Week of July 23, 2013 - part 2 - wild sunflowers, sagebrush, mullein, cedar, echinacea and yellow dock

Saturday, July 27, 2013 1:46 PM | Wise Woman (Administrator)
Wild Sunflowers
This photo conveys my impression of Montana: a field of wild sunflowers, wide open spaces backed by comforting mountains, and the bright green of irrigated crops. Sunflower seeds are a favorite of the birds.

(Artemisia tridentata)

The leaves of this wild perennial are burned as smudge. In the hot sun, the smell is the distinctive smell of the deserts of the West. Like all her sisters, sagebrush brings vivid dreams.

Mullein (Verbascum species)
The wild mullein along the road to the ranch where I taught my intensive on Monday was lined with mullein blooming in strange curled forms. I have chosen two of my favorites: the question mark mullein and the mullein lovers. Note the sagebrush in the background. Mullein restores and repairs the lungs. I harvest it in flower, dry it, make an infusion overnight, and then heat it with milk and honey.

Cedar/juniper (Juniperus)
The berries of this wild evergreen are eaten, one or two at a time, as a tonic, especially to the urinary tract. Juniper thrives in dry climates. 

Echinacea (Echinacea species)
The roots of this wild perennial are famous for their ability to counter infection, especially in a tincture. Echinacea is right at home in Montana, but much of the wild population here has been wiped out by unscrupulous harvesters who seem to care little for the environment.

Yellow dock (Rumex species)
The roots and seeds of this wild perennial are ideal for increasing the iron in women’s blood and as a general tonic for the liver and digestion. Dock don’t contain much iron, but they help the iron we have become more active and usable.

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