Wildcrafting local herbs is so much fun! Okay. Maybe not for everyone, but for me… oh yes! :0) What’s wildcrafting? Basically a fancy name for “picking weeds”. ☺️ At least many consider them weeds, but being herby-minded we don’t see them as a nuisance at all. To us, they’re medicine and food.
Sumac (staghorn variety) is prolific in our country yard right now. It has loads of Vitamin C and is, what I’d call, a runner up to Elderberry as far as immune boosting goes. It makes a yummy “lemonade” if you allow a “drupe” (what a head of berries is called) to steep in a mug of room temp water overnight. If you’re like me and forget to do that all the time,😄 you can make it like regular tea with just off-the-boil water as well. Just don’t steep for more than 10 min or so or it’ll get bitter. Sumac is also good for fevers, helps w sore throats and lung infections and gives a boost of energy from all the antioxidants present in it.
Also, just starting to show up around here is Goldenrod herb. I could only pick a few right now, but it’ll be coming on more as we continue farther into Fall. It usually gets a bad wrap as the cause for seasonal allergies because it comes on at the same time as Ragweed does—which is the real culprit for headaches and sniffley noses this time of year. Goldenrod tea is nicknamed “Liberty Tea” as Goldenrod is what our revolutionary forefathers used when England banned their tea and which culminated in America declaring independence in 1776. Goldenrod is actually a tasty herb that is excellent for allergies (we use it in our Allergy Tea) and for helping to dry up clogged and inflamed sinuses. It’s terrific for soothing sore throats and clearing mucous from bogged down lungs during colds and flu season. It has 7x the antioxidants as Green Tea, so it’s a great energy boost. It’s also good for inflammation and pain. I”m looking forward to making a salve from what I wildcrafted after it dries, and using it for my lame foot. For a little more info check out this vid:
A third herb that I wildcrafted recently is Milk Thistle. It’s probably the prettiest of them all. Milk Thistle is one of the premier liver cleansing herbs. It can help detox pesticides and heavy metals in our body, counteract pollution and chemical poisons which are all around us, as well as help detox our gall bladder. It can help lower cholesterol, manage diabetes, and even has anti-aging properties because of its cleansing action on the liver. And if you happen to indulge in too much alcoholic beverage the night before, this is your go-to drink the morning after rather than coffee. 😉 I’ve drank Milk Thistle tea many times as a liver cleanse, but this is the first I’ve wildcrafted my own, so will be drying it and the learning how to use it. Here’s a video I found that I’ll be referring back to: https://youtu.be/xGPHHvcItaY?si=
Also, while not a Fall herb, late last Spring, I foraged a bunch of Yarrow. Yarrow isn’t the tastiest herb as a tea or tincture, but it has so many health benefits that it’s worth getting used to. The key is not to make it too strong. We’ve known people who drank it each day as their morning coffee since it gives not so much immediate energy as enduring stamina to get through the day. I like to drink it regularly during the summer as it’s an herb that helps to rid the body of excess heat, which is why it’s excellent for fever during cold and flu season. It’s also good for those with hot flashes for the same reason. A few drops of tincture in water at the onset of a flash episode can work wonders. We also have used it for regulating and lowering blood sugar and balancing the metabolism.
Anyway, look around you and see what goodies you might have in your area that can be healing for you and your family. And if you’re not so herby-minded, then we’ll have some of these dried herbs at the Market to share through mid-October. Come and see!
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