Crazy Plant Lady

Oh, my family is so good to me. They often humour me even when they are not entirely sure what I’m up to.

I’ve been fascinated with plant medicine for as long as I can remember. It must have started with me reading books as a child. My favourite books included biographies and historical fiction with accounts of the days when plant medicine was medicine.

When recipes and knowledge of plant medicine were passed down from generation to generation.

I firmly believe that we have gained so much knowledge through science and our current allopathic system but I wonder what we have lost in all of our modern medicine practices.

To explain, I think that a fever is not necessarily a bad thing. It’s our bodies way of communicating that something isn’t right. There might be something bacterial or viral going on inside us but rather than slowing down, resting, making sure we are hydrated, and have extra nutrition; we pop some Tylenol or Advil to alleviate our symptoms so that we can carry on with our hectic lifestyle. The fact that we have medicine to relieve a fever is amazing; and having Drs who can help us figure out whether it’s a sign of infection, inflammation or something else is incredible.

I’m not against medicine. I loved when the Drs at BC Children’s shared with us, the different plants that originally were used to create some of the chemotherapy drugs. It’s fascinating to think of the different plant compounds and how they can be used.

One of my favourite herbal remedies is for a cough tea. When my kids were little, I was reading about different plants and their uses and came across Mullein. It’s incredible for respiratory issues and I made a tea using dried Mullein, Peppermint and Mallow leaves. After steeping into a tea, I add honey. All three of those plants have different properties that help soothe sore throats, calm irritation and relieve sinus pressure. The tea totally helps when we have coughs and colds and my kids ask for it as soon as they start coughing.

I love looking for plants out in nature that I know to be useful. There is an incredible number of local plants available that you can forage for.

While out for our daily walk, I’ve come across a field that has a huge patch of comfrey. I used to have a comfrey plant but it got powdery mildew on it and I won’t use it for anything now. But these plants are gorgeous and young and in a beautiful wild patch of land. So tonight, on our walk I harvested some and brought them home with the intention of making a poultice.

Comfrey has been traditionally used to treat broken bones, joint and muscle pain and bruises. I’d love to make a salve with some but a quick application is to make a poultice which is basically a wet mush that you apply on to skin. The idea is that the beneficial properties soak in and have their effect that way.

I chopped them up and blended them to a pulp with a little bit of water. Knowing full well that Jude was going to have an issue with this but hoping that he’d at least try it; I spread some of the pulp on a napkin and went to see if he’d humour me and give it a try.

Would you believe that he let me put it on him?

Well, he did. He gagged a little because it looked nasty and it felt squishy, but he did it. I wrapped it around his arm and covered it with Saran wrap and then a tensor bandage to hold it still and steady.

The way I look at it, if it does nothing, there’s no harm done. He had some slime smeared on his arm for a while. If it helps, awesome. At this point, there nothing else we can do except rest and wait.

Have you ever used a poultice?

My grandma used to apply a warm milk on bread poultice when I would have an infection around my finger nail. I, also remember a child in my class would come to school with an onion poultice in a sock around his neck when he had a cough.

I’d love to hear what remedies you use or remember being used. I don’t care how wild or crazy it sounds. I love wild and crazy. Share your wild and crazy with me.