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(Before consuming wild plants, contact your doctor to make sure it is safe, and make positive identification in the field using a good source such as Medicinal Plants of the Mountain West Medicinal Plants of the Mountain West also contains a glossary of medical terms as do all of Michael Moore’s books.)
 
(Please look-up all terms you are not familiar with)
#1
 Common Name: Common Reed
Latin Name: Phragmites australis
Family Name: Poaceae or Gramineae
Native American Names: Behabe (Paiute), Mogoko, (Moapa Paiute) (1)
Range:  http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=PHRAG all states with the exception of Alaska
Appearance and Habitat: Shallow water and wet soil, avoiding extremely poor soils and very acid habitats.  A cosmopolitan, in most regions of the world. A perennial  growing to 3.6 m (11ft) by 3 m (9ft) at a fast rate.  It is hardy to zone 5 and is not frost tender.  It is in flower from Jul to September, and the seeds ripen from Aug to October. It can grow in semi-shade. (2)
Warnings: None (3)
Edible Uses: Root – raw or cooked like potatoes. It contains up to 5% sugar. The flavour and texture are best when the root is young and still growing. It can be dried, ground coarsely and used as a porridge. In Russia they are harvested and processed into starch. Young shoots – raw or cooked. They are best if used before the leaves form, when they are really delicious. They can be used like bamboo shoots. The partly unfolded leaves can be used as a potherb and the Japanese dry young leaves, grind them into a powder and mix them with cereal flour when making dumplings. The stems are reported to contain 4.8 g protein, 0.8 g fat, 90.0 g total carbohydrate, 41.2 g fiber, and 4.4 g ash.  Seed – raw or cooked. It can be ground into a powder and used as a flour. The seed is rather small and difficult to remove from the husk but it is said to be very nutritious. A sugar is extracted from the stalks or wounded stems. A sweet liquorice-like taste, it can be eaten raw or cooked. The stems can be boiled in water and then the water boiled off in order to obtain the sugar. A sugary gum that exudes from the stems can be rolled into balls and eaten as sweets. A powder extracted from the dried stems can be moistened and roasted like marshmallow. (4)
Medicinal Uses: The leaves are used in the treatment of bronchitis and cholera, the ash of the leaves is applied to foul sores. A decoction of the flowers is used in the treatment of cholera and food poisoning. The ashes are styptic. The stem is antidote, antiemetic, antipyretic and refrigerant. The root is antiasthmatic, antiemetic, antipyretic, antitussive, depurative, diuretic, febrifuge, lithontripic, sedative, sialogogue and stomachic. It is taken internally in the treatment of diarrhoea, fevers, vomiting, coughs with thick dark phlegm, lung abscesses, urinary tract infections and food poisoning (especially from sea foods). Externally, it is mixed with gypsum and used to treat halitosis and toothache. The root is harvested in the autumn and juiced or dried for use in decoctions. (5)
Other Uses: Native Americans used stout stalks for arrows for duck hunting.  The arrow shaft was called Weg-we-kobuha and was usually made of two pieces. (6)
Foot Notes: (1, 6) Indian Uses of Native Plants by Edith
Van Allen Murphy, page 52, Pubisher: Meyerbooks, copyright 1990, ISBN 0-916638-15-4
Foot Notes: (2, 3, 4, 5)
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# 2
 
COMMON NAME: DOGWOOD  
 #2 (a)
Common Name: Red Osier Redosier Dogwood, Red-Twig Dogwood, Red Willow
Latin Name: Cornus sericea, C. sericea occidentalis
Family: Cornaceae
Native American Names: Atsa wish tsi danabu (Paiute), Gwinjera (shoshone), Badosanich (Washoe) (1)
Range:  http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=COSE16 (main database) all states west of the Rocky Mountains + Nebraska, Iowa, Illinios, Kentucky, Virginia and all points north
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=COSEO  Western Dogwood- Alaska, Washington, Idaho, Oregon, Montana,California, Nevada
