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View Diary: Free Food: Foraging, Now With More Greens! (60 comments)

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  •  All of those grow here (8+ / 0-)

    on my property. But not only are they good eats, they are all medicinal to boot.

    Curly dock roots are used medicinally as an astringent, tonic, and laxative. It is considered a highly effective blood cleanser and is used to assist the body in eliminating heavy metals and to treat other hepatic disorders. With the cautions you mentioned above re; oxalic acid.

    Marsh Mallow is used as a gargle to treat mouth and throat ulcers. The flowers are also used as tonic for the skin.

    Ground Ivy is aka All-heal. And for good reason:

    Used as a medicine for centuries on just about every continent in the world, for a wide variety of ailments, Heal-All has been viewed by herbalists as something of a panacea. It does however have some medicinal uses that are constant. The plants most useful constituents are Betulinic acid, D-Camphor, Delphinidin, Hyperoside, Manganese, Oleanolic acid, Rosmarinic acid, Rutin, Ursolic acid, various Saponins and Tannins. The whole plant is medicinal as alterative, antibacterial, antipyretic, antiseptic, antispasmodic, astringent, carminative, diuretic, febrifuge, hypotensive, stomachic, styptic, tonic, vermifuge and vulnerary. A cold water infusion of the freshly chopped or dried and powdered leaves is a very tasty and refreshing beverage, weak infusion of the plant is an excellent medicinal eye wash for sties and pinkeye. It is taken internally as a medicinal tea in the treatment of fevers, diarrhoea, sore mouth and throat, internal bleeding, and weaknesses of the liver and heart.

    The fiddlehead, indeed all of the fern, is soothing for nettle stings. Just rub it over the area. Interestingly, they two plants often grow near one another....

    Thanks for a great diary and an idea for a salad for tonight's dinner ;)

    As long as prejudice exists in this country - in this world - we are all its victims. ~~ Keith Olbermann

    by Purple Priestess on Sun May 03, 2009 at 02:47:42 PM PDT

    •  Thanks for chiming in on the medicinal qualities (4+ / 0-)

      I try to give the broad outlines of a plant's usefulness, but there's so much to cover.

      Where's the ground ivy quote from? Apart from a replica of a 19th century herbal, I don't have a reference book that goes into great detail about the medicinal properties of plants. Do you have one you could recommend?

      Thanks!

      "You guys don't understand. You've already lost. My generation doesn't care."--Kate Gronstal, on marriage equality

      by wide eyed lib on Sun May 03, 2009 at 03:01:31 PM PDT

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      •  Anything by Jim Duke. n/t (4+ / 0-)

        "I have never missed Hunter S. Thompson, George Carlin and Abbie Hoffman more than I do today."

        by wv voice of reason on Sun May 03, 2009 at 03:06:35 PM PDT

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      •  There are a couple of good ones (8+ / 0-)

        The Herb Book by John Lust (yes, that's his name!) is a great one. Look for updated versions because it's old and some info has changed.

        The Encyclopedia of Medicinal Herbs by Andrew Chevallier is another good one.

        Euell Gibbons did Stalking the Healthful Herbs, too.

        The quote above is from Wiki, cuz I was looking for quick info. ;)

        I am a journeyman herbalist. Been studying for over 30 years. But there is always so much more to learn. I've lived on this property for 13 years and I'm still discovering the plants!

        As long as prejudice exists in this country - in this world - we are all its victims. ~~ Keith Olbermann

        by Purple Priestess on Sun May 03, 2009 at 03:10:41 PM PDT

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        •  I'll check out these as well (6+ / 0-)

          I'm a compulsive collector of reference books.  :)

          I first got interested in herbal medicines in college when my roommate (whose mother is an herbalist) gave me echinacea and osha when I was sick and cured my intermittent insomnia with valerian. The valerian in particular has served me very well over the years.

          Plants are amazing things, and the more I learn about them the more amazed I am. Thanks for contributing, and I'd be honored if came by to chime in on the occasional Sunday.

          "You guys don't understand. You've already lost. My generation doesn't care."--Kate Gronstal, on marriage equality

          by wide eyed lib on Sun May 03, 2009 at 03:27:01 PM PDT

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          •  Oh good, it's not just me! (5+ / 0-)

            reference books make up at least half of my library. Now, I don't feel so all alone. ;)

            Valerian is a great cure for insomnia. Passion flower is another. And kava kava if only occasionally used. Trust me, this is one I can relate to.

