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Wilderness Realty, Inc.

Maine Land Sales Specialists

Wilderness Medicine for the Enthusiast

July 10, 2017 by  
Filed under Real Estate Blog, Recreation Land

wilderness medicineWe are used to depending on the local drug store for our medical supplies. Here are 3 plants to use if one must rely on what is found in the wild. Always be sure you can identify the plant you use and be sure to label containers of stored herbs, they can look much alike.

YarrowAchillia millifolium,

A common plant in much of the US. Yarrow has been used to stop bleeding, also as an antiseptic and analgesic.

One of the easiest ways to use this plant is to crush or chew the leaves into a poultice, which is applied to a cut.

Strip out the stiffer midrib of the leaf, using the softer part of the leaves for the wound. Crushing the leaves with something other than the teeth avoids saliva in the wound, which can transmit disease into the cut.

Yarrow poultice is antiseptic, numbs the wound, and encourages blood clotting. This is a handy and effective first aid treatment.Leaves can be dried and powdered for use on minor cuts. Yarrow tea can be made by pouring a quart of boiling water over an ounce of dried yarrow, and allowing it to steep for at least an hour, steeping longer is better, even leaving the herb in the water overnight. The tea is drunk to treat cold or flu symptoms, always drink 2 or 3 qauarts of water a day while drinking yarrow tea. Yarrow is a very strong herb and it should not be drunk routinely, it can be somewhat habit forming, and taken in excess can cause liver problems.

Yarrow should not be consumed by pregnant women, unless under the direction of a doctor experienced in its use.

DandelionTaraxicum Officinale

Dandelion has a long history of use as a vegetable, it was introduced to the Americas, by gardeners growing it as a pot and salad herb. Dandelion is also used for a spring tonic, to make wine, roasted roots are used like chicory root to extend or replace coffee. The leaves are rich in vitamins A,B,C, and D, and are high in potassium as well. The leaves are reputed to be diuretic, and a liver tonic.

Willow bark, Salix spp. including, Salix Alba,(White Willow),Salix Nigra,(Pussy Willow),Salix Fragilis,(Crack Willow), Salix Babylonica (Weeping Willow). Other willow species contain less Salicin, the main active component, they are less effective. Willow bark acts like aspirin, the effects are a little slower to take effect, but may be more effective in reducing inflammation and pain at a lower dose. Willow bark is less effective in reducing fever than aspirin.

Willow Bark Tea

To make willow bark tea, bring to a boil 1-2 tsp of dried bark in 8 oz of water, and simmering for 15 minutes, remove from heat, steep 30 minutes. Drink 3-4 cups daily. Willow bark should not be used for children younger than 16 or by pregnant women

Photo credit: doegox / Foter / CC BY-SA