Appearance and Habitat: Redosier or red-twig dogwood is a loose, spreading, multi-stemmed shrub, 6-12 ft. tall, with conspicuous red twigs. Dense, flat-topped clusters of creamy-white blossoms are followed by umbrella-shaped clusters of pea-sized white berries. Autumn foliage is colorful. Redosier is deciduous. Very conspicuous red branches in winter.  Bloom color is white and time of bloom is May to June.  River banks, lake shores, wooded or open, wet areas.  (2) Shores and thickets along streams, rivers, moist sites from 450 – 2700 meters in North America.  A deciduous shrub  growing to 2.5 m (8ft) by 4 m (13ft). It is hardy to zone 2 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from May to June. (3) Red Osier is a spreading woody shrub of 5 -10 feet in height.  The leaves are two to three inch long and taper and are opposite along the stem.  The upper surface of the leaves are darker than the underside, and the underside is also slightly fuzzy.   The leaves are strongly veined and when pulled or torn spread gently apart, a trait of all Dogwoods.  The bark is red to purplish red, but green where there is new growth.  This is not the dogwood of the east, that droops and drops petals in humidity.   They have small four petaled flowers that bunch around the ends of branches that are white to cream colored.  The flowers mature into a  sky blue to white to grey berries that are lighter underneath and darker  on the tops. It grows throughout the mountains of North America.  In mountains where there is a snow pack you will find Red Osier along streams that erupt in the spring.   It does grow lower, but the best medicine will come from higher and  cooler areas where it grows. (4) 
Warnings: None (5)  
Edible Uses: Fruit – raw or cooked. Juicy. Bitter and unpalatable according to some reports, it was mixed with other fruits such as juneberries (Amelanchier spp) and then dried for winter use by native North Americans. The fruit can cause nausea. The fruit is up to 9mm in diameter. Seed. No more details are given, but the seeds are quite small and woody, looking rather less than edible. An edible oil is obtained from the seed. (6) The berries are bitter and when mixed for dry pemmican are usually mixed with other berries which counter the bitterness.  They can be used to make wine. (7)
Medicinal Uses: The inner bark has properties of quinine an is used internally as a tea. (8) Red osier dogwood was widely employed by several native North American Indian tribes who valued it especially for its astringent and tonic bark, using it both internally and externally to treat diarrhoea, fevers, skin problems etc. It is little used in modern herbalism. The bark and the root bark are analgesic, astringent, febrifuge, purgative, slightly stimulant and tonic. Drying the bark removes its tendency to purge. A decoction has been used in the treatment of headaches, diarrhoea, coughs, colds and fevers. Externally, the decoction has been used as a wash for sore eyes, styes and other infections and also to treat skin complaints such as poison ivy rash and ulcers. The bark shavings have been applied as a dressing on wounds to stop the bleeding. A poultice of the soaked inner bark, combined with ashes, has been used to alleviate pain. The plant is said to have cured hydrophobia. (9) Gather bark and root bark in the summer or early fall.  Use only fresh limbs or roots, for medicine.  To dry the bark make parallel shallow cuts around the diameter of the limb or root, then lengthwise every couple inches.  Strip the bark and hang it over cloths hangers, or other wire, that have been oiled to prevent rust, and hang it to dry in the shade.  The leaves can also be collected but they are more for external use.  To dry the leaves, place in a paper bag in the shade or in the house.  Once dried, use the bark of the limbs, roots, along with small twigs to make a cold infusion.   To make a cold infusion first boil water at a ratio of 32 parts water to 1 part bark or twigs.  When the water boils remove it from the heat and mix in the bark.  When it cools, return the level of water back to the original volume, strain out the bark and take up to 3 – 6 ounces 3 times a day for the following conditions: fevers, diarrhea, headache, and at times it works well for bad menstrual cramps.  Once the cold infusion cools, it works best when you warm it up.  It is more astringent and less bitter/nauseating than American dogwood. (10)
Foot Notes: (1, 8 ) Indian uses of Native Plants by Edith Van Allen Murphy  pages 30, 40- Pubisher: Meyerbooks, copyright 1990, ISBN 0-916638-15-4
Foot Notes: ( 4, 7, 10) Medicinal Plants of the Mountain West #2 Editon, by Micheal Moore, pages 218-220, Published by Museum of New Mexico Press, copyright 2003, ISBN 978-0-89013-454-2 (A book you should all own.)                            
