, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Medical disclaimer: always check with a physician before consuming wild plants, and make positive identification in the field using a good source such as Medicinal Plants of the Mountain West.  Michael Moore also has a glossary of medical terms in his books, and maps in later editions. ) 
Common Name: Catnip, Catmint
Latin Name:
Nepeta cataria
Family: Labiateae
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=NECA2 all of lower Canada, Alaska, all of the lower 48 States except Florida.
Photos: here
Warnings: Catnip has diuretic properties and may increase amount and frequency of urination. Smoking catnip can produce euphoria and visual hallucinations. Sedation. Women with inflammatory diseases of the pelvis or are pregnant should not use. Care if using and driving or using machines.  (1)
Appearance and Habitat: Roadsides and near streams. Hedgerows, borders of fields, dry banks and waste ground, especially on calcareous and gravelly soils. Europe, including Britain, from Scandanavia south and east to Spain, W. and C. Asia to the Himilayas. A perennial growing to 1 m (3ft 3in) by 0.6 m (2ft).   It is hardy to zone 3 and is not frost tender. It is in flower from Jul to November, and the seeds ripen from Sep to October. (2) Like most mints, Catnip has square stems and opposing leaves. The average height is 2 to 3 feet, but along steams it may approach 5 feet. The flowers appear at the end of branches and are white, pinkish white with purple markings. The leaves are trianuglar with round serrated edges. The whole plant is downy like felt and if grown in full sun it should have a grayish color. Freshly dried Catnip is strongly minted, but with a rank after smell. If you are buying it for your cat mash some between your fingers if it doesn’t have a smell, don’t buy it. In the west, Catnip is a mountain plant it will be found in pockets above 6,500 feet. It is found through out the west from 6,500 feet .  (3)
Edible Uses: Young leaves – raw. A mint-like flavour, they make an aromatic flavouring in salads. Older leaves are used as a flavouring in cooked foods. They can be used fresh or dried to make an aromatic herb tea. The tea should be infused in a closed container in order to preserve the essential oils, boiling is said to spoil it. (4)
Medicinal Uses: Catmint has a long history of use as a household herbal remedy, being employed especially in treating disorders of the digestive system and, as it stimulates sweating, it is useful in reducing fevers. The herbs pleasant taste and gentle action makes it suitable for treating colds, flu and fevers in children. It is more effective when used in conjunction with elder flower (Sambucus nigra). The leaves and flowering tops are strongly antispasmodic, antitussive, astringent, carminative, diaphoretic, slightly emmenagogue, refrigerant, sedative, slightly stimulant, stomachic and tonic. The flowering stems are harvested in August when the plant is in full flower, they are dried and stored for use as required. An infusion produces free perspiration, it is considered to be beneficial in the treatment of fevers and colds. It is also very useful in the treatment of restlessness and nervousness, being very useful as a mild nervine for children. A tea made from the leaves can also be used. The infusion is also applied externally to bruises, especially black eyes.  (5) When collecting take the whole plant and dry it in a paper sack. Catnip is a tranquilizer and sedative. It won’t help serious insomnia, but the tea from the dried plant is safe enough for children. For infants it can be used as a teething tea. Catnip has a anti-spasmodic and can be used from cramps, but shouldn’t be used by women that are pregnant.  (6)
Foot Notes:
(1, 2, 4, 5)  http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Nepeta%20cataria
Foot Notes: (3, 6) Medicinal Plants Of the Mountain West  by Michael Moore, 1st Edition, page 52 , publisher:  Museum of New Mexico Press ; copy right 1979 
Common Name: Wormwood, Sagebrush, Mugwort
Latin Name: Artmisia spp
Range: http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=ARTEM  main data base, all of Canada, all States.
