Sweetgrasses – Anthoxanthum SPP.: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Sacred Grass of Wild Plants

Sweetgrasses - Anthoxanthum SPP.

In Anishinaabemowin, wiingashic/wiingashk syn. bashkodemashkosiw, sweetgrass is one of the four sacred medicines. The other three are asemma (tobacco), bashkodejiibik syn. mashkodewashk (sage), and giizhik (cedar). It’s sacred in the traditional spirituality of various first nations across the Americas. And it’s holy grass in Europe too. Its previous genus, hierochloë is a Greek-Latin combo meaning “holy grass”. …

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New Jersey Tea – Ceanothus Americanus: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Redroot of Wild Plants

New Jersey Tea - Ceanothus Americanus

In Chippewa, odiga’dimanido’ refers to prairie redroot, New Jersey teas close relation. Both have red roots and thus redroot as a folk name. They have the same uses and host the same caterpillars. This edible and medicinal plant will certainly end up in our pollinator series for the Wood Folk Diaries! The shrub New Jersey tea …

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Boneset – Eupatorium Perfoliatum: Edible & Medicinal Uses of an Underrated Wild Plant

Boneset - Eupatorium Perfoliatum

In Chippewa, niya’wibukuk. In Plants Have So Much To Give another Ojibway name is given, ogaakananiibiish meaning “shield and lance plant”. Boneset is a slightly edible and mainly medicinal plant. It’s also an underrated addition to pollinator gardens. Boneset (eupatorium perfoliatum) was common in damp areas when Haliburton Flora was compiled. However, I don’t see it …

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American Wintergreen – Gaultheria Procumbens: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Other Snowberry of Wild Plants

American Wintergreen - Gaultheria Procumbens

In Chippewa, wini’sibugons’  meaning “dirty leaf”, American wintergreen is often called Eastern tea berry now. It’s edible and medicinal, but you have to mind the amount you use because the oil is toxic if overdosed. Similar to Aspirin, just a tsp of pure wintergreen oil is the equivalent of 21 and a half adult aspirins. American …

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Motherwort – Leonurus Cardiaca: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Heart Herb of Wild Plants

Motherwort - Leonurus Cardiaca

Motherwort is an edible and medicinal wild plant that I wish was native to Ontario. This herb is so popular it has been planted all around the world. Motherwort is uncommon here, yet it spontaneously showed up in my brush pile beside my driveway one year. It does have lookalikes, particularly in the mint family. …

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Catnip – Nepeta Cataria: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Nightcap of Wild Plants

Catnip - Nepeta Cataria

In Chippewa, gajugens’ibug meaning “little-cat leaf”, catnip isn’t native to Ontario, but at least it’s not aggressive. It’s a surprisingly useful edible and medicinal plant, if you’re not pregnant. And whether or not you’re a cat. Catnip (nepeta cataria) is uncommon around Haliburton, but I find it around old farmsteads. It may also show up …

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