Stinging nettle infusion
Drink two times a week to increase your systemic iron!
I imagine more iron means more oxygen (because of hemoglobin, too lazy to look up the exact mechanism though), and an increase in oxygen delivery does wonders for the brain. However, moderation is key, because an excess of iron encourages bacterial virulence.
I apologize for the small absence, I have a big exam on Wednesday. After that, I’ll get back to updating!
Spring break is almost over, so I collected a lot to take back with me to dry and store. I live in the city, so it’s rare to see a lot of green like around here, and if I do see it, it’s mostly polluted because of cars or dog waste. Not something I’d want to stick in my mouth.
White clover (Trifolium repens)
Clover is really tasty, just pluck a piece of the leaf and taste it. The leaves can be tossed in salads or pretty much used as a topping on anything to add some flavor. I use the flowers though, for infusions. The infusions are good for detoxing your blood and for relaxing you, as they have act as a sedative (great for muscle spasms and cramps too). As with most medicinal herbs, they can be used to alleviate a number of symptoms as well, clover isn’t limited to what I mentioned. Red clover seems to be used more in medicinal herbalism, but white clover works just as well in my opinion.
I think everyone’s heard of chamomile, I, however, just this week have seen chamomile flowers for the first time. Chamomile is used in infusions to relieve tension and stress, relax you, treat a lot of internal inflammation. Oils and baths can be made for eczema, psoriasis, etc. Basically chamomile is another one of those wonderful flowers that if your body upsets you somewhere, you can drink an infusion of chamomile and it’ll help. They smell wonderful too, although you might get some yellow pollen on your nose afterwards.
Many don’t realize that even roses can be used medicinally, they’re not only for aesthetics. Picking off a petal and eating it raw instantly soothes a sore throat. Among many other uses, a rose infusion can help sore throats and coughs. I also noticed that when I drink a rose infusion before bed, I end up sleeping like a rock.
It’s unfortunate these roses don’t make hips (they are most likely hybridized roses), because their hips are extremely high in vitamin C and are a great way to bolster the immune system.
Shepherd’s Purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris)
Can be eaten raw or cooked, it has a strong and tangy taste, almost like a spiced broccoli and pepper. Many medicinal uses.
First of all, welcome.
Let me introduce myself. I am a young man living in Texas, pursuing a biology degree (I’m currently in my fourth year, almost there). My original life goal was to be a doctor (a surgeon, to be more precise), as science is my passion, specifically biology. Though, it was in this pursuit of a biology degree that I learned so much about science and chemicals and how it affects our lives, not only on a daily basis, but, also on a larger time scale. I have always had a strong connection to nature, however, it wasn’t until recently that I knew what to do with it.
I believe that plants were put on this earth to counter our ailments and to nourish us. I was never a fan of taking over the counter medicine to alleviate headaches, stomach aches, etc. My body would somehow convey to me that these pills and syrups are nothing but toxins for it, and I would listen to it and just ride out the pain or nausea or whatever was bothering me enough to make me consider popping a pill. After all, I’m all about listening to my gut, as it’s been pretty spot-on most of my life (there is also scientific evidence backing that, for more info Gerd Gigerenzer’s published a great book about it called Gut Feelings: The Intelligence of the Unconscious). Not only that, but I observe daily how more and more of the population is becoming diseased, and full of syndromes, and defects.
Before we go on, let’s make one thing clear- most of our pharmaceuticals, the active ingredients in them that make them do what they’re marketed for, have been isolated from plants and animals. Nature has done its part. Humans further tinker with these chemical isolates and add preservatives, colors, and other weird chemicals. We’re taking an almost daily cocktail of chemicals that aren’t necessarily beneficial for us, and over time it pollutes our body, whether you believe it or don’t. And then you wonder why seemingly almost everyone suffers from something that requires medical care of some sort, and why with each successive generation we see more and more birth defects across the population. This, is not an opinion. Most people just haven’t observed it yet.
That being said, if we can collect plants and utilize them for the same uses as pharmaceuticals, but without the toxicity of it all, why not? Most don’t believe in an herbal approach to medicine, they say it’s just “rainwater,” I realize that and respect their beliefs. However, I direct you to the previous paragraph, the first sentence, in bold.
My grandmother is a huge inspiration in all of this. She, in fact, got me to see that plants are more than just weeds or pretty flowers, without her even trying to. She lives next door now, but roughly 23 years ago, she, along with the rest of my family, emigrated from Romania to the United States. Her career in Romania was running an apothecary/pharmacy for my late grandfather who carried many, many doctorly duties in the village, ranging from making house calls for a fever, to minor surgeries. My grandma’s never given up her herbalist ways, and to this day she still amazes me and makes me realize that these treatments are not just “rainwater” or homeopathic myths, they are in fact potent. From when I’d come home from college and hear my sisters remark about how their bites and cuts have healed up so fast and so well with the juices of the plantain that my grandma put on them, to walking with my grandma in her backyard listening to her tell me that she got her voice back in five days (when she had bronchitis. The doctor told her she’d start getting her voice back in about a year) all because she gargled an infusion from a plant (the name slipped my mind) every day; I’m convinced that plants hold an amazing power that is not believed in and commonly overlooked. Aside from books and field guides and internet resources on medicinal herbs, my grandma will be my teacher, my mentor, my ultimate resource, as she holds an extensive knowledge of this art, and it only seems right that I learn all I can from her while she’s still here to pass it down.
If you look hard enough, there is some scientific evidence to some of the treatments, but herbalism is unfortunately an unregulated science. Also, many don’t believe because the herbal supplements they’ve taken or tried to work with haven’t worked for them. Going out and collecting the plants yourself is far more potent than any standardized herbal ingredients sold in stores, that’s why.
This isn’t a charge to force everyone to accept herbalism, I’m simply explaining why I do it, and introducing you to myself, my blog, and my thoughts.
This blog will serve as an online field journal of sorts. I would keep a hard journal, but since this trade is very picture heavy in identifying plants, it’s just more convenient to upload pics straight off my phone into Tumblr. Pics that will help me with plant names if I ever forget what that plant looked like, uses, etc.
Lastly, enjoy. Nature has so much to offer us.