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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.)
Common Name: Pricklypear
Latin Name: Opuntia ssp.
Family: Cactaceae
Native American Name:“Navoo” (Shoshone)  (1)
Range: http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=OPUNT the entire country with the expection of Vermont, New Hamphire, Alaska, and Maine.   This is the main database for Opuntia (Pricklypear )  ( I had a reader from Illinois that didn’t think Pricklepear grew there.  It is probably rare, but 3 species grow there.  I will try to cover the major plants in areas with links. )
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=OPHU Rocky Mountains to east coast (Devil’s Tongue)
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=OPHU center of country (Twistspine Pricklypear)
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=OPPO west coast to Plains (Plains Pricklypear)
(Each of these has links to Lady Bird Johnson’s Wildflower org. )
( PFAF has links to )
Search for more photos for plants in your area.  Google search works fine, just put in the entire latin name.
Appearance and Habitat: search Wildflower.org for species in your area
Warning: The plant has numerous minutely barbed glochids (hairs) that are easily dislodged when the plant in touched and they then become stuck to the skin where they are difficult to remove.  They can cause considerable discomfort. (2)  (wear heavy gloves)
Edible Uses:(I’m picking one that grows on the east coast for edible uses because they are all the same:)   Fruit – raw, cooked or dried for later use. Sweet and gelatinous. Lean and insipid. The unripe fruits can be added to soups etc, imparting an okra-like mucilaginous quality. The fruit can hang on the plant all year round. The fruit is up to 4cm long and 3cm wide. Be careful of the plants irritant hairs, see the notes above on toxicity. Pads – cooked or raw. Watery and very mucilaginous Seed – briefly roasted then ground into a powder. It is also used as a thickener. (3) Native Americans would burn the needles off, then they can then be sliced. (4)  The fruit is high in vitamin C and bioflavonoid content.  Skewer the fruit on a long knife, a long stick, etc. and singe them over a flame to remove the stickers.  Roll them back and forth until the glochid hairs have singed off. They are said to be delicious, even the varieties that are grossly seedy. You can squeeze the juice using a cloth  to make jelly, or cook them with water and honey for a pancake syrup.  The same is true with cholla cactus (5)  (pronounced choy-a   long o- short a) 
Medicinal Uses: The raw pads, filleted without  the needles, makes an excellent drawing poultice for wounds, contusions, and burns.  Place the filleted pad directly on the wound and place gauze or tape around it to secure it.  This kind of wound contains much feral blood the mucopoly-saccharide gel in the Prickly Pear flesh is strongly hydrophilic and hypertonic, the cactus protects the wound and absorbs bad fluids released from the wounds.  They act as aloe vera does and soothe the wound and remove the pain.  The juice has been used in Mexico as an anti-inflammatory diuretic for the urinary tract.  When there is pain upon urination,  use 1 teaspoon every couple of hours.  The juice will also relieve the pain.    According the M. Moore,  there were clinical trials in Mexico to determine how the juice of the plant helped people that were borderline diabetics ( onset adult hypoglycemic and insulin resistant patients) .  The trials show that taking the juice of the leaves at 4 ounces per day, lowered serum levels of low density cholesterol and triglycerides.  Adult-onset diabetes is a chronic disease and any remedy must be continued and this might help in a survival situation.   (I am posting this portion because there are several people that I know of that are diabetics on this posting.   Other references are given and I will do a follow-up on them.  The raw pads with the needles removed can be put in a blender and the slurry can be drunk.  )  The slurry, juice, and fillets can survive refrigeration up to a week and still be usable.  The juice can also be preserved with 25% grain alcohol.  A small piece of prepared fillet can also be used for infections that cause pain in the  mouth and gums.  Hold the small piece between the gums and your cheek.  The flowers are also high in flavonoids and help strengthen capillaries, not a cure but a help for asthma, mild brochiectasis, chronic  vaginitis.  Start by using one flower in an well strained infusion and drink it 3 times a day.  (6)  
Foot Notes (1, 4) Indian Uses of Native Plants by Edith Murphey, Publisher: Meyerbooks Copy right 1990; ISBN 0-916638-15-4
Foot Note: 5, 6 )  Medicinal Plants of the Desert and Canyon West by Micheal Moore, page 89-91, Publisher: Museum of New Mexico Press, Copyright 1989
(You won’t ever look at a cactus the same way!)