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=ARDR4 Alaska, Yukon, British Columbia-Ontario, all States west of Mississippi R. except Arkansas and Lousiania, plus found in Wisconsin, Illinois, New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts. (Artemisa dracunulus)
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=ARFR4 Alaska, Northwest Territories, Yukon, British Columbia – Nova Scotia, all States west of the Mississippi R. except California, Oregon, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana; plus found in Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Pennsylvania- New Jersey north through Vermont and Massachusetts. (Artemisa fridigia)
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=ARLU Briish Columbia – New Brunswick, Northwest Territories, all States west of the Mississippi R., on the east bank all States except Alabama, Florida and West Virginia. (Artemisia ludoviciana)
all States west of the Rocky Mountians except Washington (Artemisia nova)
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=ARTR2  all states west of the Rocky Mountains, British Columbia, Alerberta, N.and S. Datoka, Nebraska and Massachusetts. (Artemisia tridentata)
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=ARVU Newfoundland – British Columbia, all States east of the Mississippi R. except Mississippi, found addionally in Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, Kansas, Louisiana, Montana, Idaho, Washington, California, Oregon and Alaska. (Artemisia vulgaris)
Photos: (Click on latin name after common name)
Warnings: All listed on PFAF: Although no reports of toxicity have been seen for this species, skin contact with some members of this genus can cause dermatitis or other allergic reactions in some people. On White Sage (A. ludoviciana) it says can cause dermatitis in some people.
Common Name:
(Artemisia dracunculus)
Appearance and Habitat:
Hairless, shrub-like; from short rhizome. This is the same plant that yields the cooking herb tarragon. It is a member of the same genus as sagebrush species. Widely distributed; Alaska (rare) and across most of Canada; in the contiguous U.S., from the Pacific coast to the Great Lakes and Texas; also Massachusetts to New Jersey.
(1)A perennial growing to 0.6 m (2ft) by 0.3 m (1ft in). It is hardy to zone 6. It is in flower from Jun to August. By rivers and streams, grassland and arid steppe. (2)
Edible Uses: Leaves – raw or used as a flavouring in soups etc. Tarragon is a commonly used herbal flavouring that is used in many traditional recipes. It is particularly of value because of its beneficial effect upon the digestion and so is often used with oily foods. The leaves can also be harvested in late summer and dried for later use. The aromatic leaves have a very nice flavour that is somewhat liquorice-like. They make an excellent flavouring in salads. The young shoots can also be cooked and used as a potherb. The leaves are used as a flavouring in vinegar. An essential oil from the leaves is used as a flavouring. (3)
Medicinal Uses: Tarragon is a bitter warming aromatic herb that stimulates the digestive system and uterus, lowers fevers and destroys intestinal worms. It is little used in modern herbalism, though it is sometimes employed as an appetizer. The leaves (and an essential oil obtained from them) are antiscorbutic, diuretic, emmenagogue, hypnotic and stomachic. An infusion is used in the treatment of indigestion, flatulence, nausea, hiccups etc. The plant is mildly sedative and has been taken to aid sleep. It also has mild emmenagogue properties and can be used to induce a delayed period. A poultice can be used to relieve rheumatism, gout, arthritis and toothache. The plant is harvested in the summer and can be dried for later use. This herb should not be prescribed for pregnant women. The root has been used to cure toothache The essential oil is used in aromatherapy to treat digestive and menstrual problems.  (4)
Foot Notes: (1) http://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=ARDR4
Foot Notes: (2, 3, 4) http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Artemisia%20dracunculus
Common Name: Fringed Wormwood, Praire Sagewort, Silver Sage, Praire Sagebrush (Artemisia frigida)

Native American Name: Ninny kaksa miss (Blackfeet), Na ko ha sait (Arapaho), Sawabe (Washoe & Paiute) (1)
