Know Your Weeds

| 4/27/2016 8:53:00 AM

DawnDisclaimer: I am but an incidental farm girl … I have studied and learned information from generations of other former farmgirls, I am not a doctor, use your judgment and seek a professional’s opinion if you feel inclined to do so … the following is just my knowledge and research on common medicinal weeds.

There was a time, not even 100 years ago, where most people could remedy common problems with the knowledge they had and some weeds they foraged. Grandma's medicine cabinet was much simpler than ours today, and with far fewer side effects too. My grandmother tells stories of the fern-like plants that flowered tiny white flowers with yellow centers growing by the outhouse in her childhood, when there was a stomach issue she was to eat 4 yellow centers of the flowers, not more than that, and the stomach and bowel issues would be put at bay.

This knowledge seems to have been lost in the proverbial cracks of time as we have moved forward, industrialized, and become far removed from not only our food sources but also our ancestors’ ways of living and caring for our bodies. This is knowledge we should seek and hold tight too, there was a reason that grandparents and parents taught it to their children, we just have to look a little harder these days as many of those readily knowledgeable sources didn’t impart the knowledge because they saw that people afforded little value to it in modern times. It's time to get back to knowing our weeds.

Plantain- useful for stings

PLANTAIN (Plantago major)

If you subscribe to avoiding Monsanto’s Roundup and all other chemical treatments, you likely can find this in your backyard or growing in the cracks of your walkway or driveway. Usually considered a nuisance plant, it wasn’t until I saw firsthand what a poultice of this plant can do for wasp stings to a 3-year-old that I was SOLD! This weed can be used successfully for scrapes, cuts, burns, stings and even for relief of poison ivy. It works as a drawing agent and is fantastic for skin. In a pinch, since it is edible, you can chew it up and apply the chewed leaves to a sting for fast relief (as in the case of my son and the attack of the wasps).

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