Friday, August 31, 2007

Medicinal herbs

I have been neglectful of my medicinal herbs since re-immersing myself in art. What was a glorious expanse of orderly patches and rows of plants has become somewhat tangled and overgrown with unwelcome volunteers springing up between the original plants.

I am a trained herbalist and had over 50 varieties of medicinal herbs which has now dwindled to about 25 with the pencil being more active than the garden fork these days. Of course that isn't counting the wild herbs that grow here such as dandelion, clover, yarrow, etc. The comfrey has exploded and I think I have enough to supply most of North America right now. Comfrey has deep roots that tend to be invasive. You can dig it out, but if you leave a small piece of root in the ground, a new plant will sprout from it.

Someone had run the tractor plow over the comfrey patch one autumn day to cut it back and chopped up and spread the roots....now there is a forest.

There is a giant group of elecampane plants sitting on the edge of the manure pile and loving it, if the size of the leaves and height of the plants are anything to go by. Its flowering now and is one of my favourite herbs. Its a wonderful plant for stubborn coughs and respiratory problems as well as aiding digestion and having antibacterial properties for topical use.

I think that during September I will try to incorporate my art and my herbs and try my hand at some botanical drawings of them. A herb a day for September? It may be ambitious but you never know til I try.

5 comments:

Beverly said...

Jeanette, you never cease to amaze me!

Stacy said...

Jeanette, your life is so interesting with herbs and flowers and animals and art (and let's not forget that sweet little baby). I enjoy how you combine it all here and share with us. I'd love to see botanical drawings of your herbs in Sept. especially if you included some information about their uses for those of us, like me, who are fairly clueless. :)

Jeanette said...

I'm a constant student of life Beverly. :)

I will see what I and my life allow me to come up with Stacy. Of course I'll add information about them. Herbs, to many, are just weeds, but oh so useful weeds.

Katherine said...

I think that's a wonderful idea Jeanette - and doing something each day for a month is so much more manageable!

What's the yellow flower with the bee?

Jeanette said...

Well five days have passed in September so far and I haven't come up trumps yet. But I'll try later.

The yellow flower with the bee is elecampane.