Friday, April 22, 2011

Your Guide To Herbs And Fruits Of Spring Pt. 2

G'morning my faithful readers; if this is the first time you are here, welcome! Today's post will finish up the reference chart for your Spring herbs and fruits. Have you went wild flower pickin' as of yet? I would love to hear you stories of where you found, what you found, while perusing the woods and wetlands. Something is wrong with my comment area, but if you highlight that area, you will see where to leave the comment.


Herbs and Fruits Of Spring

Cleavers (galium aparine)

Description: Scrambling, creeping member of the bedstraw family. Whorls of thin leaves and clusters of minute white flowers.

Habitat: Common throughout Europe and North America, especially on disturbed land. Parts used: Aerial parts (before flowering in spring)

Preparations: Infusion, as a steamed vegetable, juice.

Medicinal Action: Nourishing, lowers blood pressure, diuretic and generally detoxifying, tonic for lymphatic system and kidneys, use externally for dry skin conditions and for treating the effects of sunburn.

Active Ingredients: Iridoids, polyphenolic, acids, flavonoids.

Feverfew (tanacetum parthenium)

Description: Daisy like flower heads.

Habitat: Prefers sunny habitats.

Parts Used: Flowers, leaves

Preparations: Infusion, tincture

Medicinal Action: Analgesic, antimicrobial, carminative, and can be used as a purgative. For sinus or PMS headaches and migraine and treating rheumatic and arthritic pain.

Active Ingredients: Alpha pinene, parthenolide, camphor.

****Caution: Don't use with blood-thinning drugs****

Shepherd's Purse (capsella bursa-pastoris)

Description: Small annual herb with rosette of basal leaves and four-petalled white flowers, followed by heart-shaped seed pods.

Habitat: Weed of Europe and Asia. Arable weed in temperate regions.

Parts Used: All aerial parts.

Preparations: Infusion, tincture or salad herb

Medicinal Action: Anti-inflammatory, astringent and diuretic; stops bleeding in nosebleeds or after birth; helpful for treating cystitis and reducing high blood pressure.

Active Ingredients: Flavonoids, monoamines, acetylcoline.

****Safety Note: Don't take during pregnancy****

Parsley (petroselinum crispum)

Description: Green leaves and small white flowers.

Habitat: Native to Eastern Mediterranean.

Parts Used: Leaves, roots, seeds

Preparations: Salad herb, infusion decoction.

Medicinal Action: Diuretic, flushes waste, treats arthritis,, rheumatism, flatulence and cystitis.

Active Ingredients: Myristicin, apiole, flavonoids.

****Safety Note: Avoid the seeds if suffering from kidney disease****

Horsetail (equisetum arvense)

Description: Hardy perennial. Has no leaves-joints end with toothed sheaths.

Habitat: Chiefly distributed in temperate northern regions of Asia, Europe and North America. Hardy, will grow in almost any soil.

Parts Used: Stems, herb, ashes

Preparations: Tea, decoction

Medicinal Action: Enriches blood, helps to harden fingernails, revitalizes hair growth and thickness, removes white spots on nails, helps with kidney or bladder trouble, stops bleeding, heals wounds and reduces swelling of the eyelids.

Active Ingredients: Silicic acid, silicates, potassium, aluminum, manganese, fifteen types of flavonoids, saponins.

****Safety Note: Avoid during pregnancy****

Hawthorn (crataegus monogyna)

Description: Deciduous tree with creamy flowers and red berries.

Habitat: Temperate areas of Northern Hemisphere.

Parts Used: Flowers

Medicinal Action: Relaxant, antioxidant, for angina, irregular heartbeat and high blood pressure.

Active Ingredients:Triterpenoids, rutn, quercitin, proanthocyanins, polyphenols.

****Safety Note: Take only under medical supervision****

Willow (salix alba)

Description: Elegant deciduous tree with thin, tapering leaves, producing catkins in spring.

Habitat: Temperate areas of Europe, Africa, Asia and North America.

Parts Used: Bark

Preparations: Decoction, tincture

Medicinal Action: Astringent, analgesic with anti-inflammatory properties. Use to reduce fever in colds and flu. Excellent herb for reducing the effects of arthritic and rheumatic pain. Reduces hot flushes and night sweats during menopause.

Active Ingredients: Salicylic acid, flavonoids and tannins

****Safety Note: Do not use if allergic to aspirin****

Betony (stachys officinalis)

Description: Perennial member of the mint family with toothed elliptical leaves and spikes of pink flowers.

Habitat: Meadows and heathlands on poor soils in Europe and Asia

Parts Used: Leaves and flowers

Preparations: Infusion, tincture.

Medicinal Action: Improves nerve function and memory; for headaches, stress, tension. Digestive tonic.

Active Ingredients: Stachydrine, betonicine, betaine, choline, tannins.

****Safety Note: Don't take during pregnancy****

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