Category Archives: Nature

air

Air: A Natural Resource That’s Far More Useful Than Just For Breathing

There are several natural resources people take advantage of. However, one of the more taken for granted resource is air. Air can be found in most places around the world – well, except, of course, underwater!

Now, air is a mixture of several kinds of gases:

  • Argon
  • Carbon dioxide
  • Nitrogen
  • Oxygen
  • Trace amounts of various gases

Air also has a variable amount of moisture, which is what create the Earth’s atmosphere.

The atmosphere does several things to protect the planet:

  1. It absorbs the ultraviolet solar radiation
  2. It warms the surface using heat retention
  3. It decreases the extreme temperature between night and day.
  4. It allows people to breathe.

What Other Benefits Does It Provide People

Drying

Air can be used for drying. You can hang wet clothes out on a line to dry your clothes on breezy days. The breeze and air will dry them in practically no time. When you’re out in the wild, dirty laundry is still better dry than it is wet. After all, it keeps mold from growing.

Of course, using air for laundry can be taken even further. For example, turn your sleeping bag inside out for five minutes each day. Why? When you sleep, your body will perspire due to the bag’s warmth. Airing it out will evaporate the moisture so that the bag stays dry. This will lengthen its lifespan as well as its washing frequency.

Insulation and Warmth

Air is also worthwhile for sleeping bags because it can help in insulating people, keeping them warm. This logic can also be applied to shelter-building. It’s better to use a spongy, bracken base for a roof structure that’s been packed heavily with dry leaves, instead of something dense, because it keeps air trapped within the materials, acting like a good insulator for keeping things warm and toasty.

Besides, breathing and keeping an area dry and warm, what other things does air do for the universe?

Food Preservation

Air is also good for preserving food. Air drying of fish and meat will ensure food is kept for when you are hungry. This kind of practice also provides jerky, and with this method, you can really adventurous by flavoring your meats with pepper, salt or other seasoning.

Remember this saying: you don’t know what you have until you no long have it? Well, air is one of those things that people take for granted.

What Happens When You Don’t Have Any Air

At high altitudes, air begins thin out. And, when this happens, there are a significant number of difficulties the human body must bear. As the lungs don’t get enough air, the body tries to handle it by increasing the number of breaths you take as well as your heart rate. About 50 percent of folks at 14,000 feet will be overcome with altitude sickness. Symptoms of altitude sickness include:

  • Extended shortness of breath
  • Extended fatigue
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea
  • Exhaustion
  • Vomiting

These symptoms are the body’s way of saying you need to reduce your altitude level. If you do so, you can continue after a couple of days. If not, it could become deadly.

As you can see, air is extremely important each and every day of the week. You need it far more than just for breathing, which is something you probably never thought of!

rosa canina

Roses: The Medicinal Properties Of This Highly Popular and Romantic Flower

rosa caninaThe rose – it’s the most commonly purchased flower, typically given during special times – anniversaries, birthdays, Valentine’s Day, etc. Not sure what it looks like?

How To Identify The Rose

The family of roses has flowers with open petals shaped like cups and thorns along the branches/stems. On some rose species, thorns are found on underneath the leaves. The key action of them is astringent, which means the tissues contract. This aspect can be found in both the rose’s leaves and petals.

During the warmer seasons of the year, the rose is dotted with red oval-shaped fruit. This “fruit” can be both eaten and used for medicinal purposes.

Now, most commonly seen rose is the dog rose (wild rose); it’s the one most people see when they walk around the neighborhood.

As a child, you may have seen rosehips. In fact, you might have used the seeds as itching powder. This reason is that the seeds are a powerful irritant. Thus, when the hips are being processed, the skin should not be constantly exposed to them. The hips can easily be cut in half, seeds removed and keep the flesh for either them to be dried or processed further. Now, you can eat the outer red, fleshy section of the rose as well as the petals.

How To Create Syrup From Rosehips For Medicinal Purposes

rosehipsIf you plan on using the rosehips for medicinal purposes, put them into a syrup concoction. Of course, the key issue in creating syrup is to have sterilized containers that are well-sealed. Rosehips have less sugar than what’s in jams and, if it’s not properly prepared, it will ferment.

