Wild Crafting: A Plant Meditation

| 8/30/2013 10:46:00 AM

Tags: wild crafting, cold remedy, Susanna Raeven, New York,

field sceneAt the end of August the beginning of autumn can be felt in the Northeast. The first trees are starting to turn and show their fiery fall colors. But there are still many medicinal herbs that are just now ready to be harvested and can become part of your green medicine cabinet such as boneset and echinacea.

Echinacea is an excellent immune system stimulant and has strong antiviral properties. Boneset helps to reduce a fever and soothes the lungs. You can harvest the young blossoms and upper leaves of both plants and combine them in a powerful cold and flu remedy for the coming winter months.

Pick a nice and sunny day for your leaf and blossom harvest. Most plants are best harvested late morning, after the morning dew has dried and before the afternoon heat is stressing and wilting the plant.

Wear comfortable clothing in muted colors not to scare birds or other wildlife. If you are planning to visit a thick and high growing field make sure to wear long pants, a long sleeved shirt, and closed, soft soled shoes. Bring your harvesting tools, such a sharp clean pair of shears (Felco makes good shears for left and right handed people) and a small pocket knife. Bring a basket or a paper bag large enough to place, not stuff, your plants in. Avoid plastic bags as they encourage fermentation and spoiling of the plants on a hot day.

Medicinal and culinary herbs loose their potency and medicinal properties after a year of storage. So when you go out to wild harvest, take only enough to make medicine for one year. You don't need much. Nature will provide a new and fresh harvest again a year later. In Native American traditions, an essential rule of harvesting is to only take what you truly need and ask for permission before taking anything at all.

Harvest abundance only from a large growing patch. Do not harvest single standing plants that are not part of a plant community. Never disturb or harvest an endangered or threatened species. Plant them instead and help to insure their future existence.

7/4/2014 8:57:36 AM

I will use what you said! Great advice!

7/4/2014 8:54:43 AM

In my opinion this is a http://www.how-toconceiveaboy.com and that many should use your advice!

9/11/2013 3:00:45 PM

Yes, thank you for this article on gathering wild plants to make our own medicines. I enjoy foraging in the beautiful Ozark Mountains, and my heart always turns in thankfulness to our Great God and Creator of the Universe, who put all these wonderful herbs here for our use. It makes me so grateful I live in a country where I have green places to forage, unlike so many places in the world today. It makes me aware of what a treasure we have, and my responsibility to care for it.

mother earth news fair 2018 schedule


Next: August 4-5, 2018
Albany, OR

Whether you want to learn how to grow and raise your own food, build your own root cellar, or create a green dream home, come out and learn everything you need to know — and then some!