Lady’s Slippers – Cypripedium SPP.: Medicinal Uses of the American Valerian of Wild Plants

Hardy slipper orchids (Cypripedium SPP.) are presently typically called lady’s slippers. Moccasin flower and “many fine roots” are a couple other folk names for these orchids. The most common Cypripedium around Haliburton, Ontario is yellow lady’s slipper (Cypripedium parviflorum). I’ve spotted clusters of them along trails, somewhat hidden in partial shade. You may also find …

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Common Valerian – Valeriana Officinalis: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Valium of the 19th Century

Common valerian (Valeriana officinalis) is a rare garden escape around Haliburton, Ontario. The pictures here are of plants I grew and harvested for medicinal root tea. Valerian is one of my primary go-to herbal medicines. If I am having an anxious time, especially acutely, this is the medicinal tea I brew. Doctors used to recommend …

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Skullcaps – Scutellaria SPP.: Medicinal Uses of the “Perfect Nervine” of Wild Plants

Skullcaps - Scutellaria SPP.

All six species of skullcaps (Scutellaria SPP.) presently noted in Ontario on iNaturalist are native plants. The main two being the common/marsh skullcap (Scutellaria galericulata) and side-flowering/mad-dog (Scutellaria lateriflora). You can find them in wet shores, swampy areas in the woods and sometimes on sandy roadsides. These two common skullcaps around Haliburton are used similarly …

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Asters ft. New England Aster – Symphyotrichum SPP.: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the “Move Over, Mums”

Asters ft. New England aster - Symphyotrichum spp.

In Chippewa, there’s name’g osibug meaning “sturgeon leaf”, referring to an aster that was served with fish. New England asters (symphyotrichum novae-angliae) names include wini’sikens and waanisikensiwang. Asters are all-stars for pollinators and they’re also somewhat edible and medicinal. The American asters (symphyotrichum spp. formerly included in aster spp.) are native to the Americas. A single …

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Agrimonies – Agrimonia SPP.: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Stickseed of Wild Plants

Agrimonies – Agrimonia SPP.

Agrimonies (agrimonia spp.) are another oft overlooked edible and medicinal herb. Starting around medieval times common agrimony was a popular heal all. For sometime it was available at apothecaries or pharmacies. Despite its decline in popularity it is still used by herbalists today. Like the lettuces we posted two weeks ago, most agrimonies found in …

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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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