Midwest Medicinal Plants: Identify, Harvest, and Use 109 Wild Herbs for Health and Wellness

Midwest Medicinal Plants: Identify, Harvest, and Use 109 Wild Herbs for Health and Wellness

by Lisa M. Rose


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“This comprehensive, accessible, full-color guide includes plant profiles, step-by-step instructions for essential herbal remedies and seasonal foraging tips.” —Natural Awakenings Chicago

In Midwest Medicinal Plants, Lisa Rose is your trusted guide to finding, identifying, harvesting, and using 120 of the region’s most powerful wild plants. You’ll learn how to safely and ethically forage and how to use wild plants in herbal medicines including teas, tinctures, and salves. Plant profiles include clear, color photographs, identification tips, medicinal uses and herbal preparations, and harvesting suggestions. Lists of what to forage for each season makes the guide useful year-round. Thorough, comprehensive, and safe, this is a must-have for foragers, naturalists, and herbalists in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781604696554
Publisher: Timber Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 06/28/2017
Pages: 312
Sales rank: 103,330
Product dimensions: 6.50(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Lisa M. Rose is an herbalist and forager with a background in anthropology and a professional focus on community health. Her interest in ethnobotany and herbal medicine has taken her to study plants, people, health, and their connection to place internationally. Rose leads foraging plant walks and teaches classes on edible and medicinal wild plants. She forages for her own family, herbal apothecary, and community herbalism practice.

Read an Excerpt

Preface: Growing an Herbalist
I first turned to the plants for guidance at the age of 30. Although I’d always been a plant person, I’d been working against nature’s cycles and against my own. I was worn out, tired from the cultural stress that I was carrying from running an NGO, being a mom to two small kids, and being a good wife.

A gardener, I was even too tired to plant seeds in the springtime or clear away the winter’s debris. “Maybe you shouldn’t clear away the debris or plant anything this year,” a wise farmer friend told me. “Maybe you should just listen to the plants and see what they have to say.”

This was the beginning of my practice as an herbalist. I sat down and began to listen to the plants. I let my garden go fallow and watched the land take over in the way that it knows how to do.

My interests in gardening slowly transformed into working nearly entirely with wild plants. I noticed the weeds growing between the cultivated plants and between the cracks in the sidewalk. I wondered about their resilience and their potential healing powers. I learned their names and how they tasted, smelled, and felt in my fingers.

Burdock called to me from the ditches of my friend’s farm. Burdock would become the first plant I’d work with as an herbal medicine. And my apothecary grew, as did a need for my teachings in my community.

I was called to be a teacher in 2010 by my own teacher, Jim McDonald. “Lisa Rose, if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck,” said Jim. “You work with wild plants. You make plant medicines. You share them with others. You, in fact, are an herbalist.”

From that point forward, I opened my gardens and apothecary to my community. Jim and others sent clients my way for my practice. I was scared that I didn’t know
enough. But instead of being stuck in that rut, I stepped forward to teach what I knew.

Since that time, I’ve never really looked back. And with an insatiable curiosity, I’ve never stopped being a student of the plants.

You will find that this book is filled with nuggets of learning that I’ve acquired across a delicious and healing journey with the plants. It’s what I know. Ten years from now, I hope to know more, layered upon this foundation.

In your herbal journey, I encourage you to start with what you know. Go outside and listen to the plants. Touch, taste, smell, and repeat. Get to know the plants on an intimate level. And share this love with everyone you know.

You are an herbalist, and the earth needs you.

Table of Contents

Preface: Growing an Herbalist 8

Wildcrafting Basics 11

Wildcrafting for Wellness: A Season-By-Season Harvest Guide 27

Wild Medicinal Plants of the Midwest 35

Agrimony 36

Alder 38

Angelica 40

Apple 44

Arnica 48

Artemisia 50

Aspen 52

Barberry 55

Beech 57

Blackberry 59

Back cherry 61

Black walnut 64

Blue vervain 67

Boneset 69

Borage 72

Burdock 74

Butterfly weed 78

Calamus 80

Catnip 82

Ceanothus 85

Chaga 87

Chickweed 90

Cleavers 92

Coltsfoot 94

Comfrey 96

Cottonwood 99

Crampbark 102

Cranberry 104

Dandelion 106

Dock 109

Eastern white cedar 111

Echinacea 114

Elder 117

Elecampane 122

Evening primrose 124

Feverfew 126

Field garlic 128

Ghost pipe 130

Ginkgo 132

Goldenrod 135

Grindelia 137

Ground ivy 139

Hawkweed 141

Hawthorn 143

Honeysuckle 146

Horehound 148

Horsetail 150

Hyssop 152

Jewelweed 154

Joe Pye weed 157

Juniper 159

Lady's mantle 162

Lemon balm 164

Linden 167

Lobelia 169

Lovage 171

Lungwort 173

Maitake 175

Meadowsweet 178

Motherwort 180

Mullein 183

Nettle 186

New England aster 191

Oak 193

Oregon grape 195

Ox-eye daisy 197

Partridge berry 198

Pedicularis 201

Pennycress 203

Peppermint 205

Pine 207

Pipsissewa 209

Plantain 211

Poke 213

Prickly ash 216

Prickly pear 218

Raspberry 220

Red clover 223

Reishi 225

Rose 227

Russian sage 230

Sassafras 232

Self-heal 234

Shepherd's purse 236

Skullcap 238

Slippery elm 240

Solomon's seal 242

Spearmint 245

Spicebush 247

Spotted bee balm 249

Spruce 251

St. John's wort 253

Sweet clover 256

Teasel 258

Tulip poplar 261

Turkey tail 264

Uva-ursi 266

Valerian 268

Violet 270

Wild bergamot 272

Wild geranium 276

Wild ginger 278

Wild peach 280

Wild yam 282

Wintergreen 284

Witch hazel 286

Wood betony 288

Yarrow 290

Yellow birch 293

Metric Conversions 297

Suggested Further Reading 298

Acknowledgments 300

Photo Credits 303

Index 304

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