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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Cardinal Flower – Lobelia Cardinalis: Not-so Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Reddest Flower of Wild Plants

Cardinal flower – Lobelia cardinalis

Cardinal-flower (lobelia cardinalis) is a similar but less potent medicinal as its close relation lobelia inlata, and it’s similarly inedible. But it’s got one of the most stunning, if not the most stunning, red flowers of all of Ontario’s native plants. In Haliburton county, cardinal flower (lobelia cardinalis) is an uncommon but memorable sight on …

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Wild Thyme – Thymus SPP.: Edible & Medicinal Uses of the Five-star Kitchen Herb

Wild thyme – Thymus SPP.

It may surprise folks that basic kitchen herbs and spices have any medicinal value. Thyme (thymus spp.) is actually a powerful medicinal herb for respiratory issues and more. Wild thymes (thymus spp.) have one species noted in Haliburton Flora: mother of thyme (t. praecox). The few specimens were found on an open hillside and in …

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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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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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