Ozark Encyclopedia – E – Elderberry

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Mountain Man Traditional Healing

Elderberry, Elder – Sambucus nigra, S. canadensis

Parts used: bark, leaf, flower, berry

Traditional uses: Berries used in formulas against chills and cold. Helps support the immune system. Infusion of berry used internally for rheumatism. Flower infusion used as a febrifuge and to sweat out a cold. Leaf infusion used to wash sores and prevent infection. Bark poultice used on sores, wounds, rashes, and other dermatological needs.

*** Cautions: Berries mildly toxic when unripe, foliage toxic in large quantities ***

Used in the “stick-notching” treatment for warts – “The stick-notching treatment used for many other ailments is also adapted to the removal of warts. A little boy near Hot Springs, Arkansas, showed me a green switch with four notches in it, tied to the end of an old wooden gutter; each notch represents a wart, he said, and as the water rushes over the notches, it gradually dissolves away…

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Wild Witchcraft Plants – Part 2

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The Witch & Walnut

Summer is in full force and I am so grateful for it. I have been using some of my spare time to forage as much as I can to re-stock. Its important I go every week since something new is always blooming. And once its gone, its gone for a long time. Canadian summers are short, so I have to make sure I get everything I need to keep me going until next spring/summer.

Its a great way to get outside and be in nature. Enjoy the peace and quiet, its so soothing and cleansing for the soul.

FullSizeRender (2)I’ve collected here Yarrow, Queen Anne’s Lace, Bladder Campion & Sweet White Clover. These are just starting to bloom and I’m waiting for the hemlock to bloom and I’ve got my eye on some pretty amazing hogwart that has bloomed! Its quite poisonous so I have to be careful with that one!…

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Poison Ivy Remedy: Jewelweed Infused Witch Hazel

The Druid's Garden

Jewelweed and Poison Ivy Like Each Other A Lot Jewelweed and Poison Ivy Like Each Other A Lot

As I spend copious time in the outdoors, I often end up covered with poison ivy at least once or twice in the summer.I happen to like poison ivy as a plant a lot–she is beautiful, she is powerful, and she teaches us awareness (more on her soon).    But the contact dermatitis that I get from her on a regular basis kind of sucks.  Given that, I have a simple recipe that I make and keep on my shelf that seeks the healing power of two other plants: witch hazel and jewelweed.  This jewelweed infused witch hazel is a great remedy for poison ivy and clears it up very quickly.

If you can’t find jewelweed, I believe this recipe would be fairly effective with plantain or chickweed.  But Jewelweed is really the best.

Harvesting Jewelweed

Jewelweed (Impatiens capensis)…

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The National Heirloom Expo – SEPTEMBER 5-7 2017, Santa Rosa CA

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Help us get the word out about the Heirloom Expo

Event Info at theheirloomexpo.com

We are in high gear preparing for our 7th annual National Heirloom Exposition onSeptember 5, 6, 7 in Santa Rosa, California.  We are again seeking volunteers to help us spread the word. We need your help especially if you live on the West Coast and would like to distribute brochures to let people know about the Expo, please email us atinfo@theheirloomexpo.com.  Please consider sharing the info with your garden groups, educational organizations, churches, pure food societies, etc.

The National Heirloom Expo features three full days of nationally and internationally acclaimed speakers that include Vandana Shiva, Ronnie Cummins, Jeffrey Smith, Robert Kennedy, Jr., along with much more.  More than 4000 varieties of local produce will by displayed.  Purchase gardening supplies, seeds, sustainable living goods, and so much more from 300 vendors.  The exhibit hall…

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Turmeric Powder Tincture 

The Heathen Homesteader

When I first met my now husband he introduced me to herbs to help with skin issues. He suffered a skin injury that required almost a year of medical attention but wanted to help his skin in any way he could. So he looked to herbs. The best way to get the herbs he chose to help in his opinion was to ingest them. Now we use many of the herbs he loved in our food and tisanes frequently. Turmeric is one we go through a lot of. It helps with inflammation and many skin issues are the product of other health problems such as this. Check out the link at the end of this post for more in depth information.