            I will certainly try to stop by when I can. I usually publish my word diary on Sunday evenings. I'm going to add you to my subscriptions so I won't forget.  

            As long as prejudice exists in this country - in this world - we are all its victims. ~~ Keith Olbermann

            by Purple Priestess on Sun May 03, 2009 at 03:55:36 PM PDT

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            •  Hops (4+ / 0-)

              are also good for insomnia. Sew the dried flowers in a pillow case for a relaxing night's sleep.

              "I have never missed Hunter S. Thompson, George Carlin and Abbie Hoffman more than I do today."

              by wv voice of reason on Sun May 03, 2009 at 04:11:27 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

            •  I can assure you that you're not alone (3+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              RonV, Purple Priestess, Larsstephens

              I've never met a reference book that I didn't like. If you've ever read James Herriot's books about being a country vet, there's an anecdote I totally empathize with where young James is at some kind of auction and picks up a full set of gorgeous, hand illustrated references books for some ridiciously low price. As he's going home, he realizes that they have kind of a musty smell to them which he thinks will pass once they're aired.

              Of course the smell never goes away and the books keep getting moved around the house until they end up in the basement.

              That's me all over. :)

              "You guys don't understand. You've already lost. My generation doesn't care."--Kate Gronstal, on marriage equality

              by wide eyed lib on Sun May 03, 2009 at 04:27:20 PM PDT

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            •  Always use cautiously... (3+ / 0-)

              I had a real bad reaction to Valerian (this was probably 25 years ago...). I knew that some people had an opposite reaction to the expected one, but I didn't think I would. I was wrong. It made me all tense and jerky.

              As with all medicines, try a little first, just to be sure.

              "I was so easy to defeat, I was so easy to control, I didn't even know there was a war." -9.75, -8.41

              by RonV on Sun May 03, 2009 at 04:45:45 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  Absolutely! (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                RonV, Larsstephens, wide eyed lib

                For example, a ragweed allergy will extend to lots of other plants in the same family. It's not always easy to tell if plants are in the same family, either. A quick Google search or dip into the Sunset Garden Book is advised.

                As long as prejudice exists in this country - in this world - we are all its victims. ~~ Keith Olbermann

                by Purple Priestess on Sun May 03, 2009 at 05:31:41 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

            •  More of us out here than one would think. (3+ / 0-)

              But nix for me on the valerian. Gives me horrible nightmares.
              One of the cautions I usually put out when talking about any medicinal herbs is that we each have our own herbs. Some that are great for me may not be so great for someone else. And as in the case of Valerian, it is not one that I can use. Lobelia is the same. Just a sip or two of infusion will put me knocked out on the couch for the whole day, where a cup might just calm somebody else down....

              •  It's always so interesting the way individual (3+ / 0-)

                physiologies can be so different. A lot of people find Benedryl to be sleep-inducing, but it makes me crazy jittery. There's also something in the coating of time-released medications that makes my heart race. Took me years to figure out what the problem was!

                Valerian is my dream herb for sleeplessness. It works in 20 minutes or less and never ever leaves me feeling drowsy, even if I have to wake up an hour later. The only downside it has for me is that if for some reason I get distracted during the window of sleepiness for first hour after taking it, I'm pretty much screwed. So I tend to take it when I'm actually in bed with the lights off. :)

                A friend of mine took a single valerian and slept for 20 hours straight, so apparently it works too well for some people.

                "You guys don't understand. You've already lost. My generation doesn't care."--Kate Gronstal, on marriage equality

                by wide eyed lib on Sun May 03, 2009 at 06:09:41 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

      •  The classic Back to Eden (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Larsstephens, wide eyed lib

        by Jethro Kloss.
        And don't forget to pretty up those raw salads with a sprinkle of Redbud blossoms!

        •  Thanks-- I have so many books to check out now (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          emmasnacker, Larsstephens

          Redbud is one of those things that I never seem to find. Not sure if it's because I just haven't visited the right places or what. I know what the buds are supposed to look like and I'm eager to try them. I'm sure I'll locate some eventually. :)

          "You guys don't understand. You've already lost. My generation doesn't care."--Kate Gronstal, on marriage equality

          by wide eyed lib on Sun May 03, 2009 at 06:00:11 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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