Violets (Viola spp.)

Violets (Viola spp.) Family: Violaceae Some common names include wild pansy, viola, and heartsease. There are over 600 species of violets throughout the world and many modern cultivars! Parts Used: flowers, leaves Energetics: cooling, moistening Taste: sweet, salty Plant Properties: alterative, demulcent, inflammatory modulator, lymphagogue, mild sedative Plant Uses: congested lymph, food, dry inflamed tissues,…

Ground Ivy (Glechoma hederacea)

Ground Ivy, also commonly known as Creeping Charlie, is a fast growing ground cover with ‘hoof’ shaped leaves. Other names it goes by include Gill-over-the-ground, Alehoof, Gill-go-by-the-Hedge, and Run-away-robin. This plant is not related to Ivy but is, instead, to the Mint family. Identifying You’ll find a square stem and opposite growing, kidney-shaped leaves, similar…

Garlic Mustard (Alliaria petiolata)

Garlic mustard, also known as Jack-by-the-hedge, is an unassuming plant with a powerful punch of garlic and mustard. This plant was introduced to the United States in the mid-1800’s, for food & medicine, and has since been creeping through the continent ever since. Garlic mustard is now considered an invasive species, a single plant can…

Stinging Nettle

Stinging Nettle (Urtica spp.) Family: Urticaceae Parts Used: young leaves, seeds, and roots Energetics: cooling, drying Taste: salty Plant Properties: nutritive herb, diuretic, alterative, adaptogen, astringent Plant Uses: weak hair/bones/teeth, fatigue, arthritis, eczema, metabolism, seasonal allergies, urinary tract infections, sluggish metabolism Plant Preparations: nourishing herbal infusion, tincture, tea, freeze-dried capsules, food When preparing to eat…

Hairy Bittercress

Hairy Bittercress, Cardamine hirsuta, is one of the smaller wild mustards in the Brassicaceae family.  Oddly enough, this plant is less hairy and bitter and more non-hairy and spicy! The hairs are very fine and without close inspection, you’ll miss them all together.  Identifying  Hairy Bittercress This plant consists of compound leaves with tiny leaflets…

Pine (Pinus strobus)

Pine (Pinus strobus) Family: Pinaceae Genus: Pinus Largest conifer family in species diversity 250 recognized species in the world including pines, larches, spruces, firs, and hemlock Parts Used: bark, needles (leaves), pine resin, pollen, seeds Energetics: warming, drying Taste: pungent, bitter, sour Plant Properties: stimulating diuretic, stimulating expectorant, stimulating diaphoretic, modulates inflammation, nutrient-dense food, vulnerary,…

Garlic (Allium sativum)

Garlic (Allium sativum) Family: Amaryllidaceae Genus: Allium Energetics: warming, drying Taste: pungent Plant Properties: circulatory stimulant, diaphoretic, expectorant, antimicrobial, carminative, immune modulating, vermifuge (parasites) Plant Uses: Hypertension, fungal & bacterial infections, colds, influenza, bronchial congestion, small intestinal bacteria growth, digestion, asthma, type 2 diabetes, insulin resistance Garlic has been approved by the Commission E as…

Sage (Salvia officinalis)

Sage (Salvia officinalis) Family: Lamiaceae (mint) Genus: Salvia Common names include garden sage, common sage, culinary sage Comes from the Latin word salvere meaning “to feel well and healthy, health, heal” Energetics: warming, drying Taste: pungent, bitter Plant Properties: aromatic, astringent, carminative, diaphoretic, antiseptic, blood moving Plant Uses: Sore throat, excessive sweating, infections, stagnant digestion,…

Burdock (Arctium lappa, A. minor)

Burdock, also known as Gobo, is one of those plants that’s been calling to me for a while now. Sometimes when you need a plant, they find a way into your life and make their presence known. A year or two ago I began gathering Stinging Nettle from a local farm. They considered this plant…

Autumn Olive (Elaeagnus umbellata)

Autumn Olive Elaeagnus umbellata “Sacred Olive Tree” I recently discovered this beautiful plant not too long ago living in my neighborhood. We are neighbors and I didn’t even know it! Autumn Olive is such a unique looking plant and quite easy to recognize once you know what to look for. I was on a walk…