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Staying Cool & Calm in the Heat – Iced Herbal Teas for Coping with Summer Stress

August is Relaxation Month here at Baldwin’s, and we’re writing lots of blog posts all about how to bring some calm into the hectic summer months when you’re running around trying to make the most of the little sunshine we get!

This post in the series follows on from our recent aromatherapy tips for dealing with summer stresses from sunburn to restlessness. This time we’ve got a few suggestions on how to sort yourself out if you’re feeling a bit hot and bothered.

For some, a cup of tea is a perfect way to wind down if they’re feeling stressed. But for others, a hot drink on a hot and sticky day is the last thing on their mind regardless of the health benefits it may bring. Luckily, there is a solution – so you can get all the antioxidants and calming properties of tea, but in a cool and refreshing drink that will help to revitalise you if you’re flagging… Iced tea!

Making iced herbal tea is just as simple as brewing a normal cuppa, but instead of drinking the tea straight after brewing, you can either leave it to chill in the fridge or pour it over ice cubes. With the addition of some honey or natural sweetener, you’ve got a lovely drink to enjoy that will also help encourage calmness and tranquillity on a busy summer day.

We stock a variety of teas that would be great for brewing up and drinking iced. Here are a few options.

Dr Stuart’s Tranquility tea

Dr Stuarts Tranquility Tea Staying Cool & Calm In The Heat

These tea bags contain limeflower, hawthorn berries, yarrow and fennel, all of which are ideal for soothing you in times of stress or agitation.

Dr Stuart’s green tea with coconut

Dr Stuart Green Tea & Coconut - Staying Cool & Calm In The Heat

This loose leaf tea has an exotic flavour perfect for summer, and will make an uplifting cooling drink when iced. Brew it exactly the same way you would for a hot cup, but use double the amount of leaves for a fuller flavour.

Higher Living organic mint

Higher Living Organic Cool Mint - Staying Cool & Calm In The Heat

Peppermint is a great tea for relaxing, as the menthol in mint encourages muscles to relax. It’s also a natural coolant – which is enhanced when you create an iced brew.

Eleven O’Clock Rooibos tea

Eleven O'Clock Rooibos Teabags - Staying Cool & Calm In The Heat

Rooibos is known for its plentiful antioxidants, as well as being thirst-quenching and refreshing. It’s a great choice for a cold drink that also has many health benefits.

When you make your tea, you need to sweeten it while it’s still hot in order to ensure the sweetener absorbs properly into the drink. While you could use sugar, there are plenty of natural alternatives that actually have their own health benefits. Manuka honey is one example. It has natural antibacterial properties, in contrast to the negatives of sugar. Another option is to use a natural sweetener made from xylitol which is derived from the fibres of plants including berries and mushrooms. As well as sweetener, you may want to add some slices of lemon when serving your tea for a bit of extra flavour.

Explore our collection of teas here and see if any take your fancy – either for a hot brew or a summer-ready iced drink, all with their own health benefits!

 

Herb Art: Mixed Media Artwork Using Dried Herbs

We’re now just about coming to the middle of our Relaxation Month, during which we’ve been giving you plenty of top tips on how to handle summer stresses in natural and healthful ways. This blog post features even more of our favourite calming and comforting herbs, but this time in an unusual and really quite beautiful way.

We worked with the amazing artist and director Mustashrik, who took a selection of our dried herbs and formed them into three striking portraits. Featuring flowing herbal dresses and a mane of aromatic hair, we’ve never seen blue mallow, rose buds and cornflowers look better!


Rose buds, when steeped in tea for example, are brilliant sources of natural antioxidants including vitamin C. This aids in collagen production which can be great if your skin or hair is suffering from the elements – perhaps if you’ve been swimming, with drying chlorine or salt water, or as a result of sun-damage.

Blue mallow is ideal for soothing dry throats as a result of allergies that can rear their head come summer time. Cornflowers have a concentration of anti-inflammatory properties, which are great for using in conjunction with blue mallow. If your eyes have become itchy or swollen because of hay fever for example, it’s an ideal herb for soothing and reducing pain or irritation. Put together in a tincture, these herbs are perfect for summer use and will make you feel as relaxed, carefree and light-hearted as our three gorgeous herbal ladies above – or perhaps the one below:

If Mustashrik’s work with our herbs has inspired you, check out and follow his Instagram for more pieces of stunning illustration, and browse our extensive selection of herbs so you can make your own relaxing tinctures or refreshing herbal teas.

