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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. ) 
(Blog Masters Note: All past posts for Wild Edible And Medicinal Plants  are now located in a drop-down search below comments.)
Common Name: Golden Smoke, Fumewort, Scrambled Eggs
Latin Name:
Corydalis aurea, C. solida
Family: Papaveraceae
All States west of the Mississippi R., except Louisiana, plus Alaska, Wisconsin, Michigan, Illinois, Ohio, W. Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, New Hampshire and Vermont; In Canada, all except Nunavut, Labrador, Newfoundland, New Brunswick and Nova Scotia. (Corydalis aurea)
http://plants.usda.gov/java/profile?symbol=COSO6 Connecticut, Massachusetts and Vermont; In Canada; Ontario.(Corydalis solida)
Photos : (Click on Latin name after common name )

Common Name: Golden Smoke, Scrambled Eggs, Golden Corydalis (Corydalis aurea )
Appearance and Habitat:
A soft plant, the stems weakly erect or supported by vegetation or rocks, with bilateral yellow flowers in racemes shorter than the leaves.
(1)Talus slopes, ledges, rocky hillsides, forest clearings, open shores, creek bottoms, gravel pits, road cuts, and burned-over areas, in loose often gravelly soil at elevations of 100 to 3400 meters in N. America. Mainly in the west adn central areas, from Alaska to California, also east to New York. An annual / biennial growing to .05 m (1ft 8in). It is hardy to zone 6. It is in flower from Apr to May.(2)Corydalis is a rather clumpy plant with spreading stems which radiate from a small root. The leaves are disected in appearance, with a color of bluish-gray or bluish-green. The flowers are yellow and pea like. The flowers mature into bean like pods. Quiet typically the pods and flowers will be mixed on the same plant, as the plant matures. It is one of the first plants to bloom in the spring and the last to bloom, in the fall. It can forms stands, or solitary plants, over its range. It grows from Arizona and New Mexico north, from 2,000 to 10,500 feet in elevation, often in forested areas. Most plants are around a foot tall.(3)
Warnings: Corydalis species aer potentially toxic in moderate doses.
(4)Not to be used when pregnant, or with any organic disease or used with medications of a neurologic treatment. Avoid the species Corydalis Dicentra that goes in California in burned-out areas.(5)
Edible Uses:None
Medicinal Uses :A tea made from the plant is used in the treatment of painful or irregular menstruation, diarrhoea, bronchitis, heart diseases, sore throats and stomach aches. Externally, it is used as a lotion on backaches, hand sores etc and as a gargle for sore throats. Caution is advised in the use of this plant, see the note above on toxicity.
(7)Collect the entire plant, roots and all, drying them in small 1/2 bundles, hung in the shade. You might need to shorten the stems if they are long and place in separate bundles. The roots should be dried in cheesecloth, folded to make a pocket, and then hung to dry. Corydalis is not safe to use along, but should be combined with Skullcap or Valerian, where is works much better. In combination it works well for nervousness and hysteria that causes trembling, shaking and twitching. If you are taking blood-thinning supplements such as garlic, Vitamin E, Omega 3 Fish Oil, CoQ-10 or aspirin it might cause nose bleeds, as it tends to reduce blood platelet count. Whether used in tea or tincture, combine it with the other herbs listed, for instance 1/2 teaspoon of tincture with 1/2 teaspoon of tincture from either Valerian or Skullcap. For the fresh tincture, use 1 part fresh plant with 2 parts 50% vodka by weight. For the dried plant up the ratio to 1 part dried plant to 5 parts vodka by weight. For the tea use 1/2 teaspoon in combination with the other herbs and take frequent small doses. Over dosing will cause the same symptoms you are trying to reduce.( 8 )
Foot Notes: (1)http://www.wildflower.org/plants/result.php?id_plant=COAU2