Appearance and Habitat: Dry praires, plains and rocks to 3300 meters in N. America – Minnesota to Saskatchewan, Yukon, Texas, and Arizona. A perennial growing to 0.3 m (1ft) by 0.5 m (1ft 8in). It is hardy to zone 4. (2)This is a low-spreading, semi-evergreen shrub, with numerous stems arising from a woody base to 18 in. The deeply-divided, soft, woolly, gray-green leaves are fine-textured (almost hair-like) and aromatic. The pale yellow flowers and the fruit are rather inconspicuous. Drought tolerant. A good soil stabilizer and ground cover. Important winter feed for Elk, Pronghorn, and deer. Pollen is a cause of hay fever. Edible herb, aromatic. (3)Silver Sage forms small spreading plants usually no taller than 6 to 8 inches. The whole plant is silver-green to gray grows in extended colonies. The flowering stalks are well covered with leaves and rise a foot to 18 inches and have yellow flowers. In winter they are fed upon by wild animals, however in the early summer when the oils are high nothing eats them. Silver Sage is found in all soils, throughout the Great Basin, into the Plains as far east as Minnesota and as far north as the Yukon.(4)
Edible Uses: The leaves are used by the Hopi Indians as a flavouring for sweet corn.  (5)
Medicinal Uses: The leaves are stomachic, vermifuge and used in the treatment of women’s complaints. The plant contains camphor, which is stimulant and antispasmodic. An infusion of the leaves is used in the treatment of biliousness, indigestion, coughs and colds whilst the leaves are chewed and the juice swallowed to treat heartburn. A poultice of the chewed leaves is used as a poultice to reduce swellings and the leaves are also placed in the nose to stop nosebleeds. A hot poultice of the leaves has been used to treat toothache. The leaves can be used as a sanitary towel to help reduce skin irritation. They are also drunk as a tea when the woman is menstruating or to treat irregular menstruation. The dried leaves are burnt in a room as a disinfectant. A decoction of the root is used as a stimulant and tonic.  (6)Tea from leaves for coughs . (7)  It shares many of the same uses as Sagebrush, though not a potent. It is best from children because of the weak nature. Tea made from the leaves is easier to drink than that of Sagebrush. ( 8 )
Foot Notes: (1,7) Indian Uses Of Native Plants by Edith Murphy, pages 38, 51, 54, 71; Publisher: Meyerbooks, Copyright 1990, ISBN 0-916638-15-4  
Foot Notes: (2, 5, 6) http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Artemisia%20frigida
Foot Notes:
(3) http://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=ARFR4
Foot Notes:
(4, 8 ) Medicinal Plants of the Mountain West Revised Expanded Edition by Michael Moore, page 267-68, Publisher: New Mexico Press, copyright 2003, ISBN: 978-0-89013-454-2

Common Name: White Sage, Louisiana Sage, Silver Sage, Louisiana Mugwort (Artemisia ludociniana)
Native American Name: Sissop (Paiute), Kosi wayab (Shoshone)
Appearance and Habitat:
This is a stiff, aromatic, silvery-white perennial, 1 1/2-3 ft. tall, which can spread quickly to form large colonies. Shrub-like, white, densely matted with hairs, from rhizome. Small, yellowish flowers are secondary to the silver color of the erect stems and narrow leaves, created by a dense coat of hairs.
(2) Prairies, dry open soils and in thin woodlands, found in Western N. America – Michigan to Washington, south to Texas and Mexico. A perennial growing to 1 m (3ft 3in) by 1 m (3ft 3in). It is hardy to zone 5. It is in flower from Aug to October, and the seeds ripen from Sep to October.(3) Silver Sage is a downy, frosted-green or grayish green perennial wormwood. It has deeply cleft leaves that are fuzzy both below and above. They are usually 2 to 3 feet tall, but can grow up to six feet if they are supported by other growth or large rocks. The flowers are the typical wormwood puff balls and are the same color as the plants. The crushed plant has a strong and slightly delicate scent. it can be found growing in sheltered small canyons, in the deepest desert, or along east or west facing mountain slopes to 9,000 feet.(4) 
Edible Uses: Leaves and flowering heads are used as a flavouring or garnish for sauces, gravies etc. A herb tea is made from the leaves and flowering heads. Seed. No further details are given but the seed is very small and fiddly to use.(5) 
Medicinal Uses: Tea from leaves for stomach troubles. Tea of roots for laxative, inability to urinate and difficulty in childbirth. Crushed leaf as snuff for sinus attacks, nosebleed and headaches. Strong tea as wash for eczema, deodorant and antiperspirant for underarms and feet.