When a neighbor/friend asked if I wanted her bag of turmeric she didn’t like (it has a peppery taste that isn’t appetizing to some) I started brewing up ideas…

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Larkspur: July Birth Flower

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Good Witches Homestead

The birthday flower of July is the lovely Larkspur, which symbolizes carefree summer days, feeling lighthearted, and just having fun. Larkspur is a highly desirable cut flower with tall spikes of colorful petals that look as perfect in a cut glass vase on the dining room table as they do sitting in a rustic basket or bucket at a casual backyard party.

Many people confuse Larkspur plants with delphinium plants. Although they look similar and are both members of the buttercup family, larkspur is annuals with more delicate flowers in shades of white, pink and lavender. Delphinium is perennials with more substantial flowers in shades of purple, blue, red, yellow and white.

Larkspur blooms from early spring through late summer with flowers that can range in size from a few inches to several feet long in the meadowland species. In Shakespeare’s time, Larkspur was also called lark’s heel, lark’s claw, and knight’s…

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Wild Witchcraft Plants – Re-Stock Your Witch Cabinet

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The Witch & Walnut

Hi Everyone! I hope you have all been having a great summer so far. Just a really quick post on some wild plants that are blooming like crazy right now and that I’ve picked. There is a lot blooming now, so I will likely do a few posts. However I post regularly on twitter, so you can always check there! I love planning ahead for the colder months and using the whole summer to gather and dry my plants. Anyhow if you want to get out there and start re-stocking, or if you are a beginner……start working on building your supply slowly. Now is the time!

FullSizeRenderYou don’t have to travel far, all these can be found on roadsides, local forests and trails. Once I get them home I tie them up and hang them outside. In this photo I have collected the following:

  • Birdfoot trefoil
  • St John’s WortFullSizeRender (1)
  • Buttercups

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Belladonna

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Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Despite being a very poisonous plant, people have used belladonna in many different ways throughout history.

While it has been used as a poison in the past, scientists today extract chemicals from belladonna for use in medicine. These chemicals, when used under a doctor’s supervision, can treat a range of afflictions, from excessive urination at night to irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

What is belladonna?

Belladonna plantThe belladonna plant may also be called deadly nightshade.

Belladonna (Atropa belladonna) is a poisonous plant, native to parts of Asia and Europe. It is sometimes known as deadly nightshade.

Belladonna produces small, black berries that must not be eaten. Eating the berries or leaves can be deadly. Similar to poison ivy, a person whose skin comes into direct contact with the leaves may develop a rash.

In ancient times, people used belladonna for its toxic properties, as an oral poison or on the tips of…

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Ozark Encyclopedia – D – Dogwood

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Mountain Man Traditional Healing

Dogwood – Cornus florida

Parts used: root, bark, flower

Traditional uses: Roots and bark astringent, used for diarrhea and dermatological needs. Analgesic, chewed for headache, decoction rubbed on skin to relieve aches and pains. Root decoction is a febrifuge. Flowers taken for stomach complaints and colic. Infusion of inner bark used for a “lost voice” and sore throats. Root bark is a stimulant and tonic.

Protection from mad dogs – “Some woodcutters who live on Sugar Creek, in Benton county, Arkansas, believe that a mad dog never bites a man who carries a piece of dogwood in his pocket, according to an old gentleman I met in Bentonville.” ~Randolph OMF 142

“Mad dogs aren’t supposed to bite a person if they have a small piece of dogwood in their pocket.” ~Parler FBA XII 9954

Legend about flower shape – “Several tales about the dogwood tree are linked up with religious…

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Chicory Root

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Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

You may know the chicory root as a popular coffee substitute. In fact, it was widely used during the Great Depression and World War II when coffee was in short supply or too expensive. Today, it is used around the world and in the US, particularly in New Orleans, as a natural caffeine-free substitute for coffee. However, it’s much more than a rich drink.

Chicory has a long history as a cleansing medicinal herb. In fact, the ancient Egyptians were known to consume large amounts of chicory to purify the liver and blood. Romans were also known to have used the root to help with blood purification. Medieval monks cultivated the plant, and it is widely used in Europe and the Mediterranean where it natively grows.

Called kasni in the Far East, chicory contains tannin phlobaphenes and several forms of sugar. The seeds have carminative and are useful as a…

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