Native American Herbs of the Northeast

A look to the past reveals some of the most important plants used by Eastern woodland tribes - and an inestimable connection to nature. My adventure into the historical uses of many Native American plants began when Maine native Kerry Hardy, author of Notes on a Lost Flute: A Field Guide to the Wabanaki, presented … Continue reading Native American Herbs of the Northeast

Getting to Know Lyre-Leaf Sage

Having fallen into disuse, this North American species is making a comeback thanks to some notable herbalists and a nod from the Herb Society of America. Graceful, light-blue wildflowers border the roads and cover swaths of meadows in periwinkle, from the Mid-Atlantic to Missouri and from Florida to Texas. Known as "just a roadside weed" … Continue reading Getting to Know Lyre-Leaf Sage

Southwest Gardening: Sacred Mesquite ~Recipes

Mesquite grows well in desert areas from the southwestern United States to the Andean regions of South America. Traditionally, native peoples of the Southwest depended on mesquite. It provided food, fuel, shelter, weapons, medicine, and cosmetics. As times changed, and as refined sugar and wheat flour became staples, the role of mesquite was diminished. Mesquite … Continue reading Southwest Gardening: Sacred Mesquite ~Recipes

Endangered Species: False Unicorn Profile

Chamaelirium lutetium Also, Known As: Blazing Star Devil's Bit False Unicorn Helonias Root During the colonial period in North America, people used false unicorn, also known as Liatris (botanical name Chamaelirium lutetium) as a medicinal herb. However, its current use is strictly limited to being an ornamental plant. In fact, false unicorn is preferred by … Continue reading Endangered Species: False Unicorn Profile

Plant Profile: Black Haw

Viburnum prunifolium Also, Known As: American Sloe Black Haw King's Crown Sheepberry Snowball Tree Stagbush The American plant known as the black haw is native to the American continent, and it is believed to have been in traditional use for the preparation of many types of herbal remedies as well as a source of food … Continue reading Plant Profile: Black Haw

Plant Profile: White Sage {Salvia apiana}

Also, Known As: Bee Sage Sacred Sage White Ceremonial Sage White Sage Salvia apiana or white sage is a perennially growing evergreen shrub that is indigenous to the southwestern regions of the United States and the adjoining north-western areas of Mexico. This herb is mostly found growing in the wild in the scrub habitat in … Continue reading Plant Profile: White Sage {Salvia apiana}

Our Beloved Oregon Grape

Berberis aquifolium Also, Known As: Oregon Grape Mountain Grape Not many people are aware of the interesting fact that the state flower of Oregon blooms on this beautiful shrub. Known for its attractiveness and its rapid growth, the Oregon grape is used medicinally, as well as for ornamental landscaping in several homes across the country. … Continue reading Our Beloved Oregon Grape

Plant Profile: Prickly Ash

Zanthoxylum americanum Also, Known As: Angelica Tree Prickly Ash Suterberry Toothache Tree The prickly ash or the Zanthoxylum americanum is a tall shrub that may also be described as a small tree and usually grows up to a height of twenty feet. The shrub is distinguished by its barbed stalks and branches. The leaves of … Continue reading Plant Profile: Prickly Ash