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Category Archives: Foraging

Gathering Plantain the Magical “Weed”

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Out of all of the “weeds” that I gather, plantain is probably at the top of the list. 

It is just good for so many things. 

It can be used as a food source, as well as used medicinally.

It has wound healing properties that make it a winner in my book.

It grows pretty much EVERYWHERE (in North America).

To use as a food source gather the leaves when the plant is young, and tender to eat raw in salads. You can also saute much like spinach.

VERY yummy!To use medically, you have several options:

  • Use fresh (when in season) -simply crush, or chew, and place it on a wound
  • Dry to preserve for later-simply allow to dried herb to re-hydrate in distilled water for a bit to use like fresh.
  • Alcohol preserved-this way makes a tincture that has benefits with asthma symptoms, or cold and cough.
  • Glycerin preserved- will not last as long as the alcohol preserved, but it is easier to get a child to take this version because it is sweeter. 

This remedy is ALWAYS in my “medicine” cabinet ready to get to work. 

It is NATURAL.

It is FREE.

And, it WORKS.

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The US FDA does not approve this, however the German equivalent to the FDA does. Makes ya wonder…hmmm. 

It has been shown to possess medical properties, including being:

  • anti-microbial
  • anti-viral
  • anti-inflammatory
  • anti-toxin
  • diuretic

This is just naming a few!!!

Do the research!!! It is amazing!!!

DISCLAIMER: I am not a DR. I am not telling you to replace any medication with any herbal treatment. I m stating what I do with MY family. I am not AGAINST medication. I just believe it should be reserved for life threatening BACTERIAL illnesses. 

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Posted by on August 5, 2013 in Foraging, Herbs, Natural Living

 

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Gathering Wild Herbs: #1 Stinging Nettle (great for seasonal allergies)

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I like to gather wild herbs.

I figure the more I gather…the less I buy…that means more cha-ching in Mama’s pocket. 

The kids…um….love it too. By “love it” I mean they come with me after I threaten that who ever stays in the house can finish the dishes and laundry for me. 🙂

There are several things that I gather.

I will start discussing them here and there to help give some insight on what, how, and why to collect wild herbs. 

Apparently…collecting wild herbs is all the rage now …SMILE…

I wish I had known how fashionable it was…I would start dressing the part…but alas…..

Lots of chores that I have been doing for years has become fashionable.

I am lovin it. 

Any who…

Stinging nettle.

Many people know stinging nettle..up close and personal.

That is the plant that you “find” while walking through the pasture in your flip flops instead of your Bogs….that you bought even though your husband gasped at the price while commenting that Walmart had them for $15 even though you explained the financial sense of splurging for the quality brand…or maybe that is just me….

Well..its the stinging one (hence the name stinging nettle).

Stinging nettle, or just nettle, can be used for a variety of things. 

Surprisingly they are delicious, and can be used anyway that you use spinach. (they do not sting when you cook them).

They can be dried and used in teas, and to make tinctures. 

Grandma has used the dried herb in teas, and taken a nettle tincture to relieve allergies for as long as I can remember. 

Gathering nettle is easy to do. It grows prolifically. Just make sure that you are wearing gloves.

 I gather mine, and hang the plants upside down to dry. You could also use a food dehydrator to dehydrate the leaves. Once the leaves are dry store them in a jar with a lid.

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You can do it up fancy..cutting the leaves and removing the stems…or just stick the dry leaves in a jar like I do…I have 6 kids I do not have the time for fancy.

To make a tea, simply steep in hot water, and sweeten with honey if desired.

For a Nettle Tincture, you have two options:

Glycerin Tincture, or Alcohol based Tincture.

The glycerin tincture will have a sweeter taste, however the alcohol tincture has a much longer shelf life.

To make the tincture place the nettle in a jar, and cover with glycerin or alcohol (whichever floats your boat). 

Cover, label with  the name & date, and store in a dark place 3-6 weeks.

Shake daily (or at least whenever you remember to like I do 😉 ). 

NOTE: Always do you research when gathering any wild herb. Plants can look a lot alike. It is a good idea to purchase a field guide to allow you to safely gather wild plants for use. It does cost a little money, but think of it this way..you are gathering FREE plants. The guide will allow you to gather a variety of FREE plants. 

 
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Posted by on July 19, 2013 in Foraging

 

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