Plantain grows wild around our own backyard. Once it starts, it really takes over. Harvest young leaves before flowering and seeding start. Plantain is cooling and moist, but can have an astringent quality.
I really like plantain because I have the kids help me identify it in the yard whenever they get an ant bite or sting. It can also draw anything out that’s in the upper layer of skin. Plantain is anti-inflammatory and mildly antibacterial as well.
Plantain can aid with
inflammatory bowel disorders
Fresh plantain tincture can be useful for anyone suffering from inflammatory bowel disorder. Plantain is also used internally to remove phlegm from the lungs and is safe for use in children, using proper dosing.
Other than its beneficial properties in aiding one’s health, plantain also has its culinary uses. It’s a pretty easy plant to harvest for use in salads. Young leaves are great for salads. Older leaves need to be cooked. Plantain is rich in calcium and Vitamin K.
If you have a burn, you can apply a plantain poultice immediately and bandage with the leaves. Afterwards, using a plantain salve can aid in healing.
Cuts and Open Sores
Wash cuts with plantain tea or a diluted tea.
Do you have plantain growing in your yard? How do you use it?
Cascara sagrada is a cooling drying stimulating laxative. Cascara sagrada is very–very–strong. Much stronger than yellow dock. This should be avoided unless the need is dire. And, of course, as long as you’re not leaving the house.
Because this herb is so strong, it is advised to use on a situational basis rather than an ongoing one. This is not a herb to use for the longterm. It is advised to take cascara sagrada with a carminative like cardamom or fennel. This can help prevent griping.
The bark needs to cure for 1-3 years. Fresh bark is dangerously potent.
The active constituents in cascara sagrada are hydroxyanthraquinone glycosides called cascarosides. Cascarosides induce peristalsis, which promotes a bowel movement.
Cascara sagrada improves the flow of secretions from the pancreas, stomach, and liver to promote digestion and aid in elimination.
Cascara sagrada also increases bile secretion from the gallbladder. This can be helpful if you have gallstones, or as a preventative from gallstones.
The recommended dosage is 1-2 teaspoons of dried bark per 8 ounces of water. Decoct for 20 minutes. If you’re using a tincture, use .5-2 mL once a day. Again, this stuff is dangerously strong. You really need to be sure this is what you need before using it.
I have never had a need to use this powerful herb, but heard it is very effective. Have you ever used cascara sagrada?
This herb is easy to grow if you’re growing it and is pretty easy to find while wildcrafting, too. Yellow dock root is cooling, bitter, laxative, and cholagogue.
Herbs and food with a bitter taste stimulate the vagus nerve. This helps kick-start digestion.
Herbs that have a laxative property help aid in expelling your guts. Great to use if you’re constipated.
Yellow dock has diuretic properties. This means it can increase urine flow. Both the laxative and diuretic properties make it a great cleanser.Toxins can be flushed out of the system through urine and stool.
Yellow dock root’s cholagogue property promotes the flow of bile from the gall bladder into the duodenum.
Yellow dock root may be helpful for joint pain associated with osteoarthritis.
Iron and Anemia
Yellow dock contains high amounts of iron and can aid in cases of anemia.
Use as a Poultice
Yellow dock, used as a poultice, can be a natural remedy for boils and burns on the skin.
Rumicin is an antibacterial compound found in yellow dock. This can potentially help with bacterial infections such as Escherichia, Salmonella, Staphylococcus, and Bacillus.
Glycosides are found in yellow dock. Glycosides help stimulate the liver, which helps with the poor absorption of nutrients.
I have not had the pleasure of actually using yellow dock personally, but it is a herb I would love to keep handy to aid in digestive blends in the future. Have you ever used yellow dock? How do you like to use it?
Marshmallow root is a great addition to blends to aid in digestive needs. The root actually supports the flora found in the gut, making it a wonderful prebiotic. The prebiotic content of the root is highest during the fall and should be harvested after its second year of growth.
Marshmallow is a cooling demulcent. This property aids in the irritation and inflammation of the GI tract. This means you can add marshmallow root for aid in gastric ulcers, reflux, colitis, and IBS. Even though marshmallow root is well known for its digestive properties, being a demulcent also makes this herb helpful for irritation in the bladder and lungs.
Diarrhea and Constipation
Marshmallow has such a modulating effect on the gut that it is useful for both diarrhea and constipation. If using marshmallow to aid in diarrhea, soak powdered marshmallow root in a small amount of water. The soaking can last an hour, or even overnight. It’s going to look, taste, and feel gross. Gobble–er–drink? it up after soaking. When marshmallow is soaked in a small amount of water it still has the capacity to absorb more water once it reaches the gut. For constipation, soak about a teaspoon of marshmallow powder in 8 ounces of water then drink. The bulking fiber in marshmallow will help you expel that which has taken up residence for too long in your gut.
Marshmallow is an overall safe herb to use, but always do your own independent research. In this world, you never know what new things can be found about any herb after this post is written. Do realize, like with many other herbs, marshmallow root can inhibit other drugs and herbs you may be taking. Consult your physician or professional herbalist if you’re taking other medications.
Perhaps you, like myself, have been on a mission to incorporate a more natural approach to your family’s wellness. You’ve revamped your homemade meals with fresh, healthy ingredients, researched holistic ways to approach common ailments, and tried using essential oils and herbs in your own health routine!
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