Plant Magic: Natural Medicine All Around Us

by Charlotte Walker
Plant Magic: Natural Medicine All Around Us

When asked the question: Do you believe in magic Do you believe in magic? I had to tell my story using my camera.  The ability to capture what we see and share a story with the world, is rather magical (And quite fitting).

You don’t have to believe in fairies and mystical things to believe in magic. It is is all around us and in how we chose to live and nourish ourselves.

Magic is not a practice. It is a living, breathing web of energy that, with our permission, can encase our every action. ~ Dorothy Morrison

We’ve just emerged from a very long winter where we had snow on the ground for over six months. As we begin to spend more time outdoors, we spend a lot of time observing and re-connecting with all of the flora and fauna. Everywhere I look there are miracles and wonders to behold. Living on the land, and spending our days outdoors, affords us the opportunity to appreciate an abundance of magic from growth, birth, life, connections, creations, beauty and even decay and death.

Observing and working with nature can be quite profound and our relationship and interaction with it remarkable.

One only needs to take part in the planting of a garden to witness magic. A small seed can become a large plant with bountiful fruits. One seed can produce hundreds or thousands more seeds. From that single seeds we can create, concoct, brew, ferment, heal and provide nourishment for our families in countless ways. That small seed is deep and magical.

Usnea  is a lichen also known as Old Man’s Beard. It grows on old trees in cool, damp forests. Can used in a wide range of medicinal preparations including teas and tinctures. Can be used externally as a compress or poultice.

 

Plant magic, lichen and air quality! How cool!

Next time you are exploring a forest, consider studying the lichen to determine the air quality of the area using a modified version of the Hawskworth-Rose Index. This is a neat exercise, educational, family friendly and easy to do. Here’s the detailed guide.

  1. No lichens present – very poor air quality
  2. Crustose lichens only – poor air quality
  3. Crustose and foliose lichens – moderate to good quality (based on number of different lichens)
  4. Fruticose, foliose and crustose lichens – very good air quality

 

If You Keep a Green Bough in Your Heart, the Singing Bird Will Come ~ Chinese Proverb

 

Pine trees (as well as most evergreens) contain high levels of vitamin C, vitamin A, polyphenolic compounds, various B family vitamins, calcium, iron, potassium and phosphorous, as well as sterols and carotenoids. Pine trees can provide year round support including tea, salves and many other remedies.

 

Lavender is used for culinary & medicinal purposes and you can use it in countless ways. To learn more explore: For the love of lavender: History, Aromatic &; Medicinal Benefits (Lavendula officinalis) or Cooking with Lavender | Herbes De Provence & Other Recipes.

 

 

Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind. ~ Bruce Lee

 

Pungent and spicy, horseradish is a powerful perennial plant. It offers a wide variety of health benefits, including its ability to aid in alleviating respiratory conditions, improve the immune system, stimulate healthy digestion & promote heart health. One of our favourite ways to incorporate horseradish in our diet is with herbal oxymels: Artisanal Herb-Infused Vinegar: Acadian Forest Edition.

 

 

I think we could all use more plant magic in our lives don’t you agree?

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