Sunday, June 26, 2011

June Wildcrafting

It's a great month for wildcrafting here in PA. We've been gathering early plants throughout the spring but there are so many available in June. Because gas prices are so crazy, and because my yard used to be a field full of wild herbs and strawberries, we decided to let parts of it grow wild this year.
We always start with a beautiful fragrant lineup in the kitchen as a reward for our efforts.  Then the overflow goes to the attic to dry for later use in herbal remedies.  You can read about our herbal adventures on the Herbal Medicine Chest page and various posts.  Use the search box to help you.

Here's what we've been gathering from field and garden this month.
Stinging Nettle - One of my favorites.  It's a good source of iron and vitamin C which helps the body absorb the iron.  The synergy of these two help to clear the body of uric acid crystal formations.  Also used for arthritis.  Nettle is astringent and tonic.  The "sting" is caused by an allergic response to the formic acid and histamines found on the tiny hairs that cover the stems.  While causing a bit of a burn and possible whelts, the practice of "urtication" with the fresh plants is harmless and a quick way to use the healing properties of this plant.  Makes an excellent tea.
Yarrow - The leaves are astringent and promote clotting making this herb valuable on the trail.  The astringent/tonic properties make it helpful for clearing the blood and aiding in menstrual problems, digestive issues, excess fluid, reducing fevers.  Also anti-inflammatory.  It's everywhere right now!

Cleavers - Best used fresh as a juice, poultice or tea, this wild herb is a blood purifier and diuretic.  Can also be lightly steamed and eaten like spinach.
Mints -
Lemon Balm -
Chickweed - my all time favorite used for healing irritations, and eczema.  Diuretic and cleansing tonic.  Also a "drawing" herb.  Good in salads.

Plantain - a wonderful healing agent for wounds and sores.  Producer of the well known phsylium seeds used for bulking laxatives.  Great for bee stings, hemorrhoids and sore throat because of its astringent healing properties.

Chives -
Leeks -
Creeping Jenny - Lysimachia nummularia - is a good wound healing herb for use on the trail
or as a tea for washing wounds.  Tea made from the leaves and flowers is helpful for treating diarrhea according to the Natural Medicinal Herbs website.

Red Clover

Roses - I'm updating my rose water post with pictures of this years harvest.  Go there to learn to make your own rose hydrosol.


Sharing this post with the folks @
Homestead Barn Hop
Wildcrafting Wednesday


Much herbal love,
 

8 comments:

  1. Love the picture of the clover! You are making me want to go take a walk in the weeds to look for, well, "weeds". hehehehe

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  2. I love how you have the herbs drying like a valance. It looks great!

    I have my herbs in pots this year and they are not doing well at all. I'm so disappointed.

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  3. @ La I've never had any luck growing herbs in pots, either. Hope they perk up soon.

    @ small farm girl Go for it! :)

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  4. Could you give some uses for those herbs you gathered? I know a few for most of them, but Creeping Jenny? I've been ripping it out and trying to eradicate it from my garden for years.

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  5. What a neat post! I started learning about herbs about six years ago, and I've seen how they really do work. Slowly but surely, I've been trying to find more natural ways to do things. I'm glad I found your blog!

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  6. @Deb - sure thing! Coming up!

    Welcome, LivingSoAbundantly!

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  7. Wonderful article! Thanks for sharing! :)

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  8. Inviting you the Carnival of Home Preserving on my blog every Friday. Hope to see you there. Laura Williams’ Musings

    The most recent edition - http://laurawilliamsmusings.blogspot.com/2012/06/carnival-of-home-preserving-13-come.html - open until Thursday 6/7.

    ReplyDelete

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Preparing small batch natural, additive free products for beauty, health and home right here in our kitchen since 1991 from herbs grown organically in our garden, wild crafted in nearby meadows and woodlands or purchased from reputable, like-minded companies. Dried everlasting wreaths, arrangements and potpourri. Herbal salves, tinctures, soaps, teas and more.