(6) The leaves are astringent. They were commonly used by the N. American Indians to induce sweating, curb pain and diarrhoea. A weak tea was used in the treatment of stomach ache and menstrual disorders. Externally, a wash of the leaves was applied to itching, rashes, swellings, boils, sores, etc. The wash was also applied to eczema and as an underarm deodorant. A poultice of the leaves can be applied to spider bites, blisters and burst boils. A snuff of the crushed leaves has been used to treat headaches, the sinuses and nosebleeds.(7) Gather the flowering stems and bundle them, drying them in a paper sack. The primary constituent in A. ludoviciana is ludovinin A and camphor. Estafiate orA. ludoviniana is bitter and strongly aromatic; both make it useful to either stimulate sweating in dry fevers or for indigestion and stomach acidity. It can be taken as either a cold water infusion by placing the herb in cold water and drinking 1-3 ounces of the water (allowing it to sit for several hours before straining), or as a hot tea using a rounded teaspoon per cup of hot water. Of all the native Artemisias, A. ludoviciana is a most effective way to help or inhibit pinworm infections, by using 4 ounces of the cold infusion for a week or two. Using the tea or inhaling the steam or smoke for bronchitis or lung congestion has been important to many Native American Tribes from the Zuni, Navajo, Blackfoot, Cheyenne, Crow, and Lakota. The plant has been studied and shown to be a good antimalarial. Studies have also shown it to be strongly antifungal as well as a strong anti- inflammatory. As with all wormwoods, it should be avoided by pregnant women.( 8 )
Foot Notes:
(1) Indian Uses Of Native Plants by Edith Murphy, page 46; Publisher: Meyerbooks, Copyright 1990, ISBN 0-916638-15-4
Foot Notes: (2, 6) http://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=ARLU
Foot Notes: (3 , 5, 7) http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Artemisia%20ludoviciana
Foot Notes:
(4, 8) Medicinal Plants of the Mountain West Revised Expanded Edition by Michael Moore, pages 262-64, Publisher: New Mexico Press, copyright 2003, ISBN: 978-0-89013-454-2

Common Name: Black Sagebrush (Artemisia nova)
Native American Name: Bahabe ( Smoky Valley Shonshone)
Appearance and Habitat:
A low-spreading, silvery shrub, 3-15 in. tall, with three-toothed, wedge-shaped leaves on dark-brown to black twigs. Appearing somewhat darker in appearance than related species because of sparser hairs on vegetation. The greenish-yellow flowers are not showy. Distribution: Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, and Wyoming.(2)Dry plains and hills from 1500 meters to 2400 meters. An evergreen Shrub growing to 0.5 m (1ft 8in). It is in leaf 12-Jan.(3)
Edible Uses: none(4)
Medicinal Uses: The leaves made a tea used by Native American physics. (5) A decoction of the leaves is used in the treatment of coughs, colds and headaches(6)
Foot Notes: (1, 5)   Indian Uses Of Native Plants by Edith Murphy, page 43; Publisher: Meyerbooks, Copyright 1990, ISBN 0-916638-15-4
Foot Notes: (2 ) http://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=ARNO4
Foot Notes:
(3 , 4, 6) http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Artemisia%20nova
Common Name: Big Sagebrush, Great Basin Sagebrush, Chamiso Hediondo (Artemisia tridentata)
Native American Name: Sawabe (Paiute) (Shoshone), Sawak (Moapa Paiute)
Appearance and Habitat:
Big sagebrush or Great Basin sagebrush is an evergreen shrub, 1 1/2-9 ft. tall, with a gnarled spread somewhat less than its height. It may have a short trunk or be branched from the base. Small, velvety, silvery leaves have a sweet, pungent aroma and, en masse, give a bluish-gray effect. Big Sagebrush is the dominant shrub over vast areas of the Great Basin region. Several subspecies have been identified, all more or less similar to the typical form. Sagebrush is a valuable forage plant for wildlife, particularly during the winter. It is browsed by deer, moose, elk, antelope, and bighorn sheep, especially in late winter and spring. Sage grouse also feed heavily on sagebrush, which also provides nesting sites for a variety of songbirds. Even more nutritious than alfalfa, this shrub consists of 16 percent proteins, 15 percent fats, and 47 percent carbohydrates. Humans have used the plant primarily as firewood—the volatile oils responsible for its pungent aroma are so flammable that they can cause even green plants to burn.

