Words by Jessica Peace
We’ve been knockin’ back homemade, Hackney grown herbal tea with Nat Mady at Hackney Herbal’s Well Street gaff...
WHAT’S HACKNEY HERBAL?
After getting muddy for a while in Hackney at her community garden, Nat Mady began ‘Hackney Herbal’, a social enterprise teaching us how to sow, grow and harvest our herbs with a focus on wellbeing and community.
The workshops have become a place for the body and the brain, learning how to use plants for health whilst distilling oils and tying teabags turned out to be a mindful experience, allowing everyone to switch off from the daily grind. Hackney Herbal now regularly work with the Wellbeing Network and Mind, helping people recover from difficult periods and get back into life.
SURVIVING ON TEA
Mady realised that there were tons of herbs not being harvested in Hackney... The Hackney Herbal gang got filling their sacks with garden booty, elderflower from Hackney marshes and herbs they’d been nurturing in their scattered plots.
They got blending - because selling tea was going to be the way they found their money to do more good with herbs. A few years on and the herbs in most of their teas are still being grown, harvested and hand parcelled in Hackney (and hand delivered on a bike often!), sold in cafes and via their site to fund their community projects, keeping herbs and health accessible for all of us.
Nat Mady and Hackney Herbal, we salute you!
OUR FAVE HACKNEY HERBAL TEA
Since their first scavenge for herbs, Hackney Herbal have been known for their tea blends - knowing which tea to knock back when. We are mad for their ‘Dream’ blend, it’s made with lemon balm, lemon verbena, skullcap, rose and lavender. Not only does it look sexy with its pile of rose buds in your mug, it’s full of stuff Mady and the team have chosen for us whether we’re tucked up in bed or daydreaming in the afternoon - trust us, it works.
A WORLD OF HERBS
Mady also noticed on her early herb walks and workshops the exchange of knowledge that was happening between people from all sorts of backgrounds, sharing memories of herbs grown in distant gardens and used in recipes. Now they track these exchanges with their ‘Herb Map’ where they’ve bagged 80 stories.
We learnt a few things...
HERB YOU DON’T KNOW BUT YOU SHOULD
Skullcap - you heard. Rad name but actually a soothing wonder herb that works its magic on your frazzled nervous system.
ANOTHER SEXY FLOWER TO DROP IN YOUR OUR CUPPA
Marshmallow, looks divine AND remedy wise it’s an allrounder.
SOMETHING WE DIDN’T KNOW ABOUT THE ONES WE’VE GOT
Sage is both wicked in a sausage and good for sore throats.
Rosemary is great for concentration - use this if you’re kicking the caffeine but need your eyelids propping up.
Lavender will make that tension headache disappear.
They are committed to keeping all courses affordable or free, you can learn about tea making, wellbeing, pill making, infusions, go on walks, watch film screenings…