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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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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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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Ozark Encyclopedia – D – Dittany

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Mountain Man Traditional Healing

Dittany, Stone Mint – Cunila origanoides

Parts used: leaf, flower

Traditional uses: Related to Oregano and Marjoram and can be used in similar ways. As an infusion it’s good for colds and to help open up the sinuses. Boiled strong it helps the body sweat and can aid in lowering fevers. Infusion used to help aid a painful birth. Used as a stimulant and tonic. Contains trace amounts of thujone, an active chemical also found in wormwood, mugwort, and yarrow, and may cause drowsiness or headaches. Use only in small amounts and with caution.

*** Cautions: Contains trace amounts of thujone ***

For chills – “Mountain Diteny (Cunila) is good to use to stop chills.” ~Parler FBA II 1756

For colds – “For a severe cold, make a tea of Mountain ditney…sweeten with molasses and drink one-half teacup full before going to bed.” ~Parler FBA II 1830

For fevers

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United Plant Savers – The Future of Ginseng and Forest Botanicals

Source: United Plant Savers – The Future of Ginseng and Forest Botanicals

Alchemy of Fermentation Workshop | Colorado School of Clinical Herbalism

    Valerie Blankenship, RH, AHG has over 24 years experience in the herbal field as a clinician, formulator, medicine maker and educator. She is

Source: Alchemy of Fermentation Workshop | Colorado School of Clinical Herbalism