What are the steps to create syrup from the rosehips?

  1. Crush them so that water can touch the flesh while ensuring the seeds are kept away.
  2. Use water to cover them and simmer until the hips become soft.
  3. Using a cloth, strain the juice. Whatever you do, do not squeeze the cloth. If you do, the syrup will turn cloudy.
  4. Throw in sugar, just half a kilo per one liter of juice.
  5. Simmer until sugar is completely dissolved.
  6. Allow to cool

If it’s overcooked, it will change into jelly. Now, there are some recipes where the water will re-cover the hips, allowing more juice to be extracted. This is then put into sterilized bottles. Be sure you boil the containers for 15 minutes and allow them to drain. Be sure you leave a two and half centimeter gap when you fill it up.

Now, screw the lids on, undo it by half a turn and place it in a pan of water. Slowly bring it to a boil and boil for up to 30 minutes. When cool, tighten. If it’s not sealed properly, use wax to cover it.

How Are Rosehips Used For Medicinal Purposes

For hundreds of years, the syrup has been used to prevent colds and flus. It wasn’t until recently that scientists learned that Vitamin C was the rosehip’s active ingredient.

Rosehips also have the astringent action, which can be used in treating gums that are bleeding. You can use the petals a survival plaster – lick and apply on a cut and it’ll stop bleeding. Oil can also be made from the petals. Many worthwhile uses for it include antidepressants and aphrodisiacs. Thus, if you feel blue during the winter season, it’s time to use rose oil. However, it’s costly so keep that in mind.

Other worthwhile uses include using the rose stem’s outside fiber to make a cordage material. But, don’t forget to remove the thorns.

Related Articles

 

5 Ways To Preserve Your Herbs

5 Ways To Preserve Your Herbs

5 Ways To Preserve Your HerbsYou can store herbs in several ways: drying, freezing, tinctures or glycerites, oils and vinegars.

Your desired use will determine the way you preserve them:

  • Drying is perfect for teas.
  • Freezing offers fresh tastes even during the cold winter.
  • Tinctures or glycerites are great tonics if you want an immunity enhance.
  • Oils and vinegars are full of the minerals and vitamins from the herbs, not captured in the tinctures and may be used in your cooking.

Drying Herbs

Hang herbs upside down in a dry, dark, well-ventilated location. Attics are ideal for this. Put a paper bag around them to avoid dust.
Put them in a jar once they are dry. Use a glass container, not plastic and place away from direct sunlight or heat. Your basement or a closet is perfect.

Freezing Herbs

Freezing can be achieved in 2 ways:

  • Clean and dry the fresh herbs and put on a cookie sheet in the freezer. When they are frozen, place them in freezer bags. A few herbs may turn brown or dark after freezing, but the flavor remains preserved.
  • Another way is to mix the herbs in some water or oil and freeze in ice cube trays. Employ 2 cups washed leaves to 1 ½ cups water or 6 cups leaves to ½ cup oil. Freeze then place in freezer bags. Just add the cubes to your recipes.

Tinctures

You can make tinctures with alcohol or vegetable glycerin, which is technically a glycerite.

Alcohol should be 80-100 proof. Use fresh herbs if you can ,. The ratio is 1:2 for fresh, i.e. 50g of fresh herb per 100g of menstruum. The ratios for dried are 1:5, i.e. 50g of dried herb for 250g of menstruum.

Put the herbs in a jar, cover completely with the liquid and cap. Place in a cool, dark place – back to the basement, for 4-6 weeks shaking daily. Always label your tinctures with the date. When done, strain the herbs off with gauze and bottle the liquid.

Normally ½ to 1 teaspoon, 3 times a day is a good dosage. As with anything medicinal, if you see an allergic reaction like rash, trouble breathing etc., cease use immediately.

Oil Infusion

Herb infused oils are fantastic to employ in cooking, but also if you want to make a salve or ointment, you already have the base ready. They’re also perfect for massage or liniments.