Foot Notes: ( 2, 4, 6, 7)http://www.pfaf.org/user/Plant.aspx?LatinName=Corydalis+aurea
Foot Notes: ( 3, 5, 8 ) Medicinal Plants of the Mountain West 2nd Edition, by Michael Moore, pages 96-97, Publisher: Museum of New Mexico Press, Copyright 2003, ISBN 0-89013-454-5

Common Name: Fumewort (Corydalis solida )
Appearance and Habitat:
Woods, hedgerows, meadows, orchards and vineyards, usually on stony soils, avoiding calcareous soils in Europe, naturalized in Britain. A perennial growing to 0.2 m (0ft 8in) by 0.1 m (0ft 4in). It is hardy to zone 6 and is not frost tender. It is in leaf 7-Mar It is in flower from Apr to May, and the seeds ripen from May to June.
Warnings: The plant is poisonous.
Edible Uses: Root – boiled. Rich in starch. Some caution is advised, there is a report that the plant is toxic.
Medicinal Uses : Fumewort has been used as a painkiller in Chinese medicine for over 1,000 years. The tuber is anodyne, antibacterial, antispasmodic, hallucinogenic, nervine and sedative. It is used internally as a sedative for insomnia and as a stimulant and painkiller, especially in painful menstruation, traumatic injury and lumbago. It is also used for lowering the blood pressure. Research suggests that it also has an action in the thyroid and adrenal cortex. The tuber should not be prescribed for pregnant women. The tubers are harvested when the plant is dormant and are dried for later use.


Common Name: Ocotilla, Candlewood, Devil’s Couchwhip
Latin Name: Fouquieria splendens
Family: Papaveraceae
California, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas; south to Mexico.
Photos: here
Notes: Ocotilla is protected in Arizona, but cutting a six foot section of the plant does not cause permanent harm to the plant. Like Mesquite, which is protected in Southern Nevada, corporations are immune to the laws, and uproot whole plants for residential subdivisions, which might make another good source for a section of the plant.
Appearance and Habitat: Ocotilla is hard to mistake for any other plant, as most of the year it consists of a mass spiny stems that rise in height from 6 foot to 20 foot. The plant is leafless until after summer rains, when they sudden obtain small leaves along the spiny stem. In early spring they flower with hundreds of scarlet colored, tubular flowers. Ocotilla is found in all southwestern deserts, form sea level near the Imperial Valley of California to over 5,000 feet in central New Mexico. In areas where it grows, watch for it on mesa tops and rocky hillsides.
Edible Uses: Flowers collected in the spring make a delicious sweet and tart tea, whether fresh of dried. You can use them to make sun tea.
Medicinal Uses : Collect the plant using good gloves to prevent being stuck with the spines. Older plants (they seem to live forever) can have a center stem where the spines have disappeared under the bark. A six foot section will provide medicine for a year for a family. Once a section has been removed, cut it into 6 inch sections, remove the bark down to the center core. At this point you can make a fresh tincture using 1 part fresh plant to 2 parts 95% vodka or grain alcohol. Be sure and cover the plant with the alcohol and allow to sit in a closed bottle (canning bottle with lid) shaking it daily for 7 to 10 days. The tincture is taken every 3 to 4 hours, 25 to 35 drops in a little warm water, for hemorrhoids, benign prostrate enlargements and to help cure frequent urination with a dull ache of the urethra, but not from inflammation. The tincture will also helps the lymphatic system to remove excess fluids helping varicose veins. The tincture is absorbed by the small intestine and stimulates visceral lymph drainage, while improving dietary fat absorption into the lymph system. With fewer fats going to the liver it helps a condition called portal hypertension. Native Americans of California used a strong tea for moist, painful coughing in the elderly. Apaches took baths and drank the tea from the inner core of the plant for fatigued or swollen limbs.
Medicinal Plants of the Desert and Canyon West by Michael Moore, pages 81- 83, Publisher: Museum of New Mexico Press, Copyright 1989, ISBN 0-80913-182-1

Reproduced, in part, (as well as previous postings under this title) in accordance with Section 107 of title 17of 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.