Currants – Ribes SPP.: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Tiny Tart Berry of Wild Plants

Currants – Ribes SPP.

In Chippewa, cigagwa’tigon meaning “skunk-like”, refers to swamp red currant, one of our native currants around Ontario. These edible and medicinal plants aren’t the same “currant” you find dried in grocery stores. Currants (ribes spp.) are spattered everywhere around Haliburton county, Ontario. Gooseberry was covered earlier this year and is also a ribes. But here we’re …

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Wild Grapevines – Vitis SPP.: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Pickle Crisper of Wild Plants

Wild Grapevines - Vitis SPP.

In Chippewa, jo’minaga’wunj is the word for vitis vulpina the wild “fox grape”. In Ontario, you’ll find both wild grapes like riverbank grape and abandoned stretches of old cultivated vines. And they are all edible and medicinal. Wild grapevines (vitis SPP.) like riverbank grape (vitis riparia) are strangely absent from the plant index in Haliburton Flora. Their …

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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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Hawthorn – Crataegus SPP.: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Heart Herb of Wild Plants

Hawthorn - Crataegus SPP.

In Chippewa, thornapple is called mine’saga’wunj, meaning “having fruit and also spikes.” No other shrub in Canada has these awl like thorns. Hawthorn, despite its thorny appearance, is both an edible and strongly medicinal plant. Be very careful with the thorns – don’t poke your eye out! They are scary sharp! Northern shrikes have been …

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Willow – Salix SPP.: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Original Aspirin of Wild Plants

Willow - Salix SPP.

In Chippewa, ozi’sigo’bimle, willow is an edible, medicinal and heavily utilized plant. Its powerful component salicin was synthesized to make the well known OTC medicine Aspirin. “Sal lis” means “near water”. And our many Haliburton waters are surrounded by salix species! The marshes I visit for birding and herping are filled with a wide variety …

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