The celebration continues today with my first giveaway. Read on….
Botany is one area of plant love, I struggle with. So far I’ve been lucky enough to circle with women who have guided me toward recognizing and learning about the plants, or just plain telling me what they are. But identifying them myself is still a challenge. So to help you along your merry way with the botany beast, I’ve created Backyard Botany. It will be a new recurring feature on the blog. I’ll be identifying some super common backyard, backwoods, backbeach, plants you can find just about anywhere. And share a few of their uses.
Our first green friend is plantain. She is a friendly weed you’ll see in the yard somewhere near the dandelions probably. One of the funniest things about this plant, is the more you mow it down, the more powerful and persistant she becomes. And coincidentally, the more useful her medicine is to us. She is best identified by her deep ribbed (or ridge-lined) leaves. There are many varieties, but we usually see a broad leaf and a very narrow leaf type hanging around. You can check out this plantain flikr set I took with a quick 5 minute walk around my yard to help further identify her.
This power plant is an amazing skin healer. She actually works worlds better with my kiddos many bumps and scrapes, in my experience than any other herb I’ve used including the commonly recommended comfrey, calendula and creosote. She will work dried and powdered, but for skin healing she is best used fresh, which is convenient because she grows all year round. To heal open skin wounds, bee stings, draw out poisons from bites, mosquitos, poison ivy, etc tear up a bunch of leaves and either chew them in your mouth until sticky or mash them in some room temperature water. Place this chomped pesto-like creation over the affected area and secure with some gauze. Replace every few hours. She can also be made into an oil or salve for convenient use, as well as dried and powdered to be made into a paste when needed.
Internally she is a wonderful cough aid. Drinking the dried tea will sooth a lingering dry cough that has completely messed up your mucous membranes. In fact, it was the only thing that healed me out of a crazy transitional cough last autumn/winter. For similar reasons, it will also help with indigestion. Plantain is a must have ally for herbmamas. The girls and I have made many impromptu plan(t)-aids with her in the field when we’ve been out playing. She has many uses and is extremely safe for everyone to use both internally and externally.
The winner is Tisha: I love having plantain in the backyard..close to our beehives. It really works for bee stings..ask me how I know lol
In honor of botany and to encourage a little bit of edumacation on the subject, today’s giveaway is for a copy of the book “Botany in a Day” by Thomas Epel. This is considered the best book for beginners and is required reading for most herbal studies courses. It breaks down the plants by family, offering ‘keys’ to help identifying plants based on groupings. I just happen to have an extra, well-loved copy from a friend to give away. To enter, leave a comment below. One additional entry will be given each if you’ve signed up for my newsletter, liked HM on facebook, and shared this giveaway on one of your favorite eShare tools (like facebook or twitter etc) for a total possible entry count of 4 per person. Be sure to let me know how you’ve linked up and shared in the comments. All giveaways during the grand opening week will close at midnight PST Friday the 22nd. Winners will be drawn over the weekend and announced on Monday the 25th. Thanks for playing!
Love and Besos,