Goldenrod Benefits: The Bee’s Knees for Allergies, Sinus Infections, and Urinary Tract Infections

Written and Photographed by Juliet Blankespoor (except where credited)

Goldenrod Benefits: The Bee’s Knees for Allergies, Sinus Infections, and Urinary Tract Infections

The following article is a sneak peek into our 375-hour Online Foraging Course: Edible and Medicinal Wild Herbs. The course begins with the basic ground rules of foraging safety and ethics and then moves on to botany and plant identification. Before you know it, you’ll have the skills and confidence to safely identify and harvest wild plants.

You’ll befriend THE most common edible and medicinal wayside plants, including dandelion, stinging nettles, violet, yarrow, burdock, rose, goldenrod, and many others. The printable manual is hundreds of pages long and filled with close-up photos for identification, medicinal uses, and loads of easy-to-follow recipes. In fact, most of our plant profiles contain more detail than you’ll find in any book on wild foods and herbs.

Registration for this online course will re-open in 2020. Check out our other online programs, which have ongoing enrollment: The Herbal Immersion Program (which includes the Foraging Course and likewise features our glowing lesson on goldenrod) and the Medicine Making Course.

Sign up here for free tutorials (videos + articles) on foraging and herbal medicine, and to be notified when enrollment reopens.

Identifying Goldenrod Flowers

Scientific Name: Solidago spp.

Plant Family: Asteraceae, aster family

Other Common Names: Goldruthe, woundwort, Aaron’s rod, and solidago

Introduction: Each fall, all across North America, goldenrod lights up meadows and fields with a refreshing blend of ruggedness and jubilation. In addition to the sunshine it lends to the landscape, its flowers attract native pollinators and beneficial insects. Goldenrod’s piney-tasting leaves and flowers are an important medicinal remedy for the urinary, digestive, and respiratory systems. The goldenrod genus encompasses one hundred species of late-blooming, knee- or hip-high herbaceous perennials.

Locust borer on a goldenrod inflorescence

Goldenrod is imbued with a decided botanical exceptionalism—heralding primarily from America, where it has been employed for centuries as a medicine, dye plant, and beverage tea. Although most goldenrod species are native to North America, a few species are native to Eurasia and South America. European goldenrod (Solidago virgaurea) is an important folk remedy for lessening bleeding and diarrhea and healing wounds—earning it the name woundwort.1

Read remaining article via: Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine ~ Goldenrod Benefits for Allergies, Sinus Infections, and Urinary Tract Infections

A Deeper Look At Forest Roots

Black and Blue Cohosh Forest

Sandy loam, a substance created by the breakdown of minerals (rock) mixed with the breakdown of carbon (tree or grass detritus). Sandy loam is what we all want, because it is the best all around substrate for growing the plants we love the most: GoldensealGinsengBlack and Blue CohoshWild YamTwinleafBloodroot, Stonerooot, Mayapple — the entire interconnected clan of powerfully medicinal shade-loving forest roots. My book “Growing At-Risk” gives a chapter on each of these (and other) herbs of the hardwood forest biome. Let’s look a bit deeper into what can be done to bring these entities down home and help them prosper!

Survey the growing area. It may be a woodland with trees, brush and diverse broadleaf species already intact. If this is the case, identify areas overgrown by weedy species or heavily shaded by dead wood or thin-able trees. Such areas have often been left undisturbed for some time, and the soil may be rich and undisturbed. Clear away dead wood and crowded trees, giving access to the forest floor and providing more light to the growing beds. Forest roots like dappled shade, where sunlight moves across the moist and humus-laden soil in amorphous patches.

After all, even shade-loving herbs eat light! Remove existing weedy species and push your spade into the ground. If you have at least 6 inches of good dirt, then it’s a go. Pull the existing mulch away from the planting bed, which should be at

Mayapple Forest

least 4 feet wide, arranged with a path to the side to guide forest creatures and humans away from the planting, not over the top of the sensitive plants. Pile the mulch in the path, and plant the dormant roots in the bed, then rake the mulch back over the top of the bed. Mark the bed with a heavy stake and a label giving the date and the species planted there. Metal tags may be used for this, so that they do not fade or disintegrate with time. You will be oh-so-happy that you marked your planting spot!

 

Read full article via Ricoh’s Blog: A Deeper Look at Forest Roots

Staghorn Sumac Sugar Fritters — Gather Victoria

A Bunyol is a Spanish Sugared fritter, so these are Staghorn Sumac Sugar Bunyols. Imagine a warm doughnut (without the hole) rolled in a silky lemony tasting icing sugar and you’ve got the idea. A bunyol (or buñuelo) is a small yeasty bun traditionally enjoyed in Spain on All Saints Day (Nov.1st) which is dedicated to the memory of the…

via Staghorn Sumac Sugar Fritters — Gather Victoria

Medicine Chest: Herbal First Aid Kit

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

Topical Herbal First Aid Kit

As you delve into the world of herbal medicine, at some point or another you take a look at your medicine cabinet and think, “What kinds of natural remedies should I stock in my first aid kit?” Many herbs offer topical applications for a variety of everyday woes, including aches and bruises, cuts and scrapes, bug bites and rashes. And conveniently, you can cultivate or wildcraft most of these herbs or find them easily at natural food stores and online herb shops. Here are a few basics to consider stocking:

Plantain {Plantago major} leaf, a ubiquitous and easily recognizable weed, is readily available in most lawns, woodland path edges, and pavement cracks. You can apply the freshly chewed or mashed leaves directly to bug bites, bee stings, poison ivy, rashes, and splinters to quickly draw out inflammation, irritation, venom, and foreign objects. How…

View original post 1,755 more words

Botanizing Along The Pennsylvania Turnpike (New video!)

