Clinical Herbalism Student Empowers Communities Through Herbs and Tea

By Lincoln College

Elle Shuttelton, a BSc (Hons) Clinical Herbalism student at Lincoln College University Centre, has been making waves with her innovative projects aimed at empowering communities through the cultivation of herbs and the sharing of herbal tea – and has even been featured in the latest issue of Power of Plants magazine.

Elle’s journey began with a zero-budget project in Manchester, where she gathered soil and seeds from local supermarkets and engaged 20 individuals, ranging from ages 18 to 64, to grow herbs for both medicinal and culinary purposes.  

The project's huge success attracted the attention of a charity, leading her to spearhead a year-long initiative involving individuals from diverse backgrounds, including those with histories of offending and mental health issues. Together, they cultivated herbs for medicinal use, fostering a sense of purpose and community cohesion. 

Elle has also been visiting her hometown, Todmorden, to continue the community work. She said: “We did some visiting in my hometown of Todmorden which is something I'm incredibly proud of. 

“We have a philosophy that if you eat, you’re in and everybody eats, so obviously everybody's in.” 

Recently, Elle has taken her passion for herbal remedies to the streets, offering impromptu tea sessions to her community. Through these encounters, she creates spaces for vulnerability and connection, fostering dialogue around issues of disconnection and mental health—an especially crucial endeavour in today's climate. 

Reflecting on her journey, Elle highlights the transformative potential of herbal tea, citing experiences where it facilitated calmness and connection. Inspired by these moments, she plans to continue her "Tea Tales" initiative after completing her degree, integrating the tea sessions into her practice as a qualified herbalist. 

Looking ahead, Elle aims to secure local funding to expand her community projects in Todmorden, further embedding pots of tea into her efforts to heal both individuals and communities. 

Elle added: “I hope to carry on doing these projects and being out and about in my community and workplace, offering people opportunities to connect themselves to a deeper version of themselves, via herbs.” 

As she approaches the culmination of her studies, Elle remains committed to her mission of fostering wellness and connection through the power of herbs and communal tea—an inspiring example of grassroots activism and holistic healing in action. 

If you are interested in studying herbalism, we’re still taking applications for our BSc (Hons) Clinical Herbalism degree here at Lincoln College University Centre.

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