Tag Archives: medicinal plants

Wild Edible and Medicinal Spring Flowers

Redbud blossoms Jill HendersonJill Henderson – Show Me Oz

With the end of the Great Sleep, spring has asserted herself firmly in the Heart of the Ozarks.  The rising intensity of the sun entices all living things to join in the brief but joyous celebration of new beginnings. Big or small, spring provides the perfect opportunity to search for new and interesting native plants. Continue reading

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Wild Walk: Monarda

Monardaby Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

There is nothing quite as enchanting as a chance encounter with a wild patch of flowering monarda. The electric colors of their shaggy, upright flowers light up the shady places they prefer; dazzling the unprepared eye. Once familiar with the sweet oregano-like scent of this delicately delectable herb one can often smell a colony of monarda long before seeing it. And if the scent doesn’t give it away, the sound of buzzing bees will.

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Granny Women and Biopiracy

Copyright Jill HendersonJill Henderson ~ Show Me Oz

Granny Women were once herbal doctors whose knowledge almost became extinct thanks to big pharma. Today, it is again threatened by restrictive patents from big ag and big pharma genetic bio-pirates looking for the next billion-dollar drug or plant gene that they can patent for billions of dollars in profits – taking away the public’s right to gather, use, and save seed from all native and naturalized plant life on earth. Read on to learn more about the roles that Granny Women (and Men) have played throughout the history of mankind and why the knowledge they passed down to us is once again being threatened with extinction.

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Weeds That Heal: Chickweed

Chickweed FlowersBy Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

There was a time, not so long ago, when almost every woman in charge of a household sought out the wild plants that we generally refer to as weeds.  Rich in vitamins and minerals , many of these plants were welcomed to the table as nutritive spring potherbs.   Others would be gathered and made into healing teas, tonics, infusions, poultices and salves that could be used treat many types of injuries or illnesses.  One of the earliest and most versatile weeds that homesteaders and healers gathered in early spring was the lowly and much maligned chickweed.

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American Dittany: The Wild Oregano

American Dittany Copyright Jill HendersonBy Jill Henderson – Show Me Oz

Fall in the Ozarks is a treasure trove of wild edibles. As the wild mushrooms spring up from the ground, hickory nuts, black walnuts and persimmons are beginning to fall from the trees.  Indeed, even a short walk through the woods can fill the forager’s basket with little effort.  Among the many wonderful edibles ready to harvest this fall, American Dittany is definitely one of my favorites.  This dainty perennial herb is often overlooked by many wild foragers and herbalists because of its small size.  But don’t let appearances fool you – Dittany is a powerful medicinal herb that doubles as a flavorful seasoning in the kitchen! Continue reading