- Queen Anne’s Lace
- Common Plantain
Something that I never thought about growing up and certainly wasn’t taught was what is in our backyards and gardens. It wasn’t until I met my husband that I learned the importance of local “weeds” in our state. Now I know what you are thinking, how in the world are weeds good or important? We’ll discuss a few medicinal herbs uses.
Dandelions grow in abundance here in New York and they are medicinal. Have you ever eaten a spring mix salad? Dandelion leaves are common in spring mix salads. They serve a multitude of purposes, you can make Dandelion tea, coffee from the roots and of course salad from the leaves. A few medicinal properties are detoxification, liver flush, fiber for constipation, iron to treat anemia, regulate diabetes and treat skin diseases.
Queen Anne’s Lace
Otherwise known as Wild Carrot, this plant is readily available almost everywhere in the United States. Wild carrot is a natural remedy for kidney problems, cancer, urinary stones, gout, uterine pain and dysentery. Overdosing is toxic for humans so be careful. Wild carrot oil has been used for many years commercially as a fragrance in laundry detergents, soaps, lotions, creams and perfumes.
If you have a toothache and hate taking pain relievers for it, chew on the leaf of a yarrow plant. Yarrow can be taken to relieve gastrointestinal issues, diarrhea, loss of appetite and nose allergies. It’s most common use is to reduce fevers and treat the common cold and yes it comes in a tea at your local health food market, online at amazon.com and a few other websites. Yarrow can be used topically as well as orally. For topical purpose, yarrow serves as a styptic meaning it stops wounds from bleeding. This is very helpful out in the woods. Yarrow oil is commercially used in shampoos.
I’m sure some of you may have wondered what the pretty white flowers that look like mini daisies are in your yard, it’s likely to be chamomile. I found it in my yard yesterday walking around and there it was, pretty little things. Chamomile has soothing properties. With that being said, chamomile is used for anxiety, ADHD, restlessness, insomnia and gas. Topically this can be used for eczema; wound healing; and bacterial skin diseases, including gingivitis. Commercially used in mouthwashes.
Common mullein uses are the treatment of cough, whooping cough, tuberculosis, bronchitis, hoarseness, pneumonia, earaches, colds, chills, and flu, swine flu, fever, allergies, tonsillitis, and tracheitis. Topically mullein is used for wounds, burns, hemorrhoids, bruises, and frostbite. Commercially used as a flavoring in alcohol. Mullein are among the oldest known medicinal plants.
I’ve seen these plants my entire life and never knew what they were until I saw a picture. This is also called the great plantain and it is used for the treatment of bronchitis, colds and as an antiseptic, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial. This plantain can be used for dermatological conditions, consult your physician first. Overdose can cause diarrhea.
Cattail can be found in marshes, moist fields and wetlands throughout the U.S. This is a common plant used for a variety of uses including medicinal. The pollen can be use as a thickening agent when cooking. The leaves can be used to make baskets if you are into basket weaving. The roots are edible in the early spring. The shoots can be stewed or sauteed up and the brown seed head is similar to corn. Medicinal purposes typically are for cuts, wounds, stings and burns.
Purslane is a succulent that grows in between sidewalks and in cracks of pavement. This herb serves as a great vegetable and is full of Omega 3 fats. For medicinal purposes, it is used as a diuretic and antibacterial. I’ve seen them but never tried to eat it.
This post is informational only. This is not a substitution for medical advice. I am not a medical doctor, consult your physician, herbalist or naturopath before taking these herbs. Excessive use can be toxic.
Retrieved from a natural medicine database from my college, Everglades University.