Greetings!

First, I’d like to say “thanks!” to everyone who registered for the upcoming Midwest Wild Harvest Festival in Prairie du Chien, Wisconsin.  The event has officially sold out, though if you’re looking for additional opportunities to learn foraging (specifically mushroom foraging), look no further than the annual Gary Lincoff Memorial Foray on September 21st in Pittsburgh.

Tickets are still available for this latter event in which I, along with Bill Russell (author of Field Guide to Wild Mushrooms of Pennsylvania and the Mid-Atlantic) and Rick Kerrigan (the foremost authority on North American Agaricus mushrooms) will be presenting during the afternoon lecture sessions.

And now on to this week’s brand new video!

I get the feeling that most people wouldn’t consider major highways to be prime habitats for botanical exploration.  Interestingly, however, areas that are perpetually kept in an early stage of ecological succession — especially areas that receive ample amounts of sunlight — can harbor incredible numbers of plant species.

Such is the case with the Pennsylvania Turnpike — a 360+ mile highway that traverses the entire state.

I recently spent some time exploring an area alongside the Pennsylvania Turnpike in search of native plants that thrive during the warmest weeks of the year.  And of course, I decided to film the experience.

If you’re interested in seeing what it’s like to botanize along the Pennsylvania Turnpike in mid-August, check out the brand new video!

 

 

Bad hair day or fungal overgrowth?  Unfortunately for this spider engulfed in mycelium, things aren’t looking too good.  Have you ever seen something like this in your neck of the woods?  Check out this Instagram post to learn more!

Thanks for reading and watching, and as always, thank you for your support!

-Adam Haritan

Caring With Calendula

Crooked Bear Creek Organic Herbs

This vibrant orange blossom pops in the garden add a burst of color to cuisine and is a powerhouse in the medicine cabinet. Learn more about this amazing, autumn-loving species.

Brilliantly striking, calendula’s gorgeous yellow and deep-orange blossoms bring a smile to both gardener and herbalist alike. In the fall, you’ll find this plant gracing many doorways, a staple among other autumn harbingers that herald the colder weather to come. But this dazzling ornamental’s long, storied history and powerful medicine make it a must-have for the home.

Sunshine in the Yard

Visually delightful, sun-loving Calendula officinalis is also commonly called marigold, but don’t confuse it with Mexican marigold {Tagetes erecta}, which is another species entirely. A member of the Asteraceae family along with chamomile, dandelion, and Echinacea, calendula is native to southern Europe and parts of the Middle East, but now grows in temperate climates throughout the world…

View original post 1,964 more words

Foraging Wild Foods & Medicinal Herbs

Your Guide to Sustainably Gathering Wild Edibles and Herbs:

Tools, Tips, Recipes, and Wildcrafting Safety

Calling all foragers!

Are you intrigued by the idea of gathering abundant wild edibles and weedy medicinal plants?

We’ve stocked up all the resources you need to begin your foraging adventures safely and wisely. Tools, field guides, harvesting ethics, and a primer on sustainable wildcrafting are all requisite. Browse our library of resources to start foraging on the right foot!

Grab your baskets, and let’s go!

Via Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine:  Foraging Wild Foods & Medicinal Herbs

Back to School; Finding Your Herbal Path — Good Witches Homestead

Looking for a career in the burgeoning and rewarding field of herbs? Start by finding the right educational program to suit your individual needs and goals. By some estimates, 70 percent of Americans are not fully satisfied with their current jobs, and this lack of contentment impacts not only the workplace but also our personal […]

via Back to School; Finding Your Herbal Path — Good Witches Homestead

3 Herbs to Place in Pots Indoors to Banish Insects from Your Home — Life & Soul Magazine

Summer sure is here and that also means the insects are out. There are numerous ways that you can get rid of these critters from your home, balcony or garden, and the most simplest way is to have pots of herbs indoors or outdoors. Here are three herbs that can help banish the critters: Lemongrass […]

via 3 Herbs to Place in Pots Indoors to Banish Insects from Your Home — Life & Soul Magazine

Sunflower Lore — Good Witches Homestead

COMMON NAME: sunflower GENUS: Helianthus SPECIES: H. annuus-grown for seed and flower FAMILY: Compositae BLOOMS: summer TYPE: annual DESCRIPTION: Characterized by its height and size of the flower, the sunflower has earned a welcome place in the summer garden. Many varieties on the market now offer diversity in color {even a white sunflower!}, size of the flower, and plant […]

via Sunflower Lore — Good Witches Homestead