Week two of my herbology series! Week one was dandelions. Again, I cannot emphasize enough how important research is for anyone interested in getting involved in foraging and herbology. Please, dive deep into research and make sure sure you have several resources and verified that you are harvesting the correct thing.
Today I’ll be covering the plantain plant. No, not the banana like fruit, but the weed that is nearly as common as the dandelion but isn’t as obvious.
Plantain, another common yard weed, comes in two varieties. The common variety has wider leaves and dies back during the winter. The English plantain has longer, thinner leaves and can be found when the snow recedes with dry, papery leaves. Don’t harvest the latter until the new leaves emerge in the spring.
When attempting to identify the English variety of plantain from other common weeds, look for deep lines that run the length of the leaf and can be very clearly seen defined on both sides of the leaf.
Plantain leaves can be used as poultices, washes, and salves for a number of skin conditions as well as in a tea for internal issues. The roots can also be made into a tincture for digestive and respiratory issues.
The root is also said to be used as anti-venom for rattlesnake bites, but I have not personally done much research into this.
Next week, I’ll explore the wide world of chickweed!
As part of my summer initiative to bring new content to the blog, I’ll be doing both an herbology and an herbal remedy series. I cannot emphasize enough how important research is for anyone interested in getting involved in foraging and herbology. Please, dive deep into research and make sure sure you have several resources and verified that you are harvesting the correct thing.
Dandelions are the perfect plant to start with. Not only are they very beneficial to the body, but they’re also extremely recognizable. Below is a picture of one right outside my house plus the sketch I have in my personal herbology book. I’ll follow the pictures with the entry I have written in my hand written foraging book.
Dandelions are the perfect plant for the beginning forager to seek out. Though considered a noxious weed by most, they can be used for food and medicinal treatment. The root, leaves, and flowers are all usable. The roots are good for cleaning the blood, among other things, and have a nutty taste. Dandelion leaves are one of the most nutritious greens around – low calorie, nutrient rich, and cleansing. They are full of vitamin A, vitamin C, calcium, iron, and more. The flowers are good as a natural sweetener. They can also be used in syrups, jellies, and more.
Look-alikes, such as catsear, are edible but aren’t as beneficial.
As I go forward in my herbal remedies series, I’ll explore different recipes that use the different parts of the dandelion plant.
This is an amazing idea that my mom had! A couple of rusty ladles from Goodwill, a bit of soil, some succulents, and presto!
I have these beauties hanging right in the entrance of my kitchen. Even my picky husband loves them!
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This past year was the most successful garden I have ever had bar none. With both flowers and vegetables, I had a very successful season. Now that it’s all snowy and cold I have to sit and look at pictures to reminisce at how pretty my plants were…
wild blooms and herbs gathered to make salves
the rose bush that won’t give up
the rose bush that won’t give up
But I will have these winter-blooming lovelies to look forward to soon!
I’ll need to remember to take more pictures this coming season!
This accidental ginger plant that sprouted from the compost I used in my tomato this summer has finally given in to the cold and turned brown. I pulled up the brown stalks and was very excited to see this root attached!
Fresh ginger for me!
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