You may have noticed a few things about Jamu Wild Water – it is after all, a bit different to your average kid’s drink. For one thing it doesn’t have any sugar or artificial sweeteners. And for another, it contains botanicals.
So what are botanicals? Simply put, they are parts of a plant and can include the leaf, root, stem, flower or fruit. They’re often referred to as Mother Nature’s pharmacy because many of them have been used in traditional therapies and medicines for centuries. Others are used to add flavour or aroma to foods, drinks and even cosmetics.
The most amazing thing about these powerful little plants and herbs is that many of them are growing right under our noses, disguised as weeds or hidden in hedgerows.
We want to shine a light on some of the super-clever common or garden botanicals you can find right here in the UK. Why not play ‘Botanical Bingo’ and let us know if you spot a full house when you’re out and about!
Not great for beautifully manicured lawns, but loved by foragers because it’s high in vitamins, minerals and antioxidants and packs more of nutritional punch than spinach and kale! Try adding its peppery leaves to your salad.
These gorgeous fluffy spring blossoms not only smell and taste incredible but they’ve been used for centuries for their anti-septic and anti-inflammatory qualities.
In summer elderflowers turn to intense little elderberries bursting with vitamins and antioxidants. In traditional medicines, it’s considered one of nature’s most healing plants.
Nobody likes being stung by a nettle, but it’s not all bad! It’s actually packed with incredible health-boosting vitamins and antioxidants and its anti-inflammatory qualities have traditionally been sought to relieve arthritis and improve respiratory health.
Most people know about the brilliant health benefits of blackberries, but bramble bushes are far more than just one of your five a day. The leaves are packed with Vitamin C and antioxidants and have been used for centuries to treat sore throats, mouth ulcers and gastrointestinal problems. Young green leaves can be used to make tea.
This beautiful little blue flower is also called Starflower because of its shape and is jam-packed with a whole host of amazing phytonutrients, vitamins and minerals. The flowers have a cucumber-y taste and make a pretty and nutritious addition to salads. Bees love them too!
No, we’re not talking soft, squidgy cubes you can toast over a camp fire! We’re talking about the marshmallow plant (which was actually used to make the sweet stuff originally). It’s entirely edible, but the root is particularly prized in traditional medicines to help with skin irritations and digestive issues.
One of nature’s richest sources of Vitamin C, it’s traditionally used to combat coughs, colds, flu and respiratory problems. It’s also revered for its anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties.
This pretty little plant has been used to help a host of ailments and was even taken by sailors to prevent scurvy! In traditional medicine it’s used to treat colds, digestive issues and skin irritations thanks to its anti-inflammatory, anti-bacterial qualities. The flowers make highly nutritious salad toppers.
Heather has traditionally been used for its anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and diuretic properties, which can help soothe kidney and urinary infections, as well as joint issues such as arthritis and gout.
A boring but important note of caution.
If we haven’t suggested a way you can try these botanicals for yourself, it’s because ‘stuff’ needs to happen to them first! They’re all perfectly safe for most healthy people, taken in the right quantities and in the right way but you either need to do your homework first, or find a producer that’s done the hard work for you!