March 24, 2018

Flower, Weed, Or Herb?

mulleinThis is the flower season here in Island Park. We lost many of the Sego Lillies in the rains of June, but many of the wildflowers are literally carpeting the ground. An ever-changing landscape of blue, purple, yellow, white, and red flowers, all combine to bring beauty and variety to landscape here.

But even more than beauty, did you know that many of our local plants are well-known for their medicinal properties? Mullein, with its beautiful stalk of yellow flowers, is widely considered to be among the best remedies there is for earache. Especially when you combine it with calendula (also known as around here as coneflower.) The mullein soothes the ear while the calendula kills the infection. There’s plenty of red clover growing in Island Park. Did you know a tea of the flowers is very helpful with “female” problems (especially those related to menopause?)

Or there’s the little yellow arnica flowers you see everywhere. The flowers are especially helpful in healing wounds and bruises. Or we see a lot of yarrow. Yarrow grows everywhere up here and has been used by settlers for years to stop bleeding (even profuse bleeding.) Then there’s chamomile. A tea of chamomile leaves and flowers will settle an upset stomach faster than anything else you can do. And we can’t forget willow. The bark of all those willows you see growing along the creeks and lowlands are chock full of salicyns (the precursor to salicylic acid that is the active ingredient in aspirin.) Willow bark makes a great pain reliever.

So when you drive around in Island Park, captivated by the beauty of what you see, remember, our flora is more than just another pretty face. There is healing in these mountains. Physical healing as well as the spiritual healing that most people come for. I hope, as you look at the local flowers, you’ll pause and say, “I wonder what that one’s good for?” Doing so will bring your appreciation for all of these creations to a whole new level.


Speak Your Mind