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Local Plants

04 June 2014

Dandelion Dip

Written by Corinna Wood, Posted in Corinna's Corner, Do It Yourself, Local Plants, Nourishing Foods

dandelion flowerHow can you not love dandelion? Friendly and familiar and so very versatile, those cheerful yellow flower heads practically beg “come on, pick me!” This time of year, dandelion is abundant and offers so much nourishment, I’m constantly harvesting her leaves and flowers for my salads.

I enjoy the tangy bite of her flavor, but I do realize that some of you may find her taste rather bitter. While the Western palate isn’t attuned to bitter elements (with the exception of coffee, which we often adjust with sweeteners and dairy), Chinese medicine recognizes the value of bitters in good digestive health and includes them in a well-balanced diet.

01 May 2014

Sweet Ox-eye Daisy

Written by Corinna Wood, Posted in Corinna's Corner, Herbal Medicine, Local Plants

cw cropped hatAfter the dormant months of winter, springtime is so sweet—made even sweeter by the appearance of that delightful lady, the oxeye daisy. I feel elated this time of year when I catch sight of her curvy, dark green leaves.

It was her flower — a beautiful, large yellow center surrounded by spreading white petals — that first drew me to her. Then I came to recognize the unique shape of her leaves. Oxeye daisy has toothed leaves like dandelion, but each of the little lobes are distinctly rounded and spoon-shaped.

 

12 March 2014

Wild Salad Time

Written by Corinna Wood, Posted in Corinna's Corner, Do It Yourself, Local Plants, Nourishing Foods

WildSaladHarvestedbyandforClass

Wild salad time already? Yes, with Spring Equinox right around the corner, the chickweed is already starting to sprout up! When I see her lush, green leaves I feel excited. It’s like seeing a beloved friend return, offering abundance and nourishment, in so many ways.
 
Wild salads are what inspired my interest in herbal medicine and nutrition in the first place. I wanted to be able to look around my yard and know what to eat. It reinforced my connection to the land on which I dwell and, over the years, wild edibles have added to my relationship to the divine as well. I find that the sacred and our bodies are one and the same; the experience of harvesting and eating these gifts of the Earth is deeply nourishing—physically, and spiritually.

18 November 2013

Poke Root

Written by Corinna Wood, Posted in Corinna's Corner, Do It Yourself, Herbal Medicine, Local Plants

PokeRootLate fall is the best time to harvest roots. One of my apothecary favorites is a low-dose botanical - the root of the Poke plant. Often considered toxic, I discovered that in the South poke root has traditionally been used in tiny doses as an immune stimulant. This powerful plant actually has a wide range of medicinal uses -- but you have to treat it with respect or risk unpleasant side effects (see below).

Herbs can rival the effectiveness of antibiotics, and they're generally much gentler on the body. Some folks turn to goldenseal for this purpose, but it is an endangered species. Poke, on the other hand, is a weed -- the problem is not having too little of it, but too much. And for most purposes, poke is at least as good, if not better.

23 August 2013

Plant Communication

Written by Flora, Posted in Corinna's Corner, Herbal Medicine, Local Plants

blog plant communication"Open to the world of plants and see what it has to say. After all, your heart chakra is green!" This statement, uttered during a plant communication class, resonated with an unstruck chord. Months later, I found myself at SE Wise Women's Spring Herbal Immersion where we experienced this practice. Corinna led us to a shady area overflowing with a tall, green, proud plant. We laid under her stalks, relaxed our bodies, and as the drum played, we began to listen.

04 July 2013

A Circle of Friends

Written by Corinna Wood, Posted in Corinna's Corner, Herbal Medicine, Local Plants

6006 336360376466583 1820463906 nI have an intimate circle of friends. Nettles, comfrey, dandelion, burdock, violet, chickweed.... These friends are my plant allies, a circle of a dozen or so plants that meet most of my wild food and medicinal needs. I prefer to align myself with these backyard herbal friends over some of the more exotic, foreign, rare or declining plants. The allies in my circle make themselves at home right at my door-step, they are local and abundant.

16 May 2013

Meddle with Nettle

Written by Corinna Wood, Posted in Corinna's Corner, Herbal Medicine, Local Plants, Nourishing Foods, Women's Wellness

DSC 5110Anyone who loves green, growing things becomes enchanted in springtime. I love to go foraging during those first warm days, and, well, sometimes I become distracted. One particularly fine afternoon recently, a friend and I were blissfully picking violets near an old barn when my arm brushed against a nearby plant, and I felt a familiar tingle – an electricity – where we had touched. Nettle! How could I have missed her? Not one to be ignored, she quickly got my attention, and that of my friend as well.

Before I begin extolling her virtues, perhaps I should address her antisocial side. It’s unfortunate - nettle’s inhospitable demeanor belies her true nature as an incredibly generous herbal ally. Few plants provide such a rich resource to help nurture our wellness and nourish our bodies.

 

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