years, and to the ancient Druids, it represented our transformation from life to death and to life again. Today modern day Druids value working with Yew as an opportunity to turn and face death in order to reach a deeper understanding of the choices that we can make, so that we can deeply enrich own life experience.

Our modern word strife is derived from “Straif”, the name for Blackthorn in the Celtic tree alphabet called the Ogham. Each sound represents a tree, which has a specific meaning. Straif represents a time when black fate has crossed your path, and there is no escape. Our retreat considers what we can do to survive when the darkest, most malign and inescapable influences strike our lives.

This retreat deeply considers both trees and their influences related to our human lives. We shall use Druidic ritual, re-enactment, sacred singing, meditation, and creativity to open up to these two most mystical trees which feature so powerfully in the dark half of the year.

Autumn Herbwalk

Join Janine on a local herb walk exploring our common medicinal weeds and their uses as herbal remedies, in the kitchen and to support general well-being. Bring pen and paper to jot down infos and recipes, a bag for our pickings, brolly & sunglasses and plenty of curiosity.

Berry Remedies Workshop

Learn how to prepare raw & cooked Rosehip syrup, Elderberry & Echinacea immune shots & Hawthorn Berry & Spice Jelly for cheeses, meats or on a good slice of toast.
Infuse and enhance your remedies with herbal antibiotics and immune supporting plant extracts to create an effective and tasty autumn and winter time support for the whole family.

Summer Herb walk with Janine Gerhardt

Learn how to identify and use local medicinal plants for simple home herbal remedies and in the kitchen.

Workshop: Make your own Feel Good Beauty Cream with Janine Gerhardt

For children aged 5 plus

Workshop: Make your own Lipbalm from scratch with Janine Gerhardt

For children aged 5 plus

Workshop: The Summer Solstice - The Mighty Oak and The Blasted Oak with Jo Dunbar & Adrian Rooke

Combining a day of Druid ritual, deep connection with ourselves and the plants of the hedgerow, we shall celebrate the Summer Solstice with stories, meditations, songs and herbs.

The ancient Celts called the Oak, Duir (doorway). The Oak tree is the Summer King of the forest who is the doorway to another world, or level of existence. They turned to the strength and power of the Oak for the courage and inspiration needed to embrace new possibilities.

The Blasted Oak represents The Tower in the tarot. When lightning strikes the Mighty Oak, its proud crown explodes and the imagery represents those times in our lives when our world is blown apart.

This day retreat explores how The Blasted Oak affects our lives and how we can work with The Mighty Oak to move through the doorway from a life torn apart to one regenerated with fresh growth. It is a workshop which connects deeply to the iconic Oak, and through this connection reveals our hidden strengths and courage as we transmute our challenges into triumphs.

We shall also explore other hedgerow herbs such as St John's Wort, Mugwort, Melissa and Vervain. These herbs can bring light and joy into our lives, and in this way, we open our hearts and lives to the joy of the sun at its zenith of power both in the outer world and in our inner landscape.

Workshop: Beltane and Hawthorn – exploring the power, passion and pain of being fully open to love and life with Jo Dunbar and Adrian Rooke

Jo Dunbar and Adrian Rooke take us on a journey along the Celtic Wheel of the Year to the merry month of May and the ancient celebration of Beltane. This is the time when love fills the hedgerows and the Gods and the Goddesses come together in the Greenwood marriage bringing fertility to the land.

The sacred tree we shall focus on this time is Hawthorn which is truly a tree of the heart. Hawthorn is a boundary tree, one of bridal petals and thorns – in this workshop we explore our boundaries, the power and the passion as well as the pain of love, and the graceful acceptance of change. We shall also connect with the Celtic Gods and Goddesses of this period in the Wheel of the Year.

Beltane was always a time of bonfires and frolicking in the woods and the meadows. In keeping with this noble tradition we shall discuss some herbal aphrodisiac potions. As always there shall be stories, joyful song and chanting, meditations and working magically with our sacred Hawthorn.

Spring Herb walk

Join Janine on a leisurely spring walk through Marble Hill Park and along the riverside.
Learn how to identify common medicinal plants and how to use them for simple home herbal remedies and in the kitchen.

The Spirit of the Hedgerow with Jo Dunbar & Adrian Rooke

Using druidic ritual, stories, sacred singing and the ancient Celtic Ogham (Tree alphabet), Adrian Rooke and Jo Dunbar, bring us deeper into contact with the magic of the wild wood, and the spiritual power of our native trees and herbs.
Venturing into the magical forest can open us to a deeper understanding of our own lives and may help to navigate through the entanglements of our personal journey.

