Junior Herbalist Club (JHC) was started in 2014 as a local scheme in Lancashire and proved so popular and successful that is has now grown into a network of clubs across the whole country.
The National Institute of Medical Herbalists are delighted to be proud supporters of the scheme, and we are committed to encouraging and supporting medical herbalists to run a Junior Herbalist Club in their area, giving children nationwide the opportunity to develop knowledge and skills that will benefit themselves and others for a lifetime.
Historically, the knowledge of hedgerow medicine was commonplace. Most people knew which plants they could gather and how to use them to treat minor injuries and ailments. Unfortunately, this knowledge is becoming lost, with very few people nowadays able to correctly identify and utilise our native common weeds or cultivated garden plants.
Children are wonderful students, especially when it comes to herbs because they have no preconceived ideas of how a plant may work in the body or how it may be used for healing. It isn’t only fruit and vegetables that can help to keep us healthy – all plants, including herbs and weeds have importance and value in supporting our health.
As adults, we readily accept that oranges contains lots of vitamin C, and bananas contains lots of potassium, and with the correct teaching and guidance, children will readily accept that chamomile is soothing to the nervous system, peppermint can help to settle the stomach and comfrey can help heal wounds and scars. Providing a good foundation in plant education and herbal medicine will stay with children for the rest of their lives and even though they may not choose to become professional herbalists, they will have a good basic understanding of herbs and hedgerow medicine which is a wonderful gift that they will one day be able to share with their own friends and family.
The aim of JHC is to let children learn about the healing and medicinal plants all around them in a safe and supervised environment, whilst covertly incorporating core subjects including English, Maths, Biology, Chemistry, Botany, Latin and Cookery, as well as helping children to gain in confidence, improve fine motor control and develop a new skill set.