# 8
8 (a)
Common Names:  Yerba de la Negrita, Scarlet Globemallow, Sore Eye Poppy, Copper Globemallow 
Latin Name: Sphaeralcea ambigua, S. angustifolia, S. coccinea, S. coulteri, S. emoryi, S. fendleri, S. grossulariifolia,  S. munroana, S. parvifolia,  and others (Covered by Micheal Moore)
Family: Malvaceae (Mallow family)
Range: http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=SPHAE (main database 26 sub-species) 
 http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=SPAM2 California, Nevada, Arizona (S. ambigua )
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=SPAN3 California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, Colorado, Texas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Maryland. (S. augustifolia)
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=SPCO west coast to Mississippi River (Excluding California, Washington, Missouri, Arkansas, Louisiana ) (S. coccinea)
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=SPMU2 all of northwest to the Rocky Mountains (S. Munroana)
Appearance and Habitat: This plant’s flowers vary in color from lavender to salmon, red, and pale pink, this one is salmon-colored and is distinguished by its narrow leaves, 1–2 inches long, many of them folded in half down the middle, and all of them wavy on the edges. Normally it is 2–3 feet tall, but sometimes up to 6 feet. The flowers do not bloom regularly on the stem from bottom to top; new blossoms may appear high or low on the stem. The 5 petals are 1/2 inch long, and the flowers are cup-shaped. They usually bloom between June and November and may bloom more than once during that time if rains are favorable. The leaf arrangement is alternate. It is found on the prairie, in meadows, pastures, hillsides, and slopes. It is a perennial.  (1) These are all native Mallows. (most will be covered by Wild Flower Org.)  A distinct attribute are their bright salmon, orange, and red flowers, although a light blue flower does exist in  a species in Arizona.  The flowers resemble Hollyhocks, a relative, not in size but in the manner that they bloom along the flowering stalks.  All have mucilaginous leaves when they are crushed.  S. coccinea and S. fendleri grow in clumps on the ground.  They have 3 – 7 fingered leaves and rarely grow higher than a foot.  Other species can grow  2 to 4 feet tall and have 3 finger leaves, with the center finger extending far longer.  S. fendleri is mainly a mountain plant, and grows in the upland areas of Arizona, Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Texas.   S. coccinea grows along the mountains into Canada and into the Plain States.   Look for them along roadsides and vacant lots. (2)
Medical Uses:  Crushed leaves can be made into a poultice for skin inflammation and a soothing shoe liner for bistered feet.  For the poultice use warm water.  Fresh flowers and leaves can be chewed for a sore throat, hoarseness, or minor stomach problems including within the small intestine.   A tea made from dried plants for the same symptoms at  1 part plant to 32 parts water, but in this case don’t remove the water from heat, allow it to boil for 20 – 30 minutes, returning the level of water to 32 parts before using.  Drink a cup of tea 3 times a day until the complaint ends. (3)  
Other Uses: A  strong tea can be used as a hair rinse after shampooing to give body.  If left in the hair, the hair will curl. (4)
Foot Notes: (2, 3, 4 )  Medicinal Plants Of the Mountain West  by Michael Moore, 2nd Edition, page 273 – 274 , publisher:  Museum of New Mexico Press ; copyright  2003, ISBN 978-0-89013-454-2
8 (b)
Common Name: Mallow, Cheese Plant, Dwarf Mallow, Malva, Low Mallow, Common Mallow, Dwarf Mallow 
Latin Name: Malva neglecta
Family: Malvaceae
Range:http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=MANE All States with the exception of Florida, Mississippi, Louisiana
Appearance and Habitat: Waste and cultivated ground, usually on dry soils, frequently in coastal habitats, on dry walls or as a weed of cultivated ground.  An annual growing to 0.6 m (2ft).  It is hardy to zone 5 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jun to September, and the seeds ripen from Jul to October. (1)  A very common weed that usually forms mats, however in areas of rich soil it might attain a height of foot or more.  The leaves are round but consist of 5 – 7 lobes, and the stems for the leaves are usually longer than the leaves.  The flowers are small, cup shaped, have 5 petals and are blue and white.  The flowers are found all along the stem.  The fruit is round and resembles a loaf of cheese from the factory.  The root is light tan and runs deep.  Like all members of the species has mucilaginous sap when crushed.  It is found from sea level to 7,000 feet.  It can be found along roadsides, old gardens, vacant lots, and in old disturbed ground. (2)
Warnings: When grown on nitrogen rich soils (and particularly when these are inorganic), the plant tends to concentrate high levels of nitrates in its leaves.  The leaves are perfectly wholesoe at all other times. (3) ( It grows wild in my garden, which is organic, and I have added it to salads.  It is currently a foot tall. )
