Lammas First Fruits


Lammas or Lughnasadh


Make your Own Insence


Berries and Grains


The Wheatsheaf Tarot Spread


Two Rituals for Lammas


A Song for Lammas


The Lammas Fair


The Lammas Bonfire



Berries and Grains for Lammas

All kinds of berries and grains are associated with Lammas. If you go berry picking this year, try to gather a few leaves as well as the fruit - they can be used to make delicious and healthy herbal teas. The berries can be eaten raw or cooked in various preparations. They can be mixed together in interesting combinations. Try them in pie fillings, Ice cream toppings, with cereals or in a fabulous mixed berry compote. Here are some good choices:

Bilberry (or huckleberry)
The fruit is used to treat diarrhoea, menstrual cramps, eye problems, piles, varicose veins, and other circulatory problems. It’s a mild worm remedy, and is used to improve eyesight, cleanse and strengthen the liver, kidneys and blood and the system in general. Bilberry leaf is known to lower blood sugar. It is used to treat pancreatic problems and diabetes, and to aid circulation. It is good for the urinary system, and also helps to relieve diarrhoea.
- Use the juice as a mouth wash; especially good for mouth ulcers

Since ancient times the leaves, roots, and berries have been used to treat diarrhoea, sore throats, and wounds. Raspberry, loganberry and dewberry have similar properties. Fibre, obtained from the stem, can be used to make strong twine. A purple to dull blue dye is obtained from the fruit.
-1 cupful of tea made from the leaves, sweetened with honey cures blood and skin disorders.
- Apply the brew externally for eczema.
- A restorative cordial can be made from blackberry juice. To each quart of juice add, 1 oz of nutmeg and cloves and about 2 pounds of sugar. Simmer till it starts to get syrupy. May be mixed with brandy to taste.
- Blackberry Vinegar: Place cleaned berries in a glass container, cover with apple cider vinegar and let stand for not less than 3 days. Strain through cheesecloth but don’t force it through. Let it drip. Add 1 pound of honey per pint of juice. Simmer, remove the scum from top, and bottle. Seal tightly with a cork or lid. Sip to soothe the throat, or use to make compresses to apply externally to a sore throat or arthritic joints.

The berries are very high in vitamin C. Use as Bilberries. The berries are used for diarrhoea and bilious fevers.
- The roots can be boiled to make a brew, which can be drunk to relieve diarrhoea.
- A tea of the root was used for cramps, hiccups, colic, epilepsy and to ease childbirth.
- A tea of the leaves can be gargled to cure sore mouths and throats, and to lower blood sugar.
- Blueberries can be used to dye clothes a navy blue colour.

Raspberry leaves have long been used to nourish and tone the uterus, check haemorrhages and enrich colostrum and milk after childbirth. Raspberry leaf tea can also be used as a mouthwash for cankers and sore throats, a douche, an eyewash, a wound dressing, and a hair rinse for dark hair. It has also been used to treat diabetes, teething, colic, ulcers, prostate problems, gastric disorders, herpes and gonorrhoea. Raspberry leaf is also used to aid fertility, regulate menstrual cycle, treat diarrhoea, reduce fever and ease childbirth. Some say that it helps prevent cancer. It mixes well with other berries. Caution! Some people are allergic to Raspberry. Don't use if you experience closing of the throat, swelling of face, lips or tongue, hives, allergic reaction or breathing problem. During pregnancy dosages should not exceed 2-3 cups daily.

Strawberry leaf is one of the highest naturally occurring sources of Vitamin C. Strawberries can be made into an aromatic tea, which is used to treat diarrhoea, intestinal and urinary complaints. Strawberry leaf tea is also good for the liver, catarrh, rheumatism, nervousness, the bladder, purifying the blood, night sweats, digestion, anaemia, menstruation and natural weight loss. It makes a nice spring tonic, soothing to the stomach and especially good for pregnant and nursing mothers and young children. Use externally for rashes. Add the leaves to bath water for aches and pains or use to make a mouth /throat gargle.
- One ripe berry with ½ tsp. baking powder makes a teeth whitener that buffs away coffee and cigarette stains. Don’t overdo it though - it’s just a fast, cheap alternative.

To prepare a berry leaf tea: Pour one cup boiling water onto 1 tablespoon of the leaves. Steep 15 minutes.

The Grains
Well, we have barley, corn, oats, rice, rye and wheat. Now we could just combine them in multigrain bread, but let’s get a little more adventurous.

