7 Medicinal Plants Found in Backyards


April, 4 2020

Spring is the perfect time to begin foraging for herbs!

With fewer other plants competing for your attention you're more likely to correctly identify what plant your looking for. It's also the time where powerful cleaning plants that support your Immune, Liver, and Lymphatic health come out to shine. 

Spring plants help us to shake off the sluggish and lumbering energy of winter and step back into the sunshine fully vital and replenished. Characteristics of these plants are high in minerals & nutrients and overall alternative or cleansing in action. The best part is that they can often be found growing in your backyard!! 

Meet your 7 Spring Cleansing Herbs: 

1) Dandelion!
Taraxacum officinale

Energetics: Cold/Dry

Herbal Actions: diuretic, choleretic, anti-inflammatory

Organ Affinity: Hepato-biliary System, Digestive System

Considered the Detox Queen, Dandelion leaves are bitter and stimulate an increase in bile production while also helping to detoxify the liver. You can collect these leaves as they come up in early spring before or after flowering. While you can add dandelion leaves to your salads all summer long, the most potent leaves are those that come in the first months of springtime. This is the only diuretic (that I have knowledge) of that has so much potassium that you don’t lose potassium with it’s dietetic action.The flowering tops can also be collected, and are particularly good in infused in oils to detoxify the skin pathways and to move fluids

2) Chickweed
Stellaria medica

Energetics: Sweet, Cool, Bitter

Herbal Actions: laxative, expectorant, lymphatic, astringent, diuretic, nutritive

Organ Affinity: Skin, Thyroid, Digestive System, Lymphatic System, Lungs

This deeply nutrient rich common “weed” not only provides our bodies with extra nutrients but also helps us to absorb them. It is frequently used for people with joint pains (sweet moistening) . It also opens the pathways of elimination helping to move toxins out of the body. For a commonplace “weed” this plant is powerful and can be used regularly throughout the year

3) Plantain
Plantago major

Energetics: Cooling, Combination of Moistening & Drying, Toning
Herbal Actions: Diuretic, Astringent, Demulcent, Anti-inflammatory, Anti-septic, Moistening expectorant
Organ Affinities: Mucosal Membranes, Digestive, Respiratory, Urinary, Skin

Plantains superpower is being able to be used topically
to draw out deep seated infections or debris.. As an antiseptic is helps to rid one of nasty bacterial infections and is particularly useful in UTI’s. It is also indicated in Leaky Gut syndrome.

Found all around the world, it is the top plant for emergency first aid. Using all parts of the plant you can make a full makeshift bandage that is antiseptic.

4) Cleavers
Galium aparine

Energetics: Cooling, Moistening

Herbal Actions: Alterative, Stimulating, Diuretic, Astringent, Tonic

Organ Affinities : Nerves, Lymphatic, Kidneys, Urinary Systems

A tonic for the lymphatic system Cleavers stimulates and detoxifies the fluids of the body. Opening and stimulating the lymph channels. At the first sign of a swollen lymph node Cleavers should be taken to get things back in motion. This herb is gentle enough for children and Vata’s (Learn More about the Dosha's here). It’s moistening properties are soothing to the urinary system making it a safe remedy for those with cystitis. Matthew wood says cleavers is indicated when someone is feeling “nervous , itchy, fussy, and irritable” . Making a Fresh Cleavers infusion throughout the spring always sets me right on track for a healthy summer.

5) Wild Violet
Viola sororia

Energetics: Cooling, Moistening

Herbal Actions: Astringent, Demulcent, Alterative, Lymphagogue

Organ Affinities: Lungs, Skin, Liver, Heart, Stomach

This powerful little lymph mover helps you to shake off the sluggish and stuck feelings of winter. As a moistening herb it helps to not only stimulate your system, but soothe any irritations that come up along the way. Make an infusion of the tea at the onset of a cold or use externally for rashes, skin eruptions, and dryness. Used internally it can reduce the burning sensation that comes with cystitis according to Kiva Rose from Enchanters Green. Overall Violet helps to stimulate and open the detoxification pathways, making it an excellent herb to add to your spring regimen but also to keep on hand year round when in Liver distress, Burning infections of the urinary or digestive tract, and when under attack during cold/flu season. Violet can also be used for it’s special potency of moving out of a blocked emotional state and is highly recommended as a flower essence for abuse survivors that have a difficulty telling their story.

6) Red Clover
Trifolium pratense

Energetics: Cool/Moistening

Herbal Actions: Antispasmodic, Alterative, Expectorant

Organ Affinity: Liver, Heart, Lungs

Red Clover has been shown in studies to lower LDL or bad cholesterol giving it an affinity for the heart. It is also frequently used to help bleeding women transition into menopause to reduce hot flashes and also PMS symptoms. Overall it is a purifying and relaxing herb that restores function and moisture to dried out tissues and any resulting blockages. May also be indicated for those who experience burn out.

Frequently mentioned for those with heart disease, cancer, and hormonal imbalance.

7) Nettles
Urtica dioica

Energetics: Cooling, Drying, Toning
Herbal Actions: Diuretic, Alterative, Nutritive Tonic, Astringent, Rubefacient, AntiInflammatory
Organ Affinity: Urinary System, Circulatory System, Liver, Connective Tissues, Uterus, Prostate, Adrenals , Skin

Nettles is one of the few plants that is has marked benefits for every constitution type. Draining excess fluid and toxins from damp heavy Kapha Types, while moving heat and reducing irritations in Pitta. The mineral rich salty taste of Nettles is bringing much needed nutrients to the typically malnourished Vata types. Use with caution in these types however, because Nettles does have an overall drying affect. So if you have someone who is suffering more and more imbalance due to dryness it is time to move away from nettles and into the sweet mucilage rich tonics. Nettles is a powerful mover of stagnations .

The folk name of Nettles is *STINGING NETTLES* use gloves when harvesting.

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