Indian Tobacco – Lobelia Inflata: Medicinal Uses of the Smoking Cessation Herb of Wild Plants

Indian Tobacco - Lobelia Inflata

Indian tobacco (lobelia inflata) has yet to be renamed, but I imagine it will be decolonized in the future. Another less common name for it is “wild tobacco”. I was going to cover cardinal flower this month, a showier, bright-red close relation. But usage-wise our title plant is stronger. It’s considered toxic yet has medicinal …

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Wild Lettuces – Lactuca SPP.: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Opium of Wild Plants

Wild Lettuces – Lactuca SPP.

In Chippewa, odjici’gomin refers to Canada wild lettuce (lactuca canadensis), one of many edible and medicinal wild lettuces (lactuca spp.) you’ll find in Ontario. They are often confused with chicory, dandelion or sow thistles, but fortunately these tall wild lettuces have no poisonous lookalikes. Although, at a glance rattlesnake roots have a similar look and height. …

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Carpet Bugle – Ajuga Reptans: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Blue Mint of Wild Plants

Carpet Bugle - Ajuga Reptans

The bright blue flowered carpet bugle (ajuga reptans) is another nonnative, edible and medicinal mint that can be found around Ontario. Carpet bugle (ajuga reptans) isn’t listed in Haliburton Flora. There are similar named plants: carpetweed, multiple bugleweeds, etc. It’s another nonnative mint that has since spread here. The first time I saw it, I …

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Alfalfa – Medicago Sativa: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Vitamin and Mineral Supplement of Wild Plants

Alfalfa - Medicago Sativa

Alfalfa is a superfood of edible and medicinal plants, for some people to consume in moderation anyway. There are conditions and drug interactions that clash with this purple. Alfalfa (medicago sativa) is an uncommon sight here in open grassy areas, typically where livestock was foraging on old farmland, and sandy roadsides. It was brought over …

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Speedwells – Veronica SPP.: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Green Tea of Wild Plants

Speedwells - Veronica SPP.

Marsh speedwell is the main native speedwell you’ll find here, but we have quite a few species creeping around Ontario. All are edible and medicinal wild plants. Around Haliburton, the most common speedwells are marsh speedwell (veronica scutellata) and thyme-leaved speedwell (veronica serpyllifolia). I most often spot marsh and thyme-leaved in lawns left to grow …

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Viper’s Bugloss – Echium Vulgare: Edible & Medicinal Uses of Comfrey-like of Wild Plants

Viper’s Bugloss – Echium Vulgare: Comfrey-like of Edible & Medicinal Wild Plants

Viper’s bugloss (echium vulgare) is an edible and medicinal plant that’s a lot like comfrey and borage in usage. It even has the same toxic PAs (pyrrolizidine alkaloids) as comfrey. That’s something to consider besides the spiny bristles covering this plant. If you’re prone to roadside walks, I’m sure you’ve noticed this electric blue flowered …

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