 (addition information)  http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Cornus+occidentalis   (Unfortunately Plants For A Future lists uses for medicinal purposes, but leaves off formulas.  I would suggest trying methods described by Michael Moore, maybe not in strength, but is use – ajusting dosage to where you are comfortable.)
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# 2 (b)
 
Common Name: Creeping Dogwood, Canadian Bunchberry
Latin Name: Cornus canadensis
Range:  http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=COCA13 northern states, coast to coast, + Colorado and New Mexico
Appearance and Habitat: The slender 3-6 in. stalks of this perennial, woodland ground cover are topped by a whorl of oval, pointed leaves above which rises a white to greenish, dogwood blossom. Erect stems grow in extensive low patches, with 1 whorl of leaves at top and, just above, a cluster of tiny greenish flowers surrounded by 4 ovate white or pinkish bracts. The flower cluster resembles a single large flower held on a short stalk above leaves. A cluster of bright red berries follows. The leaves, which are dark-green and shiny in summer, become wine-red in fall. It spreads by underground stems.  Among the smallest of a genus of mostly shrubs and trees, Bunchberry makes an excellent ground cover in the moist woodland garden and is equally attractive in flower or fruit. Its natural range extends from Greenland across northern North America to northeast Asia. (1)  Coniferous woods, thickets and damp clearings in peaty soils.  N. America – Newfoundland to Alaska, south to Virginia and California.  A perennial growing to 0.3 m (1ft) by 1 m (3ft 3in) at a fast rate.  It is hardy to zone 2 and is not frost tender. It is in flower in June.  (2)
Warnings: None (3)
Edible Uses: Fruit – raw or cooked. Pleasant but without much flavour. The fruits are rather dry a bit gummy and rather mealy but they have a pleasant slightly sweet flavour, though they are not the type of fruit I would like to eat raw in quantity. They can be added to breakfast cereals or used for making jams, pies, puddings etc. An excellent ingredient for steamed plum puddings. High in pectin, so it can be used with pectin-low fruits when making jam. Pectin is said to protect the body against radiation. The fruit is about 6mm in diameter and is borne in small clusters on top of the plants. (4)
Medicinal Uses: The leaves and stems are analgesic, cathartic and febrifuge. A tea has been used in the treatment of aches and pains, kidney and lung ailments, coughs, fevers etc. A strong decoction has been used as an eye wash. The fruits are rich in pectin which is a capillary tonic, antioedemic, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic and hypotensive. Pectin also inhibits carcinogenesis and protects against radiation. A tea made from the roots has been used to treat infant colic. The mashed roots have been strained through a clean cloth and the liquid used as an eyewash for sore eyes and to remove foreign objects from the eyes. (5)
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# 2(c)
 
Common Name: Green Osier, Pagoda Dogwood
Latin Name: Cornus alternifolia
Range:  http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=COAL2 all states bording the Mississippi River to the East coast, exception Louisiana
Appearance and Habitat: Shrub or small tree with short trunk and flat-topped, spreading crown of long, horizontal branches. Alternate-leaf dogwood or pogoda dogwood is a deciduousshrub or small tree, 20-35 ft. tall, with decidedly horizontal branching. Branch ends are upturned. Bark and twigs are green to reddish-purple. Wide, flat-topped clusters of fragrant, white-cream flowers become clusters of reddish-purple berries. Fall foliage is a dull maroon.  Unlike all other native dogwoods, this species has alternate rather than opposite leaves. The name Pagoda Dogwood alludes to the flat-topped crown, with horizontal layers of branches. The bitter berrylike fruits of this and other dogwoods are consumed in quantities in fall and winter by wildlife. (1) Dry woods and rocky slopes.  Rich woodlands and forest margins in moist well drained soils in Eastern N. America.  Newfoundland to Florida, west to Manitoba and Arkasas.  It is a deciduous shrub growing to 6 m (19ft) by 6 m (19ft) at a fast rate.  It is hardy to zone 3. It is in flower in June, and the seeds ripen in October. (2)
Warnings: None (3)
Edible Uses: None (4)
