Your garden wants to feed you—not just with the cultivated plants you tuck into the soil, but with a profusion of wild greens and herbs that spring up of their own generous accord. These feral guests surpass domestic veggies in nutrition and are often brimming with medicine, which makes them worthy of our attention and care in cultivated spaces.
When we think of healing plants, our minds gravitate toward the plants growing at our feet – the garden herbs, weeds, and woodland plants of the forest floor – but there’s a veritable treasure trove of healing remedies towering above. Humans have been harvesting and using medicine from trees for millennia, and medicinal trees and shrubs probably already grow near where you live.
What a delight to interview Brandon Ruiz of the Charlotte, North Carolina-based Herbal Accessibility Project—a community-inspired network of food and medicine gardens that reflect and reconnect local relationships with ancestral plants.
My Beloved Rose: Given the way you show up with your gifts of flowers and medicine year after year—perennial and glorious, with little help from humans—I’ve been feeling that the least I can do is to write.
Among herbal wildflowers, goldenrod (Solidago spp.) has grown itself a special place in our hearts. Lighting up the late summer landscape with a warm glow, this native North American herb has an endearing repertoire of gifts: it’s a natural dye plant, an edible and medicinal herb, and a nectary flower for pollinators.
Need to get your urinary tract back on track? This tea blend is helpful for addressing the symptoms and the root cause (primarily, bacterial infection) of urinary tract infections (UTIs).
This goldenrod tincture blend is helpful as an internal remedy for sinus congestion due to seasonal allergies, head colds, or sinus infections.
Because so many of us experience chronic stress, we also require chronic (aka tonic) support. Tonic herbs are remedies that can be taken safely over a long period of time.
Herbal poultices are simple, traditional remedies used topically on the skin to relieve pain, infection, and swelling.
Fresh herbs will change the way you eat. They are the edible garden’s big bang for your buck. These plants have short “fresh” shelf lives, so what’s offered in a grocery store is often not only expensive but also less flavorful.