Archive for July 1, 2013

Yarrow

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Everything is blooming at once, so I guess I am going with a “Flowering Herbs” theme this week! Yarrow is commonly found along roadsides. It’s flowers look vaguely similar to the elder flower in that they are creamy white and slightly umbrella shaped, but that is where the similarity ends. Elderflowers are soft and flow-y and tend to grow in ditches with damp ground. Yarrow grows in dry, rocky areas on a single, hard stem.

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It is easy to see from the delicate, feathery leaves how yarrow is also called Thousand Leaf. It has many other names and uses: Soldiers Woundwort & Bloodwort refer to its ability to stop nosebleeds and staunch the flow of blood in wounds when applied directly. Lady’s Mantle might refer to its uses for excessive bleeding during menses, headaches and to produce a “sense of peace” for women in menopause. A bath made with yarrow is said to ease itchiness during chicken pox. Yes, I have been wildcrafting yarrow this week! Would anyone care for a cup of tea?

Elderflower

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Elderflowers are so pretty! I collect handfuls of the drooping umbrellas of tiny, creamy white flowers. I lay them out on old window screens to dry. I will store them in sealed mason jars to use in tea this winter. Not only is elderflower tea delicious with honey, it has medicinal properties used for helping along a stuffy nose and sore throat. It’s perfect to offer at the first sign of a cold or flu. Don’t take all the flowers though- you will want to come back when they fully ripen into berries to make cough syrup!