Edible Uses: Leaves and young shoots – raw or cooked. A mild pleasant flavour, they are said to be highly nutritious. They can be added in quantity to salads, and make an excellent lettuce substitute, they can also be cooked as greens. The leaves are mucilaginous, when cooked in soups etc they tend to thicken it in much the same way as okra (Abelmoschatus esculenta). Some people find this mucilaginous texture unpleasant, especially if the leaves are cooked. Immature seeds – raw or cooked. A pleasant nutty flavour, they are nice as a nibble but too small for most people to want to collect in quantity. A decoction of the roots is used as an egg-white substitute for making meringue. The roots are brought to the boil in water and then simmered until the water becomes quite thick. This liquid can then be whisked in much the same way as egg whites. A tea can be made from the dried leaves. (4) The leaves contain a high percentage of calcium, phosphorus, beta-carotene, and choline. (5)
Medicinal Uses: All parts of the plant are antiphlogistic, astringent, demulcent, diuretic, emollient, expectorant, laxative, salve. The leaves and flowers can be eaten as part of the diet, or a tea can be made from the leaves, flowers or roots. The leaves and flowers are the main part used, their demulcent properties making them valuable as a poultice for bruise, inflammations, insect bites etc, or taken internally in the treatment of respiratory system diseases or inflammation of the digestive or urinary systems. They have similar properties, but are considered to be inferior to the marsh mallow (Althaea officinalis), though they are stronger acting than the common mallow (M. sylvestris). They are seldom used internally. The plant is an excellent laxative for young children. (6) The fresh and dried leaves make an excellent poultice and reduce pain an inflammation.  The tea is quite pleasant tasting and is good anytime.  The tea becomes more important when you are suffering through a sore throat or tonsillitis.  Heat a rounded teaspoon to tablespoon of the herb in a cup of water, when it is cool enough to drink, sip it slowly.  This is another herb that contains mucoploy-saccharides, a gel in our bodies which limits inflammation making it useful in poultices, and useful for taking internally for bronchial inflammation and urinary tract irritability.  The tea will help on a regular basis with chronic problems listed above, take 2 – 3 tablespoons up to 5 times a day. (7)
Foot Notes: (1, 3, 4, 6 )
Foot Notes: (2, 5, 7 ) Medicinal Plants Of the Mountain West  by Michael Moore, 2nd Edition, page 155 – 156 , publisher:  Museum of New Mexico Press ; copyright  2003, ISBN 978-0-89013-454-2
# 9
Common Name: Storksbill, Filaree, Heron’s Bill, Redstem Stork’s Bill
Latin Name: Erodium cicutarium,
Family: Gernaniaceae
Range: http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=ERCI6 all States with the exception of Mississippi and Florida
Appearance and Habitat:  Sandy dunes, grassland, arable land, waste areas, roadsides, railway embankments and  usually near the sea.  An annual  growing to 0.6 m (2ft). It is in flower from Jun to September, and the seeds ripen from Aug to October. (1) A plant found throughout the world, and was probably spread by early Spanish on this continent.  The name refers to the pointed seeds pods that split into 5 separate seeds with a corkscrew on each.  The corkscrew straightens when wet an when dry goes back to the corkscrew shape, thus driving itself into the ground.  The flowers are tiny and pink to red, it is an annual that forms basal mats up to 2 feet in diameter.  The leaves are finely divided and delicate.  The plant is highly adaptable and can be found from sea level to alpine meadows.  It blooms as early as possible until frost or drought kills it. (2)
Warnings: none (3)  
Edible Parts: Young leaves – raw or cooked as a potherb. Harvested in the spring before the plant flowers, they are tasty and nutritious. The leaves are added to salads, sandwiches, soups etc, they can be used in recipes that call for leaves of beet, plantain, sow thistle or amaranth. Young stems – raw. Root – chewed by children as a gum. (4)
Medical Use: The whole plant is astringent and haemostatic. It has been used in the treatment of uterine and other bleeding. The root and leaves have been eaten by nursing mothers to increase the flow of milk. Externally, the plant has been used as a wash on animal bites, skin infections etc. A poultice of the chewed root has been applied to sores and rashes. A tea made from the leaves is diaphoretic and diuretic. An infusion has been used in the treatment of typhoid fever. The leaves are soaked in bath water for the treatment of rheumatism. The seeds contain vitamin K, a poultice of them is applied to gouty typhus. (5)  It is a mild uterine hemostatic, diuretic for water retention, and used for joint inflammation.  It is not a potent plant, meaning a fair amount is needed.  While still in bloom collect the entire plant with the root, wash it and dry it.  A tablespoon of the dried plant and root is brewed into a cup of tea and drunk 3 or 4 times a day.  For joint inflammations drink a lot of the tea and use the wet plant from the tea as a poultice, do this for several days, the swelling usually subsides by the 4th day.  Chronic use of diuretics is inadvisable, but Storksbill has little adverse effect on the kidneys. (6)
Foot Notes:  (1, 3, 4, 5 ) Plants For A Future
Foot Notes: ( 2, 6 ) Medicinal Plants Of the Mountain West  by Michael Moore, 1st Edition, page 149 – 150 , publisher:  Museum of New Mexico Press ; copy right 1979  ISBN 0-89013-104-X
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.