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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 Westalso contains a glossary of medical terms as do all of Michael Moore’s books.)

# 13

 Common Name: Garlic Mustard

Latin Name: Alliaria petiolata

Family: Brassicaceae
Range: http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=ALPE4 Eastern, Central, Plains,scattered in the West
Appearance and Habitat: Garlic Mustard was brought to North America in the 1860`s as a culinary herb and has become quite invasive.   Garlic Mustard leaves first appear as heart-shaped, coarsely-toothed, and veined leaves close to the ground. They taste and smell (when crushed) strongly of garlic. Soon the second year plants will send up their flower stalk; the leaves will alternate along the flower stalk and become thinner, and white four-petaled flowers will appear at the top.  The leaves become bitter as the weather gets hot, so they are best collected in early spring and summer. Leaves can be collected either from the ground rosettes or from the stalk. (1) Damp hedgerows, edges of woods and other shady places, perferring basic soils.  It is a biennial growing to 1 m (3ft 3in) by 0.4 m (1ft 4in).  It is not frost tender. It is in flower from Apr to June, and the seeds ripen from Jun to August. (2)
Edible Uses: Flowers and chopped leaves can be added to salads for a nice pungent garlic flavor.  The roots are very spicy and taste like horseradish. The root can be chopped and steeped in apple cider vinegar for a spicy condiment.  In the fall the seeds, which have a mustard flavor, can be collected and eaten.  The plant is extremely healthful, full of vitamins and minerals.(3)    Young leaves – raw or cooked as a potherb or as a flavouring in cooked foods. A mild garlic and mustard flavour, the leaves are also believed to strengthen the digestive system. They can be finely chopped and added to salads. The leaves are available very early in the year and provide a very acceptable flavouring for salads in the winter. Flowers and young seed pods – raw. A mild, garlic-like flavour.(4)
Medicinal Uses: Garlic mustard has been little used in herbal medicine. The leaves and stems are antiasthmatic, antiscorbutic, antiseptic, deobstruent, diaphoretic, vermifuge and vulnerary. The leaves have been taken internally to promote sweating and to treat bronchitis, asthma and eczema. Externally, they have been used as an antiseptic poultice on ulcers etc, and are effective in relieving the itching caused by bites and stings. The leaves and stems are harvested before the plant comes into flower and they can be dried for later use. The roots are chopped up small and then heated in oil to make an ointment to rub on the chest in order to bring relief from bronchitis. The juice of the plant has an inhibitory effect on Bacillus pyocyaneum and on gram-negative bacteria of the typhoid-paratyphoid-enteritis group. The seeds have been used as a snuff to excite sneezing. (5)
Foot Notes: (2, 4, 5)
 
 
 
 
  
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#12

 

Common Name: Chamomile, Corn Chamomile, Stinking Chamomile, Yellow Chamomile
Latin Name: Anthemis arvensis, A. cotula, A. tinctoria
Family: Asteraceae
Range: http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=ANTHE main database all of US and most of Canada
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=ANAR6  except Mississippi, all east of Mississippi – spotly west of Mississippi
 
 
 
(No coverage by Michael Moore) 
Common Name: Corn Chamomile (A. arvensis)
Appearance and Habitat: A locally common calcicolous plant of arable land and waste places.  Most of Europe including Britain, south and east to N. Africa and W. Asia (And the US).  It is an annual growing to 0.4 m (1ft 4in) by 0.3 m (1ft).   It is hardy to zone 5 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jun to July, and the seeds ripen from Jul to August.
Edible Uses: None Known
Medicinal Uses: This species is considered to be one of the best febrifuge species indigenous to France. The flowers and leaves are used.
 
