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The Healer's Apothecary

Hypericum Androsaemum, St John's Wort, Tutsan.

Lonicera spp., Honeysuckle

Collected in Holme, Cumbria, December 2017

St John's Wort berry and Honeysuckle berry

Both the berries of Tutsan and most species of Honeysuckle are commonly found in British gardens and are toxic but not deadly to humans. Other parts of the plant, including the leaves and seeds are traditionally used in herbal medicines.

Unidentified berry, low growing found in woodland, Eve's Wood, Silverdale, December 2017.

Twenty holly berries collected in Holme, Cumbria, December 2017.

Ilex Aquifolium, Holly, poisonberry.

'Contains saponins, the fruits and leaves contain ilicin, ilexanthin and ilicic acid and a tannin plus cyanogenic glycosides.

The berries are poisonous but a small dose has been used as a purgative. A large dose, about 30 berries, can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and abdominal pain.'

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