Learn about Wild Herbs and How to Use Them
If you are new to herbs, read Using Herbs below.
The Herbs and Wildflower Gallery contains monograph articles about many wild plants used in herbalism. Many of these herbs also grow all around North America, Europe, and Asia. Learn about useful plants such as ground ivy , plantain and violets growing wild in your yard.
The Beautiful Wildflower that Blooms at Sunset!
Hundreds of herb pictures to browse!
Herb Stock Photography available for licensing, or just view plant pictures to see how many wild herbs you may already be familiar with.
Most herbs that I photograph are in their wild habitat in Tennessee and Illinois, but I have many pictures of garden herbs as well. Many wild herbs which are not native are invasive plants imported from other parts of the world such as Honeysuckle, Kudzu and Perilla. Passionflower, yarrow, evening primrose are just a few more of the wild herns that are common enough to be harvested.
I use Jewelweed to make herbal remedies and preventatives for
Poison Ivy, Oak, Acne, and many other skin problems. The Amazing
line of Remedies really live up to their name. You can find Jewelweed growing wild in most of the Eastern United States in wet shady places and learn to make your own poison ivy herbal remedy ice cubes.
Most of the wild ginseng sold to dealers goes to Asia because they have exhausted their domestic Ginseng supply. Many people are helping the population of Ginseng and other herbs with "Forest Farming". Ginseng is fairly easy to grow if you have forest land, and is a good crop for a long term investment. The best Ginseng roots are over ten years old.
Using Herbs Safely and Ethically
The choice to use herbal remedies should not be taken lightly. If you use herbs, you must take responsibility for your own decisions, and make informed choices. Everyone has different DNA and "body chemistry". When I choose to use a dietary supplement, I research it extensively.
Consult with a doctor about any herbs you take. As with any other substance you come in contact with, plants can cause unexpected sensitivities, allergies or side effects in some people. However, many herbs can be used safely by following a few common sense guidelines.
Herbs are most likely to cause problems in people taking prescription medications, as some herbal remedies can adversely interact with pharmaceuticals, or when used in excess. For example, you would not want to take blood thinning herbal supplements with blood thinning pharmaceuticals. If you are taking a prescription for a condition, you would not want to take an herb for the same condition without a doctor's approval.
St. John's Wort, among other herbs, is known to interfere with the actions of many prescription medications. Wild Lettuce is considered safe in small doses, but some people have injected a concentrated resin and ended up in the Emergency room. If you are new to using herbs, don't use plants with toxic properties like Pokeweed, Bloodroot, or May Apple root. Those are for experienced herbalists only. Research herbal side effects, safety issues and interactions of any herbs you are taking.
Mistaken identity of wild plants can lead to accidental poisoning. Study your field guides, and learn about poisonous plants that grow wild in your area, so you know to avoid them. Many non-toxic plants have poisonous look-a-likes.
Consider the source of the herb you want to use. Determine if it is it a common plant that you can wildcraft locally? Is it an herb that you can grow in your garden? If you need to buy the herb, is it available from sustainable sources? Is it ethically harvested or wildcrafted? There are many wild herbs available all around us. Many "weeds" like Dandelion, Burdock, and Cleavers are used for herbal remedies. Some plants can be ethically wildcrafted without harming (and in some cases, as in harvesting invasive plants, may help) populations of native plants. Many other herbs are grown on herb farms as alternative crops. If you are considering using an endangered plant, is there a common herb that can be used instead?
Alt Nature is a fantastic resource for the students at CPR Solutions who are interested in the use of natural herbs to promote healthy and strong lungs.
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