Monday, June 25, 2012
I just identified this plant, and I'm pretty excited at my first forays on the internet as far as researching its medicinal properties. At this interesting site I found other types of Camphorweed listed among wild medicinals. I'd like to know specifically what the Pluchea baccaris' properties are and any traditional uses. I'm delighted to find mention of some of the camphorweeds properties being listed as a substitute for Arnica...how exciting!
This will bear more investigating!
If you have any additional information or sources for me to check, I'd love to know!
Update August 21,2012
Here's a link I found that includes some preparations: http://findmeacure.com/2007/10/06/camphor-weed-pluchea-camphorata/
In Old English, the suffix wyrt meant plant and was used to denote a plant used medicinally. Its older origin comes from the Germanic, and means "root." Wyrt became wort over time, and there we have what survives as a plant name suffix from long ago.
I'm on a mission to begin identifying the native plants in my surroundings and to investigate any of their known medicinal qualities. Orange milkwort (shown above) is one of the first in this project. All I know so far is that the Creek nation used some part of the plant as an emetic. But the plant in general bears more research because there are some other Polygalas with better-known uses. Here's what Green Dean has written about it so far...
I'd love to know if anyone has further information about Orange Milkwort!
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
|Fresh Moringa leaves from the backyard jungle|
I have been in the thick of the wonderful readings and herbal school coursework -- what a dream come true! As I progress, I'm definitely in new territory. The concepts of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda are so new to me, it's like reading something in a completely foreign language while simultaneously trying to get my head around a completely foreign set of paradigms.
One of the great benefits so far has been beginning to learn about herbal and dietary Energetics and the importance of balancing the different body systems and all the elements of lifestyle for optimal health and for healing. As I begin to understand these things better, I'll write more here. My silence has been more about the newness of what I'm reading and the time it's taking for some of it to sink in. I do a lot of repeat chapters, but it's so interesting the repetition is not boring.
In addition to the actual knowledge I'm trying to soak up, the fun part and rewarding part will be its application to real life, and that starts with my own family -- and with addressing my own health concerns and imbalances. I do feel for once like the integrated approach of Western herbalism/TCM/Ayurveda will help me arrive at a highly personalized and far more accurate understanding of the root causes of particular health problems, and teach me how to nourish deficiencies and reduce excesses necessary for better health.
The herbs themselves, the plants I'm drawn to time and time again and the original "lure" of these studies initially, continue to engage and comfort me in ways that are hard to verbalize. I have experienced (and continue to) the real benefits plants/weeds as prolific, available, and underestimated in western culture (such as dandelion, plantain, burdock, yarrow, nettles and so many more) effect on human health. I feel consistently confident about the ones which can be safely used, regularly, for tonics/foods/teas/supplements. There are some herbs best used in regulated and specific doses, especially the "low dose" herbs such as wormwood and others. My concentration just now, aside from the guided materials in the herbal school coursework, will continue to be on utilizing the safest herbs for healing, vitality, seasonal/climate-based body changes, and deep nourishing.
There are so many wonderful free resources on the East-West web site -- I'm only now beginning to feel my way around it better. Today I ran across a wonderful document, a comprehensive list of herbal monographs, and I have to share! I love detailed herbal information that's easily accessible, and especially appreciate the inclusion of the specific energetics of each plant...their "heating" or "cooling" characteristics so important to pair with body conditions they will best complement and help heal rather than aggravate or deplete. Here's the link to the list authored by John Freeman entitled East-West Herbal Energetics Monographs. And while you're on the East-West website, check out the rest of the pages, too...enjoy!