Herbal First Aid For The Home With 7Song

&Song UK Teaching Tour 2016: Courses, Workshops, Retreats

Want to learn about British and other family friendly first aid herbs that you can use to help yourself, loved ones and those in your community? Confused by all the conflicting information?

Come and discover how to use plants as a herbal first aid for the home in the depths of beautiful Dorset on this one-of-a-kind weekend retreat with internationally respected herbalist 7Song (see below).

We’ll be based at Monkton Wyld Court, a wonderful old manor house now a sustainable community. The grounds and location are diverse in plants and it is the perfect location for learning about medicinal plants, as well as being a very unique opportunity to learn from 7Song as he rarely visits the United Kingdom.

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An Introduction to Herbal First Aid for the Home
This class will focus on learning how to set up and use a practical home first aid kit. It will cover some of the useful plant medicines to have around the house and how to treat common home first aid situations such as colds and flus, digestive problems, soft tissue injuries, cuts, insect bites and pain. We will cover some common medicinal plants such as Yarrow, Thyme, Echinacea and Willow, as well as different ways to prepare and use them. We will discuss the various categories of medicinal plants. The goal of the class is for participants to be able to treat some of the first aid circumstances that come their way.

Plant Identification for the Herbalist
The ability to identify plants is central to gathering wild foods and preparing herbal medicines. In this class we will look at the plants growing around Monkton Wyld Court and cover the basics of how to identify plants. These skills include: understanding the importance and differences in plant families, learning the basic parts of plants (leaves, flowers, etc), and know the fundamentals of using a plant key. This class will help you understand and identify the plants around you.

Wildcrafting is the skill of gathering your own plants for medicine, food and other uses. This is a skill that enhances your understanding of the plants you use as well as saving money by using the plants you have gathered. In this class we’ll discuss a range of topics centred around wildcrafting such as; sustainable harvesting, helpful and important tools, safety precautions, specific plants, and practical suggestions for getting out there and gathering your own medicines. There will also be a demonstration of gathering and preparing local plants.

Family First Aid Kit Basics
In this session you’ll learn what to include in your own personal custom-made family first aid kit. Alongside the plants, we will cover basic tools and equipment for any first aid kit and strategies on how to use this around your home.

Herbal Pharmacy: Preparations & Dosage
In this class you will learn how to prepare tinctures, teas, infusions, compresses, poultices etc. and when to use the correct application for different first aid situations. The pros and cons of different preparations and considerations for dosage will also be covered.

Fire Circle
After supper on the Saturday evening, there will be time to relax around the garden fire pit, share stories, chit-chat, and generally relax. The fire circle ends at 10pm.


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7Song UK Herbal Medicine Tour

  • Date: Saturday 11th June to Sunday 12th June 2016
  • Begins: Saturday 9am. Ends: Sunday 6pm
  • Location: Monkton Wyld Court, Nr. Bridport, Dorset
  • Food: Vegetarian. Lunch & dinner on Saturday, and lunch Sunday are included in the price.
  • Accommodation: NON-RESIDENTIAL (A list of accommodation will be given after booking, or you can stay on-site at Monkton Wyld)
  • Age: 16+
  • Availability: FULLY BOOKED (booking terms)


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7song4If you have never heard of 7Song before, then here is a little more information about him.

7Song started his own herb school, the Northeast School of Botanical Medicine in 1992, and has been immersed in plants and herbal medicine for nearly 30 years.

As he recently told me “I want folks to know that I am not Native American (despite my unusual name). I am a second generation Russian Jew from the eastern US (think bagels and sarcasm).”

He is what I would call a ‘community herbalist’… and a very accomplished one at that.

He’s also been a main first aid organizers and practitioners at one of the largest outdoor gatherings in the US called the Rainbow Gathering. They see up to 100 people a say during the course of this weeklong event. The health care situations range from minor to serious and it is staffed 24 hours a day.

He is one of the founders and the director of holistic medicine and a clinical herbalist at the Ithaca Free Clinic, a mixed modality free clinic now in its ninth year, where he sees about 200 patients a year. This is one of his most valued achievements as it helps herbal medicine become affordable and accessible to those it may be out of their reach. He has also worked in a free clinic in Nicaragua with Natural Doctors International (NDI).

I don’t know about you, but to me that’s an awful lot of real-world, in-the-trenches experience. And not a single smudge stick or shaman in sight!

Which brings me to something else that you need to know…

7Song IS a skeptic. If he hasn’t seen it work in the field, then he needs to see some proof of its efficaciousness. He’s also NOT a ‘spiritual herbalist’, relying on science, clinical and other experiences to help decide on how effective a remedy may be.

The reason he wants you to know this is that many herbalists are rooted in some form of spirituality and you may be expecting this of him.

In his own words: “I don’t think of herbal medicine as ‘magical’. Medicinally I think of plants as intricately complex chemically rich organisms that when taken interact with our bodies, our physiology in various ways. As a herbalist, I see myself part of a very long continually evolving tradition of treating people using plants as a primary medicine. I enjoy plants, and appreciate their beauty and utility, and hope to help others gain insights and appreciation.”

He goes on to say, “I also value modern medicine. Conventional drugs may be over-prescribed and the ‘system of medicine’ is far from desirable, but there are many places where it is health saving. I work in a free clinic alongside MDs, Nurses and other conventional practitioners, and I am glad to work in this setting as each form of medicine may have something to offer.”

“I think this is especially true when administered by open-minded practitioners who look out for the patient’s needs first. To me, this is holistic; how to best care for the patient by taking their concerns into consideration.”

OK that sounds pretty heavy stuff, but he just wants you to know, that he doesn’t practice what my American friends call “Woo-Woo Medicine”.

On a lighter note, humour is definitely a key ingredient in the 7Song recipe, and I think it could be fairly well said that he leans a bit on the irreverent side.