Only use fresh virgin olive oil. Fill a jar ¾ full of fresh chopped herbs. Put oil to cover the herbs to ¼ inch below the jar top. Put a piece of gauze over the jar top and secure with the metal ring. This will let the moisture to escape and keep the oil from becoming rancid. Place in a warm, sunny location for a minimum of 14 days, stirring daily. After you have let the oil steep, strain off the herbs and cap. Store in a cool, dark location.

Vinegars

Tincturing draws out the therapeutic properties of herbs, but not the minerals and vitamins. The best choice is to use raw, organic apple cider vinegar. Always use fresh herbs. Lightly position the herbs in a jar, don’t jam. Cover with vinegar and top with a plastic lid. If you haven’t one, put some plastic wrap over the jar and screw down the lid. Label your jar with the date. Shake daily for 6 weeks. Strain and store. Use to marinate meats, fish, vegetables, or on your salads or take as a tonic, ¼ tsp at a time.

Chamomile

The Amazing Health Properties of Chamomile

Chamaemelum nobile, Asteraceae, Roman Camomile...
Roman Camomile (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Chamomile is one of the most commonly used medicinal herbs. This daisy-like plant is characterized by its yellow disk flowers that are normally 1-3 cm wide each, and surrounded by white rays. It also features some linear feather-like leaves that are finely divided. This wonderful herb grows in populated areas in many parts of the world, including North America, Europe, Australia and Asia.

There are several species of chamomile. However, the ones that are mostly recognized for their medicinal value are the Roman chamomile (Chamaemelum nobile) and the German chamomile (Matricaria recutita). These two have some stark differences in their appearance. The Roman chamomile is a short, creeping plant that does not exceed 30 cm in height. On the other hand, the German chamomile can grow up to 60 cm tall, and has many stems hence more flowers. These flowers are smaller than those of the Roman chamomile. Another difference is that the Roman chamomile is a perennial plant while the German chamomile is an annual plant. However, the two of them have the same therapeutic benefits albeit these physical differences.

Echte Kamille (Matricaria recutita)
German chamomile (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The great thing about chamomile is that it blooms continuously from early summer to the start of the winter season. In fact, it blooms throughout the year in areas where there are no cold winters. This means that there is never a shortage of flowers.

Chamomile has very many health properties. First, it acts as a digestive tonic that is not only safe, but also gentle on the stomach. It is highly effective in dealing with bowel problems, vomiting, gas, indigestion and a host of other stomach issues. Chamomile is the only herb that can deal with acute or chronic gastric disorders and bowel diseases that are caused by hyper-excitability and nervousness. Its constituents contain sedative and antispasmodic agents that ease inflammation as well as nervous spasm in the digestive tract. These agents also help to expel gas, and boost the production of bile.

Chamomile is a great laxative with strong antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties. It can treat all skin inflammations that arise from fungal or bacterial infections, contact allergies and flea bites. These include things like hemorrhoids, plaques, conjunctivitis, skin dryness and psoriasis. An infusion of chamomile flowers makes a nice antimicrobial rinse that not only heals the skin but also soothes it, leaving behind a very nice feeling.

Chamomile has been used for generations as a sleep aid. It is a mild sedative with relaxing and soothing properties. Apart from humans, it can be fed to animals to cure a variety of anxiety-related or spasmodic problems. Being a sweet-tasting herb, which is soluble in water, chamomile is quite easy and safe to administer to animals. It usually recommended by vets before trying other stronger sedatives and antispasmodics.

Studies have shown that the antispasmodic, antiallergenic, anti-inflammatory and anxiolytic effects of chamomile have health benefits for diabetic and cancer patients. They also improve the oral mucous membrane and help wounds to heal faster. The sedative effects of this herb are highly effective in treating insomnia, nervousness, cramps, cold and fever. Additionally, chamomile has been shown to boost the health of patients with bladder problems, bronchitis, skin eruptions, cataplasms, swelling, back pain, jaundice, heatstroke, spleen and kidney problems.

Chamomile is a proven tonic, which strengthens and constricts smooth muscle tissues in the body, including the uterus, the bladder and the heart. It’s relaxing and tonic effects help to ease dental pain. It is also used as an appetite tonic before meals. Another dietary benefit of chamomile is expelling worms. Unlike other herbal wormers such as walnut hulls and wormwood, chamomile is completely non-toxic. However, it is not as effective as the other anthelmintics.

