Identifying 4 New Herbs On a Local Herb Walk



Herb Walk

I use herbs all the time: making my own medicines and throwing herbs together for healthy teas.  Most of the herbs I use, I purchase in the dried form.  I do have some herbs growing in my yard, but need to work on my planting skills to have the fresh herb supply I dream of. 😉

But just because I use herbs all the time doesn’t mean I can identify all of them in the wild.  Books with vivid pictures are helpful in identifying plants, but there is nothing that compares to having someone take me on a herb walk!  A few weeks ago I went with a local group of people to identify herbs on a farm.  What a help it was to get more familiar with these herbs by seeing them in real life!  Since taking that herb walk, I have identified 2 of these herbs in my own yard.  I didn’t realize they were there!  Finding herbs on your property means free medicine! 🙂

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Identifying 4 New Herbs On a Local Herb Walk

Yarrow

13917334503_63f4e05d9b Photo Credit: Nomadic Lass via Compfight cc

On this herb walk, we found yarrow plants without the flowers.   When looking for yarrow, most of us are looking for the white flower top similar to Queen Ann’s Lace.  However all of the yarrow we found on our herb walk had no flowers blooming, but only the leaves laying very close to the ground.  Both the flowers and the leaves are used from this plant.  I was glad to learn this plant by just the leaves.

Yarrow Uses:

  • Fevers
  • Stops bleeding
  • Burns
  • Chicken Pox and Smallpox
  • Cancer
  • Colds
  • Menstrual problems

St. John’s Wort

526622638_e41aa40c68 Photo Credit: Mike_tn via Compfight cc

St. John’s Wort Uses:

  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Nerve Damage
  • Burns
  • Shingles
  • Herpes

Bee Balm {or Wild Bergamot}

7481944010_5ee3a721d9 Photo Credit: bug_g_membracid via Compfight cc

None of my herbal books talk much about this herb {if at all}, but I have seen it sold at a local farmer’s market.  I was so glad to identify it in the wild and become more familiar with it!

Bee Balm Uses:

  • Colds
  • Headaches
  • Fevers
  • Nausea
  • Insomnia
  • Sore Throat
  • Skin Infections

 Self-Heal

3683753023_1f2c5697c9 Photo Credit: Travels with a dog and a Camera 🙂 via Compfight cc

Self-Heal is another herb that I’ve seen in a recipe or two, but have never actually read much about it or even seen a picture of.  A few days after the herb walk, I found a self-heal plant out in the yard!  Can’t wait to give this herb a try!

Self-Heal Uses:

  • Wounds and Cuts
  • Sprains
  • Cold Sores
  • Sore Throat
  • Stops Bleeding

To find an herb walk local to you, contact a health food store, your department of conservation, or a homeschool group near you to see if they know of any herb walks.  You just may be able to find someone willing to show you plants in the wild.  Local herb walks are one of the best ways to educate yourself on herbs!  I can’t wait to explore my woods to see how many more of these plants that I can identify and gather to use!

Have you been on an herb walk this year?  What herbs have you identified this summer?

Comments

  1. Amy says

    I would love to do an herb walk! I think all the time when I walk through the woods by our house, I wish I knew what some of these were, and I wish I had someone to show me!! 🙂 how fun for you. Thanks for sharing. I think I may have seen some yarrow!

    • says

      I think the same thing all the time too. I’m slowly trying to discover what all these unidentified plants are. It a never-ending learning process! And I hope you find an herb walk near you! 🙂

  2. says

    I grow all of these in my garden, except for the Self-Heal. I didn’t know that I might be able to find it wild! I’ll be on the look-out now. It’s so fun finding beneficial plants growing wild! I love foraging. 🙂

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