(2) Dry plains and hills on calcareous soils. Found on slightly acid and on alkaline soils. In Western N. America – British Columbia to California and Mexico, east to Nebraska. An evergreen Shrub growing to 2.5 m (8ft 2in). It is hardy to zone 8 and is frost tender. It is in leaf 12-Jan It is in flower in October, and the seeds ripen from Oct to November. (3)Sagebrush is the dominant plant in those areas where it grows. It grows to 3 or 4 feet in most places and along washes, or in sheltered areas to 9 feet. The top of the plant is covered in small 3 toothed gray-green leaves and below are brittle woody branches. The flowers form on spikes, and the spikes length is determined by rainfall. Sagebrush and its varieties, might be the single most abundant shrub in North America. It grows where rainfall is 12 to 18 inches, covering high altitude valleys, dry mountain sides, and even coastal areas. It prefers neutral soil and was considered by early Americans as good places to farm.(4)
Edible Uses: Leaves – cooked. The subspecies A. tridentata vaseyana has a pleasant mint-like aroma whilst some other subspecies are very bitter and pungent. The leaves are used as a condiment and to make a tea. Seed – raw or cooked. Oily. It can be roasted then ground into a powder and mixed with water or eaten raw. The seed is very small and fiddly to use.
Medicinal Uses: Sage brush was widely employed by many native North American Indian tribes who used it to treat a wide range of disorders. It is little used in modern herbalism, though it certainly merits further investigation. The plant is antirheumatic, antiseptic, digestive, disinfectant, febrifuge, ophthalmic, poultice and sedative. A decoction of the leaves is used in the treatment of digestive disorders and sore throats. An infusion of the fresh or dried leaves is used to treat pneumonia, bad colds with coughing and bronchitis. It is used both internally and externally in the treatment of rheumatism. The crushed plant is used as a liniment on cuts, sores etc whilst a decoction of the leaves is used as an antiseptic wash for cuts, wounds and sores. A poultice of the steeped leaves is applied to sore eyes. The plant is burnt in the house in order to disinfect it.

(6)Leaves chewed to relieve indigestion. (7) Gather the leaving branches in late summer from large healthy plants. You can place them in a paper sack to dry. As with all varieties of Sagebrush, camphor is the main oil in the leaves. A pinch of the dried leaf in hot water can break a feverish sweat and is useful in the early stages of a viral infection. The leaf ground, mixed with hot water and plastered on the chest for bronchitis, or on wounds as a disinfectant, is very helpful. You can also make a acetum tincture by mixing 1 part dried leaves to 6 parts vinegar and allow it to sit for a week before straining out the leaves. This tincture can be applied on the head, chest, and back to loosen bronchial mucus or apply it to bruises, abrasions and rashes. It makes a nasty tasting tea, equal to chaparral, but a cold mix, with the leaves strained out is useful for impaired digestion with poor gum health, a coated tongue, and bad breath in the morning. If you can handle the tea, that is good, however it can force a gag reaction on continued use, but is useful in the early stages of any viral infection. You can also use the herb as an inhalant by boiling it in water. Inhaling the vapor from the pot is another way to use Sagebrush for pulmonary problems. Slow inhalation is a time-honored treatment for a sore throat. The aromatics are absorbed by the skin into the blood stream and exhaled through the lungs. New Mexico Spanish tradition holds that the same topical treatments are also helpful for rheumatoid arthritis brought on by a cold. As a topical it is also helpful when applied to arthritic joints, sprains, and other joint pain. Overall, the leafs are a good antibacterial and antifungal. Because it has a tendency to increase menstrual flow it is not advised for pregnant women in any form. ( 8 )