3 Ways to Relax in London This August – Baldwins Relaxation month

As part of our Relaxation Month, we’ve picked out some lovely ways to relax around the capital. Soak up the sun while you can and enjoy the beauty of nature and the great outdoors while taking a much-needed breather.

Epping Forest: Lifewalks

Epping Forest Lifewalk - ways to relax
Image Credit

Walking is more about going inwards than going outwards. The rhythm of walking allows for introspection and generates processes and thoughts that aren’t available in any other state. It also provides the walker with the feeling of strength as they are actively encountering the world.

Epping Forest is just a stone’s throw away from London and can provide a much welcomed break from the city’s hubbub. Measuring 339 km2, it is large enough to lose yourself in and fully unwind. One of the activities you could try to help you relax this august is to explore Epping Forest by Bike. The group bike ride will take place on Sunday 31th August between 10.45-4pm. It will be a free event and you can call 0207 332 1911 for more details.

If you opt to go for a walk instead of a ride, you may want to take Rebecca Solnit’s Wanderlust: A History of Walking with you. It is a wonderful read which provides an insight to some of the most prolific walkers in history and fiction.

You can see a full list of activities taking place in Epping Forest during august here.

Great Garden Quest

Great Garden Quest - ways to relax
Image credit

For families, one of the key ingredients to enjoying a relaxing august is keeping children entertaining. With that in mind The Royal Horticultural Society Garden in Wisley will be hosting the Great Garden Quest on Monday 11th August. Children (and parents) will get a chance to take part in a variety of activities including making clay pendants, storytelling and birds of prey demonstrations. Visitors can also explore the barefoot trail where you can stimulate your souls (and soles!) with a range of textures including timber, bark, water, grasses and pebbles.

The Sky Tonight

Greenwich Observatory - ways to relax
Image credit

The night sky is one of the most beautiful things in nature but is too often hidden from us in London by cloud, smog and light pollution. Using a mix of real satellite images and advanced CGI, The Royal Observatory in Greenwich is runs daily shows at their planetarium to help reveal the wonders of a starry night. An adult ticket costs £6.50 and an under 16 ticket is £4.50. We would advise booking in advance to avoid disappointment.

Let us know if you have heard of any interesting ways to relax in London this August.

 

 

 

 

Natural Ways To Survive The Stresses Of Summer

Many Baldwin’s customers come to us with issues that are caused by the very things people highlight as being positives of the warmer months. Because of this, we decided to create our own Relaxation Month, where we will be offering plenty of advice, competitions and surprises during August to help you deal with stress.

 

The first of our blog posts dedicated to Relaxation Month centres around coping with the unseen challenges of an English summer.

Natural Ways To Survive The Stresses Of Summer

Source

Higher temperatures and plenty of sun can bring about seasonal allergies that can make spending time outside stressful and uncomfortable. Pollen, air pollution and exposure to allergen grasses like ragweed can cause symptoms like runny noses, itchy and watery eyes, sneezing and coughing.

The longer days can feel even longer when the kids are off school, especially if you’re trying to pack them full of activities. Studies have found that people actually sleep significantly less during these months – mainly due to rushing around making the most of the sunlight, and having difficulty sleeping when the temperatures are higher. If you’re trying to balance childcare while still working, the pressure of organising this plus financial stress can add to the list of things worrying you and stopping you from enjoying yourself.

Many people may see a holiday abroad as an answer to this – family time together, a break from work and lovely weather. However, if you let the organisation of your holiday overwhelm you, it can be yet another thing that contributes to feeling agitated and frazzled when you should be relaxing on your sun-lounger.

With all these things in mind, we’ve compiled a few natural remedies and helpful aromatherapy guides that you can put together to aid you in remembering what summer is really about – and allowing the stresses and strains to take a back seat while you enjoy the sunshine and chance to spend more time with loved ones.  Read our selection below of aids for physical troubles like sunburn and hay fever, or emotional supports for you or the kids which are all from natural sources. Just keep in mind that you should avoid using essential oils on children under 2 due to their sensitive skin and the extremely concentrated nature of the oil.