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Common Name: Mayweed (A. cotula)
Appearance and Habitat: Waste places, usually on heavy soil.  Most of Europe east to N. and W. Asia (and US). It is an annual growing to 0.6 m (2ft) by 0.3 m (1ft in).  It is hardy to zone 5 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jul to September
Warnings: The whole platnt is penetrated by an acrid juice, touching or ingesting the plant can cause allergies in some people.
Edible Uses: The herb is used as a flavouring in Peru. It is aromatic. Caution is advised, there are some reports of toxicity. A herb tea is made from the flowers in a similar way to camomile tea and it has a similar though weaker effect medicinally. The odour is not very pleasant and so it is not commonly used.
Medicinal Uses: Mayweed is closely related to camomile, but is far less effective as a medicine. It has been used as an antispasmodic and to induce menstruation and was traditionally used to treat supposedly hysterical conditions related to the uterus. It is rarely used in contemporary herbal medicine. The whole plant is antispasmodic, astringent, diaphoretic, diuretic, emetic, emmenagogue and tonic. It is used internally as a tea, which can be made either from the flowers or the whole plant, though the flowers are less unpleasant and so are more commonly used. An infusion is used in the treatment of a variety of complaints such as rheumatism, epilepsy, asthma, colds and fevers. Applied externally, it is used as a poultice on piles or to draw splinters out of the body, and can also be applied to the bath water. The leaves are rubbed onto insect stings. Some people are allergic to the plant and this remedy could give them painful blisters. This herb is contraindicated for pregnant women or nursing mothers.
 
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Common Name: Yellow Camomile (A. tinctoria)
Appearance and Habitat: Sunny slopes, rocks, railway tracks and walls, usually on limestone.  It is an evergreen perennial growing to 0.8 m (2ft 7in) by 0.8 m (2ft 7in).  It is hardy to zone 6 and is not frost tender. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower from Jul to August, and the seeds ripen from Aug to September.
Edible Uses: None known
Medicinal Uses: The whole plant is antispasmodic, diaphoretic, emetic, emmenagogue and vesicant. It is used internally as a tea, which can be made either from the flowers or the whole plant. Applied externally, it is used as a poultice on piles and can also be applied to the bath water.The leaves are rubbed onto insect stings
 
 
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# 11
 
Common Name: Larkspur
Latin Name: Delphinium spp
Family: Ranunculaceae
Range:http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=DEAN (D. andersonii) Montana, Idaho,Oregon, Utah, Nevada, California
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=DEBA2 (D. barbeyi) Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=DECAV2 (D. carolinianum) plain states including Indiania and Illinois to the Rocky Mountains
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=DEEL2 (D. elatum) Wisconson,Michigan
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=DEGE2 (D. geyeri) Wyoming, Utah, Colorado, Nebraska
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=DEGL (D. glareosum) Washington, Oregon
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=DEME (D. menziesii DC) Washington, Oregon
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=DENU2 (D. nuttallianum) Rocky Mountain states west including S. Dakota and Nebraska
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=DENU3 (D. nuttallii) Washington and Oregon
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=DESC (D. scaposum) Utah, Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico
(These are covered by Michael Moore)
 PFAF covers
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=DEGL3  (D. glaucum) Rocky Mountains west
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=DEME (D. menziesii DC) Washington, Oregon (double coverage)
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=DENU (D. nudicaule) California and Oregon
 
 
 