Preparation and administration

To prepare a cup of chamomile tea, you will need 2 tablespoonfuls of  flowers.

  • Boil the water, and then add the flowers.
  • Put it in a cup and cover it with a plate.
  • Leave it to infuse for around 12 minutes, after which it will be ready for consumption.
  • You can add a teaspoon of honey or lemon juice to taste, and for additional health benefits. Lemon juice boosts the cleansing process of the digestive system. It also helps to deal with flu.
Ginger - Zingiber officinale

The Powerful Healing Properties of Ginger

English: A Ginger Plant (Zingiber officinale)....
Ginger Plant (Zingiber officinale). (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is probably one of the most favorite cooking ingredients and medicines in the world. Ginger is a perennial herb that originates from China and India. For centuries, Asians having been using ginger root in cook and for therapeutic purposes. Asia, Australia, Jamaica, South America and the United States are some of the countries where different varieties of ginger are cultivated.

The ginger plant has delicate green leaves that resemble baby spinach, which are eaten in salads, but the true benefits of ginger come from the roots of the plant, known as rhizomes.

Health Properties of Ginger

  1. When it comes to aid digesting, ginger is probably the best herb because it has antispasmodic or carminative properties. Proteins are broken down by ginger, getting rid of bloating and gas from the intestines and stomach. It also helps the stomach digest fatty foods as well.
  2. As a result of the warming quality of ginger, circulation is improved and stimulated, and the muscles surrounding blood vessels are relaxed. This way, the flow blood throughout the body is facilitated.
  3. There is a lot of evidence that motion sickness can be prevented and treated with ginger, since the stomach is relaxed and the feeling of nausea is relieved by it.
  4. It has been demonstrated by studies that the absorption of cholesterol in the blood and liver is reduced by ginger, thus cholesterol levels are lowered. The levels of bad or LDL cholesterol in the body can be reduced with its extract and the risk of the development of heart disease is also reduced this way.
  5. The secretion of mucus can be stimulated by consuming ginger, which can soothe scratchiness in the throat and relieve cough.
  6. Ginger contains anti-fungal, anti-toxic and anti-viral properties, so it can be used to prevent and treat common cold.
  7. Ginger can help treat allergies because it acts as an antihistamine.
  8. Ginger can be used for the treatment of osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis and a variety of other muscular disorders because anti-inflammatory properties are displayed by it. The biosynthesis of prostaglandins, which is the main cause of inflammation, is inhibited by the chemical components of ginger.
  9. Since the secretion of mucus is promoted by ginger, ginger protects the stomach from the development of ulcers.
  10. Along with lowering cholesterol, the formation of blood clots is also prevented by it.
  11. Minor burns and skin irritations can be immediately relieved by applying fresh ginger juice.
  12. Arthritic pain can be reduced by applying ginger oil.
  13. Ginger oil also refreshes the mind, so it is used in saloons and spas.

How to use ginger?

Ingwer (Zingiber officinale)
Ingwer (Zingiber officinale) (Photo credit: blumenbiene)

To benefit from the health properties of ginger, fresh ginger should be chosen over dried ginger. Not only does fresh ginger taste superior, but it contains higher levels of its anti-inflammatory compound and gingerol. Fresh ginger is usually free of mold, with a smooth, fresh skin and with fewer joints and twists as possible.

Young and mature are the two forms of ginger that are generally available. The skin of mature ginger is tougher and needs to be peeled, while the skin of young ginger does not have to be peeled. Ginger can be julienne, minced or sliced. Ginger can also be brewed as a tea.

Take advantage of ginger

Ginger is used as a flavoring for various culinary preparations and so, this is the most common way of having ginger and benefiting from its health properties. Ginger can be used to prepare ginger ale, ginger beer, gingerbread, ginger biscuits, ginger cake, ginger cookies, ginger tea and a lot more. Thus, ginger is one of the most renowned herbs with some remarkable health properties, and above all, it is easy to find and easy to consume.

