Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wild Medicine

Today, we had a blackout that lasted for many hours. Being as I couldn't continue writing the post I was working on, I decided instead to go foraging. This time, instead of looking for plants to eat, I was mainly looking for plants with medicinal purposes. Of course, in most cases, the plants are both edible and medicinal, but I'm not planning on serving these to my family just yet- I'm dehydrating them for later use, so I have a well stocked "medicine cabinet" for when I need some cure but don't want to use prescription medication.

What did I get today?

All of today's wonderful bounty! Sorry for the bad lighting- I took it during the blackout!

Going clockwise, from blue bowl: red clover, hollyhocks leaves and flowers, wild carrot/Queen Anne's Lace (in back), wild mustard, and white clover. Each of these have so many medicinal uses it would be too much to elaborate on their benefits in this post. 

Clockwise from the pink flowers at the left: hollyhocks flowers, rock roses, wild carrot (in back), chamomile, plantain leaves (partially hidden), plantain flowerheads, wild mustard.

Clockwise from bottom right: Plantain leaves, wild mustard, rock roses, chamomile, and plantain flowers (center).

Many of these plants are sold for exorbitant prices at health food stores in my area. By heading out to the field and picking them myself, I can get these terrific plants, absolutely free!

Because I knew I wouldn't have room for all of these in my dehydrator, I threaded a string through as many leaves as I could and hung them on my collapsible clothesline to dry.

I'm already using the plantain and chamomile to make a salve with coconut oil for my son's eczema. I also made my family a tea from the hollyhocks to help us with our runny noses, sneezing, and coughing, that we somehow picked up at the end of April.

Have you ever picked any wild plants to use as medicine? Do you use any herbal medicine? What plants do you routinely use, even if they're bought? Have you ever used or seen or picked any of the plants I listed?
What do you do when you have a blackout to keep yourself busy?

Linking up to Real Food Wednesday, Works For Me Wednesday.


  1. dont know how to thank you
    just somedays ago i wondered about the name and the health benefits of hollyhocks!
    now these flowers are better hide i wont pass over them

  2. I must try that next time our holyhocks flower in our garden, we chew raw garlic for colds, take it with a bit of dry bread to help as its a bit hot to chew. I use raw ginger for arthritus, Brilliant. Dont ever use stuff from the chemist for the trots (trotting to the loo) it clears out the good bacteria in your guts as well as the bad, take charcoal tablets, you can get them from health food shops at a fraction of the cost. love the tips, Thanks.


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