A little hint of herbal storytelling on film blog...

Orchard Princess

A very simple storytelling session with P.4 pupils.

 My version of Jane Ray's 'Apple Pip Princess' adapted to fit with their curriculum topic incorporating: local community, school grounds and food, as part of a day long program of curriculum lead sessions in a primary school.

Valerian Dreams

An impromptu glimpse into the legends of Valerian on a herbal storytelling wander along a Scottish riverbank

Blogs and Stories as Told by Amanda Edmiston

At Botanica Fabula Storytelling, it’s always a great pleasure to connect with people of all ages in Scotland and across the world who appreciate a magical story or two. I regularly guest host #FolkloreThursday on twitter as @Herbalstorytell and contribute written re-tellings of folktales to their website. I also add to my own blog on occasion with more content being added soon. You can follow my adventures on facebook and instagram and keep in touch for new ways to connect with my work from a distance in the near future.


An original folktale 'mended' from fragments of stories, legends and herbal folklore, about the most fitting of flowers for February's last lick of winter's kiss...

Once upon a time, before medical notes; before research papers were funded; before mood swings were medicated; when plants grew unhindered by commerce. When every village had a woman who knew, who lived outside, apart, but essential, an anchor, a go to for problems chronic or transient alike. There lived a young man strong of heart, brave and steadfast, with foresight in his eyes and love in his breast.

A young man who awoke from a swirling dream of darkness and sorrow. An awakening like no other; an awakening full of dread and fear, his body was weighted, leaden; his skin ashen: timeworn and desolate. He raised his head but could not open his eyes for slow meaningless weeping, his throat wished to retch, his mind a blank. His mother at first concerned could find no physical ill, by turn fearful then infuriated, she wracked her mind for the source of his melancholy, but none could she find. Indeed every time she entered and left his presence she swore she heard not her sons derelict moans but a low growly chortle. Was he laughing despite his pallor of misery? She searched and sought for another explanation for the eerie noise. But only the young man himself could see the host of that tonal sound so resonant with despair bound in a gutterel laugh, and his embracing misery did not give him the chance to articulate what he saw:.....A huge black dog, fed daily by its master...

...Satan himself, fed daily on a meal of the young man's joy and happiness.

Weeks passed, as midsummer arrived his mother still finding no answer, sought the wise woman who lived by the water high on the heath near the villages edge. The woman came at the mothers beckoning, bringing her basket of freshly picked herbs with her. On finding the poor youth still bound to his bed by an unseen force, pale, shaking, and mournful, she rubbed her eyes with the dew from the plants in her basket and using her wits to look deeper into the space around him, she slowly came to see the glowering shape of the devil’s dog, pinning the young mans feet to the iron of his bedstead, growling its ominous gloom laden chuckle.

The woman acted swiftly sensing the arrival of greater evil, grasping the yellow flower of the 'witches herb' and stuffing it into the slack

open mouth of the youth just as the dog's master appeared. On seeing the woman's work the devil was possessed with a fury, a tumultuous rage. Throwing the dog to one side, and brandishing his pitchfork, the devil proceeded to stab and mutilate the leaves of the plant, and each perforation he made oozed with the blood of St John, the blood drawn when Herod separated the baptists head from his body and blamed the behest of Salome (a lass I'd like to suggest who didn't really need her suggestions taking to seriously but probably just needed some counselling.....I digress...). The blood healed the plant allowing no harm to be done but sent a shiver like a shock right down the shaft of Satan's pitchfork and shaking the very will of the devil, who followed by his dog disappeared back to his fiery domain.

In no time at all, after drinking an infusion of his herbal saviour the young man's sunny disposition returned and forever after 'the witches herb' was known as St Johns Wort ...or...Chase the devil...

(c) Amanda Edmiston 2012