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 Notes and information from Sunday July 18, 2010 Wild Plants

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PostSubject: Notes and information from Sunday July 18, 2010 Wild Plants   Sun Aug 01, 2010 12:42 pm

Self Heal
(Prunella vulgaris)

(Salix many types)

(Medicago sativa)

Primitive Survival Skills
Plants can be wild and cultivated; most have an edible, medicinal and utilitarian use
Identification is key regardless of how used
Don’t use any plant unless you are 100% sure of what it is, IDENTIFICATION IS IMPERATIVE
Not knowing could endanger you or someone else
Know at least 3 plants which Control effects of Fever, Diarrhea, Cramping, Vomiting & Pain
Know how to correctly prepare and administer all plant, plant parts, and preparations
Learn a new plant every day
Field Guides are available to help you learn:
Peterson, National Audobon Society
Books on wilderness survival, herbs, wild edible plants, etc.
Plant Allergies : Caution: You may also be allergic to other plants with the same type of fruit
By fruit I mean: berry, pome (ex.apples), stone (peach), nuts, capsule(poppy seed head), cone(pine), pod (legumes),
Example: allergy to strawberries may also mean you are allergic to elderberries, blackberries etc.
( This is how most plants are classified: Elderberry Sambucus Family Caprifoliaceous - Strawberry Fragaria Family Rosaceae and so on)
Fever can be caused by many things including Infection, contagious viruses, teething, sunburn
Many wild plants will reduce fever and some are available all year long
Caution: If you are allergic to aspirin DO NOT use willow
Willow (salicylic acid, willow family Saliceae), alfalfa (legume family Fabaceae), self heal (mint family Laminaceae)

Self Heal Prunella vulgaris
Common names include: Heal-all; Carpenters-weed
Found throughout the lower 48 states
Small creeping plant with dense spike flower head, square stems, mat forming(prostrate) perennial, remains green all year Primarily found in turfgrass in shady, moist or sandy, drought prone areas; recently cleared woodland areas in shady, moist sites
Alfalfa Medicago sativa
Common names include: Buffalo herb; Lucerne; Purple medic
Found through US and most of Canada Perennial, 12-18” tall, smooth stems with trifoliate leaves; blue or purplish flowers in a raceame, seed pods are spirally coiled Found on borders of fields, low valleys and widely cultivated
Willow Salix alba
Common names include: White willow; Salicin willow; Withe; Withy
Found in moist places. Introduced into the US. Origins –N. Africa, central Asia, Europe
Deciduous tree with rough gray bark; grows to 75’; may also be a shrub; alternate, lance shaped leaves are ashy-gray
Purple willow aka Purple Osier Salix purpurea
Shrub to 10’
Medicinally the same as S. alba, most effective against fever
Black willow Salix nigra
Common names: Catkins willow, Pussywillow
Shrub or sm tree to 20’; Native to N. America
Medicinally the same as S. alba
Goat willow Salix caprea
Common name: Sallow
Small tree native to Eurasia, sometimes cultivated in the US
Medicinally the same as S. alba
Misc. Medicinal Plants
Insect Repellants
Garlic Allium sativum
Perennial plant cultivated as a kitchen herb
Most effective when eaten on a regular basis
Mint species Menthe various varieties
Rub on skin either fresh or after boiled in water, cooled 5min and strained
Perennial plants with square stems
Many are used in cooking: Peppermint, Spearmint, Curled mint, Lemon Balm
Also can be used as a fever reducer

Insect Repellant in the garden
Companion planting with plants like:
Marigold, rue, lemon balm help deter pests
Nasturtium is great for collecting aphids
Flowering plants bring in the beneficial that eat pests
Green lacewing, Lady beetles, assassin bugs, parasitic wasps, etc

Restoratives (plants that aid in the recovery from illness or injury)
Lambs Quarter Chenopodium alba
High vitamin content: A, Thiamin B1, Riboflavin B2, C, K, Niacin
Mineral content: Calcium, Phosphorus, Iron, Manganese, Zinc
Used heavily in broths; cooked like spinach
Dried seeds contain burnable oil
Dried stems good firestarter