Pine Pollen

An Excellent Food: Pine Pollen

TPine Pollenhe pine pollen anthers are the small, yellow or light green mini cones that grow in the spring and early summer. Usually they are covered with a bright yellow-colored dust.
They are an excellent source of food since they’re full of nutrients and healthy proteins.

Frequently you will see a yellow dust on vehicles that are left under pine trees, or you will see a yellow area of dust over the road. These signs will inform you that the pollen season is started. Try collecting some pollen any time you can and taste a pinch: it’s very palatable!

You can collect the pollen anthers or it is possible to shake the pine pollen out by tapping it into a container such as cloth bag, tightly woven basket or bowl. In regions with plenty of pines, you can gather it quite easily.

The pine pollen is extremely fine, and you can add it to soups, stews as thickener, or to breads as a flour supplement or you can eat raw.

chickweed - Stellaria media

Chickweed: The Best All Around Weed

Nature provides us with a lot of the medicines we need to not only survive, but thrive. When you learn to identify some of the vegetation around you, you can use many of them to your advantage in emergencies, or even as daily remedies for common ailments.

English: Chickenwort, Craches, Maruns, Winterw...
Common Chickweed -Stellaria media (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of the most beneficial, natural herbs is chickweed (Stellaria media). This plant grows uncultivated readily throughout the world, and can provide relief to ailments from coughs to water retention to inflammed and irritated skin. Not only is chickweed a wonderful natural remedy for a variety of ailments, it is also high in vitamins and minerals, and tastes great in salads or a summer veggie side dish.

Chickweed is fairly easy to identify. It thrives during the summer months, and will grow easily in sunny, moist soil. It grows on a stem which can grow to 15-20 cm in height with leaves growing opposite each other on the stems. White flowers will bloom on the ends of the plant, which will reseed easily for more chickweed to grow. The stems are slender and may have what appear to be tiny hairs growing on them.

Chickweed provides a lot of health benefits to users. The U.S. Navy used chickweed in the prevention of scurvy in the early years because it is high in Vitamin C. While sailors didn’t know the cause of scurvy was low Vitamin C, this edible plant naturally kept levels of Vitamin C higher in sailors onboard ships to lower the numbers of sailors suffering from the potentially deadly disease. It is also a natural diuretic, making it excellent for people suffering from certain types of edema, as well as weight loss due to water retention. Because of it’s anti-inflammatory properties, chickweed is a wonderful soother for people suffering from cough due to inflammation of the lungs or mucous membranes. It can also be used to treat minor skin irritations and rashes due to insect bites or other mild skin discomforts.

Chickweed can be prepared a variety of ways, and can be eaten raw, or can be cooked, steamed, boiled, brewed into a tea, or added to clay to make a poultice for the skin. Varieties of chickweed which have hairs on the stems and leaves are best cooked to soften the hairs and make the stems easier to consume.

The leaves are often added to fresh salads and eaten raw, and provide a mild, pleasant flavor similar to corn on the cob. It can also be sauteed with other veggetables as a side dish with some olive oil and seasoned to taste for a delicious and nutritious boost to a meal. The leaves and stems can also be steamed, which retains a lot of the nutritient value, and eaten alone, or they can be added to a cup of warm water to steep for a few minutes to drink as a tea.

If you are consuming chickweed for the added boost of vitamins and minerals, consuming it raw or lightly steamed will be the best preparation method. High in Vitamins C, A, D, and iron, you can get a large boost in these essential vitamins and minerals by consuming the leaves and stems of chickweed mixed in a salad several times per week. To consume as a diuretic or a soothing natural cough remedy, preparing a mildly brewed tea with some leaves and stems will help you achieve the greatest benefit from its use. For minor skin irritations, making a poultice out of clay with chickweed which has been pulverized will work wonders for red, itchy, irritated skin.

Chickweed also contains small amounts of saponins. These are natural thickeners, which can work well in soups and stews. It creates complex, deep flavors while aiding in the thickening of soups, sauces, and stews.

It is amazing what types of natural remedies we can find by looking around us in the great outdoors. One of the most versatile of nature’s remedies is chickweed. It is self-sustaining and uncultivated, and an extremely hardy edible plant which can be found in almost all areas of the world. It provides high levels of certain vitamins and minerals, and can provide soothing relief to certain types of edema, calm coughs, and is a natural anti-inflammatory which can help relieve many minor skin irritations.