Common Name: Giant Larkspur (Delpinium glaucum)
Appearance and Habitat: Sub-alpine to alpine meadows and streambanks, meadows, wet thickets, bogs, streamsides and open coniferous woods from sea level to 3200 meters in Western N. America – Alaska to California.  It is a perennial  growing to 1.8 m (6ft). It is in flower from Jul to August.
Warnings: All parts of the plant are toxic.  The plant is most toxic when it  is young.
Edible Uses: None
Medicinal Uses: Parasiticide
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 Common Name: Menzies’ Larkspur (Delphinium menziesii)
Appearance and Habitat: Coastal bluffs and prairies to lower montane meadows.  Meadows and open woodlands from sea level to 1000 meters in Western N. America – British Columbia to California.  A perennial  growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in). It is hardy to zone 3. 
Warnings: (Same as above)
Edible Uses: None
Medicinal Uses: A poultice of the stalks and roots has been applied to sores
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Common Name: Red Larkspur (Delphinium nudicaule)
Appearance and Habitat: Dry slopes among shrubs and in woods below 2,150 meters.  Moist talus and cliff faces from sea level to 2600 meters.  Southwestern N. America – California / Oregon.  A perennial  growing to 0.3 m (1ft) by 0.3 m (1ft in).  It is hardy to zone 8. It is in flower from Jun to August.
Warnings: (Same as above)
Edible Uses: None
Medicinal Uses: The root is considered by some native North American Indians to be highly narcotic
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Common Name: Larkspur (Delphinium nuttallianum)
Appearance and Habitat: Sagebrush desert to (more commonly) mountain valleys and slopes.  Most frequent in the ponderosa pine belt and is usually found in well-drained gravelly soils.  A perennial growing to 0.3 m (1ft).
It is hardy to zone 4. It is in flower from May to July.
Warnings: (Same as above)
Edible Uses: None
Medicinal Uses: Parasiticide
(Now for Micheal Moore)
Appearance and Habitat: Larkspurs are erect herbs with thin stems and either finely or coarsely palmate leaves.  The flowers are triangular, having a backward spur and found in colors of purple, blue, red, or violet.  There are white flowered strains in the plain states and eastern Rockies.  The average height is two to three feet, but some mountain species can grow to six or eight feet.  The seed pods are hollow and oval with three segments that split upon ripening to release the seed.  The seeds themselves ae dark brown and kernel like.  Scarlet Larkspur can be found in the Hollywood Hills and up and down the California coast.  They are usually mixed with D. hesperium and D. parryi, both have blue flowers.  Larkspurs grow in areas where there is enough moisture, virtually all forested areas of Arizona, Utah, Nevada, New Mexico, Montana, Wyoming, and Colorado.  One species, D. amabile, is found on dry mesas in Arizona.
Medicinal Uses: When collecting pick the flowers and seed pods at any stage of development, strip them off.  The main use of Larkspur is to kill body lice.  Prepare tinctures for use in killing body lice.  First grind the seeds and flowers and steep in a volume of rubbing alcohol at 1 part plant to 5 parts alcohol and wait for a week, then strain.  Vinegar can also be used and is somewhat less irritating but also less potent. The tinctures are best used on pubic crabs.  For scabies the alcohol tincture is best, but it must be applied for 3 or 4 days, preferably after a hot shower or bath.  However if the scabies are bad, more than superficial, the tincture can be absorbed enough to make a person sick.  For head lice use Tincture of Green Soap in place of vinegar and alcohol.  The two form a  vermicide shampoo which you leave in place for ten minutes before rinsing.  Larkspur can cause a rash in some people and should be discontinued if this happens.  Larkspur may not kill all the eggs, so keep a watch on them for reappearing.  The alternative is disgusting inorganic compounds or you might try kerosene.
(PS: For those not living in an area where Larkspurs grow, I think most seed companies sell the seeds.)
Medicinal Plants Of the Mountain West  by Michael Moore, 1st Edition, pages 95-96 , publisher:  Museum of New Mexico Press ; copy right 1979 
 Additional Foot Note:
Red Larkspur, sleep root-Root has narcotic properties, which are made use of in causing an opponent to become stupid in gambling,  tea of root is drunk. 
Native American Names: Multiko (Death Valley Shoshone) D’lum d’lum ( Washoe Tribe)
 
Indian Uses of Native Plants by Edith Van Allen Murphy, page 50, publisher: Meyerbooks, copyright 1990, ISBN 0-916638-15-4
 
