The common heather (Calluna vulgaris), also called ling or simply heath, is a low-growing evergreen shrub growing to 20 to 50 centimetres (8 to 20 in) tall and is found widely in Europe and Asia Minor on acidic soils in open situations. Scottish settlers took the heather to the Americas.
- Heather is anti-inflammatory. Using a clean, cotton pad, dab an infusion of heather tops to red, itchy skin.
- Add a strong infusion of heather tops to your bath to ease aches and pains, arthritis and rheumatism.
- Heather is an antiseptic. Bathe small wounds with heather tea.
- Heather is a mild sedative. Sew dried heather flowers into a small pillow that you can place beneath your own pillow to aid sleep.
- Take a cup of heather tea before bed as a sleep aid.
- Take a cup of heather tea to treat coughs and colds.
- Infuse heather flowers in honey and take a teaspoon as required for coughs, colds and sore throats.
- Heather may be helpful in cases of anxiety, stress and nervous exhaustion. Take a cup of heather tea as required.
- Heather infused oil or heather salve can be rubbed directly on to arthritic joints
- Apply a hot poultice of the crushed flowers to parts affected by arthritis, rheumatism or gout.
- Heather is a urinary antiseptic which disinfects the urinary tract and mildly increases urination. Heather tea is useful in the treatment of cystitis and inflammatory bladder conditions.
- A hot poultice made from the flowering tips will ease chilblains.
- Heather has antioxidant properties. Rinse your face with heather tea to prevent free radical damage to the skin.
- Dried heather branches are a good fuel for the fire
Heather is generally considered safe when used topically or taken orally. However, to be on the safe side, avoid medicinal amounts if pregnant or breastfeeding.
Moorland Tea (Heather Tea)
Use 2-3 teaspoons of fresh flowers to a cup of boiling water and infuse for about five minutes.
Heather Strong Infusion
Pour a cup boiling water over 6 tablespoons of heather flowers and infuse for 15 minutes,
Heather Infused Honey
Pour a jar of slightly warmed honey over 4-5 tsp over heather flowers placed in a sterilised, glass jar. Seal the jar and leave to infuse for at least two weeks before use. Slightly warm the jar and strain out the honey.
© Anna Franklin