Medicinal Plants, A to K

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The Bedstraw Plant is also known as cleavers, goosegrass, grip grass, catch weed and it is a very valuable plant, being perhaps the best tonic to the lymphatic system available. As a lymphatic tonic with alternative and diuretic action, bedstraw may be used safely in a wide range of problems where the lymphatic system is involved. These include swollen glands anywhere in the body, especially in tonsillitis and adenoid trouble. Read More….



Black Huckleberry

The Black Huckleberry is an erect, deciduous shrub 1 to 2 m tall. The leaves, up to 5 cm long, are elliptical with a long pointed tip and a finely serrated margin. The bell-shaped flowers are creamy pink and are found singly on the underside of the twigs. The berries are large, spherical, sweet, and dark purple or black. In some forms the berries are covered with a waxy bloom; others have shiny dark berries. Read More….



Bleeding Heart

As with so many plants of the BC coastal region, this species also has medicinal value. You can make a root tincture or a hot compress to help with pain relief and it can be applied externally to bruises and sprains. Internally a tincture of bleeding heart can also help calm frazzled nerves especially after a frightening experience such as an accident or other trauma. The roots of this plant are generally gathered in summer and fall, up to the time when the leaves start to turn. Read More….




They also used them for medicinal purposes and made a strong aromatic tea from the root.  Early medical books show this same tea was used by wives of settlers during labor. The juice was used for “old coughs” and tea made from the leaves was believed to be a good tonic to help purify the blood. Native Americans encouraged its growth by periodically burning the fields, which would quickly grow again with new plants. Read More….




The Cascara is still used in herbal medicine for the same purpose, as well as to cleanse the bowels. In modern herbal medicine, it is considered a stimulant laxative and has the potential for abuse. No one is entirely sure how it relieves constipation and cleanses the bowels but Many people believe the herb may irritate the bowel tissue and draw fluid into the intestines. By drawing this fluid in, it produces a bowel movement. Read More….



Cooleys Hedge Nettle

Cooley’s Hedge Nettle, although a true Nettle, does not sting. The Plant grows profusely on the south coast of BC. The Nuu-chah-nulth fishermen wiped their hands on this plant before handling their gear to lessen their scent left on it. The Saanich peoples made spring tonic by steeping the crushed rhizomes in boiling water.  Read More….



Cows Parsley

The Cows Parsley is an aromatic herb that acts as a diuretic, soothes the digestive tract and stimulates the uterus. A wonderfully cleansing medicine, it supports the liver, stimulates the flow of urine and the removal of waste by the kidneys. An infusion is used in the treatment of various complaints including digestive disorders, kidney and bladder diseases and in the treatment of dropsy. Read More….



Devils Club

Devils Club grows all over the BC coastal region, It grows best in wet shaded areas and the coast has plenty of wet shaded areas. Its maple shaped leaves resemble thimbleberry leaves but up close the spines make identification simple. It is found all over the Pacific Northwest and quite often forms dense thickets with stems over 3 meters tall. It spreads mostly by the stems falling to the ground and taking root. Read More….




The normal life of a Foxglove plant is two seasons, but sometimes the roots, which are formed of numerous, long, thick fibers, persist and will flower for several seasons. In the first year a rosette of leaves, but no stem, is sent up. In the second year, one or more flowering stems are thrown up, which are from 1 to 1.3 meters high. In early summer, huge bunches of beautiful flowers bloom, although the time of flowering depends upon elevation.  Read More….



Goats Beard

A graceful member of the Rose family, Goats Beard grows freely in the western portion of the Pacific Northwest including all of the BC coast, in damp openings in the woods and close to streams and pools. Many of the first people groups used Goats beard medicinally. The Olympic Peninsula’s Klallam people made a salve of root ashes to rub on sores. The Quinault and Quileute people made a poultice from scraped roots to apply to sores. Read More….



Harebell Flower

Harebell Flowers are sometimes called The Devils Bell and The Fairies Thimble as its reputed to have sheltered the fairies in the old country. It was called Harebell as folk believed that witches used juices squeezed from the flower to turn themselves into hares. The harebell can be used in remedies for earache that is made from the roots, just boil the roots, cool and then use as ear drops. Read More….



Herb Robert

Herb Robert is an annual plant that grows to 40 cm tall, the stems branch in many directions and may turn red in color. The leaves are green and about 6cm long and are palmate in shape, deeply cut, and often tinged with colors of pink, red or bronze. Stems and leaves are covered with very fine hairs. Herb Robert is therapeutic herb, although, very little information is available on the constituents, this herb’s action is one of the best herbs that can be used regularly, as a boost to the immune system. Read More….




Kinnikinnick is a native ground cover plant much beloved by humans, the animals, and birds. In traditional herbal medicine, it is the leaves that are used. Gathered in the fall, dry and crush the leaves, then store in airtight containers or freeze, you can also make a tea to be used as a spring tonic and a diuretic. The leaves contain arbutin, a powerful astringent, which can have an antiseptic effect on the urinary tract and is very effective in treating kidney and bladder infections. Read More….



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