Devil's claw - Harpagophytum procumbens

Knowing more about the Devil’s Claw

Harpagophytum procumbens Français : photo util...
Harpagophytum procumbens  – © CITES Secretariat

If you are someone who has never heard about the Devil’s Claw (Harpagophytum procumbens), then you should know that this is a trailing perennial plant that comes with creeping stems which has been reported to develop up to a staggering 5 feet in length. Its root resembles a very thick carrot and it also features secondary roots tuberous in shape. When it comes to its stems, they are grayish in color, it has a woody and thorny fruit and reddish-violet flowers which are tubular in shape. This herb actually grows in S. Africa and also in the Madagascar Island.

Most of the times this herb is use by herbalists in order to treat the pain caused by arthritis and it has also been tested by the scientists in order to see how effective it can be against lower back pain. It has been tested on people who are dealing with one of the most severe types of lower back pain and after individuals used it, the results they got were pretty spectacular. When the herb is used in an enteric coated form, its effectiveness in controlling pain will increase a lot. Below, you will be able to see the diseases and conditions this plant is recommended for:

  • Appetite stimulant
  • Upset stomachs
  • Tendonitis
  • Carpal tunnel syndrome
  • Muscle pain
  • Sciatica, lumbago, gout and arthritis

You can also apply it externally if you have boils or skin lesions.

Dosage and preparations

Over-the-counter

This amazing plant comes in tea form, tincture and capsules and can be found in drugstores and pharmacies.
Tincture: If you would like to use the Devil’s Claw in this form, then you will have to take between ten to forty drops of it on a daily basis and only follow the dosage your doctor recommended you.

At home

For a decoction, you will need to add half a teaspoon and up to a teaspoon of rhizome into 1 cup of water, bring it to a boil and then simmer for around ten to fifteen mites. For at least thirty days you will need to drink this three times per day.

Parts used

The secondary roots and the rhizome

Collection

The Devil Claw’s secondary roots are recommended for collection when the rainy season has ended.

Constituents

  • Luteolin
  • Harpagide
  • Harpagoside

Action

  • Digestive stimulant
  • Sedative
  • Analgesic
  • Anti-inflammatory

Combinations

If you would like you will be able to have it combined with Meadowsweet, Bogbean and Celery seed in order to treat your arthritis.

Side effects and safety

There are certain cases in which you will not have use this herb, because it might pose a certain danger to your health. These situations are as following:If you are under blood thinning medicationIf you have duodenal or gastric ulcersIf you have cardiovascular problemsIf you are pregnant

You will find a very high concentration of iridoid glycosides in the Devil’s Claw, but also secondary metabolites. Due to its massive beneficial effects this plant is very much used in Europe in order to treat inflammatory joint disorders and any other related pain. The fact is that there is little to no scientific proof in regards to the effectiveness of this herb, but it seems that the folkloric information found on it is plenty, which indicates that the herb is very much able to treat these problems.

Remember, as with any other herb out there, there can be side effects experienced by individuals, so that is why if you’re under certain medications, you will have to get in touch with your doctor before starting your use of Devil’s Claw. Some side effects you might experience number upset stomach, diarrhea and headaches, yet the good news is that they are very rare. But if you will experience these side effects you should talk to your physician as soon as possible.

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Burdock

Burdock: The Edible Velcro

Burdock (Arctium spp.) relates to the daisy family. Additionally, it is directly related to Echinacea, Dandelion, and Feverfew. Back in the past the Greeks made use of the greens and the roots for healing. During the Middle Ages, Burdock was used for food and medicine.

