Devil’s Club

Devil’s Club ~ Oplopanax horridum
The following, while weighty in information, is in no way complete in the actions and uses of Devil’s Club. It’s a plant worth studying in depth.

Smooth muscle relaxant –
Smooth muscles are located in the walls of hollow internal structures of the body. Lymphatic vessels, urinary, uterus, reproductive tracts, gastrointestinal, respiratory, iris ciliary muscle are examples of smooth muscles. Smooth muscles do their thing independent of conscious thought. Spasms can occur due to a ...

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Hawthorn ~ Hope and faith that everything will be ok!

herbofthemonthHawthorn ~ Crataegus spp. is the “hope and faith that everything will be ok” plant. A tall shrub in the rose family, hawthorn grows in open meadows, on roadsides, along streams and forest edges at low to mid elevations. In my area, the conservation district people planted scores of hawthorn trees in wet areas. They’ve since replaced hawthorn with more effective water drinking plants, but us regular folk get to reap the benefits of ...

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Nervous System, Anxiety, and Stress Relief

The nervous system is the control center of the body. It interprets what the body senses and directs responses via movement and glandular activity. It governs the running of our systems such as heart rate, immunity, digestion, and respiration without us having to think about it. The nervous system is responsible for our moods and thoughts. Emotional health, therefore, is a function of nerve health.

The nerves are made up of cells called neurons ...

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There’s fungus among us!

In the Pacific Northwest, we’ve been enjoying a relatively warm and very wet winter. Nettles are up, wild mustard is flourishing, I’m hearing bird song that I haven’t heard in a long time. Oregon grape has flower buds on it already. As I nibble on plant bits, I can taste their strong medicine, which means sap is flowing. What I can tell you is that it’s going to be an early spring and there is a lot of mold and ...

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Salix ~ Willow

 

Willow

Willow – 90 species of Salix here in the Pacific Northwest and all work the same as far as their medicinal content goes. The bark of the willow canes is what is used.

Willow works so well to relieve the pain and inflammation of toothaches, spasming muscles, tension headaches, strains, sprains, arthritis, ...

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The Truth About Elderberries

Elderberries are powerful medicine to have on hand, and there is so much controversy surrounding this plant. To heat or not to heat? Are elderberries poisonous? Those are the questions for which I do my best to give thoughtful and well researched answers.

 

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Winter Herbal Remedies

clusterdockIt was a dark and stormy night. That’s how all exciting stories begin, isn’t it? Our story begins with the advent of the cold and flu season. Dark and stormy days turn to dark and stormy nights, with us fragile folk heading indoors for warmth and comfort. As we breathe in the warm inside air, we also breathe in each other’s colds and flu viruses. What to do? What to do? Come with ...

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Cottonwood and Willow: Nature’s Pain Relievers

Cottonwood, Populus balsamifera, is the largest broadleaf deciduous tree in the Pacific Northwest. It is a member of the Salicaceae family, which makes it willow’s cousin. Cottonwood trees exist near rivers and lakes. They grow to be very tall and are on the narrow side. I’m not talking about Lombardy poplars, Populus nigra, the super skinny trees you’ll find in prairies and open ranges used as windscreens on farms ...

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Cough and Cold Elixir

CoughandcoldremedyGreetings! After a hot long summer, the rains, cooler temperatures, and early nights are here, and in my humble opinion, are very much appreciated. I can’t remember the last time I actually looked forward to a wet rainy winter. We’ll see how it goes this year. The plants had a very interesting growing season. I was talking with one of my long time apprentices just today about this. We’ve been out in ...

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