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# 10
Common Name: Coltsfoot
Latin Name: Tussilago farfara,
Family: Asteraceae
Range: http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=TUFA Washington, British Columbia, Minnesota ( West of Mississippi) Tennessee, Virginia, and north 
 Appearance and Habitat: In the spring, dandelion flowers cover yards and roadsides. Look more closely and you may find some of these yellow flowers are actually Coltsfoot.  Both have bright yellow sunburst blooms which flower in early spring. They look similar in their puffball phase as well.  The dandelion forms a basal rosette of elongated, toothed leaves, while coltsfoot leaves are heart-shaped and come up singly, dandelion stems are smooth, the coltsfoot flower stalk is scaled. (1)
Damp habitats, frequently on alkaline clays, in hedgebanks, raodsides, wasteland, often as a pioneer, and on dunes and shingle in coastal zones.  A perennial growing to  0.2 m (0ft 8in) by 1 m (3ft 3in) at a fast rate.  It is hardy to zone 5. It is in flower from Feb to April, and the seeds ripen from Mar to May.(2)
Warnings: The plant contains traces of liver-affecting pyrrolizidine alkaloids and  is potentially toxic in large doses.  These alkaloids have not proven toxic at low dosages in tests and there is no suggestion that this plant should not be used medicinally. (3)
Edible Uses: Flower buds and young flowers – raw or cooked. A pleasant aniseed flavour, they add a distinctive aromatic flavour to salads. Young leaves – raw or cooked. They can be used in salads, added to soups, or cooked as a vegetable. The leaves have a bitter taste unless they are washed after being boiled. An aromatic tea is made from the fresh or dried leaves and flowers. It has a liquorice-like flavour. The dried and burnt leaves are used as a salt substitute. The slender rootstock is candied in sugar syrup (4)
Medicinal Uses:An effective demulcent and expectorant herb, coltsfoot is one of the most popular European remedies for the treatment of a wide range of chest complaints. It is widely available in health food shops. The leaves are commonly used in Europe, though the flowering stems (which contain higher levels of pyrrolizidine alkaloids) are preferred in China. They are rich in mucilage and are the main parts used, though the root is also sometimes employed. Pyrrolizidine alkaloids have a toxic effect upon the liver, but are largely destroyed when the plant is boiled to make a decoction. Some caution should be employed in the use of this remedy – the flowers should not be used except under professional supervision, the leaves should not be used for more than 4 – 6 weeks at a time, the herb should not be taken whilst pregnant or breast-feeding and it should not be given to children under the age of six. Modern research has shown that extracts of the whole plant can increase immune resistance. In a Chinese trial 75% of patients suffering from bronchial asthma showed some improvement after treatment with this plant, though the anti-asthmatic effect was short-lived. The leaves are harvested in June and early July, the flowers are harvested when fully open and the root is harvested in the autumn. All can be dried and used as required. The plant is antitussive, astringent, demulcent, emollient, expectorant, stimulant and tonic. It is widely used in the treatment of coughs and respiratory problems and is often candied so that it can be sucked as a sweet. The plant is of particular use in the treatment of chronic emphysema and silicosis, helping to relieve the persistent cough associated with these conditions. Coltsfoot is particularly effective when used in combination with liquorice (Glycyrrhiza species), thyme (Thymus vulgaris) and wild cherry (Prunus serotina). A poultice of the flowers has a soothing effect on a range of skin disorders including eczema, ulcers, sores, bites and inflammations. A bitter, tonic and diaphoretic preparation can be obtained from the roots. (5) Coltsfoot is an anti-tussive, remedying all kinds of cough: from a chest cold to asthma and bronchitis. Its botanical name – Tussilago – refers to this usage. (Tuss, means cough – employed for the name of the cough medicine Robitussin. In western botanical medicine, the leaves and flowers are used. The flowers can be gathered in early spring before they have fully opened, and dried in the shade. The leaves are best gathered to dry in spring and summer, though they can be used fresh anytime they are found, all the way through the fall. The leaves can be chopped and dried as well, and the dry leaves and flowers can later be steeped as a tea to cure coughs of all kind.  In the early spring, flowers and leaves can both be gathered and made into a tincture. (Recipe) In the spring, collect flowers and leaves of Coltsfoot.  Chop plant matter into small pieces.  Fill a glass jar with chopped coltsfoot.  Cover coltsfoot with 100 proof vodka if you can find it, 80 proof is ok as well.  Label jar with date, herb and medium (in this case, 100 or 80 proof vodka).  In six weeks, filter out plant matter, saving the liquid: this is the tincture Standard dose is 2 – 4 ml, which is about 50 – 100 drops per day. (6)
Foot Notes: (1, 6)
Foot Notes: (2, 3, 4, 5)
 
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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