Also Known as

  • Burdock
  • Beggar’s Buttons
  • Cockle Buttons
  • Gobo
  • Harebur
  • Love Leaves
  • Thorny Bur

 


 

Identification Keys

  • Stalk
    • Purplish-green leaf stalks
    • Arctium minus – Common burdock’s leaf stalks:
      • hollow, not furrowed
      • 50-150 cm tall
    • Arctium lappa – Greater burdock’s leaf stalks:
      • solid, with a groove along the upper surface
      • up to 250 cm tall
  • Greater-Burdock_Arctium-Lappa-__16288
    (Photo credit: Public Domain Photos)

    Leaves

    • basal rosette the first year and at the beginning of the second year with coarse, huge, wedge-shaped leaves up to 60 cm long and 30 cm broad.
    • The leaves are whitish and finely wooly underneath
    • Its alternate leaves are similar to the basal leaves, but smaller, especially toward the top

 

 

  • English: Greater burdock (Arctium lappa) Deuts...
    Greater burdock (Arctium lappa) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

    Flowers

    • bristly, purple-pink, spherical, composite shaving brush-like flowers
    • 2 cm across in common burdock, short stemmed
    • 2.5 to 4 cm across in greater burdock, long-stemmed resemble shaving brushes
  • Fruits
    • The ripe fruits consist of brown, prickly spherical burrs the size of the flowers, covered with tiny hooks
    • They stick to virtually anything they touch, they’re the inspiration for Velcro
    • Inside are many small, hard, curved, brown seeds

 

Bloom Time

  • July-October

Habitat

  • lawns
  • fields
  • thickets
  • disturbed habitats
  • untended gardens
  • empty lots
  • edge habitats
  • trailsides and roadsides
  • parks
  • sun or partial shade
  • backyards

Look-alikes

  • “Dock” stands for take or eliminate, and not related plants that folks remove from their backyards, including the curly dock, also known as yellow dock (Rumex crispus), which has delicious leaves and stems, have the identical confusing surname. But you can’t confuse with burdock because curly dock has narrow leaves, not white beneath, with curled edges, a hard, yellow taproot, and different flowers and seeds.
  • Curly dock’s relative bitter dock or broadleaf dock (Rumex obtusifolia) has large leaves that look like burdock’s, and the plants occasionally grow next to each other, but as a relative of yellow dock, bitter dock’s hard, inedible taproot is vivid yellow when scraped, and the leaves don’t possess burdock’s white, whooly fuzz underneath. Even if nonpoisonous, every part of the plant tastes bad.
  • Cardoon (Cynara cardunculus) is an edible relative of burdock.

Poisonous Look-alikes

  • Cocklebur (Xanthium)

 


 

Medicine Uses

Parts Used

root, leaf

Actions

detoxifying

Systems

Digestion

  • eases liver problems and digestive disorders

Circulation

  • a decoction made by boiling the root is a blood detoxifier for the skin, liver, and kidneys.
  • Burdock helps combat hypoglycemia and pre diabetes conditions due to a large quantities of inulin, a polysaccharide that doesn’t get absorbed or induce an insulin response

Immune system

  • strengths the immune system when it’s weakened by environmental factors

Externally

  • use a poultice to clear bruises. Bandage for few days with a poultice made by blending the leaves with water and clay. Add spearmint stems to make this poultice even more effective.
  • put the leaves on burns to prevent bacterial growth, speed recovery time, and ease the changing of dressings.


Food Uses

Parts Used

roots, stems

Main Uses

potherb, root, tea

Nutrition

  • Burdock root supplies vitamins B6 and C, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, manganese, and sodium
  • It is really an excellent supply of inulin,  and is helpful to people with blood sugar problems

Caution

  • Avoid eating the seeds, which are poisonous.

Cooking

  • Root:
    • Burdock root seems like a blend of potatoes and artichokes.
    • Scrub the taproot under flowing water to clean it. Cut thin, so the root will become softer.
    • Raw, it’s hard to digest but not toxic. Simmer or steam 15 to 20 minutes, until tender. It’s also possible to bake it inside a covered baking dish that has a minimum of liquid, so that the hot steam tenders it.
  • Stem and Stalk:
    • It tastes like artichoke hearts.
    • Peel the fibers from the stems and flower stalks. Slice, then boil 5 to 15 minutes.
  • Leaf:
    • The leaves are really bitter. You can boil the very young leaves in multiple changes of water to reduce the bitterness, however, you can make a better use of your energy and time by harvesting other wild greens.