The Spirit of the Hedgerow with Jo Dunbar & Adrian Rooke

Jo Dunbar, author of Spirit of the Hedgerow, Medical Herbalist and Druid and Adrian Rooke Pagan celebrant, Counsellor and Druid present a fascinating talk at the College of Psychic Studies in London. The talk explores how pagan folk interacted with the physical and spiritual aspects of the forest in the pre-Christian era, and how we can bring the magic of the wild wood back into our lives today.

Spirit of the Greenwood with Jo Dunbar and Adrian Rooke

Jo Dunbar, Medical Herbalist and Druid and Adrian Rooke, Counsellor and Druid celebrant, facilitate this wonderful day during which the magical and physical connections humans can have with the forest are explored. Humans always take from nature; but on this day we focus on the spirit of the forest, paying particular attention to what we can offer in service to the forest.

The workshop includes beautiful ritual, talking about the sacred Celtic trees and their lore, guided meditation to hear what the sacred tree has to say to us. Later in the day, we talk a journey into a wild and untouched forest where we spend time alone with our chosen tree. There is chanting and drumming and through The Music of the Plants device – we hear a tree singing back to us.

Working Magically in the Forest with Jo Dunbar and Adrian Rooke

The energies of nature are sinking deep into the earth now. The leaves have been shed and the seeds are under a warm layer of leaf mould, incubating over winter. So too the sap and energy of the great oaks have descended down into their roots, safe in the dark earth. Pregnant badgers and foxes are underground in their warm lairs, nurturing their young ones. As we follow the energies of nature, we will use this day to sink deeply into our own psyches, exploring which aspects of our lives we are ready to shed, and which seeds we wish to incubate safely in our hearts, ready to grow when the time is right. This is a day of meditation, working together with each other and the spirit of the descending seasonal energies as well as spending time in the forest connecting to the sacredness of our inner and outer landscape.

The modern Still Room with Jo Dunbar

This is a charming day where we follow the footsteps of the lady of the manor into her stillroom. We talk about how she would have used the herbs from her physic garden and the local countryside to make a variety of supplies such as healing salves, cough mixtures digestive liqueurs and more. A light hearted hands-on day enjoyable for both men and women.

Autumn Foraging Walk & Workshop With Janine Gerhardt

Join Medical Herbalist Janine Gerhardt for a leisurely and informative autumn foraging Herbwalk along the beautiful Twickenham Riverside and meadows. Return to Botanica Medica, St. Margarets, to make your own Immune strengthening anti-viral syrup and personalised herbal blend under the guidance of Janine. Learn how to preserve and use herbs and spices in preparation for the winter months ahead.

Make your own herbal skin cream with Janine Gerhardt

Join Janine and learn how to make your own base cream from scratch. With the base cream and many other botanicals on hand, create your own personalised luxurious face cream to take home and replicate.

Make your own herbal gifts with Janine Gerhardt

Create a Christmas wreath made from herbs and spices, make a personalised natural perfume or eau de perfume, frankincense body butter and delicious immune-boosting chocolate truffles! Materials, recipes, tea & cake provided.

Make Your Own Natural Skin Creams With Janine Gerhardt

Join Herbalist Janine Gerhardt and learn how to make a bespoke face cream and body butter using a natural base cream, essential oils and aromatic waters. These creams make wonderful Christmas gifts and the recipes can be replicated at home. Materials, recipes, tea and cake provided.

Birch and the Spring Equinox - the tree of new beginnings with Jo Dunbar and Adrian Rooke

We begin our journey through the seasons with Birch - associated with new beginnings. We shall explore the energies which Birch brings to the forest and to our lives - such as sweeping out of the old and pioneering new beginnings. Birch is a tree associated with detoxification and a bringer of Light and Love, so we shall make a brew of detoxifying hedgerow herbs and use meditation and traditional stories to strengthen our Light Bodies and spread universal love. As usual, there will be sacred singing and druidic ritual as part of the day.

Skincare Workshops

Join Janine to learn how to prepare a base cream from scratch. Be introduced to use a variety of botanicals ranging from infused oils, essential oils and aromatic water & use those to design your own moisturising or beauty cream to take home.

For the second leg of this workshop series, make your own lipbalm or healing balm using 100% natural ingredients. Become familiar with a selection of herbal medicines so that you can alter your balm recipe according to you & your families personal needs. Delve into the world of scent & perfumes. Get to know a selection of scents, how to layer a perfume, and finally create your own perfume or eau de perfume to treasure.