Health & Wellbeing

4 Native Medicinal Plants for Emergency Medicine


This is the handout that I shared with everyone at our last Medical Class. We discussed four native plants that can be found in Southern Oregon and used for wounds, pain, inflammation, blood clotting and more. Many people have requested the Herbal Recipe Cards I created so I published a post for those also.

Native Medicinal Plants

 

Chickweed

ChickweedCommon Names: Chickweed, Starweed

Botanical Name: Stellaria Media

Medicinal Uses: * Constipation * Diet/weight Loss * Insect/flea Bites * Psoriasis * Skin Care * Spring Tonics

Properties: Anti-inflammatory * AntiCancer * Refrigerant

Parts Used: whole herb

Chickweed is best known for its ability to cool inflammation and speed healing for internal or external flare-ups.

 

Chickweed tea is an old remedy for obesity. Drinking teas of fresh chickweed is one of the classic spring tonics to cleanse the blood.

ChickweedChickweed poultices are useful for cooling and soothing minor burns, skin irritations, and rashes particularly when associated with dryness and itching.

Learn to identify and make use of this common “weed” that is probably growing in your back yard to ensure a free lifetime supply of salves, spring salads and teas. Chickweed is an effective and gentle laxative.

Fresh chickweed can be eaten in summer salads and can be fed to companion animals to assist in the expulsion of hair balls, and soothe the digestive tract. The seeds are food for finches and many other seed-eating birds.

Preparation Methods & Dosage : Fresh herb teas, salad greens, poultice, ointments and salves.

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Dandelion

DandelionCommon Names: Dandelion Root, Priest’s Crown, Swine’s Snout

Botanical Name: Taraxacum officinale

Medicinal Uses: * Acne * Alcoholism * Ayurvedic * Bladder Infection (UTI) * Bronchitis * Bruises/sprains * Cholesterol * Colds * Culinary/Kitchen * Detoxification * Diabetes * Digestion * Hypertension * IBS * Liver * Longevity Tonics * Osteoporosis * PMS * Pregnancy/Childbirth * Spring Tonics * Warts

Properties: *AntiCancer * Bitter * Diuretic * Tonic

Parts Used: roots, flowers, leaves

While the dandelion is considered a weed by many gardeners and lawn owners, the plant has several culinary and medicinal uses. Usually the young leaves and unopened buds are eaten raw while older leaves are cooked. Raw leaves have a slightly bitter taste. The leaves are high in vitamin A, vitamin C and iron, carrying more iron and calcium than spinach.

Dandelion root helps the body dispose of unwanted skin bacteria. It also stimulates digestion and supports the liver – the major organ that helps rid the body of toxins and excess hormones, including the androgens that trigger acne breakouts. As a specific herb for the liver, it also benefits the female reproductive system by helping to regulate and normalize hormone production.

Dandelion root contains bitter principles that have a tonic effect on the liver and digestive system. It is gentle laxative and a natural diuretic that is rich in natural potassium, which enriches the body’s supply.

“Along with a bitter principle it contains substances that act like enzymes, stimulating the function of large glands above all the liver and kidneys. In addition these constituents stimulate cell metabolism as a whole, which is evident not only in the kidneys and liver but in other organic regions including the connective tissues. This may be responsible for the beneficial effect dandelion has on rheumatic conditions.” (Weiss, Rudolf Fritz M.D.)

Preparation Methods & Dosage: Dandelion Tea
Drink dandelion root tea to eliminate the toxins that cause skin breakouts and acne. A cup of dandelion tea in the morning can increase regularity. It is a natural diuretic, and gentle laxative that doesn’t rob the body of potassium. Use 1 teaspoon of dried and chopped root to each cup of water. Bring to a boil over a low heat. Steep for 10 minutes

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Mullein

mulleinCommon Names: Mullein, Flannel Leaf, Mullein Dock, Aaron’s Rod, Cowboy’s Toilet Paper

Botanical Name: Verbascum spp.

Medicinal Uses: * Congestion * Cough * Ear * Pet * Sore Throat * Stop Smoking

Properties: * Anti-inflammatory * Antibacterial * AntiViral * Astringent * Demulcent * Expectorant

Parts Used: Leaves, flowers, roots

All parts of the plant offer an abundance of healing medicine. An infused oil of Mullein flowers and garlic is perhaps one of the first remedies to think of in treating an ear infection.  It can ease pain and speed recovery time.

The leaves are used in treating congestion and dry coughs, as they are an excellent expectorant. A strong tea, the tincture, and even smoking the dried leaves can achieve this end. Mullein is especially good for treating dry coughs that shake the frame of the body.

Mullein is also an excellent remedy for the lymphatic system and can be applied as a compress to any instance of glandular swelling.

mullein2Mullein flowers infused in olive oil are also used to ease the pain of swollen rheumatic joints.

Mullein root can be used as a long term tonic for individuals with urinary incontinence and recurring bladder infections. Mullein root is also markedly effective in treating spinal injuries, prepared either as an infusion or taken in small doses as a tincture.

A fresh poultice of the mashed leaves make an excellent antimicrobial, astringent first aid remedy for minor burns and insect bites.

Preparation Methods & Dosage: Fresh mullein flowers can be made into extracts, infused in oil, or taken as a tea. Often combined with garlic in oil and with other herbs in teas for coughs: anise, coltsfoot, marshmallow, and comfrey.

 

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Yarrow

yarowCommon Names: Yarrow, Milfoil, Old Man’s Pepper, Nosebleed

Botanical Name: Achillea Millefolium

Medicinal Uses: * Chinese * Colds * Cuts & Wounds * Dysmenorrhea * Hypertension * Menorrhagia

Properties: * Anti-inflammatory * Antibacterial * AntiCancer * Antiperspirant/Deodorants * Antirheumatic * Antispasmodic * Astringent * Bitter * Cathartic * Depurative * Digestive * Emmenagogue* Febrifuge * Hypotensive * Insect repellents * Midsummer * Nervine * Styptic * Vulnerary

Parts Used: aerial parts, essential oil

Yarrow was once known as “nosebleed”, its feathery leaves making an ideal astringent swab to encourage clotting. Yarrow skin washes and leaf poultices can staunch bleeding and help to disinfect cuts and scrapes; taken as a tea it can help slow heavy menstrual bleeding as well.

Yarrow is a tonic bitter with additional anti-inflammatory, carminative and antispasmodic properties that make it useful as a secondary herb in digestive teas.

common-yarrow-plantYarrow is a good herb to have on hand to treat winter colds and flu; a hot cup of yarrow tea makes you sweat and helps the body expel toxins while reducing fever.  The chemical makeup of yarrow is complex, and it contains many active medicinal compounds in addition to the tannins and volatile oil azulene. These compounds are anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and help relax blood vessels.

Preparation Methods & Dosage: Tea can be made from both fresh and dried cut leaves and flower heads. The bitter taste can be masked with sweeter herbs and a bit of honey. Fresh leaves also can be used as a poultice to stop bleeding and chewed to relieve a toothache. Yarrow essential oil is used for external application for many of the same purposes. Yarrow can also be taken as an extract.

Yarrow Side Effects: Avoid in pregnancy, can cause allergic skin reactions in sensitive people who suffer from allergies related to the Asteraceae family. Moderation is the key to safe use. The thujone content can be toxic over an extended period of time

 

Sources: For more information on herbs and remedies go to: http://www.anniesremedy.com

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About myoung

Ben and Marcy Young are the owners of Southern Oregon Survival.

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