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Archive for the ‘plantain’ Category

I got so hung up on the nuances of botany and identifying and wild harvest/crafting in the woods this spring, I completely forgot to make my herbal tinctures and oils with chickweed and plantain! By the time I remembered, the chickweed was looking a bit ratty and my husband was already mowing, so the plantain had a haircut…. but then the rains started. We really didn’t get our April rains, but May is making up for it and the chickweed is so lush, bright green and moist now I just had to get outside first thing this morning to harvest some! Now Comfrey Cottages has the “s” on the end for a reason. I customarily harvest and garden not only in my own garden and yard, but also my children’s and my brother Eric’s. Today I went over to my son Tommy’s yard (Dylan’s dad), because he has been working overtime and he hasn’t mowed recently and there was so much lush chickweed and brand new moist plantain leaves just waiting to help keep our family healthy:)

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Chickweed is just so very fresh tasting I happily munched on it while I was preparing these medicines and had to put a bit out on the floor for the kitties to enjoy also, to keep them away from the preparation area!

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And some of the plantain went to the kitties too:) Young Dandelion kitty seemed just ravenous for some greens:)

The chickweed tincture will be used for many things as an herbal helper, but I am especially interested in the fact it is reputed to be excellent for dealing with arthritis and other conditions like rheumatism. My daughter has been having a lot of trouble with arthritis symptoms for quite awhile now and frankly, I am very worried about the side effects of many arthritis drugs. I will be thrilled if chickweed tincture ends up being of benefit for her. From Gail Faith Edward’s book Opening our Wild Hearts to the Healing Herbs, I have learned that chickweed has alkalinizing properties that can benefit those with chronic bladder and urinary tract infections. The chickweed oil will be used to help with many minor skin complaints such as diaper rash and bug bites. The next harvest I make of it, I plan on infusing some in vinegar. I also am thinking to chop some up to freeze in ice cube trays so I can just pop out one to use as a poultice for its drawing, cooling and dissolving properties, when it is winter again and hard to find and harvest any. These little chickweed cubes will also be nice to have on hand for any eye irritations due to strain or infection.  Chickweed is right now one of my favorite plants to just grab and use as a poultice for bug bites and skin scratches we all get when gardening:) Gail also shared that chickweed is  excellent for dissolving ovarian cysts and helping reduce swollen glands. My husband has trouble with a gland in his groin which will swell up and cause his leg to hold heat and I am planning to use the tincture to help him when this condition strikes next! Since chickweed weakens bacteria, this will also be used in times of colds, and other respiratory problems, my family and friends might experience. I am especially curious to see how it helps the asthmatics in my family. Its expectorant and cooling actions will probably be so helpful for when we have those hot, dry cough going on.

The plantain oil will be used for many skin problems. I am especially interested in seeing how it does for a family member who suffers from hemorrhoids, which it is reported to help shrink and soothe.  The tincture will help with coughs and other respiratory complaints with its antispasmodic actions on the mucous membranes and moistening and expectorant qualities. Nice to have in the herbal medicine chest for its astringent properties when faced with diarrhea issues, also. If any of us are faced with kidney or urinary tract issues, this nourishing, soothing herb should be of great benefit. So excited about getting to know and working with plantain this year! I will keep you posted in who I share these medicines, why and how they respond to them as the year progresses.

Great big herbal and honey hugs to all who take the time to visit here at Comfrey Cottages

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generation2001

This was our five generation picture taken when my mom and her mom were both still alive and my first born grandchild, Evan, was a wee one, about 8 years ago. We lost my mom to cancer 4 years ago today, and G.G., as my vain grandma liked to be called (lol), the very next spring. That is my beautiful, and only, daughter Michelle Elizabeth holding her son.

My mom would have just loved all the natural healing and herbal knowledge I have been learning these last few years. The family used to tease her as she read her wisdom garnered from sources such as Prevention magazine, and others. I always listened to her though, (in those matters;-) ) , and always had a bent toward our natural world. If she were here today I can see us truly finding our common ground, besides family, with herbal/plant medicine and also with the foraging for wild foods, that I doing more and more. Well, mom this post is for you, in honor of the strong, warm, loving, giving person you were. I miss you so much!

I read herbal and wild foraging books constantly and even my dreams have me walking through woods and fields searching for the knowledge I am sure other women in my family had at some time. Some how it was lost a few generations back and I crave to recapture it, to share with all those following in my footsteps. Life is busy with so many things, so finding the time to apply what I have been learning is sometimes hard. I am trying to make it a point to do a few things every week.

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Tonight, after getting home, I went out in the gardens and gathered some whole plants of violets. Roots, leaves and flowers for a tincture. I am going to use the tincture, at times, for fevers, to break up mucous and respiratory complaints. The pretty yellow jar is dandelion flowers in safflower oil. I have some infusing in olive oil and thought some in safflower oil would be pretty and useful also. These both will make nice moisturizers and massage oils, that help release tension and emotions in the muscles. I also started some plantain tincture. This tincture will be good for gastric complaints, ulcers, and also for diarrhea. It will also be soothing for any complaints throughout the urinary system. As plantain is a relaxing antispasmodic to the mucous membranes, coughs, asthma, and other bronchial problems, are another way this tincture will be used.

Last week I managed to sneak in a few medicine making moments also.

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I made angelica root tincture and honey. Licorice tincture, concolor fir oil, dandelion vinegar, and peppermint oil.

Mom would just love all this and I think of her often as I learn more and more about our natural world and her gifts to us. We just need open our eyes and our hearts to what she has to tell us!

gail

I have found this book by herbalist Gail Faith Edwards, to be most helpful in my herbal journeys. I love what Gail has to say in her forward

These words are the ripened seeds that spill from my wild heart to the dark moist soil within your own.”

I highly recommend this book to those of my readers who are on their own herbal journey. Gail writes with a warm, welcoming style that encourages me with its insightful, yet non complicated information and uses of many herbals and trees. I have found this book to be another that is right here in the kitchen while I make herbal medicine, on my bedside table at night, and in my backpack at all other times. Gail has shared with us what it took her many seasons of intimate contact with the plants, to learn.  And yes, I do especially recommend it to those of you, who like me are at the beginning of our herbal journeys, although it is certain to be of benefit to the experienced herbalist also.

big herbal and honey hugs to all of you who take the time to visit here at Comfrey Cottages

 

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