North West Bushcraft - A free resource about  Bushcraft and Wild Food Foraging.

Important Notice - Please Read.

The Legal Bit.

Whilst every effort has been taken to ensure that the information outlined here is accurate both through external research and our own experience, it should be noted that we are not qualified medical practitioners. Therefore, please seek advice from your GP or Consultant before using ANY of the information detailed here.

Additionally, pregnant and breast feeding mothers should avoid using any of the plants listed here and should always seek qualified medical advice.


The Natural Bit.

Plants, trees and roots have been used for medicinal practices for thousands of years and even today many of the medications that we take on a daily basis have their foundations in traditional, primitive plant knowledge and folk lore.

Aspirin for instance, one of the commonest of all medications come from the willow tree, another - Digitalis -  one of the worlds leading heart medications comes from the plant Foxglove. There has also been a huge body of evidence and continuing medical research being undertaken for the use of Betulinic Acid, derived from common Birch Tree bark as a cure for certain types of cancer and even as a possible medication for sufferers of HIV. Additionally, many of the "modern medical terminology" has it's foundations in traditional, natural medicinal languages, such as "Plaister". 

A plaister was a semi-hard ointment smeared on to linen, which was then wrapped around or affixed to a sore or body ailment. 

We now know this practice as a common fabric plaster!

Common CelandineOne must always remember that none of this information is new, our ancestors have been using plant and tree by-products for millennia to cure illness's, skin conditions, headaches, to stem bleeding and even to purge toxins from the body. 

The aim of this website is to re-awaken this old knowledge so that we can return to a simpler, more natural ideology where we can re-learn how to live in harmony with our natural world.

Medicines derived from plants and trees can be applied or taken in a variety of different ways, some of these are:

  • Teas - Infusions & Decoctions
  • Tinctures
  • Glycerites
  • Vinegars
  • Herbal Honeys
  • Oxymels
  • Electuaries
  • Syrups
  • Salves (such as lip salve)
  • Skin Creams
  • Poultices
  • Formentations/Compresses 
  • Embrocations/Liniments
  • Douches

As we discuss the various plants and their uses we will indicate which method of administration would be best to use.

Also, many websites will speak quite glibly about how "this & that" can be used to cure various conditions but give no real detail on how to prepare the plant for use, we however, will show you how to make some of the more common administrative methods such as simple tea's/infusions, salves,poultices and tinctures.

Tea's: Infusions and Decoctions.

An infusion is simply a tea, whereby the leaves of a certain plant are placed into a cup and boiling water is poured on and then allowed to steep before drinking.

A decoction is usually where the roots or bark of plants and tree's are simmered in boiling water for some time before being drunk.

Both can be used as mouthwashes, gargles and eye baths.


The simplest salves are made by adding beeswax to an infused oil. Infused oils are made by leaving the plant in a bottle of Olive oil, away from sunlight, for a couple of weeks, to allow the oil to take on the medicinal attributes of the plant.

The resultant oil is then strained and mixed with the melted beeswax to make a topical salve for skin conditions, chapped lips etc.

They have a very long shelf life without the need to be refrigerated. 

NB.  Higher levels of bees wax should be used in warmer climates.


Poultices can be made by mashing fresh herbs or plants and put onto the skin. They can be made from fresh herb juice mixed with flour or from dried herbs/plants mixed with hot water or vinegar.

They are then held in place with a bandage and should be changed every few hours. They are especially good for open wounds, skin irritations and sores.


Usually made with alcohol or water, alcohol being a very good preservative. 
The simplest way to make a tincture is to place the medicinal plant into a sterilised glass jar then cover with either vodka or vodka and water mixed, it should be left for anything from a day to a month before being strained and re-bottled.

Tinctures are administered in the form of a drink by taking a few drops in water. Tinctures are rapidly absorbed into the blood system due to its combination with the alcohol.

Further information on how to make all of these treatments will follow with each specific plant.

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