Harvesting

Harvesting Season

  • spring: root of 1st year plant, root of 2nd year plant (before the flower stalk appears), leaf stalks of greater burdock
  • mid-spring: stem
  • summer: root of 1st year plant, leaf stalks of greater burdock
  • fall: root of 1st year plant, leaf stalks of greater burdock

Harvesting Methods

  • Root:
    • Burdock’s taproot is very deep. Collect in a place that’s relatively free of rocks (not hard to find, since burdock is so common) and with a moist soil. Put the shovel 2 cm from the heart of the rosette. Grasp the handle strongly with both your hands. Over and over again stomp on the shovel, to push it straight down, so you don’t cut the root. You can try to push upward using the shovel while carefully pulling the leaves. If it’s not moving, don’t pull the leaves too hard, but remove the soil and do it again on the other side of the plant. When you’ve finished, refill the hole with soil, so you’ll reduce any environmental impact.
  • Stem:
    • Cut off the stem with a knife soon after it appears in mid-spring, when it’s large, but still very soft and flexible, long before the flowers appear.
  • Stalk:
    • Cut off the leaf stalks with a knife any time during the growing season, but only use greater burdock. There’s not enough food in common burdock’s stalks to make it worthwhile.

 

Eco Friendly Tips for green environment

Eco Friendly Tips for Green Environment

Living green is good for the environment. It not only reduces the environmental pollution but also saves your money. By following the simple tips and techniques you can reduce the amount spent on gas and electricity bills. More use of computers and printers resulted in global warming. Most of the people believe that global warming is caused due to the burning oil and natural gas. But 30% of the greenhouse gases enter into the atmosphere because of deforestation.

  • Eco Friendly Tips for green environmentUnion made hybrids: The gases released from vehicles results in global warming. For greener environment you need to shift to hybrid electric cars. These vehicles integrate the engine of a conventional vehicle with a battery and electric motor which results in low emissions.
  • Furniture polish: This polish contains the harmful chemical substances. You can polish the furniture by mixing vinegar with a few drops of olive oil. By this way you can not only save money but can also reduce the environmental pollution.
  • Shift to eco-friendly bags: Avoid using the plastic bags. Go for paper bags. Plastic materials take years to degrade. Buy a tote bag and use it while shopping.
  • Switch off the lights: turn off the lights in storage rooms, restrooms, and unoccupied areas. By this way you can contribute to the green environment. Reports say that two-third of the electricity will be used for lightings. Electricity productions release harmful carbon dioxide gas into the environment.
  • Pay your bills online: Use technology. Pay your monthly expenses through online. You can save the paper and can reduce the fuel consumption of post office vehicles.
  • Save wood and paper: Try to use both sides of paper. Use email to send invitations and for writing. Reuse your envelopes. Recycle papers is good for environment which can used for making invitation cards, envelopes, letter pads etc.
  • Home appliances: Opt for the energy efficient appliances. Collect the water used for washing vegetables to water your plants. Allow the clothes to dry naturally in sunlight. Shift to the rechargeable batteries.
  • Garden: Water your plants early in the morning and evening. Use efficient irrigation systems. Utilise the unused space in garden. Make a compost pit. Store the kitchen and garden waste which acts as a manure for soil. Use only the environmental friendly fertilisers and pesticides. This decreases the environmental pollution.
  • Reuse and recycle: Purchase washable nappies instead of disposable one. Use the solar equipments. Use ceramic containers to store food rather than using plastic wrap.
  • Online shopping: Buy solar products. Buy the eco-friendly home appliances. This reduces the waste and pollution.
  • Workplace: Utilise the both sides of printed paper. Use the spare paper place instead of notebooks. Purchase the recycled paper. Turn off the monitors, printers when not in use. Save the electricity by turning off the lights.
  • Holidays: Avoid travelling by air. This reduces the consumption of fossil fuels and greenhouse gases. Use public transportation.
  • Upgrade insulation: well-insulated home saves your money. It gives a cool and warm home environment.
  • Laptop: use laptops which consume less power compared to desktop computers.

Author Bio: The guest post was contributed by Lucy, financial guest blogger from Manchester, UK. Wrote many articles on ppi claims. Find out more about her finance related blogs @financeport.