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The backyard Herbal

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  1. The backyard Herbal Little known medicinal plants in our backyards and other wild places.

  2. Local Vs. Native plants • Native plants are plants that have the origination in the geographical area described. Though they may have spread and adapted to other areas or zones. • Local plants are plants that thrive in, and can be found growing in a particular area regardless of the plants place of origin. • For this course we will focus on local plants as many of the edible plants in our area are not natives though they definitely thrive here. • Will identify which ones are truly natives to this area.

  3. Parts of Plants Commonly Used • Flowers • Stems • Roots, tubers, bulbs, and rhizomes • Seeds • Barks • Leaves • Resins, gums, saps • Fruits

  4. The Simpler Form of Herbal medicine • Most herbs and medicinal plants lend themselves to simple forms of medicine making. • To much over processing and fidgeting can actually destroy some of the medicinal constituents found in some plants. • Keeping things simple lessens confusion and worry about how things are to be done. • We will cover the most simple and useful modes of herbal medicine making.

  5. Simple Modes of Herbal Medicine • Teas or infusions • Decoctions • Fomentations and poultices • Tinctures • Infused oils

  6. Teas or Infusions • Fresh or dried plant matter, plus heated water makes and infusion. • 1-2 teaspoons of herb per cup of water. • Steep 10-15 min. • Strain and drink. • Cover while steeping and do not boil.

  7. Decoctions • This is the same as an infusion only tougher plant materials are used so it requires more and rougher application of heat. • 1-2 teaspoons of herb per 1 ½ cup of boiling water • Lower heat and simmer 10-15 min. • Strain and drink.

  8. Fomentations and poultices • These are both topical applications. • Fomentations use fabric soaked in a strong decoction or infusion. • Poultices use the actual plant matter either fresh or dried heated and pulped into a mass. • Apply to area affected. • Helps to cover with plastic wrap and a thick towel. • Keep on area until cool, and then repeat.

  9. Tinctures • Tinctures are concentrated extracts made with either a combination of alcohol and water, or vinegar that is at 6% acetic acid content or above. • The weight to volume method uses a simple equation. g X 5 = ml of menstrum: 200 x 5 = 1000. • Combine herb and menstrum in glass container and seal. Shake twice daily for 14 days. Strain and press. Usual dose is 1-5 ml or dropper full 3X daily. • This is a 1:5 or 20% tincture. • To make a different percent simple change the equation.

  10. Tincture (Folk method) • Used for mild, tonic herbs. • Put herb in glass container. • Add menstrum until ¼ inch above herb. • Let sit 24 hours to let the herb soak up the menstrum. • Add more menstrum to ¼ inch above herb again. • Shake twice daily for 14 days. This gives approximately a 1:5 or 20% extract.

  11. Infused Oils • Same as tinctures only fixed oils are used for menstrum. • Used topically and great for bruises, sprains, and abrasions. • Can be used as a base for ointment and salves by adding a natural wax such as bees wax.

  12. Plants and Identification • I am not a botanist. • You take the responsibility upon yourselves to properly identify plants. • Plants that have potentially toxic look-a-likes will be shown. • Some plants have edible parts AND toxic parts. • Some plants are edible, but only when prepared correctly. • Seek out further instruction and reference materials.

  13. Yellow Cone (Matricariadiscoidea)

  14. Yellow cone (Matricariadiscoidea) • Pineapple scented annual • 4-6 inches • Leaves finely dissected with linear segments • Flowers tiny without rays, yellow button is a ray less composite flower • Used interchangeably with German chamomile. • Used for upset stomach, stomach pain, gas, colic, indigestion, menstrual cramps, and convulsions. • Use in infusions and tinctures.

  15. Dandelion (Taraxacumofficinale)

  16. Dandelion (Taraxacumofficinale) • Hairless perennial from stout tap root. Milky sap. • Leaves in a basal rosette of oblong to oblanceolate leaves, deeply lobed and toothed. • Familiar flowers in solitary head on hollow, leafless stem • Leaves are diuretic, and help with kidney and bladder issues, as well as water retention. • Roots are used as a hepatic and cleanse the liver and gall bladder. • Teas, decoctions and tinctures are used.

  17. Yellow dock (Rumexcrispus)

  18. Yellow dock (Rumexcrispus) • Stout, hairless perennial from a yellow tap root. • 1 – 5 feet tall. • Leaves are alternate, lance to oblong shaped and have wavy margins. • Flowers on green spikes with single seeded fruit. • Seeds have 3 angled heart shaped bracts. • Used as a liver cleanser and hepatic. • Used internally for skin disorders, rheumatism, diarrhea, indigestion, jaundice and anemia. • Infusions and tinctures are used. • Natives adopted its use topically for skin disorders. • Slightly laxative.

  19. Burdock (Arctiumlappa

  20. Burdock (Arctiumlappa) • Large leaved biennial. • 2-9 feet. • Leaves large rhubarb like, widely ovate, on long petioles. White and wooly below stalk is solid and celery like. • Seed enclosed in burr like head with hooked spines. • Large tap roots. 1-4 feet deep. • Traditionally used as a liver tonic and diuretic. • Stimulates bile secretion and digestion. • Long history of use both internally and externally for skin disorders. • Research has shown root preparations to stimulate live and gall bladder function.