Lemon Barley water is an old fashioned drink. It is a wonderful tonic and works especially well on the urinary tract. It’s also a great thirst quencher. We used to drink copious amounts on the fields at haying time. You can add a little finely grated ginger to the barley if you like. This is a two in one recipe - it makes breakfast as well! ½ cup pearl barley 1 whole lemon, sliced thinly 8 cups cold water 1 cup sugar (or ½ cup honey) Finely grated zest and juice of 2 lemons
Rinse the barley under cold water until water runs clear. Put barley and water in a pan and bring to boil. Reduce the heat. Add the lemon rind, and simmer, covered, for 30 minutes. Add the lemon juice and sugar (or honey) and stir until dissolved. Strain the liquid in to a jug, add lemon slices, and chill to serve. Keeps in the refrigerator for 5 days. Mix discarded barley with dried fruit and warm milk for a great breakfast.

Grits is a breakfast dish made from coarsely ground corn. Popular in the Southern States, it resembles polenta and farina.
4 cups water   Salt
2 tablespoons butter     1 cup grits
Bring the water, butter, and salt to a boil. Gradually add the grits, return to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally to prevent a skin from forming, until they’re creamy and done - about 25 minutes. Serves 4.

Oatcakes are flat cakes that are traditionally cooked on a griddle, one of the oldest cooking implements
8 ounces medium flaked oatmeal    ½ ounce meat or bacon drippings (or lard)
1 teaspoon salt     3 tablespoons hot water (or more if needed)
1 teaspoon baking soda (opt.)    Additional oatmeal for kneading
Sift salt (baking soda) and oatmeal in a bowl and make a well in the centre. Put the griddle or a heavy frying pan on to heat. Bring the water to the boil with the fat. Pour into the centre of oatmeal. Stir well. Add enough water to work into stiff dough. Knead well on a board sprinkled thickly with oatmeal, then cut in half. Roll each half out to a round about 1/4_inch thick. Sprinkle with meal and cut into quarters. When the griddle is hot lay on the quarters. When the surface begins to look dry and white, turn them and do the other side. Dry off the oatcakes and lightly brown the edges in a hot oven or under the grill until they curl up.
An alternative method is to bake them in an oven at 190C for about 30 minutes until brown at the edges.

A real old-fashioned Rice Pudding should be made with short grain rice, which sticks together when it’s cooked. This is how Mom used to make it.
1½ oz short grain rice (washed)    Pinch salt
1 pint (2 cups) milk     Lemon rind (opt)
1 oz sugar     Nutmeg
Put the rice, milk, (lemon peel) and sugar into a greased ovenproof dish. Leave to stand for 1 hour. Stir. Grate a little nutmeg over the top. Bake for 2 hours in a very slow oven (about 250° F)

Rye Crackers are quick and easy. They have a good flavour, and a light texture. Serve with cream cheese and smoked salmon, corned beef and Swiss, or pickled herrings for a hearty snack.
2 cups whole rye flour     ½ cup vegetable oil
2 cups wheat flour     1 cup (or more) water
1 tsp. salt     1-2 tbsp. caraway seeds
1/4 tsp. baking soda     Additional salt for sprinkling (optional)
Mix together. Roll out thinly on floured surface. Cut into shapes. Bake on cookie sheets at 275° F for about 25 minutes until they begin to brown. Remove to a rack, sprinkle with salt and cool completely. Store in airtight containers

Wheat Berries are unprocessed kernels complete with all the nutrients that are removed from white bread. They can be eaten at breakfast, lunch or dinner. Available from natural foods markets
2 cups wheat berries    7 cups cold water     1 teaspoon salt
Pick over wheat berries, discarding any stones. Rinse well under running water (even if packaged). Place in a large heavy saucepan and cover with 2 inches of water. Cover and soak overnight. (omit this step if you bought pre-soaked berries). In the morning drain off the water and rinse berries again. Add the 7 cups of water and the salt and bring to a full boil. Cover, and simmer gently for 1 hour, stirring occasionally until they split open and turn chewy. Drain and rinse.
Serve hot with honey or cold with salad. Refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 1 month. Alternatively place the wheat berries and water in a slow cooker for 4 hours on high or 8 hours on low. You can also use a rice cooker (2½ c water to 1 c berries), or a microwave (2 c water to 1 c berries. Cook 25 minutes)

Enjoy your nutritious berries and grains this Lammas tide!

By Sylvia Richards 11th July 2010

NOTE: The writer is not a medical professional. The information in this article is NOT medical advice. Consult a trained doctor or herbalist before attempting any treatment. We are not responsible for any misuse of information posted on this site.



© 2010 Sylvia Richards www.yourspiritualhaven.com All rights reserved.