Hay fever

Place 3 drops of essential oil onto a tissue and inhale. Any of the following would be ideal for calming allergy symptoms:

Chamomile, helichrysum, eucalyptus, lavender, lemon, pine

(See our Hayfever Post For More Great Tips)

Siberian Pine Essential Oil At www.baldwins.co.uk

Sunburn

Using a carrier lotion as a base, mix in any of the following oils and apply gently to the skin to soothe:
Frankincense, sandalwood, helichrysum, geranium, lavender, yarrow
For dilution, use 0.25% for children aged two to six (1 drop per four teaspoons of carrier lotion), 1% for children over six (1 drop per teaspoon of carrier lotion) and 2% is ideal for most adults (10-12 drops per ounce of carrier lotion).

Helichrysum Essential OIL At www.baldwins.co.uk

Insect bites

1 drop neat of any of (or if using on children, dilute in a carrier oil using the dilution guidelines above):
Chamomile, bergamot, ravensara, lavender, tea tree, niaouli

Ravensara Essential Oil At www.baldwins.co.uk

Travel sickness

Place 3 drops of essential oil onto a tissue and inhale. Use any of the following oils to help calm nausea:
Peppermint, cardamom, coriander, lavender, Melissa, ginger

Ginger Essential Oil At www.baldwins.co.uk

Stress

The following essential oils are brilliant for bringing a sense of calm to your surroundings:

Marjoram sweet, cedarwood virginia, juniper berry, sandalwood, clary sage, geranium, vetiver, basil

Vetivert Essential Oil At www.baldwins.co.uk

Irritability

If summer anxieties get too much, consider aromatherapy using oils such as:
Roman chamomile, orange, ylang ylang, peppermint, clary sage, spikenard, geranium, neroli

Spikenard Essential Oil At www.baldwins.co.uk

Tantrums

To help ease tantrums, turn to:
Roman chamomile, clary sage, bergamot, lavender, mandarin, yarrow, rose

Yarrow Essential Oil At www.baldwins.co.uk

Restlessness

Encourage peace and quiet with a blend of:
Marjoram, frankincense, clary sage, spikenard, lavender, vetiver, neroli, myrrh

Myrrh Essential Oil At www.baldwins.co.uk

Baldwin’s & The Great War – Harry Dagnell’s Story

Telling a Soldier’s Story Through Original First World War Documents – Harry Dagnell & the Great War

On our 170th year, we thought we would delve a bit deeper into the history of Baldwin’s. As well as our blog post exploring our home of Walworth Road, a look in our archives found documents relating to Harry Dagnell’s experience of war. Harry joined Baldwin’s just after the end of the First World War, just as the business was scaling down from shops all over to London back to its original site on Walworth Road. Harry eventually became the manager of the shop, and later purchased the company and enlisted his son, Harry Dagnell Junior, to help him. Together, they purchased the current site of 171 Walworth Road with the aim of expanding into health food, as well as maintaining a strong focus on natural remedies.

Today, Harry’s grandson Stephen is the owner of the business and continues to keep up the family tradition of purveying natural products from agar agar to yellow dock root!

In honour of this legacy, we thought it was fitting to highlight Harry’s war story as told through the remaining documents found within the Baldwin’s archives.

Harry Frederick Dagnell signed his attestation document and enlisted within the British army on the 16th April 1917. He was 17 years and 9 months old when he signed the document, and had previous experience as a clerk. He wasn’t married, and had never served within the forces before.

During the war, Harry served for the 5th London Regiment and by the end of his service was awarded two war medals – the British War Medal 1914-1919 and the Victory Medal, which are listed above on his transfer to reserve certificate.

The British War Medal 1914-1919 (pictured on the left) was presented to men who had taken part in service between 5th August 1914 and 11th November 1918. Soldiers were required to have either entered an active theatre of war, or left the United Kingdom for service overseas between those dates as well as completing 28 days mobilised service. Out of the 8.7million men who served in the British Army during the First World War, 6.5million were issued with this medal – including Harry.

On the right is the Victory medal. This was awarded to anyone who had been mobilised in service and had entered a theatre of war between 5th August 1914 and 11th November 1918. Around 5.7million of these medals were issued.

A soldier could receive a total of three medals following their service, and there were three main medals including the Victory and British War Medals. The remaining medal was the 1914-1915 Star, given exclusively to those who served in those years. If Harry had enlisted in 1914, he would have been 14 at the time – which explains why he missed out on the last of the medal trio.

Together, the three medals were known as Pip (1914-1915 Star), Squeak (British War Medal) and Wilfred (Victory Medal) based on a popular cartoon series in the Daily Mail at the time. Harry was therefore the proud recipient of both Squeak and Wilfred!

