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Photo of Dr Anne Stobart

Dr Anne Stobart

Honorary University Fellow

During my career in adult, further and higher education I gained a postgraduate degree in Women’s Studies at the University of Exeter, beginning a persisting interest in the history of medicine and women healers. I am also trained as a consultant medical herbalist and I joined Middlesex University, London, in 2000, to teach on and manage the degree programme for professional clinical practitioners of herbal medicine. My doctoral thesis formed the basis of Household Medicine in Seventeenth-Century England which was published in 2016. 

After leaving my Middlesex University post in London in 2010, I focused on the Holt Wood Herbs project in Devon, redeveloping a redundant conifer plantation as a woodland source of medicinal plants. Through this project I sought to develop sustainable ways of cultivating and using medicinal trees and shrubs, drawing on past practices and developing new and regenerative approaches using permaculture design principles. A publication arising from this project is fully referenced and is The Medicinal Forest Garden Handbook. Subsequently I have developed the Medicinal Forest Garden Trust website to promote further education and research into designs supporting biodiversity and resilience of medicinal plant supplies. I offer a number of short courses, available online, to promote awareness of the potential of medicinal trees and shrubs. I have also published research articles on historical recipes and the history of herbal medicine, and have a continuing interest in research into agroforestry and permaculture related to herbal medicine.

Research interests

Research interests

Seventeenth-century selfhelp healthcare and domestic medicine

Herbal medicine and gardens

Medicinal trees and shrubs, historical and present cultivation, sustainable harvest, trade and use

Recent publications

Stobart A. (2013) "Lett her refrain from all hott spices": Medicinal recipes and advice in the treatment of the King’s Evil in seventeenth-century south-west England. In: DiMeo M and Pennell S (eds) Reading and writing recipe books, 1550-1800. Manchester: Manchester University Press, 203-224.

Stobart A. (2014) Sourcing herbs sustainably: Past, present and future? In: Brice-Ytsma H and Watkins F (eds) Herbal exchanges: in celebration of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists. London: Strathmore Publishing, 133-140.

Francia S and Stobart A. (eds) (2014) Critical approaches to the history of western herbal medicine: From classical antiquity to the early modern period. London: Bloomsbury. Open access available.

Stobart A. (2016) Household medicine in seventeenth-century England. London: Bloomsbury Academic.

Stobart A. (2020) The medicinal forest garden handbook: Growing, harvesting and using healing trees and shrubs in a temperate climate. East Meon, Hampshire, UK: Permanent Publications.

Stobart A, Prieto-Garcia J, Vieweger A, Westaway S and Whistance L. (2023) Medicinal tree products offer therapeutic benefits and potential diversification for small scale agroforestry and farm woodlands: An overview with indications for further studies. In: Fiebrig IN (ed) Medicinal agroecology: Reviews, case studies, and research methodologies. London: CRC Press, 105-121. 

Stobart A. (2023) Trees and shrubs that heal: Reconnecting with the medicinal forest. East Meon, Hampshire, UK: Permanent Publications.

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