  21. Wild Lettuce (Lactucacanadensis, serriola, virosa)

  22. Wild Lettuce (Lactucacanadensis, serriola, virosa) • Large, stout biennial with abundant milky juice. • Up to 6 feet. • Basal leaves oblong to oval and alternate, sharply toothed, bases clasping stems. • Margins and central rib spiny • Flowers are many and small yellow in open branched groups. • Used as a pain reliever or analgesic. • Has mild sedative action. • Was used widely in the Victorian period as “lettuce opium”. • Used for irritable coughs, insomnia, and nervousness. • Good used as infusions or tinctures

  23. California poppy (Eschscholziacalifornica)

  24. California poppy (Eschscholziacalifornica) • Hairless annual or perennial with whitish film. • Up to 2 feet. • Leaves mostly basal, deeply dissected into many linear lobes. • Four petal flowers are shiny and orange to yellow. • Seed pod long and slender. • Used for sedative properties. • Taken for stomach aches and other mild pain. • Anxiety, sleeplessness, and for hyper activity. • Studies have Identified sedative but non-narcotic alkaloids. • Has no opiate alkaloids.

  25. Common mallow (Malvaneglecta)

  26. Common mallow (Malvaneglecta) • Weedy annual • Leaves alternate and shallowly palmate, 5-7 lobes, margins are scalloped. • Flowers small and pink to white with petals notched on tips • Seeds in cheese like wheels covered by bracts. • Leaf and root tea used to treat coughs, sore throats, colds, bronchitis, laryngitis, asthma, digestive tract irritations and kidney and bladder infections. • High in mucilage content and is astringent. • Antimicrobial.

  27. Plantain. (Plantago major)

  28. Plantain. (Plantago major) • Hairless perennial. • Up to 18 inches. • Leaves broadly oval in basal rosettes with prominent parallel veins converging at base. Bases rounded at thickened stalks margin wavy. • Flowers dense in elongated spikes. • Leaves have astringent and wound healing properties. • Is antimicrobial. • One of the best herbs for a field expedient poultice for stings. • Astringency is good for internal mucous membrane irritations. • Traditional diarrhea remedy.

  29. Oregon grape (Berberisaquifolium)

  30. Oregon grape. Berberisaquifolium • Evergreen upright or spreading • 2-10 feet. • Inner bark and roots bright yellow • Leave pinnately compound, leathery and holly like 5- 11 leaflets, flat and oblong with spine tipped teeth. • Flowers yellow at branch tips. • Berries blue to purple covered with whitish film • Roots contain yellow alkaloid berberine. • Has antimicrobial properties and well as liver tonic and blood cleansing qualities. • Used for digestion problems and gal stone cases. • Used internally for skin disorders. • Bitter and induces bile flow.

  31. Yarrow (Achilleamillefolium)

  32. Yarrow (Achilleamillefolium) • Aromatic perennial, with alternate leaves that are finely pinnately dissected and fern like. • Flowers white to slight pink cast in dense flat top clusters. • Up to 3 feet. • Has wound healing, antimicrobial, and haemostatic properties. • Diaphoretic action used for fevers, cold and flu. • Poultices on wounds and bruises. • Bitter and induced bile flow. • Fresh leaves are good for bladder and kidney infections.

  33. Mullein (Verbascumthapsus)

  34. Mullein (Verbascumthapsus) • Stout, densely white wooly biennial. • Leaves in basal rosette the first year. • Alternate leaves on center stalk second year. Leave bases fused against stem. • Flowers flat and on stalk tip or spike, yellow and hairy. • Leaf use for lung and breathing complaints, bronchitis, asthma, colds and coughs. • Flowers infused in oil for traditional earache remedy. • Anti-inflammatory to mucous membranes. • Expectorant qualities.

  35. Comfrey (Symphytumofficinale)

  36. Comfrey (Symphytumofficinale) • Large rooted perennial 1-3 feet tall. • Leaves large rough and hairy, broadly oval to lance shaped. • Bell like flower in furled clusters, purple, blue, pink or white. • Roots and leaves used for there skin soothing and wound healing properties. • Has expectorant qualities but also contains potentially harmful alkaloids. • Can be confused with the leaves of Digitalis which would be fatal.

  37. Black elderberry (Sambucusnigra)

  38. Black elderberry (Sambucusnigra) • Deciduous shrub often lacking a main trunk. • Up to 25 feet. • Leaves are pinnately compound with 3-9 leaflets ecliptic to ovate. Tips pointed and midrib often curved. • Creamy white flowers in flat top clusters. • Berries appear blue but are nearly black and covered with a fine wax. • Berry extracts have shown anti viral activity. • Flowers are used for fever reduction and cold and flu symptoms. • All other parts of the plant are toxic and the good parts must be heated first to rid them of the toxic compounds.

  39. Wild licorice (Glycyrrhizalepidota)

  40. Wild licorice (Glycyrrhizalepidota) • Sticky perennial with aromatic, sweet rhizome. • Leaves alternate pinnately divided into many lance shaped leaflets. • Flowers white to cream on in dense racemes from leaf axils. • Seed pod pea pod like and covered with hooked spikes. • Root preparations used for laxative and intestinal tonic action. • Sore throats, cold and coughs. • Anti-inflammatory, expectorant, antibacterial, and antiviral effects • Over use can exacerbate hypertension and sodium retention.

  41. Not All But Some • Plants included here are a some of the most easily identified and used native and local plants. • This list is in no way exhaustive, and further research can show a plethora of useful plants available in your own back yard.

  42. Simpler offers a wide variety of services, including medicinal herb consulting, where Simpler Sam can visit your property or take you and a group into the local woods, and show you the edible and medicinal plants located there. These consultations include information on identification and the use of the plants identified.