Witch Hazel – Hamamelis Virginiana: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Most Popular Astringent of Wild Plants

Witch Hazel - Hamamelis Virginiana

Witch hazel is one of those edible and medicinal plants that many people have used frequently without even thinking once about herbal medicine. Witch hazel (hamamelis virginiana) isn’t listed in Haliburton Flora. We’re on the border of its natural distribution. It didn’t take off as an understory shrub here around Haliburton like, say, its floral …

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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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Pearly Everlasting – Anaphalis Margaritacea: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Moonshine of Wild Plants

Pearly Everlasting - Anaphalis Margaritacea

In Chippewa, wa’bigwun meaning “flowers”, pearly everlasting is a unique looking edible and medicinal plant. While not used much these days for food or medicine, it’s still a hit for American Lady butterflies and florists alike. Pearly everlasting (anaphalis margaritacea) is especially common along roadsides and damp ditches. It’s named for its pearly colored flower …

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Common Hop – Humulus Lupulus: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Not Just Beer of Wild Plants

Common Hop – Humulus Lupulus

Common hops isn’t that common here, but you may find this edible and surprisingly medicinal plant near where old timers booze stills were hidden. Around Haliburton you may find hops randomly on a dry gravelly roadside. Where I tend to find it is on old farmsteads that were once home brewing. It’s still uncommon here, …

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Blue Vervain – Verbena Hastata: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Tranq of Wild Plants

Blue vervain – verbena hastata

Blue vervain (verbena hastata) is an edible and medicinal plant that is highly valued for its tranquilizing effect on the nervous system. Ontario’s native blue vervains are pollinator friendly beauties. Finding blue vervain in the wild around Haliburton was uncommon when Haliburton Flora was compiled, but I have seen numerous small wild patches so it …

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Coltsfoot – Tussilago Farfara: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Salt of Wild Plants

Coltsfoot - Tussilago Farfara

Coltsfoot is another settler import to North America with a longstanding edible and medicinal history. But keep reading because things have gotten complicated due to health concerns about one of the constituents. Coltsfoot has gone out of vogue for a couple reasons. Firstly, antihistamines and new cough syrups surpassed “coughwort” in popularity. And more recently, …

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