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Monday, June 9, 2014

Outdoor Alternatives

April introducing medicinal properties of mugwort.

There is an overwhelming world of medicinal plants it seems. However, April Coburn, of Nettlejuice Herbcraft, is able to pull it all together and focus on the common species of Chester County on a three hour guided hike of the medicinal plants of Bucktoe Creek Preserve.

On the list are several species you may recognize the name of, but not the medicinal properties associated.

Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris) - The root of the plant has been used as a means to boost energy and assist with mental illnesses, while the rest of the plant is used for stomach and intestinal aliments.

Red Clover  (Trifolium praetense) - The perennial plant with a purple/red flower has several medicinal purposes due to the high level of nutrients such as calcium, potassium, and vitamin C. This plant has an overall positive effect, and with continued use will rid your body of toxins by helping to clear the lungs and liver, and improve circulation.

Red Clover and Common Milkweed.
Common Milkweed (Asclepians syriaca) - There are a few reasons why monarch butterflies love to feed on this plant, but an interesting reason is the uptake of toxins into their body to make them distasteful to predators. The milky sap contains a mild poison that may be toxic when taken internally without preparation. The sap can be externally used to remove warts, for ringworm, and for bee stings. The buds can be consumed to alleviate chest discomfort.

April speaking about Shepherd's Purse (ground plant)

Shepherd's Purse (Capsella bursa-pastoris) - This plant is used for heart and circulatory problems, and also for minor uses for headaches.
Giant Ragweed. 

Giant Ragweed (Ambrosia trifida) - For external assistance, ragweed leaves can be used to sooth insect bites and poison ivy rashes. As for external use, the roots can be blended as a tea to calm nausea and fever, and Native Americans used it as a laxative.

If you enjoy wild foraging walks, TLC has two more in 2014. Wild Mushroom Forage will be held August 9th from 9am - 1:30pm with a special cooking demonstration at The Woodlands at Phillips, and the Wild Edible Forage will be held September 27th from 3pm - 6pm with Lee Peterson, author of the Peterson Field Guides to Wild Edible Plants. Both located at Bucktoe Creek Preserve!

Be sure to join TLC for our upcoming Cool Season Grass walk on Thursday, June 19th from 9:00am - 12:00pm with local botanist, Janet Ebert, as we identify and learn about common grasses (and other plants we may see!) of eastern Pennsylvania. Click here to register! 

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