Medicinal Uses: Green osier was employed medicinally by a number of native North American Indian tribes who valued it particularly for its astringent bark which was used both internally and externally to treat diarrhoea, skin problems etc. It is little used in modern herbalism. The dried bark is used as an astringent, diaphoretic and stimulant. The inner bark was boiled and the solution used as an enema and this solution was also used as a tea to reduce fevers, treat influenza, diarrhoea, headaches, voice loss etc. It was used as a wash for the eyes. A compound infusion of the bark and roots has been used to treat childhood diseases such as measles and worms. It has also been used as a wash on areas of the body affected by venereal disease. A poultice of the powdered bark has been used to treat swellings, blisters etc. (5) 
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#2 (d)
 
Common Name: Silky Dogwood
Latin Name: Cornus amomum
Range: http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=COAM2 states east of the Mississippi River (exception Wisconsin) + Iowa, Missouri
Appearance and Habitat: Swamps and damp thickets, low woods and along the sides of streams in Eastern N. America.  Newfoundland to Ontario, south to Florida and Texas.  A deciduous shrub growing to 3 m (9ft 10in).   It is hardy to zone 5. It is in flower in July. (1) Bloom color is white and the fruit is blue, time of bloom is March and April. (2)
Warnings: None (3)
Edible Uses: Fruit – raw or cooked. Said to be very good to eat. The fruit is 8mm in diameter. (4)
Medicinal Uses: The dried root-bark is antiperiodic, astringent, stimulant (mild), tonic. The flowers are said to have similar properties. A tea or tincture of the astringent root bark has been used as a quinine substitute and also in the treatment of chronic diarrhoea. It has also been employed in the treatment of painful urination, chest congestion etc. The bark was also used as a poultice on external ulcers and as a wash for gonorrhoea sores. The glycoside ‘cornin’ found in the bark has astringent properties. The fruits are used as a bitter digestive tonic. A tincture of them has been used to restore tone to the stomach in cases of alcoholism. (5)  
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# 2 (e) 
 Common Name: Flowering Dogwood
Latin Name: Cornus florida
Range:  http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=COFL2  all states east of Mississippi River (except Wisconsin) + Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas.
Appearance and Habitat: Sometimes considered the most spectacular of the native, flowering trees, flowering dogwood is a 20-40 ft., single- or multi-trunked tree with a spreading crown and long-lasting, showy, white and pink spring blooms. A lovely, small, flowering tree with short trunk and crown of spreading or nearly horizontal branches. Graceful, horizontal-tiered branching; red fruits; and scarlet-red fall foliage are other landscape attributes. Flowering dogwood is deciduous. Flowering Dogwood is one of the most beautiful eastern North American trees with showy early spring flowers, red fruit, and scarlet autumn foliage. The hard wood is extremely shock-resistant and useful for making weaving-shuttles. It is also made into spools, small pulleys, mallet heads, and jewelers blocks. Indians used the aromatic bark and roots as a remedy for malaria and extracted a red dye from the roots.  Fruit is 1/2 inch in diameter, the flower is 3 inches in diameter, bloom color is white or pink. (1) Rich well drained soils in acidic woods to 1500 meters. An understory tree in dry deciduous woods in Eastern N. America – Maine to Florida, east to Kansas and Texas.  A deciduous shrub growing to 6 m (19ft) by 8 m (26ft) at a medium rate.  It is hardy to zone 5 and is not frost tender. It is in flower in May, and the seeds ripen in November. (2)
Warnings: There is a report that the fruit is poisonous for humans. (3)
Edible Uses: Fruit – cooked. The fruit is not poisonous, but is almost inedible raw. When the seed is removed and the flesh is mashed, it can be mixed with other fruits and made into jams, jellies etc. The fruit, when infused in ‘Eau de Vie’ makes a bitter but acceptable drink. One report says that the fruit is poisonous for humans. The fruit is borne in clusters, each fruit being up to 15mm in diameter with a thin mealy bitter flesh. The fruit is high in lipids, uo to 35% of dry weight. (4)
Medicinal Uses: Flowering dogwood was employed medicinally by a number of native North American Indian tribes who valued it especially for its astringent and antiperiodic properties. It is little used in modern herbalism. The dried root-bark is antiperiodic, astringent, diaphoretic, mildly stimulant and tonic.  The flowers are said to have similar properties. A tea or tincture of the astringent root bark has been used as a quinine substitute to treat malaria and also in the treatment of chronic diarrhoea. The bark has also been used as a poultice on external ulcers, wounds etc. The glycoside ‘cornin’ found in the bark has astringent properties. The inner bark was boiled and the tea drunk to reduce fevers and to restore a lost voice. A compound infusion of the bark and the root has been used in the treatment of various childhood diseases such as measles and worms. It was often used in the form of a bath. The fruits are used as a bitter digestive tonic. A tincture of them has been used to restore tone to the stomach in cases of alcoholism. (5)
