American Spikenard – Aralia Racemosa: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Jumble Berry of Wild Plants

American Spikenard – Aralia Racemosa

In Chippewa, o’kadak or aya’bidjidji’bikugi’sin, the later implying adhesiveness, spikenard is another edible and medicinal plant from the sarsaparilla family. We’ve covered its relation sarsaparilla before and eventually we’ll cover its other local close relation American ginseng. Be aware, sometimes wild sarsaparilla is also called “spikenard” (plus a few others plants too, who are less related!) …

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Sweetgrasses – Anthoxanthum SPP.: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Sacred Grass of Wild Plants

Sweetgrasses - Anthoxanthum SPP.

In Anishinaabemowin, wiingashic/wiingashk syn. bashkodemashkosiw, sweetgrass is one of the four sacred medicines. The other three are asemma (tobacco), bashkodejiibik syn. mashkodewashk (sage), and giizhik (cedar). It’s sacred in the traditional spirituality of various first nations across the Americas. And it’s holy grass in Europe too. Its previous genus, hierochloë is a Greek-Latin combo meaning “holy grass”. …

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Horseradish – Armoracia Rusticana: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Sting Nose of Wild Plants

Horseradish - Armoracia Rusticana

Horseradish is a nonnative edible and medicinal plant that has escaped into the wild here in Ontario. It’s known for causing your nose to sting when you eat it. Horseradish (armoracia rusticana syn. cochlearia armoracia, armoracia lapathifolia, and rorippa armoracia), originally called sea radish, is a long way from home in Ontario. It was brought here as a …

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Field Penny-cress – Thlaspi Arvense: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Jet Fuel of Wild Plants

Field Penny-cress – Thlaspi Arvense

Field penny-cress is a slightly edible and medicinal plant may have a future in renewable fuels. Field penny-cress (thlaspi arvense) is listed as uncommon in Haliburton Flora. It is sometimes found along roadsides or on old farmland mixed in with tall grasses. It prefers disturbed areas, so even though it’s not native here it’s not …

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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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Common Juniper – Juniperus Communis: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Spicy Conifer of Wild Plants

Common Juniper - Juniperus Communis

In Chippewa, ga’gawan’dagisid meaning deceptive, common junipers “berries” aren’t as sweet as they appear. (I’m not actually sure that is why deceptive is the descriptive name.) But common juniper is still an edible and medicinal plant, especially popular in Northern Europe. In Haliburton, Ontario, you’ll find communis var. depressa Pursh. It’s been fairly common around here, especially …

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