Perennial herb Native to
Eastern North America from Wisconsin to Vermont, South to Florida. Found in dry woods,
thickets, fields, clearings and rural roadsides. Cultivation: Downy Wood Mint prefers well
drained fertile soil and partial shade, sow seed in fall as soon as gathered, cover
lightly. Downy Wood Mint is very aromatic, it attracts butterflies and bees to the garden.
The plant stands about 3 feet tall the stems are branched opposite. The leaves are light
green, whitish downy beneath, opposite, simple, subsessile to short-petiolate, lanceolate
ovate and slightly serrate. Flowers are blue to purple, arranged in whorls and separated
by a row of fringed bracket like round platforms or pagodas, hence pagoda plant. There may
be as many as 6 to 7 pagodas full of flowers, per stem sometimes weighing the plant and
bending it down. Flowers bloom is from May thru September. Young shoots are edible. Gather
flowers and leaves in bloom, dry for later herb use.
Properties Downy Wood Mint is edible and medicinal,
the aromatic leaves, like peppermint, can be prepared like those of true mints, steeped in
hot water, flavor jellies, sauces, dressings, cool drinks and hot tea. The tender basal
shoots are used fresh in salads. An infusion of the herb is used in alternative medicine
as an alterative (for that run down feeling), analgesic, antiseptic, diaphoretic,
carminative and tonic. The medicinal tea is used in the treatment of indigestion, colic,
coughs, colds, chills and fevers. A warm poultice of the leaves will relieve a sinus
headache. Chewing the fresh leaves kills bacteria in the mouth and is good for teeth and
Folklore Used as a ceremonial smudging herb by some Native
American tribes, to drive away evil spirits when a person was dying.
Recipe "Medicinal" tea: To 1 heaping tbls. fresh or 1 tsp. dry herb
add 1 cup water steep for 10 min. take hot for coughs, colds, chills and fevers.
information on this web site is intended for educational purposes
only. It is not the intention of the editor to advise on health
care. Please see a medical professional about any health concerns
Disclaimer - These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA.
The information on this web site is not intended to prevent,
diagnose, treat, or cure any disease.
This information is
intended as an introduction to how medicinal herb plants are used.
It is intended for educational purposes only. I am not a medical
professional and I cannot prescribe what herbs are right for you. I
cannot answer medical questions, so please do not ask me (or any
other complete stranger for that matter) to prescribe herbal cures,
treatment or to guess what is wrong with you.
If you use herbs, do
so responsibly. Consult your doctor about your health conditions and
use of herbal supplements. Herbs may be harmful if taken for the
wrong conditions, used in excessive amounts, combined with
prescription drugs or alcohol, or used by persons who don't know
what they are doing. Just because an herbal remedy is natural, does
not mean it is safe! There are herbs that are poisonous such as
Poison Hemlock, Jimson weed, and many more.
I will be happy to
help you ID wild plants that you find, or help you locate herbs,
plants or herb seeds and especially pictures.