These five wild medicinal plants are so common, you’ll find them readily growing in many places.
It’s the flowers of these plants that are used as herbal medicine. Their many uses make them important to know. By learning these five wild medicinal plants, you will have dozens of herbal remedies at your fingertips. They’re all very safe and effective.
Be sure you know how to positively identify them before collecting from the wild. You can reference plant identification guide books, go on plants walks or take a course that includes identification of wild medicinal plants.
Red clover is native to Europe, Northern Africa and Western Asia. Yet it is now commonly found in many different places around the world. While the flowers are highly nutritious and edible, it’s the medicinal qualities that are most notable.
Red clover is used for the respiratory system, especially for bronchitis, whooping cough or any type of congestion. It can be used long-term for those with allergies, constantly runny noses or as a respiratory tonic.
Red clover is also a blood purifier. Because of this, it’s helpful for many skin conditions that are caused by impurities in the blood including acne, eczema and psoriasis. While red clover can thin the blood slightly, it would not be used as a replacement for prescription blood thinning medication. However you do want to take caution and talk to a qualified practitioner if you are on that type of medication.
Red clover has been studied for its anticancer and anti-tumor properties. It’s most well known for this purpose as part of the Hoxie Formula, an alternative cancer therapy. Some also use red clover for cysts and fibroids. Red clover can be used alone or in combination with calendula, violet and mullein leaf for lymphatic congestion.
Since red clover is a phytoestrogen, meaning that it has estrogen-like activity, many women greatly appreciate the benefits. It should however be avoided in cases where there is excess estrogen or those that have estrogen positive cancers.
St. John’s Wort
St. John’s wort is all about sunshine, in its looks, growth habit and use. Visually, these flowers radiate a burst of sunshine. You’ll find it growing in open sunny areas.
St. John’s Wort is best made into a tincture for internal use and into an oil for external use. Internally, it’s most often used for mild to moderate depression. It’s particularly indicated for Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) for those that are feeling down due to lack of sun exposure. It’s also indicated for anxiety, stress and chronic fatigue.
St. John’s wort can be used both internally and externally for nerve issues. This includes sciatica, neuralgia as well as nerve damage due to any kind of trauma or surgery. Externally the oil can be applied to cuts and sprains. It provides relief for burns including sunburn.
If you’re interested in using St. John’s wort, be sure to consult your physician if you are taking any pharmaceutical drugs. St. John’s wort can break down pharmaceuticals more quickly and therefore make them less effective.
Yarrow is a beautiful plant that many people grow in their gardens, yet it can be found growing in many places in the wild. The leaves of the plant are some of the most distinctive and therefore one of the easiest to properly identify.
While the leaves are used to help stop bleeding and are antiseptic, the flower is more often used both internally and externally. Internally, yarrow flower helps regulate bleeding, useful for excessively heavy menstruation, hemorrhoids or bleeding ulcers.
Made into a hot tea, it’s effective for fevers. It helps to open the pores to sweat out the virus. A cold tea of yarrow flower has a different effect on the body. It can be used for urinary tract infections due to its anti-bacterial activity.
Externally, a flower salve is used for bruises. Yarrow flower can also be used topically as an insect repellent.
Roses have a rich history and have been cultivated world-wide. The roses growing in wild places are the same species as the beautiful cultivated roses seen in so many gardens.
Whether using wild or cultivated, the petals of the flowers are wonderful added to tonifying beverages that help support the whole system. They are sweet and aromatic.
Rose petals are excellent in skincare. The hydrosol tones the skin and tightens pores. Ground dried petals in facial cleansers and herbal facial steams are highly beneficial.
Rosehips are nourishing and building to the system, used for immune deficiencies, vitamin C deficiencies, lung ailments, colds, coughs, flu and fever. Rosehips are high in antioxidants, countering the effects of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and cognitive decline.
The leaves have astringent and anti-inflammatory properties, helpful for inflamed conditions of the respiratory tract including sore throat and excessive mucus secretion. The tannins, which are astringent, aid urinary disorders, strengthen kidneys and help reduce edema.
Elder has a rich tradition in folklore. You can find the bushes growing in a variety of habitats from edges of farm fields or next to forest edges.
The flowers of elder are excellent food and medicine. They are primarily used in cases of fever helping open the pores to sweat the fever out. Use a nice warm tea for this. Elderflower can also be used in a formula as a face wash since it is nourishing and softening to the skin.
The berries are highly antiviral and immune boosting. The leaves can be used externally for sprains.
Feel free to leave any comments or questions below. If you would like to learn more about herbal medicine, check out the Home Herb School at www.homeherbschool.com