Part Five: Building a Collection – Research

I was inspired to build a collection based on plants that had medicinal properties similar to the medications that I have been prescribed as this would link in with the stitch and yarn explorations I have done in the previous sections.

I used two books as sources of possible plants to create a still life with and these were:

  • White, L. B. & Foster, S. (2000) The Herbal Drugstore: The Best Natural Alternatives to Over-the-Counter and Prescription Medicines Rodale Inc.
  • Steel, S. (2011) Neal’s Yard Remedies: Cook, Brew and Blend Your Own Herbs London: Dorling Kindersley Limited

Disclaimer: I should be clear here that I am not in any way using these plants as alternatives or to supplement the drug regime prescribed by my GP. The following plant list is only being used as inspiration for a still life and subsequent textiles project.

PlantPotential Medicinal Uses
Aloe VeraAnti-inflammatory
BorageAdrenal Stimulant
Cayenne & Other PeppersAnti-inflammatory, Raynaud’s, Headaches
ChamomileAnti-inflammatory, antispasmodic,
ChicoryDigestive Aid
Cleavers (Galium Aparine)Lymphatic Cleanser, Anti-Inflammatory
DandelionStimulates Digestion
Dog Rose (Rosa Canina)Anti-inflammatory
EchinaceaAnti-allergenic, Anti-inflammatory
Elder (Sambucus Nigra)Anti-inflammatory, Bruising
FeverfewAnti-inflammatory, Digestive Stimulant,
Garlic (Allium Sativum)Antihistaminic
JasmineNervine, Mild Analgesic, Antispasmodic
LavenderAntispasmodic, Analgesic
Lemon BalmInsomnia, Headaches, Digestive Stimulant
Lemon GrassAntispasmodic, Analgesic
LiquoriceAdrenal Stimulant, Anti-inflammatory
Marigold (Calendula)Anti-Inflammatory, Bruising
PassionflowerAnalgesic, Antispasmodic, Insomnia,
PeppermintAntispasmodic, Digestive Aid, Analgesic
Poppy (Papaver Somniferum)Analgesic
RosemaryNervine, Antispasmodic
Stinging NettleAnti-inflammatory, Osteoporosis, Hayfever
Thyme (Thymus Vulgaris)Antispasmodic
Valerian (officinalis)Acts in similar manner to Valium, Insomnia

The plants that I collected together can be seen in the photographs below and I am intrigued to see how the composition will change over the coming weeks as different plants flower.

Referred to “a jungle and a half” by a visitor, the collection includes:

  • Iceland Poppy Garden Gnome
  • Feverfew
  • Lavender
  • Passionflower
  • Willow (dried in 3 colours)
  • Echinacea
  • Bronze Fennel
  • Chamomile
  • Sage
  • Chilli Plant Prairie Fire
  • Elder
  • Peppermint
  • Marigolds
  • Thyme
  • Dandelions
  • Cleavers
  • Aloe Vera
  • Stinging Nettles
  • Bay

Now the plants have been collected, the brief is to create eight to ten new drawings using any media and in any size I wish.

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