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Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Columnists > Garden Guru

To go or not to go?

Feb 19, 2021

By Jim Boxberger - correspondent

By: Contributed Photo
Stinging Nettles
Before there was Pepto Bismol, there was bee balm. Yes, that popular, deer resistant, hardy garden perennial is also a remedy for upset stomachs.
In fact, a tea made from the leaves will not only help upset stomachs, but can also be used to treat insomnia, so you feel better and get some sleep. The older variety of bee balm, Jacod Cline, works best, but all varieties will work.
Angelica, is an herb we sell in the spring that only a few customers know about. A tea made from the leaves helps to relieve stomach aches, cramps, indigestion, fevers and headaches.
That is a lot of cure for a plant that runs about five dollars. Unfortunately it is not perennial in our area, so it will need to be replanted every spring.
Constipated, we have weeds for that too. A weak tea made from the leaves of butterfly weed, Ascelpias tuberosa, can be used as a laxative and diuretic. Only use two to four leaves per pint for the purpose of this tea, as stronger doses can be toxic.
Common chickweed that most people have growing in your yard will also work for constipation. A tea made from the roots of the chickweed will do the trick in short order.
And if your problem is the reverse of constipation, mother nature has you covered here too. Stinging nettles, which are a hardy perennial, but hard to find are a great remedy for diarrhea. Make a tea by boiling the leaves, as boiling takes away the sting. The leaves are also edible and vitamin rich, as many of our European customers can attest to.
We try to find stinging nettles from our growers but many have stopped producing them, so they are hard to find. A couple diarrhea remedies are not hard to find at all around here in the summer.
Cattails and wild strawberries are both diarrhea treatments. With the cattails, make a tea from the crushed roots and the wild strawberries, use the leaves to make a tea. Garden variety strawberries will also work, but the chemical compounds found in the wild strawberries are slightly higher than their domesticated cousins.
For centuries before European explorers came to this land, native Americans were using these plants to cure all types of afflictions. Much of this knowledge has just been forgotten over the past two hundred years, and I fear that more knowledge is being forgotten every generation.
When it is so easy to look something up on your phone, why bother to learn anything? Ask anyone, young or old, to recite three or four phone numbers off of their phone without looking at them.
Just imagine them somewhere where they had to use a rotary phone, that would be a laugh.









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