According to his transfer to reserves certificate, Harry luckily remained in the health category A1 – soldiers were rated by letter with A being the fittest category, and 1 showing the highest level of health within that category. By the time he was transferred on the 12th November 1919, he ranked as a Guardsman.

Following the war, Harry joined the Coldstream Guards, a Foot Guard unit, in October 1919 according to both a stamp on his Certificate of Demobilization and his membership card shown above when he became part of the former members’ association.

The Coldstream Guards were originally founded in Coldstream, Scotland in 1650 and when Harry joined they had been one of the first British regiments to reach France after the declaration of war. Harry became part of the Guards just under a year after the war was declared over, and then became a member of the Old Coldstreamers’ Association in 1926, subscribing to the London branch of the association with other ex-guards. To this day, the Coldstream Guards are the oldest serving British Army regiment and still in service with two units. One is part of a ceremonial Battalion that takes part in both royal and state tasks in the UK, and the other has been deployed in service to Afghanistan, Iraq and Northern Ireland.

Within the documents from the Baldwin’s archives we also found a cut-out from a newspaper which showed a war map planned by the Senior British officer Earl Haig, which was printed with his signature at the bottom and the message ‘In memory of the Great War’. Another sentimental cut out is the print of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s poem ‘The Guards Came Through’, which specifically mentions the Coldstream guards, Harry’s reserve unit.

‘Our throats they were parched and hot,
But Lord, if you’d heard the cheer,
Irish and Welsh and Scot,
Coldstream and Grenadier…
But I’ll tell them in Blighty wherever I be,
How the Guards came through.’

 

 

 

 

Baldwins & Walworth Road

Baldwin’s was established in 1844, taking up residence in 77 Walworth Road as George Baldwin opened his first herbalists. Despite opening a total of twelve shops before downsizing, Walworth Road really is the true home of Baldwin’s – as the current shop can now be found just up the road at number 173.

Despite moving a few doors away, and 170 years having passed, we have kept the traditional and nostalgic look and feel of George’s original apothecary – high shelves stacked with bottles and jars of ointment and oils, a huge collection of medicinal herbs and knowledgeable and helpful staff.

Inspired by the Baldwin’s legacy on the Walworth Road in South East London, we thought we’d explore more into the history of the road and its involvement in London since George first opened the initial shop here. We delved into the Google Books archive of written documents searching for mentions of the road and picked out a few of our favourite and most interesting references.

Walworth Road Baldwins Shop Front

Central Criminal Court Minutes of Evidence (1837)

Walworth Road Central Criminal Courts 1837

Just half a mile from no. 77 was a baker’s shop near what is now Amelia Street. It was there that Ann Pittock stated she saw Ann Coleman, on trial for a misdemeanour, give a fake shilling in exchange for a penny raspberry-puff. Her evidence, along with others, saw Ann Coleman found guilty of using counterfeit shillings and ‘confined’ for two years. George opened his shop just down the road 7 years later – and hopefully managed to avoid being paid for herbs and oils with counterfeit coins.

House of Commons legislation – Papers By Command (1906)

In 1906, Walworth Road was even being discussed in the House of Commons – but not for especially good reasons. Despite it being a busy area for small shops, it was behind the times in transport which was leading to congestion. As they discussed, ‘Tooting, that is electric; Brixton, that is electric; Camberwell Green is electric; but to the Walworth Road and Old Kent Road they still run horse trams’. Luckily enough for Baldwin’s this was soon rectified.

Chemist and Druggist: The Newsweekly for Pharmacy (1928)

Walworth Road chemist and druggist 1928

In 1928 Baldwin’s was name-checked in the Chemist and Druggist, a pharmacy newsletter – pinpointing it to be situated on 77 Walworth Road and ‘elsewhere’. This references George’s expansion into 12 shops throughout London, all following the same style of traditional apothecary. This was later scaled back to the original location, and Baldwin’s was forced to move to number 173 later due to development work.

The London Encyclopaedia (1983)

Walworth Road The London Encyclopaedia 1983

The London Encyclopaedia, first published in 1983, has entries on both Walworth and Walworth Road. Funnily enough, Baldwin’s is specifically mentioned as one of the longstanding features of the road – alongside the Labour Party Head Office – marking it as a piece of South East London history and an iconic figure of Walworth Road.