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# 3
Common Name: Purpleosier Willow, Purple Osier
Latin Name: Salix purpurea
Family: Salicaceae
Range:  http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=SAPU2 upper mid west and north (Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri) to the East Coast (excluding Indiana) + North Carolina, Georgia, Colorado, and Washington
Appearance and Habitat: Wet places in lowland areas, preferring neutral or alkaline soils.  A deciduous tree  growing to 5 m (16ft) by 5 m (16ft) at a fast rate.  It is hardy to zone 5 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Mar to April, and the seeds ripen in May. The flowers are dioecious (individual flowers are either male or female, but only one sex is to be found on any one plant.  It cannot grow in the shade.  Found in Europe, Britain, Belgium, south to east to N. Africa, temperate Asia an Japan. ( Note: usda plant database lists N. America as well.)
Warnings: None
Edible Uses: Inner bark – raw or cooked. It can be dried, ground into a powder and then added to cereal flour for use in making bread etc. A very bitter flavour, it is a famine food that is only used when all else fails. Young shoots – raw or cooked. They are not very palatable.
Medicinal Uses: The bark is anodyne, anti-inflammatory, antiperiodic, antiseptic, astringent, diaphoretic, diuretic, febrifuge, hypnotic, sedative and tonic. It is a very rich source of salicin, which is used in making aspirin. The bark of this species is used interchangeably with S. alba. It is taken internally in the treatment of rheumatism, arthritis, gout, inflammatory stages of auto-immune diseases, diarrhoea, dysentery, feverish illnesses, neuralgia and headache. The bark is removed during the summer and dried for later use. The leaves are used internally in the treatment of minor feverish illnesses and colic, cancerous sores and chronic dysentery. The leaves can be harvested throughout the growing season and are used fresh or dried. The twigs are used in the treatment of cancer, dysentery and ulcers. The bark of the stem and roots is anodyne and styptic. It is used in the treatment of rheumatism.

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#4
Common Name: Woodland Pinedrops, Pinedrops
Latin Name: Pterospora andromedea

Family: Monotropaceae
Range: http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=PTAN2 all states west of the Rocky Mountains + Texas, South Dakota, Nebraska, Wisconsin, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York,  Vermont, New Hampshire
Appearance and Habitat: The stiffly erect, leafless stems of this reddish-brown plant often grow in clusters, and are covered with glandular hairs. Pale yellowish-brown egg-shaped flowers hang in a long raceme. Stems grow for only one year, but remain as dried stalks for several years. The genus name, from Greek words for winged seeds, refers to the net-like wing at one end of each minute seed that carries it to a new site as it is sprinkled from the capsule.  A perennial, blooming June – August, distributed in Alaska south, throughout the west to northern Mexico, also southeastern Canada, to northeastern United States.  Found in coniferous forests, in the west especially growing under Ponderosa Pine. (1)
Warnings: None (2)
Edible Uses: Stems – raw or cooked.  They can be roasted or baked under the fire like mushrooms. (3)
Medicinal Uses: The stems and berries are astringent, disinfectant and haemostatic. A cold infusion of the ground stems and berries has been used in the treatment of lung haemorrhages and nose bleeds. An infusion of the roots has been used in the treatment of gonorrhoea. (4)   The whole plant was mashed and put on a horse’s sore back.  (5)
Foot Notes: (5) Indian Uses of Native Plants by Edith  Van Allen Murphy, page 49, Pubisher: Meyerbooks, copyright 1990, ISBN 0-916638-15-4
 
Reproduced, in part, (as well as previous postings under this title) in accordance with Section 107 of title 17 of the Copyright Law of the United States relating to fair-use and is for the purposes of criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research.
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