Culinary plants
Most can be used medicinally, as dyes and adhesives
Rosmary Rosmarinus officialis
Helps with liver function and digestion
Salve – wounds, eczema, sores, bruises
Has a pine-y taste to it
Good with poultry
Sage Salvia officialis
As a tea is good for deep unproductive coughs
Add mint and raspberry a soothing tea
Add lemon balm and willow helps reduce aches and pain
Often used in the stuffing mix with poultry
Grow quickly and early in the spring
Found from coast to coast, Mexico and Canada
Lance leaf plantain Plantago lancelotta
Use for snake bite, insect bites stings
More iron, Vitamin A than spinach
Grow quickly and early in the spring
Found from coast to coast, Mexico and Canada
Long thin flower stalk; green, dull flowers
Rarely more than 5” long leaves
Broad-leaf Plantain Plantago major
Has knotty flower stem and odd shaped seeds
Utilitarian Plants
Broad-leaf Cattail Typha latifolia
Narrow-leaf Cattail Typha augustifolia
Southern Cattail Typha domingensis
Cattails are edible
Root: after hard frost harvest them; use/cook like potatoes
The younger the plant, the better they are; less fibrous
Seed pod: harvest before extending from leaf to eat; steam or boil; tastes like corn on the cob
First shoots in spring: are like water chestnuts; eat raw or cooked
Cattail leaves
Split them down the middle(like paper), can be split several times
Weave them into shelter cover(ing), baskets, containers, mats, shoes, hats, skirts
Cattail flower stem
After a hard frost become strong enough to use as center stick in a firebow
Dowels for curtain rods, hangers, joiners for woodcrafts, small cages
Cattail seed head
If unopened it is sterile
Use as wound packing, menstrual care, diapers, incontinence
Stuffing for life vests(it floats), jackets, quilts, beds
Dipped in grease or beeswax becomes a torch
Making ‘hides’ to hunt from

Sugar/sweetener sources
Sap from maples and sycamore trees is sweet
Stevia does not grow well north of TN or in damp areas
Honey (never use honey in anything for a child 2 years of age or younger EVER)
Sugar cane
Strong enough for shelters
Make Blowguns, Flutes
Fodder for goats and other grazers
Water Sources
Pine, Sycamore
Sap can be drunk, high Vit. C
used as a glue
Needles burn even if green
Sap is a natural antibiotic

If you need to get water from streams, creeks etc. (Avoid standing water at all costs) you will neeed to Boil water for at least 10min before using
Black water - Found in bogs, marshes, seeps - Made by the tannins from decaying leaves - Natural antiseptic - Rids animals of fleas, ticks
Teasal Dipsacus fullonum
Has deep wells where the stem and leaf join.
Any plant that has hollows, wells, scooped leaves will collect water
Solar still using a plastic sheet
Rain water collected in rock depressions
Sand, charcoal, cloth can be used to filter particulates
Cactus, grape vines are among the plants with enough moisture content to get a drink

Things to store for Medicinal Preparation use, (things that salves, cream, syrups can be made from etc)
Items for making Salves
Also provides base
Better than using Vaseline
Walnut oil
Does not go rancid
Healing properties
Safflower oil
Works but will spoil
Needs to be kept cool
Sweet oil & Olive oil
Works but makes it thick
Use 100% olive oil

Items needed to make Tinctures
A Tincture is a way to store medicinal herbs for later use
Used to make tinctures
99 proof alcohol – NOT wood/rubbing alcohol - the type used to make alcoholic beverages from
Use Grain alcohol, ever clear, absolute vodka etc.
Another way to store herbs
White vinegar is distilled and more potent than cider vinegar
Vinegar (both types) Kills bacteria and fungus in laundry
50/50 solution vinegar to water kills viral & bacterial agents
Better than bleach & less smell
Cider vinegar has medicinal properties
Antibacterial on skin
Reduces swelling of ankles due to
Pregnancy, overweight, diabetes
Compromised circulatory issues

You can make cider vinegar in 5 gal bucket
Press apples for juice
Allow to ferment for several weeks, until bubbling stops
Mother is the crud at bottom of the bucket or crock and is used to start the next batch of vinegar
If allowed to dry into powder can be used like cream of tarter one component of baking powder
Poultices made with vinegar work better to reduce swelling, bruising than water based ones

Additional survival information
Be prepared by knowing 3 ways to create fire
Find water
Medicinal and Edible plants
Fishing methods
Shelter building
Navigation – know the major stars used for land/sea nav
You may not have that gps or batteries to run it
Moss grows on all sides of a tree, not just the north!
Primitive survival skills complement modern methods and equipment
Roots are harvest-able in winter by building a small fire over the frozen ground
Enough to be able to dig/chop down to the needed roots
Know how to ID plants – seedling Wild Carrot(Queen Anne’s Lace) looks like the seedling of Poison Hemlock
Shells from nuts can be ground and used to clean metal
Hickory shells when burned to powder, then ashes spread in the water will make fish float to the surface
Good for tinder
Local Cooperative Extension offices are great places to take an unknown plant ti get it ID’ed
Fibers of plants, animal fur and human hair can be spun into yarn
Don’t use chemical pest/herb/insecticides on anything you can eat or plan to grow foodstuff in
Root crops take up chemicals from soil Some grass/grains will do the same thing
Heavy metals like cadmium, mercury, arsenic, etc can be found in plants
Do not harvest from any old car lots, dumps etc.
Sugar will kill ants more efficiently than poisons – makes queen sterile
Most strong smelling herbs will deter insects from the garden

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Notes and information from Sunday July 18, 2010 Wild Plants
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