Foot Notes:
(1, 7) Indian Uses Of Native Plants by Edith Murphy, pages 45, 71; Publisher: Meyerbooks, Copyright 1990, ISBN 0-916638-15-4
Foot Notes: (2 )http://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=ARTR2
Foot Notes:
(3 , 5, 6)http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Artemisia%20tridentata
Foot Notes:
(4, 8) Medicinal Plants of the Mountain West Revised Expanded Edition by Michael Moore, page 265-67, Publisher: New Mexico Press, copyright 2003, ISBN: 978-0-89013-454-2
Common Name: California Mugwort, Douglas’ Sagewort
(Artemisia vulgaris var. douglasiana, )

Native American Name: Koe-wiup (Paiute), Pava hobe (Shoshone), Poonkinney (California tribe)
Appearance and Habitat: A stout perennial or herbaceous sub-shrub growing 2-3 ft. high and wide. The simple or branched stems bear aromatic, gray-green leaves. Leaf is lanceolate, flowers are white and bloom from June – Oct. Distribution: California, western Nevada, Oregon, Washington, and northern Idaho. Low waste places, stream banks, foothills to 6,000 feet.

(2)This wormwood is a colonial plant, forming stands of several hundreds of individuals, are connected by underground roots. By late summer it’s stalks are 3 to 7 feet tall. The leaves are lanced shaped, with the lower ones somewhat cleft. They are dark green in color, above, and silvery underneath. In fall the lower leaves become splotchy shades of silvery brown and red. The flowers grow on terminal small branches from the main branch and may be a foot in length. The flowers are typical of wormwoods. The stems are ridged for strength and the taller the plant the more pronounced the ridging. California Mugwort is found from northern Baja, northwards to Oregon (west side of Cascades), nearly all of California and the western edge of Nevada. It shows up in hybrid forms in Washington and Idaho as marginalized plants. It hybrids with ludoviciana in these areas and becomes furry on top of the leaf. The hybrids are rather mixed when it comes to constituents as A. californica is completely different than A. ludoviciana . California Mugwort is common in lower moist valleys, along lower mountain streams, but can occur to 6,000 feet.(3)
Edible Uses: no PFAP report
Medicinal Uses: Packets of steamed plants placed on limbs to reduce rheumatism, and a sweat bath given. Steeped leaves put next to a baby’s skin to reduce a fever. (4)In summer and early fall collect the above ground plant, discarding any leaves that have turned colors. Place the plants in a paper sack to dry, once they are dry remove the leaves but don’t crush them. Saving them whole will preserve the aromatics. The tea is very effective for chronic gastritis, colitis and gastric ulcers. The tea is best taken an hour before dinner and just before bed time. Use cold infusion for the stomach; one part plant to 32 parts water and let it sit together overnight. Sip it throughout the day when in pain. California Mugwort is also an antioxidant for reduction of fat metabolism and because of that it lessens strain on the liver and circulatory systems. The hot tea is an effective diaphoretic for breaking fevers, loosening mucus from the sinuses and lungs. The tea or acetum (vinegar) tincture can also be used as a liniment for sprains and bruises. Steep the leaves in apple cider vinegar for a week using 1 part leaves to 5 parts vinegar. Because the tea is antifungal and antimicrobial, it can be used in many ways as a first aid. The unopened flowers can be used to make a first aid salve. Make an extra strong tincture and mix it with Vaseline or melted bee’s wax.(5)
Foot Notes:
(1, 4) Indian Uses Of Native Plants by Edith Murphy, page 40, 43; Publisher: Meyerbooks, Copyright 1990, ISBN 0-916638-15-4
Foot Notes: (2 ) http://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=ARDO3
Foot Notes:
(3 , 5, )Medicinal Plants of the Mountain West Revised Expanded Edition by Michael Moore, pages 259-262, Publisher: New Mexico Press, copyright 2003, ISBN: 978-0-89013-454-2
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.