First of all, to visit your local library.
This is a good time to check out medicinal plant field guides and get
familiar with which herbs grow in your area. Wildflower guidebooks are
good to help because many wildflowers have uses in herbal medicine. I also
recommend that you thoroughly read a guide to poisonous plants so you know
what to avoid. At first all this information can be a bit overwhelming;
however you will be surprised how much of what you read will come back to
you as you began to notice the variety of plants around you. I also
have links to many plant photos on my links
page to help you get started. Visit local botanical gardens and native
plant nurseries, and check too see if any of the state parks in your area
have spring wildflower walks; which are usually led by an experienced
Some of our most common weeds have medicinal
uses. Dandelion, for example, has a
long-standing reputation in folk medicine as a liver and digestive tonic
as well as many other uses. Chickweed
is a common yard weed commonly used in herbal weight loss products.
St. Johnswort is abundantly found in
abandoned fields all over North America, and is one of the most popular
herbs on the market now. There are many others.
I have been able to prepare many herbal
remedies for my own use from several very common plants, thereby
eliminating the need to buy a lot of things I like to keep on hand. The
very act of finding and harvesting these medicinal plants is good exercise
in itself, therefore providing additional health benefits. Above all is
the spiritual aspect of enjoying Nature, which is what makes this
something I am drawn to do year after year. No matter how much I think I
know, every time I get out with Nature I find something new to discover
and marvel over.
Before you harvest any plants, develop a great
appreciation for Nature to the point where you see that all life is
connected and that you are part of the plants that you harvest. And they
are part of you. A willingness to let Nature guide your consciousness and
instinct, and a desire to learn from her will lead you to make the right
decisions when you harvest.
Never harvest anything that even resembles a poisonous plant until you
have studied plants for several years, some plants can kill you!
Especially the ones that closely resemble Angelica, these are
Water Hemlock and Poison
Hemlock and they are deadly poison!
Be sure to search your states endangered list for plants that you
pick or dig. To find plants that can be harvested, check local noxious
weed lists and exotic plant pests lists.
"your state" +rare +plant
"your state" +endangered +species
"your state" +noxious +weed
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