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Root Season is Done!

Phew! I managed to harvest all the roots I needed this year before the ground froze. Happiness to the wildcrafter is litres of macerating tinctures of their freshly gathered herbs.

I didn’t have loads of roots to do this year because I always try to do 2 – 3 years worth for each herb so I don’t have to harvest everyone every year.

What follows is a list of the roots I harvested in November with a brief synopsis of their medicinal attributes:

Asclepias syriaca (common milkweed) root & rhizome

Common milkweed is an anticonvulsant, anxiolytic, bronchodilator, decongestant and relaxing and secretolytic expectorant and I use it a lot in my practice for those with asthma in acute formulations for when they are having an attack. It’s relative butterfly weed or pleurisy root is the better know species for this condition, however, I find common milkweed quite excellent for this. Common milkweed has many other properties and uses for such conditions as whooping cough, pneumonia, heart weakness, chickenpox, rheumatoid arthritis and inflamed lymph nodes. Common milkweed rhizome is a medium potency potentizing herb and has some restrictions in both dosage and duration. 

Aralia nudicaulis (wild sarsaparilla) rhizome

Wild sarsaparilla rhizome is an excellent adaptogenic herb from the ginseng family. It is an excellent herb for the treatment of long-term debility, adrenal fatigue and autoimmune conditions and is how I mostly use it in my practice; however, it has many other properties including depurative, nervine, expectorant and vasodilator.

Arctium lappa (burdock) root

Burdock root is one of those deep acting gentle detoxifying herbs. It’s excellent for any chronic skin condition such as eczema, psoriasis or acne, chronic inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and for lymphatic congestion. Its strongest influence is on the skin, lymphatic and digestive systems. The seeds, fruit and herb of burdock are also used and they all have different areas of influence in the body.

Taraxacum officinale (dandelion) root

& Inula helenium (elecampane) root

You can go to my blogs on both dandelion and elecampane to learn about their many amazing medicinal uses.

 Now that my roots are in, my next project is to make new infused oils. The first three on my list are carrot root, ginseng root and copal resin. I’m very excited to begin working with these new oils and incorporating them into medicinal creams and salves!

To learn more about making medicinal creams and salves consider taking a workshop at Living Earth School. Making Oil Extractions with Michael Vertolli is happening this weekend (December 6th); and I’ll be teaching Making Medicinal Creams on January 17th.



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