Sunflower – Helianthus Annuus: Sunshine of Edible and Medicinal Wild Plants

I haven’t found a word for sunflower in Anishinaabemowin, but *giizis means sun and waabigwan means flower. While most folks know sunflower is edible, did you know it’s a medicinal plant as well? *The Ojibwe words link to The Ojibwe People’s Dictionary which is the first place I look if Frances Densmore’s book doesn’t include […]

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

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! The marshes I visit for birding and herping are filled with a wide variety of […]

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Basswood – Tilia Americana: Bee Tree of Foraged Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

In Chippewa, wigub’imij, basswood is also called bee-tree, lime-tree, and linden*. It’s an amazing woodcarving material, and those familiar with just that aspect might be surprised at basswood’s edible and medicinal qualities! Plus, bees! *It’s not the same tree as European Linden but the uses are mirrored. Bee lovers, hear, hear – Basswood blooms are […]

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Jack-In-The-Pulpit – Arisaema Triphyllum: Burning Sensation of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

In Ojibwe, caca’ gomîn, Jack-in-the-pulpit is a scorching edible and medicinal plant that requires patience and expertise to utilize. It’s not for the beginner forager or herbalist. Despite names like Indian or pepper turnip and Starchwort, Jack-in-the-pulpit isn’t just some root you can dig up like burdock and have at. The roots are covered in […]

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White Pine – Pinus Strobus: Ontario’s Tallest Edible & Medicinal Wild Plant

In Chippewa, jingwak’, white pine was the most towering of edible and medicinal plants here 200 yrs ago. Imagine forests of 200-ft tall, 4-ft wide powerful evergreen medicine. Like the now “trending” and controversial sage smudge, pine needles are said to clear negative energy when burned. This tree has so much positive energy. It has […]

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White Spruce – Picea Glauca: A Top Tip Edible & Medicinal Wild Plant

In Chippewa, cingob’, white spruce is one of the first edible and medicinal plants I enjoy come spring. Its fresh green tips are a popular forage – a top tip! These next two edible and medicinal wild plants are very similar: white spruce and white pine. They’re named for the white crust that often coats […]

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